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Best Sightseeing Tours in Sabah

Known for its tropical natural beauty, Sabah is a picturesque state of Malaysia. The place is endowed with exciting islands, fresh grasslands and pristine beaches. One of the popular destination is Sapi Island. Though it is small, the place is always bustling with tourists and locals taking part in various activities such as ziplining, swimming, snorkelling, coral flying, sea walking and more. Embark on the best sightseeing tours in Sabah and explore the interesting marine life, hidden beaches and cliffs on reaching here. Another interesting resort island with one of the best beaches in Malaysia is the Mataking beach. The deserted beach is one of the hidden gems of Malaysia and good for just soaking up the sun or relaxing. Tourists can take a walk around the beach to know the place better. Also, do not miss out to check the one-of-its-kind underwater post office where one can post a letter or postcard. For photo enthusiasts, a visit to Tabin Wildlife Reserve is a must. Capture the endangered species found here including Borneo Pygmy elephants, Tembadau and mouse deer.

 

Then there is Layang Layang Island also known as Swallow Reef. Though there are many rules imposed on tourists while visiting the place, this tourism destination is highly recommended to check out. A remote Island, the place has diving spots that are as close to 2000m deep. Scuba divers can spot Hammerhead sharks, whale sharks and stunning coral reefs here. Some of the popular diving spots at this Island are Crack Reef, D-Wall, The Point, Pier Diving, Dog Tooth Liar and Wrasse Strip. An adventurous trip is not complete without trekking. The trekkers can hike to the renowned Mount Kinabalu and explore the flora and fauna along the way. The ideal months to trek to Kinabalu is between February and April as weather is pleasant. The other best sightseeing tours in Sabah are Bohey Dulang Beach, Chanteek Borneo Indigenous Museum, Mabul Island and Danum Valley Conservation Area.

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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.

 

 

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Tabin Wildlife Reserve

If you are an adventure seeker, have a passion for wildlife photography, and you love to live close to mother nature, Tabin Wildlife Reserve welcomes you, as this place can give you a right and perfect taste of nature. Visiting the Tabin Wildlife Reserve can really be a priceless experience. Especially, if you are a birdwatching and wildlife photography enthusiast, there can no better place than the Tabin Wildlife Reserve. Not only for the photographers and animal activists, but also for the normal regular visitors, this place can be a paradise


How To Reach: The Tabin Wildlife Reserve is a 7 hour drive from the main Kota Kinabalu city. Or the other option is to take the direct flight from the Kota Kinabalu to Lahad Datu, which takes around 1 hour and from Lahad Datu, you can reach the Tabin wildlife reserve in one and half hours.

Price: The day trip to Tabin Wildlife Reserve costs around 570 MYR.

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Sapi Island

Sapi Island is one of the smallest yet one of the most exciting islands in Peninsular Malaysia. Due to the large number of activities that this small place offers, peak seasons and weekends gets too crowded here. You can come here on weekdays if you want a relaxing atmosphere.

Highlights:  When you are here, try out the coral flyer exercise, which takes you in a zipline from island to island. You will get the longest zipline in the world in Sapi Island. White sandy beaches, clear waters, dense forests, great marine life and quiet beaches make this 25-acre island, a wonder, indeed. You will get to see wild boards, monitor lizards and macaques in plenty when you come here. Swimming, snorkelling, sea-walking, scuba diving, coral flying, exploring hidden beaches and cliffs and camping are some of the activities that you can do here.



Location: Close to Kota Kinabalu.

Timings: March to October.

Price: RM3 & RM1 per adult and child for Sapi Marine Park (locals).
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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.
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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.

 

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Mount Kinabalu

Hiking is one of the prominent adventure activities in Malaysia. Mount Kinabalu is one of the well-known destinations for climbing enthusiasts. It is a perfect representation of beauty of Borneo Island.

Highlights – With its excellent species of flora and fauna, Mount Kinabalu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the world.



Facts – It takes around 5 hours to trek from Mount Kinabalu to Panalaban, This is the tallest mountain in South East Asia. Hikers must get permits for Sabah Parks & accommodation in Panalaban in advance. Starting point is Timpohon Gate and the ending point for hikers is Kinabalu National Park. Asia’s first Low Peak Circuit is available here.

Timings – The months between February and April are the best to climb Mount Kinabalu, as the climate is pleasant then.

Fee – Climb permit for local adults and kids – RM53 and RM31.80 respectively; for international adults and kids – RM212 and RM84.80 respectively.


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Sapi Island

Sapi Island is one of the most beautiful Island in the whole Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. Though the island is smaller as compared to the Manukan Island, but you can still find a good crowd here. If ever visiting these islands, Sapi Island is a must visit and you cannot afford to miss it. One, must try activity on the island is the “Scuba-Doo” mini submarine experience, which is a little motorbike style submarine to do a sea walk.

 

 Location: Sapi Island is one of the five Islands that make up the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine park and is just at a distance of 15 minutes from the Kota Kinabalu.

How to reach: The Sapi Island can easily be reached from Kota Kinabalu via two ways: Either you can take the hourly ferry from the Jesselton Pier or you can reach Sapi Island from the Sutera Harbor.

Price: You have to pay an entry fees of 10 MYR per adult on the island. 

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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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