KOTA KINABALU ITINERARY

At first sight, it’s hard to imagine Kota Kinabalu (formerly Jesselton) as an eco-tourism destination because you’ll be welcomed by a sprawling, lively city.  But once you get to know KK, as it is affectionately called by most people, you’ll be blown away by the richness of its heritage and the paradisaical islands offshore. I blogged a 4 day 3 night Kota Kinabalu itinerary here with budget. This sample itinerary is kinda jam-packed because I wanted to show you what Kota Kinabalu can offer as a tourist destination. And honestly, if ever I get a chance to return in the future, I will follow this itinerary and do all the activities I listed below.

 

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Here’s a sample Kota Kinabalu Itinerary for 4 days 3 nights.  Feel free to adjust this depending on your budget and schedule.  I’ve also listed below the sample Kota Kinabalu trip budget.

 

KOTA KINABALU ITINERARY FOR 4 D 3N WITH BUDGET/COST

 

SCHEDULEACTIVITIES
DAY 1MT.KINABALU PARK + PORING HOT SPRING + DESA DAIRY FARM
06:30 AMBreakfast.

 

Food cost: (PHP 100/MYR 8.26/USD 2/EURO 2/SGD 3)

07:15 AMPick up for tour to Mt. Kinabalu Park + Poring Hot Spring + Desa Dairy Park

 

Tour Package Cost: PHP 1,999/MYR  164 (USD 39/EURO 33/SGD 53

08:45 AMVisit and explore Nabalu Park
09:30 AMETD Desa Cattle and dairy farm
10:30 AMETA Poring Hot Spring.  Take a dip in hot spring and do the Canopy Walk.
12:30 PMLunch (part of tour package)
1:30 PMETD Kundasag area.
02:00 PMETA Mt. Kinabalu Park.  Join guided walking tour. Explore.
03:30 PMEnd of tour. ETD Kota Kinabalu
05:00 PMETA Kota Kinabalu City
06:00 PMCatch sunset The Waterfront

 

07:00 PMDinner at the hawker stalls in the Filipino Market.

 

Food cost: MYR 12.39/PHP 150 (USD 3/EURO3/SGD 4)

09:00 PMETA Hotel. Sleep.

 

AC double room : MYR 45/PHP 550 (USD 11/EURO 9/SGD 15)

DAY 2ISLAND HOPPING + KOTA KINABALU CITY TOUR
07:00 AMBreakfast

 

Food cost: (PHP 100/MYR 8.26/USD 2/EURO 2/SGD 3)

07:30 AMHead to Jesselton Port
08:00 AMETD Tunku Abdul Rahman Park.  Choose the Islands you want to visit.  My personal pick: Pulau Mamutik, Pulau Sapi and Pulau Manukan/

 

1 island cost:  MYR 23/PHP 278 (USD 5.44/EURO 5/SGD 7)

2 island hop cost: MYR 33/PHP 399 (USD 8/EURO 7/SGD 11)

3 island hop cost: MYR 43/PHP 520 (USD 10/EURO 9/SGD 14)

4 island hop cost: MYR 53/PHP 642 (USD 13/EURO 11/SGD 17)

 

 

08:30 AMETA Tunku Abdul Rahman Park. Swim, snorkel.

 

ENTRANCE FEE:

Adult: MYR 10/PHP 121 (USD 2.36/EURO 2/SGD 3.23)

Children: MYR 6/PHP 73 (USD 1.42/EURO 1.21/SGD 2)

12:00 PMETD Kota Kinabalu
12:30 PMLunch

Food cost: MYR 12.39/PHP 150 (USD 3/EURO3/SGD 4)

01:30 PMBack to hotel. Freshen up.
03:00 PMExplore Kota Kinabalu City: Atkinson’s Clock Tower and Signal Hill Observatory, Sabah State Mosque.

 

Uber to Sabah State Mosque: MYR 10/PHP 121 (USD 2.36/EURO 4/SGD 3.22)

Uber from Sabah State Mosque: MYR 10/PHP 121 (USD 2.36/EURO 4/SGD 3.22)

06:00 PMEnd of tour. Buy souvenirs.
07:00 PMDinner.

 

Food cost: MYR 12.39/PHP 150 (USD 3/EURO3/SGD 4)

10:00 PMSleep.

 

AC double room : MYR 45/PHP 550 (USD 11/EURO 9/SGD 15)

DAY 3FLOATING MOSQUE+ KLIAS RIVER CRUISE (PROBOSCIS MONKEY)
08:00 AMBreakfast

Food cost: (PHP 100/MYR 8.26/USD 2/EURO 2/SGD 3)

09:00 AMETD Floating Mosque.

 

Take Bus No.5A (direction to UMS) for about MYR 1.50/PHP 18 (USD0.35/EURO 0.30/SGD 0.48). Taxi/Uber should cost you around MYR 15 /PHP 181 (USD 4/EURO 3/SGD 5).

09:30 AMETA Floating Mosque. Explore. Photo op.
10:30 AMETD Kota Kinabalu City

 

Take Bus No.5A (direction to UMS) for about MYR 1.50/PHP 18 (USD0.35/EURO 0.30/SGD 0.48). Taxi/Uber should cost you around MYR 15 /PHP 181 (USD 4/EURO 3/SGD 5).

11:30 AMLunch

 

Food cost: MYR 12.39/PHP 150 (USD 3/EURO3/SGD 4)

12:00 PMBack to hotel. Rest.
02:00 PMETD Klias River + Fireflies Cruise + Proboscis Monkey. Hotel pick up. Depart for Klias River Jetty. (3 hour journey)

 

Tour cost: MYR 167/PHP 2,036 (USD 40/EURO 34/SGD 54)

05:00 PMETA Kota Belud.  Start of Klias River Cruise. Watch Proboscis Monkeys play in the trees as you cruise along the banks of the river.
06:00 PMSunset on boat.
06:30 PMDinner. (Part of cruise)
07:30 PMFireflies Cruise.
08:30 PMETD Kota Kinabalu
10:30 PMETA Kota Kinabalu
11:00 PMETA Hotel. Sleep.

 

AC double room : MYR 45/PHP 550 (USD 11/EURO 9/SGD 15)

DAY 4Mari Mari Cultural Village or Monsopiad Tour
09:00 AMBreakfast. Check out. Leave luggage at concierge or talk to the hotel staff if you can extend for an hour  or two and just pay minimal fee.

 

Food cost: (PHP 100/MYR 8.26/USD 2/EURO 2/SGD 3)

10:00 AMHotel pick up. Join group tour for Mari Mari Cultural Village.

 

Tour cost: MYR 160/PHP 1,950 (USD 38/EURO 33/SGD 52)

11:00 AMETA Mari Mari Cultural Village. Visit 5 tribes’ house
12:00 PMBuffet lunch. Cultural performance
01:00 PMETD Kota Kinabalu
02:00 PMETA Kota Kinabalu. Get luggage at hotel. Proceed to airport.

 

*If you want to see the Orangutan in Sandakan, you can join group tours and it’ll cost around MYR 160/PHP 1,950 (USD 38/EURO 33/SGD 52) from Sandakan. But you have to allot at least 2 days for this tour since you have to travel to Sandakan from Kota Kinabalu, travel time is about 6 hours one way.

 

KOTA KINABALU TRIP BUDGET

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Here’s a sample Kota Kinabalu trip budget (breakdown of expenses) if you follow the Kota Kinabalu itinerary above.  This sample trip budget is supposing you will do all the activities mentioned in the itinerary.  However, if you have limited time and budget, you can just pick the activities that you want to try.

 

EXPENSESACTIVITIES
MYR 136/PHP 1,650 (USD 32/EURO 27/SGD 44)Hotel ( double AC room, good for two) MYR 45/PHP 550 (USD 11/EURO 9/SGD 15) per night x 3 nights
MYR 99/PHP 1,200 (USD 23.44/EURO 20/SGD 32)Food. Budget is (PHP 100/MYR 8.26/USD 2/EURO 2/SGD 3) to MYR 12.39/PHP 150 (USD 3/EURO3/SGD 4) for 3 days.
PHP 1,999/MYR  164 (USD 39/EURO 33/SGD 53Mt. Kinabalu Park + Poring Hot Spring + Desa Dairy Park Tour Package
MYR 43/PHP 520 (USD 10/EURO 9/SGD 14)

 

3 island hop at Tunku Abdul Rahman Park.
MYR 167/PHP 2,036 (USD 40/EURO 34/SGD 54)Klias River + Fireflies Cruise + Proboscis Monkey Tour
MYR 160/PHP 1,950 (USD 38/EURO 33/SGD 52)Mari Mari Cultural Village Tour
MYR 10/PHP 121 (USD 2.36/EURO 4/SGD 3.22)

 

Uber to Sabah State Mosque
MYR 10/PHP 121 (USD 2.36/EURO 4/SGD 3.22)Uber from Sabah State Mosque
MYR 15 /PHP 181 (USD 4/EURO 3/SGD 5).Uber to Kota Kinabalu State Mosque
MYR 15 /PHP 181 (USD 4/EURO 3/SGD 5).Uber from Kota Kinabalu State Mosque
MYR 819/ PHP 9,439/USD 195.16/EURO 170/SGD 265.44 

 

The sample total Kota Kinabalu trip budget for MYR 819/ PHP 9,439/USD 195.16/EURO 170/SGD 265.44 for 4 days 3 nights itinerary may sound expensive, but like I said, you can bring this down if you will not do all the above mentioned tours or activities. Just pick the ones you like.

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WHERE TO BOOK KOTA KINABALU TOURS

 

 

Kinabalu Park & Poring Hot Spring Tour

kota kinabalu mountain

  • Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site Kinabalu Park and see the exotic flora and fauna
  • Take a dip into a hot Sulphur bath in Poring Hot Spring and gaze up at giant bamboo trees
  • You can also visit the Desa Cattle Dairy Farm, Kundasang Vegetable Market and more.

Tour is Inclusive of: Entrance fees (excluding Butterfly Farm), English speaking guide, canopy walkway

Pick-up and drop-off at hotel, conservation fees.

BOOK TOUR 5

 

Sapi and Manukan Islands Tour

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  • Explore 2 of Malaysia’s most beautiful islands Manukan and Sapi
  • Take a dip in the transparent waters of Manukan Island with its sandy beaches and great recreational facilities
  • Use your free time well: go kayaking, parasailing, jet skiing, try Sea Walking and more
  • Enjoy a delicious barbecue lunch by the beach

BOOK TOUR 5

 

MARI MARI CULTURAL VILLAGE TOUR

 

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Address: Kampung Kuai Kandazon, Peti Surat 740 Malaysia, Penampang, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Open Hours: 9:00 AM -5:00 PM

Enjoy a truly authentic experience by observing the lives of 5 indigenous Malaysian tribes by booking a hassle-free tour.

 BOOK TOUR HERE 3

 

 

Sepilok Orangutan Centre Half Day Tour

 

kota kinabalu things to do

  • Travel to Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre on a 3 hour tour
  • See orangutans (only found in Malaysia) in their natural habitat
  • See baby orangutans nurtured back to health, watch them play in dipterocarp forest and even participate in feedings

Tour is inclusive of: English speaking guide and driver, round trip transfer from city center hotels in Sandakan and entrance fees.

 
BOOK TOUR HERE 3

 

 

 

 Klias River Fireflies Safari Cruise

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  • Explore stunning mangrove forests while on cruise and catch a glimpse of the Proboscis Monkeys (Nasalis larvatus)
  • Sample local cuisine on board the river cruise while watching the sun sink into the river
  • Watch fireflies dance in the night sky during the fireflies cruise

Tour is inclusive of: English speaking guide, entrance fees, Buffet dinner and return boat and hotel transfers.

BOOK TOUR 5

 

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KOTA KINABALU BUDGET HOTELS

Where to stay in Kota Kinabalu? Here’s a list of some budget hotels sprinkled around the city.

B&[email protected]

agoda bkk

Lot No.21, Lorong Dewan, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah Malaysia, Central Business District, Kota Kinabalu

CHECK RATES

 

 

Asiana Hotel

agoda asiana

No. 01, Grace Square, Lorong Grace Square, Jalan Pantai Sembulan, Central Business District

CHECK RATES

 

De Galleria Hotel

AGODA DE GALleria
14, Jalan Sentosa, Kampung Air, Central Business District, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

CHECK RATES

 

 

ALSO READ:

KOTA KINABALU TOP THINGS TO DO

BRUNEI TOURIST SPOTS

MELAKA TRAVEL GUIDE (Budget + Itinerary)

CAMERON HIGHLANDS (budget + Itinerary)

24264_351910964162_336201504162_3580676_6142279_nAbout the Blogger : Gael is a Filipina travel blogger. Her work has appeared in local and international publications.

Follow her on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram.

For advertisements, sponsorship and partnerships, you may reach her at gaelhilotinblog (at) gmail (dot) com.

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