One of the biggest perks of visiting Kota Kinabalu is the opportunity to enjoy the beach practically at your doorstep! Enter Tanjung Aru Beach — one of Sabah’s most cherished iconic destinations that is situated merely 10 minutes’ drive away from the city centre.
Taking its name from the swaying aru (casuarina) trees that fringe the beachfront area, Tanjung Aru gathers a huge crowd of visitors during the weekends, especially among families with young children. The two-kilometre strip of white sandy beach makes a great place for a picnic, a relaxing jog or even an exciting game of Frisbee with friends.
Tanjung Aru Beach is separated into three sections, which are simply known as First, Second and Third Beach. The most popular spot at the beach is the Tanjung Aru First Beach, right next to Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa. The Tanjung Aru First Beach is equipped with barbecue pits at the beachfront and huts for the public.
The Tanjung Aru First Beach also has a commercial area with plenty of restaurants and cafes, food stalls, as well as an open-air food court where you can enjoy delicious grilled seafood with fresh coconut water. If you are a fan of the rich and pungent durian, you can also opt to enjoy the ‘King of Fruit’ in an alfresco setting.
Next to the Tanjung Aru First Beach is the Prince Philip Park, a historical park, which is named after his royal highness, Prince Philip who came to visit Jesselton, North Borneo back in the 1950s. This sprawling park is equipped with a playground for the children to enjoy and long cemented pathways that are shaded by majestic casuarina trees. Perfect for long romantic walks on breezy afternoons.
Fans of water sports can also enjoy activities such as sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, water-skiing, wakeboarding, and other activities at Tanjung Aru Beach. For beginner surfers and those who would like to learn how to surf, the Tanjung Aru Third Beach is a popular spot to do just this. There are also surfing lessons provided at Tanjung Aru Third Beach.
Anyone who has been to Tanjung Aru Beach would agree that the view of sunset from here is one of the best in the world! Coupled with great food, great company and the soothing sea breeze, Tanjung Aru Beach also makes a great hangout spot outside the city centre.
If you’re looking for souvenirs, you can also find great bargains on interesting knickknacks such as clothing items, accessories and handicrafts. If you’d like something more personal to bring home, you can also get a local artist to do a portrait sketch of yourself!
Come night time, Tanjung Aru Beach comes alive with live music and entertainment at the BB Café, which is a popular place to chill out and decompress. While enjoying the night time entertainment, you can also enjoy a wide variety of food and beverages, ranging from Western favourites and local selections to fruit punches and cocktails.