6 Reasons To Visit Kota Kinabalu

While deciding where to go for Lunar New Years, I was eager to visit Kuala Lumpur but the ticket prices went up. Just as soon as I was about to quit, I saw a cheaper flight to Malaysia, going to…..Kota Kinabalu??

I said fudge it and booked my flight and hotel. Sweet Christmas I wish I had an extra day or two off! There was so many things I wanted to do there and it was very cheap in KK! Kota Kinabalu is slept on and here are 6 Reasons you need to put it on your travel list.

1.US Dollar is Very Strong here

Malaysia overall is a cheap country. The city bus cost 2 Ringgit to get around Kota Kinabalu. The food overall was cheap(excluding western style restaurants). I brought about $103 USD cash at the time of my trip. That managed to exchange to 430 Ringgit which managed to last me the entire trip. With various activities plus food and taxi ride back to the airport, I had some money leftover. It’s that cheap there!

2.Walk the City in an Hour(or less)

KK is a very walkable city. I was able to go from the the Ocean Mall to the ferry with ease. With a map of downtown, it was easy to get around and see everything. From the different restaurants to malls, KK has so much ro offer. On my first day, I walked from the east to the west side of the town twice.

3.Many Places to Shop

If you’re a fan of shopping, then KK is the place to be! With four different malls and many shopping centers, this is a shoppers paradise. Every Sunday, Gaya Street shuts down and becomes a flea market with many goods to buy. Get ready to stuff your suitcase with various clothes, shoes, jewelry, handbags, etc. I remember seeing animals for sale and was nearly tempted to buy a puppy there.


Since I arrived for Chinese New Years, there was a sale in the malls with many decorations still up. Dont foget to haggle at the market.

4. Island Hopping

Next time….next time 😢

For 1000 Ringgit(about $225usd) rent a room with friends

If I had more time in KK, I would definitely take the time to take a boat and go island hopping. From the docks, you could choose which island you want to visit and take a boat there for a few hours or all day. I spent all day on Manukan Island and had a blast there! being able to enjoy the clear blue waters,

The water is warm and very clear

with amazing views and a hike around the island was something I could not make up. using my shorts as swim trunks was worth the plane ride. If I get a chance to go back, I would try to island hop as much as possible.

5. The Food

There food in Malaysia was amazing. there was a blend of Malay, Indian, Chinese, and Muslim style of cooking to be found everywhere. Malay food was the cheapest compared to Chinese food there. In the malls, There was always a food court with Malys style buffet and you pick your food for 2 Ringget per food.

6. Its black friendly

When researching about KK and Malaysia in general, I looked around to see how black people have been treated and their experience in the country. I barely found anything except old articles and forum post about racism against Africans.

I’m proud to say that KK is black friendly! The people are friendly and was asked about my height once. Although I was asked to take a photo twice by Chinese tourist’s….other than that, KK gets the black approval.

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