Things to do in Sabah
Welcome to Sabah! Here is where you’ll find an awe-inspiring treasure trove of gorgeous islands, lush tropical rainforests, exuberant cultures and exotic wildlife. If it’s your first time here and you don’t know what to expect, here are some great ideas on what to do in Sabah:
KK City Tour
Take a city tour to visit the famous landmarks in Kota Kinabalu such as the Tun Mustapha Tower, Puh Toh Tze Temple, Sabah Museum, Lok kawi Wildlife Park, and other places of attraction. For dinner, try out the fresh seafood, succulent satay, and various types of local fruits and drinks.
Get to know the ancient Kadazan headhunters at the Monsopiad Cultural Village in Penampang, which houses the 42 ‘trophy’ skulls of the legendary warrior, Monsopiad.
Going for a scenic drive outside the city? Drop by Tenom and visit the Sabah Agriculture Park which houses numerous gardens such as the Orchid Garden that contains 400 out of 1,500 orchid species in Borneo, as well as rich varieties of other flora.
No trip to Sabah is complete without a visit to the Tanjung Simpang Mengayau, dubbed the Tip of Borneo - the meeting point between the South China Sea and Sulu Sea - a place with breathtaking sights and wonders.
Most Popular Tours
Day 2: Visit the Kinabalu Park, Malaysia’s first World Heritage Site, where the majestic Mount Kinabalu is located. On the way down, swing by to Poring Hot Springs and relax in the natural hot springs.
Day 3: Check out the peculiar-looking proboscis monkeys in Klias Wetland. At night, witness the breathtaking "Summer Christmas Tree", a natural wonder formed by thousands of twinkling fireflies.
With an abundance of islands fringed with white sandy beaches and sparkling azure waters, Sabah is a haven for beach bums.
For the best of diving and snorkeling, head over to Semporna - home of the world-famous island of Sipadan - an underwater “Amazon” in the Celebes Sea with over 3,000 species of fish and hundreds of coral species within its ecosystem.
Enjoy Nature and Wildlife
One of the must-dos for tourists in Sabah is to climb the majestic Mount Kinabalu - one of the highest mountains in South East Asia. Not a climber? Relish the beauty of nature in Kinabalu Park, enjoy a natural hot spring dip at Poring Hot Springs, or go on a river cruise in Klias.
For wildlife lovers, make your trip to ‘Nature City’ Sandakan to visit the Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary or take a cruise down the Kinabatangan River - a place with the largest concentration of wildlife in the South East Asian region. To see how turtle conservation activities are conducted, visit the turtle hatchery at the Turtle Island Park.
Bird watching enthusiasts take heed! Don’t forget to visit the Rainforest Discovery Centre where over 280 resident and migratory species of Bornean birds are spottable. For some exciting caving adventure, make your way to Gomantong Cave.
For hard core nature lovers, make your way to Danum Valley Conservation Area - a several million-years-old rainforest which is older than Amazon.
Fancy a natural wildlife safari? Tabin Wildlife Reserve - which boasts the largest mud volcano and shelters a myriad of endangered wildlife such as Pygmy elephants and Sumatran rhinos - is the place to go.
For some intriguing and mystical jungle experience, explore the depths of Maliau Basin, nicknamed “Sabah’s Lost World”, and embrace the beauty of lush Bornean rainforest!
Food glorious food! With its explosive culture, Sabah offers a diverse array of cuisines for everyone ranging from local, Chinese, Malay, Western and multi-continental selections. When in Sabah, be sure to sample some of the most delectable Sabah favourites such as bak kut teh, satay, ngiu chap and laksa.
Looking for a Spa-tastic time, Sabah style? Be sure to book yourself a healing traditional Borneo massage treatment inspired by the techniques of elderly women in the rural areas of Sabah.
For a dose of retail therapy, head to shopping centres around Sabah such as 1Borneo Hypermall, which is the largest mall in Borneo. For fresh produce, local handicrafts, and a dose of Sabahan acculturation, visit the weekly tamu (open air market).
Looking for special souvenirs to bring home? Head over to Kadaiku or Gaya Street Sunday Market for some excellent yet affordable picks, ranging from colourful embroidered cloths to stunning beaded accessories.
With its awe-inspiring natural backdrop and undulating terrain, Sabah is a golfer’s haven! Tee off at the Sutera Harbour Golf and Country Club, a 27-hole championship golf course which is one of the largest in Malaysia.
Night time in Sabah is a relaxing and laid back affair. Dance the night away at the hippest pubs in town such as Shenanigan’s Fun Pub, or soak in the cool vibe of KK with a mug of cold beer at the bars along The Waterfront.