Sabah is an East Malaysian State on Borneo Island, and only a short 2 hour and 40 minute flight from Kuala Lumpur. It is an amazing destination and boasts ancient rainforests, endless beaches and amazing wildlife. The Asian cuisine is sensational, and the shopping will keep you entertained for hours.
I was lucky enough to spend a week in Sabah last month. My journey started in the states capital, Kota Kinabalu. Kota Kinabalu or as the locals call it KK is a modern city, the streets are clean and the people are welcoming. Kota Kinabalu has something to offer for all types of travellers, for the adventurous traveller there is the Tunku Abdul Rhman Park which is a cluster of islands only 20minutes from Kota Kinabalu. The islands offer brilliant scuba diving and snorkelling; you can even do your complete PADI course here! For families there is more than enough to do. Visit the Mari Mari cultural village and see how the Borneo tribes use to live, it is a very hands on and educational experience, brilliant for children!
blowpipe hunting @ Mari Maru Cultural Village
Cooking class @ Mari Mari Cultural Village
The Shangri la Rasa Ria is a must for couples and families. This 5 star resort is exceptional, and in a league of its own. It is only a 45 minute drive from Kota Kinabalu, and located on the beautiful Pantai Dalit Beach. Treat yourself to a sea view room and you wont be disappointed. The resorts facilities are outstanding; it even has its own 64acre Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre! Once you go to the Shangri la Rasa Ria you will never want to leave!
Sandakan was the next stop. Sandakan is only a short 40 minute flight from Kota Kinabalu, the city itself feels untouched by tourists compared to Kota Kinabalu. The city gives a great insight into the daily life of the local people. When staying in Sandakan you can’t go past the Four Points By Sheraton, this brand new hotel oozes class and is in Prime location. Located on the waterfront it is close to restaurants and markets. Sandakan is a great base for seeing the Orang-utans in Sepilok and the Proboscis Monkeys at Labuk Bay. Seeing the Orang-utans is a surreal experience, all orang-utans are going through a rehabilitation process and at any point they have the freedom to fend for themselves. Given this it is never guaranteed how many you will get to see in one feeding session. So it is recommended to attend the morning feeding session at 10am as more Orang-utans come out to play for breakfast. You even have the opportunity to adopt one of the orang-utans and receive updates of their progress. The Proboscis Monkeys are also a must do, you get the opportunity to get right up and close to the monkeys. I could have watched them for hours while they frolicked around me.
Gelison – My adopted Orang-utan
Monkey@ the ProboscisMonkey Sanctuary
Sabah is a great destination for any type of holiday or traveller. I really enjoyed my week there and would love to go back and explore some more!