Kota Kinabalu

Kota Kinabalu, often referred to as KK, is the capital of Sabah. It is a coastal city, partly surrounded by rainforest. Kota Kinabalu is the gateway to Kinabalu National Park, Malaysia's first World Heritage Site designated by UNESCO in December 2000. Kota Kinabalu is also home to the 4,095-metre high Mount Kinabalu.
Places in Sabah / Sabah
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Kota Kinabalu, often referred to as KK, is the capital of Sabah. It is a coastal city, partly surrounded by rainforest. Kota Kinabalu is the gateway to Kinabalu National Park, Malaysia's first World Heritage Site designated by UNESCO in December 2000. Kota Kinabalu is also home to the 4,095-metre high Mount Kinabalu.


Kota Kinabalu, often referred to as KK, is the capital of Sabah. It is a coastal city, partly surrounded by rainforest. Kota Kinabalu is the gateway to Kinabalu National Park, Malaysia's first World Heritage Site designated by UNESCO in December 2000. Kota Kinabalu is also home to the 4,095-metre high Mount Kinabalu.

Kota Kinabalu is named after Mount Kinabalu, which is about 50 kilometres northeast of the city. The word Kinabalu is derived from the Dusun language 'Aki Nabalu’ which means 'revered place of the dead'. 'Aki' means ancestors while ‘Nabalu’ is the name of the mountain. 'Kota ’is the Malay word for town or city. Thus, Kota Kinabalu means Kinabalu City.

In the 15th century, Kota Kinabalu was under the influence of the Brunei Empire. In the 19th century, the British North Borneo Company established its settlement near the Gaya Island and in 1899, identified the present site as a suitable place for settlements. It was first named Api-api, then Jesselton before the name Kota Kinabalu was adopted.

The urban sprawl is concentrated along the coast towards the north and south of the city. Kota Kinabalu is a growing city with a population of near to 500,000 inhabitants. It is also a fast growing tourist destination.

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