Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa - Kota Kinabalu Kota Kinabalu Malaysia
Glorious aquamarine waters, a palm dotted coastline and gardens that unfurl down to the sea’s edge was not what I was expecting from this well located Shangri-La property, but it’s what I found and more. Being within a few minutes of both the city of Kota Kinabalu and the airport, I was expecting more of a business hotel without too many frills, what I found however, was all you can imagine a tropical paradise could be. Ten minutes from the airport, 10 minutes to the city and 10 minutes by boat to the marine park, you can’t ask for a more convenient site. Both the hustle and bustle of the town and the serenity of nature are at your doorstep. My pick though is the great outdoors… and mountains, jungle and sea await. Mount Kinabalu, the highest peak in Malaysia, is about 80km east of Kota Kinabalu, and Tanjung Aru’s sister resort, Rasa Ria, possesses its own Nature Reserve, home to orphaned orangutans and a host of native flora and fauna. For sea lovers, the Tunku Adbdul Rahman Marine Park offers five islands surrounded by glistening sandy beaches, shallow azure waters and colourful coral gardens.
Tanjung Aru Beach Jalan Mat. Salleh Kota Kinabalu Sabah Malaysia
1. Tanjung Aru Beach: This beach is very close to the airport and offers one of the best sunset views. Taxis and buses are ever ready to take you to this glorious beach. A favourite place of sunset strolls for the locals, this place has sure been etched in their memories. Most locals swear by this beach and have spent their childhood, first dates and family outings here. With a restaurant right there, grab some munchies, hold the hand of your loved one and head to the sunny bank for an amazing view.
Laban Rata Mt.Climb
This is the rest area for the first climbing day where you will get a dinner and two breakfasts. Leave behind all the things that you do not need for the summit push. The guesthouse in Laban Rata provides limited space (booking through Sutera Harbour is a must) to ensure space. The rooms offer two double deck beds (4 people in one small room). Climbers usually get to bed around 8pm and prepare the next day summit push. Tips: There are three guesthouses in Laban Rata. Most climbers prefer the lower Laban Rata where the canteen is situated. Late arrivals ususally have to stay at the upper house. When you’re at 3600 meters above sea level the 200-meter climb will seem like a long way. If you have to stay in upper guesthouse, finish your dinner and then go up. You still need to come down for breakfast though. The canteen is the best place to see the sunset and even the Kota Kinabalu city lights at night which makes all the sweat and tears worthwhile.
Sutera Harbour Kota Kinabalu Sabah Malaysia
6. Sutera Harbor: Just 2 kms off the city of KK, lies this harbor. It is situated adjacent to the five star Sutera Harbor Resort, this is a man-made structure close to nature. It offers a beautiful sun-scene, attracts many tourists and is easily accessible by a cab or car. The port-view beach is open to all – residents of the guest resort and tourists. Being away from the city, it is relatively calm and quiet and helps you connect to nature better.
Kota Kinabalu Harbour Malaysia
The freshest of local produce is unloaded as the afternoon shadows lengthen and empty stalls fill up rapidly with shiny chilies, ripe mangoes, burnished aubergines and more. A cry of ‘tuna’ catches my ear and I gasp to see a hunk of dark fish being freshly butchered. As hungry people emerge from the day’s work, or tourism tasty local street fare is prepared and hawked all around. Smoky barbecue offers fresh and spicy chicken. Fresh corn, nuts and chickpea make great side dishes. Delicious looking local snacks are everywhere. Deep fried plantain melts my resistance and I give in to this tasty bite. The Waterfront offers a range of low key eating and drinking options overlooking the harbour. It’s a great spot to soak up some atmosphere and enjoy a delightful ocean outlook.