Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia: What to pack, what to wear, and when to go [2022]

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Traveling to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia? If you're planning to go to Kota Kinabalu, the following is some important information about when to go, what to wear, and what to pack.

Contents

About your travel guide

Hi! I'm Dev. I've traveled all over the world and in my travels, I have made many packing lists. In this series, my team and I have compiled the most useful information, as well as things we couldn't live without, to help you plan your trip.

When to go to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Based on the climate and weather in Kota Kinabalu, the best time to go is February. See below for details.

Important essentials for Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Here are some general tips on what to wear in Kota Kinabalu, as well as several items to remember to pack when traveling there.

What to wear/what to pack for Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia by month

Already know when you're traveling?

January

If you visit Kota Kinabalu during January, you are likely to notice that it is hot. Temperatures tend to hover around the 80s F (high 20s C) during the day, while at night they can dip into the low 70s F (low 20s C).

What to wear/what to pack:

Clothes + Footwear
Health Essentials
Safety + Security
  • Anti-theft backpack

    For a little peace of mind, an anti-theft backpack protects your things.

  • Voice and data SIM card

    A SIM card that works in Kota Kinabalu. A good global SIM card works in most countries, but check the country list before buying. In some more rural areas you may need a satellite phone. We recommend this satellite phone.

  • Travel insurance

    With countries and airlines constantly changing policies, your amazing trip can be ruined if you get sick. Good travel insurance can help. See plans

  • Money/passport pouch

    A money pouch is vital for protecting your passport and credit cards.

Comfort
  • Power bank for devices

    A portable power bank, like this one

  • Ultralightweight travel stroller

    This stroller weighs just 10 lbs and folds to the size of a big book.

  • Voltage adapter

    A plug adapter that supports outlet types G. It's important that you find the correct kind. The majority of adapters available online are just plugs and require your devices to change the voltage themselves. If your devices can't do that they could get destroyed. This one should be sufficient for most areas.

  • Travel pillow

    Our favorite is this one

  • Airplane phone mount

    Make your flight more comfortable with an airplane phone mount

Mosques often require certain dress, so if you intend to visit the beautiful Sabah State Mosque, take the following:

Note that there may be restrictions on who is allowed to enter this mosque; you should check with the Kota Kinabalu tourism authority.

If you see the Sabah State Museum, wear museum-appropriate clothing and take:

Kota Kinabalu has excellent beaches. If you plan go to the beach, take:

February

If you vacation in Kota Kinabalu during February, you are likely to find that it is pretty consistently hot. Temperatures tend to hover around the 80s F (high 20s C) during the day, while at night they can dip into the low 70s F (low 20s C).

What to wear/what to pack:

Clothes + Footwear
Health Essentials
Safety + Security
  • Voice and data SIM card

    A SIM card that works in Kota Kinabalu. A good global SIM card works in most countries, but check the country list before buying. In some more rural areas you may need a satellite phone. We recommend this satellite phone.

  • Travel insurance

    With countries and airlines constantly changing policies, your amazing trip can be ruined if you get sick. Good travel insurance can help. See plans

  • Anti-theft backpack

    For a bit of peace of mind, an anti-theft backpack protects your belongings.

  • Money/passport pouch

    A money pouch is vital for protecting your passport and credit cards.

Comfort
  • Voltage step down adapter

    A plug adapter that supports outlet types G. It's important that you get the correct kind. Many adapters available are just plugs and require your electronics to change the voltage themselves. If your devices can't do that they could get fried. This one works in most places.

  • Easy folding travel stroller

    This stroller weighs almost 10 lbs and folds to the size of a big book.

  • Airplane phone mount

    Make your flight more comfortable with an airplane phone mount

  • Travel pillow

    A great choice is this one

  • Power bank for devices

    A portable power bank, like this one

Mosques often require certain dress, so if you intend to visit the beautiful Sabah State Mosque, take the following:

Note that there may be restrictions on who is allowed to enter this mosque; you should check with the Kota Kinabalu tourism authority.

If you see the Sabah State Museum, wear museum-appropriate clothing and take:

Kota Kinabalu has excellent beaches. If you plan go to the beach, take:

March

March is consistently hot. Temperatures average in the 80s F (low 30s C) during the day.

What to wear/what to pack:

Clothes + Footwear
Health Essentials
Safety + Security
  • Money/passport pouch

    A money pouch is vital for protecting your passport and credit cards.

  • Voice and data SIM card

    A SIM card that works in Kota Kinabalu. A good global SIM card works in most countries, but check the country list before buying. In some more rural areas you may need a satellite phone. We recommend this satellite phone.

  • Anti-theft backpack

    For a bit of peace of mind, an anti-theft backpack protects your belongings.

  • Travel insurance

    With countries and airlines constantly changing policies, your amazing trip can be ruined if you get sick. Good travel insurance can help. See plans

Comfort
  • Airplane phone mount

    Make your flight more comfortable with an airplane phone mount

  • Travel voltage adapter

    A plug adapter that supports outlet types G. Be careful to get the right type. Many adapters currently available are simply plugs and expect your devices to convert the voltage themselves. If your devices can't do that they could get fried. This one works in most countries.

  • Travel pillow

    A good option is this one

  • Power bank for devices

    A portable power bank, like this one

  • Ultraportable travel stroller

    This stroller weighs only 10 pounds and folds to the size of a big book.

Mosques often require certain dress, so if you intend to visit the beautiful Sabah State Mosque, take the following:

Note that there may be restrictions on who is allowed to enter this mosque; you should check with the Kota Kinabalu tourism authority.

If you see the Sabah State Museum, wear museum-appropriate clothing and take:

Kota Kinabalu has excellent beaches. If you plan go to the beach, take:

April

Traveling to Kota Kinabalu in April, you will notice that it can be very hot. Daytime temperatures are in the high 80s F (low 30s C).

What to wear/what to pack:

Clothes + Footwear
Health Essentials
Safety + Security
  • Voice and data SIM card

    A SIM card that works in Kota Kinabalu. A good global SIM card works in most countries, but check the country list before buying. In some more rural areas you may need a satellite phone. We recommend this satellite phone.

  • Money/passport pouch

    A money pouch is vital for protecting your passport and credit cards.

  • Travel insurance

    With countries and airlines constantly changing policies, your amazing trip can be ruined if you get sick. Good travel insurance can help. See plans

  • Anti-theft backpack

    For a bit of peace of mind, an anti-theft backpack protects your things.

Comfort
  • Voltage step down adapter

    A plug adapter that supports outlet types G. Make sure to find the right type. A lot of adapters currently available are simply plugs and expect your devices to adjust the voltage themselves. If yours can't do that they could get destroyed. This one should work in most countries.

  • Airplane phone mount

    Make your flight more comfortable with an airplane phone mount

  • Power bank for devices

    A portable power bank, like this one

  • Travel neck support pillow

    A versatile choice is this one

  • Ultralightweight travel stroller

    This stroller weighs just 10 lbs and folds to the size of a big book.

Mosques often require certain dress, so if you intend to visit the beautiful Sabah State Mosque, take the following:

Note that there may be restrictions on who is allowed to enter this mosque; you should check with the Kota Kinabalu tourism authority.

If you see the Sabah State Museum, wear museum-appropriate clothing and take:

Kota Kinabalu has excellent beaches. If you plan go to the beach, take:

May

May here can be very hot. Temperatures average in the high 80s F (low 30s C) during the day.

What to wear/what to pack:

Clothes + Footwear
Health Essentials
  • Emergency motion sickness relief

  • Hand sanitizer

    This hand sanitizer is an excellent plane-friendly product.

  • Travel first aid kit

    This one is a great kit.

  • A vaccine card protector

    Vaccine cards frequently get worn. An unreadable card may result in severe consequences. This vaccine card protector helps stop that.

  • Travel disinfecting wipes

    Use these to sanitize plane and hotel surfaces.

  • Virus/bacteria filtering water bottle

    Some areas of this country may have potentially unsafe tap water, so it's important to bring a contaminant filtering water bottle.

Safety + Security
  • Anti-theft backpack

    For a little protection, an anti-theft backpack protects your belongings.

  • Money/passport pouch

    A money pouch is vital for protecting your passport and credit cards.

  • Travel insurance

    With countries and airlines constantly changing policies, your amazing trip can be ruined if you get sick. Good travel insurance can help. See plans

  • Voice and data SIM card

    A SIM card that works in Kota Kinabalu. A good global SIM card works in most countries, but check the country list before buying. In some more rural areas you may need a satellite phone. We recommend this satellite phone.

Comfort
  • Easy folding travel stroller

    This stroller weighs only 10 pounds and folds to the size of a big book.

  • Travel voltage adapter

    A plug adapter that supports outlet types G. It's important that you pick the right type. The vast majority of adapters that you can buy are just plug changers and require your devices to convert the voltage themselves. If your devices can't do that they could get fried. This one works in most areas.

  • Travel pillow

    A versatile choice is this one

  • Airplane phone mount

    Make your flight more comfortable with an airplane phone mount

  • Power bank for devices

    A portable power bank, like this one

Mosques often require certain dress, so if you intend to visit the beautiful Sabah State Mosque, take the following:

Note that there may be restrictions on who is allowed to enter this mosque; you should check with the Kota Kinabalu tourism authority.

If you see the Sabah State Museum, wear museum-appropriate clothing and take:

Kota Kinabalu has excellent beaches. If you plan go to the beach, take:

June

If you visit Kota Kinabalu during June, you may see that it is constantly hot. Temperatures tend to hover around the high 80s F (low 30s C) during the day, while at night they can dip into the low 70s F (low 20s C).

What to wear/what to pack:

Clothes + Footwear
Health Essentials
  • Hand sanitizer

    This hand sanitizer is an easy-to-carry plane-friendly product.

  • Travel disinfecting wipes

    Use these to sanitize plane and hotel surfaces.

  • A vaccine card protector

    Vaccine cards frequently wear out. An unreadable vaccine card can cause severe consequences. This vaccine card protector helps stop that.

  • Emergency motion sickness relief

  • Virus/bacteria filtering water bottle

    Some areas of this country may have unreliable tap water, so it's wise to bring a contaminant filtering water bottle.

  • Travel first aid kit

    This one is a superb option.

Safety + Security
  • Anti-theft backpack

    For a bit of peace of mind, an anti-theft backpack protects your belongings.

  • Money/passport pouch

    A money pouch is vital for protecting your passport and credit cards.

  • Voice and data SIM card

    A SIM card that works in Kota Kinabalu. A good global SIM card works in most countries, but check the country list before buying. In some more rural areas you may need a satellite phone. We recommend this satellite phone.

  • Travel insurance

    With countries and airlines constantly changing policies, your amazing trip can be ruined if you get sick. Good travel insurance can help. See plans

Comfort
  • Easy folding travel stroller

    This stroller weighs only 10 lbs and folds to the size of a big book.

  • Power bank for devices

    A portable power bank, like this one

  • Airplane phone mount

    Make your flight more comfortable with an airplane phone mount

  • Travel adapter

    A plug adapter that supports outlet types G. Be careful to pick the necessary type. Most adapters that you can buy are just plugs and require your devices to convert the voltage themselves. If yours can't do that they could get fried. This one works in most countries.

  • Travel pillow

    A versatile choice is this one

Mosques often require certain dress, so if you intend to visit the beautiful Sabah State Mosque, take the following:

Note that there may be restrictions on who is allowed to enter this mosque; you should check with the Kota Kinabalu tourism authority.

If you see the Sabah State Museum, wear museum-appropriate clothing and take:

Kota Kinabalu has excellent beaches. If you plan go to the beach, take:

July

July is consistently hot. Temperatures average in the 80s F (low 30s C) during the day.

What to wear/what to pack:

Clothes + Footwear
Health Essentials
Safety + Security
  • Voice and data SIM card

    A SIM card that works in Kota Kinabalu. A good global SIM card works in most countries, but check the country list before buying. In some more rural areas you may need a satellite phone. We recommend this satellite phone.

  • Money/passport pouch

    A money pouch is vital for protecting your passport and credit cards.

  • Travel insurance

    With countries and airlines constantly changing policies, your amazing trip can be ruined if you get sick. Good travel insurance can help. See plans

  • Anti-theft backpack

    For a bit of peace of mind, an anti-theft backpack protects your things.

Comfort
  • Airplane phone mount

    Make your flight more comfortable with an airplane phone mount

  • Power bank for devices

    A portable power bank, like this one

  • Folding travel stroller

    This stroller weighs just 10 lbs and folds to the size of a big book.

  • Travel neck support pillow

    What we like is this one

  • Travel adapter

    A plug adapter that supports outlet types G. Ensure that you choose the necessary type. Most adapters on sale are just plug changers and require your devices to change the voltage themselves. If yours can't do that they could burn up. This one is sufficent for most areas.

Mosques often require certain dress, so if you intend to visit the beautiful Sabah State Mosque, take the following:

Note that there may be restrictions on who is allowed to enter this mosque; you should check with the Kota Kinabalu tourism authority.

If you see the Sabah State Museum, wear museum-appropriate clothing and take:

Kota Kinabalu has excellent beaches. If you plan go to the beach, take:

August

August in Kota Kinabalu can be very hot. The rain can amount to several inches/centimeters. During this time, temperatures average in the low 80s F (high 20s C) to 80s F (low 30s C).

What to wear/what to pack:

Clothes + Footwear
Health Essentials
Safety + Security
  • Voice and data SIM card

    A SIM card that works in Kota Kinabalu. A good global SIM card works in most countries, but check the country list before buying. In some more rural areas you may need a satellite phone. We recommend this satellite phone.

  • Money/passport pouch

    A money pouch is vital for protecting your passport and credit cards.

  • Travel insurance

    With countries and airlines constantly changing policies, your amazing trip can be ruined if you get sick. Good travel insurance can help. See plans

  • Anti-theft backpack

    For a bit of protection, an anti-theft backpack protects your things.

Comfort
  • Power bank for devices

    A portable power bank, like this one

  • Airplane phone mount

    Make your flight more comfortable with an airplane phone mount

  • Travel adapter

    A plug adapter that supports outlet types G. Ensure that you get the right kind. The majority of adapters available are just plugs and require your electronics to change the voltage themselves. If yours can't do that they could get fried. This one should be appropriate for most places.

  • Super portable foldable travel stroller

    This stroller is only 10 pounds and folds to the size of a big book.

  • Travel neck pillow

    A top rated pillow is this one

Mosques often require certain dress, so if you intend to visit the beautiful Sabah State Mosque, take the following:

Note that there may be restrictions on who is allowed to enter this mosque; you should check with the Kota Kinabalu tourism authority.

If you see the Sabah State Museum, wear museum-appropriate clothing and take:

Kota Kinabalu has excellent beaches. If you plan go to the beach, take:

September

September in Kota Kinabalu can be very hot. Temperatures average in the 80s F (low 30s C) during the day.

What to wear/what to pack:

Clothes + Footwear
Health Essentials
Safety + Security
  • Anti-theft backpack

    For a little peace of mind, an anti-theft backpack protects your stuff.

  • Money/passport pouch

    A money pouch is vital for protecting your passport and credit cards.

  • Voice and data SIM card

    A SIM card that works in Kota Kinabalu. A good global SIM card works in most countries, but check the country list before buying. In some more rural areas you may need a satellite phone. We recommend this satellite phone.

  • Travel insurance

    With countries and airlines constantly changing policies, your amazing trip can be ruined if you get sick. Good travel insurance can help. See plans

Comfort
  • Voltage step down adapter

    A plug adapter that supports outlet types G. Ensure that you get the necessary type. The vast majority of adapters available are simply plug changers and require your electronics to change the voltage themselves. If yours can't do that they could get destroyed. This one works in most locations.

  • Power bank for devices

    A portable power bank, like this one

  • Travel pillow

    An excellent option is this one

  • Airplane phone mount

    Make your flight more comfortable with an airplane phone mount

  • Ultraportable travel stroller

    This stroller is only 10 pounds and folds to the size of a big book.

Mosques often require certain dress, so if you intend to visit the beautiful Sabah State Mosque, take the following:

Note that there may be restrictions on who is allowed to enter this mosque; you should check with the Kota Kinabalu tourism authority.

If you see the Sabah State Museum, wear museum-appropriate clothing and take:

Kota Kinabalu has excellent beaches. If you plan go to the beach, take:

October

If you visit Kota Kinabalu during October, you might find that it is constantly hot. Temperatures tend to hover around the 80s F (low 30s C) during the day, while at night they can dip into the low 70s F (low 20s C).

What to wear/what to pack:

Clothes + Footwear
Health Essentials
Safety + Security
  • Travel insurance

    With countries and airlines constantly changing policies, your amazing trip can be ruined if you get sick. Good travel insurance can help. See plans

  • Voice and data SIM card

    A SIM card that works in Kota Kinabalu. A good global SIM card works in most countries, but check the country list before buying. In some more rural areas you may need a satellite phone. We recommend this satellite phone.

  • Money/passport pouch

    A money pouch is vital for protecting your passport and credit cards.

  • Anti-theft backpack

    For a little peace of mind, an anti-theft backpack protects your things.

Comfort
  • Easy folding travel stroller

    This stroller weighs just 10 lbs and folds to the size of a big book.

  • Power bank for devices

    A portable power bank, like this one

  • Airplane phone mount

    Make your flight more comfortable with an airplane phone mount

  • Travel neck support pillow

    A top rated pillow is this one

  • Voltage step down adapter

    A plug adapter that supports outlet types G. Check that you get the necessary type. The majority of adapters currently available are simply plug changers and require your devices to change the voltage themselves. If yours can't do that they could get destroyed. This one works in most locations.

Mosques often require certain dress, so if you intend to visit the beautiful Sabah State Mosque, take the following:

Note that there may be restrictions on who is allowed to enter this mosque; you should check with the Kota Kinabalu tourism authority.

If you see the Sabah State Museum, wear museum-appropriate clothing and take:

Kota Kinabalu has excellent beaches. If you plan go to the beach, take:

November

If you visit Kota Kinabalu during November, you may find that it is extremely hot. Temperatures tend to hover around the 80s F (low 30s C) during the day, while at night they can dip into the low 70s F (low 20s C).

What to wear/what to pack:

Clothes + Footwear
Health Essentials
Safety + Security
  • Money/passport pouch

    A money pouch is vital for protecting your passport and credit cards.

  • Travel insurance

    With countries and airlines constantly changing policies, your amazing trip can be ruined if you get sick. Good travel insurance can help. See plans

  • Anti-theft backpack

    For a bit of protection, an anti-theft backpack protects your stuff.

  • Voice and data SIM card

    A SIM card that works in Kota Kinabalu. A good global SIM card works in most countries, but check the country list before buying. In some more rural areas you may need a satellite phone. We recommend this satellite phone.

Comfort
  • Power bank for devices

    A portable power bank, like this one

  • Travel neck support pillow

    Our fave is this one

  • Voltage adapter

    A plug adapter that supports outlet types G. Ensure that you pick the right type. Many adapters currently being sold are simply plug changers and require your electronics to convert the voltage themselves. If yours can't do that they could get fried. This one works in most countries.

  • Airplane phone mount

    Make your flight more comfortable with an airplane phone mount

  • Easy folding travel stroller

    This stroller weighs almost 10 lbs and folds to the size of a big book.

Mosques often require certain dress, so if you intend to visit the beautiful Sabah State Mosque, take the following:

Note that there may be restrictions on who is allowed to enter this mosque; you should check with the Kota Kinabalu tourism authority.

If you see the Sabah State Museum, wear museum-appropriate clothing and take:

Kota Kinabalu has excellent beaches. If you plan go to the beach, take:

December

If you go to Kota Kinabalu in December, you will notice that it is extremely hot. Daytime temperatures are in the 80s F (low 30s C).

What to wear/what to pack:

Clothes + Footwear
Health Essentials
Safety + Security
  • Voice and data SIM card

    A SIM card that works in Kota Kinabalu. A good global SIM card works in most countries, but check the country list before buying. In some more rural areas you may need a satellite phone. We recommend this satellite phone.

  • Travel insurance

    With countries and airlines constantly changing policies, your amazing trip can be ruined if you get sick. Good travel insurance can help. See plans

  • Money/passport pouch

    A money pouch is vital for protecting your passport and credit cards.

  • Anti-theft backpack

    For a bit of peace of mind, an anti-theft backpack protects your stuff.

Comfort
  • Airplane phone mount

    Make your flight more comfortable with an airplane phone mount

  • Travel adapter

    A plug adapter that supports outlet types G. Check that you choose the correct type. A lot of adapters that you can buy are simply plug changers and require your devices to change the voltage themselves. If yours can't do that they could burn up. This one works in most countries.

  • Travel neck support pillow

    A good option is this one

  • Power bank for devices

    A portable power bank, like this one

  • Ultraportable travel stroller

    This stroller weighs almost 10 lbs and folds to the size of a big book.

Mosques often require certain dress, so if you intend to visit the beautiful Sabah State Mosque, take the following:

Note that there may be restrictions on who is allowed to enter this mosque; you should check with the Kota Kinabalu tourism authority.

If you see the Sabah State Museum, wear museum-appropriate clothing and take:

Kota Kinabalu has excellent beaches. If you plan go to the beach, take:

Activities for Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Here are some activity recommendations and activity-specific packing tips for Kota Kinabalu.

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