Top 10 Instagram-Worthy Spots in Kota Kinabalu

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I've been to Kota Kinabalu many times now and  I thought I'd share with other fellow travelers/visitors to this country some of my favorite picture-worthy or now, Instagram-Worthy, spots in the city! I'll be sharing some photos I've already shared on Instagram and along with other ones I haven't had a chance to post yet! Let's take a look below...

1) Gaya Street/Jalan Gaya

This is one of the busiest streets in the city as it is filled with different restaurants, shops, and hotels and also the place where the famous Sunday Market is held. The street was extra festive as it was decorated with lanterns for Chinese New Year but it's still picture-esque other times of the year!

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2) Todak Waterfront & Hawker Center

 When the days are clear and the sun shines bright (which is almost every day basically) the view from the waterfront is absolutely breathtaking whether it be in the middle of the day or right before sunset. There's even a swordfish around (no photo this time) and those popular LOVE and I <3 KK signs for a perfect photo opportunity!

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3) Street Art Graffiti Building

The past two times I have been to Kota Kinabalu, I was able to walk to the Street Art Graffiti Building from my hotel. It's on the way to Suria Mall and Jesselton Point and is a rundown building left with remnants of local art. The art has changed over time but the place is still a cool place to check out!

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3) Side Alleys w/ Street Art

When you're walking in the city, you can see a ton of cool murals tagged on the walls of buildings and what not. This one was one of my favorites (and one of the few times a car wasn't parked in front of it!) as it is brightly colored and was just around the corner from my Uncle's cafe. There are tons throughout the city and a chance to capture them is a must!

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4) Tanjung Aru

I absolutely love this beach and if you have a chance to stop by the Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa (not even as a hotel guest since you can walk in and enjoy the food and scenery there), I'd highly recommend it! I've witnessed one of the best sunsets at this location and the environment and surroundings are breathtaking. There wasn't enough time during my recent visit to go to the other side at night where there's a market by the beach that's open to the public filled with all sorts of good food. I'd highly recommend their chicken wings!

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5) Nexus Resort & Spa Karambunai

Another resort we stopped by was a bit further out of the city called Nexus Resort. We came here twice: the first time to take family photos for CNY and then again when my brother and cousin played golf and everyone else had a pool day. The beach right behind was one of the nicest I've ever been on with warm, soft sand and warm ocean waters. Their pool area was really scenic as well with different sides of different water levels, a pool bar (closed of course! ugh), and palm trees all around.

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6) Signal Hill Observatory Tower

This is a tourist spot my uncle likes to take everyone because you can see all of Gaya street and more from this location. My favorite time to see the city though is at night when all the lights are on.

7) Kokol Hill

Here's another location my uncle brought us to see an even bigger view of the entire city. This is up higher on the hills where the climate is way more comfortable and not hot at all. You can pull off to the side of the road to see different angles of the city or take a stop at the resort, Kokol Haven Resort, for a bite to eat.

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Sabah Malaysia Kota Kinabalu mountain

8) Pulau Sapi

You can't go to tropical place and NOT go to the beach. The islands surrounding Kota Kinabalu are absolutely gorgeous (though tourist filled at times) with the most pristine and clear blue waters where you easily see different types of fish swimming by! You can easily get there by a fun ferry/boat ride form Jesselton Point and pick your island destination. On a calm wind, warm weather day, the islands can't be beat.

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9) Jesselton Point

I probably should've introduced this one before the island above, but oh well, hah. Jesselton Point is another tourist destination and the place to go to if you want to have a beach day out at the islands. It offers a beautiful view of the islands beyond and has a few bars and food stands for you to enjoy. A must for a hot day is definitely ice cream!

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10) Nabalu Kundasang - View of Mount Kinabalu (Bonus)

This last one isn't quite in K.K. but is the midway point to see Mount Kinabalu. It offers a nice view of the mountain the city is named after along with THE BEST PINEAPPLES YOU WILL EVER EAT! It's a certain type called 'Nanas Josephinas' (I believe) and makes you not want to eat any other pineapple after you try it. It's hard to catch the mountain without the clouds and fog in the way but it gives it a nice ethereal and calming feel to it.
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And there you go! My top 10 favorite places for photos in Kota Kinabalu! Of course, there are many more places in this city that are picture-esque and some of that I haven't even been to (like the K.K. City Mosque) but these are actual places I went to during my 2-week stay here. 

If you've been to this city, let me know! I'd love to know what you think about it and maybe a few of your favorite spots. Until next time, ✌


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