Kota Kinabalu – Kundasang – Kudat – Kota Kinabalu Road Trip 2013

Hi guys, I believe most of you just finished with Hari Raya celebration and busy with open house invitations. I just did a Sabah road trip with my wife yesterday, and would like to share with you guys some tips and information (with lots of pictures!) if you’re planning on a similar trip. I believe in sharing with society any information or knowledge I found beneficial so this is one of them. It’s a small contribution but at least I’m trying šŸ™‚ The duration of our trip was 5 days 4 nights covering Kota Kinabalu, Kundasang, Kudat and back to Kota Kinabalu. Here are our journey timeline for easier reading. It’s a long entry so enjoy it with a cup of coffee šŸ™‚

P/S: All images was shot with my Samsung Galaxy Note 1

Day 1 : Kuala Lumpur – Kota Kinabalu – Kundasang
6.30am Depart from home to Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS)
7.00am Arrive in TBS, depart to KLIA with Express Rail Link
7.40am Arrive in KLIA
8.50am Check in flight
9.30am Depart from KLIA
1.00pm Arrived in KK International Airport, Rent airport car, Depart from KK to Kundasang
3.15pm Check in Hotel (Kinabalu Mountain Lodge)
5.30pm Dinner in Walai Touku restaurant, free activity
9.00pm Sleep

Parking at TBS is only RM3 per day. Our total for 5 days was RM15

TBS in the morning

Checking in baggage

Arrival in KK International Airport

Kinabalu Mountain Lodge, one of the closest chalet to the Kinabalu Park entrance. Not suitable for family with small kids as the place is quite compact, and your voice may be heard the whole lodge. Most suitable for backpackers and couples.

Dinner at Walai Touku Restaurant after a long and rainy journey from Kota Kinabalu. The picture is Nasi Goreng Kundasang (RM7). Quite nice.

Day 2 : Kundasang – Ranau – Kundasang – Kota Belud – Kota Merudu – Kudat
6.00am Wake up
6.30am Kinabalu Park, Kundasang War Memorial
9.00am Breakfast at Walai Touku restaurant
10.00am Check out hotel (Kinabalu Mountain Lodge)
10.15am Drive to Sabah Tea Plantation in Ranau, about 30km from Kundasang
11.00am Arrive in Sabah Tea Plantations, Ranau
11.40am Drive back to Kundasang, Petrol fill up in Ranau
12.40pm Arrive in Kundasang, Sabah Dairy Farm, Lunch
2.00pm Drive to Kudat
3.30pm Passing through Kota Belud town
5.45pm Arrive in Kudat, Tip of Borneo, Check in Hotel (Tommy’s Place), Sunset seeing
8.00pm Dinner at Tip Top Restaurant
10.00pm Sleep

Always a nice bonus to see a rainbow in the morning!


If you don’t rent a car to come here then it could quite a challenge to reach this lodge as it’s situated approx. 1km from the main road.

Seriously 16 Celsius is very cold!

Why must people fight each other on this lovely planet?


Kinabalu National Park entrance

Clear weather in Kundasang that morning, what a blessing!

Remembering the ‘Kundasang – Sandakan Death March’


The majestic Mount Kinabalu

Kundasang town


Sabah Tea Plantation in Ranau


Arriving in Simpang Mengayau, Kudat


We came for this! The Tip of Borneo, the most-northern part of Sabah, also the meeting point of Sulu Sea on the right and South China Sea on the left. Breathtaking view!


Day 3 : Kudat – Kota Merudu – Kota Belud – Tuaran – Kota Kinabalu
6.30am Wake up, stroll on the beach, tip of borneo
7.30am Breakfast at hotel
9.30am Check out hotel, drive to Kota Kinabalu
12.30pm Stop at Rumah Terbalik, Tuaran
1.10pm Depart to KK International Airport to return car, Petrol fill up in Tuaran
2.00pm Arrive in KK International Airport, return car, Lunch at Oldtown White Coffee airport
3.30pm Took taxi from airport to De Galleria hotel in Kampung Air
3.45pm Arrive in De Galleria Hotel, check in
6.30pm Dinner at Jesselton Point
8.30pm Buying souvenier at Pasar Malam Kg Air
10.00pm Sleep

Beautiful sunrise in Kudat

The walkway to the tip

Almost like an untouched beach, very serene…


Our chalet


The ‘ Rumah Terbalik’ or upside down house in Tuaran, on the way back from Kudat


Kota Kinabalu town at evening


Sunset (apologies for the extreme noise)


Pasar malam Kampung Air, famous for it’s cheap and variety of pearls.


Day 4 : Pulau Tiga trip (full day)
5.30am Wake up
6.30am Van pickup at hotel to Jesselton Point
7.00am Arrive in Jesselton Point, breakfast
8.00am Boat depart to Snake Island, Pulau Tiga, Snorkeling, Mud Volcano, free activity
4.00pm Boat depart to Jesselton Point
5.00pm Arrive in Jesselton Point
6.00pm Arrive in hotel, rest, free activity
8.00pm Dinner at Gayang Seafood with a friend
10.00pm Arrive in hotel
12.00am Sleep

Breakfast in Jesselton Point


1 hour of butt-wrenching ride to Pulau Tiga. Make sure your kids are 5 years and above before taking this ride!

Lunch is included in the package


Sorry, no picture at the mud volcano pool because it’s too risky to bring any electronic equipment there. Imagine your body is filled with mud without an inch missed! So wouldn’t want to take the risk of damaging my phone

One of the famous seafood restaurant in Sabah, just a 30 minutes drive from KK

Day 5 : Kota Kinabalu – KLIA – Home
8.00am Wakeup, breakfast at mamak shop
11.45am Check out hotel, took taxi to airport
12.00pm Arrive in KK International Airport, checking in
1.15pm Plane depart for KLIA
3.30pm Arrive in KLIA
4.25pm Depart to TBS with Express Rail Link
5.30pm Arrive in TBS, took car and drive to a friend’s open house
6.30pm Drive back home
7.15pm Arrive home, trip finishes!

We managed to have a little walk in the morning before checking out


Some areal view of Kota Kinabalu

Our tickets, schedule and receipts for future reference.

Few tips and information to share!

1. If you’re planning to rent a car, make sure you make an advance booking before arriving in KK
2. We got our flight tickets during a Malaysia Airlines promotion in April. A return ticket from KL – KK for two was only RM311 all in
3. Make sure you arrive in the Tip of Borneo before 5pm or you’ll missed the sunset.
4. Our island trip to Pulau Tiga was RM230 p/head
5. Driving up to Kundasang is best with a manual car instead of automatic. Maybe its just me.
6. Car rental in Sabah cost around RM90 – RM120 p/day for Viva 660c
7. Total journey on road:
– KK – Kundasang 92km
– Kundasang – Tip of Borneo 180km
– Tip of Borneo – Kota Kinabalu 175km
–Ā TOTAL 447km, petrol used RM60
8. Kota Kinabalu and Sabah in general aren’t cheap, so make sure you have a budget for the journey and buy important things only.
9. We bought our hotel/chalet rooms on Agoda.com in advance for peace of mind

It was a very compact journey with a lot of activities, the only place we missed along the way was Poring Hot Spring. We had to cancel the place because on that day, they were having a cycling competition and were scheduled to arrive in Kundasang around 1pm. So the road from Ranau to Kundasang will be closed for about 3 hours, so we had to leave Kundasang before 1pm to avoid stucked there for 3 hours and missed the sunset in Kudat.

If you guys had similar travel in the past maybe you would want to share it with me with you blog address in the comment section below. I hope you guys enjoyed this article and beneficial in some way…

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Farouk says:

    best Kundasang trip on blog I’ve seen….well done !


    1. diwant says:

      hi there, thanks for the kind words šŸ™‚


      1. Ros says:

        The road from Kundasang to Tip of Borneo is it like PLUS Higheay condition?


      2. diwant says:

        not at all, its a normal state road..


  2. julian says:

    Hi there,
    Which car rental did you book in KK Airport? Is there a number I can get? TQ


    1. diwant says:

      I’ve lost the information, but their office is inside the airport


  3. Roy says:

    Thank you for sharing your trip. We are planning for the same route but we have 6D5N to spend. So many good pointers and certainly very helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. diwant says:

      Thanks Roy for finding this blog helpful!!


  4. It seems that you had done the road trip in Sabah region , am I right? How about the expense of hiring a car there? Thanks so much for your sharing!


    1. diwant says:

      Rental cars here ranges from MYR90 and above per day, either Proton or Perodua. Japanese cars might be more expensive.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s