Kota Kinabalu

A-Z Guidebook – Kota Kinabalu Sabah Malaysia

Kota Kinabalu is the capital of Sabah a state of Malaysia. Kota Kinabalu or as the locals refer to it, KK Malaysia is a north-eastern state of Borneo sitting on a harbour surrounded by rainforests and national parks.

I was hoping for a sleep in, on our first morning In Kota Kinabalu and although it was 6am in Australia it was still only 4am in Kota Kinabalu so I tossed and turned for a few hours, until daybreak.

Sitting overlooking the harbour, staring out the window I watched as the bay started another day. Small boats, ferries and fishing boats flying back and forth to islands that surround the bay as they are a major form of transport in Kota Kinabalu.

Our room was on the 5th floor of the Hyatt Regency facing the harbour, thanks to the lovely receptionist who had upgraded us. I love watching a new place wake up, shrugging off  its slumber and coming alive.

No matter where we holiday in Asia our plan after breakfast is always to explore the town, buy sim cards and visit a day spa for at least a massage! We decided the previous night that lunch would be at a seafood restaurant, on the waterfront.

We left our hotel and wandered through the markets right on the edge of the water. Some were in full swing and others just setting up. We do like to mix it with the locals and although we might not buy any meat or poultry from the open butchery, with no sanitation or standard hygiene practices, it still fascinates me to wander through these places and feel the rhythm of the culture.

We popped out of the market area opposite a couple of shopping centers, where we went from counter to counter to find sims cards, I lost count after 12!

To save you the trouble of going through the same problems and wasting time the info follows…

Bought the sims for our iPads from Chong Siew Hua at

Lot 55, Ground Floor, City Parade
No 1, Jalan Centre Point
88000 Kota Kinabalu
Sabah, Malaysia

Chong was instrumental in the day and a half we had trying to get out sims to connect to the Maxis network. I won’t go into all the details here suffice to say go and see this girl, she gives exceptional service. Chong really knows her stuff, has a great command and understanding of English and irons out any problems immediately.

3 shops down from Chong’s store was a money changer with the best rates we found, for our Aussie dollar.

Check out more things to do in Sabah here.

We lunched at a large seafood restaurant on the water. Kota Kinabalu’s esplanade has many restaurants offering all sorts of culinary delights! The specialty is seafood and whatever sea creature you choose is cooked just how you like it.

Kota Kinabalu Seafood

There’s live seafood galore, however, we discovered that restaurant is also a big tourist attraction. As in any country, at any tourist attraction, the prices were higher than other local restaurants.

If you were to wander along the waterfront, especially the night markets near the dolphin roundabout you’ll pick up beautiful fresh seafood for less than $5! It’s possibly one of the best seafood meals I’ve eaten!

Where’s the best seafood meal you have had it your travels around the world?

Note: This post is part of a collaborative blogging project the A-Z Guidebook Travel Link Up hosted by Tiffin Bite-Sized Adventures. Bloggers are invited to journey through the alphabet sharing their adventures. This month is K.

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Comments 5

  1. Pingback: Trip Report - Day 3 - Kota Kinabalu to Layang Layang - Traveling Aussies

  2. Looks like an amazing seafood platter! Some of the best seafood I’ve had was the southwest coast of Turkey in Cesme, Alacati and other nearby villages. Love the freshly grilled octopus! We’re heading to Kuala Lumpur next weekend, and I can’t wait to try all the food there! 🙂

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