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Indulge in the Enchanting Sabah!

Destinations
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Be captivated by one of the most biodiverse destinations in the world

Magnificent view of Mount Kinabalu from Panataran River in Kota Belud (Photo by Chong Chao Sheng)

Situated on the northern part of Borneo in Malaysia, Sabah is a destination filled with exotic, diverse, and unique cultures, beaches and food. It is the complete destination for business and leisure. Sabah is gifted with white sandy beaches, crystal clear water and hundreds of islands. These islands are well-known for scuba diving, water sports, snorkelling or just for plain relaxing. Some have planned destination weddings by the beaches, against a backdrop of beautiful sunsets.

As a start, you could visit Kota Kinabalu, Sabah’s state capital. Popularly known as KK among the locals, one of the locations you must visit when in KK is the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park which comprises Sapi, Gaya, Manukan, Sulug and Mamutik Islands. The five islands are located between KK and there is even a 250m zipline from Gaya Island to Sapi island using the Coral Flyer for a taste of adventure.

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Beautiful sunset, perfect for romantic getaway (Photo by Kim Seung Woo)
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Coral Flyer (Photo by G Woolley)
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Bajau horsemen in their traditional attire (Photo by Clement Liew)

The state is also blessed with a rich cultural heritage with more than thirty different races and ethnicities. All these different groups live together and form a homogenous community, where they still retain their customs, traditions, arts, and festivals. Pay a visit to the Mari Mari Cultural Village which homes the Kadazan-Dusun, Rungus, Lundayeh, Bajau, and Murut tribes. At the village, you can grab a chance to see the making of different types of rice wine, clothes made from the jackfruit bark, witness the blowpipe demonstration and fire-starting demonstration using bamboo, as well as an in-depth look at the mystical symbolism of the cultural activities. Don’t forget to also sample the Sabahan traditional delicacies from each ethnic group.

Sabah also takes pride in its mountains with the top three highest mountains in Malaysia are all located in Sabah, namely, Mount Kinabalu (4,095 metre), Mount Trusmadi (2,642 metre) and Mount Tambayukon (2,579m). The mystical Mount Kinabalu, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. Mount Kinabalu is one of the youngest mountains in the world (between 7-8 million years) and this granite mountain is still growing. It is a bio-diverse hotspot that houses an astonishing world-records such as the highest plant diversity globally per unit area, the world’s largest flower - Rafflesia, and even the world’s largest leech! Climbing Mount Kinabalu is a popular activity for visitors. Extreme adventure seekers can opt for the Via Ferrata (or iron road) at Mount Kinabalu. The Via Ferrata here is the world’s highest at 3,776 metre.

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The summit, Low's Peak of Mount Kinabalu (Photo by Rodrigo Illan Garcia)

Diving is big in Sabah, where the jewel Sipadan Island, being one of the top-rated dive spots in the world is found. At neighbouring islands such as Mabul, Kapalai, Mataking and Pom Pom islands, large marine life and tiny sea creatures and colourful corals and reef are guaranteed to amaze everyone. At these islands, a variety of resorts await. There is also the Tun Sakaran Marine Park with its mysterious and legendary Bohey Dulang, a trademark of the Semporna seas. A hike up Bohey Dulang is a must, rewarding you with stunning views upon reaching the top, a perfect insta-worthy spot to capture the enchanting moment at the peak.

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Crystal clear water Mabul Island (Photo by Kim Chong Keat
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Sabah offers great diving and snorkelling spots (Photo by Borneo Divers)

Sandakan is the wildlife capital for Sabah. The familiar Orangutan at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Sanctuary is a must-visit. It offers a less rugged experience where visitors can view, from a platform, how rescued Orangutans are nursed and released back into the wild. Next to it, the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre nurses adorable sun bears. The Rainforest Discovery Centre located within the vicinity has a long canopy walkway for an opportunity to sight 250 species of birds and one of the few places to see the Giant Red Flying Squirrel.

Want more of a wildlife adventure cruise? Then head on to Kinabatangan River for an amazing jungle cruise! Other than being home to Borneo’s indigenous Orangutan and proboscis monkey, the surrounding forest at Kinabatangan River is also one of only two known places in the world where 10 species of primates are found. All the eight species of hornbill found in Borneo make this area their home. A trip up the river at dawn or dusk is the best opportunity to see the wildlife. You might even sight a herd of the Bornean pygmy elephants wandering through the trees.

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Orangutan (Photo by Heinz Rickers)
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Proboscis monkey (Photo by Ramble and Wander)

A scenic and beautiful view of the countryside with a cultural experience makes it an ideal getaway for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Sharing their way of life to travellers, activities that are offered by the communities include paddy planting and harvesting, rubber tapping, river fishing, playing of traditional instruments and games, production of traditional handicrafts, cooking of local dishes and many more. So why not participate in a community-based tour that allows you to immerse yourself in the local culture, delivering you an authentic and rewarding experience while giving back to the community.

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Spectacular sunrise view of the paddy field in Tambunan (Photo by Mohd Erwin bin Mohd Ussdek)

Log on to sabahtourism.com for information on other amazing attractions in Sabah.

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