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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
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.
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
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 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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
If you are a big-time wildlife buff, this place will certainly appeal to you. Lok Kawi Wildlife Park houses different wildlife species including Malayan Tiger, Borneo Pygmy Elephants, and Proboscis Monkeys. Marking its presence since 2007, this wildlife hub consists of two sections, namely Zoological and Botanical. It is a family-oriented place where you can spend peaceful time with your family or friends amidst natural landscapes.
If you are visiting here along with your kids, explore the Children Zoo and gift them a trip for a lifetime. You can also head for a jungle trek in its botanical trail which is around 1.4 Km long.
Location: Jalan Penampang, Sabha, Malaysia
Timings: 9:30 AM-5:30 PM
Entry fee: The entrance fee for Malaysian adults and Malaysian kids is RM 10 and RM 5, respectively. For foreign adults, the fee is RM 20, while for foreign kids, it is RM 10.
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.
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