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Sabahans are a beautiful people in great shape and with the myriad of choices when it comes to sports and other activities, it is little wonder. With Golf justifying it's own section (see under What to do), there is still a ton of other choices. The ones listed below exclude facilities at the hotels and resorts, although some of them (like the Sutera Habour Resort) have elaborate sporting facilities. Suggestions of sporting things to do with children are here.
Likas Sport Complex
A large, comprehensive facility, open to the public. In the evenings, similar to Bukit Padang, it is popular amongst locals for the lengthy running track that encircles a man-made lake. Frequented by joggers, runners and strollers, it is one of the main attractions. Adjacent to the track are 3 lawn bowling courts.
The facility also feature 4 pools. One is a kiddy pool, the second is a deeper recreation pool, the third is an undercover, stadium-seating, Olympic sized pool with its neighbour, the forth, a competition standard diving pool complete with the 10m deck. The access fee of RM5 (plus minus) will grant you access to all four.
Housed in the main arena is the very popular badminton courts, as well as facilities for sports like gymnastics, Tae Kwon Do, fencing, trampolining, squash and ballet. The complex also has outdoor volleyball, netball and tennis courts, as well as a wooden structure for kids to play on. Most activities attract a small fee and can be arranged through the booth located at the end of the long walk-way that leads into the stadium complex. There is a eatery near the swimming pool, and a small cafe / pro shop on the outside.
Kota Kinabalu is the base for many diving outfits that will you set you on a path to some of the most spectacular dive sites in the world. Most renowned spot is Sipidan, an oceanic island, shaped like a mushroom, meaning that virtually the moment you step off the beach, you find yourself off the continental shelf and amongst all the aquatic life that you find there. The overhang of the island is home to a magnificent array of sea creatures and attract divers from across the world. There are various diving spots to choose from though, and a little further towards Labuan, you will even be presented with an array of wreck sites that you can dive. Visit Sabah Tourism's section on dive operators ( http://www.sabahtourism.com/directory... ) for a list, most of which offer 3 day courses for you to obtain your dive license from so as to join the fun.
Snorkeling, Mini Jungle Treks & Island Hopping
If you just want to casually enjoy the rich underwater life to be found around Kota Kinabalu, options abound. The most popular spot, and closest in proximity, is the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. Within the park lies the 5 islands of Gaya, Mamutik, Manukan, Sapi and Sulug. All the islands feature relatively unspoilt coral reef with a myriad of colourful fish and other underwater life. Enquire at your hotel, or at the harbour, about packages for boat trips to the islands. You can either visit a single island, or arrange for an island hopping package. Also check out the BBQ lunch option on your package. Renting your equipment from either the hotel or the facilities on the island, or sometimes from the shuttle operator that leaves from Jesselton point harbour. The islands also have official and unofficial paths kriss-crossing them and can make for an adventurous activity. In general, the islands are not inhabited by fierce creatures, although you might encounter a rather scary looking and surprisingly big monitor lizard or two. Some interesting bird species will be spotted and, if you're lucky, a monkey or two.
Apart from the 12 lanes at the Sutera Harbour Resort's Marina (for guests and members only), there is also a bowling alley (open to the public) on the 8th floor of the Centre Point Shopping centre. Access to this alley is through the lifts most easily accessed from the parking garage (and not the ones in the centre itself). It has several lanes more than 12. It has shoes for rent in all sizes as well as lockers, a small eatery and a Pro Shop.
Pool & Snooker Halls
There are several smaller, informal places where you can have a go at pool and snooker. Most bars and pubs have at least one table, where games go for RM2 or RM3 each. Near the bowling alley in the Centre Point, around the corner on the other side of the hallway, is a pool hall, where you can play either pool or snooker at an hourly rate. It is located near the cinema there.
A venue for indoor, 5 a side action soccer, also known as Futsal. It's a fast paced game lasting for 1 hour, played by 5 players per time per side, but can have 10 or more members per team. The premise is that as one team member tires, he simply scrambles through the netting and tags the next member who joins the team. The courts are carpeted and enclosed with netting, which means fast paced action and no 'out' zones. Non marking sneakers are acceptable, but futsal gear is preferred. If you're a loner, you could also hang around at night an try to join a game. Otherwise, organise a party of 10 and rent a court. The venue has 4 courts, which can also accommodate netball games. In addition, it features a bar/restaurant area, changing rooms with showers and big screen TV usually showing Premier League European Soccer games and big sporting events.
Tel: (60 88) 249002 / Fax: (60 88) 266003
Likas Soccer Stadium
Home to the Sabah Rhinos soccer team, the stadium is small'ish venue that hosts frequent soccer games and other events. If you're around during such an event, it is fun to join to experience the sporting atmosphere of the Sabahans.
Behind the Beverly Hills neighbourhood and past the Sabah Golf & Country Club, lies Bukit Padang. Set slightly in the mountains, it is most popular in the evenings amongst power walkers, strollers and joggers. A 2km-or-so track rings a body of water, completely set amongst tropical vegetation. It makes for quite a pleasant stroll. A bridge cuts the lake in half and provides an opportunity to watch some fish and turtles ply the murky waters below. One corner of the lake houses a sea-food restaurant, and next to this a water park with slides and other aqua-games. A nice location for a walk, a run or just an outing with the family. Not a tourist facility as such, the development is basic, but fun.
One of those things thats hard to find. New and modern it is next to the indoor climbing wall at the back of the stadium carpark. The park has half- and quarter pipes, enough space, smooth surfaces, slopes and curves for some fun for the casual skater (board or in-line). Be warned, the sun is relentless. The park is not access controlled or managed in any aparent way.
Indoor climbing wall
Great place for teenagers and the young at heart. Check out reviews here.