Want to discover a true gem of Borneo? Head towards the engaging yet undiscovered state, Sabah and find what awe-inspiring places you can’t miss.
If you want to see most of the elements of Borneo in a shorter span, Sabah is the Malaysian state you should spend time at. This growing tourist destination is a delightfully packed state with exotic culture, incredible wildlife, never-seen natural beauty and a punch of endless adventures. For visitors, there are myriad of places depending on the personal tastes- few visit the National parks, few enjoy a laid-back time by the beaches while others dive into the sea to explore the marine life. There never is a dull moment in this state, plus it is immensely proud of owning the highest mountain peak in the country. Yes, you can hike the tallest mountain of Malaysia- needless to say, it is breathtaking!
Here is the rundown of the best places to visit in Sabah, ready to woo you-
1. Mari Mari Cultural Village
Location: Inanam, 88450 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
Blending 5 ethnic tribes and preserving the authentic culture of Borneo, this village is situated amidst the rainforests. It is like a living museum which shares the knowledge and information of the local culture and traditions.
What to do?
- Hear out the fascinating stories from descendants about how they live and their spiritual beliefs.
- Join in their traditional experiences like blowing the Murut blowpipe weapon, and other heart-heart-warming activities.
- The in-house guide helps you in relaxed sightseeing around the houses.
- Watch their enthralling demonstration of how they hunt, made fire and cooked in the old days.
2. Danum Valley
Location: Lahad Datu, Sabah, Malaysia
Whether you are a photographer or not, this site will bring out the skills in you. Because this region looks bewildering. Listed as one of the premium Sabah attractions, it shows the finest eco-side of Borneo. It is home to exceptional animals, boasts refreshing nature, grows undisturbed tropical rainforest and recognises outstanding ecological diversity. For your convenient stay, there are huge choices of accommodation from VIPs to budget travellers.
What to Do?
- Stay at the luxury Borneo Rainforest Lodge to cherish the amazing aspects and spectacle of the Danum Valley Conservation Area.
- Discover Orangutan, the man of the forest.
- Say hello to the extravagant Sabah wildlife like Sun Bears at Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre.
- Glide along in an afternoon or night river cruise.
3. Mount Kinabalu
Location: Ranau, Sabah, Malaysia
Want to try something world-class? Set your foot on the tallest peak of Malaysia, Mount Kinabalu. What makes reaching this granite top (mostly covered in the wisps of clouds) exciting, is the path through which you trek. There is a gorgeous set of flora and fauna on different altitudes and it is mesmerising to discover them. The hikers and tourers who are rooting for this expedition and can’t wait to be here should join an organised tour in advance because the limited places here sell out months before.
What to do?
- Hike on the jaw-dropping height of 4,095 metres (13,435 feet), that gives you a bird-eye view of the state.
4. Kinabalu Park
Location: 89300 Ranau, Sabah, Malaysia
Since we mentioned about the third largest mountain, Kinabalu, its other commendable fact is that it is safeguarded in the first World Heritage Site of the country, Kinabalu Park. Being gateway to this impressive mountain, the park opens doors to both the adventure enthusiasts and the nature lovers. Now, this is going to be mind-boggling- there are 4500 species of Flora and Fauna, 1200 species of Orchids, 40 species of Oaks, 326 birds, over 100 species of mammals and almost 110 land snail species.
What to do?
- Dive into the Poring Hot Springs, which is famous for therapeutic properties that heal your body and rejuvenates your mind.
- Visit the stunning and rare Butterfly Farm.
- Heard about the World’s largest flower, Rafflesia? Spot it right here. (Also read more interesting facts about Sabah and rest of Malaysia).
- Set your picnic at the Kipungit Waterfall.
5. Tunku Abdul Rahman Park
Location: Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Either you have a few hours on your downtime or few days, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park is one of the enchanting tourist place. It is a cluster of 5 islands- Pulau Gaya, Pulau Sapi, Pulau Manukan, Pulau Mamutik and Pulau Sulug. It is defined by turquoise water, coral reefs and vibrant ambience. All the islands are at a little distance away from each other which you measure by the boat.
What to do?
- Indulge in snorkelling, parasailing, scuba diving and other activities in these crystal clear water.
- Spend your day in the only resort of the marine reserve island, Manukan Island.
- Do kayaking like never before on the glass-bottomed kayak.
- Participate in the jungle walk.
6. Selingan Turtle Island
Location: Selingan Island, Malaysia
Escape from busy life and spend hours of tranquillity in the quaint island that is nesting beach and breeding ground for the turtles, especially the endangered ones. You can meet the world’s most ancient reptile, the Green turtles and also come across the Hawksbill Turtles. The island features park’s headquarters, expansive tourist amenities, comfortable accommodation and a turtle hatchery.
What to Do?
- Stroll around and stop by the turtle hatchery and visitors’ centre.
- Grab a camera as you can stumble upon the rare scenes of a turtle laying eggs.
- Relish and revel in the water doing scuba diving and snorkelling.
7. Sipadan National Park
Location: Semporna, Malaysia
Reputed for the diversity of marine life, the only oceanic island in Malaysia formed by living corals emerging on the top of a volcanic cone, Sipadan National Park is one of the most attractive spots in the state.
What to do?
- There’s a restricted number of divers allowed in the water, but the experience is marvellous. And that is why it is also called as the dive Mecca.
- You can swim along humphead fish, barracuda, and giant turtle under the water.
- You can find eggs laid across the beach.
- It has a rising ocean bed- thanks to coral and marine that this gives you a spellbinding scene to click.
8. Tip of Borneo
Location: Simpang Menggayau, Tip of Borneo, 89050 Kudat, Sabah, Malaysia
Borneo is the third largest island in the world- don’t we want to reach its northernmost tip and shout our heart loud? Well, the tip of Borneo is at the confluence of two big oceans, the South China Sea and the Sulu Sea. What’s more gripping is the fact that where you stand admiring the view, used to be the watch-point for pirate invasion hundreds of years ago. And the entry is FREE!
What to do?
- Capture the background of beautiful countryside, ecstatic sunset and ocean waves hitting the cliffs
- You can snap a picture of yourself as you climb down the slope and walk to the tip.
- Wander around and you will discover flagpole and globe monument near the end.
- Visit the wonderful Kalampunian Beach.
Do tell us how you felt the next time you are in Sabah. Before that Book your Malaysia tourist visa now!