Isolated from Peninsular
Malaysia by 950 kilometres (600 miles) of the South China Sea, Sabah,
on the northern edge of Borneo, can be accessible by flights
from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Sabah, ‘The Land Below The
Wind’, is an adventure playground, home to the
world’s oldest forests and 1 of South-East Asia’s
highest summits, Mount Kinabalu. Sabah is also the place
to see orangutans in their natural setting.
Mount Kinabalu is 1 of the highest mountains in South
East Asia. The climb to the top can be enjoyable even by unskilled
climbers. The region gives amazing opportunities for expeditions
and rock climbing.
Over 500 species
of birds and over 800 species of orchids can be found at the Mount Kinabalu National Park. A variety of plant species,
which are alpine meadow plants, rhododendron forests and pitcher
plants make the flora unrivalled in diversity throughout the world.
Poring Hot Springs is where visitors enjoy beneficiary
sulphur waters. It is 43 kilometres (26 miles) northeast of the park headquarters.
A shady walkway under the trees offers great views
of the lush tropical landscape below.
Visitors get the chance to see Rafflesias which is the world's
largest flower. Overnight accommodations is available in the park
and at the springs.
The city and major gateway to Sabah, Kota Kinabalu does
little to its wonderful natural atmosphere. It is a newer
city built on the ruins of Jesselton, which was wrecked in
the Second World War, and designed around the gold-domed
State Mosque. Signal Hill provides good views of
the city and the nearby hills and sea.
South of Kota Kinabalu lies the resort of Tanjung Aru, where
the beach complex has been designed with both business traveler
and holidaymaker in mind. As well as meeting and conference facilities,
there is a ferry/ shuttle service to the town centre.
Tuaran is a 30 minute drive northeast of Kota Kinabalu.
The road goes through forested hills, lush valleys and rubber
plantations. The town has a good ‘Tamu’ or
Sandakan is the old capital of Borneo, located 400 kilometres (250 miles) from Kota Kinabalu. The Sandakan Orchid House boasts
a rare collection of fantastic orchids and is a must for enthusiasts.
Sited just outside Sandakan along the 7th mile Labuk Road, the Crocodile Farm is a popular place with over 1,000 crocodiles of different sizes.
The Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, home of the ‘wild men of Borneo’ has the world’s largest
orangutan population. The sanctuary is a rehabilitation centre
where orangutans inhabit unspoiled rainforest in a protected environment.
It is Sabah’s top tourist attraction but the centre is not
a tourist site as it actively manages to take in injured or orphaned
orangutans and return them to the wild once they are rehabilitated.
There are no guarantees of seeing orangutans, they usually do
show up for their twice-daily feedings.
Situated north of Sandakan, the Turtle Islands consist of Pulau Bakungan Kecil, Pulau Gulisan andPulau Selingan.
Tourists have a chance to see the wonderful sight of Green
and Hawksbill turtles coming on the seashore in the evening to lay their
eggs. Tourists can visit the islands all year round, but July to October
is when the wide range of turtles visiting the island increases. Accommodation
is available but pre-planning a must.
Tenom is easily accessible by train from Kota Kinabalu.
It is an impressive and exciting experience as it follows the Padas River up through narrow jungle gorges in the Crocker
Range. Tenom town is famous for its style of long house building,
unchanged in centuries, and for its traditional songs and dances.