Sunday,20 August,2017

10 Things To Do When You Travel To Sabah

Travel to Sabah

I came to Sabah about 17 years ago. I was very young and adventurous then. A lot of things had changed since. But, one thing remains the same: Sabah is a beautiful place and has a lot of beautiful and friendly people, too. 

Frankly speaking, I don’t think I’m ever going to leave this place. 😀

But, then again, you never know, right?

It never ceases to surprise me whenever I go back to Semenanjung to find that many West  Malaysians have never been to Sabah before.

If budget is the issue, rest assured that travelling is now easier and cheaper than before, with proper planning.

And if you’re one of the many Malaysian who have travelled across the globe but has yet to step on the Land Below the Wind, I’d have to ask:

what’s holding you back?

Sabah Malaysia

Travel To Sabah

For those who wishes to visit Sabah, be they Malaysians or foreigners, whether in the near future or just as a note in your bucket list, here are my suggestions on things you might want to do when you do travel to Sabah, starting from the gateway to Sabah, Kota Kinabalu.

Try the Local Foods

Ambuyat Grace Point

I know some of you can’t wait to eat seafood in Sabah with the many seafood restaurants and stalls around.

But why not try the other traditional local cuisines and cakes such as:

  • Hinava
  • Ambuyat
  • Tuhau
  • Tuaran Fried Noodle
  • Kolupis
  • Wajit
  • Roti Kawin
  • etc.


Of course, if you still crave for seafood, there are many seafood restaurants in Kota Kinabalu such as Port View Restaurant (in KK city centre), Kampung Nelayan Seafood Restaurant (at Tun Fuad Stephens Park), Gayang Seafood Restaurant, Salut Seafood Restaurant, etc.

At Kampung Nelayan Seafood Restaurant, if you arrive before 7.30pm, you might get to see some cultural performances while enjoying your dinner. 

Or for a merrier and less expensive seafood fare, there are also open stalls near the KK Central Market.

You’ll get to pick and choose from the varieties of live seafood available for the chefs to cook on the spot.

Take A Speedboat From Menumbuk To Labuan

speedboat to labuan

If you intend to visit Labuan from Kota Kinabalu, then you should forget using the ferry (as it’s time-consuming with limited day trips) and take a bus from Kota Kinabalu to Menumbuk and then continue on a speedboat to Labuan.

Let’s do something more fun and challenging.


You’ll also get to enjoy the local scenery along the way without the need to stay overnight.

Climb Mount Kinabalu

Mount Kinabalu

Mount Kinabalu is the highest peak in Malaysia. It is also the 20th most prominent mountains in the world by topographic prominence.

It will be quite an achievement for you to scale this mountain.

If you are fit and have the time to do it, then I suggest you include climbing Mount Kinabalu in your itinerary.

Please ensure that you are well prepared before embarking on this adventure. It is advisable to stay in the Kinabalu Park or a highland resort prior to climbing for high altitude acclimatization.

You will face numerous steps and steep slopes during the climb and the temperature will be very cold as you climb higher.

It normally requires 2 days and 1 night to complete a Mount Kinabalu climb.

To be on the safe side, please book through licensed local operator listed in Sabah Tourism Board.

Stay Overnight At Kundasang

Kinabalu Pine Resort 3

Even if you don’t intend to scale the magnificent Mount Kinabalu, you would not regret an overnight stay in Kundasang.  Day trip from KK without an overnight stay is possible but would be too hectic and you would miss some of the loveliest spots that the highlands of Kundasang has to offer.


There are many family-friendly activities to partake in Kundasang such as:

  • visiting the Dairy Farm where you can meet the friendly cows and get fresh supplies of milk,
  • visit the enchanting Sabah Tea Garden
  • have fun at Poring Hot Springs
  • be mesmerized by the flora & fauna at the Kinabalu National Park, and many more sights to see.

Travel To Kudat And Be At The Tip Of Borneo


Well a visit to Borneo won’t be complete if you’ve not been to Tanjung Simpang Mengayau.  Simpang Mengayau means ‘lingering junction‘ as it is here that the South China Sea lingers and meets the Sulu Seas flowing from the east.

This place is also located at the northernmost tip of Borneo.

Hence,  it is called “The Tip Of Borneo”.

Do enjoy the stunning view here.

Bavanggazo Rungus Longhouse

You can stop at Tanjung Simpang Mengayau if you are on a trip to Kudat. It’s just about 30  minutes drive from the town of Kudat.

While there, you should also visit:

the Gombizau Honey Bee Farm

step into the Bavanggazo Rungus Longhouse

and enjoy the hospitality of the friendly Kudat folks.

Snorkelling At Sipadan Island

sipadan island

If you love diving and enjoy the underwater panorama, Sipadan must be in your itinerary.  Offering a diversity of marine life, this dive mecca is indisputably the most famous scuba destinations in Malaysia.

Visit Sandakan – Land of Diversity and Conservation

Sandakan sabah

Fancy waking up to the chirping of birds and being greeted by all sorts of flora & fauna?  Sandakan may be your place.

Be charmed by the enchanting orangutans at Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre;

be mesmerised by the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary;

watch turtles at Selingan Turtle Islands, enjoy the scenery at the Rainforest Discovery Centre in Sepilok;

step into Gomantong Caves;

climb the steep stairs of Agop Tuluq Museum

and many more activities to fill your days in Sandakan.

Danum Valley and Tabin Wildlife Reserve

Danum Valley

From Lahad Datu, you can visit two main national parks :

Danum Valley is a 438 square kilometers unspoiled primary rainforest (lowland dipterocarp) while Tabin consists mainly of secondary forests.

Danum Valley has one of the most complex ecosystems in the world.

Take A Train To Beaufort


Once back in Kota Kinabalu, if you have time to spare, why not take a trip to Beaufort via Sabah State Railway?

If you take the 7.30am trip, you should be back in KK before 2pm.  You’ll have about 1 hour of sightseeing in the quaint town of Beaufort and then enjoy the trip back.

Of course, you could also take a much later trip and spend 5 hours in Beaufort.

Inside SSR Train

The wonderful thing about the journey is the sights along the way.

Shop At Filipino Market


Now, before your journey home, do shop for some local souvenir at the famous Filipino Market and also at the Dry Market located next to the Filipino Market.

Or, you could also have fun bargaining at the Night Market at Kampung Air.

These are just some of the things to do when you’re in Sabah.  There are, of course, many more wonderful things which I shall reserve for next time.  Have fun!

This Article Was Written By

ISMAIL N is the 'de facto' owner and editor-in chief of DuluLainSekarangLain.Com. A Human Resource practitioner in his normal daily life and consummate blogger in his free time. He is addicted to coffee and Manchester United. Most easily accessed via his Twitter account.

Ismail N

Leave a Comment

  • mindloading Reply

    apa yg menarik ttg sabah yg saya perasan sejak beberapa kali ke sana..
    • makanan diorg mesti ada kuah sup, kalo mintak mi goreng kat mamak pon akan diberi semangkuk kuah sup 🙂
    • kebanyakan org cina & india sabah pon slang sabah, kita di semenanjung kebanyakan jarang org cina, india slang kenegerian
    • masa saya merokok dulu boleh jumpa rokok marlboro 10 btg, sini takde dah.. (skg dah 3 thn + quit)..
    • rata² org² sabah mmg sporting, kalo kita usha diorg & senyum diorg ok aje, sini tak.. ahahaha
    • sabah kurang org pakai motor, jd kurang laa bunyi bising motor, apa tah lg mat rempit..

    i miss sabah, insyllh ada rezeki sampai lg sana.. ko tggu aja sana bhaa ;D

    March 2, 2017, 8:26 am
  • Hasrul Reply

    Saya asal Sabah, sekarang di Kota Kinabalu. Let me know once you in KK, i will bring you for city tour. 😀

    October 21, 2016, 11:03 am
    • Zurainny Ismail Reply

      TQ for the offer. Kami memang duduk di KK ni bro… 😀 Tapi jrg dpt mkn angin sbb kekangan masa & demand kerja.

      October 22, 2016, 4:00 am
  • Diverse Borneo Reply

    Sabah has many wonderful places to go and explore.

    October 4, 2016, 6:15 am
  • Uncle Zuan Reply

    apa yang ada di Sabah tiada di semenanjung.

    inshaAllah akan ke sana suatu hari nanti 🙂

    February 1, 2016, 1:37 pm
  • jep Reply

    assalam…sy nk tanya pasal akta pekerja….saya dlm tempoh probation, 3 bulan…dan sy telah beri short notice slama 4 hr utk berhenti kerana sy x tahan dgn sikap majikan y selalu bayar gaji lambat..dan sy jga ingin mnyambg plajaran…utk makluman tuan mjikan sy telah beri gaji pertama sy pada hujung bulan kedua sy bekerja….sy ttp bekerja smpai bulan ketiga…pada ujung bulan ketiga sy telah beri short notice untuk berhenti slama 4 hr….dan surat berhenti sy dah diterima oleh mjikan..y jd masalahnya majikan sy ttp x bayar gaji sy untuk 2 bulan dgn alasan dia tiada duit padahal gaji sy hnya rm600x2=1200….dan jika sy buat laporan adakah majikan sy akn pertikaikan short notice sy? tapi d dalam kontrak dan surat tawaran mmg tidak ada nyatakan tntg perlunya beri notice 4 mggu..adakah sy layak menerima gaji full?

    January 18, 2016, 1:59 am
  • Hani Nj Reply

    stay overnight at kundasang mmg berbaloi & terbaik, melihat permandangan gunung kinabalu ketika matahari terbit satu pengalaman yg sgt indah.

    July 2, 2015, 4:09 am
    • Ismail N Reply

      Alang-alang ke Kundasang, sebaiknya bermalam di sana. Thanks atas komen anda itu.

      July 26, 2015, 4:34 am
  • Hasrul Hassan Reply

    Hmm tengah berkira-kira nak pergi ke Sabah ni … bila la dapat kesampaian .. 😛

    March 31, 2015, 4:25 am
    • Ismail N Reply

      tak lama lagi tu bro..


      March 31, 2015, 6:12 am
  • drama full episode online Reply

    sabah mmg best, nti nk gi dairy farm lak… hehehe..

    March 30, 2015, 2:24 am
  • Padin Reply

    wahahaha baru jumpa post nih…
    dah selamat sampai di puncak kinabalu..
    banyak lagi tempat menarik yg belum pegi ni..
    harap2 ada masa dan peluang lagi ke sana

    March 22, 2015, 6:17 pm
    • Ismail N Reply

      @Padin, ingat next time bagitahu awal. Jangan dah balik JB baru ko Whatasapp kawe lagi 😀

      March 23, 2015, 3:11 am
      • Padin Reply

        hehee.. beres.. teruja nak pi naik gunung
        tu lupa nak roger.. da balik baru teringat

        March 24, 2015, 3:36 pm
  • Suriya Reply

    seronok pergi sabah. sanggup tu turun Tip of Borneo walaupun mengandung 6 bulan masa tu. Rasa rugi kalau tengok dari atas je. Overnight di Kundasang pun best sangat. Mungkin lepas ni boleh try panjat Kinabalu pula.

    March 20, 2015, 7:14 am
    • Ismail N Reply

      Wow, boleh turun ke bawah masa mengandung 6 bulan? Hebat. Curam bukit tu.

      March 23, 2015, 2:43 am
      • Padin Reply

        untunglah baby belum keluar da sampai tempat tu 😀

        March 24, 2015, 3:37 pm
  • Travelog Siti Reply

    Nak sangat pergi Dairy Farm tu. Mesti sejuk kat situ kan?

    March 19, 2015, 10:06 pm
    • Suriya Reply

      a ah sejuk. lagi satu yang seronok, minum susu lembu fresh.

      March 20, 2015, 7:15 am
    • Ismail N Reply

      Sejuk. Lebih kurang mcm di Genting Highland.

      March 23, 2015, 2:25 am
  • suri Reply

    banyak lokasi menarik entah bila dapat pergi…

    October 21, 2014, 1:36 pm
    • Ismail N Reply

      Insya-allah tak lama lagi tu 😀

      October 22, 2014, 2:59 am
  • titan Reply

    benda yang aku cukp suka kat sabah ni..

    adalah gunung kinabalu. hoho

    bila la nak naik kali ke lima nih..

    October 21, 2014, 7:22 am
    • Ismail N Reply

      Jom panjat gunung. Ini kali kita selfie di atas gunung 😀

      October 21, 2014, 9:21 am
      • titan Reply

        bila weh? bila? hehe..

        November 2, 2014, 10:21 am
      • Travelog Siti Reply

        Kalau dah naik tu, kalau rajin, tolong poskan poskad kat saya dari puncak gunung kinabalu tu haha

        March 19, 2015, 10:08 pm
  • ema Reply

    rindu nak pergi sabah lagi….ada tempat yang masih belum dilawati

    October 21, 2014, 1:43 am
    • Ismail N Reply

      Dulu lawat kat mana? Boleh share? 😀

      October 21, 2014, 9:20 am