Travel : How To Spend 8 Hours In Kota Kinabalu, Sabah ?

You could think eight hours is too short to explore a city, and knowing that you've got a flight to catch at the end of the day would be stressful. But don't worry, the city is small enough to explore by foot, grab is super efficient, or maybe a private driver and Kota Kinabalu is a city easy to fell in love with.
 So, where to go and what to explore ... here the lists !

Island Hoping ( Sapi Island/ Manukan Island/ Mamutik Island)

The island is opened till 4pm (and also depends on the weather).  You can take a lots of photos and for fun activities like parasailing, banana boat rides, snorkeling, diving and seawalking. The prices are not too expensive for activities, they're relatively affordable. Definitely recommend this island when you come to Kota Kinabalu. However, be aware with some operators overcharging. Always ask the price and try to negotiate politely. And lockers are also available at RM10. For travelers with bags, (backpackers bag with 35 litres and above) will not fit. They have basic toilets and changing room available, as well as a restaurant.
Kokol Hill

It less than 45 minutes from the city but, it is like being transported to almost another world. A few small villages line the road towards the peak and gives one an insight into how people have lived uncomplicated lives for more than half century, enjoying clean, unpolluted air at lower temperatures, and not affected by sounds of traffic. Nature lovers would love it as there are a series of waterfalls for those who prefer to hike down the hills and cathedral, perched on the peak midpoint.
It's actually a very nice place for family or couples to just sit back, relax and enjoy the environment with a cup of coffee or tea.

Signal Hill Observatory Tower
The skyline is amazing from this viewpoint. You can clearly see the divide between Old City and New City.  
There's a place to buy snacks/drinks, but mostly people really come here for the killer view. Best for people who appreciate these things, some peace and quiet or a quick rest on one of the benches, take a few pictures. Afternoon to sunset/ evening would be the best time to go. 
You can opt to drive here or take a trail from the nearby Atkinson clock tower.  

Floating Mosque 
Make sure you won't confuse when you wish to visit the mosque, for many people mistaken went to the old state mosque ! This is the new mosque situated at Jalan Pasir, Teluk Likas. Also called as the blue mosque by locals, grand and beautiful above the lagoon.

Shopping and Street Market

You shall be amazed to know that Kota Kinabalu is developing very well, as it is successful in providing one of the best shopping experience despite the fact of its modest size. Over the years, the number of malls has increased and some are still under construction. Suria Sabah shopping mall, Imago, Wisma Merdeka, Centre Point, Oceanus etc. Though it has yet not been able to compare with the shopping experience in Kuala Lumpur in terms of quality, but yet there are many bargain options and surprises at the shops in Kota Kinabalu that are good enough to provide the best shopping experience.
For some local stuff at very reasonable prices, one should head towards the various shopping places and street markets of Kota Kinabalu (KK). The experiences of shopping in KK either at malls or at street markets is up to the mark. Every Sunday, Gaya Street Market is set up right in the center of the city. You shall find so many things like the special Sabah's sweets and savories, smoothies and juices, toys, coffee, souvenirs and many more ! Also, there is a Night Market, which is basically the popular food court of South East Asia. Beside that, you also can go to the Segama Night Market. 

Hope this short guide/ideas of where to go and what to do is good enough to assist you in planning your 8 hours in Kota Kinabalu. If you want to share any destinations/activities or experience, please do so by adding comments below.

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Ezna Khalili said…
Tak pernah lagi ke Kota Kinabalu Sabah ni. Pernah ke Kuching Sarawak ajer. One day pasti ke sini lah. Banyak juga tempat menarik kan?. Since tak pernah pergi...tempat yang dinyatakan kat sini nampak best je.
Julia Mahir said…
Why all the places I think I havent go when I visited KK dulu? LOL I think yg observation tower tu I went kot. But I went to Gaya market (ke?) and best sangat! And of cos, Pasar Filipina.
Zharif Azis said…
i have been to KK before and i would say it was very very nice. not just love KK but the whole Sabah. lot of tourist attractions and i managed to cover all the recommendation places. i miss Sabah. looking your post makes me miss Sabah even more.
Aerill Hassan said…
Tak sempat lagi nk ke Sabah or Sarawak. Dari dulu lagi dah pendam hasrat nak ke Sabah tapi kekangan duit la pulak. Sekarang ni tengah kumpul duit nak ke Sabah. Doakan saya Berjaya ya :)
Rawlins GLAM said…
One certainly can fill up one's time when visiting KK, there's just so many places to visit and at one point, you might get carried away with the beauty. I love KK
precious cla said…
Yes, Sabah is one of the most beautiful state in Malaysia on its own style. Please visit #KotaKinabalu Sabah ^^ :)
Mimie said…
Tak sabar nak pergi Sabah tahun depan Tengok tempat orang Tapi sabah memang banyak tempat menarik yangblatut dikunjungi
precious cla said…
Hai Mimie, yes please come and visit Sabah :) ^^ banyak tempat menarik u boleh explore - Pulau, Shopping Mall, Bukit, Gunung, semua ada :D
I pernah sekali datang Sabah. Memang best. Walaupun datang 5 hari jer heheh. Ingat nak repeat lagi datang ke sini
Syiera Firdaus said…
Wow so many great and nice places in KK. I've never been there before. So this is eye opening for me. Hehe thanks for sharing
Tahun lepas 1st time pergi sabah & tak puas stay sana 2 hari. harap dapat datang lagi sini. sabah pun banyak tempat menarik boleh explore sebenarnya
xulhlmi said…
8 jam je boleh buat macam-macam? wah, kene cuba ni. dulu pergi KK, satu hari tak cukup nak terokai semua tempat.
Emi said…
Looks like there's still a lot of place in KK that i haven't go. Nak kena repeat pergi KK lagi ke kita? Heheheh
Mahamahu said…
Lama kita tak ke Sabah rindu nak pergi sana lagi hehehehe bestnya kat sana tambahan pula makanan sedap-sedap dan segar terutama seafoodnya hehehe nak pergi lah bawa family lagi.
Nadia Johari said…
Kk my place want to go.. But dont know bila nak pergi. .Hehehe. .Nice place. .Banyak tempat menarik ye. .Masjid tu, island tu mmg cantik sangat. .
Lia Hasty said…
Sabah lah tempat kita nak sangat pergi tapi x kesempatan. Boleh lah simpan list tempat menarik kalau 1 day ke sana.
Syamimi Saad said…
Sabah banyak juga tempat menarik.
Tapi belum pernah lagi sampai sana.
Rugi juga kan kalau tak jelajah tempat orang ni.
Pantai disana lawa lawa..
Cik Min said…
I memang sentiasa suka Sabah sebab banyak tempat menarik dan cantik-cantik
Mawardi Yunus said…
Kokol hill tu xpernah pergi lagi. BTW Kota Kinabalu memang best. banyak jugak tempat menarik. saya masuk muzium pon dh berapa jam kt sana. hehe
Murni Alysa said…
Saya dah lama teringin nak ke KK, tapi tunggu anak2 besar sikit senang nak jalan2. memang KK banyak tempat yang menarik..tempat makan pon banyak dan murah
Sunshine Kelly said…
8 hours in KK memang tak cukup la tapi kalau masa dah set macam tu kena lah prioritize apa yang kita nak cover kan. I have been to KK a few times and i like the place.