From its concrete jungle city centre to its nature and wildlife treasures beyond- Sabah gives you the best of both worlds! If you didn’t already know, Sabah is a huge state (second largest state in Malaysia) and there’s tons of amazing places to visit there! So unless you’re on a very, very long vacation in Sabah, there’s only so much places you could cover! That’s why I’ve narrowed down the long list of places to visit in Sabah to 10 must-visit places during your limited stay in Sabah instead.
I know, I know. Am I serious? Well, you bet I am! Being a local myself, I didn’t visit the state museum until just recently (yes, guilty!). I was surprised to see how well facilitated it was and there’s so much to see and learn there. The museum is also the best place to go to learn more about the state itself. There’s things from culture and ethnicity to zoology and science and technology!
Also known as the night market in Kota Kinabalu, this is where you go to get souvenirs. Some of the things you can find there are local handicrafts, fresh water pearl accessories, dried food stuff and seafood products. It’s often crowded at the market but it’s something every tourist should experience once in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
Sunset Bar, Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort
They say Sabah has one of the world’s most beautiful sunsets you will ever experience. Well, they’re right! And one of the most common and popular places to catch the spectacular sunset scene is at Sunset Bar. Picture this: You’re sipping on cocktail while feeling the warm ocean breeze on your face, and you find yourself watching then sun slowly disappearing under the vast horizon. That’s sort of what it’s like, only better.
A pregnant woman was so annoyed at a noisy baby that she threw a pot of burning mala at the baby. At the worst part of this? She wasn’t charged. Click on the image below to read about this shocking incident:
Desa Dairy Farm, Kundasang
To get there, it will take about 2 and a half hours to 3 hours from KK city. So, you can either plan a day trip to go there or stay the night in Kundasang instead (lots of accommodation around). The Desa Dairy Farm is Sabah’s own little New Zealand. The breath-taking scenery and cool fresh air will make you feel like you’ve entered intoa foreign country (I was fooled too). The cattle farm consists of Friesian cows (the black and white ones) which are the highest milk producers. Also, try their ice-cream. OMG.
Okay, I say ‘island hopping’ because there’s so many islands here in Sabah but the most popular ones include Sapi Island, Manukan Island and Mantanani Island. So, instead of going to just one of these during your visit in Sabah, you can choose to go island hopping and visit a few at once! Sand between your toes, salt in your hair, island breezes and sun kissed skin. Ah, that’s the life!
The Tip of Borneo, Kudat
Being the northernmost tip of Borneo is how it got its name. It’s about 3 and a half hours drive from KK city so you can either plan a day trip there or stay the night in Kudat (lots of accommodation around). This is another location that you can catch an amazing view of the sunset. The scenery of the ocean there is spectacular. It has a nice setting with park-like grounds to walk about. Also, the beach there is one of Sabah’s best hidden secrets. Shh! Don’t tell anyone I told you!
Gaya Street Sunday Market
Located in the heart of the city, the Gaya Street Sunday Market is a must experience! Roads are closed off every Sunday morning from 6.30am to 1pm in Gaya Street to make way for the market. Some of the many things you can find there include arts and crafts, souvenirs, cakes and pastries, home and garden stuff, pets, antiques, apparels and so many more!
Another location that is famous in Sabah for its sunset view! Besides that, being atop Kokol Hill you can also get an amazing view of Mount Kinabalu in the distance as well as the scenery of the city below which is breath taking especially at night when the city lights up! Since it’s not that far from KK city, (about an hour tops to get there), you can have a day trip to check the place out. I recommend Kasih Sayang Resort or Kokol Haven to enjoy the view and peace Kokol Hill has to offer.
Tanjung Aru Beach
The beach which stretches over 2 kilometres, is a local hotspot often seen scattered with families, couples and tourists. Both locals and tourists flock the beach for a stroll, some are seen playing in the sand or in the waters. Others prefer to head to a popular bar there, Aru Bar for cold beer or grab some grub at the food court and stalls that sells a variety of food stuff like jeruk buah (pickled fruit), dried cuttlefish, coconut water, sugar cane juice, seafood, shaved ice desserts and lots more!
Last year, Mount Kinabalu itself was amongst the many casualties of the tragic earthquake incident. Though it was a heart-breaking experience for the locals, it was also a great tragedy for the loved ones of tourists who were climbing the mountain at that time. After being closed for a couple of months, the summit reopened on the 1st of December 2015 with new and better routes. Many locals and tourists have started to return for a climb up the majestic mountain.
I put this on the list simply to remind people that even the toughest episodes in life have an end and that it’s possible to move on from a dark past. So if you’re up for a life-changing experience, Mount Kinabalu awaits you.
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