Kota Kinabalu is the centre point of Sabah. The town itself is very small and easy to get around. Although limited tourist sights (apart from the Sabah Museum), the place really comes alive at night with its many restaurants and Karaoke bars. Stroll along the seafront passing different sung versions of classic hits, pick a gigantic colourful lobster to be grilled in the Seafood Market and munch on fresh fruit and Barbecued chicken parts (liver or heart anyone?) at the Night Market. A good restaurant and bar that hosts weekly pub quizzes is El Centro, with reasonably priced food with good drinks deals and a great atmosphere- its popular with the expat crowd.
Not in Kota Kinabalu but a short boat ride away, is Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park. For a speedy trip you can visit one of its many majestic islands for a 10 ringgit entrance fee. Leaving the views of KK (what the locals call Kota Kinabalu) full of fishing boats, office buildings and the towering view of Mount Kinabalu, look straight ahead at the uniquely sized islands that are little green gems on a portrait of sapphire. I visited the island of Pulau Sapi– being told it is the most beautiful, although not the best for snorkelling. The island is busy, filled with snorkellers and beginner divers, but don’t let that put you off, many of them leave in the early afternoon. Being with 4 German guys meant my thoughts of heading straight to a beach were laughed at and we trekked through the jungle that inhabited the island.