40 Best Places to Visit in Sabah 2020 (Photos & Reviews)

Recommendations for Sabah

Things to do in Sabah Explore All (9)
Explore All (9)
Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, Kota Kinabalu
Lok Kawi Wildlife Park in Malaysia is quite popular among nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. Spread over 280 acres of land, the park is divided into two sections, the botanical and zoological side. It is run by the Sabah Wildlife Department under the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment.

The park is mainly family oriented and is also well-liked as a children’s zoo. The residents of the zoo include the Borneo Pygmy elephants, Orang Utan, Malayan Tiger, Sumatran Rhinoceros, Proboscis monkey, as well as a few species of Deer.

The botanical side of the park allows the visitors to go on leisurely strolls and jungle trekking along the trail. The well maintained and paved botanical trail runs for approximately 1.4 kilometres and the entire botanical component is spread over 200 acres of the area.

There is an aviary which is a very lively section of the park as you can hear a whole lot of pleasant sounds of the birds that greet the visitors who come to the park. The aviary houses many species of birds like the hornbill, parrots, pigeons, eagles and many more. The section in the zoo which is for children offers elephant rides from 10:30 am to 11:30 am and from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm every day.

Mataking Beach, Kota Kinabalu

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, Kota Kinabalu

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


Sapi Island, Kota Kinabalu

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


Layang-layang Island, Kota Kinabalu
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, Kota 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, Kota Kinabalu

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.

 


Manukan Island Resort, Kota Kinabalu

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.



Poring Hot Springs, Kota Kinabalu

Your Kinabalu tour is incomplete without a visit to Poring Hot Springs. This place is often frequented by locals and tourists who want to release their stress by stepping into the warm sulphuric mineral spring. In addition to Poring Hot Spring, you can also explore tropical gardens, butterfly farm, Poring canopy walkway, Rafflesia flower site and Orchid conservation centre.

With its alluring landscape and relaxing environment, it is one of the most sought-after places to visit in Sabah.

Location: Ranau, Sabah, Malaysia

Timing: 7:00 AM-6:00 PM

Entry fee: MYR 15 per person


Signal Hill Observatory Tower, Kota Kinabalu

Do you want to relish the bird's eye view of Kota Kinabalu? If yes, then head towards Signal Hill Observatory Tower and capture some of the best shots of Sabah. The mesmerising views of Kota Kinabalu, its coastline, and lush green patches from the highest point of the city are totally worth it.

One can also catch a glimpse of Likas Bay, Abdul Rahman Park and Tanjung Aru from this point. The tower can be easily reached by climbing the wooden steps through the dense forests. If you are a nature buff, this is one of the most charismatic places to visit in Sabah.

Location:
Jalan Bukit Bendera, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Entry fee:
Entry into this tower is free of cost.

Timing:
9:00 AM -11:00 PM


Kokol Hill, Kota Kinabalu

If you are done visiting the islands and beaches and are looking for some scenic beauty in the Kota Kinabalu, Kokol Hill is a place you must go. It is a place, which can give you a perfect view of Mount Kinabalu and you can also enjoy a serene and elegant sunset with your someone special. The place is a must visit, especially if you are looking some quiet time, away from the hustle and bustle of the city amidst hills and close to the nature. You can even spend some great nights over the Kokol Hill as there are various home stays and resorts allowing you to enjoy the weather and scenic beauty of the place.


How to reach: The Kokol Hill is just a 1-hour drive from the main Kota Kinabalu city


Gaya Street Sunday Market, Kota Kinabalu

Also known as the Sunday market, Gaya Street should be in every traveller’s bucket list. The place has been of importance to the traders for over a hundred years. It’s the perfect place for those who want to tour the local markets. Tourists can buy a variety of things like, authentic Malaya ingredients, a large variety of sea food, Malayan art and craft etc.




Highlights: If you are looking to buy some souvenirs to take back home, then this is the correct place to do so. People can also find traditional Malaysian artifacts. If you are a food lover, then you can explore the various ingredients for authentic Malaysian cuisines.


Location: It is located in the center of the city; hence people can stroll down to this place. The market is well connected with the public transport as well, so reaching there is not a problem.


Timing: The best time to visit the market is during the daytime on Sundays.


Mantanani Island, Kota Kinabalu
Mantantani Island ( a group of 3 islands) is a paradise for ornithologists as different species of birds come here during the migratory period.

Highlights – Mantanani Besar, Mantanani Kecil and Lungisan are the 3 islands that make up this group. The beach of this island runs up to 2500m. The island itself is shaped like a knife and provides great opportunities for marine life viewing up to 40m in depth. One of the major beauties of this island is that it is not visited much by tourists. Therefore, you can view the unspoilt beauty of the island in its fullest form when you come here. Do not miss to see the Scops Owl when you come here, as it is the only place in Sabah where you will get this chance.



Location – Sabah State, north Borneo Island.

 Timings – April to November.

Price – Activities start from RM20 per person

Pulau Kapalai Beach, Kota Kinabalu

Beautifully impressive and romantic but the island is actually a sand bank island and is one of the most enchanting islands in Sabah Borneo. What makes this beach special is that the resort is a stand-alone unit with no one else around it. Usually when the tide is down, the sand bank becomes a spectacular beach, otherwise, they have an elevated man-made beach deck with special white sand where you can chill.

 

  Highlights: This private island is well known as the romantic paradise for special honeymooners and exclusive private weddings.

  How to Get There: The unique Kapalai Island stands above a huge sand bank which is about 1 hour by boat from Semporna in east coast Sabah. It is also a 10 minute boat ride from the well-known  Mabul Island.


Mamutik Island, Kota Kinabalu

In the group of five islands among the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, the Mamutik Island is the second furthest. Though the waters of Mamutik Island is not as clear as the Sapi Island, but you do get to indulge in some amazing water sports activity and some world-class beach side cafes and restaurants serving the lip-smacking Malay and continental cuisines. There are also some beautiful souvenir shops from where you can take some to your family or friends.


Location: The island is located in the downtown area of Kota Kinabalu and is off the coast. From the hotel Hyatt Regency Kinabalu, you can reach to the Jesselton Jetty point with 2 minute drive or by taking a 10-minute walk from where there are boats available regularly to reach the island.

Price: You have to pay an entree fees of 10 MYR per person once to get inside the island.


Lankayan Beach, Kota Kinabalu

Lankayan Island is a tiny tropical coral resort island in the Sulu Sea, northeast of the island of Borneo, in the state of Sabah. This beautiful little island with thick tropical growth and sandy beaches offers an absolutely pure tropical wildlife experience. It's situated in a National Park region. A Turtle Rehabilitation centre is present on the island and is open to the visitors and you can watch egg laying and turtle hatch lings at times.

 

Highlights: The island is also one of Sabah's top diving spots with the availability of jungle interior and interesting diving attracts both divers and non-divers love to tour Lankayan.

 How to Get There: The island is also one of Sabah's top diving spots with the availability of jungle interior and interesting diving attracts both divers and non-divers love to tour Lankayan.

 


Pulau Mantanani Beach, Kota Kinabalu

Pulau Mantanani is a cluster of three isolated tiny islands to the northwest of Kota Belud. It was so isolated in fact that not until recently, only a few locals knew the existence of the islands. One of the main reasons that Mantanani Islands is popular among tourists is because of its picturesque scenery, cool breezes and serene environment. But most popular attraction of Pulau Mantanani are the dugongs. The Mantanani Islands seem to provide the ideal habitats for dugongs with sea grass beds and shallow sandy areas within the encircling fringing reef of the islands.

 

Highlights: These islands present popular diving and snorkeling destinations because of their crystal clear waters and colourful coral reefs.

How to Get There: The islands are accessible by a one-hour speedboat journey from Kuala Abai jetty, Kota Belud, 80 km north-east of Kota Kinabalu.


Kota Kinabalu City Mosque, Kota Kinabalu

Kota Kinabalu City Mosque is the second most important mosque in the whole Kota Kinabalu after the State Mosque, located in Sembulan. It is a perfect blend of modern and Islamic architecture and can hold more than 12,000 people in a single time. The architecture of the mosque highly resembles the Nabawi Mosque in Medina. The man-made lagoons surrounding the mosque gives its visitors an elegant and dramatic look, especially on a full moon night and is the largest mosque in Kota Kinabalu.


 Location: The mosque is just 3 KM from the main Kota Kinabalu City and is easily accessible.

 How to reach: Either you can take a local taxi, which will cost you around 15 MYR per way or you can take Bus No. 5A from the front of Hotel Shangri-La, which will cost you around 1.50 MYR per  person per way.

 Timings: 8 AM to 5 PM (Fridays closed)

Other Attractions

Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park
A cluster of five islands, Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park is located at a distance of six kilometers from Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. It expands on an area of 4929 hectares which has two-third of its portion included that of the sea. The five islands that form this park are Manukan, Sulug, Sapi, Gaya and Mamutik. All these islands are just a few minutes ride away from Kota Kinabalu. 

Various adventure sports activities are also offered at the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park. One can also take the training of underwater sports like diving and snorkeling from the professionals here. Witness the gorgeous underwater marine life and coral biodiversity for an exceptional experience on your trip. Be it beginners or any other level of skilled person, everyone is welcome to experience this thrilling activity along with a certification.

With high humidity in the year, this place experiences temperatures ranging between 23.8–29.4 degrees Celsius all year round.  An estimated number of 300,000 tourists visit this national park every year.

One can buy the tickets for the island tours on the spot from the ticket counters at the Jesselton Ferry Terminal. The national park is open for its visitors from 8:30 AM to 4 PM. These islands are a major attraction among the tourists to get a true insight into the flora and fauna of this place.

Tanjung Aru Beach
The Tanjung Aru Beach is spread on the west coast of Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia. It is located close to the Kota Kinabalu International Airport. With a 1.3 mile stretch of the silky golden beach glistening under the sun, this beach has been successful in capturing the heart of its every visitor. People visit this beach to sight the most iconic sunsets and posing for sunset selfies. The tranquil aura of this place helps one relax in the most beautiful setting of nature here. 

The Tanjung Aru Beach is subdivided into four areas namely First beach, Prince Philip Park, Second Beach and the Third beach. One can see the beach originating in the northernmost point from the entry here and then turning in the southward direction. The whole area is renowned as the First Beach. This place is an abode to the best beach sports activities, hawker stalls serving lip-smacking Malaysian food and exquisite hotels. The first beach resides almost everything that a visitor seeks in a vacation and hence it is the most popular spot of the Tanjung Aru beach.

As the first beach ends, Prince Philip Park marks its way from there. This park is a popular picnic spot and was built in the 1960s. The beautiful fauna like oriental pied hornbills and blue naped parrots residing at this park are picture perfect midst lush aura.

After the prince philip park, the second and third beach can be sighted extending till the airport. One can enjoy fishing, sports activities and Tai Chi hero. Most of the locals can be seen here spending quality time. These beaches are not very popular among the tourists and thus are less crowded than the first beach.
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


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


Poring Hot Springs

Your Kinabalu tour is incomplete without a visit to Poring Hot Springs. This place is often frequented by locals and tourists who want to release their stress by stepping into the warm sulphuric mineral spring. In addition to Poring Hot Spring, you can also explore tropical gardens, butterfly farm, Poring canopy walkway, Rafflesia flower site and Orchid conservation centre.

With its alluring landscape and relaxing environment, it is one of the most sought-after places to visit in Sabah.

Location: Ranau, Sabah, Malaysia

Timing: 7:00 AM-6:00 PM

Entry fee: MYR 15 per person


Signal Hill Observatory Tower

Do you want to relish the bird's eye view of Kota Kinabalu? If yes, then head towards Signal Hill Observatory Tower and capture some of the best shots of Sabah. The mesmerising views of Kota Kinabalu, its coastline, and lush green patches from the highest point of the city are totally worth it.

One can also catch a glimpse of Likas Bay, Abdul Rahman Park and Tanjung Aru from this point. The tower can be easily reached by climbing the wooden steps through the dense forests. If you are a nature buff, this is one of the most charismatic places to visit in Sabah.

Location:
Jalan Bukit Bendera, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Entry fee:
Entry into this tower is free of cost.

Timing:
9:00 AM -11:00 PM


Sipadan Island
Located at 600m from the sea bead, Sipadan Island has the unique distinction of being the first and only oceanic island in Malaysia.

Highlights – The waters of Sipadan Island are home to over 3000 species of marine life and coral reefs, making the island one of the top five diving destinations of the world. Don’t miss spotting green & hawksbill turtles, bumphead parrotfishes, barracuda, whale sharks, manta rays, eagle rays, scalloped hammerhead sharks and many more varieties of marine life here. At the sea bed, you will find a turtle tomb covered by limestone caves, containing the skeletal remains of turtles. During 1933, this Island was declared as a Bird Sanctuary. When you dive here, you will drop 2000metres down to the sea bed.

Location – Celebes Sea, off east cost of Sabah state in Borneo Island.

Timings – March to October.

Price – Island permits are available from RM40 onwards at some resorts, subject to terms and conditions.

Kapalai Island
Located at just about 15km from Sipadan Island, Kapalai Beach is known as one of the best scuba diving destinations in the world. There is only one resort here. The rest of the beach is not inhabited at all. Today, much of the beach has eroded off and only a few sand bars are remaining.

Highlights – Many years of erosion has reduced Kapalai Island where only a few Malay style wooden chalets are seen. It is not exactly a beach, but a sand bar, on which you can undertake walks during low tides, to feel the water splash all over you. Located on the Ligitan Reef, Kapalai Island excellent diving spots in Mid Reef and The Jetty. Do try out the house reef dives at this island.

Location – A couple of hours away from Borneo Island and is connected to the more famous Kota Kinabalu by daily flights.

Timings – April to September.

Price – Varies as per diving course.

Sabah State Museum

The Sabah State Museum is located in the same place where, once, the British North Borneo Governor’s Istana was situated. Built in the year 1985, the museum consists of the Main Building, Science and Education Center, Heritage Village, Sabah Art Gallery and the Museum of Islamic Civilization. The inside of the museum is loaded with many galleries, which include the Natural history, Ceramics, Ethnography and the exhibits of Archaeology. If you love experiencing traditional things, there is a heritage village on the grounds of Museum, which allows you to enter and behold the different vintage and traditional houses of various unique groups from Sabah. The place also organizes the timely cultural activities.


How to reach: You can take the Bus No. 13 from the main City Hall and the ticket will cost you around 1 MYR per person only.

Price: The entry fees to the museum is approximately 15 MYR per person.

Timings: 9 AM to 5 PM


Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

Sprawled over 40 square kilometres on the ground of Kabili Forest Reserve, this rehabilitation centre is known to give new life to orphaned orangutans before sending them back to the forests. The reserve is inhabited by 200 orangutans who form the major highlight of this place.

Sepilok Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre is swarmed with people from all across the globe who wish to see this rare animal species living in their natural habitat. If you are someone who loves to spend undisturbed time amidst nature, here is a perfect place to visit in Sabah.

Location: Sandakan, Malaysia

Timing: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Entry fee:
RM 5 for Malaysian adults and RM 30 for foreign adults

Danum Valley Conservation Area

Spread across 440 Sq Km in Central Sabah, Danum Valley Conservation is home to a vast variety of animal species including Sambar Deer, Flying Squirrels, red-leaf monkeys, king cobras, and gibbons. If you are lucky, you will also be able to spot its vibrant cat species that include leopard cat, marbled cat, and flat-headed cats.

If you happen to be at this complex ecosystem, don’t forget to the old-age burial site of Kadazandusun which is complete with ceramic spirit jars and Belian coffins.

Location:
Lahad Datu, Sabah, Malaysia

Entry fee:
Conservation fee: RM50 per person

Camera fee:
RM 10 per person

Atkinson Clock Tower

Situated atop a hill, Atkinson Clock Tower is the oldest place to visit in Sabah. If you are looking for a place to spend 1-2 hours peacefully, this is a perfect spot. Atkinson is a square-shaped structure with a height of 50 feet. Though there is nothing special about the area around the clock, as soon as you walk up the stairs, you will be stunned by the valley view.

The tower marks its presence since 1905 and provides a deep insight into the history of Sabah.

Location:
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Entry fee: The entry to the tower remains free of any charge.

Timing: One can visit this place at any time of the day.

Gomantong Caves

Hailed as the most popular attraction in Sabah, Gomantong cave is a part of Gomantong Forest Reserve. The cave is known to be housing millions of bats and cockroaches since ages. It is composed of two primary chambers, namely The White Cave and The Black Cave. While the Black Cave can be easily approached by tourists, the White Cave remains inaccessible.

A walk across this cave will leave your shoes dirty. Hence, it is advisable to cover your shoes with plastic bags before stepping inside the cave. If you want to choose a safer way to reach the cave, you can also walk through its wooden pathway.

Location:
Gomantong Caves, Kinabatangan, Sabah

Entry fee:
RM 5 for Malaysian adults and RM 30 for foreigners

Timing:
8:00 AM-1:00 PM and 2-5 PM

Klias Wetland

Around 125 Km away from Kota Kinabalu, this coastal wetland is spread over a vast area of 130,000 hectares. The Wetland, which is also the flood plain for Padas River, boasts a huge river channel network. Klias provides shelter to a substantial population of proboscis monkeys.

It is also home to other wildlife species including monitor lizards, hornbills, estuarine crocodiles, and silver-leaf monkeys. If you are eager to spot a proboscis monkey, visit Klias during the evening time when a swarm of monkeys gather at the riverside. If you are lucky, you will get to see fireflies shining in the darkness. A typical Klias Wetland visit covers wildlife river cruise tour.

Location:
Jalan Beaufort, Kampung Kota Klias, Sabah, Malaysia

Timings:
2:00 PM-10:00 PM

Gaya Island

With its rich aquatic life and untouched rainforests, Gaya Island is an absolute treat for nature buffs and water sports enthusiasts. From Kayaking to scuba diving and snorkelling, there is a vast range of activities that one can engage in on their Gaya trip.

The island, which is the part of Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, comprises two prime resorts including Gayana Eco Resort and Bunga Raya Island Resort. If you want to make a stay on the island, these two resorts are the perfect retreat for the travellers. The best thing about this trip is that you get to cover the distance from Kota Kinabalu to Gaya Island on a special boat called Gayana.

Location:
Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Mengalum Island

Nestled away from the boisterous city crowd, Mengalum Island is a hidden-gem featuring its white sandy beaches and picturesque landscapes. The beauty of this island is not restricted to land, but it also extends to its turquoise blue waters. If you ever dreamt of swimming like a fish deep into the water, you have this place all to yourself for living this dream.

On this aquamarine journey, you will come across several aquatic creatures, including corals, fishes, butterflyfishes, and mackerels. If life under the water has always intrigued you, Mengalum Island is a must-visit Sabah tourist place for you.

Location:
South China Sea, Sabah, Malaysia

Kiulu White Water Rafting Centre

The 15-Km long river of Kiulu facilitates bountiful of water sports activities for the visitors. From paddling through the dense water to overcoming rapids, there are endless activities that will thrill your senses. Though the rapids are of lower grade, you can expect a lot of adventure on your way ahead.

This white water rafting trip is suitable for all those who are seeking a relaxing trip. If you are a beginner, who wants to kickstart their water sports adventure journey, here is a golden opportunity for you. Since the rapids here are not of a higher level, you can also accompany your kids to this spot. Once you are done with water sports, sit on the river banks and bask in the warmth of nature.

Location:
Tamparuli, Kota KInabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Timing:
8:30 AM-3:00 PM

Kinabalu Park

A dream destination for all the wildlife and nature lovers, Kinabalu Park, encompasses around 5000 plant species and over 90 mammal species. The gigantic Mount Kinabalu range forms the major highlight of this park.  

This heritage park, which is also the starting point of Kinabalu trek, is conveniently located at an altitude of 1585 metres. If you want to add a dash of adventure into your trip, engage in activities like birding, mountain biking, golf, and farm tours. You can also capture the beauty of this place in your camera as a memento your way back home.

Location: Kinabalu National Park, Sabah, Malaysia

Timing: 7:00 AM-5:00 PM

Entry fee: RM 15

Borneo Kellybays

If you have not visited this aqua paradise in Sabah, your trip is incomplete. Situated amidst dense mangrove forest along the Southern China Sea, Borneo Kellybays is a perfect place to delve into the marine world. It is a must-visit spot for all the adrenaline junkies who just never get enough of adventure and fun.

From banana boating and crab-catching to Mangrove kayaking and beach volleyball, there are a plethora of activities that this place offers. If you get some extra time, relish its cool streetside desserts or try your hand on Blowpipe Dart shooting or Batik painting. Borneo Kellybays is also a popular picnic spot among locals and tourists.

Location: Jalan Kampung, Kampung Laya Laya, Tuaran, Sabah, Malaysia

Timing: 9:30 AM-5:00 PM

Mabul Island

A tiny island off the south-eastern coast of Sabah boasting fine beaches of coconut trees, soft white sand and aquamarine waters, Mabul Island is one of the world’s top rated destinations for muck diving. What’s more, Mabul Island also boasts one of the world’s most concentrated reserves of small marine life that includes species like frog fish, scorpion fish, cuttlefish and various shellfish. Visitors here can easily stroll around the island within an hour to explore attractions like the traditional villages with their thatched huts.

 

Highlights: Mabul Island is a popular place to stay for travellers that plan to dive at one of the worlds' best dive spots and also venture out to the more secluded areas, you will find some truly fantastic beaches.

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

 

 

Masjid Bandaraya Kota Kinabalu

Popularly known as Floating Mosque, Majid Bandaraya Kota Kinabalu is another well-known tourist place to visit in Sabah. The mosque boasts traditional Islamic architecture with a slight hint of modern architectural style in it.

The entire place is dotted with moat and swinging palm trees, which add to its aesthetic appeal. Bandaraya Kota Kinabalu Majid overlooks Likas Bay which forms a perfect view for the visitors. If you are a non-muslim who has never been inside a mosque, this is a golden chance for you to learn about the old-age Islamic traditions. However, before stepping into the mosque, you have to borrow appropriate clothing from the outside booth.

Location:
Jalan Pasir, Kampung Likas, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Timings:
8:00 AM-5:00 PM

Turtle Islands National Park

Nestled in the centre of Turtle Island, this national park from Sabah provides shelter to several endangered turtle species. Turtle Islands national park is enveloped by three surreal islands including Gulisaan, Selingan, and Little Bakkungan.

Though this park is mainly popular for its sea turtles, there are several other enthralling activities to engage in. From indulging in sports like zip-lining to setting off on mountain expeditions, here, you can find more than one ways to set your adrenaline racing.

On your visit to the beautiful home of turtles, be a witness to all of their activities, right from egg-laying to nesting. For a wildlife enthusiast, this is an ideal opportunity to peep into the world of turtles.

Location: Sabah, Malaysia

Entry fee:
RM 10 for adults and RM 6 for kids

Timing:
It remains open to visitors throughout the day.

Kinabatangan River

Flowing from the Crocker Range to the Sulu Sea, Kinabatangan is the longest river in Sabah. The river passes through varying habitats including oxbow lakes, mangroves, dipterocarp forests, and Nipah. Being a part of Sukau-Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, this pristine river offers tremendous opportunities to spot the exotic wildlife.

On a visit to this place, you will get to witness rare species like Orangutans, crocodiles, and hornbill. While travelling through Kinabatangan, you will pass through bountiful of small and untouched hamlets such as Bilit, which stand as an epitome of beauty.

Location: Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia

Sepanggar Island

Clearly visible from Kota Kinabalu City centre, Sepanggar Island is one of the most idyllic places to visit in Sabah that will take your life down a few notches and help you relax in its calm environment. The island is surrounded by tropical rainforests on the one side and sandy beaches on the other. A true paradise for nature buffs, Sepanggar is blessed with exotic flora and fauna which leave you in awe of them.

Go for a long walk along the sandy beach or soak in the charm of the sun-kissed island; the choice is all yours. You can also embark on a trek to the South Sea and admire the alluring views of Gaya Bay, South China Sea, and Likas Bay. While returning from the trek, take a dip into the blue sea and engage in water sports like kayaking, snorkelling, and scuba diving.

Location: Sepanggar Island, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Mari Mari Cultural Village

Nestled away from the bustling city, Mari Mari Cultural Village introduces you to the traditional and simple Malaysian lifestyle. The village has turned into a museum which has beautifully preserved ethic Borneo culture. If you wish to delve into the history of Borneo, head straight to this small hamlet and learn some interesting facts about the city.

Mari Mari Cultural Village features five diverse ethnic tribes, including Dusun, Rungus, Lundayeh, Bajau, and Murut. A visit to this village is a perfect opportunity to learn about the culture of Borneo tribe and enjoy the live art events performed by tribal people. For all the history buffs and culture geeks, Mari Mari Cultural Village is the most prominent spot among all the Sabah tourist places.

Location: Inanam, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Timing: 10:00 AM -5:00 PM

Entrance fee: RM 96 per adult

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