Kota Kinabalu is an oasis of stress-free living on the island of Borneo in Malaysia. A gem of a destination, “KK” is a large, modern city with all amenities for every type of lifestyle, unparalleled natural beauty, and some of the friendliest people you’ll find anywhere.
The largest city and capital of Sabah state, KK provides its residents with all the conveniences, shopping, amenities, culture, and entertainment of 21st-century life. Yet, the city is also an eco-adventurer’s dream, surrounded by countless natural wonders, including UNESCO heritage sites, the third-largest mountain in Asia (and a few others, to boot), white-sand beaches, islands, and staggering biodiversity.
The house prices are reasonable, quality health care is affordable, and crime is low. A couple can live comfortably in KK for US$1,300 a month or less, and the country welcomes foreigners, offering a long-term residency program through its Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) visa—arguably the best visa option in all of Asia.
Based here, you’d be a short plane ride away to a host of exotic locales, from Korea, Japan, and China to Australia and the rest of the Pacific. And you won’t have to go it alone, as KK is home to an international population with a small but established expat community from the world over. And, thanks to its British colonial history, the city is well-planned and organized, infrastructure of good quality, and things tend to feel structured.
This is an ideal time to look at Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia as a retirement and living destination..