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25 best things to do in Sabah (Malaysia)

Sabah combines protected jungles with tropical islands spread in the South China, Sulu and Celebes Sea.

Jungle retreats, hundreds of kilometers of coastline and some of the world’s best diving spots feature in the East Malaysian state too. Throw in the chance to see wild orangutans, fireflies and carnivorous flowers.

Sabah is the pearl of Borneo with countless ecotourism activities and beach retreats. Visitors encounter unmatched biodiversity along jungle trails and have the chance to scale Malaysia’s tallest mountain.

Crazy Tourist explores the 25 best things to do in Sabah for nature, beaches and islands.

1. Mount Kinabalu: Malaysia’s granite beast

Mount Kinabalu

Sabah’s Mount Kinabalu (Gunung Kinabalu in Bahasa) is Borneo’s and Malaysia’s tallest peak.

Soaring to 4,095 meters (13,435 feet), it’s the highest point between the Himalayas and Papua New Guinea.

Travelers to Sabah immediately notice Kinabalu featuring on the state flag. It holds both deep ties to local Kazadan-Dusun indigenous people and ancient paganism.

Climbing Mount Kinabalu is a two-day affair. Day one involves hiking 3,272 meters (10,735 feet) to a hostel in Laban Rata. The second day starts at 2:00am to reach the summit in time for the sunrise.

Keep your eyes open for the changing landscapes, flowers and wildlife. Bring warm clothes for the higher altitudes.

Mount Kinabalu only permits a limited number of climbers each day. Places sell out months in advance.  Climbing Kinabalu in Sabah needs preparation to guarantee a spot.

2. Malaysia’s first Heritage Site: Kinabalu Park

Kinabalu Park

Kinabalu Park became Malaysia’s first UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000.

Covering an area of 754 square kilometers, the national park surrounds Mount Kinabalu in northwest Sabah. The tropical park is a biodiversity melting pot forming thousands of habitats.

More than 5,000 plants grow inside its borders including the carnivorous pitcher plants and colorful orchids. Kinabalu Park also houses the Rothschild slipper orchid ( Paphiopedilum rothschildianum ). This stripy flower is among the world’s rarest and most expensive orchids.

Over 300 birds, 100 species of mammals and several species of monkeys call Kinabalu Park home.

When combined, this makes the area one of the most important ecological zones on Earth.

3. Kota Kinabalu: A city on the sea

Kota Kinabalu Mosque

Kota Kinabalu, literally City of Kinabalu, is Sabah’s capital along the South China Sea.

Regular flights connect with Kuala Lumpur and other parts of Malaysian Borneo including Lahad Datu and Sandakan on the east coast.

For a capital city, Kota Kinabalu (KK for short) is tiny. But it packs a punch.

Travelers can visit the almost mirage-like Floating Mosque and stroll along the 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) Likas Bay. Or head to Signal Hill Observatory Platform for stunning views over KK.

Most visitors spend their time around Gaya Street, the city’s main stretch. Dozens of restaurants and a handful of bars fill the bustling street after dark.

Tourists often spend two or three days in KK before heading off to other parts of the state. Download the Grab Car App (Southeast Asia’s Uber) for convenient transport in the city.

4. The world famous Bornean sunset

Tanjung Aru Sunset

Borneo has a reputation for jungles, beaches and an almost guaranteed spectacular sunset.

As the sun dips, the horizon lights up with a blend of reds, oranges and purples. Watching on the beach is even more mesmerizing.

Kota Kinabalu’s Tanjung Aru is a short drive from the city center near the airport. The copper-orange sanded beach stretches against a border of bendy palm trees. Islands dominate the horizon.

Local families and tourists head down around 6:00pm.

5. Beaches, snorkeling and hiking on Kota Kinabalu’s islands

Manukan Island

Visiting Kota Kinabalu and skipping Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park is like missing the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur.

Five islands (Gaya, Manukan, Mamutik, Sapi and Sulug) form the chain off the coast of Kota Kinabalu.

If you want beaches and snorkeling, head to the most popular Manukan Island. For light jungle trekking and to explore a floating village, visit Gaya.

The other three are more secluded with fewer tourists.

Regular speedboats connect Kota Kinabalu’s Jesselton Point with the marine park. Island-hopping trips are available too.

6. Zipline from one island to another

Coral Flyer Zipline

Ziplining has established itself as a favorite not-too-intense thrill-seeking activity.

Coral Flyer Zipline provides an experience found only in Sabah.

The zipline stretches 250 meters (820 feet) from Gaya Island to Sapi in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park.

Strap yourself in and soar from one island to the next over the gentle azure South China Sea.

Apart from a shot of adrenaline, expect stunning views of the tiny archipelago and Sabah’s shoreline.

Remember to charge the Go Pro to capture Borneo’s longest zipline on film.

7. Sabah’s original Survivor Island

Pulau Tiga

TV series Survivor has become a household name covering 37 seasons since it first aired in 2000.

Season One took place on Sabah’s Pulau Tiga.

The island near Kota Kinabalu is just close enough to the mainland for easy access and far enough to feel like a desert island.

Since featuring on Survivor, Pulau Tiga (translating to ‘Three Islands’) allures the adventurous. Join a day tour and visit its mysterious mud volcanoes and sunbath on forgotten beaches.

Splash out for a night in either the ultra-luxurious Pulau Tiga Resort or Gaya Island Resort for a private beach getaway.

8. Cooler temperatures in Sabah’s highlands

Ranau Sabah

Ranau is Sabah’s version of West Malaysia’s Cameron Highlands.

The mountainous town sits at 1,176 meters (3,858 feet) a stone’s throw from Mount Kinabalu.

Locals flock for the cooler temperatures, fresher mountain air and to wake up with stunning views of Kinabalu.

Surrounding tea plantations form a sea of green. Stop by the cafés for a hot drink or high-tea with a view.

Dozens of trails penetrate the forests ranging from easy 30 minute hikes to several hour treks.

Ranau provides easy access to Kinabalu Park.

History fans can visit a memorial marking the final destination of WW2’s infamous Sandakan to Ranau Death March. More than 2,500 Australian and British prisoners of war lost their lives during three punishing marches.

9. The only place in Sabah where you’ll need a sweater

Kundasang

Kundasang holds the title as Sabah’s coldest town.

With an altitude of almost 2,000 meters (6,562 feet), temperatures regularly dip below 20°C.

Sabahans living the stifling lowlands make the two-hour journey from Kota Kinabalu for a mini-retreat. A few resorts cater to their needs.

Travelers often stop by for convenient access to Kinabalu Park which is just 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) from the town. Other highlights include fresh produce markets, views of Kinabalu and easy access to hiking trails.

10. Soak in Ranau’s natural spa

Hot Springs Ranau

Poring Hot Springs consist of a series of natural sulfuric pools near Ranau.

Hikers often stop by for a recuperating soak after climbing Mount Kinabalu. Others spend their time inside the spa-like complex.

But it’s not just about relaxation.

The family-friendly Butterfly Park is a highlight. Or hike to see the world’s largest (and smelliest) flower: Rafflesia.

Poring Hot Springs takes approximately 45 minutes by car to reach from Mount Kinabalu. The journey back to Kota Kinabalu is about two and a half hours.

11. The northernmost point of the world’s third largest island

Tip of Borneo

Borneo is the world’s third largest island. Visiting the northernmost point is a favorite day trip from Kota Kinabalu.

The ‘Tip of Borneo’ sits approximately 180 kilometers (112 miles) northeast of the capital in Kudat Town. Expect a three-hour drive through lush scenery, deserted shorelines and winding mountain roads.

In Kudat, a path leads to the northernmost point of Borneo. This is the spot where the South China Sea and the Sulu Sea meet.

Rocky outcrops form dramatic structures in the rough waters. Empty beaches are a short walk from Kudat Town.

12. Proboscis monkeys and fireflies

Kota Belud Monkeys

Kota Belud, a small town 70 kilometers (43 miles) from Kota Kinabalu, provides a glimpse into rural Sabah. Colorful bungalows sit next to two-storied traditional wooden houses.

The river meanders through the villages and hosts two other remarkable attractions.

Boats cruise along the river to find the rare proboscis monkeys. Others take passengers to watch the dancing fireflies after dark.

While seeing the primates isn’t a guarantee, holding a bright firefly in your hands almost certainly is.

13. Whitewater rafting in the jungle

Whitewater rafting Sabah

Sabah’s rugged landscapes burst with fast-flowing rivers and almost secret rapids.

This gives rise to adventure activities in the rainforest including white water rafting. Thrill-seeking travelers can attempt the rapids through the dense jungle landscapes.

Monkeys perch in the tree branches watching the rafters with curiosity. Sambar deer occasionally peak out of the foliage while hornbills soar above.

Tamparuli’s Kiulu River, less than an hour from Kota Kinabalu, has a 15-kilometre (9.3-mile) set of class I and II rapids. Beaufort’s Padas River caters towards the more experienced.

14. Proboscis monkeys and crocodiles on the Kinabatangan River

Kinabatangan River Crocodiles

River cruises along the 560 kilometer (348 miles) Kinabatangan River in East Sabah provide the chance to see Proboscis monkeys.

The unusual pot-bellied primates lurk with both their arms and legs spread in the mangrove branches. Certain parts of the Kinabatangan house Sabah’s largest population of these rare endemic species.

Most travelers spend the night in the riverside bungalows and chalets.

Join a river cruise in the afternoon for monkeys. Head out again after dark for crocodiles and the occasional pygmy elephant.

15. Meet orphaned orangutans at Sepilok Rehabilitation Center

Sepilok Rehabilitation Center

Borneo Island, along with Indonesian Sumatera, are the world’s only habitats for wild orangutans.

Sadly, deforestation and hunting threaten our orange-haired cousins.

Sepilok near Sandakan opened in 1964 becoming the world’s first orangutan rehabilitation center. The semi-wild enclosure adopts and nurtures the young and orphaned in a protected environment.

A boardwalk leads to a viewing platform. Feeding time at both 10:00am and 3:00pm entice the 75 resident orangutans out into the open.

Sepilok provides an almost guaranteed chance to see orangutans in their natural habitat.

16. Sabah’s first colonial capital

Sandakan

Sandakan in East Sabah became the capital of British North Borneo in 1879.

In 1946 after suffering destruction during WW2, the capital moved to present day Kota Kinabalu.

Because of the devastation, Sandakan lost most of its colonial architecture. But the little-visited city acts as a convenient point to visit Sepilok, Gomantong Cave and Selingan Turtle Island.

Sandakan itself has colorful Chinese temples, colonial-like churches and an English Tea House. The stilted Buli Sim Sim Water Village on the outskirts of the city is a favorite side trip.

17. Danum Valley: Sabah’s most biodiverse jungle

Danum Valley

Borneo’s globally acclaimed reputation for biodiversity can be attributed to Danum Valley in East Sabah.

Danum Valley Field Center is both a world-class conservation facility and ecotourism haven.

Located two hours into the 130-million-year-old rainforest from the nearest town Lahad Datu, the protected area has remained free of human settlements. This means the jungle is still the same today as it was millions of years ago.

Visitors can follow jungle trails with expert guides, climb up to canopy walks and join night safaris. Orangutans live near the Field Centre. Pygmy elephants sometimes roam nearby.

Those looking to splurge can stay in the eco-friendly bungalows. Prince William and Kate Middleton stayed in these when they visited Danum Valley in 2012.

Hostel beds and camping facilities cater towards the more budget conscious.

18. Explore where few people have explored at Maliau Basin

Maliau Basin

Maliau Basin in the heart of Sabah is among the least explored parts of the planet.

Most of the region remains unmapped.

The Maliau River flows through a basin, which rises 1,675 meters (5,495 feet). The geography and lack of human activity create an almost self-contained ecosystem.

Getting here takes time and patience. Those who do usually combine Maliau Basin with a trip to Danum Valley.

Hike to the summit, search for wildlife and swim in natural pools.

Only a handful of privileged souls have walked along the same trails before.

19. Sea Nomad villages at Semporna

Nomad villages at Semporna

East Sabah’s Semporna acts as a gateway to Tun Sakaran Marine Park and Sipadan Island.

Few international travelers make it this far unless they’re heading to the islands.

But Semporna provides a window into one of Southeast Asia’s most mysterious indigenous peoples: The Bajau.

Seafaring Bajau live on the water earning the nickname ‘Sea Nomads’ or ‘Sea Gypsies’.  With an uncanny ability to dive without equipment to the seabed, they’re an enigmatic part of Sabah.

Bajau floating villages, rickety wooden houses forming a neighborhood, line Semporna’s coast.

Take a water taxi and explore the mini-town above the water complete with shops, mosques and schools.

20. Sabah’s best diving on Sipidan Island

Sipidan Island

Sipadan Island upholds an international reputation with acclaimed divers.

The island near Semporna in East Sabah consistently gets voted among the world’s best diving spots. Tours ferry scuba fans to dozens of sites which houses countless species of marine life.

After a day in the sea, return to Sipadan’s tropical paradise. White beaches line the sandy atoll’s shores as jungle dominates its interior.

Because of Sipadan’s protected status, the marine park issues only 120 diving permits each day. Plan your trip and secure a placement at least three months in advance.

21. The most beautiful spot in Sabah

Bohey Dulang

Bohey Dulang on Bodhgaya Island in East Sabah’s Celebes Sea has a stunning sapphire-blue lagoon.

According to visitors, the small mountainous island is the Sabah’s most beautiful spot.

White-beaches line the coastlines with a thick jungle spreading over the center. Hike to its peak at 353 meters (1,158 feet) for the best views of the lagoon.

Bodgaya belongs to the Tun Sakaran Marine Park approximately 23 kilometers (14.3 miles) from Semporna Island.

22. A luxurious retreat on Lankayan Island

Lankayan Island

Lankayan Island offers a taste of Maldivian-style luxury in East Sabah.

The Lankayan Island Dive Resort is the island’s only resort inside the protected marine park. Overwater bungalows line the empty beaches offering guests a private section of sand and sea.

Visitors can relax on the beach, snorkel outside their bungalow or take diving trips to deeper waters.

Travel between June and September and witness turtles laying their eggs in the sand. Shortly afterwards, the babies escape the shells and scuttle across the sand towards the sea.

Lankayan Island is approximately 90 minutes from Sandakan by speedboat.

23. World-class diving on Mantanani

Mantanani

Mantanani Island in West Sabah has more than 20 relatively unexplored diving sites.

PADI-Certified travelers can join a tour which visits four or five sites as part of a day trip. Some burst with hundreds of colorful fish above the corals. Others lead to shipwrecks.

Apart from the underwater world, dugongs (sea cows) often swim in the warm tropical waters.

Either visit Mantanani Islands on a day trip from Kota Kinabalu. Or arrange a diving trip from one of the tour companies in the city.

24. Hiking in the jungle

Rainforest Sabah Hikers

Sabah’s biggest appeal is its easy access to the rainforest.

Visitors won’t face the same lengthy expeditions into the jungle as they would in the Amazon. Instead, it’s often possible to have a taste of the landscapes on a day trip.

Several hiking trails penetrate the forests near Kota Kinabalu. Longer ones lead around the jungle in Kinabalu Park.

Either join a tour from Kota Kinabalu. Or search online and hike with an informal group of locals.

25. Search for carnivorous plants

Rafflesia Flower

Sabah houses two unusual species of plants which resemble something out of a sci-fi movie.

Both Rafflesia and Pitcher Plants use sophisticated biology to entice insects towards them. When the bugs step inside, the flowers start to digest and absorb their flesh.

The carnivorous flowers are endemic to Borneo and Sabah.

Rafflesia, often called the Rotting Flesh Flower, is both the world’s largest and smelliest. The red giant releases a disgusting odor to mimic the smell of decomposing meat to attract insects.

Pitcher plants hang like an upside-down bell and allure their victims with a sweet scent.

Both are spectacular sights. Travelers can visit these weird lifeforms with the help of a guide.

25 best things to do in Sabah (Malaysia):

  • Mount Kinabalu: Malaysia’s granite beast
  • Malaysia’s first Heritage Site: Kinabalu Park
  • Kota Kinabalu: A city on the sea
  • The world famous Bornean sunset
  • Beaches, snorkeling and hiking on Kota Kinabalu’s islands
  • Zipline from one island to another
  • Sabah’s original Survivor Island
  • Cooler temperatures in Sabah’s highlands
  • The only place in Sabah where you’ll need a sweater
  • Soak in Ranau’s natural spa
  • The northernmost point of the world’s third largest island
  • Proboscis monkeys and fireflies
  • Whitewater rafting in the jungle
  • Proboscis monkeys and crocodiles on the Kinabatangan River
  • Meet orphaned orangutans at Sepilok Rehabilitation Center
  • Sabah’s first colonial capital
  • Danum Valley: Sabah’s most biodiverse jungle
  • Explore where few people have explored at Maliau Basin
  • Sea Nomad villages at Semporna
  • Sabah’s best diving on Sipidan Island
  • The most beautiful spot in Sabah
  • A luxurious retreat on Lankayan Island
  • World-class diving on Mantanani
  • Hiking in the jungle
  • Search for carnivorous plants

Bornean Orangutan female baby hanging

Getty Images

Sabah occupies a relatively small chunk of the world’s third-largest island, Borneo, yet what a punch it packs: the treasure of turquoise-fringed desert islands with coral reefs swarming with marine biodiversity; trekkers' paradise Mt Kinabalu reaching 13435ft (4095m) into the clouds; and jungles pulsing with a menagerie of bug-eyed tarsiers, gibbons, pythons, clouded leopards and huge crocs. Around 55% of Sabah is forest, and protected areas such as the Maliau Basin and the Danum Valley Conservation Area are more accessible than ever.

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Attractions

Must-see attractions.

Mother orang-utan carrying baby and bamboo

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

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View of waterfall at Tawau Hills Park, Sabah, Malaysia

Tawau Hills Park

This small reserve has forested hills rising dramatically from the surrounding plain. If getting into the Maliau Basin or Danum Valley feels like too much…

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Agop Batu Tulug

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Pantai Tempurung

Pantai Tempurung

Borneo's loveliest beach is a long, almost-pristine stretch of white sand, lapped at by clear waters. The waves are gentle and great for swimming. You…

Gomantong Caves Beauty - Borneo Sabah Malaysia

Gomantong Caves

Imagine a cathedral-like inner chamber shot with splinters of sunlight and a cave floor swarming with cockroaches, and you have the Gomantong Caves. The…

Sandakan Memorial Park

Sandakan Memorial Park

A beautiful rainforest garden marks the site of a Japanese POW camp and the starting point for the infamous WWII 'death marches' to Ranau. Of the 1793…

Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park

Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park

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Tun Sakaran Marine Park

Tun Sakaran Marine Park

Also known as the Semporna Islands Marine Park, this 350-sq-km protected area, a short boat ride from Semporna, comprises eight islands and two reefs…

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Sabah and beyond

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10 Best Things To Do In Sabah, Malaysia, Including Less-Touristy & Iconic Attractions

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Things to do in Sabah, Malaysia

When it comes to discovering Malaysia’s best nature spots, a trip to Sabah is unmissable. Best known for its serene hiking trails and sun-kissed beaches, the state is also home to overlooked attractions that aren’t clogged with crowds. 

With some planning, those itching to see the misty landscapes of Kundasang and enjoy the seaside in Semporna can find new places to experience. We’ve got a list of 10 things to do in Sabah to discover its lesser-known and iconic attractions. Read on to find out more:

Table of Contents

1. Try sky-biking with a gorgeous mountain view at Mont K Bike

2. have lunch by the sea at pitas floating coral bar, 3. go parasailing & paddleboarding to discover the islands of sabah, 4. sleep under the stars and go camping in kota belud, 5. spend a night in sabah’s countryside at kiulu farmstay, 6. hang out with adorable alpacas at alpaca club, 7. take a trip to japan at hidden hills kundasang, 8. go on a cruise through a wetland or on a lake to spot local wildlife, 9. traverse sabah’s longest canopy walkway at rainforest discovery centre, 10. learn more about local culture & weave baskets at marais center, best things to do in sabah, malaysia, in 2023, plan your trip to sabah here and go off the beaten path.

Things to do in Sabah - sky biking

Riding a bicycle comes as second nature to most of us. But picture this: pedalling a bicycle in mid-air on a cable . At Mont K Bike in Ranau, you can experience this exhilarating activity with a stunning backdrop of Mount Kinabalu against sunny skies.

Things to do in Sabah - sky biking

Whether you’re braving the journey alone or with your best pal, you’ll get to pedal on a cable set 30 metres up in the air on one of two bicycles. The cycling rail stretches about 100 metres long, and you can stop to admire the view or strike a pose for photos as you venture across it.

Things to do in Sabah - sky biking

You’ll find Mont K Bike tucked within Ranau Rabbit Farm – so if your travel buddy or little ones prefer to sit this adventure out, they can cuddle adorable bunnies for a fun ground-level activity at the farm.

Things to do in Sabah - Rabbit Farm

Price (Skybike): RM90/pax (Malaysians) | RM150/pax (Standard tickets) Address: Ranau Rabbit Farm, Kampung Kigiok, 89300 Ranau, Sabah Opening hours: 9am-6pm, Daily Contact: +6019-832 9868

Things to do in Sabah - floating bar

You may have heard of floating resorts , with many of them peppered across Sabah’s stunning islands. But wait until you hear about Floating Coral Bar, located in the middle of the sea off Pitas, on an untouched private island with no hotels. 

When you arrive, find just a bridge and an observation deck, as well as tables and chairs to accommodate just over 50 people. All these are set on a 1-km stretch of naturally-formed coral bar.

It goes without saying that packing sunscreen will go a long way, as there’ll be nothing but the clear sea, shallow reefs, and blue skies around you.

Things to do in Sabah - Pitas Floating Bar

The floating bar is run by Archangel Borneo Holiday, and an excursion here starts from RM330/pax . The package includes transport, lunch, and free access to water facilities such as kayaking in a clear-bottom boat, snorkelling, and stand-up paddleboarding . 

For lunch, you’ll get to enjoy a hearty and authentic Malaysian meal prepared by Pitas locals. 

Things to do in Sabah - Pitas Floating Bar

This Floating Coral Bar is about a 3-hour drive from Kota Kinabalu, and it takes around 45 minutes from Marina Jetty Kudat to get here by boat. Trips begin at 9am and conclude at 3pm, giving you more than enough time to explore the island.

Pick-up point : Marina Jetty Kudat, Off Jalan Urus Setia, 89058 Kudat, Sabah Contact : +6019-895 4248 | +6014-993 2788

Things to do in Sabah - parasailing

The sheer number of pristine beaches in Sabah means there’s no shortage of water activities to try when you’re island-hopping. While snorkelling is a must-do, you can opt to go parasailing instead – it requires no training and lets you enjoy stunning bird’s-eye views of the sea and sky.

Similar to paragliding, parasailers will fly through the air backed by a parachute-like canopy. The main differences are that you’ll be towed by a boat and dangling aloft over the sea – and, of course, you can avoid the nerve-wracking leaping-off-the-cliff part of paragliding.

Long Beach Watersports have packages (from RM110/pax) that include parasailing, as well as a banana boat ride and snorkelling. Transportation fees are covered between Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal and Manukan and Mamutik Islands, where you can spend a half-day discovering marine life and soaring over the sea.

Things to do in Sabah - parasailing

If you prefer calmer water sports, you can try stand-up paddleboarding at Tanjung Aru Beach . It might just be the best way to bask in the captivating Sabah sunset while leisurely gliding over gentle waves towards the horizon.

Head North Paddle hosts sunset and sunrise paddling sessions, priced from RM110/pax. Your journey out into the waters will be led by a professional guide, so even first-timers can try this activity out.

Paragliding @ Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park: Pick-up point: Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal, Jalan Haji Saman, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah Contact : +6019-862 4549

Stand-up Paddleboarding @ Tanjung Aru Beach: Address: Lot 21, Kuarters TM Tanjung Aru, Lorong Pinang, Tanjung Aru 88801 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah Contact: +6017-583 2156 | Head North Paddle Kota Kinabalu’s Facebook

Things to do in Sabah - camping

As much as we love hotel amenities, waking up to breathtaking views of nature right at our feet is an unbeatable experience. One popular area to spend a night under the stars is Kota Belud , located about 2 hours from Kota Kinabalu.

Things to do in Sabah - camping

There are multiple campsites located here, including Tegudon Tourism Village, Nohutu Eco Tourism Campsite, and Polumpung Melangkap View Campsite . These campgrounds let you experience a peaceful night’s sleep under clear skies glittering with stars – all while enjoying unblocked views of Mount Kinabalu and flowing waters just outside your tent. 

But roughing it isn’t for everybody, and we get that. Luckily, these campsites have various kampung-style cabins and essential camping gear available for rent.

Things to do in Sabah - camping

To recharge in nature sans gadgets, campers here often dip their feet in the river outside their tents when the tides are calmer. No matter which campground you’re opting for a night’s stay at, the water streaming from the mountain is always clear and cool, even on sunnier days. 

Things to do in Sabah - campsite river

Tegudon Tourism Village: Entrance fee: RM3/pax Address: P/S 291 Tegudon, 89158 Kota Belud, Sabah Contact: +6016-828 2416 | Tegudon Tourism Village’s Facebook

Nohutu Eco Tourism Campsite: Entrance fee: RM3/pax Address: Melangkap Tiong, 89150 Kota Belud, Sabah Opening hours : 2pm (Check-in) | 12pm (Check-out) Contact: +6013-803 4382 | Nohutu Eco Tourism’s Facebook

Polumpung Melangkap View Campsite: Entrance fee: RM6/adult & RM4/child (Malaysians) | RM12/adult & RM8/child (Standard admission) Address: Polumpung Melangkap Baru, 89158 Kota Belud, Sabah Opening hours : 2pm (Check-in) | 12pm (Check-out) Contact: +6011-3624 4723 | Polumpung Melangkap View Campsite’s website

Things to do in Sabah - Kiulu Farmstay

Go beyond Kota Kinabalu’s urban sprawl to discover a village community at Kiulu Farmstay . This hidden eco-lodge lets guests spend the night in rustic bamboo huts, and be treated to an unvarnished glimpse of local village life amidst the Bornean jungles.

Tucked within the misty valley of Kiulu, the farmstay is just over an hour’s drive from the capital city. Lush greenery and a river serve as backdrops for the traditional lodges made almost entirely of bamboo. 

Things to do in Sabah - Kiulu Farmstay

A 2D1N stay in the 2-bedroom Fig House (RM465/night) can accommodate a family of 4 comfortably. Meals and a fun itinerary are included with your stay, so look forward to local delicacies prepared by villagers, and embark on a tour after having your meals. 

Besides soaking up postcard views of paddy fields with a local guide, you can take part in Kiulu’s notable cultural activities: rice processing, blowpiping, and rubber tapping included. 

After dinner, gather with villagers in the common area to share food, rice wine, and stories.  

Things to do in Sabah - food

If you’re looking to explore the scenic Kiulu countryside further, go on a quad bike tour (from RM213/pax). You’ll be part of a guided 3-hour tour travelling through rolling hills, past rivers and quaint villages, to learn more about local village life, flora, and fauna.

Do note that you’ll need a driver’s licence and be at least 18 years of age to operate a quad bike. But if you’re travelling with kids, a double-bike has an optional passenger in-tandem seat. There’ll also be an additional fee of RM10 per person for Community Development Contribution.

Things to do in Sabah - quad biking

Address: Jalan Kiulu Pukak Mantob, Kampung Mantob, 89250 Tamparuli, Sabah Opening hours: 2pm (Check-in) | 10am (Check-out) Contact: +6019-326 3800

Things to do in Sabah - llama

Desa Dairy Farm is one of Kundasang’s most popular attractions. But it’s not the only place in the town that lets animal-loving travellers hang out with gentle creatures. Over at Alpaca Club , you can pet and take selfies with fluffy alpacas that roam free in a pen. 

Things to do in Sabah - llamas

Alpacas are gentle, but sensitive and social creatures, so come ready to give them soft neck pats when you aren’t feeding or snapping photos with them. There are about 10 alpacas at the farm, all brought in from Australia. 

Things to do in Sabah - Alpaca Farm

To ensure every visitor has a chance to interact with the animals, 35 people are allowed inside the farm at one time for a 20-minute session. A pack of feed can be purchased for RM3 at the ticket counter.

Admission : RM15/adult | RM10/child | RM2/infant Address: Jalan Cinta Mata Mesilou, 89308 Kundasang, Sabah Opening hours: 9am-5pm, Daily Contact: +6011-5868 3622

Things to do in Sabah - Hidden Hills Kundasang

One of the best parts about visiting Kundasang is experiencing the cool highland climate. 

Coupled with unparalleled views of Mount Kinabalu, a trip to this hill station will make you feel like you’ve travelled out of Malaysia. Cue Hidden Hills , a themed homestay with a hidden Japanese village attraction that’s open to the public.

Things to do in Sabah - Hidden Hills

While Kundasang is popularly known as the “Little New Zealand” of Sabah, Hidden Hills will have you thinking you’re in Japan with its collection of photo spots speckled across its grounds. 

Things to do in Sabah - Hidden Hills

Find a torii gate, a Japanese tearoom, and a statue of the beloved Totoro from My Neighbor Totoro to pose with. The homestay also lets you rent traditional Japanese costumes, and offers hair-styling services at their Yukata Station for RM38/pax . 

Things to do in Sabah - Hidden Hills

To discover the IG-worthy zones and enjoy views of Mount Kinabalu from here, there’s a small entrance fee for adults (RM5/pax) and children (RM3/pax).

Address : Kampung Dodon Kasigau, 89308 Kundasang, Sabah Opening hours : 9am-5pm, Daily

Things to do in Sabah - Klias River Cruise

It isn’t every day that you get to spot a wild Proboscis monkey, as the species can only be found in Borneo. A fun and popular way to see these creatures in the flesh, with their unique long noses and bulging bellies, is by hopping on a Klias River Cruise in Beaufort.

This laidback cruise on an open boat begins at 4pm and takes you deep into Klias Wetland for a leisurely 2-hour ride. During the trip, you can spot Proboscis monkeys clinging onto branches as the area is largely populated by them.

Things to do in Sabah - Klias River Cruise

If you prefer less beaten paths, head to Kinabatangan River in Sandakan. This river, which happens to be Malaysia’s second longest, runs through a wildlife sanctuary home to proboscis monkeys, orangutans, and pygmy elephants – which you might just get glimpses of as you traverse it by cruise.

Things to do in Sabah - The Last Frontier

The Last Frontier Resort , hidden on the top of Dutch Hill Bilit amid the Kinabatangan Forest Reserve, has cruises on the river as part of their 3D2N all-inclusive package , with prices starting from RM850 . 

Whether you’re on a morning cruise or trekking through the tropical rainforest, you’ll get to experience Sabah’s natural settings and local wildlife at their most serene and undisturbed.

Things to do in Sabah - kayak cruise

Klias River Cruise: Fees: RM60/adult | RM40/child Address: Kampong Kota Klias, 89800 Beaufort, Sabah Opening hours: Sat-Thu 3pm-8pm | Fri 4pm-8pm Contact: +6019-807 3159

The Last Frontier Resort: Address: PPM 309 Elopura, Kinabatangan River, 90000 Sandakan, Sabah Contact: +6016-676 5922 | The Last Frontier Resort’s website

Home to a 620-metre-long Rainforest Skywalk, Rainforest Discovery Centre is a lesser-known gem in Sepilok when compared to its more popular neighbours, the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre.

Things to do in Sabah - Rainforest Discovery

As one of the most accessible rainforest parks in Sabah, you can explore the forest reserve and its inhabitants from beyond its self-guided nature trails – at a panoramic 27-metres-high, thanks to an impressive canopy walkway dubbed the longest of its kind in the state.

Besides learning about local fauna and flora at the various educational zones here, you can try your luck at spotting rare Bornean endemic birds, flying squirrels, and even orangutans while traversing the forest. 

Things to do in Sabah - Rainforest Discovery

Rainforest Discovery Centre also hosts various family-friendly activities, including a 180-metre-long Flying Squirrel Zipline over the lake and a night walk .

Things to do in Sabah - zipline

Admission: RM7/adult & RM3/child (Malaysians) | RM20/adult & RM10/child (Standard admission) Address: Jalan Fabia, Sepilok, 90715 Sandakan, Sabah Opening hours: 8am-5pm, Daily Contact: +6089-533 780

Things to do in Sabah - Marais Centre

A great way to fully immerse yourself in your travel destination is to learn more about its culture. One place to be to experience locally grown culture is Marais Center in Tenom.

While the town is best known for its coffee production, visitors can get to know more about the Murut people in Sabah through a variety of activities at this village.

Things to do in Sabah - Marais Centre

Whether it’s weaving baskets from natural materials or cycling past paddy fields to soak up postcard views of mountains and rivers, there won’t be a dull moment spent here. 

You can’t miss the special performance that takes place at the village either, with locals donning their traditional Murut attire and dancing energetically.

Things to do in Sabah - cycling in Paddy Field

With nature just next door and activities galore, you can visit this lesser-known village in Tenom on a day trip away from the crowds and city. Else, opt to spend a night at their guesthouse to truly slip into the shoes of a local. 

Address: Peti Surat 206, Kuala Tomani, Kampung Marais, 89908 Tenom, Sabah Opening hours: Appointment-based Contact: +6016-834 9781

There’s more to conquer in Sabah than just the majestic Mount Kinabalu. With attractions that let you explore the state’s natural beauty – from its crystal-clear sea to the starry skies – there’s certainly something for every type of traveller to discover there.  

To find out what Sabah truly has to offer and flesh out your travel plans, you’ll want to drop by Matta Fair 2023 from 1st-3rd September . At this year’s second instalment happening at MITEC Kuala Lumpur, you’ll get to browse promotions for must-visit destinations at Sabah Tourism booths so you can have a thrilling holiday without breaking the bank.

So if you want to experience everything, from local food and culture to sky-high activities, Sabah might just be the perfect travel destination for you. 

Here’s to safe travels and exciting holidays ahead. 

This post was brought to you by Sabah Tourism Board.

Cover image adapted from: Mont K Skybike, Archangel Borneo Holidays, Sabah Tourism, Hidden Hill Kundasang

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MySabah.com

Travel guides to Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

sabah malaysia tourism

Honest Travel Guide to Sabah

Signature food of Sabah / Malaysia. from left to right: Tuaran fried Noodle, Satay, Pork Noodle (Sang Yuk Mee), Ngiu Chap soup noodle, Hinava and Bak Kut Teh

Every year about 4 millions tourists visit Sabah because of her nature wonder, which is completed with islands & beaches, hills & mountains, pristine rainforest, abundant marine and Borneo wildlife, and colorful cultures, all suitable for a leisure vacation and softcore adventures. We have Sipadan Island , one of world’s top 5 dive sites, Danum Valley , a Borneo virgin rainforest older than Amazon and Mount Kinabalu , the highest mountain of Malaysia.

Where is Sabah?

Sabah is one of the 13 states of Malaysia, a country in the centre of South East Asia. Sabah is at the northern part of Borneo, the third largest island in the world, shared by three countries, namely, Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak), Brunei, and Indonesia (Kalimantan). Sabah is the second largest state of Malaysia, and also a mountainous state with 59% of her land covered by forest.

Location map of Sabah and its major roads

The capital of Sabah State is Kota Kinabalu city (KK in short). With a population of over 244,000, KK is located in west coast and the 13th largest city in Malaysia. Most tourists who visit Sabah will land in KK by air. KK is voted as one of the best cities for retirement in the world .

Sabah is 8 hours ahead of GMT (GMT+8), same time zone as Kuala Lumpur and Shanghai.

Current local time in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Malaysia is a tropical country with warm and humid climate (Humidity: 85-95%) throughout the year, so is Sabah, the temperatures are fairly constant, ranging from 32°C (90°F) in lowland to 21°C (70°F) in highland . Temperature can reach near freezing point in higher altitude of Mt. Kinabalu. The wettest months of Sabah are from December to January , with heavy rain from Northeast Monsoon. The dry months are from March to September. The most comfortable clothing are lightweight and quick-dry T-shirt, shorts and sandal. Only in highland such as Kundasang, Ranau, Tenom and Tambunan you would need more clothing like jacket to stay warm. To locals, our weather only has 3 modes: sunny, cloudy or rainy.

Sabah tour packages

Natural Disasters

Sabah is also known as The Land below the Wind because we are just below Typhoon belt of Philippines and not hit by typhoon. However, the tail of typhoon would brings rainstorm (happens occasionally between Apr and Nov), strong wind and rough waves that affect outdoor activities. During heavy rain season, flood and landslide occurs in some areas. It’s advisable not to visit Kinabalu Park on the same day you leave Sabah, just in case the way home is blocked by landslide.

No Tsunami (tidal wave) threat presents in Sabah. There was a magnitude 6.0 earthquake in 2015, but no life-threatening earthquake thereafter. Week-long haze may or may not occur between Jun and Sep, the time neighbouring Kalimantan clear the land by open burning.

What’s the Best Time to Visit Sabah?

Actually anytime is fine. Due to global warming, the weather is not so predictable.

  • Dry Months : Mar-Sep
  • Diving : Apr-Jun (best visibility and calmest waters), Feb-Mar (whale shark season)
  • Stargazing: Apr-Sep

Worst Months to visit:

  • Chinese New Year (between late Jan and mid-Feb) and Puasa (Muslim fasting month), the time when many shops / restaurants are closed.
  • Wet Months : Nov-Jan (Northeast Monsoon)
  • Peak Season (Travel): Nov-Jan and Jun-Aug. Book flight and hotel earlier if you will visit Sabah in these months.

Events & Festivals

You won’t regret to add the following grand cultural events into your itinerary.

  • 30 & 31 May: Kaamatan Celebration (Harvest Festival)
  • April: Lepa-Lepa Water Festival *
  • October: Tamu Besar *

*date is subject to change

Electricity

Electricity is on the 240 Volts AC/ 50-Cycle system. Malaysia uses standard British three-pin rectangular blade plug (Type G) and sockets. You can buy the travel universal plug in our shopping malls.

Type G British three-pin rectangular electrical plug used by Malaysia

Units of Measurement

British Imperial System. We use Kilometre (KM), Metre (M) and Centimetre (CM) to measure distance and length, Kilogram (Kg) and Gram (G) for weight measurement.

Money and Payment

The international currency code of Malaysian Ringgit is MYR. But you see Ringgit is more commonly labelled as RM on price tags here. Both MYR and RM are the same thing (e.g. RM20 = MYR20). Banknotes are divided into the following denominations: 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100.

Malaysia Ringgit Banknotes in RM1, RM5, RM10, RM20, RM50 and RM100

Cash is King , so always have at least one or two hundred Ringgit cash with you, though e-Wallet such as Boost is getting very popular. Small eatery, bus and national parks usually expect you to use cash. Credit Cards such as MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted by hotels, restaurants and larger shops. Some shops may require you to spend a minimum amount of money like MYR30 or MYR50 to allow payment by credit card.

Currency Exchange

Kota Kinabalu International Airport has a few money changers where you can exchange your currency to Ringgit. You may exchange a small amount of money, then convert the rest with Licensed Money Changers in the shopping malls, which offers better rate. Most major hotels charge a nominal fee for currency conversion. You can use the form below to check the latest exchange rate of your currency to Malaysian Ringgit (MYR).

There are a lot of licensed money changers in shopping malls of city. Make sure your notes are in near-perfect condition as notes with any torn or stains would not be accepted by money changers. Commonly accepted currencies are US Dollar, Australian Dollar, British Pound, China RMB, Indonesia Rupiah, Philippines PESO, Thailand Baht, etc. You may convert your money to one of these currencies above in your country first to bring to Sabah. Be vigilant of people around you when you leave the counter with your money.

Internet WiFi & Phone

Sabah has 4G coverage in populated area. You can get a local SIM card and register a prepaid phone line (with Internet data plan) at Kota Kinabalu International Airport, if you arrive in normal working hours. Our big 3 cellphone service providers are Celcom , Maxis (HotLink), and Digi .

Tourist SIM Cards of Malaysia

Maxis has great Internet speed in city and suburban areas. Celcom has the widest coverage but fairly slow line. Digi is somewhere in between. You and your travel mates can use different providers to backup each other. You can browse the Traveller SIM Cards by Celcom , Maxis , and Digi .

There are many phone shops in city that can help you to register a line or reload credit. By law you need a passport to register. The country code of Malaysia is 60. If you get a mobile phone number like 012-3456789. Your overseas friends and relatives can call you at +60 123456789. Anyway, you can use Whatsapp and Facetime. Set your phone to airplane mode when you are in remote places that have no connection, or the busy network search would drain your battery.

WiFi service is available in most hotels (some may charge a fee). Many restaurants and cafes in town also have free WiFi access. Kota Kinabalu City centre has free WiFi but the connection is quite patchy (no every street is in the range).

Travellers can buy almost every necessities in Sabah, so you can cut the weight of you check-in luggage. Shopping malls generally open daily from 10am to 9:30pm. They are air-conditioned and good place for grocery shopping, phone service, local food, money changers, clothing, and movie time. Toilet inside shopping mall collects an entry fee of MYR0.20 to MYR0.50. Besides shopping malls, you can find drug store / pharmacy, supermarkets, and 24×7 convenience stores around town area.

Things to Buy

Sabah Tea, Tenom Coffee, White Coffee, Orangutan / Proboscis Monkey plush toy, handicraft (bead necklace / bracelet, baskets), hand woven tapestries, colourful serdang box, Sabah batik, durian chocolate, mango candy, dried seafood, frozen seafood, scarf with Sabah motif, and sting-less bee honey are popular buy, besides the ordinary keychain, fridge magnet and I♥Sabah T-shirt. You may check out my guide on 10 best souvenirs to buy in Sabah .

Souvenir of Sabah

Good places to shop and bargain for these souvenirs are Gaya Street shoplot and its Sunday Market (7am-12pm) in KK City Centre. Filipino Market next to KK Central Market is also a good spot. KadaiKu has the best line of authentic Sabah products (higher prices).

Popular Tours

Most tourists travel in Sabah for 5 days and majority of them visit or do the following:

  • Climbing Mount Kinabalu *: the highest mountain of Malaysia
  • Kinabalu Park : staycation in the cooling highland and tour around the UNESCO World Heritage Site and Geopark
  • Kinabatangan River ( Corridor of Life ): river cruise to see Orangutan, Proboscis Monkey and Pygmy Elephant
  • Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre Orphanage and “school” of baby orangutan
  • Tunku Abdul Rahman Park : beautiful islands (e.g. Sapi , Manukan ) 15 minutes away from KK
  • Mantanani : Mermaid Island
  • Mari-Mari Cultural Village : experience lifestyle of 5 native tribes
  • River Cruise at Klias , Weston , Kawa-Kawa : Wetland, Sunset and Proboscis Monkey
  • Poring Hot Springs : natural hot springs, tree canopy walk, rafflesia flower
  • Tip of Borneo : scenic beach and seascape
  • Islands of Semporna (part of Coral Triangle): Sipadan *, Mataking Island , Mabul Island , Bohey Dulang Island
  • Padas / Kiulu River Rafting
  • Danum Valley : 130-million-year old primary rainforest
  • Turtle Islands Park (Selingan) *: turtle nesting and hatchery

*Need to book 6 months in advance as they are always fully booked, even in non-peak seasons.

Sabah has many more wonderful attractions, please explore them in this travel blog MySabah.com (shameless self-promotion). Not all destination accepts walk-in tourist, some requires you to go by tour.

People and Culture

There are 42 ethnic groups living in harmony in Sabah. In Sabah population of over 3.5 millions, Kadazandusun people are the largest indigenous group and occupy 30% of population, followed by Bajau (21%), Malay (20%) and Murut (5%). 12% of Sabah population is Chinese and most of them live in cities. Interracial marriage is very common, so don’t be surprised if a native can speak Chinese.

Indigenous people of Sabah (Kadazandusun, Bajau, Murut and Sea Bajau)

Generally, Sabah people are gentle, friendly and more tolerant. Though we are Malaysians, we like to call ourselves as Sabahans . Sabahans are very laid back, we might look like slow loris to those from fast-paced modern cities LOL.

Interesting Facts

  • The iconic dance of Sabah is Sumazau of Kadazandusun people, which mimic the movement of bird in flight.
  • Murut was once the headhunter of Borneo. Their bamboo dance (named Magunatip ) is to welcome the return of headhunters.
  • Bajau is the Cowboys of the East because of their excellent horse-riding skill.
  • Sea Bajau in East Coast is also known as Sea Gypsies , sea nomads who spend their lives (cooking, giving birth, sleeping) on the boat.
  • Most Sabah Chinese are the descendants of Chinese labours immigrated from China in 19th century. Hakka, Hokkien and Cantonese are the most common Chinese dialects.

Islam is the official religion of Malaysia and 65% of Sabah people are Muslim, followed by Catholics, Christians and Buddhists. Many destinations have Surau room for Muslim to pray. In hotel room, look for the Qibla compass on the ceiling that points to Makkah. Malaysia is rated as a top Muslim-friendly holiday destination , in terms of Islam-compliant on food, services, prayer facilities and accommodation.

About 80 languages are spoken in Sabah. Malay is the national language, English is our second language and widely spoken, especially in urban and business environment. English is used in shop signage and even food menu. Chinese is also common in cities. Tourists have very little language barrier in Sabah. Most Sabahans are multilingual and can converse in 2 or more languages such as Malay, English, Chinese (Mandarin), Hakka and Cantonese.

Yes we know English but… it’s not our mother tongue. If we have problem to understand you, you may need to speak slowly and clearly using simple words. Avoid using slang from your region.

Useful Phrases

Sabahans do understand basic English phrases such as “How are you?” and “Thank you.” You can travel comfortably in Sabah without learning any local words. The only reason you learn is for ice-breaking with your cute pronunciation. If you really want to impress the locals, say “ Boleh Bah Kalau Kau ” (meaning: Can / Sure if this is for you / Of Course!) or Bah (meaning OK or Yes).

Anyway, here are some useful words for you to read local signage: Tandas (Toilet), Lelaki (Male), Perempuan (Female), Tutup (Closed), Jalan / Jln. (Road / Street), Kampung / Kg. (Village), Taman (Park), Masuk (Entrance), Keluar (Exit), Kedai (Shop), Bas (Bus), Teksi (Taxi), Air (Water).

Local Etiquette

Sabahans are really diversified. Even if one group accepts certain interaction, the same thing can be awkward to others. Don’t worry. Sabahans are highly-tolerant. But good to be respectful and sensitive.

  • Take off your shoes before entering house, mosque and (some) temple.
  • Don’t handshake with left hand. A handshake should only be initiated by ladies.
  • In places of worship, visitors are required to dress modestly. Lady is required to wear scarf and long skirt to cover their hair and exposed skin in mosque.
  • Muslim takes no pork & liquor, do not offer them.
  • Pointing at people with index finger is rude, you may use your thumb to point at something (still better not pointing at any person).
  • No nude / topless sunbathing on beach (I have no complaint but many think boobs are evil).
  • Holding hand and hugging with your spouse in public is romantic. Long wet kiss is probably too much here.
  • Guys, don’t touch the shoulder of female.

Just to list a few examples of misbehaved tourists: going nude on Mount Kinabalu and Sibuan , walking in city with bikini , hot dance at mosque . Sabah is not Miami.

Food and Dining

The staple food of Sabahans are rice, noodles and bread. As a multicultural and food loving society, we have many options to spoil you. The most common place locals going for a meal is Kopitiam or Kedai Kopi (Coffee Shop), an open air shop which sells common food items such as mixed rice ( nasi campur ), chicken rice and fried noodles. A proper meal costs about MYR6 to MYR8 (without drink) in city. Japanese food, Western food and fast food are common as well in city. Fun Fact: All small towns have KFC Fried Chicken.

Recommended Food

Tuaran Mee (Tuaran Fried Noodle), Ngiu Chap (Beef Noodle), Sang Yuk Mee (Pork Noodle), Tamparuli Mee , Fish Noodles , Seafood , Kon Lou Mee (Dry Noodle), Nasi Lemak, Bak Kut Teh , Satay, Laksa, Rojak, Soto (Malay Noodle Soup), and Hinava (Local Fish Salad).

Signature food of Sabah / Malaysia. from left to right: Tuaran fried Noodle, Satay, Pork Noodle (Sang Yuk Mee), Ngiu Chap soup noodle, Hinava and Bak Kut Teh

Dining Guide

If this is your first time visit Sabah, below are some guidelines:

  • No smoking in any eatery.
  • Some restaurants say they “Serve No Pork” but that doesn’t mean they are certified halal. Look for halal logo when in doubt.
  • Most Sabah hotels are compliant with Halal.
  • Malay and Indian Kopitiams serve Halal (Muslim) food. Non-Muslims are also welcome to eat there.
  • You may see a small pot on table of Malay Kopitiam, the water is for washing hands. Don’t drink it.
  • Some kopitiam are self-service. You need to get your utensils and condiment at one corner.
  • Food spoils fairly quick in warm temperature of Malaysia. Don’t eat wet food that is left overnight in room temperature. You would suffer food poisoning.
  • Although Malaysia is an Islamic country, Beer & liquor are sold in many shops but at higher price (due to tax). Or you can try our Tapai or Lihing (local rice wine)
  • KFC and McDonald in Malaysia serve halal food. Don’t ask for pork burger.
  • Tipping is not obligatory but appreciated. If you see 10% service charges on your bill, you have contributed some.

Common drink you can order in Sabah Coffee Shop. From left to right: Teh-C, Teh-C Ping, Kopi-O, Teh Tarik, Kit Chai Ping, Lemon Tea

Feel free to order drink like a local with the following names:

  • Kopi-O (Hot Coffee)
  • Kopi-C (Hot Milk Coffee)
  • Teh-C (Hot Milk Tea)
  • Teh-O Ping (Ice Milk Tea)
  • Kit Chai Ping (Iced Kasturi Juice)
  • Teh Tarik (Pulled Tea)

(Kopi = Coffee, Teh = Tea, O = No Milk, C = Milk, Ping = Cold) So Ice Milk Tea is “Teh-C Ping”.

Entering Sabah

Malaysian citizens from Peninsular Malaysia can enter Sabah with MyKad (passport not required). Foreigner need a passport or Visa to visit Sabah. Your Passport must have a validity of at least 6 months upon entry. Visa is not required for some countries such as Australia, USA, UK and Japan. You can check if your nationality is Visa-free online .

If your country is eligible (e.g. China, India) to apply Visa (eVISA) online, you may submit your application here . You can request your travel agent to do it for you.

Goods Exempted

Individual may bring these items into Malaysia without paying customs duty:

  • Wine / spirit / malt / liquor not exceeding 1 Liter in all;
  • Tobacco not exceeding 225 Grams (equal to 200 sticks of cigarettes).
  • Wearing apparels not exceeding 3 pieces and footwear not exceeding one pair.
  • Portable electrical or battery operated appliances for personal care and hygiene not exceeding 1 unit each.
  • See the complete list in Royal Malaysian Customs Department website

Warning about import of animal products to Sabah at the airport

WARNING: Smuggling illicit drugs such as Marijuana, Cocaine and Heroin is a VERY SERIOUS offense in Malaysia and can result in DEATH penalty. Pornography materials and firearm (even the fake one like BB Gun) are prohibited items to bring in.

Fly to Sabah

Sabah has many direct international flight connection to major cities of East Asia and Australia. You can use Google Flights to look for direct flight and bargain tickets to fly to Sabah. If no direct flight to KK, you can fly to other cities (e.g. Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Brunei, Taipei, Seoul, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Manila) which have direct flight to Sabah . To move around major towns / cities of Sabah, book a domestic flight with Air Asia or MASwings

Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA)

KKIA is the second busiest airport in Malaysia and 7.5 KM away from Kota Kinabalu city. Most international flights to Sabah will land there. Locals and tourists also mainly rely on domestic flight to travel between east and west coast of Sabah.

Once you arrive Sabah, there are a few things you can do in KKIA:

  • Get a airport taxi / bus, or call a Grab driver to pick you up
  • Exchange a small amount of Malaysian currency.
  • Register a local mobile phone line, which includes Internet data plan.
  • Visit Tourism Malaysia information booth to get more information about your trip.
  • You can even book tour package and accommodation, or rent a car there.

Car rental and money changer in KKIA

Note: Most businesses there open during normal working hours and some open until 10pm. McDonald’s McCafe in KKIA opens 24×7.

Public Transport

Our public transportation system is a joke. It is inconvenient to move around Sabah without a car. You can get a taxi or Grab driver easily in city, hotels, shopping malls and popular tourist spots. Though the taxi has the label that says “Teksi Bermeter” (Meter Taxi), they seldom use the meter. Haggle for the price before getting into the taxi. Mobile apps such as Waze, Google Map and Grab will help you a lot.

Renting a Car

Car rental is available in cities of Sabah. You can even book a car online, then collect it at the airport upon your arrival. You need a Malaysia or International Driver License to rent a car. A good place to rent car in Kota Kinabalu is Wisma Sabah.

The rental fee starts from MYR40/day for Motorbike, MYR150/day for Sedan, MYR500/day for 4-wheel Drive and MYR400/day for a Van. In Malaysia we drive at left side of the road (driver seat is at the right). The car should remain on left lane if not overtaking. Driver and passengers must fasten their seat belt or get fined heavily.

Boat Transfer

If you want to visit the islands ( Sapi , Manukan , Mamutik , Sepanggar , Mengalum ) off Kota Kinabalu city, you can depart from Jesselton Point, Sutera Harbour or Star Marina, which operates between 7am to 4:30pm. Please read my guide about these 3 boat terminals .

To visit islands of Semporna, you can book with travel agent. Most of them sells island-hopping day trip. Island resorts will provide boat transfer if you will stay on their islands. It’s NOT safe to use the unlicensed boat service, they usually wander nearby the terminal (e.g. KK fish market, Wisma Merdeka) and offer you cheaper deals.

Long Distance Bus

There are two long-distance bus terminals in Kota Kinabalu that connects to major cities / towns (e.g. Sandakan, Tawau, Lahad Datu, Semporna, Kudat) of Sabah regularly. The long distance bus is known as Bas Ekpress (Express Bus). Route to one location is usually operated by a few companies and depart in different time from 6:30am to 8:30pm.

  • Inanam Bus Terminal (North) ( see Location Map ): (from KK) to Kundasang / Kinabalu Park (92 KM), Sandakan (332 KM), Semporna (530 KM), Lahad Datu (403 KM), Kunak, Tenom, etc. ( Online Ticketing available)
  • Padang Merdeka Field ( see Location Map ): KK to Kota Belud (68 KM), Kudat (179 KM), Kundasang, Ranau, Tambunan, Keningau, Tenom
  • KK Sentral (South) ( see Location Map ): KK to Beaufort, Kuala Penyu, Brunei, Sipitang, Bongawan, Membakut

Inanam Bus Terminal and ticket counters

To save time, you should consider domestic flight over buses. For example, travel from KK to Tawau by bus takes 10 hours but only 45 minutes by flight.

Accommodation

Sabah has over 500 hotels, and with range of choices from 5-star hotels to budget hostels. Nowadays you can book accommodation at attractive rate with feature-rich online booking site like Booking.com and Agoda . You can check the location with interactive map, photo gallery and reviews. AirBnB also offers you some decent choices. Most of them offers pick-up at airport.

However, if you ask for my advice, the following hotels and resorts are my personal recommendation based on reviews by tourists. Please note the prices can vary considerably depend on the (sea) view, room size, package, length of stay, etc. The fee would be higher during peak season such as Chinese New Year. Foreign tourist (non-Malaysian) needs to pay Tourism Tax (or TTx) of MYR10 per room per night for staying in hotels or registered private accommodations.

Recommended Accommodations

5-star hotels.

Price Range: MYR500-MYR1,870

  • Kota Kinabalu: Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa (STAR) , The Magellan Sutera Resort , Hyatt Regency Kinabalu *, Hotel Le Meridien *, Hilton Kota Kinabalu *, Hyatt Centric Kota Kinabalu *
  • Tuaran: Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa

4-Star Hotels

Price Range: MYR250-MYR560

  • Kota Kinabalu: Hotel Grandis *, Mercure Kota Kinabalu City Centre *, Horizon Hotel *, Promenade Hotel *

3-Star Hotels

Price Range: MYR125-MYR350

  • Kota Kinabalu: Hotel Sixty3 *, Gaya Centre Hotel *, The Jesselton Hotel* , Dreamtel *

*located in City Centre of Kota Kinabalu

Island Resorts

Price Range: MYR950-MYR3,700

  • Kota Kinabalu: Gaya Island Resort , Gayana Marine Resort , Bunga Raya Island Resort , Manukan Island
  • Semporna: Sipadan Water Village Resort , Sipadan Mabul Resort (SMART) , Kapalai Dive Resort , Mataking Island Resort
  • Sandakan: Lankayan Resort

If you want something different, go for our homestay or camping . Here are some special accommodation:

  • Rungus Longhouse
  • Misompuru Homestay
  • Glamping on Libaran Island
  • Seaventures (Dive Resort)
  • Camping at Tegudon Tourism Village
  • Farmstay: Kiulu Farmstay , Sabah Tea Garden

Health and Hygiene

  • Government hospitals, clinics and pharmacies are available in all towns / cities.
  • Treated pipe water is available in most urban and sub-urban areas. Tap water must be boiled before drinking.
  • Due to hot weather, you need to prevent dehydration, sunburn, & heat stroke , by applying sunscreen and drink a lot of water.
  • You will sweat a lot. Bath every day or you will stink.
  • Mosquito is most active during dusk and dawn. Have an insect repellent next to you.
  • Sandfly is present near mangrove swamp in evening. Its bite is itchy. Don’t scratch or it will get worse.
  • Beware of jellyfish. The sting of box jellyfish can be fatal to child.
  • Food poisoning bacteria multiply fast in our warm weather. Eat the food while it is still hot / fresh.
  • You always can find Pharmacy / Drug Store such as Watson and Guardian nearby.
  • Most public toilet are wet and smelly but bearable. Bring toilet seat wipes if you want extra clean.
  • Toilet paper is not provided in most toilet (except your hotels). Bring your own or you can experiment the water “bum gun”.

Things to Bring

  • Clothing (for tropical climate): shirts, shorts, jean, pants, skirt, underwear, socks, pajamas, etc.
  • Comfortable walking shoes and sandal
  • Visa (if required)
  • Credit card
  • Sunscreen lotion / spray
  • Sunglasses, Contact Lenses
  • Phone, cable, charger & power bank
  • Camera, battery and charger
  • Travel plug adapter
  • Toiletries: toilet paper, tooth brush & paste, soap / body wash, shampoo & conditioner, face wash, hairbrush / comb, razor & shaving cream, dental floss, mouthwash, cotton buds
  • Backpack (best if come with rain cover)
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Personal Medicine & Supplement
  • Raincoat / Poncho
  • For lady: makeup, lip balm with SPF, moisturiser, facial mask, body lotion, perfume, hair ties and clips, makeup remover, cotton pads, sanitary items
  • Optional items for outdoor activities: hiking shoes, insect repellent, swimwear, bikini, rash guard, hat, dry bag, beach towel, walking stick, flashlight, anti-leech socks
  • International / Malaysia Driver License (if you rent a car)
  • Books? Really?

You don’t need to bring any snorkeling and diving gears, which are available for rent here.

Safety & Advice

  • Always book your tour with a licensed travel agent / operator. To check if a tour company is legitimate, you can refer to the member list by MATTA (Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents) .
  • Practice COMMON SENSE to avoid becoming an easy target of petty crime such as pickpocket and snatch thief.
  • NEVER, EVER leave your bag unattended on car seat.
  • Don’t flash your money in public.
  • While dining in public places, don’t leave valuable belonging such as phone and handbag on the desk.
  • Though some countries issue advisory against travelling in east coast of Sabah, security is good after more garrison are deployed to islands.
  • While crossing road, watch out for motorbike speeding between cars.
  • Never trust pedestrian / zebra crossing. Keep an eye on approaching car.
  • Only book your tour with licensed travel agents. Illegal tour agents don’t care about your safety and you are not insured.
  • Any headhunter? No. Borneo is used to be the land of headhunters, but it’s history.
  • Photocopy your National Identity Card, Passport (Photo ID page) and Credit Card, and store them separately
  • Look up the contact of your embassy in KK and save it on your phone.
  • Drone is forbidden in some islands and restricted zones. Ask before you fly one, and study our regulations .

(Boring) History in Brief

Sabah was part of Brunei in the 16th century. In year 1658, Brunei Sultan (King) ceded the northern and eastern part of Borneo to the Sultan of Sulu (Philippines). By 1881, Sabah was granted to British government and administered by British North Borneo Chartered Company . Sabah became a protectorate of the United Kingdom in 1888 and named as North Borneo (Kota Kinabalu was called Jesselton during that period). Except 1942-1945 under the hand of Japanese during World War II, Sabah was controlled by British until Sabah (North Borneo) gains total independence and form Malaysia with Sarawak, Malaya and Singapore on 16 September 1963.

Useful Apps

  • Grab : e-hailing service, similar to Uber
  • WhatsApp : almost every person and company in Sabah use this messaging apps
  • Google Maps : to get around and look for restaurants and accommodation
  • Waze : very useful navigation apps if you drive on your own
  • Foodpanda : food delivery to deliver local food to you without walking out of your room
  • Boost and Alipay: e-Wallet
  • MySejahtera: for update and tracking on COVID-19 status

Useful Numbers & Contact

  • Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA): +6088325555
  • Tourist Information Center (Sabah Tourism Board) : +60 88-212121 (E-mail: [email protected] )
  • Police / Ambulance: 999
  • Custom Department (Sabah): +60 88-348100
  • Immigration Department (Sabah): +60 88-413657
  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital I: +60 88-517555
  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital II: +60 88-324600
  • List of Consulates / Embassy in Kota Kinabalu City

Thanks for reading this far. Please e-mail me if you find anything incorrect (even a typo) or incomplete. Please note this is not a sponsored page . No company pays me to get recommended here.

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Sabah Tourism

Sabah travel essentials.

Ideal duration: 3 - 4 days

Best Time: January - April Read More

Major Airports: Kota Kinabalu International Airport

"A Tropical Paradise"

Sabah, malaysia.

Sabah is a state in Borneo Island of Malaysia. Being an island state, it has a lot to offer to its adventurous travellers. The state is packed with rugged surface, lush green rainforests, diverse flora and fauna, magnificent mountains and a trove for divers and is well-suited for eco-tourism. Sabah is a perfect place to visit for nature and adventure lovers. It is home to Mount Kinabalu, second highest peak in Southeast Asia.

Majority of the state is forest land. The prime destination of Sabah is Mount Kinabalu - the highest mountain in Malaysia, and Tunku Abdul Rahman Park which includes five islands with prominent marine life. Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre is one of the world’s famous places to catch sight of the Orangutans in their natural habitat. Turtle Islands, a group of three islands- Selingaan, Little Bakkungan and Gulisaan can be easily reached by a boat from Sandakan. Danum Valley Conservation Area is an ideal place for the adventurous hearted for trekking, birdwatching, river swimming and jungle treks. Beach-lovers can visit Pulau Sipadan and snorkel and dive at. Sabah is diverse in terms of culture, ethnicity and language. There are about 42 different ethnic groups and over 200 dialects but Malay is the main language spoken by the natives. Sabah is famous for its unique musical instrument called Sompoton. The culture of Sabah is diverse due to its diverse ethnicity. This shows itself in the different architecture of the houses of different ethnic groups like Bisaya house, Bijau house, Dusun Longhouse and Illanun house. If you wish to experience Sabah’s Culture, you can visit the Borneo Cultural Village which gives an insight into Sabhan Culture with its cultural performances, food and way of living. The state also observes several festivals and is the only state to declare Kaamatan as a public holiday. Some major festivals celebrated are: Borneo Eco Film Festival, Borneo Bird Festival, Kota Kinabalu Food Fest and Bon Odori Festival.

Top Places to Visit In Sabah

Kota Kinabalu

2221 Stay options

57 Stay options

8 Stay options

Top Attractions In Sabah

Mount Kinabalu

Mount Kinabalu

Kota Kinabalu City Mosque

Kota Kinabalu City Mosque

Manukan Island

Manukan Island

Mari Mari Cultural Village

Mari Mari Cultural Village

Puh Toh Tze Temple

Puh Toh Tze Temple

Kota Kinabalu Wetland Centre

Kota Kinabalu Wetland Centre

Top Stories about Sabah Tourism

Art & Culture

Art & Culture

Culture of Sabah - Colourful Journey Through The Land Below The Wind

Top Places

Airports in Sabah - About the Kota Kinabalu International Airport

Backpacking

Backpacking

Island Hopping in Sabah - Top 5 Islands to Explore

Adventure

Diving in Sabah - Top 8 Places to Scuba Dive

Snorkelling in Sabah - Top Dive Spots to Experience the Sabah Marine Life

Sabah Photos

Sabah

More on Sabah

Need to know.

  • There are separate immigration rules and restrictions for Sabah with the state’s autonomy. Tourists are suggested to read about the immigration rules for Sabah. Even the Malaysians and Non-Sabahans are expected to show identity cards and are not allowed to stay in the state for more than 90 days at a time. 
  • If going to Mount Kinabalu, pre-book your permits for the climb due to a fixed number of permits being allotted per day. It is mandatory to hire a professional guide while climbing Mount Kinabalu.
  • There are several ATMs throughout the state especially in major cities. The ATMs are Mastercard and Visa compatible. Do carry enough cash for day to day expenditure. 
  • Pickpocketing and petty crimes are common in the state of Sabah. Make sure that you don't leave your belongings unattended. 

Sabah Reviews

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Nearby States

Sarawak

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  • Sabah Destinations

SABAH DESTINATIONS

Sabah, malaysian borneo: south east asia’s raw & wild side.

Where dense and luscious mountainous terrain reveal unparalleled views; marine life reside in clear, turquoise waters; and unbelievable striking hues of the sunset cross paths with idyllic beaches, the Malaysian Borneo state of Sabah is a tropical paradise travellers can turn to for spectacular and pristine natural ambience.

Unlock your adventures and embark on your journey from Sabah’s capital city, Kota Kinabalu, through a boulevard of a rich spectrum of greenery and overarched by ultramarine skies.

Test your luck in search of natural foliage and wildlife unique to Borneo at Danum Valley; hit wetlands like the Kinabatangan River and Weston River abuzz with rare water bird species and speckled with twinkling fireflies; submerge yourself in Semporna, Sabah’s pinnacle of dive spots among diverse marine life; venture up to Low’s Peak Summit at Mount Kinabalu where the highest Via Ferrata is set; or have yourself a sedentary inland trip in the tranquil rainforest of Malaysia’s first UNESCO Heritage Site and recently crowned Global Geopark, Kinabalu Park.

Whether you’re looking for a luxury vacation by the coast or a secluded wonderland in the jungles, get acquainted with Sabah and its wonders with our curated list of only the very best array of tours & packages catering to travellers from all walks of life.

Mount Kinabalu

  • Mount Kinabalu

Described as the Top 10 epic hikes by Lonely Planet, Mount Kinabalu stands tall at 4,095.2 metres & attracts climbers from all walks of life all year round.

Kinabalu Park

  • Kinabalu Park

Home to the majestic Mount Kinabalu, Kinabalu Park flourishes abundantly with unique Bornean wildlife & is Malaysia’s first UNESCO Heritage Site.

Sipadan Island

  • Sipadan Island

Sipadan Island remains a diver’s paradise, where living corals grow atop an extinct undersea volcano rising 600 metres above the seabed.

Danum Valley

  • Danum Valley

Step into 43,800 hectares of the quintessential Bornean experience – Danum Valley, boasting a variety of wildlife wonders and peppered with adventures.

Kota Kinabalu City

  • Kota Kinabalu City

Before exploring the rest of Sabah, first set foot in the bustling Kota Kinabalu city, where one gets the best of an urban vibe set in tropical paradise.

Tabin Wildlife Reserve

  • Tabin Wildlife Reserve

Spread across 123,000 hectares, Tabin Wildlife Reserve is guaranteed to feed the curiosities of all and give you a taste of Borneo’s nature like nowhere else.

Turtle Islands (Selingan/Libaran)

  • Turtle Islands

(Selingan/Libaran)

A haven for sea turtles, Turtle Island grants you a rare opportunity to witness turtle landings & hatching as they make their grand dash into the Sulu Sea.

Kudat – Tip of Borneo

Kudat – Tip of Borneo

Head to the Northernmost Tip of Borneo - where views of both the Sulu & South China Seas are extravagant & the blazing sunset dramatically righteous.

Kinabatangan River Sukau Bilit

Kinabatangan River - Sukau/Bilit

The Kinabatangan River flows through a remarkably varied terrain within Sandakan & is endowed with one of the richest biodiversities in the world.

Maliau Basin

Maliau Basin (The Lost World)

Experience and uncover an astounding natural beauty when you enter Maliau Basin - Sabah's Lost World for a jungle adventure beyond your wildest dreams.

Mount Trusmadi

  • Mount Trusmadi

Presenting its own arduous trek, Mount Trusmadi stands tall & equally proud at 2,642 metres and is Borneo & Malaysia’s second highest mountain.

Pulau Tiga

Poised at the north of Kuala Penyu, Pulau Tiga (Survivor Island) is Borneo’s slice of paradise with its mud volcano ‘spas’, encompassing a tropical getaway.

Orou Sapulot

  • Orou Sapulot

A trip to Sapulot will bring you to the Sabah-Kalimantan border where the Murut tribe will transport you back to simpler times more attuned to Mother Nature.

Sabah and Sarawak Dual States

Sabah & Sarawak Dual States

Be it a relaxing getaway or an exciting adventure, the east Malaysian states Sabah & Sarawak checks off all your tropical paradise bucket list & more.

Discover Sabah Multi-Day Packages

Discover Sabah Multi-Day Full Packages

Commence your discovery through the unmatched wonders of Sabah, Malaysian Borneo with multi-day tours within & departing from the vibrant Kota Kinabalu city.

Mount Kinabalu Via Ferrata

  • Via Ferrata

Mount Kinabalu Via Ferrata is listed by the Guinness World Records as the world’s highest Via Ferrata, and located in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Mount Kinabalu.

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  • About Sabah
  • Getting to Sabah
  • Quick Facts about Sabah
  • People and Culture
  • Things to Do in Sabah
  • Moving Around Sabah
  • About Malaysia
  • Hotels & Resorts
  • e-Guide Book (Free Download)
  • Calendar of Events
  • Malaysia Public Holidays
  • Living Cost
  • Flight Schedule Recommendations
  • Food Directory
  • About Sarawak
  • Getting to Sarawak
  • Quick Facts about Sarawak
  • Things to Do in Sarawak
  • Moving Around Sarawak
  • Sarawak Maps
  • Sarawak Calendar of Events
  • Beach Resorts
  • Island Resorts
  • Kota Kinabalu City Hotels
  • Mount Kinabalu Huts
  • Kinabalu Park Hotels
  • Kundasang Ranau Hotels
  • Sandakan Hotels & Kinabatangan Lodges
  • Tawau & Semporna Hotels
  • Lahad Datu Hotels
  • Kudat Hotels
  • Danum Valley - Borneo Rainforest
  • Tabin Wildlife Resorts
  • Papar Resorts
  • Kuching Hotels
  • Mulu Hotels
  • Miri Hotels
  • Daily One Day Tours
  • Mount Kinabalu Packages
  • Mount TrusMadi Packages
  • Wildlife Adventure
  • Borneo Cycling Tours
  • Sea Adventure (Snorkeling & Diving)
  • PADI Diving Courses
  • Jungle Trekking Adventure
  • Sipadan Diving
  • Free and Easy Tours
  • Family Packages
  • Honeymoon Packages
  • Education Tours
  • Corporate Incentive Tours
  • Adventure & Sports
  • Relaxing Islands
  • Cultural Experiences
  • Full Package Tours (Multiple Days)
  • North Borneo Dinner Cruises
  • Kinabalu Park Packages
  • Kinabatangan Packages
  • Danum Valley Packages
  • Most Popular
  • Bako National Park
  • Discover Sabah Multiple Days
  • Kinabatangan (Sukau/Bilit)
  • Kudat Tip of Borneo
  • Maliau Basin
  • Mt Kinabalu Via Ferrata
  • Mulu Pinnacles & Caves + Miri
  • Sabah & Sarawak Dual States
  • Transportation Services
  • Mount Kinabalu Climb Packages
  • Introduction to Mount Kinabalu
  • Accommodation in Mount Kinabalu
  • Tips for Climbers
  • Things to Bring
  • Mount Kinabalu Video
  • Maps and Trail
  • Introduction
  • Snorkeling Packages
  • Diving Packages
  • Diving Sites
  • Diving Video
  • General Information
  • Meetings & Conventions
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  • Testimonial
  • Mount Kinabalu Videos
  • Video Gallery
  • Why Travel With Us
  • Life @ Amazing Borneo
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  • Our Tour Guides
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Islands and Beaches – Sabah

Sabah sabah.

This gateway to Borneo showcases diverse cultures, a timeless rainforest and ancient caves. Its extensive coastline is a paradise of alluring beaches and island retreats.

Sabah is caressed by the South China Sea on its west and the Sulu and Celebes seas on its eastern coastline.

Kota Kinabalu, Sabah’s capital, offers top-notched properties such as the Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort and the Sutera Harbour Resort and Spa. Both resorts offer spectacular views of the South China Sea and the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park islands. The Sutera Harbour Resort offers a full range of recreational facilities, including a golf course, marina and spa.

sabah malaysia tourism

In the vicinity of the airport, the Tanjung Aru Beach is a popular spot to watch the beautiful sunset and relax at the beachside cafes. Tanjung Aru is also the gateway to explore several of Sabah’s delightful attractions. Go on a ride in the North Borneo tourist steam train and take in the scenic countryside.

A treasured marine heritage, the five islands of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park are surrounded by extensive coral reefs. Its proximity to Kota Kinabalu makes it a popular playground for water sports enthusiasts, sun-seekers, swimmers and snorkellers. 

Just a 30-minute drive from Kota Kinabalu is the Nexus Karambunai, a fabulous resort offering six kilometres of soft sandy beach. Indulge in idyllic days of swimming and sauntering by the beach or try out exciting pastimes such as horse-riding and archery.   For golfers, tee off at the resort’s 18-hole par 72 course designed by Ronald Fream. The Lagoon Park, a recreational centre situated 10 minutes away, abounds with thrills such as jet-skiing, kayaking, wake-boarding, mangrove cruises and sunset firefly cruises.

sabah malaysia tourism

The Shangri-La Rasa Ria, located nearby, is a splendid getaway surrounded by 400 acres of lush tropical vegetation. An idyllic, white sandy beach stretched over three kilometres awaits swimmers, beachcombers and windsurfers. Guests can delight in kayaking, jet-skiing, banana boat rides and catamaran excursions, or enjoy a round of golf in the 18-hole championship golf course designed by Ted Parslow. For a glimpse of Borneo’s fauna, visit the resort’s nature reserve which houses long-tailed macaques, sambar deer, pangolins and more. The resort has completed its Orang Utan rehabilitation programme. Visitors who would like to see these primates can head to Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre.

For some privacy and seclusion, try the Paka Beach in Tuaran where a six-kilometre shoreline, hugged by coastal vegetation, glitters invitingly. The glorious beach offers pristine nature with no intrusions of modernity. Delight in a picnic, take leisurely strolls along the shore or enjoy hours of swimming. The beach will also be an excellent retreat for sunbathing as it ensures a quiet environment.

En route, visit the Bajaus, famed as ‘Sea Gypsies’ and enjoy a boat ride through the mangroves. For a trip to this beach, prior arrangements can be made with tour operators.

sabah malaysia tourism

Blessed with ancient shipwrecks and an abundant marine life, Mantanani Island lies approximately 45 minutes off Kuala Abai Jetty in Kota Belud. The knife-shaped Mantanani Besar has a beach stretching up to 2,500m. The island also has a diverse marine life with a visibility of up to 40m.

To the north of Sabah is Kudat Beach, where visitors can enjoy crystal-clear waters and picturesque scenery while visiting the Rungus tribe in their longhouses.

For the exhilarating feeling of standing on land’s end, visit the Simpang Mengayau Bay, at the tip of Borneo. Located north of Kudat, this stretch of beach is excellent for swimming and to watch the sunrise and sunset.

Sabah has a host of captivating islands among which is Pulau Tiga Park, better known as ‘Survivor Island’ as it was featured in the TV reality show ‘Survivor’.    

The islands of Layang Layang, Turtle Island, Mabul, Kapalai and Sipadan are outstanding diving sites in the region.

Labuan, known as the ‘International Garden Island of Borneo’, is a major destination as well as the site of several World War II memorials.

GETTING THERE

Malaysia Airlines, the budget carrier AirAsia and several international carriers operate direct and connecting flights from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, Tawau and Labuan.

USEFUL CONTACTS

Tourism Malaysia

Tourist Information Centre: Kota Kinabalu International Airport  Terminal 1 Tel: 6088 413 359

Tourist Map of Malaysia

There is so much to do and so many places to see in Malaysia. To make sure that you don’t miss anything, use this handy map to navigate your way across the country and find great places to visit.

Perlis is the northern gateway to Malaysia. Despite its small size, Perlis has an abundance of attractions that make it a great destination.

Kedah is Malaysia’s largest paddy producing state. Delve into history in Lembah Bujang, the site of an ancient civilisation or relax in Langkawi, a world-famous resort island.

The site of a UNESCO World Heritage City, Penang is a holiday paradise with fabulous beach resorts and eclectic cultures. It is also the undisputable haven for foodies.

A tin-rich state in its heyday, Perak beckons with a range of sights and experiences. The state’s top attractions include Pangkor, an island getaway and Pangkor Laut, an internationally-acclaimed private island.

Hailed as the Cradle of Malay culture, Kelantan is a destination teeming with age-old arts, crafts and pastimes.

Beautiful islands, culture and nature give Terengganu its magical appeal. Dive, snorkel, sunbathe at the islands or journey to its hinterland to experience the best of nature.

The largest state in the peninsula beckons nature-enthusiasts with exciting eco-adventures. From Taman Negara, the oldest national park in the country, to the idyllic Tioman Island, Pahang is simply mesmerising.

  • Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia’s dynamic capital city is bustling with attractions and activities. Explore the city by day and night.

Selangor is home to the country’s main airport KLIA, and the main gateway by sea, Port Klang. It is also the country’s most developed state with a long list of shopping malls and themed attractions.

Putrajaya, the administrative capital of Malaysia, is a well-planned township with impressive buildings, verdant parks, scenic lakes and beautiful bridges.

From the majestic height of Mount Kinabalu, Southeast Asia’s tallest peak, to the stunning depths of the world-famous Sipadan Island, Sabah is a magnificent nature destination.

Sarawak, the largest state in Malaysia, has a vast wilderness that contains numerous national parks including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mulu National Park.

Located off the northwestern coast of Borneo, this island thrills visitors with its wreck diving sites, historical relics and duty-free shopping.

The birth place of the nation, Melaka is a treasure trove of history and heritage. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage City for vestiges of the past.

  • Negeri Sembilan

Known for its fascinating Minangkabau culture and a unique social system, Negeri Sembilan is the place to learn age-old customs and traditions.

Visit Malaysia’s southern gateway, for a family vacation at the theme parks or escape to its islands for an unforgettable holiday.

  • Birdwatching Paradise

Enjoy birdwatching at 55 Important Bird Areas (IBA) throughout the country, tucked away at various habitats such as islands, coasts or lush lowland and montane rainforests.

  • Cool Highland Resorts

Love the cool highlands? Find refreshing destinations to unwind in Malaysia. From French-themed settings, energetic amusement parks to forest-clad hills, there is something for everyone.

  • Fun and Fantasy

Find the fun and thrill that you are looking for in Malaysia. Meet your favourite characters, plunge down the world’s longest water slide or enjoy the rides and games!

  • GENERAL GUIDE
  • Malaysia Travel Guide
  • MAP & GUIDE
  • Map of Malaysia
  • Malaysia Northern Region
  • Malaysia East Coast Region
  • Malaysia Central Region
  • Malaysia East Malaysia
  • Malaysia Southern Region
  • DESTINATION GUIDE
  • SPECIAL INTEREST
  • Islands and Beaches
  • Adventures with Nature

5 hotspots for rainforest adventures in Sabah, Malaysia

The perfect playground for wildlife and adventure enthusiasts, Sabah offers incredible ways to experience its lush landscapes, from trekking to tubing.

View of the Tree Top Canopy at Danum Valley Tropical Rainforest.

Discover the forested landscapes of Sabah, where more than half of the state is dominated by thick jungle and home to an amazing array of wildlife. Expect orangutans swinging from treetops, pygmy elephants munching their way through thick foliage and crocodiles skulking in the shallows. From walking the world’s highest via ferrata in Kinabalu to witnessing more than 80 types of orchids in Maliau, read on for five of the best hotspots for rainforest adventures in Sabah, Malaysia.

1. Danum Valley

This is tropical jungle at its most pristine. Danum Valley sprawls across 10,600 acres of protected reserve, where menara trees tower almost 300ft into the air and dense thickets conceal a mind-boggling variety of animals. Sharp eyes may glimpse wild cats, orangutans, macaques, gibbons, pygmy elephants and — if you’re very lucky — the rare, clouded leopard. These elusive cats are notoriously shy, and there are less than 200 living in the park, though stringent conservation measures have seen their numbers climb in recent years. For a bird’s-eye view, with the peak of Mount Silam beyond, walk along the Tree Top Canopy Walkway or, for something even more adventurous, tubing the Danum River is a wet, wild and truly magical way to experience the jungle. Samba deer regularly come down to the water to drink, so look out for herds gathering along its banks.

2. Sandakan

Sandakan’s Rainforest Discovery Centre offers an insightful, well thought out introduction to Malaysia’s incredible ecosystems, and is a great way to get a taste of the rainforest. Its wooden walkway takes visitors high up into the jungle canopy, and for more than 300 metres, you’ll be walking among the treetops. Birdlife abounds with more than 300 avian species recorded — from the Bornean bristlehead and blue-headed pitta to the majestic Wallace’s hawk-eagle. And when the sun starts to dip below the trees, an evening boat trip along the Kinabatangan River will reveal nocturnal critters like the giant red flying squirrel. Almost bat-like in appearance, this russet rodent can grow to almost two feet long and soars between the trees at dusk. Don’t just spend too much time looking up — estuarine crocodiles frequent these waters, and glowing eyes in the darkness are a sure sign they’re close at hand.

Endemic to Borneo, the rafflesia is the largest flower in the world. It's known by locals as the 'corpse flower' because during the blooming period its smell is similar to the one of decomposing meat. This scent is necessary to attract flies who assist pollination.

3. Kinabalu Park

Malaysia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kinabalu Park is a wild stretch of parkland. Towered over by the country’s highest peak, Mount Kinabalu dominates the skyline, and treks to its summits take three days, traversing the reserve’s varied terrain. In fact, this walk crosses four climatic zones, beginning in tropical lowland before gradually shifting into Alpine meadows as you start to climb. The trek also involves navigating the world’s highest via ferrata, which, at 12,400ft, will get even the most hardened of hikers’ adrenaline pumping. The flora in Kinabalu is staggeringly diverse; no fewer than 5,000 plant species have been identified here, and a side trip to the area’s botanical gardens may throw up sightings of the rare rafflesia plant — the largest flower in the world.  

4. Tabin Wildlife Reserve

A mud volcano may not sound the most visually appealing, but such is its mineral content that this bubbling, oozing pit attracts a whole host of animals. An easy-to-follow, well-marked trail leads through Tabin Wildlife Reserve to an observation tower at its edge, from where you can see pygmy elephants dousing themselves in mud and bearded pigs wallowing in the shallows. One of Sabah’s biggest reserves, covering 485sq miles, Tabin is renowned for its exemplary breeding programme, and the nine species of primate that call this jungle home can often be spotted with babies in tow. Night safaris, meanwhile, offer a whole new perspective on the forest, where tiny, bug-eyed tapiers skitter up the trunks of ironwood trees and adorable slow lorises dangle from drooping branches. Temperatures soar in these humid, lowland rainforests, so cool off in Lipad Waterfall before continuing to explore.

5. Maliau Basin Conservation Area

Known as Sabah’s Lost World, the Maliau Basin Conservation Area is one of the few remaining pockets of untouched wildernesses on the planet. Bounded by an imposing escarpment plunging 6,000ft, access to the circular basin is almost impossible, providing protection from logging companies or those seeking to cultivate the land. The result: around 230sq miles of the deepest, darkest jungle, sliced through by the Maliau River and effectively an ecosystem in itself, where wildlife thrives, and you can see some of the rarest plants in the world. More than 80 types of orchids have been recorded in the basin, their appearance and colour varying wildly, from the tiny, snow-white epiphytic orchid to flowers as big as a hand with striking yellow-and-red petals. The word Maliau means ‘land of the giant staircase,’ derived from its step-like landscape and countless waterfalls. No less than 19 have been discovered so far, including a seven-tiered beauty at the mouth of the river that rises almost 100ft into the air.

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Where to Go in Malaysian Borneo: Sarawak or Sabah?

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Sarawak or Sabah? Malaysian Borneo's two states — divided by the independent country of Brunei — both have a lot to offer. Choosing between the two can be a challenge!

Seeing both Sarawak and Sabah is ideal and necessary for a rounded Borneo experience, but time is often against us. Sabah is usually brighter on the tourist radar, but Sarawak may turn out to be a better choice for your particular interests.

Scuba Diving

Where to Go: Sabah

Sabah has a generous amount of world-class diving destinations. Sipidan and Mabul Island on the east coast are famous for the superb diving.

Layan-Layang and Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park are closer to Kota Kinabalu and provide plenty of incredible action underwater. Although there are some undeveloped beaches in Sarawak, Sabah is a clear choice for diving and snorkeling .

TripSavvy / Jess Macdonald 

Where to Go: Sarawak and Sabah

There are opportunities to see semi-wild orangutans in both Sarawak and Sabah. After witnessing the antics of these intelligent creatures, you'll leave with a burden for their survivability.

Sarawak's Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre just outside of Kuching is smaller, cheaper, and typically less crowded than Sabah's more famous Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre.

Seeing wild orangutans in their natural habitat is a bit trickier, although both of Borneo's states offer opportunities.

Proboscis Monkeys

Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary in Sabah is the most convenient place to learn all about the endangered, floppy-nosed proboscis monkeys.

For a more adventurous experience in a wilder setting, you can visit Sukau just outside of Sandakan in Sabah. Lodges will help you arrange a boat trip down the Kinabatangan River to see wild proboscis monkeys — among many other types of wildlife — that live along the banks.

Rafflesia Flowers

Where to Go:  Sarawak and Sabah

Rafflesia flowers are the heaviest flowers in the world — and they smell rotten. Rather than relying on bees to cross pollinate, the rafflesia attracts flies with a smell that conjures death and decay.

The strange, other-worldy flowers bloom unpredictably when a tetrastigma vine — a wild member of the grape family — becomes infected by a particular parasite. Needless to say, this happens unpredictably and is a fairly rare occurrence.

The Rafflesia Information Centre in Sabah is the place to learn the most about Rafflesia flowers. You also have a chance to view flowers growing in the national park surrounding Mount Kinabalu.

In Sarawak, rafflesia flowers can be seen in Gunung Gading National Park. You'll need to ask at the park office in Kuching if any are currently in bloom.

Learning About Indigenous Culture

Where to Go: Sarawak

You'll learn lots about Dayak people and their former headhunting practices in the free, enjoyable museums dotted around Kuching .

The Sarawak Cultural Village just outside of Kuching has mock-up houses built in each of the traditional styles. An afternoon visit to the cultural village is an immersive, educational treat.

Fun Festivals

Sabah has plenty of festivals , but few can compare to the cultural experience and good fun offered by the three-day Rainforest World Music Festival.

Sarawak's biggest festival is held each summer at the Sarawak Cultural Village; Kuching becomes busy and buzzing during the festival.

Although Borneo may not seem the first pick for jazz culture, the Miri Jazz Festival in Sarawak attracts big performers from all over the world.

Stay in a Longhouse

Staying in a jungle longhouse with an indigenous family is an educational, humbling experience.

Although some longhouse stays are catered to tourists, you can still find authentic experiences in Sarawak. The most authentic Iban and Ulu longhouses are accessible only by river; you'll need to arrange a visit in advance through the local tourism board.

For proper etiquette, you'll need to present a gift (often a bottle of spirits or something not easy to get in the jungle) to the longhouse chief and give treats to the children.

Serious Climbing and Trekking

Climbing Mount Kinabalu in Sabah is a rite of passage for adventurous travelers to Borneo. The volcano towers to 13,435 feet and is the third tallest in Southeast Asia. While climbing the slopes doesn't require technical training or equipment, getting to the top takes a lot of physical stamina — and a permit.

You'll find smaller volcanoes such as Gunung Gading to tackle in Sarawak, but don't expect much of a view.

Gunung Mulu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the north of Sarawak near Brunei, is famous for its giant cave system. Getting there requires flying in on a small plane.

For an easier-to-reach experience, consider visiting Niah National Park near Miri for the famous caves there. Superb rainforest awaits when you're ready to surface.

Although Kuching is consistently building new shopping malls, Kota Kinabalu in Sabah has bigger malls, more markets, and plenty of boutique shops for satisfying shopping needs.

Malls may be good for rainy days, but fluorescent lighting isn't why you came to Borneo! Have a look in some of the local markets for a more interesting experience or consider waiting until you get back to Kuala Lumpur for some serious shopping .

How to Find Cheap Flights to Borneo

The 12 Best National Parks in Borneo

9 Top Destinations in Malaysian Borneo

One Week in Borneo: The Ultimate Itinerary

Your Trip to Borneo: The Complete Guide

The Top 12 National Parks in Malaysia

The Top 8 Things to Do in Malaysian Borneo

The Best Time to Visit Borneo

A Guide to Airports in Borneo

The 10 Best Places to Scuba Dive in Borneo

5 Places to See Orangutans in Borneo

Weather in Borneo: Climate, Seasons, and Average Monthly Temperature

The 10 Best Hikes in Borneo

The Top 12 Things to Do in Malaysia

The 11 Best Hotels in Borneo

Top 10 Tourist Destinations in Asia

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Welcome to Sabah Tourist.com.my

Sabah the heart of the Borneo and the Island that has plenty to offer to its visitors is gaining popularity day by day among the tourists worldwide.

Background

Visit Kota Kinabalu 2012

Kota Kinabalu is the capital of Sabah, the second largest state (out of thirteen) of Malaysia. It is the sixth largest urban center in Malaysia due to its population. Being the capital the city is the most industrially (and commercially) developed city in Sabah.

Sabah is a picturesque state of Malaysia

Sabah is a picturesque state of Malaysia; one of the thirteen that make up the whole country. This eastern most state is best known for its natural tropical beauty, a far reaching history and its art culture. Surprisingly, it is also known as the land below the wind, because of its closeness to the typhoon region of Philippines. Over the years, the popularity of this beautiful place has risen drastically, especially since people are looking for newer places to enjoy their vacations. From all around the world, people are also flocking to make this state their home due to the tranquility and the ever increasing number of reputed universities and colleges. Hence, for peace and nature lovers, this place is a must visit, and for those looking for a permanent solution to their unsettling life, this is their new home.

Read more: Sabah is a picturesque state of Malaysia

Sabah - The Land Below the Wind

About this website.

Our website is to promotes the Tourism in Sabah. Malaysia is the perfect mix of cultures, entertainment, all kinds of foods, various events celebrated there as well as the historical significance of places here. Our vision is to recommends you to visit the best place in Sabah and experience immense beauty on Earth.

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Thursday, 29 Feb 2024

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Steps taken to resolve water, power issues by Sabah govt, says Hajiji

Steps taken to resolve water, power issues by Sabah govt, says Hajiji

Hajiji urges state govt support from civil servants amidst early sabah polls speculation, cloud seeding urgently needed in sabah, says gagasan rakyat veep.

Bangkuai (second right) mingling with Singaporean travel agents and local tourism industry players.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah wants to further enhance its position in the Singapore tourism market, says Datuk Joniston Bangkuai.

The state Tourism, Culture and Environment Assistant Minister said familiarising Singaporean travel agents with the state's diverse range of products and destinations on a frequent basis was among the steps being taken.

“Sabah needs to capitalise on Singapore's status as a crucial aviation hub that caters to many international flights and travellers,” said Bangkuai, who is also Sabah Tourism Board (STB) chairman, on Thursday (Feb 29).

“Sabah, with its distinctive offerings, stands to benefit significantly by tapping into this vibrant market,” Bangkuai said.

He also encouraged business investors in Singapore to explore opportunities in Sabah's tourism sector.

The Meet-The-Experts programme, organised by Tourism Malaysia in collaboration with the Sabah Tourism Board and Sabah Trade and Tourism Office Singapore, is a targeted business-to-business (B2B) session.

It aimed to introduce Sabah's tourism products to 20 Singaporean travel agents. 26 local representatives, including travel agents, tourism product owners, and hoteliers from Sabah, participated.

Present were Tourism Officer from Tourism Malaysia Headquarters, Ahmad Faizal; Sabah Trade and Tourism Office Singapore Chief Executive Officer Wendy Clare Stephens; and Sabah Tourism Board Deputy Chief Executive Officer Tay Shu Lan.

Tags / Keywords: Tourism , Sabah , Singapore , Tourism Board , Joniston Bangkuai , Tourism Office

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About Sabah

Sabah, best of borneo.

Situated on the beautiful island of Borneo, Sabah is one of the thirteen states which Malaysia is made of. Sabah is the second largest state in Malaysia and shares the island of Borneo with Sarawak, Brunei, and Indonesian Kalimantan.

Sabah is richly blessed with nature diversity, unique cultures, fun adventure, beautiful beaches, and fantastic cuisines for the adventurous taste buds. We have it all, from the world’s largest flower – the Rafflesia, one of the highest mountains in South East Asia – Mount Kinabalu, to one of the world’s top dive sites – Sipadan Island. Sabah is also known for her great natural treasures which include the world-renowned Danum Valley Conservation Area and Tabin which is Sabah’s largest wildlife reserve.

Not only will you be amazed by the places to see and things to do here, you will also be treated with unique Sabahan hospitality. Explore the unique culture and tradition of Sabah and get ready to experience sweet memories to last a lifetime!

Borneo Island

Borneo is the third largest island in the world and is located at the centre of the Maritime Southeast Asia. This island is divided between Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei.

Nevertheless, for people outside of Indonesia, “Kalimantan” refers to the area which is occupied by Indonesia on the island of Borneo. Malaysia’s region of Borneo is called East Malaysia or Malaysian Borneo. The independent nation of Brunei occupies the remainder of the island, being the wealthiest of the rest.

Once known as North Borneo, Sabah was under the British colony during the late 19th century till the early 20th century. Sabah gained self-government on the 31st of August, 1963. Sabah, together with Malaya, Singapore and Sarawak formed the Federation of Malaysia on the 16th of September 1963.

People and Culture

There are more than 30 indigenous groups in Sabah with the largest non-indigenous ethnic group being the Chinese and the largest indigenous group being the Kadazan-Dusun people. Three other larger ethnic groups in Sabah are the Bajau, Murut and Rungus. Apart from the Sabahans’ very own diverse mother tongues, Bahasa Malaysia (national language) and English is widely spoken; Mandarin and some Chinese dialects are also widely spoken.

In Sabah, we greet people by saying “selamat datang” (welcome) and/or “terima kasih” (thank you) with a smile. Due to religious reasons, some may prefer not to have physical contact with others. However, a handshake is generally acceptable as a way of introducing oneself.

It’s customary to remove shoes before entering a mosque as well as homes. In places of worship, visitors are required to dress modestly. Nude sunbathing is not allowed and is very frowned upon. Avoid pointing your index finger at others, as this is considered rude in the local custom.

Before Your Travel

Sabah advisory, covid advisory, travel visa.

Travellers are advised to conduct due diligence on entry requirements.

Embassies / Consulates

While in sabah, where to stay, tour operators.

We advice all travellers to conduct due diligence when purchasing travel / tour packages.A list of licensed travel agent and tour operators are listed here:

General Info

Weather: Equatorial / Tropical Climate

Electricity and Powerpoint Plug type

230V / 50Hz (British Plug / Type G Plug)

Bahasa Malaysia is the national language however English and to some extent Mandarin is widely spoken.

Malaysian Ringgit (MYR)

E-wallets and Credit Cards are accepted however it is still advisable to have cash for transactions.

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Coffee shops usually open from 6am to 10pm

Malls 10am to 9pm

Offices: 9am to 5pm

We advise all travellers to dress modestly especially while visiting places of worship.

Quick links, events in sabah.

Kadaiku features a wide range of unique, traditional, functional, and innovative Sabah handmade handicrafts.

Reporting Fraud

Sabah too is not spared from scam travel packages. We advice each consumer to be vigilant on purchasing packages especially when the price seems ‘too good to be true’. Check on the operators licence:

Reporting Consumer Complaints

Immigration.

Immigration Department Malaysia -The Immigration office at Kota Kinabalu International Airport (24 hours Operations) at 088- 413657

The Star Online

Where are the preparations for Visit Malaysia Year 2026, MP asks Tourism Ministry

K UALA LUMPUR: With Visit Malaysia Year 2026 (VMY 2026) just two years away, an Opposition MP has taken the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry to task over a perceived lack of direction.

Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin (PN-Masjid Tanah) also claimed she had yet to see any preparations for VMY 2026.

“What is the tagline to be used to attract foreign tourists?

“What is the number of foreign tourists we plan to attract?

“How much revenue will we collect, and are there even official songs, logos or mascots?” she said when debating the motion of thanks on the royal address in the Dewan Rakyat on Monday (March 4).

ALSO READ: ‘Craft proper tourism strategies for VMY 2026’ (https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2024/03/01/craft-proper-tourism-strategies-for-vmy-2026)

Mas Ermieyati also questioned whether the VMY 2026 secretariat had been formed, adding that it had to involve the Public Services Department and the Finance Ministry to carry out its tasks in a consolidated manner.

“It has to involve a dedicated team, not just taking bits and pieces from everywhere.

“The team must place its full focus on VMY 2026,” she added.

ALSO READ: ‘We are all ambassadors’ (https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2023/11/02/we-are-all-ambassadors)

Mas Ermieyati also took a swipe at Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing, alleging the latter stirred controversy.

“We want to see the vision of the minister spearheading the ministry, especially for VMY 2026.

“Instead, we are served with controversies like the demotion of the Tourism Malaysia director-general and listing bak kut teh as a national heritage food,” she said.

Tourists is seen taking pamphlet at MATIC in Jalan Ampang on January 10 for story on check on the booking as local Malaysian or tourist grabing the booking of rooms.As Sabah and Sarawak will be the state eyeing from China tourist for this coming CNY. —AZMAN GHANI/The Star

IMAGES

  1. 38 Gorgeous Photos To Prove That Sabah Is Truly A Rare Gem Of Southeast

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  2. 25 best things to do in Sabah (Malaysia)

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  3. 25 best things to do in Sabah (Malaysia)

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  4. Here's Why Sabah Should Be Your Next Holiday Destination!

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  5. Sabah & Sarawak Travel Guide

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  6. Sabah tourism upbeat despite travel advisory

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COMMENTS

  1. Welcome to Sabah, North Borneo Official Tourism Website

    FLYING TO SABAH'S PREMIER GOLFING DESTINATIONS. Friday, June 2, 2023. Sabah, North Borneo official website offering travel destinations, map, activities, news and updates, accommodation listing, tourism directory listing for Sabah North Borneo.

  2. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Sabah

    3. Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary. Saw lots of proboscis monkeys, also silver leaf monkeys, hornbills and a monitor lizard. 4. Sandakan Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC) RDC is first and foremost an environmental education centre managed by the Sabah Forestry Department. It has been operating since 1997 but mainly for school visits and ...

  3. 25 best things to do in Sabah (Malaysia)

    Sabah is a diverse and ecotourism-rich state with protected jungles, tropical islands, cultural heritage and wildlife. Discover the best places to visit in Sabah, from the tallest mountain in Malaysia to the world's first UNESCO heritage site, from the famous Bornean sunset to the zipline across the islands.

  4. 10 Best Things To Do In Sabah, Malaysia, Including Less-Touristy Iconic

    Best things to do in Sabah, Malaysia in 2023 There's more to conquer in Sabah than just the majestic Mount Kinabalu. With attractions that let you explore the state's natural beauty - from its crystal-clear sea to the starry skies - there's certainly something for every type of traveller to discover there.

  5. Sabah travel

    Sabah. Malaysia, Asia. Sabah occupies a relatively small chunk of the world's third-largest island, Borneo, yet what a punch it packs: the treasure of turquoise-fringed desert islands with coral reefs swarming with marine biodiversity; trekkers' paradise Mt Kinabalu reaching 13435ft (4095m) into the clouds; and jungles pulsing with a ...

  6. Sabah 2024: All You Need to Go Before You Go

    Sabah Tourism: Tripadvisor has 174,493 reviews of Sabah Hotels, Attractions, and Restaurants making it your best Sabah resource. Skip to main content. Discover. Trips. ... Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. from $34/night. Bunga Raya Island Resort. 687. Pulau Gaya, Malaysia. from $261/night. Kinabalu Pine Resort. 460. Kundasang, Malaysia. from $44/night.

  7. 10 Best Things To Do In Sabah, Malaysia, Including Less-Touristy

    7. Take a trip to Japan at Hidden Hills Kundasang. 8. Go on a cruise through a wetland or on a lake to spot local wildlife. 9. Traverse Sabah's longest canopy walkway at Rainforest Discovery Centre. 10. Learn more about local culture & weave baskets at Marais Center. Best things to do in Sabah, Malaysia, in 2023.

  8. Honest Travel Guide to Sabah

    Climate. Malaysia is a tropical country with warm and humid climate (Humidity: 85-95%) throughout the year, so is Sabah, the temperatures are fairly constant, ranging from 32°C (90°F) in lowland to 21°C (70°F) in highland. Temperature can reach near freezing point in higher altitude of Mt. Kinabalu.

  9. Places to Visit in Sabah

    Sabah Tourism Sabah Hotels Sabah Guest House Sabah Holiday Homes Sabah Flights Sabah Restaurants Sabah Attractions Sabah Travel Forum Sabah Photos Sabah Map. ... Sabah, Malaysia. 110. On the Water. from ₹5,264. per adult. Manukan Island + Sapi or Mamutik Island Trip from Kota Kinabalu . 3. Full-day Tours. from ₹7,642. per adult. Island ...

  10. Sabah, Malaysia Tourism (2024) > Travel Guide, Best Places

    Sabah is a state in Borneo Island of Malaysia. Being an island state, it has a lot to offer to its adventurous travellers. The state is packed with rugged surface, lush green rainforests, diverse flora and fauna, magnificent mountains and a trove for divers and is well-suited for eco-tourism.

  11. THE 10 BEST Sabah Islands to Visit (Updated 2024)

    By kbzvdb. Just 30 minutes away (by boat) from Labuan Island, Malaysia. The island is such a wonderland. The beach around the... 14. Dolphin Island. Bodies of Water • Islands. 15. Sapi island, Sabah, Malaysia.

  12. Tours in Sabah: Top Destinations & Places to Visit in Sabah, Malaysia

    Sabah Tourism Board Property Giant Singapore. Amazing Borneo Tours & Events Sdn. Bhd ... , Jalan Asia City, 88000, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia Tel: (+6) 088-448409 Email: [email protected] Instant Book Now 👍 Limited Time Best Deals. Home; Sabah. Sabah. About Sabah; Getting to Sabah; Quick Facts about Sabah; People and Culture; Things ...

  13. Islands and Beaches

    Sabah has a host of captivating islands among which is Pulau Tiga Park, better known as 'Survivor Island' as it was featured in the TV reality show 'Survivor'. The islands of Layang Layang, Turtle Island, Mabul, Kapalai and Sipadan are outstanding diving sites in the region. Labuan, known as the 'International Garden Island of Borneo ...

  14. 5 hotspots for rainforest adventures in Sabah, Malaysia

    From walking the world's highest via ferrata in Kinabalu to witnessing more than 80 types of orchids in Maliau, read on for five of the best hotspots for rainforest adventures in Sabah, Malaysia ...

  15. Where to Go in Malaysian Borneo: Sarawak or Sabah?

    Sarawak's Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre just outside of Kuching is smaller, cheaper, and typically less crowded than Sabah's more famous Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. Seeing wild orangutans in their natural habitat is a bit trickier, although both of Borneo's states offer opportunities. 03 of 10.

  16. Home

    Sabah Tourism. Top 5 islands of Kota Kinabalu. ... DGGlobalCar: Discover the perfect Wedding Car For Rent in Malaysia. Elevate your special day with a touch of elegance and luxury, ensuring unforgettable moments. Introducing Greatocean, the premier engine oil distributor. Their wide range of motor oil, motocycle oil, grease, and industrial and ...

  17. Sabah: the good, bad and ugly sides to the Malaysian state

    Borneo is enormous - 672 Hong Kongs would fit into the world's third largest island - and is occupied by Indonesia, Brunei and Malaysia. The latter nation's Sabah state accounts for a ...

  18. Malaysia Truly Asia

    Indulge in an awe-inspiring adventure of a lifetime. Enjoy fun times with your family, explore the wilderness and taste the mouth-watering cuisine of Malaysia. Island. &. Beaches. Culture. &. Heritage.

  19. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Semporna

    See full details. 2023. 10. Tropical Research And Conservation Centre. 154. Scuba & Snorkelling. TRACC is a conservation organisation on Pom Pom Island near Semporna, about 50km north of Sipadan, Mabul and Kapali. With volunteer divers who stay for 1-12 weeks, we are protecting the reef by replanting the coral reef, protecting the sharks and ...

  20. Home

    Sabah - The Land Below the Wind. Sabah the heart of the Borneo and the Island that has plenty to offer to its visitors. Lush rainforests, sub-aquatic splendour, magnificent mountains, colourful cultures. Sabah is a rugged place for adventurers, a playground for divers, and a trove for anyone with the adventure to explore.

  21. Sabah committed to enhancing tourism ties with Singapore

    The Meet-The-Experts programme, organised by Tourism Malaysia in collaboration with the Sabah Tourism Board and Sabah Trade and Tourism Office Singapore, is a targeted business-to-business (B2B ...

  22. MOHE aligning more courses related to tourism, oil & gas, TVET in Sabah

    "But (the ministry) is looking from the standpoint of Sabah's rising tourism and we have a view to encourage courses related to tourism, oil and gas and TVET in Sabah," he said after visiting Sandakan Polytechnic and Sandakan Community College (KKS) here today.

  23. About Sabah

    Malaysia's region of Borneo is called East Malaysia or Malaysian Borneo. The independent nation of Brunei occupies the remainder of the island, being the wealthiest of the rest. Once known as North Borneo, Sabah was under the British colony during the late 19th century till the early 20th century. Sabah gained self-government on the 31st of ...

  24. Deputy minister: Higher Education Ministry moots more courses related

    SANDAKAN, March 2 — The Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) is looking into the viability of increasing the number of courses related to tourism, oil and gas and Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) in Sabah. Its Deputy Minister Datuk Mustapha Sakmud said as the fields are growing in ...

  25. Senarai Kementerian di Malaysia

    Jabatan Pendaftaran Pertubuhan Malaysia: RoS: Eastern Sabah Security Command: ESSCom: Jabatan Sukarelawan Malaysia: RELA: Institut Keselamatan Awam Malaysia: IPSOM: ... Tourism Malaysia: Tourism Malaysia: Istana Budaya: Akademi Seni Budaya dan Warisan Negara: ASWARA: Perbadanan Kemajuan Kraftangan Malaysia:

  26. Where are the preparations for Visit Malaysia Year 2026, MP asks ...

    KUALA LUMPUR: With Visit Malaysia Year 2026 (VMY 2026) just two years away, an Opposition MP has taken the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry to task over a perceived lack of direction. Read full ...