While the capital Kuala Lumpur may get the most of the attention as far as tourism in Malaysia goes, the city of Kota Kinabalu (abbreviated as KK) is not an unworthy runner-up as a popular tourist destination in Malaysia.

In fact, it’s prime location in one of Malaysia’s most diverse of ecological environments has earned it the title of a ‘Nature Resort City’, and if you’re planning a trip to Malaysia this summer, book a room in the best hotels of Kota Kinabalu because the city has a lot in store for you.

Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park

Visiting KK and not going to the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park would be a great disservice to your vacation. The park covers an area of five islands all in the vicinity of KK and only a distance of 3-8 km away from the city.

There’s a lot to do in the park, but the activities most enjoyed by tourists are snorkeling, fishing and deep-sea diving, which is primarily a treat thanks to the coral reef rich in marine life in the area.

Mount Kinabalu

Not too fond of the water and fishing? Well, how about packing your hiking gear and heading up Mount Kinabalu instead? The mountain stands at over 13,000 feet above sea level, making it the highest mountain in Malaysia, and temperatures get pretty cold at the top, so be sure to pack warm.

While you could make it a day trip and climb only half the mountain, we recommend making it an overnight trip on the mountain; that’s the only way you’ll catch the breathtaking sunrise at the top.

Lok Kawi Wildlife Park

If you’re a wildlife enthusiast and hiking or diving isn’t your thing, you can be sure a trip to the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park will be one you’ll enjoy immensely.

Unlike other larger wildlife parks, you’ll get the chance to see many animals like tigers, deer, monkeys, gibbons, and orangutans up close here even if you take just a day trip here.

Poring Hot Springs

Nothing beats a busy tourist day than a relaxing hot bath. And what better place to unwind than at the Poring hot springs just outside KK. These springs may be historical remnants of the time when Japan controlled Malaysia, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less comfortable today than they were half a century ago.

The water is even said to have medicinal properties that heal sore and aching muscles, perfect for relaxation after a long day of touring the city.