Tanjung Aru Beach @ Kota Kinabalu

It's a little awkward growing up in a holiday destination like Kota Kinabalu. You slowly start to see the charm of your hometown when you see people halfway around the world starts queuing up to pay tons of money to see your home.

You would never understand. Then you look at yourself doing the same thing and you wonder, of course they would love this place -- because you do too!

Tanjung Aru Beach is very close to my heart. I grow up visiting this beach almost every other weekend, playing by the waters under the sun with my late dad and my brother. I started learning how to swim from this beach even. This place taught me everything I need to know about family recreation. It's 10 minutes away from the city centre, sometimes lesser. Or what about, weekends are for family? My French friend used to tell me, "Islanders have a different mentality. The best kind." I didn't really know what he meant, but maybe... just maybe the beach has made us a little different that way.

Fast forward to primary years, I started learning how to bike, hang out with friends and have some BBQs at this beach. We would spend our scouting days traveling [by foot] all the way to the beach from our school.

Fast forward to high school, boys and girls would hang out together at this beach. The fact that it was so close to school, made it an easy spot for everyone to catch up. Picnics, beach balls, kite, everything was possible.

I missed a huge chunk of Kota Kinabalu's development while I was away in KL and Australia respectively. While I believed KL had all the money in Malaysia, I forgot about the beauty of secondary cities like Kota Kinabalu, along the fact that's right around the beaches and esplanades. That time when I decided to leave KL, it was already my 7th year there and everything was becoming predictable. When mum was diagnosed with cancer, I had to leave KL and had to start my life all over again. Which was alright... and Tanjung Aru Beach played a huge part during my unemployment days.

I used to spend early mornings at the beach right after sending mum to work, running around and once I'm done I'd do my usual grocery shopping. Sometimes, I'd buy one item, other times I'd buy a whole list of things, but most of the time -- I don't buy anything. I just like to see things. Making myself feel like I'm doing something when I have the whole day to myself.

Or what about in the evenings when I'd drive in at about 5.30pm and look into my life reflecting over the ocean while the sun sets. It's so cliche when I think about it, but Tanjung Aru is one of my closest friend while I was unemployed. If it had characters, it was calm, understanding and I guess evergreen.

Tanjung Aru Beach is accessible via buses and cabs. If you're from town you can just take the Tanjung Aru A bus, and walk down towards the beach. It's a 15 - 20 minutes walk. Highly recommended if it's great weather, if it's not -- there are cabs around the area for you and your loved ones.

Things to do: 

Tanjung Aru is both a loved place for the tourists and locals alike. Locals come here to spend some R & R with their family and that includes, frisbee, soccer, kites, picnic and even a good ol' outdoor game.

Right around the corner, there's a local stall operated by locals complete with a million and one things to eat. Seafood, coconuts, satays and wings are among the favourites. Best part? Locals still go there too. And you know what that means, that means it's still affordable :)

I would really recommend coming to Tanjung Aru around 4.00pm - 6.00pm and start small or slow with some benches over, or maybe even a couple of drinks at the bar. If family tags along, then you could always do family stuff like I've mentioned earlier. Sunsets are to die for, so you could leave right after.

I hope you consider Tanjung Aru Beach, if it gets jammed up -- you'd be surprised how sincerely quiet this place gets when the bulk comes and go. So don't worry, you can easily find a special spot for yourself and your family and friends.

Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.


Anonymous said…
where will the bus drop by?
Jacqkie Rowena said…
Hi there,

The bus will drop in Tanjung Aru town. Which is about 15 minutes walk. But it's a great walk heading there.

Thank you.
Jacqkie Rowena said…
Hi there,

The bus will drop in Tanjung Aru town. Which is about 15 minutes walk. But it's a great walk heading there.

Thank you.

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