flip pockets: kota kinabalu

After our Kota Kinabalu stint last April, we were asked the question “How much was the damage?” for God knows how many times. So we stole this idea of post trip accounting from Nina Fuentes of justwandering.org

So here you go, once and for all 😉



The only Airline that flies from Philippines to Kota Kinabalu is Air Asia, which embarks at Clark International Airport in Pampanga.

Bus from Quezon City to Dau – PhP 130

Tricycle to Clark gate – PhP 70

Private jeep to Clak Airport – PhP 200

Travel & Airport Taxes – PhP 1,650 + PhP 720

Other Options:

  1. Shuttle from Megamall to Clark Airport – PhP 400
  2. Bus from Manila to Dau – PhP 130 ——> Airport Shuttle to Clark – PhP 50


cab from KK Airport to Hostel – MYR 30

food (average per meal) – MYR 10

Borneo Backpackers Accommodation (Air-conditioned Dorm bed/common bathroom; per bed/night) –  MYR 25

Tip: Everything in Kota Kinabalu is within walking distance, bus or cab rides  aren’t necessary.


Shuttle to Park gate – MYR 15

Climbing guide (per group) – MYR 100

Conservation fee – MYR 15

Shuttle from Park gate to Timpohon gate – MYR 10

Sutera Sanctuary Package (per climber)- MYR 492


  • Panar Laban Accomodation for 1 night
  • Packed lunch
  • Buffet dinner, supper and breakfast at Laban Rata
  • Post climb lunch at Balsam Restaurant
  • Climbing permit
  • Insurance

Cab from Park Gate to Kota Kinabalu – MYR 110

Tip: After the climb, the mini shuttle buses that we took going to the park where nowhere to be found, instead cab drivers were all waiting for tourist going back to the city. But we find it too expensive to at MYR 150. another option is to take the Ranau-KK Big Bus, but it was too late, the last bus left at 5 PM (MYR 20). Monette used her charm to a cab driver waiting across the street outside the gate. We got it for MYR 110, still too pricey.


1 hour Body Massage – MYR 100

Souvenir/pasalubong shopping at the Sunday market – around MYR 50-100

Day trip to Palau Manukan – MYR 45


  • Speed Boat round trip
  • Conservation Fee
  • Tips: Some employees at Jesselton Port and receptionist in the islands are Filipinos, they even actually offered us snorkeling gears for free, we could have taken it if it’s not for the horde of jellyfishes in the water.


Cab to KK Airport – MYR 30

Clark to Manila (see breakdown above)- PhP 250

Traveling alone will definitely be more expensive at a mark up of at least 20% as compared to the expenses if you’re traveling with someone. In our case, for a 4 days / 4 nights in Kota Kinabalu, we spent around PhP 17,000 (excluding airfare) and we spent a huge portion of that (PhP 7,000) for our climb. Pricey we know, actually our priciest to date considering the length of the trip.


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  • nina

    June 15, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    I guess this is not the best time to tell you that Cebu Pacific flies direct from Manila to Kota Kinabalu…. 😉

    Mura na yang 17K, considering you went up Mount Kinabalu! Or siguro sadyang magastos lang ako…

  • flip'n travels

    June 15, 2010 at 2:34 pm


    Nooooooo! haha
    oh well, ok na rin kasi i think we got it on sale.
    ang masakit sa bangs e after my china, biglang may direct flight to beijing na rin cebupac. whaaaaa!

  • […] how much is kota kinabalu? | flip'n travels […]

  • […] flip pockets: kota kinabalu | flip'n travels […]

  • Lawee

    January 12, 2011 at 7:56 am

    monyat sana lahat ng travels nyo may costing para alam namin kung san aabot laman ng bulasa namin…
    nice page by the way…Ü

  • flip'n travels

    January 13, 2011 at 6:33 am

    hi lawee! thanks for the recommendation… this is something that ron and i would like to do for all our trips. no worries, we’ll do as you say. 😀 aside from the places we visit, importante talaga to include the expenses so that people researching can budget their money too.

    thanks very much! 😀

  • mel

    May 9, 2011 at 5:17 am

    Hi! Besides mountain climbing, what else is there to do in Kota Kinabalu? My mom and her friends are going there this saturday and my mom has ZERO idea on what they can do there. mountain climbing is an easy no-no for them. i don’t think their joints can handle the hours of trekking. so for 50-year-old ladies, what do you think can they do? sight-see only?

    p.s. my mom is too oblivious of where she’s going, she doesn’t even know her flight schedule! 😀

  • flip'n travels

    May 15, 2011 at 4:20 am

    hi mel! sorry for the delayed response. hope you mom was able to go around kota without the hassle of going up the mountain! sana nakarating sila sa kota kinabalu though. you don’t necessarily have to climb up, may area cia sa baba na park. also, sana naka punta sila sa beaches ng kinabalu. nothing compared to the philippine beaches, but nice nonetheless!

  • betty lopez

    November 8, 2012 at 3:12 am

    I noticed you put Borneo as a country? Isn’t it an island which is part of Indonesia?

  • flip'n travels

    November 10, 2012 at 11:09 am

    Betty… Yes we put a separate category for Borneo, mainly due to SEO purposes, most of our readers are referring the destination as Borneo and as a separate destination of interest instead of a part of Malaysia, like how people would search for Hawaii as a separate destination than US pacific islands.

    Thanks for visiting the site 🙂

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