Kota Kinabalu is the capital of the Malaysian state of Sabah located on the northwest coast of the island of Borneo. It was founded in late 1800s by the British North Borneo Company and was the site of perpetual unrest for much of the next 80 years. It was torched and destroyed by the native Bajau rebels and once rebuilt, was harried by raiders and pirates. It was torched by the retreating British early in World War II and what remained of the town was destroyed by Allied bombing in 1945. It joined the Federation of Malaysia in 1963 and received official city status from the Malaysian government in 2000. Kota Kinabalu is popular place among investors seeking for properties in Malaysia.
Peace now reigns in the city which faces onto the South China Sea and is bordered by Tunku Abdul Rahman Park on one side and Southeast Asia’s largest mountain, Mount Kinabalu, on the other. Kota Kinabalu has an estimated population of 532,129 in the city and 700,000 in the urban area, making it Sabah’s most populous city. There are five major shopping complexes in KK: Centrepoint, Wisma Merdeka, Wawasan Plaza, Karamunsing Complex and KK Plaza. The Gaya Street Fair is held every Sunday morning and is the place where locals come to buy their goods. Like many other urban centres in Malaysia Kota Kinablu is something of a cultural melting pot and this is very much reflected in the available cuisine. Chinese, Malay, Bruneis, Javanese, Filipino and European styles are all readily available.
One of ‘Nature City’s’ main attractions is what lies off its coast. The Tunku Abdul Rahman Islands Park, made up of Mamutik, Manukan, Sapi, Sulug and Gaya islands, is 10 to 20 minutes by boat from Kota Kinabalu city. The island chain is popular among day trippers and water sports enthusiasts. Just further out is the world-renowned diving attraction of Sipadan. The thickly forested, beach ringed island is in the centre of what is widely regarded as one of the richest marine habitats in the world. The diving Mecca features more that 3000 species of fish and hundreds of coral species. The city is well served by rail and road networks and is also accessible by Kota Kinabalu International Airport (BKI).