Kota Kinabalu (KK) won’t immediately overwhelm you with its beauty, but you’ll soon notice its friendly locals, breathtaking fiery sunsets, blossoming arts and music scene, and rich culinary spectrum spanning Malay to Japanese, Western to Cantonese, street food to high end. Alongside swanky new malls springing up at every turn, and a wave of expensive condos accommodating a rush of expats, old KK, with its markets stocked to the gills with leviathans, pearls, and busy fishermen shuttling about the waterfront, happily endures. This may be a city on the move with the 21st century, but its old-world charm and history are very much alive.
While on any given day it’s much too humid to walk from one end of the city to the other (you’ll be hopping in and out of taxis) the city is conveniently compact when it comes to booking your wildlife and diving adventures, and treks to Mt Kinabalu. Believe us, KK will soon grow on you once you get to know it.