Kota Kinabalu, or KK as everyone calls it, is the capital of Sabah and though it is the largest city in the state, not much history remains. The town, originally named Jesselton, was hit twice during World War II, once to slow the Japanese advance, and the second time to hurry their retreat. Post-war the whole city was rebuilt, reinvigorated, and renamed Kota Kinabalu in 1963. The area today has lots of shopping, affordable hotels, and excellent nightlife and leisure activities. Many people use KK as a hub for daytrips around the state and the city serves as a perfect backdrop for its outlying adventures.