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Kota Kinabalu, Kudat, Labuan, Lahad Datu, Sandakan, Tawau

Sabah

Area            : 74,500 km² (29,399 miles²)                    
Capital        : Kota Kinabalu               
Climate                            : Equatorial / Tropical, occasional rainshower
Coastline   : 1,440 km long (900 miles) Population : 2.66 million Average Temperature : 21°C – 32°C

Also known as "The Land Below the Wind", Sabah is the second largest state in Malaysia is situated at the northern part of the island of Borneo, the third largest island in the world.

Sabah is a haven for divers and nature lovers. It is home to the highest mountain in Southeast Asia, and the largest flower in the world. Not only is it rich in natural beauty and resources, but also in the cultural heritage of its people. There are over 30 different ethnic races and over 80 local dialects spoken in Sabah.
KOTA KINABALU
Kota Kinabalu is the state capital and international gateway to the rest of Sabah with connection to various destinations in Asia and Australia. It is a very modern city with various shopping nightlife facilities.

Kota Kinabalu was formerly known as Jesselton, named after Sir Charles Jessel, one of the Directors of the British North Borneo Chartered Company, or BNBCC. During WWII, Kota Kinabalu and other towns throughout Sabah suffered heavy allied bombing which all but leveled them. Emerging from the War, the BNBCC discovered it was too costly to rebuild, so in 1946, Sabah became a British Crown Colony - until 1963, when Sabah was granted Independence within the Federation of Malaysia.

On 30th September 1967, Jesselton was renamed Kota Kinabalu. 23 years later, on 2 February, 2000 she was proclaimed a city. As the capital of the State of Sabah, KK is also the gateway to other major towns and districts and has a population of around 300,000 .

In the vicinity of the city, there are various places of interest. Many can be explored on foot while others may be reached by bus or taxi.

A major attraction is Mount Kinabalu in the Kinabalu Park, a world heritage site only two hours from Kota Kinabalu by road. It is the highest mountain in Southeast Asia, standing at a majestic 4,095.2m (13,432.26 ft).

 

Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, named after Malaysia's first Prime Minister, is a marine park encompassing five islands. It is famous for its crystal waters and beautiful corals.

From Kota Kinabalu, other recommended attractions include the Monsopiad Cultural Village, Rafflesia Forest Reserve, and Crocker Range National Park.

 

KUDAT

Kudat Peninsula is located at the northern most tip of Sabah, otherwise known as the Simpang Mengayau. The majority here are people from the Rungus tribe. Here, each village is reputable for its individual trade; honey from Gombizau, gongs from Sumangkap, beads from Tinanggol and the longhouse living culture of Bavanggazo.

Kudat is a famous destination for scuba diving, and it is said that the best of Sabah's seafood comes from Kudat.

LABUAN

Labuan Island is located off the west coast of Sabah. It is a famous destination for wreck diving and international deep sea fishing. Once a year, there is the Labuan International Sea Challenge, an exciting water sports challenge of deep sea fishing, kayaking and swimming.

Just a couple of kilometers off the island is the Labuan Marine Park, which encompasses three secluded islets, and snorkeling and scuba trails which showcase the fascinating underwater marine life.

Labuan is also the site of a number of World War II memorials.

LAHAD DATU

 Lahad Datu is a town located in the east of Sabah. The main industry here is cocoa and oil palm, and the town also a port for timber export. From here, visit the Tabin Wildlife Reserve and Danum Valley Conservation Area, a large protected forest where human settlement and human interference Is non-existent.

SANDAKAN
Sandakan is a town on the east coast of Sabah, a city steeped in history.
  • Its character is shaped by hinterland that embodies Sabah's rich and diverse biodiversity in all its glory.
  • Sandakan has a mixture of peoples, lifestyles, cultures and faiths, it's a microcosm of modern day Sabah
  • With little more than an hour's journey outside this bustling port city, visitors will discover forest reserves rich in wildlife, including orangutan, proboscis monkeys, brilliantly-hued birds, crocodiles and elephants.
  • Just offshore from the city are the famous Turtle Islands where visitors may view rare and endangered marine turtles or indulge themselves in scuba diving.
  • Nearby too are jungle-clad limestone outcrops with numerous caves from which birds nests have been collected for centuries.

Just a drive away from Sandakan is the Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary, the oldest and largest of its kind in the world. You can also see the endangered Proboscis monkey in the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary or at Lower's Kinabatangan River Wildlife Sanctuary (Sukau).

From Sandakan you can also visit Turtle Island Marine Park, one of the best places to see nesting sea turtles all year round.

 

TAWAU

Tawau is a town located at the south-east coast of Sabah. It was once a small coastal fishing village, which eventually flourished with cocoa and palm oil plantations. The Cocoa Village on Quoin Hill is a must-see cocoa estate, where you can take a guided tour on cocoa processing.

The nearby Sipadan Island, just off Semporna, is a renowned diving destination located in the centre of the richest marine habitat in the world, the heart of the Indo-Pacific basin. Here you can visit the mysterious Turtle Tomb, an underwater limestone cave with a labyrinth of tunnels and chambers that contain many skeletal remains of turtles.

From Tawau, you can also travel to the Madai Caves, a source for swiftlet's nests, which is used in bird's nest soup, a delicacy in the Chinese cuisine known to have medicinal properties

Getting There:

The Kota Kinabalu International Airport is serviced by most international airlines, getting direct international air links from Hong Kong, Singapore Tokyo, Seoul, Brunei, Taipeh, Kaoshiung, Manila, Cebu, as well as Malaysia's capital city, Kuala Lumpur and nearby Kuching, Sarawak. Several daily flights link Sandakan, Lahad Datu and Tawau to the state's capital, Kota Kinabalu. Travel from Kota Kinabalu is also possible by air-conditioned coach and mini bus, lasting approximately 8 hrs per way to Tawau. Sandakan, Lahad Datu, Semporna and Tawau are all linked by road.

 











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