Kota Kinabalu is the capital of Malaysia’s Sabah state in the northern part of the island of Borneo. Often referred to as KK, it’s a coastal city partly surrounded by rainforest. It's known for its bustling markets, modern boardwalk, beaches and waterfront Kota Kinabalu City Mosque. It is also a gateway to Kinabalu National Park, the home of 4,095m-high Mount Kinabalu.

Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, made up of 5 major islands off the coast, is home to beaches, coral reefs, tropical jungle and waterfront houses built on stilts. Near the airport, Tanjung Aru is a beach area with dramatic sunsets, plus dining and nightlife. Sabah Museum displays headhunter artifacts and hosts an ethnobotanical garden and a zoo. Visitors can follow boardwalks through protected mangrove forest and bird habitat at Kota Kinabalu Wetland Centre or observe orangutans at Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, which is about 20km south of the city.

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