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Sapi Island

The smallest yet most enticing island in Malaysia, Sapi Island welcomes you with a potpourri of adrenaline activities. From sea-walking to scuba diving, snorkelling to coral flying, there are several activities which will make you fall in love with this charismatic island.

With its sandy beaches, azure waters, dense forests, and rich aquatic life, Sapi is no short of a wonder. On the weekends, the island bustles with life as a large number of natives and outsiders flock this destination. Hence, if you want to experience serenity, visit here during the weekdays.

Location: Sapi Island, Sabah, Malaysia


Mataking Beach

Another resort island with one of the best beaches in Malaysia, Mataking Island is the furthest from Semporna in east coast Sabah where a boat trip takes nearly an hour one way. Just stroll around the island to look for your own secluded place. One of the unique things about the island is that they have an underwater post office where you can literally post a letter or postcard. Highly recommended for those who want a 'Maldives' experience in Malaysia.


Highlights: This is the perfect romantic getaway as the island has a spa, private bungalows, an outdoor Jacuzzi by the sea and all the romantic walks by the beach you want. Special arrangements can be made for honeymooners, weddings or private parties. The only way to get here is by booking a tour package from the resort. There are no day trips or visits here.

 How to Get There: It is about 40 minute’s boat ride from the mainland of Semporna in the province of Sabah.




Tabin Wildlife Reserve

Are you a wildlife enthusiast looking for an ideal location to spot vibrant wildlife of Sabah? If yes, then Tabin Wildlife Reserve is an apt place to visit in Sabah. A tourist spot enveloped with immense natural beauty, Tabin reserve welcomes you with a bundle of priceless experiences.

It is spread across an area of 1120 Sq Km which remains covered with mangrove forest.  The most important animal species found in the reserve include gibbons, elephants, macaques, red-leaf monkeys, and orangutans. On your visit to Tabin Wildlife, soak in the charm of its natural surroundings or spend your time capturing its exotic wildlife in your camera.

Location: Lahad Datu, Sabah, Malaysia

Entry fee: There is no entrance fee for getting inside Tabin Wildlife Reserve


Layang-layang Island

Also known as Swallow Reef, Layang Layang is one of the islands located towards the north of Sabah Coast in Borneo Island.

Highlights – This is a very remote island, as it located in highly deep waters. The diving spots are close to 2000m deep. There is a naval base here and tourists are prohibited from entering into this area. There are lots of restrictions for tourists in these waters, due to which marine life is well-preserved. You will be able to spot Hammerhead sharks, whale sharks and abundant coral reefs here. Scuba diving is the main activity here, with the island providing maximum depths of up to 40m. Some famous diving spots in Layang Layang are Crack Reef, D-Wall, The Point, Pier Diving, Dog Tooth Liar and Wrasse Strip.

Location – 300km towards the north the Sabah Coast, Borneo Island.

Timings – March to August.

Price – Depends on the package.

Mount Kinabalu

If you want to experience adventure amidst mesmerising Borneo Island, there can’t be a better Sabah tourist place for you than Mount Kinabalu. Standing at an altitude of 4095 metres, Mount Kinabalu is the tallest peak in Malaysia.

This World Heritage site is known for its exotic flora and fauna which adds to the fun of hiking. Mount Kinabalu trek is a 5-hour long journey which takes you through spectacular landscapes to Panalaban. On your hiking trip, don’t forget to get up early and witness the panoramic sunset view from the hilltop.

Location: West Coast, Sabah, Malaysia

Entry fee: RM 120 per person


Bohey Dulang Beach

Bohey Dulang Island is a mountainous island forged by the remains of an ancient volcano. The southern side of the lagoon is open but just below the surface is a protracted stretch of reef which represents the southern cratered fringe. The island is best known for its spectacular views at the top of its peak. It is possible to trail around the island at low tide by following the narrow edges of the beach and mangroves, although this involves scrambling over rocks or through vegetation's.

Highlights: Prepare to be greeted by a host of tropical flora and fauna during the arduous but rewarding hiking trail to the top of Bohey Dulang Peak. Majestic views of the sapphire blue lagoon await those who make it through the hour long climb.

How to Get There: Bohey Dulang is located about 35 minutes by boat from Semporna, 20 minutes from Pom Pom, 30 minutes from Mataking and 1.5 hours from Mabul.



A'Famosa Theme Park

Looking to rush to a water park during the harsh summers? A’Famosa Theme Park is the place where you have to head to, with your families and friends and splash away to glory to beat the scorching heat.

– This is believed to the biggest theme park in Malaysia and contains a lot of entertaining game pool and water slides that provide you highly thrilling experiences of your lifetime. If you are tired of playing water games, you can relax at the white sands here and enjoy some serene blissful moments.

Location –
Simpang Ampat, Malacca. Activities – Arabian Villages, Kids’ Adventure Play Pool, Sandy Beach, Lazy River, Wave Pool, Inner Tube Slides, Family Raft Drive, High Speed Slides, Body Slides, Splash and many more.

Price –
Water Park plus lunch rates are RM43 and RM 38 for adults and kids respectively on weekdays; it is RM49 and RM43 for adults and kids respectively on weekends.

Timings –
11AM to 7PM (Monday to Friday) and 9AM to 7PM (Weekends, School & Public Holidays).

Manukan Island Resort

The Manukan Island Resort is a luxury private island resort. This serene retreat offers exquisite accommodation, sophisticated cuisine and unparalleled water sport activities in one of the most pristine corner of the world. Manukan Island is surrounded by a protected coral reef, and the island boasts a pristine rainforest and beautiful white sand beaches.

Location: Manukan Island, 88100 Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Highlights: This resort features an outdoor pool, a restaurant and spacious villas with private terraces and dining areas. The resort offers a wide range of activities such as diving, snorkeling and trekking. For views of marine life, glass-bottomed boat rides are available.

Price: Approximate price for a room starts at 700 MYR.

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Traveller Tales from Kota Kinabalu


Chandani Guha

08 July 2019

Snokerling is one of the best experience of my life till now. Superb day out with amazing experience


Hiranya Shukla

08 July 2019

This is an offbeat but one of the most wonderful destinations in Malaysia. Enjoyed here a lot!


Damodara Bharadwaj

08 July 2019

guide was good, helpful and professional highlight of the trip is the fireflies.


Devi Marar

08 July 2019

This was the best so far from my other water rafting experiences and our guide is very cheerful, easy going and friendly.


Chitraksh Pandey

08 July 2019

It was indeed a very different experience for me especially the visit to the Butterfly farm.


Aishani Bhat

08 July 2019

Our guide was superb and knowledgable. He was funny yet professional. In all, it was an amazing experience. Would definitely recommend!!


Vishnu Ahuja

08 July 2019

What a great experience to see the endemic proboscis monkeys of Borneo in just a two hour drive from Kota Kinabalu. The firefly display was also magical.


Chandramohan Bandopadhyay

08 July 2019

Overall the trip was good. We thoroughly enjoyed the snorkelling part and Jetty transfers.


Balamani Iyengar

08 July 2019

It is one of the best place for all water sports activities. The rates are also normal. Not on higher side.

Most Popular Places Around Kota Kinabalu

What You Should Know More About Kota Kinabalu

  • Q. Travel Advice:

    • Tip at restaurants: If you’re staying at a resort of a hotel then it is quite obvious that you won’t be required or expected to end a certain matter with a tip. The same applies to restaurants as well. Most of the times, it is your well-trusted guide that takes care of such situations and if you’re without one then do as you may without feeling obligated.

    • Planning is crucial: Malaysia certainly is a big country and there are tones of must-do experiences in this destination. Although, ensure that you don’t rush into things. Conduct your research well and carry on with travelling through the country. You will get to do what you want but be alert of any sham packages and guides while you’re hurrying into planning your trip.

    • Avoid the crowd: Malaysia is one of the most popular holiday destination in the world. Thus, tourism in this place is ever rising. Crowds from all over the world flock to Malaysia every year. And thus, it can get quite crowded. Check for the peak period and avoid staying in clichéd regions of the city. Instead opt for central mountains or the western coasts that are more chilled out.

    • Choose the right stay: The place can get quite crowded and it is obvious, with crowd coming in, the reservations can get full too. Thus, it becomes essential for one to choose the right type of hotel or resort that you will be staying in. Find your perfect spot in the perfect destination for the right kind of experience in this beautiful city before it is too late.

    • Drinking laws in Kita Kinabalu: In Malaysia, alcohol consumption is banned in all public places between 10:30pm to 7am. Even the retail shops are not allowed to sell alcohol to the customers. Make sure you follow the rules well while you’re in Malaysia.

  • Q. Things you will like in Kota Kinabalu:

    • Visit the Atkinson Clock tower: The Atkinson Clock tower was built back in 1902 in dedication to the great Francis George Atkinson. He was the first district officer of the Kota Kinabalu. Unfortunately, he passed away due to malaria. The clock tower is situated on a hill beside Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman and surely worth a visit while you’re in town.

    • Discover aquatic life at the Green Connection Aquarium: The Green Connection Aquarium is among the best places in the city that offers visitors the opportunity to experience aquatic life in their natural surroundings. There are a lot of things to do and see at this beautiful location.

    • Take a casual store by the Tanjung Aru beach: The Tanjung Aru beach is perhaps one of the most popular beaches in the city. This location is often visited by locals and tourists for casual strolls or perhaps picnics. The destination also consists food stalls and bars and one can quite easily enjoy the night-life and the delicious food of this place.

    • Appreciate the Double Six Monument: The Double Six Monument is situated in the Grace Point region of Sembulan and serves as the memorial site for the plane crash that occurred in 1976 wherein the state chief minister was killed. There is a food court that offers all types of food cuisines such as Malaysian, Indian, Chinese, Korean and Thai.

    • Adventure cruising through the northern coast of Kota Kinabalu: The northern coast of Kota Kinabalu is filled with undisturbed scenic geographical features – the kind you will never ever see before. Go on an adventure cruising through the place. There are numerous other activities such as boat rides and jet-skiing that you can volunteer for.

  • Q. What will you like in Kita Kinabalu:

    • Beauties of the Kokol hills: Get a spectacular view of the city from the Kokol hills which are located approximately 30km away from the heart of the city delivers a birdeye’s view to the entire city base. It is extremely delightful to watch this.

    • Rural living at Kinarut: Kinarut is a small town located approximately 40 minutes away from the city of Kita Kinabalu. The place is prevailed by the typical rural and simple life that you won’t mind being a part of.

    • Shopping in China town: Shopping is perhaps one of those must-have experiences in any of these popular holiday destinations. Visit the China town and shop from products galore.

  • Q. Recommended reads for destination

    Government website: 

    Govt Tourism Website


    TripAdvisor Travel Forum

    Books on Kita Kinabalu: 

    A to Z of Malaysia, Stolen – Malaysia.