[SABAH Travelogue] Explore Kota Kinabalu, Kundasang, & Shangri-La Tanjung Aru for 5D4N

Monday, May 09, 2016

Initially, I wanna write about "What to do in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah?". However, I realize I do not have comprehensive information to share about it. So, here I will summarize our 5D4N in KK in one blog post. 

Basically, our trip in KK was rather a relax one. The main reason was to attend our friend's wedding in Shangri-La @ Tanjung Aru. Because of the wedding invitation, here's my first trip to Sabah. 2 weeks after we back from South Korea in April this year, here's come another local trip. 

The beautiful city - Kota Kinabalu.

We departed on 29th April, 10am flight by Malaysia Airline. Despite all the bad news we have heard about MAS Airline, it didn't stop us from flying with MAS again. Most importantly, MAS offered the cheapest flight ticket among all (Air Asia & Malindo Air). 

Beautiful weather to kick-start our trip.
Yes, I was lucky to be assigned to a seat next to the window. :)

The best part of flying with MAS is the fare included meal & free flow of drinks and in-flight entertainments. We had nasi goreng and it taste really good, it also comes with a healthy cookies and peanuts. During the 2 and half hour journey, I enjoyed my time by watching a movie that release in the cinema not long ago - THE 33, the story is based on the real-life event, when a gold and copper mine collapses, it traps 33 miners underground for 69 days. 

Here's the KK city, beautiful roof top ya.

Our friend fetched us from the airport, and we were heading to Kundasang right after that. On the way to Kundasang, we visited this Tamparuli Suspension Bridge.

Kundasang is a town in the district of Ranau in Sabah and it is 1 hour drive from the city. At Kundasang, you may visit the vegetable wholesales market, and Desa Dairy Farm where you can enjoy the breathtaking scenery, the cool breeze, treat yourself a yummy yoghurt ice cream and may more. 

Vegetable wholesales market.

Beautiful Kundasang.

Breathtaking scenery.

Lovely place at Desa Dairy Farm.

Those houses are actually homestay / hostel where you could spend 1 or 2 nights here in Kundasang. It would be an ideal plan to visit this place with family or a bunch of good friends.

The yoghurt milk ice cream, very yummy!!

On the first night in KK, we went to one of the hawker center nearby Tanjung Aru for seafood. Unfortunately, the standard of the foods were quite food, that's why no photo will be shared in this post. 

There are few shopping mall in the city center, IMAGO KK Time Square, Centre Point Sabah, Warisan Square, Suria Sabah and many more. Among all, IMAGO KK Time Square is the best one to visit.

IMAGO KK Time Square is the latest and newest shopping mall in KK and there are many quality and branded tenants, such as COACH, Nichii, H&M, Souled Out, Victoria Secret etc. It is a good place to chill out if you would like to get rid of the hot weather.

IMAGO KK Time Square.

Chill at Starbucks with a cup of Key Lime Pie drinks after shopping.

Beautiful view of KK city from our hotel.

We stayed in SKY Hotel, 10 - 15 mins from the KK International Airport. We got the room which comes with 2 bed room which can fit 4 guest, a living hall and kitchen.

Personally, I think this hotel located at a strategic location where guest can easily access to Gaya street, the city center, various shopping mall and the airport. However, it would be better to rent a car to explore around the city because taxi could cost you a bomb. The minimum fare would be RM15 per trip for a 5 - 10 mins journey.

We rented a car at RM110 per day for a proton saga (manual). There are many choices in the airport, you may survey and make decision before you leave the airport. Car can be returned at the airport when you're leaving Sabah.

There's a swimming pool and gym room on the 4th floor of SKY Hotel.

Swimming pool @ SKY Hotel.

Apparently, the living cost in KK is quite high, a bowl of noodle could cost RM7 and my friend told me that's the average price.

1. Laksa & Beef Noodle at Kedai Kopi Yee Fung @ Gaya Street.

My friend google and there are many positive reviews about this coffee shop. We went there for breakfast and ordered the favourite laksa and beef noodle. Each bowl of noodle cost RM7 (this is the place that I got a shock when paying for the noodle).

The famous laksa but I find it average.

Beef noodle, taste average too.

2. Bakso @ Malay Shop, Gaya Street
There are many malay stall is featuring bakso so I give it a try. To my surprise, I like it very much. The soup taste sour and it really stimulate my appetite. Bakso is a bowl of rice vermicelli comes with meatballs. 

Bakso cost RM5.50 only.

3. Fried Dumplings
What is so special about the dumplings in KK? Compare to the dumpling in West Malaysia (WM), the shape of the dumplings in KK is more flat. The taste is actually similar to the one we usually have in WM. 

I'm sure everyone agree with this! Everyone is telling me KK has the cheapest seafood, the seafood is very fresh and delicious, YOU MUST TRY!.

Okay, so the local friends told me the Welcome Seafood Restaurant serve good seafood. The price isn't really cheap but couldn't deny that the freshness is really awesome. The size of the seafood is really HUGE too. Here, I choose few seafood to be featured here.

Fresh oyster @ RM7 per pc.

The oyster shell is really big, can cover half of my face.

My all-time favourite, cockles cooked with sambal.
Taste really really good!! and the size of the cockles was really big too.

Fresh clams soup.

5. Roti Kahwin & Teh Tarik Madras @ Fook Yuen Coffee Shop

Roti kahwin = 2 slice of bread + butter & kaya.
Good place and good food for tea time. Fook Yuen have more than 10 outlets in KK Sabah and they business is still expending. Food Yuen served pastry, breads and local drinks such as tea and coffee. 

We went to the Fook Yuen located at Gaya Street, the business is really good during tea time (2 - 6pm).

The roti kahwin (toasted and the normal one) and my teh tarik madras (on the front left). 

The roti kahwin is my favourite, especially the normal one, I will be back again for this. For the teh tarik madras, it is a 2 layer tea which quite famous in Sabah. The sweetness of the tea is mild compare to the teh tarik we usually have at mamak, i like it too.

This is the Iced Teh Tarik Madras I had in Yee Fung Coffee Shop.

Besides the local meal, we visited Souled Out @ IMAGO KK Time Square. Sadly, the food taste really bad.. They should improve the food quality, so it will taste as good as the Souled Out in KL.

We wanted to visit the island (either Manuka Island or Mamutik Island) but the ticket for the boat was all sold out. SOBS. This is the jetty - Jesselton Point to depart to this island.

Spotted a cute ice-cream van at Gaya Street.

Gaya Street where you can find many good local food, and also, there's a Sunday morning market.

THE WEDDING & SUNSET at Shangri-La, Tanjung Aru Resort
Shangri-la at Tanjung Aru is a beautiful resort, where we can witness the stunning ocean and one of the best place for sunset. You may visit the Sunset Bar, order a glass of cocktails or beers and enjoy the live band performance while witnessing the sunset.

Beautiful wedding of Kelly & John.

Thanks for having us on this memorable day.

There's the Sunset Bar.

Happy Hour at Sunset Bar.

We managed to get a table and had an enjoyable evening.

You have to go Sunset Bar early to avoid disappointment because it will getting crowded.

Sunset view from Shangri-La, Tanjung Aru.

Thanks for the beautiful sunset.

Fluffy cotton candy in the sky.

Sky will getting dark at 6.30pm here, so by 7pm, it will looks like 8pm in West Malaysia.

Besides that, we also visited Filipino Night Market - a place for seafood, local souvenir, fruits and clothes. 5 days in KK is quite lengthy, 4 days should be good enough unless you're going for mount KK for hiking, or island hopping. 

Thanks for the wonderful moment in KK, till I see you again in November (for another wedding).

You Might Also Like


  1. For sea related activities or simply sight seeing – Langkawi is better & safe than sabah / kota kinabalu.
    me & my family faced lifetime worst experience in kota kinabalu. sabah is the very unhealthy /unfriendly state of Malaysia. Even better to go Bali if already seen Langkawi. cheating, mis-behave or mis treats starts from kota kinabalu airport immigration !!

  2. Hi there. Love your blog entry. The itinerary and choice of accommodation are quite nice, too! And the pictures above look great! I went to Sabah earlier this year, and I loved it!

    If you're thinking of going to Sabah again any time soon, you could check out our Sabah tour packages here at https://www.njoyborneotours.com/ and book with us. Let's go to Sabah together!


Like me on Facebook

Contact Form


Email *

Message *