Kota Kinabalu Airport is the second busiest airport in Malaysia. Just 8km from the city centre, this airport has two terminals serving full-service and budget airlines. Having recently undergone expansion projects in order to meet the growing number of tourists, the newly constructed terminal now provides modern airport facilities and is able to handle up to nine million passengers annually.
How to get around
There are a few ways to get from the airport to Kota Kinabalu. A cheap and convenient way would be to take the taxi from the Airport Taxi counter. It costs around NZD11 to get there. You can also rent a car from the airport. There are several companies for you to choose from. From the airport, you can opt for the shuttle bus. For NZD2, it takes you to Wawasan Center. If you are on a budget, take bus 16c for less than NZD1 to Kota Kinabalu bus terminal. It arrives once every hour. For those with time to spare, 1-1.5 hours of walking can get you to the city centre. It is also a good way to explore Kota Kinabalu.
Getting around Kota Kinabalu is not difficult. As mentioned, you can explore the city by foot. Most locals speak fluent English so do not worry if you are lost. Taxis are available if you wish to travel in comfort. There is also a bus terminal located at Inanam. Here, you can engage in bus, mini-bus and shared-taxi services. For destinations towards south of Kota Kinabalu, head to bus parks on Jalan Tunku Abdul Tahman or behind Wawasan Plaza. Alternatively, rent a car to get around the city. Renting one at the airport is cheaper than renting from a rental company in the city.
What to see and do
Kota Kinabalu, or more fondly known as KK by the locals is renowned for Mount Kinabalu. However it is located 90km away from the city. For those who are in transit and have a few hours to spare, or wish to only stay within the city centre, Kota Kinabalu offers other places of attractions.
Make a trip to Mari Mari cultural village. Learn more about the rich Borneo history and culture laden in this village. Visit the traditional Sabahan ethnic communities. You may also arrange for a tour bus to take you there.
An iconic landmark in Kota Kinabalu is the Kota Kinabalu City Mosque. This picturesque mosque is also known as the Floating Mosque as it rests on an area surrounded by an artificial lagoon. Located just 15 minutes away by foot is the Central Market. It is a good place if you want to experience local life. See the locals make daily transactions for food supplies. There are four other markets in the area, selling handicrafts, dry seafood products, fish and fruits respectively. Hunt for unique souvenirs in this market.
Other famous landmarks include Che Sui Khor Chinese temple, featuring a 12-tier Pagoda located along Jalan Tuaran. In the vicinity stands Atkinson Clock Tower. In the evening, enjoy the sunset at KK Esplanade.
Whether you are staying in Kota Kinabalu for a few days or a few hours, this city offers you a different perspective from other cities through its landmarks and outdoor activities.