Why go so far as Kota Kinabalu you may ask, and where in the world is it? KK as it is called is the capital of Sabah, a Malaysian state on the third largest island in the world. A bit to the east of Singapore and just below - south if you prefer - of where they get the typhoons - you know on the telly in Philippines and Taiwan. No, No, Haiti is the other side of the planet.
So now your geography is corrected "why go there ?" ----------> read on
Well its warm - nay lushusly hot. It has huge rainforests, fantastic coral reefs and best of all its dirt cheap. It is also just past Singapore - sing is alright but only for 3-4 days, so you do the shopping in Sing and then do the adventure in Kota Kinabalu.
It is safe and friendly, my mother at 80 visits twice a year.
Of course the beaches are great, the food is fantastic - real Chinese, spicy Malay tangy Indian, and the western favourites for the kids.
Where to start
Getting there try Air Asia from Stanstead for cheapo cheapo.
More expensive long haul flights are with Malaysian Airlines, Royal Brunei and Singapore. Cheap budget carriers within the region are Air Asia, silk air, Tiger airways
The list of hotels is endless and ciao has lots of reviews. Cheap backpackers abound and lots of good small local hotels. Don't tie yourself to a resort or other hotel for too long. The adventure starts outside the resort.
Things to do are the reason to go
See "orang utans" at the Lok Kawi zoo then adventure further to ...