Hotspots in Kota Kinabalu

Now the WiFi / wireless connection is quite common in busy area of KK city (except Wisma Merdeka, very lousy coverage). Whenever I turn on my laptop, I will get a list of available hotspots to choose to connect to. Some of them are free service provided by restaurants and shops (especially Fast Food and Coffee Shop). All you need to do is to buy something from them and ask for the network key (password) to connect. Of course, if your face is thick enough (like me), you can ask for the key without buying anything.


At first it was a pain to get help from the waiter / waitress. Usually it went liked this:
Smoke Head: “Hi! Do you have any hotspot here?”
Waiter: “HUH?! A hot pot of coffee?”
Smoke Head: “I mean WiFi.”
Waiter: “Oh… Hi-Fi. Yes, we do. Anything wrong with our music?”
Smoke Head: “Nolah! I am saying the wireless connection.”
Waiter: “I don’t know what coffee it is. But sir, would you like to try other coffee? We have… blah, blah, blah…”
Smoke Head (hampir merajuk already): “Do you have network connection? StreamyX? Broadband? Modem…”
Waiter (confused face): “???……. We only sell cake and coffee..”
Smoke Head: “Do you have _INTERNET_ here?”
Waiter (eyes sparkling): “OH YES, YES… Of course we do!”
(Not done yet. Waiter A will ask B, B will ask C… until one can help)

BINGO! The right word to use is “Internet”. Don’t laugh. This was what really happened. Those waiters always have problem to help the laptop users. There is more than once the waiters come to me and ask me to help other customers (or other users come and bug me). I don’t mind helping others. But please-lah, the boss should arrange a short briefing to teach the waiters how to help the computer users.


These hotspots are usually installed by TM. As we know, anything has relationship with TM.Net sucks. 3 out of every 10 times, I would experience connection problem and it could last for a few days. I am smarter now. Before I order any coffee, I will turn on my computer and make sure the WiFi is working. If the line is down, I will pack my laptop and move to other hotspot.

Tour package to Kinabatangan

There are more and more free hotspots (which require no stupid TM reload card) in KK. The free hotspots that I have tried so far are:

City / Town Place Type
Kota Kinabalu Coffee Bean, Damai Coffee Shop
Kota Kinabalu Coffee Bean, Wisma Merdeka Coffee Shop
Kota Kinabalu KFC, Karamunsing Fast Food
Kota Kinabalu Pizza Ria, Damai Restaurant
Kota Kinabalu McDonald, Centre Point Sabah Fast Food
Kota Kinabalu STAR Hotel, Tanjung Aru Hotel
Kota Kinabalu StarBuck, Centre Point Sabah Coffee Shop
Kota Kinabalu YesterYear, Damai Restaurant

If you know other FREE hotspots, please feel free to add it here.

5 thoughts on “Hotspots in Kota Kinabalu

  1. The one at STAR tanjung aru can be accessed even from the comfort of your car in the parking lot.

    The only thing that concerns me is that you have to be aware of the possibility of people offering free access to get something out of your laptop.

  2. the one at STAR tg.aru if im not mistaken is from TATU Cafe.. i tried before, sometimes can, sometimes cannot.. hehe!

    anyway, KFC wawasan plaza got free wi-fi.. dont want to buy kfc? just sit down next to the colonel sanders ‘statue’ near the entrance, then open your notebook, walaaa! you’re online! hahahah! no need to sit inside or order something.. hehe! if use handheld ok lor, just stand near2 there..

    mcd karamunsing is hotspot kan, need hotspot account baru can use.. damn.. mcd api2 centre i think free.. i remember sitting there with client, he just open his ibook and surf.. now dunno still available or not..

    p/s: eh, i thought coffee bean wisma merdeka require the tm reload card thing? dont need ka? last time i go there, it need hotspot account, which i already cancelled from my ‘screamyx’ account.. heheh! last2 use 3g only..

  3. All the shoplots around 1st block, Tanjung Aru Plaza should be able to enjoy WiFi as the TM main shop is there 😛

  4. Pai, in the past, wisma merdeka coffee bean needed TM reload card. same as damai coffee bean, now they offer the wifi free, but you need to ask for the network key from them.

    last time kfc karamunsing only open the wifi from mon to fri. not sure whether they have changed the policy.

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