“ Country: Malaysia / Country Region: Sabah / World Region: South East „
having spent 10 years of my childhood in Sabah before moving to the U.K and continuing to visit it on a regular basis i can say Sabah offers a wide range of activities and adventure for any traveler.
The start of most peoples journeys will be in Kota Kinabalu it is a city that seems to always be being rebuilt each year and i guess is a shoppers delight!there is a market near the harbour that should be visited mainly for the experience and you can get some bargains.
Off the coast though and only 30min by boat are the Islands that have some excellent some excellent diving areas with abundant sealife, the Islands themselves have a lot of wild life on them be wary on one of them as they have some cheeky monkeys!on a couple of islands like Pulau manukan there are hotels for people to stay in although you may have to book way ahead to have any chance.
Backpacking estblishments are taking off in a big way now in KK and there are plenty of different rated hotels that people can stay in depending on their needs.
travelers who are feeling a bit adventures can go White Water rafting on the Padi river, best times to go are when there are usually a large amount of rain a couple of days before to get the best out of it
Another thing you cannot ignore is Mount Kinabalu, you can actually climb it and is a must thing to do if you are fit , its an easy climb in climbing terms but prepartion is key and please take the items that they ask you to bring when book your climb or you will regret it!the climb takes 2 days and you can spend one nite in the hostel which has its shop and kitchen.Once to the summit take in the views and on a good day it feels like you are looking at the whole country.
Sepilok should also be placed on you list to visit, its near sandakan and has the Orang Utan Center which has featured in many wildlife programs, you can see them being fed twice daily in the morning and at night, should you feel generous why not adopt one!other animals are also in the reserve so feel free to look around.
Dining out is a fantastic way to experience the many influences different cultures have brought to this country, you can litteraly never have the same meal the intire time you are there, there are malay, indian, chinese, japanese, sri lankan etc
This is only a small selection of the reasons why you should visit Sabah, the people are friendly, you will bring back lots of memories and stories and it caters to any traveler wether they be a backpacker or a general tourist i cannot recoment it high enough
Last summer I had my first experience of travelling outwith Europe and North America. My friend and I spent 4 weeks in Sabah, and 1 week in the neighbouring state of Sarawak. There was an abundance of activities for tourists, and it was all very very cheap too. My advice would be to use the Lonely Planet guide to arrange your own trips and accomodation, rather than booking tours from home. This works out a lot cheaper, and it is very easy to do. Sabah is fairly easy to get to-we flew to singapore, and from there, got a bus to johur bahru, and a flight from there to kota kinabalu in sabah. ahem...i would recommend getting the airconditioned bus from singapore to johur bahru..its only an extra 60p or so, and it saves sitting with your rucksack on your knee for nearly an hour and a half! I have learnt my lesson Flights are really cheap...i think that one was about £40, and then any further internal flights were only about £15-20 single. Needless to say we did a lot of flying. You can usually get buses too, but i dont think its worth the extra time. The main activities which I enjoyed were: Sepilok orang utan sanctuary in Sandakan, and Uncle Tan's jungle camp(trip down river to spend the night in the jungle). Uncle tan charges 15 ringgit per night(about 3 pounds) for accomodation and 3 delicious meals...his banana pancakes r amazing. He will also organise your trip to jungle camp once you get to Sandakan, and provide transport to the orang utan sanctuary. See Lonely Planet for details. Other things which you can arrange from Kota Kinabalu are white water rafting, and trips to some of the beaches in the National Park just off the coast, where you can dive, snorkel and sunbathe. There are also lots of pubs and clubs in KK...altohugh as a girl, i was glad there was a big group of us- i dont think I would have felt safe with just one other person. Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain in South East Asia. Again,this is easy
to arrange, and the satisfaction on reaching the top is well worth the effort. it also works out fairly inexpensive. From the capital of Sabah-Kota Kinabalu, you can arrange the whole thing. We managed to get a min bus with driver to drive 5 of us to Mt Kinabalu, and he stopped for us to take pictures, to buy fruit, and also to go to Poring Hot springs, and a canopy walkway in the jungle. This only costs us about £6 each(5 of us altogehter) to hire the bus for the whole weekend. Pulau Sipadan is good for diving but the resort is expensive(and there was a kidnap last year!) Sabah is a great holiday destination, especially for students as the cost of living is so cheap..only a few pounds a day for food and accomodaiton.
Having lived in the region for several years and visited many parts of Malaysia, I must recommend Sabah without hesitation. People visiting Malaysia go to Kuala Lumpur, which is OK, but not so interesting, or to Penang, which is lovely, or to Langkawi, which is OK. But very few people go to Sabah! It's the part of Malaysia whick occupies the northern tip of Borneo. More people go to Sarawak than Sabah, but they are the ones who are missing out. Sabah has everything. You can climb the highest mountain in SE Asia (Kinabalu), walk in the rain forest (National Parks), go snorkelling or diving (East or West Coast), visit longhouses, see orang-utans, do white-water rafting, jungle trekking, etc etc. There is nowhere else in Malaysia with scenery like Sabah or that has such diverse and interesting flora and fauna. And there's no need to rough it - there are perfectly comfortable hotels, bus services, taxis, restaurants etc at every level of luxury. The main airport is Kota Kinbalu and is easily reached via either Kuala Lumpur or Singapore. Climbing Mount Kinabalu takes about three days. And if you are lucky you can see the world's largest (and smelliest) flower in bloom. I know that recently tourists were taken hostage from Pulau Sipadan on Sabah's east coast, but don't let that put you off. There's plenty more besides Sipadan, which, incidentally, is simply the best snorkelling and diving I have ever seen ... and that includes Seychelles, Bahamas, Middle East, Mediterranean, Australia, East Africa....
Sabah in East Malaysia is a wonderful place to visit if you are keenon nature and wildlife. In particular I would heartily recommend a short stay at the delightful Sepilok Nature Resort which is located only 24 kms from the town of Sandakan,which was previously the capital of British North Borneo. The Sepilok Resort nestles among swaying palms and giant tropical trees and is a fabulous gateway to the world renowned Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre.This is the biggest rehabilitation centre for Orang Utan- Borneo's Man of the Forest- in the world and is a must see spot if you are visiting Sabah. \ The Orang Utan are fed twice daily at 10.OO am and again at 3.00 pm and the sanctauary is a mere 5 minutes walk from Sepilok Nature Resort. You can also go jungle trekking and see the diversity of trees,climbing plants,ferns and other flora and fauna. If you are lucky you might also just see some playful gibbons, Orang Utans or snakes.There are a wide range of bird species as well found on and beneath the different canopies of trees. The Resort itself is a pleasant place which has been sensitively designed. There are timber chalets and a biggish centre which houses a restaurant,lounge,covered terraces and sundeck overlooking a natural lake.All in all a good retreat from the stresses and strains of modern life.
The word 'pulau' in Malay languange means 'island'. Pulau Manukan is situated near Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah. It is the most beautiful of all islands surrouding the coast of Kota Kinabalu. To get to the island, you need to take a speed boat from Kota Kinabalu, journey takes less than half an hour and costs only a few ringgit (Ringgit Malaysia) per passenger. The island is small, with limited facilities. There's no hotel on the island. A few resort houses are available if tourists would like to stay over night on the island. There are huts along the beach where you can hire equitments like canoes and life-jackets. The beach is fantastic, with white sand, crystal clear water and lots and lots of rainbow coloured fishes. Snorkelling is a must. Jungle tracking would be fun too. Or at least go to the end of the jetty and feed the fishes that accasionally jump out of the water. There are seasons when all kinds of water sports are not allowed on the beach. I had been to the beach at one time like this. There were thousands of jelly fish lying on the beach and thousands more in the water. It was the season when jelly fish come rushing into the beach. Other fishes are all gone and the whole beach was surrounded by only jelly fish --- a real eye-opener.
Sabah, or N Borneo as it used to be called, is part of Malaysia and is a great place. I was in two minds whether to mention this in case everyone flocks there and spoils it ! it has something for everyone. The main resort areas are around the main town - Kota Kinabalu - and have good hotels, excellent beaches and small islands offshore to explore. KK has a small museum and lots of shopping opportunities - especially the night market and the Philipino market. For the energetic there is Mount Kinabalu which you can walk up in a couple of days or visit halfway up by coach. The best bit of Sabah for me however entails a flight from KK to the other side of the state to Sepilok. This is a small unsuprising town but just outside is an Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre. Here you are virtually guaranteed to see Orangs as they come down to the feeding centre. There ar also usually one or two youngsters around the centre who haven;t quite "left home" so it is very advisable to make use of the lockers offered and leave eberything there (except camersa of course). You are not allowed to touch the Orang but they can touch you and the youngsters are adept at searching pockets even if this means undoing buttons. Perhaps also you will be lucky as we were when a wild adult female came down to the path and sat next to us to show off her new tiny baby.
Sabah is the second largest state in Malaysia and generally, a mountainous state, with its grand feature, Mount Kinabalu, the highest peaks in South East . Sabah is also home of the Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary located at Sepilok Forest Reserve, which covers an area of 4,000 hectares, it provides the Orang Utan with a protected environment.