Sipitang Sabah Malaysia - Aug 30, 2014:Murut lady in traditional costume with colorful beads during folklore festival in Sipitang Sabah.Murut is among the largest ethnic group in Sabah interior.; Shutterstock ID 369534461; Your name (First / Last): Josh Vogel; GL account no.: 56530; Netsuite department name: Online Design; Full Product or Project name including edition: Digital Content/Sights

Shutterstock / Lano Lan

Mari Mari Cultural Village

Kota Kinabalu

With its three-hour tours, Mari Mari showcases various traditional homes of Sabahan ethnic communities – the Bajau, Lundayeh, Murut, Rungus and Dusun – all of which are built by descendants of the tribes they represent. Along the way you'll get the chance to see blowpipe making, tattooing, fire-starting and an insight into the mystical belief systems of each of these groups, as well as culinary nibbles from each tribe! It's touristy, sure, but good fun, especially for families.

A short dance recital is also included in the visit. The village is a 20- to 30-minute drive east of KK and transport to/from your hotel can be arranged when booking. There is also a small waterfall – Kiansom Waterfall – about 400m beyond the cultural village, which is easily accessible by private transport or on foot. The area around the cascade lends itself well to swimming and it's a great place to cool off after a visit to Mari Mari.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Kota Kinabalu attractions

1. Puh Toh Tze Buddhist Temple

6.17 MILES

This impressive temple features a stone staircase-pavilion flanked by 10 Chinese deities leading up to a main temple complex dominated by Kwan Yin,…

2. City Mosque

6.82 MILES

Built in classical style, this mosque is far more attractive than the State Mosque in both setting and design. Completed in 2000 it can hold up to 12,000…

3. Kota Kinabalu Wetland Centre

7.96 MILES

This centre features 1.4km of wooden walkways passing through a 24-hectare mangrove swamp, where you can expect to see scuttling fiddler and mangrove…

4. Che Sui Khor Moral Uplifting Society

8.38 MILES

About four minutes' drive northeast of KK, this complex has an 11-storey pagoda that shimmers in orange and green. The society espouses believing in the…

5. Sabah Art Gallery


The first 'green' building in Sabah has outdoor sculpture displays and hosts contemporary art exhibitions by the likes of Francis Cheong and Awang Fadilah…

6. Signal Hill Observatory Platform

8.66 MILES

Up on Signal Hill, among the art deco mansions at the city-centre's eastern edge, there's an unmissable UFO-like observation pavilion. Come here to make…

7. Atkinson Clock Tower

8.77 MILES

The modest timepiece at the foot of Signal Hill is one of the only structures to survive the Allied bombing of Jesselton in 1945. It's a square, 15.7m…

8. Sunday Market


On Sundays a lively Chinese street fair takes over a section of Jln Gaya. It's vividly chaotic, with stalls cheek by jowl hawking batik sarongs, puppies…