Running in Kota Kinabalu KK: Tun Fuad Stephens Park

Running in Kota Kinabalu KK: Tun Fuad Stephens Park

Running in Kota Kinabalu

After a hectic few weeks of travelling around Borneo, I arrived at Kota Kinabalu.

Checking into the Swiss Borneo, the guesthouse offered a relaxing break slightly out of the city and reliable Wi-Fi. After the last few weeks, it was good just to have a few lazy days and catch up on some online work.

As usual for me, it’s impossible to stay locked away and I set about finding a decent place to run.

Checking the map I could see there was a park nearby that appeared to offer good locations for running in Kota Kinabalu.

Taman Tun Fuad Stephens, also known as Bukit Padang, is located around 5km from the city centre. It’s a favourite place for locals to exercise and the only park in Kota Kinabalu that has a lake surrounded by hills. Originally a reservoir, in the late 1970’s there are was transformed into a park.

At the park, the entrance was surrounded by many hawker street food stalls selling drinks, snacks and other budget food. Treats like fried rice and noodles offer a convenient and cheap feed after an afternoon long run in the sun.

There is also a water theme park located in the centre and a restaurant. The water park is quite small but does feature a three storey tall water slide.

Running in Kota Kinabalu KK: Tun Fuad Stephens Park

Tun Fuad Stephens Park has a green lake in the centre that blends into the trees and foliage around it. A wooden walking bridge crossed the centre of the lake is a nice feature and makes the park a relaxing place for a walk or run. Many fish and tortoises can be seen swimming in the lake as you walk around.

I like that the park offers a relaxing environment to take time out and gather thoughts, although the 2km walking and running track that goes around the lake is what draws the more athletic here.

The majority of the route provides shade by the tall trees that grow around it, which offers protection from the harsh Borneo afternoon sun. Although not completely covered, compared to running along the Esplanade, Tun Fuad Stephens Park offers at least some shade and a less brutal workout for those who have a tendency to get burnt.

Due to its location a little further than the city centre, a verity of local wildlife can be found in the park and cats too. Some are extremely friendly, such as this little fella below.

Running in Kota Kinabalu KK Tun Fuad Stephens Park h

Once the sun is up the more dedicated are heading here for their morning run. I’m also told by one local there are Tai Chi classes in the morning. Wandering around you may notice the odd chin up and dip bars here too.

I visited the park a few times during my stay at KK and like most running tracks in the late afternoon its starts to fill up with the after work crowd. Weekends can get busy too. I like this park more compared to Kota Kinabalu Esplanade due to the hills and bumps in the track. It’s more challenging than running on a flat surface.

There are even other options for those looking to mix it up, with some no paved trails located at the park. Most are around 1 KM in length and head up to the Bukit Padang Hill with the stairs are being constructed from old car tyres. Tun Fuad Stephens Park offers a decent spot for running in Kota Kinabalu.

Running in Kota Kinabalu KK Tun Fuad Stephens Park


Taman Tun Fuad Stephens, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Running in Kota Kinabalu KK: Tun Fuad Stephens Park images created by Tools of Travel

Barry Sproston
Barry is a traveller and expat who spends most of his time between Asia and Australia. He has spent 12 months training at a Gung Fu school learning Wing Chun. Explored the island of Taiwan by scooter more than once. Been tricked into eating raw horse meat sushi in Japan. Even tried to overcome the fear of heights by bungee jumping in Thailand. One day he plans to open a guesthouse.
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