With a blend of stunning natural wonders and fascinating local culture, the Malaysian State of Sabah is an adventurous traveler’s paradise. Sabah is the second-largest state of Malaysia after Sarawak. Its capital city is Kota Kinabalu. It can be reached by air plane (via Kota Kinabalu International Airport), by car and by boat.
Sabah Map (Click to enlarge)
Malaysia’s Sabah, which shares the island of Borneo with Brunei and Indonesia, draws around 3 million visitors a year to its famous mountain, trekking, wildlife and dive sites. It is also the home of 32 different ethnic groups with distinct languages, cultures and cuisines. Sabah was given the nickname “The Land below the Wind” by sailors, thanks to the fact that it lies below the monsoon and typhoon belt, keeping it generally out of the path of adverse weather conditions.
Perhaps Sabah’s most famous attractions is Mount Kinabalu; at 4,095 meters high. It is know as the “Roof of Southeast Asia”. Kinabalu Park, at more that 750 square kilometers, offers trekking trails through dense jungles. And for divers and lovers of the sea, Sabah offers incredible locations such as Sipadan Island, which Jacques Cousteau called “an untouched piece of art”.
Sabah also offers a great diversity of wildlife and nature tourism. The Labili-Sepilok Forest Reseve is a can’t-miss destination with its Rainforest Discovery Center and Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center, home to around 60 to 80 orphaned orangutans. There are more than 200 bird species and a huge range of flora over the 5,666 hectares of the forest reserve, including around 250 local orchid species and the biggest flower in the world, the Rafflesia arnoldii. Visitors can hike along trails or manmade roads that offers an impressive view of the tropical forest from 28 meters above the ground. At night, it is possible to spot wild animals such as deer species, civets, the tiny primate tarsier, birds and many species of insects.
Other key attractions in Sabah are Sipadan Islands, Danum Valley, Pulau Tiga Island and so many more. After a busy day of diving, climbing and exploring, Sabah offers countless opportunities to simply relax and enjoy magical island sunsets or stunning mountain vistas.