Oct 23, 2010

The Resort City – Kota Kinabalu

It was our jump-off point before and after Mt. Kinabalu climb luckily we have extra time time to wander around in this capital city.
Kota Kinabalu – formerly known as formerly Jesselton and is often known as K.K. within Malaysia and internationally,  is situated on the tropical island of Borneo, and is the state capital of the Malaysian state Sabah, which is one of the two states of East Malaysia. It is located at latitude 5.98333° and longitude 116.06667° (5°58′17″N 116°05′43″E)

The location of the city is absolutely amazing; and from the airport it is just a short ride to mostly any hotel and if you are a backpacker like me and looking for a budget hotel, there are also plenty of it there.

Besides Jesselton, there have been a number of other claims as to the original name for Kota Kinabalu. The most popular, as mentioned above, is Api-Api, or sometimes simply Api, which is a Malay word meaning 'Fire'. It was apparently named as such by the mainly Bajau locals to denote the blazing of the British administrative office in Pulau Gaya instigated by Mat Salleh, as well as other blazing incidents normally perpetrated by pirates. There were claims however that it was actually named after a nearby river called Sungai Api-Api. Besides Api-Api, another suggested historical name was Deasoka, which roughly means "below the coconut tree" in the Bajau language. The Bajau locals purportedly used this name to refer to a village on the southern part of the city which was filled with coconut trees. Another name was Singgah Mata which literally mean "transit eye", but can be loosely translated as meaning "pleasing to the eye". It is a name purportedly given by fishermen from Pulau Gaya referring to the strip of land of what is today Kota Kinabalu city center. Today, all these names have been immortalised into names of streets or buildings around the city. Some examples are: Lintasan Deasoka, Api-Api Centre, Jalan Singgah Mata, and Jesselton Point. (Source Wikipedia)

The capital of Sabah, Borneo, and this Malaysian city is a growing resort destination due to its proximity to tropical islands, lush rain forest and Mt. Kinabalu. Kinabalu National Park is located about 90 kilometres from the city and there are many tourist attractions in and around the city. It is also one of the major industrial and commercial centres of East Malaaysia. These two factors combine to make Kota Kinabalu one of the fastest growing cities in Malaysia.

Some photos are courtesy of Don D. More post on Kota Kinabalu, next Jesselton point.

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