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Quick Facts

Get up to speed about the region

Perched on the northern tip of the island of Borneo, the Malaysian state of Sabah is a tropical paradise of natural wonders, scenic beauty and cultural diversity.

Sabah is famous for its unique blend of ancient traditions handed down through the millennia. In this fascinating cultural and adventure tourism destination, you'll find such exotic sights as the Rafflesia (the largest flower in the world), Asian elephants, proboscis monkeys, and of course, the famous Orang Utan.


Nationals of the following countries do not require a visa to enter Malaysia for the purpose of social or business visits for no more than 3 months:

  • Argentina, Albania, Algeria, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia Herzegovina, Czech & Slovak, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Krygyzstan, Luxembourg, Norway, Peru, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkmenistan, Tunisia, United State Of America, Bahrain, Morocco, United Arab Emirate, Oman, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt

Nationals of the following countries do not need a visa to enter Malaysia for the purpose of social or business visits for no more than 14 days:

  • Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria

Nationals of the following countries do not need a visa to enter Malaysia for the purpose of social/business for no more than 30 days.

  • Armenia, Atzerbaijan, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldovia, Rumania, Russia, Tadjikistan, Ukraine, Yeloruss

For all other purposes/nationals, a visa is required.

View visa information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia


The Malaysian currency is known as Malaysian Ringgit (MYR) or (RM). Credit cards are accepted in major hotels as well as shopping malls.

Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa accepts payment via China UnionPay.

Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa will no longer be accepting travellers cheques. Only payments via cash or credit card will be accepted.

Here are the most recent exchange rates for some common currencies.

MYR 1.00 equals:

Exchange Rates Currency
0.33 Australian Dollar (AUD)
0.21 Euro (EUR)
0.18 British Pound (GBP)
1.86 Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
17.77 Indian Rupee (INR)
27.18 Japanese Yen (JPY)
0.36 New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
1.51 Chinese Yuan Renminbi (RMB)
0.32 Singapore Dollar (SGD)
0.24 US Dollar (USD)


All prices quoted are inclusive of 10% service charge. 6% government tax is exempted until 30 June 2021.


Many mid-range and high-end restaurants include their own service charge that varies. Officially, tipping is accepted when appropriate.

Business Hours

Bank Hours
9am - 4.30pm, Monday through Friday
9am - 12pm, Saturday

Office Hours
9am - 5.30pm, Monday through Friday
9am - 12pm, Saturday

Shop Hours
9am - 6:30pm or later throughout the week
Department stores are open 9am to 9pm every day.

Public Health

Visitors entering Malaysia are required to complete a health declaration form. Check with your local doctor or health care professional about vaccination requirements before you plan your trip.


Dress is generally informal in Kota Kinabalu except on social, diplomatic or government occasions when a suit and tie is appropriate for the non-Muslims. Light clothing is appropriate as Kota Kinabalu only has one season which is summer.

Shorts, miniskirts and sleeveless garments for women are not advisable, especially in rural areas. 


Kota Kinabalu is almost always warm and humid. Temperatures do not vary much from 74°F to 85°F or 23°C to 30°C.

Local Climate
Month High Low
Jan 30ºC 24ºC
Feb 31ºC 24ºC
Mar 32ºC 24ºC
Apr 32ºC 25ºC
May 32ºC 25ºC
Jun 32ºC 24ºC
Jul 32ºC 24ºC
Aug 32ºC 24ºC
Sep 32ºC 24ºC
Oct 31ºC 24ºC
Nov 31ºC 24ºC
Dec 31ºC 24ºC


English, Malay, Mandarin & Cantonese & Hakka Dialect

Time Zone
GMT + 8 hours

Metric System

220 / 240 volts

Plug Type

Mobile Phones
GSM 900 / 1800 / 1900