Itinerary Highlight:

This tour comprises of a 4 days 3 night tour to the rustic town of Kota Kinabalu. The capital of the beautiful Sabah state, the journey takes you to see the historical, tropical as well as exciting part of this urban town. Also famous for its serene tropical beaches and fresh seafood, this is truly a destination you do not want to miss in Borneo, East of Malaysia.

Itinerary Summary:

Day 1:

Day 2:

Day 3:

Day 4:

Itinerary Details:

Day 1: Arrival – Kota Kinabalu City Tour

Upon arrival to the vibrant Kota Kinabalu city, proceed to check in to the hotel and refresh. Your first visit of the day should starts with the Yayasan Sabah Tower, the tallest building in Kota Kinabalu. Formally known as Menara Tun Mustapha or the Sabah Foundation Building, this 30 storey circular glass marvel of architecture was built in 1977. It towers above the city of Kota Kinabalu at 122 meters across the Sabah skyline, and is one of the few hanging type structures in the world. Then, head over to Likas, to see the Floating Mosque, one of the few unique floating Islamic houses of worship in Malaysia. The structure in itself is a sight to behold, as the perfect symphony of sea and light reflects its pearl white shadow onto the surrounding man-made lagoon. The mosque is also the largest in Kota Kinabalu, with a prayer hall that can accommodate up to 12,000 people. Visitors can also don a traditional Malays garment and see the various hallways, as well as take the opportunity to learn more about Islam.

After lunch, proceed to visit the Poh Toh Tze Temple. This wonderful Buddhist temple is famous to many of the local Chinese worshippers, with its vividly carved rooftops imbued with elegant Eastern culture, as well as the pillars and walls that have a distinct Chinese flavor. Inside the compounds lay 10 large statues of dainties – including the Goodness of Mercy who welcomes all who enters the temple. After the temple tour ends, make your way to the Handicraft Market, where you can get great bargains at the selection of stalls selling interesting and skillfully crafted items, from bags to jewelry and artistic works of art. The market itself is housed within a wooden structure, with unique pointed arches that juts out of its main building. This is a perfect place to get mementos and gifts for your loved ones. Another market included in the tour is the Seafood Market, where one can find an array of fresh seafood for sale at discounted prices. Situated only next to the jetty, one can still see the fresh catches of the day being unloaded, and hives of people flocking to purchase the freshest catches. Give a go at haggling, or simply indulge in the pleasure of seeing the interesting and lively catches that are brought to shore.

After that, proceed onwards to Signal Hill – a hilltop point which gives you a birds’ eye view of the panoramic Kota Kinabalu city skyline, its vast surrounding greenery and exotic tropical islands. The hill is the highest point in Kota Kinabalu, and is a perfect spot to take a wonderful group photo and the excellent time you are having on the journey. Right after, proceed for a sumptuous dinner in Kota Kinabalu and enjoy the sights and sounds as dusk approaches.

After dinner, head back to the hotel for a good night’s rest.

Floating Mosque Kota Kinabalu Menara Tun Mustapha
floating mosque kota kinabalu Menara Tun Mustapha

Day 2: Poring Hot Spring – Kinabalu Park – Filipino Market

After breakfast, take a leisurely drive towards the Poring Hot Springs, where lunch will be served at the Poring Hot Spring Restaurant. Opt to venture to the Treetop Canopy Walk. A brisk 20 minute walk takes one up a series of suspension bridges spread at the top of the tropical rainforest. These forests are home to the Menggaris Tree – also known as the King of the Forest. At 41 metres above the ground and spanning 157 metres in length, visitors can expects the sights and sounds of the Borneo jungle as they embrace the beauty of the wilderness. Right after, proceed to the Butterfly Farm – a natural reserve for the endangered and rare species of butterflies, stick insects, rhinoceros beetles and more. It has a large landscaped enclosure featuring a nursery, a hatchery and a garden. An on-going breeding and research programme make it a delightful view. Moving on, immerse in the warm waters of Poring Hot Springs which are rich in sulphuric minerals. The natural spring water has a very positive and therapeutic effect that stimulates the body and helps ease muscle aches.

Next, head on over to Kinabalu Park to enjoy the magnificent allure of Mount Kinabalu, the tallest peak in South East Asia, its towering peak high above the clouds. Arrive at the Kinabalu Park Headquarters, take a quiet stroll along the natural trails of the Botanical Gardens, and feel the refreshing air caress your cheeks. Kinabalu Park is home to an estimated 4,500 species of flora and fauna – including 1,500 genres of orchids (77 of which are endemic to Kinabalu), 326 birds’ species, 290 different types of butterflies and around 100 different kinds of mammals. Next, take a tour to the Mountain Garden and Exhibition Hall. Here alternatives are given to explore the different trails around Kinabalu Park. Before leaving for the city, make a brief stop at the Park Headquarters Office to receive a World Heritage Site Certificate.

For dinner and a good bargain, visit the Filipino Market which offers a huge variety of cheap food. The famous market is known for selling items such as coconuts, noodles and seafood, handicrafts as well as souvenirs like fold out tables and rattan baskets. Above the din of haggling, take the opportunity to see the Sabah lifestyle at its core, and watch how the locals go about their day to day routines. Shop at your own pace and be sure to purchase some dried seafood, a local favorite back home from the nearby seafood as a souvenir.

After dinner, head back to the hotel for a good night’s rest.

Canopy walk at Poring Hot Spring Filipino Market
canopy walk at poring hot spring Filipino Market

Day 3: Sapi Island – Mamutik Island – Jesselton Waterfront

None of the tour is Sabah is complete without paying a visit to one of its magnificent islands. After breakfast, head out to the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park and pay a visit to two of the most beautiful cluster of islands – Sapi Island and Mamutik Island. A chartered speed boat can be arranged to take visitors to the islands, which boast pristine shallow waters, rich coral gardens and fine, white sandy beaches. Take a dip into the crystal clear blue ocean or laze under the tropical sun with a book in hand, while you listen to the soft echoes as the wave hits the shore. Opt to partake in the various sea sports activities provided on the island (includes banana boat, parasailing or speed boat). If you want to just relax and unwind, then kick back and chill along the sandy beach, and bask in the warm rays of the tropical sun.

After the island tour, heads on to the Jesselton Waterfront, a world-class waterfront development and the first of its kind in the region. The Jesselton Waterfront is a fantastic sight to behold, showcasing an incorporation of colonial as well as modern architectural design. Talk a brisk walk along the wooden paneled platforms, and have dinner at one of the many restaurants, as one takes in the serene scenery of the blue ocean and the crimson red sunset.
After dinner, head back to the hotel for a good night’s rest.

Sapi Island Mamutik Island
Sapi Island Mamutik Island

Day 4: Mari Mari Cultural Village – Departure

Start the day with a slow drive towards the Mari Mari Cultural Village, which is approximately 25 minutes away from the city centre of Kota Kinabalu. Upon arrival at the village entrance, be welcomed by the sight of ancient Borneo architecture, and take a step back in time of olden days. Be dazzled by the authentic wooden towers, distinct wooden houses and structures decorated by nature. Take the opportunity to experience the different lifestyles of different indigenous tribes of Sabah. Blend in and see the culture like it really is. The houses here are all built by generations of Sabah native tribesmen, and are different in terms of style and design, each representing their own tribe. You can also visit the replica huts and see the daily routines of the olden Borneo natives come to life. Have a go at blowpipe making, fire-starting, and understand tribal tattoos to learn the mythical meanings behind each symbol. Also get a chance to see how the locals make vests out of tree husks, and also experience the traditional dance atop the ‘Lataran’ or traditional woven trampoline like floor. Also not forgetting are the various Sabahan delicacies that one will get to try, like the Montoku or rice wine, steamed rice and fish as well as vegetables cooked using bamboo shoots. Embrace the warm hospitality and partake in the cultural performances by the tribe representatives.

Your visit to Mari Mari Cultural Village ends with a delicious home-cooked authentic Sabahan meal, before you bid the village farewell and head to the airport, bringing the fantastic memories from the Kota Kinabalu with you.

Cultural show in Mari Mari Cultural Village The host preparing local Sabahan delicacies
Mari Mari Cultural Village Mari Mari cultural village
Private Tour
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Recommended Area to Stay in Sabah:
Kota Kinabalu City
Wide options of accommodation, offer easy access to many attractions.
Near to the majestic Mount Kinabalu, Poring Hot Spring and many other attractions.
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