Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) is the second busiest airport in Malaysia with 98% of visitor arrivals into Sabah is by air. As the capital of Sabah, Kota Kinabalu (KK) is the main entry point to Sabah, and several budget airlines have selected KK as one of their destinations. Most of the major towns in Sabah (Sandakan, Lahad Datu, Tawau) have airports for domestic flights.
Bus is the most economic mode of transportation to travel between cities and towns, if time is not an issue for you. Listed below are the main bus stations of Kota Kinabalu city which can take you to most parts of Sabah.
North Bus Terminal Inanam
The main station for long-distance bus (a.k.a. Express Bus), located in Inanam (10 KM away from KK) and operates between 6:30am to 8:30pm. These air-conditioned big buses can bring you to key cities on the East Coast such as Sandakan, Tawau, Semporna and Lahad Datu daily.
Padang Merdeka (Merdeka Square)
Located in KK city centre, take buses to most city/towns on the West Coast and Interior of Sabah. e.g. Keningau, Tenom, Kudat, Kota Belud, Ranau. There is a long-distance taxi station located next to the terminal.
Wawasan Bus Terminal (Temporarily in-front of Marina Court Apartment)
For all outstation mini busses from Papar,Kinarut, Penampang, etc.
Located next to Imago and near Wawasan Plaza, this bus terminal offers transport to Southern Sabah (Sipitang), Sarawak (Lawas) and Brunei. Please bring your passport if you plan to travel across the border.
If you want to reach a destination fast or move between a few remote places of interest in the shortest time, hiring a taxi will be your best option. You can always find taxi stand next to major hotels, shopping malls and bus terminals. To identify a taxi, keep a lookout for the word “Teksi”, “Teksi Bermeter” or “Kereta Sewa”. Hotels could also arrange taxis for their guests upon request.
Taxi services are available at Sabah airports and taxi stand around each city / town center.
Local e-hailing services are also available. You will need to download the related apps to access these services.
Island destinations in Sabah are accessible by boat services. Boat terminals with licensed operators are available at the following boat terminals.
Note: Other services available – Fishing boat for rent, water sport packages, snorkeling kit for rent and also organizing diving trips.
Kota Kinabalu (KK)
Jesselton Point is the most popular boat terminal for tourists who are planning to visit islands (Manukan, Sapi, Mamutik and Gaya) off KK. Adjacent to Suria Sabah shopping mall and next to Royal Customs Department in Kota Kinabalu city, Jesselton Point opens from 6am to 4pm. You would be able to arrange for island-hopping trips as well.
For more information, please contact (office phone) +60 88-240709 or +60 88-231050 (fax), or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
There are other ports operated by hotels such as Sutera Harbour of Pacific Sutera Hotel and Star Marina of Shangri La Tanjung Aru Resort.
There is a long jetty next to the Dragon Inn of Semporna or by Seafest hotel, where you could book an island or diving trip with tour operators based there. Some island resorts do not accept walk-in tourists, so it is advisable to book directly with the resorts in advance for the permit and boat transfer.
For reference on the train schedule, please refer to the Sabah Railway Department: https://railway.sabah.gov.my/
The North Borneo Steam Train is currently no in operation until further notice.