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The tallest mountain in Southeast Asia and one of the highest trekkable peaks in the world, Mount Kinabalu is a stunning climb and a must for any adventurer. Slightly over 4,000 meters, the climb is relatively approachable for most, and the path is well-trodden. Experienced hikers can manage to finish the climb in a day or two, but it’s generally advised to take up to three days to fully acclimatize yourself. Costs for the climb range around RM 300, not including food and equipment. It is best to plan for the climb before arriving, as last-minute hikers may not be allowed to hike due to the number of climbers being limited to around 135 daily.
If you’re looking for a place to unwind after a long day of walking around, the Waterfront is the place to be. The entire esplanade of the Kota Kinabalu waterfront is within walking distance across the street of hotels. Along the waterfront are rows of pubs and restaurants as well as a shopping mall; the place comes alive at night and is best enjoyed sitting on the boardwalk with drinks or fresh seafood, whilst watching the sunset on the horizon.
Accessible through a 20-minute speedboat ride from Kota Kinabalu, the park is a playground for the adventurous. The Marine Park consists a cluster of islands: Pulau Gaya, Pulau Sapi, Pulau Manukan, Pulau Mamutik and Pulau Sulug. Each of these islands offer a plethora of activities; Gaya and Manukan are the most tourist-equipped and the best islands for leisurely beach strolls and a quick swim. You can even opt to stay in one of the resorts here as an island getaway from the city.
A relaxing and lovely way to enjoy the forest scenery of Kota Kinabalu is through taking a river cruise on the Klias River. This takes a day trip into the Klias Wetlands reserve near Kota Kinabalu. Sit back and be treated to gorgeous views of where the river meets the sea and a spectacular view of Mount Kinabalu. There, you can get the chance to cruise through a mangrove area all while trying to spot the incredible wildlife of monkeys, birds and, if you book a late-evening cruise, you could be lucky to catch some incredible displays of fireflies!