SABAH “LAND BELOW THE WIND”
Sabah also nicknamed “Land Below The Wind” is one of the four Territories on Borneo, the third largest island in the world. The others are Sarawak, Brunei and Kalimantan Indonesia. Sabah is home of around 2 million people of over 30 different ethnic groups, speaking 80 different dialect. She is unique amongst them all because she has the tallest peak in South East Asia, has the Northernmost tip on the Island of Borneo, and have one of the best underwater dive hotspots as mentioned by famous voyager Jacque Costeau. As a tourist attraction Sabah is gifted with all the adventure tourist are looking for.
Mount Kinabalu standing at 4,095 m (13,435 feet) above sea level is not only for recreational climbing but also home of the Annual International Kinabalu Climbathon besides having the worlds highest via Ferrata starting at the height of 3,400 m and ends at 3,800 m . It has been said that anyone who arrives in Sabah actually does not reach Sabah if he/she did not climb Mount Kinabalu (well, or at least go to the National Park at its foot).
Visiting Sabah is as good as back to nature within civilization. It has the growing city of Kota Kinabalu (formerly Jesselton) and the Lost World if Sabah in Maliau Basin. Sabah is in fact a one stop tourism spot for any leisure and adventure seekers, from climbing the highest peak in South East Asia to diving in one of the best diving spots in the world next to the world’s deepest trench, the Marianna Trench.
Simpang Mengayau in Kudat is the northernmost tip of Borneo. It is the point where two seas meet namely the South China Sea and the Sulu Sea. Visitors can make a day trip and spend the night in the town of Kudat, spend the night at Rungus Longhouse or travel back to Kota Kinabalu. Along the trip you can visit Kg Sumangkap (Gong making cottage industry) and/or Kampung Gombizau (the honey Bee Village)
If your trip is on a Sunday, make a stop at Kota Belud for its Tamu, the most popular local Sunday market in Sabah and if you are lucky able to see and meet the “Cowboy of the East” donning spectacular costumes and impressive displays of riding skills.
WHITE WATER RAFTING
If you want to tame the wild Padas River (Grade III-IV) opt for white water rafting. Travel down south to the Pedalaman District to get yourself wet on the rough waters and rapids to raise your adrenalin, riding waves as high as six feet and thrilling rapids up to Grade IV down Sungai Padas. You can either go by road or experience the only railway service on Borneo Island, The Borneo Railway, to Tenom town.
Kiulu River rafting Grade I and II river and offer a safer challenge suitable for children and less adventurous adults.
WILDLIFE ZONE OF SABAH
Sandakan the Wildlife Zone of Sabah on the north East of Sabah has to visit the Orang Utan sanctuary, Turtle Island or the lower Kinabatangan wetland of Sukau to observe the proboscis monkey and its wildlife. Besides Sukau, Sabah also has another Mangrove wetland in Klias to watch firefly and proboscis monkeys.
BACK TO NATURE
Sabah also has abundance of nature sutes at Maliau Basin in Tawau District, nicknamed the Lost World of Sabah. She also keep Danum Valley as a rainforest conservation centre and Tabin wildlife reserves with its richest wildlife concentration. Birdnest lovers can walk into the Gomantung Caves, a limestone cave and bird nest collection centre.
Another nature’s product of Sabah is her worlds largest flower, the Rafflesia, and blooms at certain time of the year makes it unique to be present during such times.
ISLANDS AND DIVE RESORTS
Marine Parks is another attractions presented to divers . Island hopping around Kota Kinabalu ia an attraction for those leisure water lovers.
Dive and admire the corals on the islands off the coast of Tawau, Semporna and Sandakan. They house among the most beautiful underwater ecosystem of flora and fauna.
Having 30 different ethnic groups, Sabah has the most varied culture that belong to each of them but however do not miss to try out the most popular among them the Kadazan’s Sumazau dance or the Tagunggak, the bamboo dance. Visit Sabah during the early month of May each year and the cultures of Sabah bloom because that is the month when the state celebrates her annual Harvest Festival.
Don’t worry about accommodation because there is abundance of different types of accommodation ranging from 5 star hotels to longhouse homestays that suit your pocket.
So, why Sabah? ………because every districts has its own attraction like wildlife, clear gushing waterfalls, interesting jungle produce, native festivals or historical sites.
About the Author: Zahari Baharum
A full time blogger writing about lifestyle, travel and sports. I am also a social media influence with profiles on most popular social media sites.
Thank you for reading and commenting. Please enter our next Travel Writing competition and tell your story.