Kota Belud Village
A seaside town where the ocean meets the rainforest, Kota Belud gives you a rare glimpse into the local villagers' life.
Kota Belud is home to the Bajau and Kadazandusun people, a couple of the many ethnic groups in Borneo. It is a small town consisting of a few villages where agricultural is the main source of income. Most visitors who intend to climb Mt Kinabalu will make a pit stop here en route to the mountain base.
Kota Belud is located about 1.5 hours’ drive from Kota Kinabalu, the capital city of Sabah.
Opening Days and Hours
Kota Belud is always open, but local businesses close for the day at around 18:00.
Entry Fee and Bookings
Kota Balud imposes no admission fees.
How to Get There
You can get to Kota Belud by either bus or 4WD. Getting there via normal cars and motorcycles could be quite uncomfortable due to the road conditions.
Kota Belud suits couples, groups of friends and families with kids perfectly
Time to Spend
Most people spend about 4 to 5 hours at the town.
Popularity and Best Time to Go
You can visit Kota Belud any time of the year.
There are many things you can do at the village, including shop at the arts and crafts market, get a taste of the local rice wine called “lihing”, spot wildlife near the river, go for an ATV tour for the more adventurous!
There are quite a few restaurants serving mainly local food at affordable prices. If you would like a taste of Sabah’s tribal food, try delicacies like Ambuyat (a fried starchy dessert) and Hinava (the local version of fish carpaccio).
You can go fishing at Usukan Cove or take a river cruise along the Kawa-kawa River to see the endangered Proboscis monkeys. You will need to drive for 25 minute to get to either locations.
There are only homestays and guesthouses available for tourists at Kota Belud. For something more comfortable, you will need to stay in Kota Kinabalu.