Transportation in KK

There are many ways for getting around in the city for tourists in Kota Kinabalu which includes public as well as private transport. Though public transport is in a nascent stage in almost all the parts of Sabah, yet their availability and frequency is fine. Here are the all the ways tourists can use for getting around KK and its surroundings:

Taxi in Kota Kinabalu
By Ilya Plekhanov [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Taxi in Kota Kinabalu

KK is packed with thousands of private taxis. Besides their easy availability, another good thing about these taxis is that they are affordable as well. Especially when someone is in hurry, taking one of these taxis rather than waiting for a public transport bus would be a wise decision. Following are the few things about taxis knowing which shall be good for travelers since these are the most used mode of transport by vacationers in KK:

  • A taxi in KK has ‘Teksi’ sign on its roof. Normally they are white-on-red but nowadays can be found in other colors too.
  • Most taxi drivers are reluctant about following regulations with regards to fares. However, short rides are charged around RM10 and little longer ones around RM20. Hiring a taxi for an entire day should cost somewhere around RM300.
  • Fares can be negotiated.
  • Rides to and from the airport are charged at fixed prices.
  • In case there is an argument with the taxi driver, making a call to the authorities is of a good help.

By Foot

The city center, which is the central part of KK is a relatively small area and it is easy to explore attractions nearby on foot.

The travelers should however be careful while crossing the roads.

Most of the roads inside the city and even the highways outside are equipped with walking paths on sides.


This option includes van type small buses as well as little bigger ones and is suitable for a short distance travel. These drivers normally wait for the vehicle to be full before they start. Their destination is mostly written on a side but you can always ask the driver whether he is willing to go your way. The fares depend upon the distance and vary from RM 0.50 to RM 4.00.

Buses for Long Distance

For travelling longer distances such as to Kudat or Kinabalu Park, Sipitang or further to Brunei and Kuching, these buses are the most ideal. They can be found at Southern Bus Terminal near DBKK or Inanam Bus Terminal. Their fares depend upon the route but they are pretty much economical. The timings of bigger buses are more or less fixed and the tickets need to be bought in advance.

Rent a car and self-drive

Renting a car and self-driving is another great option. Cars can be rented from car-hire counters at the airport or around the city as well. These are also quite affordable and charges can be negotiated to fetch a good deal.

City Bus

These green and yellow colored buses are used for moving around the city center. Available from Wawasan Bus Terminal, they have their pre-defined routes.