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This state capital is strung out along the coast, with jungle-clad hills as a backdrop, and is home to a population of about 180,000. From an obscure fishing town, Kota Kinabalu has grown to a fashionable, modern town with deep-water anchorage. The highest vantage point, Signal Hill, offers an excellent view. Other sights include Papar – a scenic drive south from Kota Kinabalu, through paddy fields and jungle, the old town section (bandar lama) of Papar with several rows of quaint wooden shophouses, painted blue and laid out along spacious boulevards lined with palms and a large market in the center of the town; and Pulau Tiga National Park – a dip forest reserve virtually untouched and containing species not found on other islands.

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