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Things to Do in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Luckily, my friends and I were able to go to Malaysia before travel bans and lockdowns have been implemented globally, because of the coronavirus pandemic aka covid-19 that is affecting the world right now. Oh Lord, heal our land and protect everyone from that virus. Moving on, that trip was a short and yet sweet and fun over-the-weekend getaway with my friends in
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

That was a one of the many spontaneous trips that I, together with Carol and Hamez, had. Well, I traveled with Hamez in and out of the country before this trip and I enjoyed his presence, though it was my first out-of-the-country with Carol.
Apparently, I had no expectation, at all -- on what to do or how are we going to spend our days in Kota Kinabalu, but what I had in mind was that I could just stay in bed, and catch up with my sleep, on which I did, most of the time… and so I’m quite surprise that we were able to experience most of the authentic laid back life in the land below the wind and went on some tourist spots despite of me being so clingy with my bed and pillows.

abroad, Asia, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, top things to do in Kota Kinabalu, Travel, travel guide, what to do in Kota Kinabalu, the daily posh; aylin vedad
everyday view in my room at Grandis Hotel


One of the factors of having an accommodation in a very great location is that, you can roam around the area and go back to the comfort of your bed in no time and go out again whenever you feel like to. Grandis Hotel made our adventure even more accessible and relaxing because most places are just a few minutes away.

And with that, here are the top things to do in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia especially if you are going to that beautiful place for the first time without compromising the chill-vibe of the trip.




    Visit a mosque: Masjid Bandaraya Kota Kinabalu Mosque


    The Kota Kinabalu City Mosque (Malay: Masjid Bandaraya Kota Kinabalu), built on a 2.47 acres site at the Likas Bay, is the second main mosque in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia, after State Mosque in Sembulan.  Built on a 2.47 acres site at the Likas bay, with its exemplary Islamic architecture, Masjid Bandaraya Kota Kinabalu Mosque is a common tourist destination and included in several tours on which can be visited by non-Muslims, except during prayers. Unfortunately, we were unable to go inside because of covid-19, tourist was prohibited during our visit.

    abroad, Asia, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, top things to do in Kota Kinabalu, Travel, travel guide, what to do in Kota Kinabalu, the daily posh; aylin vedad
    Masjid Bandaraya Kota Kinabalu Mosque

    abroad, Asia, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, top things to do in Kota Kinabalu, Travel, travel guide, what to do in Kota Kinabalu, the daily posh; aylin vedad
    the mosque from across the street


    Visiting Hours:
    Monday – Sunday: 8.00am to 12.00noon, 2.00pm to 3.30pm, 4.00pm to 5.30pm
    Friday: Closed

    Entrance Fee:
    Tourist: RM 5.00
    Malaysian: Free

    Do island hopping: Mamukit Island


    You can spend a day for an island hopping when in Kota Kinabalu on which you can DIY (do-it-yourself) for a cheaper option. Basically, you just go to Jesselton Port, which is a 3-min walk from Grandis Hotel. As you enter at the main gate, go to the right side and there, you’ll see different travel & tour kiosk. They offer the same thing at the same price so there’s no need to check from 1 to 10. Well, we went directly to the first Kiosk and chose an island that we preferred – you can choose Sapi Island, Manukan Island, Gaya Island, Sulug Island and Mamutik Island. However, our time was limited as it was already around two in the afternoon when we decided to go island hopping, 3-island tour was no longer feasible, so having a no-choice, we opted for Mamutik Island – the smallest of the five and had a thought that it won’t be the first choice of other tourists. We prefer island with less crowd, after a 10-min waiting and 15-min speed boat ride, we docked onto a quiet and peaceful island.

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    docked in Mamukit Island

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    Mamukit Island


    The view was so beautiful – you’ve got the beach and the city’s skyline. How I wish we had more time though. And oh, by the way, I took a nap. 😊 So, I don’t have as much photos as my friends but I’m one happy camper. You can bring foods.


    abroad, Asia, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, top things to do in Kota Kinabalu, Travel, travel guide, what to do in Kota Kinabalu, the daily posh; aylin vedad
    photo ops with Hamez before nap time


    On the other note, there are also Filipinos working in the island who are friendly and accommodating.


    Go on a food trip: Seafood Market & Lido Square and Food Centre


    And so, we met local friends who brought us to places and let us experience local fares. Kota Kinabalu is also known for seafood! The only thing that I regret was trying the Seafood Market on the day of our departure; I could have eaten more seafood then if only we knew! Anyway, the setup was like of dampa; you buy seafoods and then they will cook it for you. But its way cheaper that in Philippines, 1 kg of squid was only MYR8 and the shrimps – it’s a must try things to do when in Kota Kinabalu!

    abroad, Asia, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, top things to do in Kota Kinabalu, Travel, travel guide, what to do in Kota Kinabalu, the daily posh; aylin vedad
    seafood!


    The night before we did our island hopping, we went to Lido Square Food Centre. There is a line of tables with different viands on top and food fares placed on top of it. It is a self-service, choose your food, get and placed it on your plate and then it will be priced based on the servings that you got. They have Chinese, Malays, Indian and Indonesian cuisines.

    abroad, Asia, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, top things to do in Kota Kinabalu, Travel, travel guide, what to do in Kota Kinabalu, the daily posh; aylin vedad
    Chinese food fares

    abroad, Asia, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, top things to do in Kota Kinabalu, Travel, travel guide, what to do in Kota Kinabalu, the daily posh; aylin vedad
    colorful sticky rice cake; my MYR5 food

    abroad, Asia, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, top things to do in Kota Kinabalu, Travel, travel guide, what to do in Kota Kinabalu, the daily posh; aylin vedad
    more viands!


    Shopping Spree: Suria Sabah Shopping Mall & Gaya Sunday Market


    Suria Sabah Shopping Mall houses brands like Coach, Michael Kors and other known boutiques. Since the hotel where we stayed at has access to the mall, so yeah, shopping spree was inevitable.

    abroad, Asia, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, top things to do in Kota Kinabalu, Travel, travel guide, what to do in Kota Kinabalu, the daily posh; aylin vedad
    Suria Sabah Shopping Mall


    Every Sunday, there’s a flea market at the street of Gaya which is called as Gaya Sunday Market. Everything is sold here like souvenirs, rattan bags (similar of Bali’s), hats, clothing, and many more. If you are looking for ref magnets, then I would recommend going to Gaya Sunday Market as it is much cheaper.

    abroad, Asia, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, top things to do in Kota Kinabalu, Travel, travel guide, what to do in Kota Kinabalu, the daily posh; aylin vedad
    Gaya Sunday Market

    abroad, Asia, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, top things to do in Kota Kinabalu, Travel, travel guide, what to do in Kota Kinabalu, the daily posh; aylin vedad
    KK Squat at Gaya Sunday Market

    Bar Hopping: The Beer Factory, BAAM, Beer Garden, Kuta Bistro & D’ATAS Explorer Bar


    There are more bars to choose from when in KK City Waterfront. During our 3 nights stay in Kota Kinabalu, we’ve been to The Beer Factory, BAAM, Beer Garden, Kuta Bistro & D’ATAS Explorer Bar.

    abroad, Asia, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, top things to do in Kota Kinabalu, Travel, travel guide, what to do in Kota Kinabalu, the daily posh; aylin vedad
    Happy Valentine's


    To celebrate Valentine’s Day we went to The Beer Factory – I had 1 bottle of Heineken beer while the two had Bloody Mary on which they didn’t like – the taste was awful, a blend of vodka with tomato juice and blah blah blah that I couldn’t remember. The funny part was that, the server who happens to be a Filipina saw us and how they had grouchy faces as soon as they tasted it. She’s so kind that she made mojito for the friends and let us taste the local rice wine which is so good and sweet and yummy.

    abroad, Asia, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, top things to do in Kota Kinabalu, Travel, travel guide, what to do in Kota Kinabalu, the daily posh; aylin vedad
    Beer Garden at my Lychee Martini


    The next night, there’s BAAM. It was eerie at first because the interior was more like of an abandoned space at the 5th floor but after having a bottle of San Mig Light in Apple flavor, Carol and I have been on our usual chitchat mode.

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    sleepy or tipsy?


    On our last night, we had dinner at Beer Garden – foods were delicious and yes, we ordered a lot. Well, it was our last night in KK City so why not, splurged and spent our remaining ringgits. So after that, Hamez sang two songs at Kuta Bistro and then we headed to D’ATAS Explorer Bar.

    abroad, Asia, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, top things to do in Kota Kinabalu, Travel, travel guide, what to do in Kota Kinabalu, the daily posh; aylin vedad
    what's for dinner




    D’ATAS Explorer Bar was your kind of hole-in-the-wall resto-bar with an elegant interior. And guys, they don’t accept cash, only credit card is allowed.

    abroad, Asia, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, top things to do in Kota Kinabalu, Travel, travel guide, what to do in Kota Kinabalu, the daily posh; aylin vedad
    D'ATAS Explorer Bar




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    18 comments :

    1. such an inspiring vlog.... hope you would have lot of fun...! it seems to be interesting ..... Food looks so tasty...!! (World in Eyes)
      https://worldineyes.com/

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    2. How nice to know this country of which I tell you the truth beyond the name I knew little high and instead there is so much to see!

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    3. This all sounds like fun! I'll have to get to Malaysia one day. That food does look scrumptious!

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    4. Oh wow, looks like a beautiful, fun place to visit. Thank you for sharing this with us!

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    5. Malaysia looks gorgeous! I'd love to be able to visit here someday.

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    6. I've never been to Malaysia, I was planning on going this year but now with the Pandemic, I am not so sure!!! Next year for sure.

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    7. Everything looks so bold and beautiful, and the food looks incredible! This sounds like an INCREDIBLE trip. I would love to go there myself. Hopefully someday we can do that.

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    8. Ive been to Malaysia, but only in KL. I guess this is a must-go to place next time. :) The foods look so delicious.

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    9. Wow, there is so much to do there! And I have to say, the picture of the food from Beer Garden looked pretty awesome. Glad you got to spend the rest of your extra money there!

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    10. This looks like a wonderful trip! I hope I'm so lucky to be able to take a trip like this! Beautiful

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    11. This place looks absolutely gorgeous! It's like being there with the quality of your photos.

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    12. I really miss traveling. I must be at home right now for all these circumstances that the world is fighting. But I will undoubtedly be aware of these recommendations. Nothing better to have a piece of good advice to enjoy at all costs.

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    13. I'd love to go to Malaysia, there are so many interesting things to see and do.

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    14. It looks absolutely stunning there. I have never been to that part of the world.

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    15. Kota KInabalu is beautfiful! Hope we can visit when travel ban is lifted. Stay safe!

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    16. I only stopped by Kuala Lumpur when I was in Malaysia, and that was more of a stopover. Kota Kinabalu looks incredible and is making me wish I traveled more around the country. Definitely somewhere to think about visiting once this is all over.

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