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Fun in the Sun
There are a lot of reasons to visit Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, East Malaysia. It is surrounded by beautiful beaches that are mostly untouched and very clean. There are plenty of opportunities for scuba diving and snorkeling to see virgin corals and exotic and colorful marine life. Shopping for low-priced garments, deep sea fishing, white water rafting, yachting and sailing, wetland river cruising and visiting traditional villages are some of the activities you can indulge in while in Kota Kinabalu. You can also bargain for beautiful handicrafts and pearl jewelry at Kota Kinabalu Handicraft Market or hunt for more bargains at Gaya Street Tamu (Sunday market).
Flights to Kota Kinabalu
ZestAir and Cebu Pacific service the Manila-Kota Kinabalu-Manila route. Cebu Pacific flies direct to Kota Kinabalu three times a week, with a 9:40 PM flight on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. AirAsia Zest on the other hand flies to the city four times a week, on Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays on ZestAir Flight 501 that leaves Manila at 9:35 AM. Flights to the city land at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport. Flight time from Manila to the airport is about 2 hours.
Flying with AirAsiaZest
AirAsia Zest flights leave from NAIA Terminal 4 and lands at Kota Kinabalu International Airport Terminal 2. The airline no longer have free baggage allowance (FBA) but rather offers passengers to pre-booking for check in baggage, which comes up to about 50% lower than when you check in your baggage at the airport counter. A 20kg baggage when pre-booked costs Php 600 while the same weight when checked in at the airport will be charged Php 1,050.
Seating & Amenities
The airline also offers seat selection. Pre-selected standard seat costs Php 90 while a premium seat costs Php450. Hot meals are served for international flights that are over 75 minutes long. Otherwise you can pre-order hot meals. Inflight menu for flights originating from Manila consists of Chicken Adobo ala Mariles, Beef Caldereta, Junior Cho’s Korean Beef Stew, Pak Nasser’s Nasi Lemak and Chicken Rice, which is a mix of Filipino and Asian favorites. Snacks and meals are also sold on board.
Need to Know
Kota Kinabalu International Terminal 2 is mostly used by budget airlines. It has 26 check-in counters and 7 X-ray machines. There are 13 immigration counters and a VIP room.
Closest hotel with very good rates is Casuarina Hotel which is just a 5-minute walk from the airport and two-minute walk to Tanjung Aru Beach. Five minutes away by car are Sabah Oriental Hotel, C'haya Hotel and Megah D'aru Hotel.
The KK International Airport can be very busy at times. Make sure that you get to the right lane to claim your baggage and check it in right after your arrival to avoid delay.
Kota Kinabalu International Airport (BKI)
Kota Kinabalu International Airport is the main airport of Sabah in East Malaysia. It is also the 2nd busiest airport in Malaysia handling an average of over 6 million passengers annually. Learn more before your flight by checking out our handy airport information page.
Today's currency rate
PHP 1.00 = MYR 0.079
Temperature average in December
23.5 - 31.3°C
Rainfall average in December
Cheapest time to fly to Kota Kinabalu (BKI)
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