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Travel & Resources: KOTA KINABALU

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KOTA KINABALU (Sabah State) -- +60-88

General Information

    This happy-go-lucky resort town on the South China Sea is almost entirely new, having been destroyed and rebuilt following Japanese occupation in WWII. The waterfront is currently seeing another surge of development, but, luckily, buildings are height-restricted due to the close proximity of the airport. Seafood feasts, island hopping, and unspoiled nature are the main attractions in the vicinity. There is also more than a little gay life bubbling under the surface. KK is a great place for a romantic get-away with your partner or special someone, but it's also easy to make new friends with a smile.

    Super cheap Asia Air flights get you here in only 2.5 hours from Kuala Lumpur so it's a great escape from the urban tangle of the capital. There are also three non-stop flights a week from Bangkok.

    Muslims are in the minority in Sabah, so KK feels less uptight than West Malaysia. Respectful and properly dressed visitors may even be permitted to enter and photograph the interiors of some of the city's large mosques, a rewarding cultural experience if you have the opportunity.

    KK's population is around 350,000 (that's about 15,000 Utopians). There are more than three dozen indigenous ethnic groups in Sabah, so the people here are a rainbow in themselves.


Travel Services

  • Borneo Boats and Beaches UTOPIA VERIFIED APR 2013
      Jesselton Point Jetty
      Email

      Gay-friendly, private boat trips to the islands off Kota Kinabalu. Be as discreet (or indiscreet) as you wish for the day aboard your privately chartered boat. Swim, snorkel, sunbathe, dance - whatever. Visit deserted beaches where nobody will see you. Jonathan will be a charming host and his boatsman will look after your safety, serve soft drinks, beers, accompany you snorkeling, etc.
      Utopia Member Benefit: 10% DISCOUNT on basic charter price.
      Add your review, comment, or correction


Popular Spots

    Kota Kinabalu is easy to navigate using our Utopia map:

Accommodations

    Click here for Kota Kinabalu hotels and accommodations.


Bars and Clubs

    • Buddha Bar UTOPIAN VERIFIED MAY 2013
        In the city center, just two minutes walk from Jesselton Point

        Some gay Chinese and Malay hang out here. Affordable drinks and food. The decoration is attractive and the staff are cute and friendly. Indoors is a VIP area, bar and dance floor with up-to-date dance music. Outdoors is a large garden with BBQ and fountain where the young crowd cruises.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Magma Sports Club

      Q Bar Q Bar
        50 Gaya St, 230-722

        Top marks for the world-class design of this straight-friendly gay bar (Wallpaper, are you listening?). Cozy round bar (in the shape of a "Q", of course) for optimal eye contact. Pool table. A plush Thai-style corner den for bears and pandas (greatly sought after here in Sabah), plus a 2nd comfy corner area designed for groups of friends. They take special pride in their beautiful and sparklingly clean bathrooms. Opens daily at 8pm. Easy lounge music until 10pm when it starts to get busier. DJ plays dance beats after 11pm with house music. Twenty varieties of wine on hand in the cooler. Drag show every Fri night: entertainment by The QGirls. Theme parties monthly. Management and staff couldn't be friendlier. Crowd is young professional with a happy mix of ethnicities.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Shenanigans


Fitness


Massage and Spas

    • oneB Healthcare & Charming Gallery


Meeting Places


Restaurants and Cafes

    • The CHUBs Grill UTOPIAN VERIFIED NOV 2011

    • Indonesian food stall in Grace Point Food Court UTOPIAN VERIFIED JUL 2013
        In Sembulan area, next to Grace Court and Grace Ville Condominium; opposite the Sutera Harbour Resort

        Run by PLUs. It's famous among locals for its fusion of Indonesian and local style grill. 'Die die must try' popular dishes are the grilled lamb shoulder, grilled salmon (lowest price in downtown) and fried pangsit salmon.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

      Mosaic Mosaic (Italian food, coffee, ice cream and cakes)
        Jln Datuk Salleh Sulong (just at the foot of the Hyatt Hotel driveway)

        This sleek and modern air-conditioned restaurant and café is the perfect place to cruise the foot traffic heading in and out of Wisma Merdeka while sipping a cappuccino or demolishing one of Mosaic's delicious sweet treats. Where are we again? Melbourne? South Beach? Oh, yeah, Kota Kinabalu. A stack of Gourmet magazines is on hand if you get bored, but we think you'll want to view all the Asian poetry amidst the passing parade, so grab the corner table in front of the picture windows and practice your deadliest Memoirs of a Geisha glance. Very cute and friendly staff.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Tavern Kitchen & Bar UTOPIAN VERIFIED JUN 2016
        Lot G-93, Aramaiti Street Walk, Imago Shopping Mall (same row as Starbucks, just beside Nike)
        012-586-0093, email

        Gay-owned restaurant and bar specialising in local and western cuisine. Exciting, unique food; strong, tasty drinks; and delicious homemade desserts. Twists to timeless western and Malaysian dishes to bring to you Sabahan flavours. They utilise the best local produce and include ingredients found only in Borneo, including tuhau (a root akin to ginger), buah tarap (a seasonal fruit related to jackfruit), bambangan (a variety of local mango) and more. A celebrity chef and cookbook author carefully curated the menu. Interior design by a host of ID TV show, Casa Impian. Daily entertainment. Open daily 10am-2am.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

        Comments from Utopians:

        "A nice view along Aramaiti Street Walk. The decor is beautiful. We were greeted by a lovely waiter and quickly taken to our table. We ordered pumpkin soup and chicken wings as starters. As for the main course, I ordered a very special pasta dish, spaghetti with some slices of enava, a kind of traditional dish of Sabah made from raw fish mixed with unions, chilies and lime juice - just out of this world. My partner chose a an Australian tenderloin steak with a homemade gravy that went very well with the perfectly done steak. A great meal with and enjoyable performance from the live band." -- M. Aziz, Jun 2, 2016


Saunas

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