A Sunset Cruise in Kota Kinabalu

Who doesn’t love sunset? And one of the best ways to capture sunset is to take a sunset cruise.

Sunset cruise Kota Kinabalu Borneo

Kota Kinabalu has some of the most spectacular sunsets I have experienced anywhere in the world, and we were lucky to take to the seas for a sunset cruise while we were there, and witness it in all its golden, orange and red glory.

We set off aboard our SeaTango boat at around 5pm from the Sutera Harbour jetty, just as the sun was slowly beginning to sink towards the horizon. We were welcomed aboard with a selection of free-flow soft drinks and beer, and some snacks to keep us going – including chicken nuggets, which kept the kids happy!

Leaving Sutera Harbour

From here we meandered leisurely towards Gaya Island (Pulau Gaya), the largest island in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, a marine park made up of five islands, lying just offshore from Kota Kinabalu.


Gaya Island is famously home to two five-star resorts (Gaya Island Resort and Bunga Raya Island Resort & Spa), but it is also home to several water villages – kind of shantytowns built on stilts over the water.

Gaya Island water villages

Although these water villages are renowned for housing illegal immigrants and considered “no-go” areas for tourists, they are surprisingly picturesque at sunset, with the multi-coloured shacks glistening in the dwindling sunlight. My kids loved waving at all the local kids jumping off the jetties and playing in the water.

Sunset cruise Kota Kinabalu Borneo

We drifted slowly past Gaya Island as the sun continued its descent into the water, and enjoyed the glowing oranges and reds taking over the sky, while the kids enjoyed a chance to ‘drive’ the boat.

sunset over Gaya

As the sun finally sank into the ocean, oranges and reds made way for lilacs and purples and our boat set sail back to Kota Kinabalu, taking in the sights of the lively waterfront area at night, before returning to berth at Sutera Harbour.

Kota Kinabalu waterfront

We booked our Sunset Cruise tour through Amazing Borneo. For more information about this tour you can visit the Amazing Borneo website here.

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Sunset cruise Kota Kinabalu Borneo

Mum on the Move were guests of Amazing Borneo for the tour. This did not influence my review in any way, and all opinions expressed are honest, and my own.

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10 thoughts on “A Sunset Cruise in Kota Kinabalu”

  1. We are big fans of sunset cruises too! It’s just gorgeous to see the sun dipping down over the water. And snacks to keep the kids happy. win/win for everyone.

  2. sunsets, sunrises it all looks better over water whether it be oceans’ lakes or rivers . It’s the reflection off the water i am sure that makes it amazing

  3. Love a good boat trip. Hadn’t considered that it must be a particularly good way to see the dun go down, but I see that it is. I wonder why the shanty towns are built over the water. Nobody owns it, perhaps? Interesting!

  4. There is nothing like a sunset cruise. The most beautiful sunset that I have ever seen was in Indonesia too. We have yet to make it to Borneo but hope to visit soon.

  5. Its indeed a great experience, we love sunsets and what a picturesque view of the sun from a boat. Lovely post and some stunning photos.

  6. I’d love to visit Borneo and the idea of a romantic family cruise in the sunset! I find the villages interesting: I always wondered what life must be like, in a village like that: it really is a world away from what I know here in Europe


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