Sabah

Malaysia
Kota Kinabalu showing a high rise building, general coastal views and a city

Dive among the colorful gems of the coral reefs and gaze up at the forested mountains in Malaysia’s easternmost state.

Sabah is a tropical delight with magnificent views of the green mountainous islands dotted around the water. The state contains dense tropical forests, with plenty of fun activities and adventures. Wander along the trails to spot elephants and orangutans and climb the tallest mountain in Malaysia.

Take a boat to visit the tiny islands of Mabul and Sipadan, which are renowned for their excellent diving conditions. Relax on the white-sand beaches and swim in the ocean to make the most of the year-round warm weather. The dry season runs from April through September.

Back on mainland Borneo is the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center. Here you can see orphaned youths in the nursery and adult apes living free in the reserve. This complex, which lies on a vast area of protected land beside the Kabili Sepilok Forest Reserve, has about 80 orangutans.

The orangutan center is one of the many conservation zones in the region. Get close to native proboscis monkeys near the Kinabatangan River or shuffle along the treetop canopy walk in the Danum Valley. The long, narrow bridge is 85 feet (26 meters) high and has many viewing platforms.

The topographical highlight of the region is Mount Kinabalu, which stands at an elevation of 13,435 feet (4,095 meters) above sea level. Hire a guide and bring your family for the trek up to the peak on a marked trail. The best weather for a clear, panoramic vista from the summit happens during March and April.

This state is on the northern coast of the island of Borneo. Note that it is known as the Land Beneath the Wind because it is located just south of the typhoon zone. Fly to the capital city of Kota Kinabalu and take buses or internal flights to get around. Plan in advance to ensure you meet the entry criteria with the appropriate visas and accommodations already booked. Relax on the serene beach or try thrilling activities in the tropical forests in Sabah.

Popular cities in Sabah

Sandakan showing a city, a park and general coastal views
Sandakan
Known for Friendly people, Jungles and Sea
This historic township, once occupied by the Japanese in World War II, is now a gateway to northern Borneo’s rich world of ecotourism.

Reasons to visit

  • Rainforest Discovery Centre
Ranau
Ranau
Known for Mountains, Scenery and Budget
Come to Ranau and enjoy its mountain views, gardens, and hot springs.

Reasons to visit

  • Kundasang War Memorial
Kota Kinabalu which includes landscape views and boating
Kota Kinabalu
Known for Swimming, Islands and Marinas
Sabah’s capital is a laid-back, oceanfront city not far from towering Mount Kinabalu, traditional villages and a spectacular marine park.
Tawau
Tawau
Known for Budget, Cultural activities and Diving
Tawau awaits: its diving, library, parks, and more!
Tuaran
Tuaran
Known for Dining, Beach view and Sea
Explore relaxing Tuaran: its beaches, oceanfront, sunsets, and more!
Kota Kinabatangan
Kota Kinabatangan
Known for Diving, Jungles and Rock climbing
Get away to tropical Kota Kinabatangan! Enjoy the diving, jungle, and rock climbing.