Generously gifted by Mother Nature, Sabah’s rainforests, landforms, seas and islands join her welcoming ethnic communities to produce an enchanting holiday for travellers.
Brought to you by Sabah Tourism Board
The Malaysian state of Sabah, located in the heart of South-east Asia and the northern region of Borneo Island, enjoys excellent accessibility through direct flights from major cities, especially those in North Asia. Pre-Covid-19, Sabah received more than 250 flights weekly.
Sabah is a well sought-after destination for her thriving natural environment, and is loved for her blend of nature, adventure and culture activities under one roof.
Boasting one of the world’s top eight sunsets, Tanjung Aru Beach draws visitors eager to capture nature’s golden glory. However, Sabah offers many more coastal destinations, all lined up along the West Coast to Kudat, the Tip of Borneo.
Islands are also spread from coast to coast. In Sabah, it is possible to get to a cluster of islands just 15 minutes from the city centre. Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, which houses Borneo’s longest island-to-island zipline, is most conveniently accessible from the city.
Sabah’s many islands and beaches also present ideal locations for stargazing.
Sabah is home to more than 30 ethnic groups. The rich local culture and traditional practices can be appreciated in the rural areas or in households that welcome visitors with homestay programmes and community-based tourism activities. For a memorable and insightful cultural immersion, make a beeline for cultural villages such as Mari Mari Cultural Village, Linangkit Cultural Village, Walai Tobilung and Monsopiad Cultural Village.
Sabah’s iconic longhouses can be experienced in Kota Marudu, Kudat and Long Pasia – all of which welcome tourists with open arms.
Sabah’s nature and adventure
Hikers from the world over hold Mount Kinabalu in high regard. The mountain is the highest in Borneo, and owns bragging rights to being the world’s highest Via Ferrata and Asia’s first. Mount Kinabalu also sits within Malaysia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. Besides Mount Kinabalu, Sabah offers other unique hiking trails such as Maragang Hill and Mount Trus Madi.
Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the Sabah Agriculture Park or the Rainforest Discovery Centre. Pair these activities with an authentic farm stay at Padas Farmstay and Sabah Tea Garden for an outdoor holiday to remember.
Sabah is a dream come true for wildlife conservationists, as the state boasts numerous conservation flagships such as Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre and Turtle Islands Park – all located in Sandakan.
The local wildlife also leads a protected and free existence in areas such as Danum Valley Conservation Centre, Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Sabah’s Lost World the Maliau Basin, Imbak Canyon and Deramakot.
Elsewhere, the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary along the Lower Kinabatangan river is an ideal spot for wildlife sightings.
Sabah also has several important birding areas with 33 endemic species.
Regarded among the world’s top 10 world-class diving destinations, Sipadan Island is a magnet for leisure divers as well as niche visitors like marine biologists and underwater photographers. But beyond Sipadan Island and its popular Ligitan Reef, Sabah’s sparkling seas offer many a treasure trove for divers to explore. The Layang Layang Island is an interesting man-made atoll with 30m to 60m visibility all year round. The area also seems to be a migratory lane for sea life such as orcas and whale sharks.
Tourism that benefits all
As Sabah Tourism began amplifying its community-based tourism projects to inject more cultural immersion opportunities into its tourism offerings, the local community found itself more involved in the thriving tourism industry. Locals have been able to preserve and share their unique culture and way of life with travellers as a result.
Built for business events
More than just a leisure destination, Sabah has made progress on the business events front. In February 2020, the state launched the Sabah International Convention Centre, a venue that can cater to 5,000 delegates per event. This dedicated facility boosts the state’s inventory of professional event venues available across hotels.
To find out more about enchanting Sabah, visit Sabah Tourism Board.