Kota Kinabalu: Signal Hill Observatory

Signal Hill, the highest point in the city, is one of the best places to get a good view of Kota Kinabalu. Just a couple of minutes drive from Padang Merdeka will bring you to the airy deck where you can get amazing views that extend to the outlying islands of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park and further.


It offers visitors a bird’s eye view of the town centre, as well as a distant view of the Tanjung Aru and Likas Bay areas. Signal Hill is in fact, one of the best places to get a good view of KK.

This roofed observation platform is situated on the edge of Signal Hill, or Bukit Bendera, behind the Kota Kinabalu Community Centre overlooking Kota Kinabalu town and the South China Sea.

The Kota Kinabalu coastline is clearly visible from this point. This observatory can be quite lonely at times. Hence, it is not recommended for visitors to go there at night, especially if you are alone or a company of two. For bigger groups, it should be no problem to visit there at all.

For the more adventurous, you can walk to the Signal Hill Observatory from Jalan Istana by the Kota Kinabalu town field and take the left junction, Jalan Bukit Bendera. It will then be a 10 minutes uphill stroll to get to the Tower.

Alternatively, take the short cut, which is a flight of stone steps up the slope of the hill behind, or you might want to take a taxi from KK town to get to the Tower. This is where I took the long exposure shot of the city skyline, walking for about 10 to 15 minutes to the stone steps going up the hill, all alone at night.

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