Welcome to Tuaran
Tuaran, 33km from KK, is a bustling little town with tree-lined boulevard-style streets and the distinctive nine-storey Ling Sang Pagoda, its approaches dominated by vividly painted guardian deities. There's little point stopping in the town itself unless you happen to pass through on a market day (Tuaran is likely named for the Malay word tawaran, or 'sale', reflecting its history as a trading post), but the surrounding area conceals a few cool sights. You'll see signs for Mengkabong Water Village, a Bajau stilt village built over an estuary, but development and pollution has diminished this spot's charms. If you're on your way to Mt Kinabalu and have time to kill, there's a mildly quirky museum just outside Tuaran.