Kota Kinabalu: Where to Party


The Kota Kinabalu Where to Party Guide is part of The Year of the Monkey Trip Report which covers the following places:

There’s more to life than pubs, bars, and clubs. Not every place I visit has to have Shanghai nightlife. After some shenanigans in Jakarta, I was looking forward to doing nothing in KK and expected it to be a secluded, underdeveloped beach town. I was completely wrong. KK is a decent sized city with plenty of places to go shopping, eat, and drink. The waterfront is lined with bar after bar and is a fun place to go for a drink. Last call is 1AM on the weekdays and 3AM on the weekend which is perfect for those looking to leave the room but still have enough energy to explore Borneo the next day.

Pubs With Great Names 

Speaking of shenanigans, a place to visit, if only for the great name is Shenanigans Fun Pub. It’s located right next to the Hyatt Regency. Another one with an interesting name is Cock & Bull which is located on the waterfront.

Fun pub notwithstanding, singlets are not allowed
Shenanigans Christmas tree
Shenanigans: empty when I went on a weekday
Cock & Bull
Cock & Bull

The Waterfront

The waterfront is KK’s version of Old Town Scottsdale. There are plenty of bars with live music and DJs. I went to Myst which is owned by an American and an Irish pub which is hard to miss. The most famous place is BED which stands for Best Entertainment Destination. It is by far the largest venue on the waterfront and is usually busy.

The Waterfront
The Shamrock
The Waterfront

The Club 

I was surprised to find a Vegas style nightclub in the heart of KK. Recently opened, 999 is the place to be for those that are looking to spend too much on Tiger beer and listen to thumping noise.

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Nothing ends a happy day like a nice massage. For only a few dollars, you can have a foot massage and neck massage while smoking hookah. Life is good.

Happy way to end the day
Happy way to end the day


No one goes to KK for the epic party. It’s no Thailand. Having said that, if you are looking for something to do after a day exploring the islands, scuba diving, or going on eco tours, KK has ample options.



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