Now there is another reason to travel to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. It will be the venue of the fourth Borneo Rhythms of Rimba Wildlife Festival.
Taking place on Sept 15 and 16, the festival moves from the tropical rainforests of Sandakan where it was held last year to the long white beaches of Nexus Karambunai in Tuaran this year.
The non-profit festival combines conservation, education, art and crafts, music, sport and more. International guests from United States, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore will share their experiences and expertise during the festival. There will also be musical celebrations each evening, featuring Malaysian performers such as Ning Baizura, Alena Murang, Juwita Suwito and Sada Borneo. Head to the festival’s official Facebook page for more information.
Here are some other things that you can check out while you’re in KK.
History and culture
At the Sabah State Museum, you can learn more about the state’s indigenous cultures and check out the display on the traditional attire, customs, crafts and local festivals.
There are traditional musical instruments you can try out too, as well as exhibits on fine embroidery, the headhunting practices of local tribes, and ancient Chinese ceramics from the Jade Dragon wreck.
There is also the Heritage Village, Science and Education Centre, Sabah Art Gallery and Museum of Islamic Civilisation, which are part of the museum complex.
In the city, check out the Marlin Sculpture at the Waterfront, Atkinson Clock Tower and Malaysia Monument, or head to Petagas for the War Memorial.
Visit the Filipino Market if you wish to hunt for handicrafts and other affordable souvenirs. It is a covered market that comprises a maze of stalls with tight walkways crowded with shoppers.
There is also the Gaya Street Market which is held every Sunday in the city.
Here, you can find almost anything from food and drink to souvenirs and collectibles.
While you’re in KK, you won’t go hungry. Try the grilled fish and prawns, delicious snacks and desserts at the Filipino Market, or just dine at the many coffeeshops and restaurants in the city.
There are also many seafood restaurants in town worth checking out, as well as a handful of specialty restaurants that serve unique local dishes like the butod or sago worm.
Nature and outdoors
Nature and outdoor lovers are not left out. There are numerous activities you can indulge in: Rejuvenate yourself at Poring Hot Springs in Ranau or take a train to Tenom to go white-water rafting at Padas River.
There is also Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, a cluster of five islands, located off Kota Kinabalu. You can explore jungle trails or go snorkelling, diving, or island hopping here.