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Kota Kinabalu Holidays Overview
The popular tourist destination of Kota Kinabalu which is affectionately referred to as KK by locals and tourists alike is the capital of the Malaysian state of Sabah.
Kota Kinabalu is located on the north western coast on the island of Borneo and faces the South China Sea and the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park and it is also presided over by the majestic Mount Kinabalu.
Kota Kinabalu is a bustling city which is home to nearly 350,000 people that has a metropolitan population of more than 900,000 people. The city is also the political and economic center of Sabah which hosts the seat of Sabah’s government. Many Malaysian federal government agencies and departments are also located in Kota Kimabalu.
The history of Kota Kinabalu can be traced to the late 1800’s when the British North Borneo Company established colonies all throughout the northern part of Borneo. The group founded a small settlement on Gaya Island which was the domain of the Bajua people who destroyed the settlement in 1897. The company then moved their settlement to a fishing village located nearby called Api –Api. Api – Api was made the terminus for the North Borneo Railway and the main port of the settlement and soon its name was changed to Jesselton in honor of Sir Charles Jessel, the then Vice Chairman of the Company.
Jesselton soon became a major trading post for the area of North Borneo as it exported products like rubber, rattan, honey and wax. The North Borneo Railway facilitated the movement of these products to the port of Jesselton though the Bajau people constantly tried to disrupt this movement but the company did manage to effectively quell these uprisings. The port of Jesselton was then destroyed by the British during the early years of World WarII as they wanted to prevent the Japanese from getting their hands on this influential port. The Japanese did manage to take over Borneo during the War and they once again renamed Jesselton as Api-Api. Borneo finally was won back by the Allies after the Borneo Campaign on 1945.
After the war the British North Borneo Company couldn’t afford to administer the port city and it was placed under the control of the British Crown. The colonial government then tried to rebuilt the city as the capital of North Borneo.
When the Federation of Malaysia was formed in 1963, the state of Sabah continued to have Jesselton as its capital. The city was then renamed Kota Kinabalu on the 30th of September 1968 though it received its official city status from the Malaysian government only on February 2nd 2000.
The weather in Kota Kinabalu can be described largely as equatorial and the city experiences year round almost unwavering daily temperatures which range between 32ºC and 23ºC respectively.The city also receives much rainfall and suffers from high levels of humidity all year round. Generally April and May are the hottest months in Kota Kinabalu while December and January are its coolest and most pleasant months.
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holidays - Top Events
Kota Kinabalu hosts various events all throughout the year.
The Mount Kinabalu Mountain Bike Challenge
Mount Kinabalu which rises to a height of 13500 feet is the tallest peak between New Guinea and the Himalayas. The mountain is well known for its relatively easy climbs and it hosts mountain bike races on its slopes in the month of March every year.
The Sabah Festival
The Sabah Festival showcases the culture and traditions of nearly ethnic communities as it features traditional music and extravagant dance performances and illustrates the rich, cultural diversity in Sabah. The festival also offers a variety of fine handicrafts and intricate carvings for sale during the festival which is traditionally held during April or May every year.
The Harvest Festival Regatta
This harvest festival which is known as Pesta Kaamatan is usually hosted by the Kazdan and Dusun tribes. This festival features traditional dance performances performed by these tribes and also features must traditional cuisine. The festival also features many yacht and boat races which are held at the Kota Kinabalu Yacht Club.
The Kinabalu International Climbathon
The Kinabalu International Climbathon has been held now for over 20 years though at first it was limited only to Malaysians but it was opened to international participation in 1987. The event is usually held in late October or early November and features a 12 mile climb on Mount Kinabalu.
holidays - How to Get There
Airlines like Singapore Airlines, Malaysian Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Royal Brunei offer air links from Australian cities like Sydney and Melbourne to Kota Kinabalu.
Australia has a diplomatic mission in the form of a consulate in Kota Kinabalu