~ RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES~
Diving and Snorkeling
The Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park is a unique maritime park comprising five idyllic islands, only 20 minutes away from Kota Kinabalu by speed boat. With stretches of white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and coral reefs, this is an ideal spot for first-time and seasoned divers alike, and for snorkeling and picnicking. Many diving companies offer discover scuba packages and open water dive courses at these islands. Most dive courses are conducted here before adjourning to Sipadan Island, the ultimate dive site in Malaysia.
Sand, Sea and Sun
For those who like to laze under the sun, swim, snorkel, or simply relax on the beach of an exotic tropical island, the outlying islands of Kota Kinabalu are awaiting them. This is the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. The waters are crystal clear and clean, the beaches beautiful the corals exciting. The most popular island is Manukan and on week-ends quite a crowd of city slickers find itself there, but some of the smaller islands, such as Pulau Sulug, are usually very quiet. If you prefer to remain on mainland, the long stretches of pure white sandy beaches along the Kota Kinabalu Coast is something not to be missed.
Various tour operators are located on the islands of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park (TAR), and they provide a wide choice of water sports and other activities such as parasailing, snorkelling, kayaking, wind surfing, jet skis, water skiing, banana boats, island hopping and much more. These activities will guarantee visitors a fun filled day at the islands. Water sport products and services are also available at The Sutera Harbour Marina and Tanjung Aru Marina on the mainland.
Parasailing - Ride the Skies!
Parasailing has become very popular in Kota Kinabalu. Parasailing is very safe here as operators are among the most experiences operators in the region. Most parasailing boats here offer winch launching and retrieval systems and you can fly the skies in tandem flights (side by side), enjoying the majestic sea front view of the City as well as the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park. The parasailing boats with winch launching and retrieval system allow you to go up and back down into the boat without ever getting wet! Each ride averages US$ 20.00. A must try for visitors.
Sport Fishing charters from Kota Kinabalu are available. Some companies offer professional charters to Mengalum Island. The South China Sea is rich in marine resources, and game fishes include Black Marlin (40 kg+), Sail Fish (30 kg+), Giant Barracuda (40 kg+), Tuna, Giant Trevally and many other species of fish. For those interested in bottom fishing some operators offer day and overnight trips around Kota Kinabalu and Mengalum Island. The city holds a yearly international game fishing tournament which is getting very popular and has attracted many international anglers.
Kota Kinabalu offers some of the most beautiful sun sets in Asia. Sun Set Cruises provided by some tour operators in the city cater for this services. Regular departures are offered from KK's jetty around 4 to 5 p.m., and the cruise through the islands and back to the jetty lasts about two to three hours. Some companies offer dining and activities on board. The most beautiful and popular boat for sunset cruises is the "Matahari" (sun in Malay). The ship is available for charter, or just get a ticket and hop on!
Motor Yacht Charters and Cruises
The City of Kota Kinabalu offers top class marine cruise facilities. Visitors can charter from small speed boats to luxurious motor yachts anything for a leisure cruise around the island or an offshore trip to Labuan and back on the next day. Some companies offer top-of-the-line motor yachts available for hire by day, or on an hourly basis. Most departures are conducted either from the Tanjung Aru Marina or the Sutera Harbour Marina. Chartering a boat gives you maximum freedom to enjoy the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park at your own pace!
Kota Kinabalu offers excellent golfing facilities and our golf courses have even become a very popular destination for international golfers. The Sutera Harbour Golf and Country Club, a 36 hole Graham Marsh designed course is right in the heart of the city. Other top golf courses are the Nexus Karambunai Golf Course, and the Borneo Golf Resort which was designed by Jack Nicklaus. To enjoy golfing, please look for good golfers' packages on offer by the various companies. You can tee off with your associates while your family members go and enjoy other recreation activities in the city, or visit the many national parks.
Rediscover the Heart of Borneo by Rail
Take a journey back into the colonial days of British North Borneo on board the North Borneo Railway, a project operated by Sutera Harbour. Regular steam train journeys are offered every Wednesday and Saturday and depart from the Kota Kinabalu Railway Station. The ride in the colonial wagons, pulled by a newly renovated Vulcan steam engine takes 3 hours and 30 minutes, and packages include refreshments, food and beverages. The train stops at Papar for a visit to the local market.
Aerial Tour of City
See Sabah by Air! Operated by Sabah Air, you can see the best of Sabah from the windows of their helicopters and fixed wing air crafts, all in comfort. You will save valuable time on sightseeing tours as their aircrafts cover comprehensively the main areas of attractions. You can sample the best of Borneo form the air and experience first hand a totally different perspective of Sabah. Tours offered include 'Kota Kinabalu Aerial', 'Mt. Kinabalu Aerial Fantasy' and 'Sandakan Aerial Sightseeing'. Rates range from US$ 50 to US$ 250 per package, and departures are from the KK International Airport.
Kota Kinabalu offers the most shopping outlets in Sabah. Major shopping malls are the Centre Point, the Karamunsing Complex, the Merdeka Complex and the newly completed KK Plaza. All these malls offer branded goods, leather, handicraft, sport gear, electronics and much more. The Centre Point mall is the largest mall, on four acres of land. Major brands such as Guess, Calvin Klein, Levis, and Nike are all available here. The mall also boasts a large food court on the 5th Floor (Palm Square), from where you can enjoy a fabulous view of Tunku Abdul Rahman Park.
Kota Kinabalu offers superb seafood outlets around the city. Seafood is available in abundance as Sabah is a major exporter of fine seafood to Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Japan. You can have a feast with giant groupers, king tiger prawns, giant lobsters, shell fish and much more. Please have a look at our city map to locate all the seafood restaurants. Particularly recommended are: Ocean Seafood Restaurant, Port View Restaurant, Suang Tain at the SEDCO square and Kampung Nelayan, which also offers cultural performances while you enjoy your food!
Kota Kinabalu boasts a wide variety of restaurants that serve local Malaysian, Chinese and International Cuisine. Amongst the recommended restaurants that serve Malaysian cuisine are Rasa Nyonya, Sri Melaka and Sri Kapital. Italian restaurants are mushrooming in the city, and Little Italy serves great food. There is also a number of Japanese restaurants such as Nishiki, and Thai restaurants like Tam Nak Thai, Korean restaurants, Indian curry houses, western restaurants and many more.
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