Borneo Gaya Lodge
Borneo Gaya Lodge, an ideal Backpacker hostel, is located in the heart of the capital of Sabah , Kota Kinabalu. Sabah Tourism Board is opposite of our next block. Food restaurant, Shopping Complex, bus stop, taxi station, ferry terminal to island, clinic, bank, money exchange, handicraft centre, Atkinson Clock Tower and others famous places are only 5 to 10 minute walking distance apart from our lodge.
Only 12 minutes drive apart from the MAS and Air Asia terminals. We also arrange the airport pick-up with charges as you need it.
Availability & RatesTo view availability and prices please select dates and click 'Update Dates'
Hostel Facilities & Policies
- 24 hour reception
- 24 hour security
- Air Conditioning
- Airport transfers
- Cable TV
- Card phones
- Fax Service
- Hair Dryers For Hire
- Linen Included
- Postal Service
- Tours/Travel Desk
Cancellation PolicyThis property has a 1 day cancellation policy. Failure to cancel within this time will result in a cancellation charge equal to the first night of your stay.
DirectionsShow MapHide Map
1)How you may reach Borneo Gaya Lodge?
-You may email or call us to get a cheaper airport pick-up service.
-Upon arrival at KK International Airport or Air Asia Airport, you may buy taxi coupon in the taxi coupon counter.
You may tell the taxi driver that our Borneo Gaya Lodge is in Gaya Street and also remind the taxi driver that our lodge is in the same block with Alliance Bank. Otherwise, you may show them our address.
No. 78, 1st Floor, Jalan Gaya
88000, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
Tel(off): +6-088-242477 or mobile phone: +6-017-8178765 (Walter)
Upon arrival at Island Ferry Terminal, you may walk to our lodge within 10-12 minute.
Take a right turn and walk towards city centre along Jalan Pantai (Beach Street) passing Grand Port View Restaurant and Standard Chartered Bank. Then turn left right and walk straight ahead. Little Italy is on your right hand. Go straight and across the road to Maybank Berhad (on your right hand). Go straight to another block and turn right. You may see our big signboard and go up from the staircase. We are there in the first floor.
Places within 1-10 minute walking distance from the Lodge -
Where to go
Gaya Street Fair
This is the main street of Kota Kinabalu. Fully rebuilt in 1950s and 1960s, the shophouses were used in the traditional way, with shops on the ground floor and residential units on the upper floors. Today, Gaya Street has the largest number of legal offices, banks and financial institutions of any street in Sabah. It also has many eateriesopen during the day and night.
Every Sunday morning, Gaya Street is closed to traffic for the Gaya Street Fair. For a small fee, traders set up stalls for the morning to sell almost anything - fruits and vegetables, fish, cut flowers & plants,puppies, rabbits, books, clothse, toys, souvenirs & handicrsfts, antiques, home-made local cakes & kuih-muih, food, the famous Tenom coffee and traditional medicine. There are also mobile health clinics offering minor check-ups and even politicians who set up desks to meet their constituents. It's amazing what you may find at the Gaya Street Fair.
Sabah Tourism Board
Situated at 51 Jalan Gaya, the building was constructed in 1916 to house the Printing Office and later the Treasury, Audit Office, Town Board, the District Office and the Attorney General's Office. It was one of the only three buildings still standing after Allied bombongs at the end of World War II. From the 1950s until September 1986 the Post Office occupied the building. Fully restored, it was gazetted as a heritage building and officially became the Sabah Tourism Building in January 1991 and now serves as a Tourist Information Centre.
If you plan to stay long in Sabah after climbing Mount Kinabalu, spare your time to go to this building. They have all the information about tourist spots in Sabah and you can plan your trip around with all the information provided. You will be amazed on the number of places that you can go and spend your trip in Sabah!
Atkinson Clock Tower
Building a British colonial empire in a faraway Borneo had its share of sifficulties and challanges. One of these was tropical diseases. The first District Officer of Jesselton, Francis George Atkinson, died of malaria at the young age of 28. His mother, Mary Edith Atkinson of England, built the Atkinson Clock Tower on Bukit Brace (Brace Hill) in 1905, in the memory of her son. While the original merbau wood used to build the Clock Tower has been replaced over the years, the building's overall structurehas been retained. As late as 1956, the lights of the Clock Tower were used as a navigation aid by local ships coming into port. However, the tower can no longer be seen from the sea due to the tall buildings. The Clock Tower was gazetted as a heritage building in 1983.
Situated a bit further than the above places, Filipino Market is a huge souvenirs and local handicrafts centre in Kota Kinabalu. It has more than 100 sellers that is placed under one roof. The building is made of wood and situated very near to Kota Kinabalu wet and fish market. The place was well known to the Peninsular Malaysian traveler, which they usually go there to buy souvenirs, especially pearls, baeds and crystals.
Where to Eat/Drink
Jesselton Bella Italia
69 Jalan Gaya right under the Jesselton Hotel in KK's business area. Phone 088 313 366. Fabulous Italian restaurant that pops up unexpectedly. Chefs Maurizio and Michele produce some of the finest pizzas and pastas anywhere not just in Malaysia and if you get there early there are big discounts. If you like Italian, don't miss it!
Grazie Ristorante Pizzeria & Cafe -Italian Restaurant' - at Wawasan Plaza Complex, next to Tang Dynasty Hotel, tel: +6019 531 5246. Serves no pork. *Cozy,Affordable, Dining at the Terrace, great ambiance, nice music & Clean*
Little Italy Restaurant - Authentic and very popular Italian restaurant located within the city center, a hit with both locals and visitors alike.
Yu Kee's Bak Kut Teh - Located along the famous Gaya Street, its a Chinese operated restaurant that serves pork dishes. A small single dish cost about RM4, soup top up is free. All types of pork meat & organs served with special Chinese herb soup. A MUST TRY!
Hyatt Hotel Restaurant (Ox-tail Asam Padas) - The restaurant is located in the prestigious Hyatt Hotel near to the lobby. The restaurant serves basic local mamak dishes with a bit more spark than local presentation and on certain days, a wonderful buffet is served with foods ranging from Italian to local delights which attract many of the hungry Sabahans.
Ocean Seafood Restaurant - Right next to the Promenade Hotel and Parkson Grand. The restaurant faces the coastline. You can take a pick on your seafood orders by the fishtanks, or if you prefer, you can let the waiters recommend at your table
Portview Seafood Restaurant- There are 2 branches of this in K.K. One of them is right opposite Centrepoint Shopping Centre, called The Waterfront. This one is quite new, a very popular place for tourists and orders can be taken either way similar to Ocean Restaurant. This restaurant is nestled amongst other popular nightlife hangouts, mostly bars and clubs, but also cafes like CoffeeBean
Viet Cafe - Located opposite Hyatt hotel, main street 'Haji Saman Road' - very nice Vietnamese dish, inexpensive, worth to try.
Shenanigan Fun Pub - Located at ground floor of the Kinabalu Hyatt Regency
Shamrock Irish Bar - The Waterfront Lot 6. Pint of Tiger or Guinness RM20+. The usual Irish fare, with outdoor seating. Add 16% tax.
Strawberry KTV - Located near segama and central market.
Chinese restaurant, Pizza hut , Coffee Bean
What To Do
If you are in a group, charter a van will be easier for you to go back to KK. The journey is around 3 hours, so to be comfortable, dont over-packed.
For a van with 5-6 people, it charges rm28 per person; for more than 8 people, it charges rm20 per person.
However, if you are alone, dont worry, there ia other alternative for you. Wait for a van to Ranau in Poring Hotspring. It cost you rm5 per person. There is no specific time that the van will depart until there are enough customer in the van.
After reaching Ranau, at Ranau bus terminal( or rather van terminal), take the van to KK. The journey costs you rm10. There are van every 1/2 hour from Ranau to KK.
The van will stop you at KK long distance bus terminal.
Pulau Manukan is one of the 5 islands in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park which is 25 minutes away from Kota Kinabalu by speedboat. A conservation fee of RM 3 per pax will be charged upon arrival.
The island has very clear waters and good venue for snorkelling, kayaking and swimming. The beach is somewhat rocky (laden with corals remnants), so beach barefoot jogging is an absolutely a no no. Snorkles and masks can be rented at a small fee from a sundry shop.
There are some chalets if you want to spend more time in this beautiful island.
I personally love the 1.5 km 'jogging trail'. The trail passes along cool lowland forest. Many species of birds can insect can be seen along the trail.
Most people will take a tour package or charter a taxi there. If you insist to do it yourself, here is the way.
1. Go to the long distance bus terminal at Jalan Padang. Pass the terminal and there is a local bus station. Take bus number 13 with sign 'Penampang'. The bus takes less than 1/2 hours and costs rm1.
2. The bus to Penampang will drop you at 'Donggongon'. Where there is a big tamu (market) and you can shop shop there.
3. From Donggongon, take a mini bus to Monsopiad Cultural Village. The mini bus terminal is just opposite the library. Ask some one for direction to the library. The minibus in sabah is actually a 'van'. The van from the terminal to Monsopiad takes less than 1/2 hours and cost rm0.7
The return trip is the same. If you want to save all the trouble, you can also take the mini bus from Monsopiad for rm 15 for direct transfer to KK.
Tanjung Aru Beach
Tanjung Aru Beach is one of the popular hangouts for KK people. Traditionally, they used to come here for food (of course) such as: satay, coconut drink, beer, tidbits etc. but it has now become a bigger area for family gatherings; more facilities added and also eating places. Theres a seafood restaurant, cafs, a fastfood eatery, and a food court. There are also souvenir stalls, a reflexology centre, and a tattoo parlour!
The beach itself isnt that clean. Sadly its not really being taken care of. The KK City Hall do try their best at maintaining the beauty and cleanliness of this beach but unfortunately there are, still, irresponsible people that litter. There is a signboard at the beach that says RM 500 fine for littering if Im not mistaken but it is pretty much just a signboard. No enforcement going on.
Tho locals as well as tourists still come here for the cool breeze and the beautiful sunset. It is not a suitable beach to do your sunbathing, you can do that at our nearby islands.
At night, there are singing and dancing performances held here. For more pics of Tg Aru beach, check out my travelogue.
Shopping at Wisma Merdeka
Wisma Merdeka is another department stalls which sell clothes, shoes and stuffs. The reason we get familiar to it is because of the money changer service inside.
Other than it, nothing special about wisma merdeka. It is another outdated complex with little crowd.
KK Plaza Shopping Complex
KK Plaza is located near the sinsuran complex.
If you have not brought enough warm clothes for your Mt. Kinabalu trip, you can do your last minute shopping here.
Some of the shops in KK Plaza sell real cheap warm clothes.. looks like rejected items but still you can get your size. For rm20 or less you can get a sweater here.
Fix price and pay in RM.
Centre Point Shopping Complex
Centre Point is considered a bigger shopping malls with department stalls inside. Similar to other shopping mall in other parts of Malaysia, you can find apparel, shoes, daily used items, etc here. There is also a cinema in Centre point where you can catch a movie if you are too free.
What to buy
Handicraft in Filipino Market
This is the souvenir and crafts paradise of kota kinabalu.. here, you get rows and rows of stalls housed together selling just about any crafts imaginable, whethere local or not.. definitely the on-stop shop for souvenirs to bring home..
whatever you wanna pay, make sure you bargain! usual asian shopping rule.
Gaya Street Fairs
A great way to jumpstart your Sunday morning tour. Gaya Street market opens only on Sunday morning. I love the atmosphere. The colours of painting, handicrafts and garments. The sounds of birds chirping and people haggling. The aromas of local delicacies. Take your time to browse through the merchandise displayed and you might discover something you really like to take home with you.
Pets - puppies, tortoises, tropical fish, hamsters, birds, rabbits etc.
Potted plants, fruit plant - lime, mango, even durian tree.
Fresh flowers. Fresh fruit. Fresh vegetables.
Souvenir items - key chains, bracelets, woodcarvings, seashells, T-shirts, caps etc.
Local cakes and desserts
Cheap but don't forget to bargain.
Sinsuran Night Market
There are night market near the sinsuran complez where is just like night market you find in any part of malaysia- selling fake branded watches, shoes, clothes, and some funny thing that you wont get in any of the big supermarket.
Price can be bargained.