Introduction to Kota Kinabalu
Due to its vicinity to tropical islands, sandy beaches, lush green rainforest, and Mount Kinabalu, this Malaysian city—the capital of Sabah on the island of Borneo—is becoming more popular as a vacation spot.
It is located on the West Coast Division on the west coast of Sabah and is frequently referred to as KK. Kota Kinabalu is known to be Sabah’s largest city and one of the state’s smallest districts with the highest population in Sabah.
Although Kota Kinabalu is home to the magnificent Mount Kinabalu, this town is also blessed with other natural wonders. If you look beyond the shores – and we mean this figuratively – you’ll be taken aback by the pristine ocean reminiscent of the Maldives and white sand beaches.
How to Get Around Kota Kinabalu
Sabah has a variety of tourist attractions, and renting a car lets you see them all without worrying about whether you’ll be able to catch a taxi to your next destination. You can stop as many times as you wish to admire the beautiful scenery or try the delicious food at local restaurants.
Renting a car with SOCAR is an easy way to visit the city’s wonders at your own leisure, whether you’re travelling with family, friends, or alone!
By Taxi & Bus
Public transport, such as cabs and buses, is also available for inter-district travel. Large express buses seating 40 passengers depart daily for Sandakan, Tawau, Keningau, and other significant locations in Sabah.
Other districts are also accessible, with 12-15-seater vans going hourly to Ranau, Kota Belud, Beaufort, and Kudat. Simply head to one of Kota Kinabalu’s three main taxi and bus terminals to start your journey to your destination.
The railway extends for 134km from Tanjung Aru in Kota Kinabalu to the rustic town of Tenom. This multi-stop train showcases Sabah’s magnificent terrain as it transitions from the city to the countryside.
By E-Hailing Services
E-hailing services are yet another convenient and dependable mode of transportation in Kota Kinabalu. Choose from a number of operators, such as Grab or AirAsia Rides, which offer safe and convenient services at reasonable prices. The best part is that you may request a ride at any time and from any area in the city.
7 Best Beaches near Kota Kinabalu to Visit
1. Tanjung Aru
Tanjung Aru is the best place to visit if you want to see the world’s most spectacular sunset. This Kota Kinabalu beach is known for its orange golden beaches and calm waves. It is about 10 minutes away from Kota Kinabalu International Airport. Aside from witnessing the spectacular sunset, you can engage in thrilling sports such as kayaking and parasailing too!
Location: Tanjung Aru, 88100 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah (Google Maps)
2. Dalit Beach
Pantai Dalit is part of the opulent Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort, which is located around 45 minutes from Kota Kinabalu. Aside from a white-sand beach, more than 400 acres of rainforest surrounds the resort. You can visit this beach for a day trip and make use of its facilities for a fee. Water sports, snorkelling and sunset cocktails at the Sampan Bar are some of the popular activities among tourists.
Location: Dalit Beach, 89200 Tuaran, Sabah (Google Maps)
3. UMS ODEC Beach
The Outdoor Development Centre of the University Malaysia Sabah is one of the beaches near Kota Kinabalu that is also open to the public. The beach is maintained by the university and serves as an ideal setting for the university’s conservation initiatives, as well as activities and seminars commemorating World Ocean Day. There are sports activities such as horseback riding, ATV riding, archery, and fishing too!
Location: UMS ODEC Beach, 88400 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah (Google Maps)
4. Kapalai Island
The underlying secret of Kapalai Island is that it is not an island but rather a sandbank that disappears at high tide. Visit at low tide for one of the most unusual beach experiences. If you’re not ready to commit to a full-on diving vacation, the crystal clear waters and shallows make it ideal for snorkelling.
Location: Kapalai Island, Semporna, Sabah (Google Maps)
5. Manukan Island
Manukan Island, which is part of the Tun Sakaran Marine Park, is one of the beaches in Kota Kinabalu that is popular with tourists. The location is great for an island day trip, which requires a 15-minute boat journey. If you enjoy water sports, Manukan Island will satisfy your desire with activities such as scuba diving, parasailing, banana boat rides, jet skiing, and lots more.
Location: Kota Kinabalu, 88100 Manukan Island, Sabah (Google Maps)
6. Tempurung Beach
Tempurung Beach in Kuala Penyu is a natural paradise infused with traditional folklore. The beach’s showpiece is unquestionably Batu Luang, a solitary bell-shaped rock rising 12 metres tall and positioned in the middle of the water. Batu Luang is ideal for long-exposure photography and has recently become a popular destination for photography enthusiasts.
Location: Tempurung Beach, 89740 Kuala Penyu, Sabah (Google Maps)
7. Kalampunian Beach
Head down to Kalampunian Beach if you’re willing to go the additional mile for some spectacular sights. It’s one of the most remote spots on this list, located directly at the northern point of Borneo. Plus, it’s also one of the most solitary. In fact, if you go on a weekday, you may have the entire beach to yourself. A short walk near the shore will lead you to the big slab of rock that certifies that you are at the ‘Tip Of Borneo’.
Location: Jln Tanjung Simpang Mengayau, 89050 Kudat, Sabah (Google Maps)
Drive with SOCAR
Tourists and locals both must visit the Kota Kinabalu beaches at least once! You will surely be able to appreciate the beauty of Sabah’s beaches, and SOCAR can arrange transportation to these beaches in Kota Kinabalu!
You can commute anywhere for as little as RM6 per hour per day!
Renting a car hourly, daily, weekly, or even monthly with the SOCAR car rental app is a convenient way to have flexible connections around Malaysia. Book a car with us today!