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Travel Guide > Asia > Malaysia > Sabah > Kota Kinabalu

Kota Kinabalu Getting in & out

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By Plane

* Kota Kinabalu International Airport

By Road

All main roads in Sabah radiate out from Kota Kinabalu. The main road to the Sarawak border at Sindumin heads south from the city through the suburbs of Kepayan and Tanjung Aru and goes past Papar, Kimanis, Beaufort and Sipitang. From Sindumin, the road continues to Lawas and on to Brunei and it is possible to travel from Kota Kinabalu to Brunei in a day. Another main road goes north to Kudat via Kota Belud. The main road to the East Coast (Sandakan and Lahad Datu) branches off from this road at Tamparuli. Another main road heading southeast leaves the suburbs of Penampang and Donggongon towards Tambunan, Keningau and Tenom.

By bus

There are two long-distance bus terminals, The South Terminal accross the road from Wisma Wawasan serving destinations south of Kota Kinabalu Beaufort, Sipitang and Lawas, and the other called the 'Kota Kinabalu 'North Bus Terminal' in Inanam, 10 km to the northeast of the city centre. This terminal serves buses going north and east of Kota kinabalu, including Mount Kinabalu, Sandakan, Semporna and Tawau. Minivans run to neighbouring towns like Papar, Beaufort and Tuaran, and exclusively serve the towns of the West Coast interior like Tambunan, Keningau and Tenom. To get there from the KK North Bus Terminal, regular shuttle buses run between the terminal and the city centre near the state library.

The main minibus and minivan station is opposite Wisma Wawasan Plaza at the southern end of the city. There is no terminal building or similar facilities there, rather a covered area with openings labelled by destination, and surrounded by an unpaved lot full of minibuses.

By Boat

Ferries use the Jesselton point Ferry Terminal, a 20 minute walk from the center of town. The most popular service is to Labuan where there are frequent ferries daily. The journey takes about 3 hr. From Labuan, you can continue all the way to Bandar Seri Begawan in one day if you get an early start. A package ticket to Brunei costs RM56. See the Kota Kinabalu to Brunei in a day page for details.

Boats also leave for the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park just off the coast of Kota Kinabalu from the ferry terminal. Regular departures to Manukan, Gaya and other islands. Cost per person is between RM17 and RM40 depending on island. See the park's page for details.

By Train

Due to repair work and an accident, the North Borneo Railway has temporarily halted operations, track seems to be laid but no information on reopening.

Previously, the North Borneo Railway operates a 134km network from Tanjung Aru south of the city centre to Tenom in the interior via Papar, Kimanis and Beaufort. Four trains daily except for Sunday, when there are only two trains, run between Tanjung Aru station 60 88254611 and Beaufort, where you change trains if you want to continue your journey to Tenom. Journey time between Kota Kinabalu and Beaufort is about 2 hours, making it more attractive for travellers to take the bus for part of the journey. You can then change to a train at Beaufort for the more interesting stretch to Tenom.

Transport Hubs in Kota Kinabalu

Airport Kota Kinabalu International Airport
Kota Kinabalu International Airport (IATA code '''BKI''', but also abbreviated KKIA) is the main gateway to Sabah. Peninsular Malaysia Malaysia Airlines and budget carrier AirAsia operate numerous flights daily between KK and Kuala Lumpur. Some flights stop over... more
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