Pic by Amelia Robert Welcome to Sabah — land of adorable orangutans, handsome proboscis monkeys and waddling pygmy elephants! Here you will encounter a chock-full of surprises, from wildlife encounters to flavourful dishes. Sabahans are also some of the most effervescent people that you’ll ever meet. So, be excited as we bring you an in-depth […]

Pic by Amelia Robert

Welcome to Sabah — land of adorable orangutans, handsome proboscis monkeys and waddling pygmy elephants! Here you will encounter a chock-full of surprises, from wildlife encounters to flavourful dishes. Sabahans are also some of the most effervescent people that you’ll ever meet. So, be excited as we bring you an in-depth guide to a Sabahan good time!

City Tour

Take a city tour to visit the famous landmarks in Kota Kinabalu such as the Tun Mustapha Tower, Puh Toh Tze Temple, Sabah Museum, Lok kawi Wildlife Park, and other places of attraction. For dinner, try out the fresh seafood, succulent satay, and various types of local fruits and drinks.

Get to know the ancient Kadazan headhunters at the Monsopiad Cultural Village in Penampang, which houses the 42 ‘trophy’ skulls of the legendary warrior, Monsopiad.

Going for a scenic drive outside the city? Drop by Tenom and visit the Sabah Agriculture Park which houses numerous gardens such as the Orchid Garden that contains 400 out of 1,500 orchid species in Borneo, as well as rich varieties of other flora.

No trip to Sabah is complete without a visit to the Tanjung Simpang Mengayau, dubbed the Tip of Borneo—the meeting point between the South China Sea and Sulu Sea—a place with breathtaking sights and wonders.

Most Popular Tours

Snorkeling at Redang Island

Day 1: Go island hopping at Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. This island park is the most frequently visited Marine Park in Sabah; you can enjoy a wide range of watersports activities from snorkeling and swimming to diving here.

Day 2: Visit the Kinabalu Park, Malaysia’s first World Heritage Site, where the majestic Mount Kinabalu is located. On the way down, swing by to Poring Hot Springs and relax in the natural hot springs.

Day 3: Check out the peculiar-looking proboscis monkeys at the Weston Wetland. At night, witness the breathtaking ‘Summer Christmas Tree’, a natural wonder formed by thousands of twinkling fireflies.

Island Trip

With an abundance of islands fringed with white sandy beaches and sparkling azure waters, Sabah is a haven for beach bums.

For the best of diving and snorkeling, head over to Semporna—home of the world-famous island of Sipadan—an underwater ‘Amazon’ in the Celebes Sea with over 3,000 species of fish and hundreds of coral species within its ecosystem.

Besides Sipadan, Semporna also has many other world class diving destinations such as Mabul, Mataking, and Kapalai islands.

Enjoy Nature and Wildlife

Wildlife Encounters at the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehab Centre in Sandakan, Sabah - Rustic Borneo

One of the must-dos for tourists in Sabah is to climb the majestic Mount Kinabalu—one of the highest mountains in Southeast Asia. Not a climber? Relish the beauty of nature in Kinabalu Park, enjoy a natural hot spring dip at Poring Hot Springs, or go on a river cruise in Klias.

For wildlife lovers, make your trip to ‘Nature City’ Sandakan to visit the Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary or take a cruise down the Kinabatangan River—a place with the largest concentration of wildlife in the South East Asian region. To see how turtle conservation activities are conducted, visit the turtle hatchery at the Turtle Island Park.

Bird watching enthusiasts take heed! Don’t forget to visit the Rainforest Discovery Centre where over 280 resident and migratory species of Bornean birds are spottable. For some exciting caving adventure, make your way to Gomantong Cave.

For hard core nature lovers, make your way to Danum Valley Conservation Area—a several million-years-old rainforest which is older than Amazon.

Fancy a natural wildlife safari? Tabin Wildlife Reserve—which boasts the largest mud volcano and shelters a myriad of endangered wildlife such as Pygmy elephants and Sumatran rhinos—is the place to go.

If you love jungle trekking, go to Tawau Hills Park—a rainforest park where the world’s tallest tropical tree resides.

For some intriguing and mystical jungle experience, explore the depths of Maliau Basin, nicknamed ‘Sabah’s Lost World’, and embrace the beauty of lush Bornean rainforest!

Eat!

Food glorious food! With its vibrant culture, Sabah offers a diverse array of cuisines for everyone ranging from local, Chinese, Malay, Western and multi-continental selections. When in Sabah, be sure to sample some of the most delectable Sabah favourites such as bak kut teh, satay, ngiu chap and laksa. To make your gastronomic adventure simpler, sign up for our Kota Kinabalu City Food Tour!

Leisure



Looking for a spa-tastic time, Sabah style? Be sure to book yourself a healing traditional Borneo massage treatment inspired by the techniques of elderly women in the rural areas of Sabah.

For a dose of retail therapy, head to shopping centres around Sabah such as Imago Mall, the latest and most modern addition to Sabah’s array of shopping malls. For fresh produce, local handicrafts, and a dose of Sabahan acculturation, visit the weekly tamu (open air market).

Looking for special souvenirs to bring home? Head over to the KK Handicraft Market or Gaya Street Sunday Market for some excellent yet affordable picks, ranging from colourful embroidered cloths to stunning beaded accessories.

With its awe-inspiring natural backdrop and undulating terrain, Sabah is a golfer’s haven! Tee off at the Dalit Bay Golf & Country Club, an award-winning 18-hole golf course which is one of most popular in Sabah.

Night time in Sabah is a relaxing and laid back affair. Dance the night away at the hippest pubs in town such as Shenanigan’s Fun Pub, or soak in the cool vibe of KK with a mug of cold beer at the bars along The Waterfront.

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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 […]

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:

Thrills and spills

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.

Wildlife-spotting

Orangutan at Sepilok
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.

The Great Outdoors

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 Pampering

Spa treatment Borneo
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.

Great Bargains

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.

Sparkling Beaches & Azure Waters


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!

If you’re in Sabah and looking for a unique foot spa experience, head on down to the Kampung Luanti fish ‘spa’ for a fun and tickly experience that leaves you with baby-smooth feet! Located in Kampung Luanti, Ranau; 131 kilometers from Kota Kinabalu (2 hours and 40 minutes’ drive away), this fish massage ‘spa’ is […]

If you’re in Sabah and looking for a unique foot spa experience, head on down to the Kampung Luanti fish ‘spa’ for a fun and tickly experience that leaves you with baby-smooth feet!

Located in Kampung Luanti, Ranau; 131 kilometers from Kota Kinabalu (2 hours and 40 minutes’ drive away), this fish massage ‘spa’ is managed by the Kampung Luanti JKK, led by Mr. Jeffrin Majangki.

In the Local KadazanDusun dialect, ‘tagal’ means ‘no fishing’, and the main purpose of the ‘tagal’ is to preserve the environment as well as the ecosystem to benefit the future generation. ‘Ikan Pelian’ or Malaysian Masheer comes from the family of Cyprinidae. These fishes are specifically trained by the villagers to perform the healing massage activities.

Luanti Fish Massage

The fish massage is deemed to have a curative effect on those who suffers from psoriasis. Come to Kampung Luanti for regular fish massages and your skin will be smooth and supple, just like a baby’s bottom.

If getting fishes to nibble your dead skin doesn’t thrill you, try other activities such as jungle trekking and camping at Kampung Luanti. For visitors who intend to stay longer, Kampung Luanti is also equipped with a homestay programme to make visitors feel at home every time.

The Mari Mari Cultural Village is situated amidst a remote forest setting in Kionsom, Inanam; 25 minutes away from the hustling and bustling city. Its surrounding atmosphere may faintly remind you of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘The Lost World’; in the Sabahan sense. The beauty of untapped nature is guaranteed to capture your eyes and […]

The Mari Mari Cultural Village is situated amidst a remote forest setting in Kionsom, Inanam; 25 minutes away from the hustling and bustling city. Its surrounding atmosphere may faintly remind you of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘The Lost World’; in the Sabahan sense. The beauty of untapped nature is guaranteed to capture your eyes and heart as soon as you arrive at the village!

Traditional dress and house of the Lundayeh Tribe, Sabah, Malaysia
In the village, you will be introduced to various traditional homes of Sabahan ethnic communities—the Bajau, Lundayeh, Murut, Rungus and Dusun—which are built by descendants of the tribes which they represent. Your friendly excursion guide will also give thorough introductions to the houses, making it a highly educational experience.

Be prepared to teleport back to the times of ancient Borneo through the display of unique ingenious architecture, simulated lives and ritualistic ceremonies. Also, get acquainted with each village tribe as you enter their homes and experience their rich culture.

A traditional long house exhibit at the Mari Mari Cultural Village in Kota Kinabalu, Borneo

For a more hands-on experience, check out the little huts in the village where daily routines of traditional Sabahan life come alive. Grab the chance to see blowpipe-making demonstration, fire-starting demonstration using bamboo, tattoo-making demonstration, and get an in-depth look at the mystical symbolisms behind them. Visitors will also get chance to sample Sabahan traditional delicacies from each ethnic group.

A visit to the Mari Mari Cultural Village will be a cultural excursion of a lifetime! See, taste and feel the essence of Sabah presented to you as it was and as it is.

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After breakfast, our friendly guide Uncle Lukh and our driver, Ken picked me up to drive to Kinabalu Park. Our guest Mr. Raj and his family from western Malaysia were already in the bus and ready to go. During our drive Uncle Lukh explained the sights appearing on either side of the bus and gave […]

After breakfast, our friendly guide Uncle Lukh and our driver, Ken picked me up to drive to Kinabalu Park. Our guest Mr. Raj and his family from western Malaysia were already in the bus and ready to go. During our drive Uncle Lukh explained the sights appearing on either side of the bus and gave us an insight into the culture of Borneo.

Our first stop was the Upside Down House, a house where everything is literally upside down! We walked through the house on its ceiling and learnt more about some traditional Bornean items like woven fish traps and nets.

Tamparuli hanging bridge
We all got back into the bus and made our way through some beautiful scenery up to the little mountainous town of Nabalu from where you have the best view of Mount Kinabalu and can shop some locally made souvenirs. Sadly, Mount Kinabalu did not want to show his face and hid behind the clouds, but the view was still amazing.

Now on to my favourite part: LUNCH! Haha I’m kidding, we did go for lunch at the foot of Kinabalu Park, but my favourite part was the walk through the Botanical Garden of the park.

Uncle Lukh showed us some beautiful orchids and explained how the indigenous tribes used certain plants in their everyday life. The park is beautifully lush and also pleasantly cool, because of the tall trees blocking out the sun. In this park you can see some rare species of pitcher plants and the second smallest orchid in the world (it’s tiny!).
The most astounding however, was Uncle Lukhs’ demonstration of the power of the Kerosene fruit. Once you pinch the top of the fruit and its juices flow out, you can light them with a lighter and the juices of the fruit catch fire! A fruit catching fire. Crazy, right?!

Mount Kinabalu botanical garden
Kerosene frui

Afterwards we visited the Desa Dairy Farm to see where the milk in the local supermarkets comes from. If you get there around 3 pm you can see the cows getting milked.

Next we drove to the hot springs in Poring. It’s not a typical tourist spot and I was happy to be in a place surrounded by locals. People come here to take a bath in the hot sulphuric waters of the hot spring, that are said to have healing properties. You can also do a canopy walk or hike up to the waterfalls if you get there early enough.

I forgot to bring my bikini and opted for soaking my feet instead. I can imagine why the waters are said to have healing properties, even just soaking my feet felt so relaxing I can only imagine what it would feel like to take a dip.

Poring river
On our way back we stopped at the town of Ranau to, in my case, have an iced Milo and a Roti Canai at a traditional Mamak shop, a restaurant serving Halal food.

We drove home through the beautiful mountains and is it got darker I eventually fell asleep after such an eventful day and woke up shortly before arriving back in Kota Kinabalu.

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Got a couple of days to spend in Kota Kinabalu? Make a plan to visit one of Sabah’s most iconic destinations: Poring Hot Springs! Situated 40 kilometres (25 miles) slightly northeast from the Parks HQ, Poring is located in the lowlands—a contrast to the Parks HQ. De-stress and soak away the sores and aches of […]

Got a couple of days to spend in Kota Kinabalu? Make a plan to visit one of Sabah’s most iconic destinations: Poring Hot Springs!

Situated 40 kilometres (25 miles) slightly northeast from the Parks HQ, Poring is located in the lowlands—a contrast to the Parks HQ. De-stress and soak away the sores and aches of your muscles in the spring’s hot sulphuric minerals, deemed to have healing properties and very popular among the locals.

Other than the natural hot spring main attraction at Poring Hot Springs, there are also other interesting areas in the park to be visited such as the butterfly farm, the Poring Orchid Conservation Centre, the tropical garden, the Poring canopy walkway, and the Rafflesia flower site.

Butterfly Farm

Poring Hot Spring’s butterfly farm is in fact the first butterfly farm in Borneo. It features a garden, nursery and hatchery for education, research and preservation purposes.

Poring Orchid Conservation Centre

This centre houses the largest collection of Sabah orchids as well as rare endemic orchids. Some 1, 200 species of orchids are available at this centre.

Tropical gardens

Get a glimpse of mousedeer and deer frolicking in the garden with the company of vividly coloured birds in the aviary.

Poring canopy walkway

This canopy walkway is a must visit for anyone who ever sets foot in Poring Hot Springs. Take a stroll amidst the lush canopy of the Menggaris tree—king of the forest—the walkway is 157.8 meters long and 41 meters high.

The Rafflesia flower

The world’s largest flower, the Rafflesia, doesn’t come around very often. Luckily, in Sabah, we have the largest concentration of Rafflesia population. This rare and exotic flower takes up to 15 months to bud, yet only lasts 7 days in bloom. The park will post a notice to announce a blooming or budding Rafflesia flower.

Poring Hot Springs is open daily from 7am to 6pm.

Things to bring

For a satisfying trip to Poring Hot Springs, visitors are recommended to bring some vital things such as rubber sandals/slippers, change of clothes, towel and swimwear.

Sign up for our Kinabalu Park & Poring Hot Springs Private Tour

Travelling in Sabah means eating the food—traditional food, that is. Sabah has plenty of simple yet delicious dishes which are mainly pickled or preserved. This is mainly due to the Sabahan partiality to all things tangy. At the same time, it also dates back to the olden days when there were yet to be refrigerators […]

Travelling in Sabah means eating the food—traditional food, that is. Sabah has plenty of simple yet delicious dishes which are mainly pickled or preserved. This is mainly due to the Sabahan partiality to all things tangy. At the same time, it also dates back to the olden days when there were yet to be refrigerators to keep the food in. Nonetheless, the cuisines continue to remain synonymous to Sabah’s unique cultural identity.

Here’s a list of what you should look for when you’re feeling Sabahan 😉

Bambangan

Bambangan is a type of wild mango that comes with a distinct and sharp smell. Unlike the normal mango, Bambangan has a thick brown skin. While it is delicious when ripe, Bambangan is normally harvested raw to be pickled using salt mixed with grated Bambangan seed and slices of chilli.

Bambangan can be found at most tamu market or vegetable markets. Pickled Bambangan goes really well with plain white rice and deep-fried fish. Want to know a secret to a more delicious meal? Eat with your hands!

Pinasakan

Pinasakan sada, otherwise simply known as Pinasakan, is a traditional Kadazandusun dish of braised basung fish mixed with takob akob (a tangy wild fruit mainly harvested for its skin), fresh turmeric, salt and slices of Bambangan (optional). Pinasakan is another type of preserved food and is good to be eaten sans heating for days at a time. You can find Pinasakan at most traditional cuisine restaurants.

Pinasakan goes well with white rice or ambuyat and a dash of sambal.

Ambuyat

Ambuyat is a traditional Bruneian dish that is derived from the interior trunk of the sago palm. On its own, the Ambuyat is simply a bland starchy blob which is similar to the tapioca starch, but it goes well when eaten with tangy, spicy or salty accompanying dish such as the Pinasakan and Bambangan.

Ambuyat is prepared by mixing the sago starch powder into boiling water. As the sago starts to coagulate, use a pair of bamboo fork or wooden chopsticks to roll the starch around the prongs, dip into accompanying dish and munch. Be sure to have a glass of water handy!

Hinava

Hinava is most probably the most well known traditional dish in Sabah. Popularized by the Kadazandusun community, Hinava is made of fresh raw tenggiri (mackerel fish), which is filleted and thinly sliced; mixed with sliced chili, ginger, diced red onions, grated Bambangan seed, salt and set with a few squirts of lime juice.

Sometimes, slices of raw bitter gourd are also added. If you don’t like fish, you can also substitute the mackerel with either prawn or squid. Hinava can be found in most traditional Kadazandusun restaurant, but of late, it has also been making its way to hotel buffet tables or served during special events and functions. Have it with white rice or on its own as a salad dish.

Tuhau

Most people, even locals, would have a love-hate relationship with the Tuhau due to its distinct pungent smell, which is not unlike that of a stink bug. However, once you’ve tried it, you may easily overlook its unpleasant smell.

Originating from the interior parts of Sabah (Tambunan, Keningau and Ranau), Tuhau is made of a type of wild ginger that is thinly diced, mixed with diced chili and diced scallion, and pickled using salt and vinegar. Tuhau makes a great accompanying dish for anything and everything. You can find it at tamu markets or vegetable markets all across Sabah.

Nonsom / Bosou

Another popular traditional Kadazandusun preserved dish is the Nonsom, or sometimes known as Bosou. It is made using raw freshwater fish mixed together with rice and pickled using salt and pangi (a type of local herb). After the mixing, the mixture is stored in a glass jar and marinated for two weeks. Like most preserved traditional food, the Nonsom / Bosou is salty and tangy in flavour. It goes well with white rice or even fried beehoon.

For a nicer aroma, sauté the Nonsom / Bosou together with diced garlic, a dash of pepper and olive oil—de-lec-table!

Experience more of Sabah’s delicious culinary offerings with our Food Tour!

This blog post was written by Lucie, a student from Kinabalu International School during her internship in July 2017.  This trip was made to go to Mahua waterfall which is couple of hours away from Kota Kinabalu. We took a mini bus at around 7.30 a.m, we drove out of the city while admiring the […]

This blog post was written by Lucie, a student from Kinabalu International School during her internship in July 2017. 

This trip was made to go to Mahua waterfall which is couple of hours away from Kota Kinabalu. We took a mini bus at around 7.30 a.m, we drove out of the city while admiring the city and listening to the many old stories of Kota Kinabalu, such as why did the city started growing after the 1950’s or the death march of Sandakan, told by Uncle Luck, the guide. It is very interesting to learn more about the country in which you go to. We then reached the countryside where we could see many traditional villages and houses. We also stopped on a small market on the side of the road where we bought bananas and pineapple. On the way, we stopped to many view points to admire the Mount Kinabalu, the beautiful valleys or the city of Kota Kinabalu from the top.

 

Click to learn more about the tour itinerary to Tambunen

 

Kipandi butterfly park

After an hour and a half of driving we stopped at the Kipandi butterfly park. When we reached the gate we got pretty startled because it was saying “closed” but Uncle Luck managed to get in and find the guy working for the park. So once we were in, we parked the bus. Before the start of the visit, we did not forget to applicate mosquitos’ repellent because there were obviously mosquitos around due to the plants and the humidity. The park’s guide then started explaining about many flowers we could find in Borneo or Malaysia. It was very interesting. Borneo has a very vast variety of flowers, trees and animals. After introducing us to the plants, we entered into a large room where we can find lots of species of insects (found in Borneo) such as spiders, butterflies…etc. Once we knew everything or almost about the insects in Borneo, we walked around the park where we could see the huge biodiversity of the forest on the left hand side of the path and the many flowers or plants on the right hand side. The guide taught us about this plant called Nepenthes rajah which is an insectivorous pitcher plant which eats insects. We then walked back and stopped at the butterfly greenhouse where the butterflies were flying all around you. It was beautiful! And we finally walked back to the bus and resumed the road…

   

Rice fields

On the way to Mahua waterfall, the road was appreciable. The view was wonderful. There were many small villages where people seemed to be happy. After maybe half an hour, we previewed some rice fields. We decided to stop on the side of the road  to look at it from closer. It is when we met this old man who was working for this fields. He nicely let us walk around to take many beautiful pictures, he also showed us how they were drying the rice to then sell it. It was very fascinating. After that, we went back to the bus to another destination. On the road, we also had the chance to see many plantations such as pineapples and some other rice fields.

rice field with coconot palm borneo Tambunan Padi Field Borneo

Mahua waterfall

We then finally reached Mahua waterfall, the weather was a bit cooler than in the other places. We walked few meters to the cashier to get the entrance tickets to the waterfall. The atmosphere was shadowy due to the tall trees, some of the trees were about 20 meters, it was huge, I felt so  short next to it! After 200 meters of walking, we crossed the river by using a bridge and reached the waterfall. The falling water was pretty strong so it was making water vapor around us which was very refreshing and pleasant after the short walk. After taking beautiful pictures and swam for the brave ones, we walked back to the entrance and stopped in a restaurant to have lunch. We had rice, ginger chicken, butter prawns, soup, Sabah vegetables, onions omelet and cold tea. It was delicious and the workers were really nice and cheerful.

Access Mahua Waterfall Tambunen Mahua Waterfall Tambunen

After an amazing lunch, we took the road to go back to Kota Kinabalu. I think that everyone was feeling sleepy so it was the good time to take a little nap… We then visited the villages and Uncle Luck told us about how people were leaving on the countryside which is very fascinating… Few hours later, we reached the city and had a final stop in Penanpang where we saw a huge rice field and were back at around 5 p.m.

Rice field Tambunan

 

This day was full of new things and places I had never seen before. It was very interesting and a good learning experience.

 

Click to learn more about the tour itinerary to Tambunen

 


 

Popular Packages

Scuba diving is an exciting recreational sport and everyone is encouraged to try it, given the chance. However, as scuba diving becomes increasingly popular as a sport, so do the chances of the marine ecosystem being damaged. The ocean, like every part of nature, undergoes stressful impact with human presence. Therefore, when scuba diving, whether […]

Scuba diving is an exciting recreational sport and everyone is encouraged to try it, given the chance. However, as scuba diving becomes increasingly popular as a sport, so do the chances of the marine ecosystem being damaged. The ocean, like every part of nature, undergoes stressful impact with human presence. Therefore, when scuba diving, whether you’re learning or a seasoned pro, it’s important to keep these things in mind:

  1. Perfect your buoyancy
    Marine life is extremely fragile, hence, it’s very important to focus on your buoyancy at all time. Not only does it make you a better diver, it also helps preserve marine life and coral for future generations of divers to enjoy.
  2. Share your knowledge
    If you are a seasoned diver with years of experience, do pay it forward and pass on your knowledge, tips and skills to newer, less experienced divers. You will help create awareness on ocean conservation and help preserve the marine ecosystem.
  3. Hands off!
    The age-old diving saying goes, ‘“take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but bubbles”. Believe it or not, the marine ecosystem is interconnected; if you take a piece of coral, pick up a shell or grab a fish, it is going to affect the ocean’s ecosystem in more ways than you can imagine.
  4. Be a marine debris activist
    Each day huge amounts of waste end up in the ocean, and it’s our responsibility to keep the ocean clean and safe for the marine life to live in. If you see any debris during a dive, carefully pick it up,while making sure that it doesn’t get entangled among the reef.
  5. Be a responsible seafood consumer
    Overfishing occurs when more fish are caught than the population can replace through natural reproduction. Like everything else that is done in excess, overfishing has serious consequences. To play your part, choose to be informed about the types of seafood that you should and shouldn’t eat.
  6. Speak out for marine conservation
    Share your underwater images, report environmental damage to the authorities and campaign for change. Report sightings of endangered marine life and spread awareness about the illegal consumption of marine products, such as shark fins soup.
  7. Do your research 
    If you’re going diving on holiday, do some research before you go and try to find a dive resort that prides itself on its eco-friendly practices. To play your part in minimizing waste, try to avoid using plastic bottles and polystyrene takeaway boxes for food, as these are hard to recycle in some parts of the world or simply just aren’t recyclable.
  8. Give back
    The ocean plays a huge part in our lives even if you don’t live near it. Give back what you can, whether it’s donating to a marine conservation charity, taking part in a community beach clean-up activity or in putting information into marine species databases, these will all contribute to saving our marine ecosystem.

Popular Packages

Looking for a relaxing staycation destination? Just head off to the west coast to Kota Belud and book a stay at the Usukan Cove Lodge. Usukan Cove is situated in the coast of Kota Belud, right next to Kampung Kuala Abai where the jetty to Mantanani Island is located. From Kota Kinabalu, the journey to […]

Looking for a relaxing staycation destination? Just head off to the west coast to Kota Belud and book a stay at the Usukan Cove Lodge.

Usukan Cove is situated in the coast of Kota Belud, right next to Kampung Kuala Abai where the jetty to Mantanani Island is located. From Kota Kinabalu, the journey to Usukan Cove takes approximately one-and-half hours. Throughout the journey, you will be delighted by the wonderful sights and sceneries of the idyllic Kota Belud countryside—passing endless plains of paddy fields, undulating hills, and rustic wooden-house villages with a picturesque view of the majestic Mount Kinabalu in the background.

Mount Kinabalu from Usukan CoveView of Mount Kinabalu from Usukan Cove. Photo courtesy of Sabah Holiday

Nestled on one of the eight beautiful beaches in Usukan, the Usukan Cove is surrounded by neighbouring fishermen villages. While taking a walk along the stretch of golden sandy beach overlooking the Usukan Cove Lodge, visitors will be able to see clusters of houses in the neighbouring villages, with children frolicking in the water and men casting their nets for a bountiful catch.

The Usukan Cove Lodge consists of two buildings that contain 16 units of individual rooms. These rooms are modeled after European-style hostels with simple double sharing rooms as well as rooms with two bunk beds. Albeit their budget accommodation status that caters mainly to backpackers, the rooms at the lodge are clean and spiffy with haze blue painted walls, maple flooring, as well as fluffy pillows and beds covered in crisp white linens—complete with air conditioning and drinking water supply.

On a balmy evening, simply go to the beachfront where you can lie on a hammock under the shade with a good book or your iPod. For adventure seekers, opt for a leisure dive or go snorkeling to check out the plenteous natural attractions which include gorgeous coral reefs and diverse marine life. Like checking out the natural sceneries? Hop on a kayak and take yourself on a self-tour around the island. You can also opt to visit the nearby Pandan Pandan Island that is surrounded by clear blue water and sparkling white beach.

Usukan Cover snorkelingDiving at Usukan Cove. Photo courtesy of Sabah Holiday

One of the most interesting activities that can be done during your trip to Usukan Cove is fishing. A fishing yacht will take visitors to the middle of the sea—20 minutes away from the mainland—to fish. Expect to be able to catch garoupas, sting rays, or even puffer fish during this fishing expedition! You can bring back your catch to be cooked for dinner; otherwise, releasing the fish back to the sea would be a good option as well.

To unwind on a lazy afternoon, take a cruise down the Kawa Kawa River where you can sit back and enjoy the amusing sights of proboscis monkeys in harems, long tailed macaques swinging from tree to tree, and spot some rare species of birds. Later, witness the breathtaking Kota Belud sunset before cruising down Abai River where, depending on the weather, visitors will be enchanted by a wonderful spectacle of fireflies that form together around the trees, appearing like a network of twinkling colourlights!

 


 

Go island-hopping with us!