Beyond the adorable faces of baby orang utans and the lush verdant jungles that are older than the Amazon, there are other parts of Sabah waiting to be explored. Whether you are a nature enthusiast, a wildlife aficionado, a bargain hunter or a beach lover, Sabah will wow you with its immense diversity and astounding versatility.
Listed are the seven things that Sabah has got to offer in no particular order:
If you’re the kind who is always looking for the next adrenaline fix, rest assured that Sabah is the right place for you! Teeming with a string of adventurous locations and activities, don’t miss a chance to experience Mount Kinabalu on the via Ferrata trail, which is sure to take your breath away. Hankering for some slash splashy fun? Go on an extreme white water rafting trip at Padas River (Class III – IV) and feel your heart thumping in your mouth! Want more? Make your way to Zip Borneo in Kiulu where you can do a myriad of activities such as abseiling across the Kiulu River, wall climbing, and much more.
Nature and wildlife always go hand in hand – in a land that is blessed with natural splendour such as Sabah, there are plenty of opportunities to get in touch with nature and go wildlife-spotting while you’re at it. For an unforgettable wildlife encounter, make Kinabatangan your next pit stop and go on a river cruise where you can spot harems of proboscis monkeys prancing from tree branches, flocks of colourful birds gliding in the sky and herds of pygmy elephants feeding by the riverbanks! Also, don’t forget to pay the Orang Utans a visit at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre or go on the Tabin Wildlife Reserve nature trail for a sneak peak of the endangered Sumatran Rhino.
Strap on your hiking boots and go a-trekking in the great Sabahan outdoors! Explore Sabah’s Lost World, Maliau Basin and witness the majestic beauty of the seven-tier Maliau Falls as you bask in the rawness of nature, which is at 130 million years old, is believed to be older than the Amazon or the Congo jungle. One of the most biodiverse conservation areas in the world – with over 200 species of trees per hectare thriving on its land – the undisturbed Danum Valley Conservation Area makes a perfect destination for the hardcore naturalist, offering natural scenery unlike any other. Love spelunking? Make a trip to the Gomantong Cave in Sandakan, which is both an extraordinary nature destination and also ‘the best-managed edible bird’s’ nest cave in the world’ according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
Serious fun calls for an equally serious dose of pampering for the mind, body and soul. For the best decompressing experience opulent enough to suit a queen’s fancy, opt for CHI, the Spa at Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resorts & Spa. After a long day of shopping, stretch your legs at Hakod Oasis Day Spa at Warisan Square, which true to its name (hakod means feet in Dusun), specializes in giving your overworked feet suitable rejuvenating treatments to get them up and dancing again. Want something authentically Sabah? Make reservations at Jari Jari Spa at Tanjung Aru Plaza – an award-winning spa that is famous for its renowned Dusun Lotud Inan (the paddy field massage) therapy.
Party All Night Long
After hours in Sabah is never a dull affair, especially with the wide array of pubs and clubs around KK City. For a laidback evening out over a few mugs of beers or margaritas with your close friends, head over to The KK Waterfront – one of the hippest casual hangout places in Sabah with pubs such as The Loft, B.E.D and Shamrock Irish Bar. For a combo of great music and great crowd, you can always count on Shenanigan’s Fun Pub at Hyatt Regency, KK to have a great time.
When in Sabah, don’t miss out on authentic souvenir items and delicious local titbits to bring home! For a great selection of Sabahan souvenirs at unbeatable prices, head on to the KK Handicraft Market, located next to the KK Waterfront and make your picks. If an early Sunday morning walk on a bustling street gets your boat floating, be sure to visit the Gaya Street Sunday Market for great sights, sounds, bargains and local food fares. Of course, in Sabah the shopping comes special together with a cultural experience, so make time to visit the weekly district tamu (open markets) where you can buy unique merchandize and mingle with friendly locals.
Ah, the look of a horizon so blue with waters so clear and sands so white! Scuba divers and beach bums will simply revel in the oceanic biodiversity and the gorgeous beaches on Sabah’s islands. Must-visit destinations include Mataking Island, Pom Pom Island, Lankayan Island and Mabul Island – in addition to the ever-popular Sipadan Island. Scrimped on time and budget? Have no fear as the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park is located merely 20 minutes away from KK via speedboat!