6 Hidden Islands in Sabah Borneo for an Exotic Beach Vacation

6 Hidden Islands in Sabah Borneo for an Exotic Beach Vacation

6 Hidden Islands in Sabah Borneo for an Exotic Beach Vacation  

06

October, 2017

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Fun Dive Borneo

Travel to Unknown Places and Discover Unknown Passions.
– Anonymous

Borneo has many wonderful idyllic islands and beaches, especially in Sabah Borneo. Pristine beaches, crystal clear waters, beautiful corals, colorful fishes, diving, lush green nature, and relaxation; these are just some of the things that anyone can experience on the islands of Sabah Borneo. So, look no further, as Sabah Borneo might fit the bill for your next Borneo island getaway!

When planning for a beach vacation in Sabah Borneo, one most likely will choose destination that are shown in magazines, online media, or from friends’ recommendations. As time goes by, some might feel that those destination are not as interesting as before.

Looking for novelties? Here are six hidden islands in Sabah Borneo, that will be perfect for an exotic beach excursion.

1) Sibuan Island

Hidden islands in Borneo
Sibuan Island view. Photo by: eTawau

Sibuan Island is located in Semporna, Sabah Borneo. It is part of the eight islands (Sibuan, Bodgaya, Bohey Dulang, Tetagan, Sebangkat, Selakan, Maiga, and Mantabuan Island which is also part of the Tun Sakaran Marine Park). Click here to see Borneo island map which shows the islands in Tun Sakaran Marine Park.

Sibuan Island is bestowed with abundant marine life, home to plenty of pygmy seahorses and the beautiful mandarin fish. Sibuan Island is truly a number one sighting for many divers. Unfortunately, there are no resorts and public facilities on the island, the nearest one will be on Pom Pom Island and Mataking Island. For budget travelers, they will prefer to stay in some of the budget accommodation in Semporna town and book a day tour to Sibuan Island.

Activities that can be done in Sibuan Island are swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, and sun-bathing. In addition, Sibuan Island is also known for being one of the best muck diving spots in Malaysia.

2) Lankayan Island

Hidden islands in Borneo
Lankayan Island view

Lankayan Island is a small tropical coral island, which is nearby to Beluran, Sabah Borneo. There is only one resort on the island, Lankayan Island Dive Resort, which was built in 1997. Lankayan island has a myriad of marine life, coral, and sunken weeds; which makes Lankayan Island one of the must-dive spots in Sabah Borneo. One of the highlighted activities in Lankayan Island is from March to May each year, diver enthusiasts should go for the not-to-be-missed chance to dive with the majestic whale sharks.

Apart from that, Lankayan Island is also a part of the conservation island project, which is similar to Turtle Islands National Park of Sabah Borneo. Due to being a nesting ground for Green and Hawksbill Sea Turtles, offers a chance for travelers to witness sea turtles laying eggs and hatchlings being released to the sea. Lankayan Island is truly the best place to spend a quiet beach vacation with family and friends filled with relaxation and unspoiled nature.

3) Pom Pom Island

Hidden islands in Borneo
Water villas in Pom Pom Island Resort view

Pom Pom Island is a small coral reef island in the Celebes Sea in Semporna, Sabah Borneo. Pom Pom Island is relatively untouched by humans (there are no villages here), surrounded by white sand coral beaches, which makes it one of the famous spots for Green and Hawksbill turtles to lay their eggs.

In addition, Pom Pom Island is also macro divers paradise with so many small marine creatures near the Pom Pom Island resort area. Travelers can also enjoy the beach activities (i.e. kayaking, beach volleyball, etc.) or just simply laze around at the resort area.

4) Dinawan Island

Hidden islands in Borneo
Morning view of Dinawan Island. Photo by: Lai JiunLoong

Dinawan Island is a privately owned island which is located in the southwest of Kota Kinabalu city, nearby to Kinarut town. There is a resort built on the island which is surrounded by lush tropical rainforests and crystal clear water.

Travelers can experience a relaxing and undisturbed atmosphere on this island. Get ready to be blown away by the breathtaking view of the scenery from the island and the squawking sound of Hornbills from the distance.

There are several activities that can be done at the Dinawan Island, such as snorkeling, sea walking, scuba diving and other water sports activities. For travelers who are into fishing, Dinawan Island also offers activities of day and night fishing trip.

5) Sepanggar Island

Hidden islands in Borneo
Sepanggar Island. Photo by: Mari Mari Sepanggar

Sepanggar Island is located off Sepanggar Bay in Sabah Borneo, which is only about 10 minutes boat ride from the Jesselton Point terminal ferry in Kota Kinabalu city. Sepanggar Island is twice the size of Manukan Island, click here to see the Borneo map of islands in Borneo.

Instead of going to the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park for an island getaway destination, travelers should head out to Sepanggar Island. There is only one accommodation available on the island, which is Mari Mari Sepanggar Lodge. It is one of the off-the-track islands in Sabah Borneo, which offers travelers a quiet and chillaxed feeling by the sea.

Apart from relaxing by the beach, travelers can also go for scuba diving, kayaking, fishing, and jungle trekking on the island.

6) Maliangin Island

Hidden islands in Borneo
Maliangin Island. Photo by: Justinlingg

Maliangin Island is part of Kudat division in Sabah Borneo, which is about 30 minutes boat ride to reach the island. Moreover, Maliangin Island is also part of the gazetted area of Tun Mustapha Marine Park.

Maliangin Island is not much of a development but it is a great place for travelers to feel the authenticity of the beach paradise. There is only one accommodation available on the island, which is the Maliangin resort. However, travelers can stay in Sri Maliangin homestay which is located on Banggi Island, where travelers can actually live like the locals!

Maliangin Island is known for its wide range of corals and marine life. This island is also one of the snorkeling and diving haven for divers and non-divers. Here’s an additional article for you that will make you book a trip to Kudat

After reading through these 6 Hidden Islands in Sabah Borneo for your exotic beach vacation, don’t forget to put these islands into your list of Islands to visit. Apart from that, check out our other blog post on our pick for the best beaches in Sabah Borneo.

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Quirky Things You Can Do in Malaysian Borneo!

Quirky Things You Can Do in Malaysian Borneo!

Quirky Things You Can Do in Borneo Malaysia

29

September, 2017

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Borneo Island, is the ideal destination for tourists and travelers. From the pristine Borneo Rainforest, to an amazing encounter with Borneo wildlife, delicious food, unique culture, and not forgetting, colorful festivals celebrated. There seem to be so many attractions in Malaysian Borneo that you will find yourself extending your Borneo Holiday trip!

However, Malaysian Borneo do surprise tourists & travelers with some of the attractions that may look unusual to them but is actually quite an interesting thing to do!

Wanna know what it is? Check out the list below for the quirky things you can do in Borneo Malaysia.

Indulge on Sago Worms (Butod)

Things to do in Borneo
Live Sago Worm or Butod. Photo by: NicoleKis

Yes, worm! Or specifically the larvae of the sago worms. It can be eaten either raw ( which some say taste like chicken!), roasted or stir fried. This is not something that you can see in your everyday food intake, but this is considered a delicacy eaten by some of the indigenous groups in Malaysian Borneo. However, you can’t see this delicacy served in any normal restaurant in Malaysian Borneo, but you can find it being sold in the local market or “Tamu”. There is one eaterie in Kota Kinabalu city that you can actually have your first experience of eating the Sago Worm, which is D’Place Kinabalu. So, do you dare to eat?

Check out our other blog post entry as we share our experience of having our Traditional Dinner in D’Place Kinabalu.

Feast on Durians

Things to do in Borneo
Feast on Durian. Photo by: Rawsomehealthy

Durian is widely known as the King of Fruit in Southeast Asia and the distinctive odor make some locals, or tourists, turn their nose around. However, some find the smell so tempting and sweet like an almond, but to others, they will say it smells rotten and bad ( some even passed out after smelling it! Yikes!). Although the durian odor can be disagreeable to some, the taste of the flesh is oh-so-yummy! Almost all Malaysian Borneo locals love to eat durians, so get ready when the time you are traveling in Malaysian Borneo and it is durian season, you may see a lot of stalls selling durians. Some places in Malaysian Borneo also offers “all-you-can-eat” durian buffet, which features different types of durians for you to try out!

Want to know other bizarre fruits in Sabah Borneo? Click here to read.

Visit the Cat Museum 

Things to do in Borneo
Collections of miniature cats’ toys

In any museums of different countries that you’ve gone, you will never expect that there is a museum dedicated to Cats! It is none other than the Cat Museum in Kuching, Sarawak. The Cat Museum features the feline collections such as paintings, photo, the mummified Egyptian cat, cat souvenirs and more; which has over 4,000 collections of the feline. Unusual as it may be, it is quite interesting to visit to the Cat Museum when you are visiting Kuching, Sarawak Borneo. Good news is, it is FREE to visit but a nominal fee provided if you want to bring along your camera or video camera inside the museum.

Are you planning to visit Kuching city? Click here to read travel guides to Kuching city.

Adopt an Orangutan 

Things to do in Borneo
Orangutan looking afar

As much as you enjoy your first encounter of the cute Orangutans in the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in Sandakan Sabah Borneo, you can actually adopt the Orangutans (but not the kind of adoption you can bring home though!). It is actually to support the center’s purpose of rehabilitating the orphaned orangutans, so the orphaned orangutans can be properly taken care and being observed on their daily routines in the natural habitat, as well as to prevent it from extinction.

Party in the Borneo Jungle 

Concert party in the Borneo Jungle

Yes, you read it right! We do have a party in Borneo jungle, and you are invited ( but don’t forget to buy the entrance fee tickets!). This party is held yearly in Sarawak Cultural Village and it is none other than the Rainforest World Music Festival. This party brings music artists and lovers from around the world together in this world-renowned indigenous festival unlike any other. What makes the party more fun is it lasts for three days! (Awesome!) You can hear the exotic sound of the traditional music everywhere, join the dance and craft workshops provided or even check out the live music performance at night. Just imagine yourself there with music blasting, a decent amount of alcohol and dancing there, and it is all set in the heart of the Borneo jungle. There is no party that is so much cooler and exotic than that!

Never been to Rainforest World Music Festival in Sarawak Borneo? Click here to read the newbie guide to Rainforest World Music Festival.

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A Weekend Escape At The Sapi Island!

A Weekend Escape At The Sapi Island!

A Weekend Escape At The Sapi Island!

26

July, 2017

If you ask me about the Island nearby, i would definitely suggest you going to Sapi Island just about 15 Minutes from the Kota Kinabalu City Centre. Sapi Island is one of the islands of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park and it is well protected and preserved. One does not just visit the Island to have a look around. There are tons of things to do when you are in the Island. Go for a dive, snorkeling, picnic, swim, and many more.

Be welcome by the clear blue crystal clear ocean water of the island

Just look at that water, doesn’t it make you wanna jump in and just cool down. One of the must-not-miss activity to do when you’re in Sapi Island is of course the water sports activities. Go for the snorkeling and I bet that you won’t regret a thing as you can see a lot of beautiful coral reefs and fishes of all kinds. The amazing display of coral reefs will satisfy your eyes.

Put on your snorkeling mask and jump in! Don’t be shy to the fishes!
Mask Up and it’s Time To Dive!

Other than snorkeling, you can also go for the dive. Pulau Sapi has one of the best diving spots nearby Kota Kinabalu City. You will see many sea life and also corals. The Dive Masters will guide you to some of the best eye satisfying corals that you will ever see and I bet it’ll be a memorable one for the rest of your life. 

For the food, you can always head to the next island to grab a little or maybe a big lunch. The Padang Point beach that is only at the opposite of the Sapi Island and you can grab a quick lunch there. There is a few restaurants that operate on the island and they serve a variety of food like fried noodles, rice, and many more.

A Weekend Escape At The Sapi Island!
Here are some of the happy guest of Pulau Sapi enjoying their local lunch

Another thing that you shouldn’t miss when you’re in Sapi Island is the Zipline. It is definitely something very different from any other zipline that you will ever experience. Glide across from one island to the other island and pass through the clear blue crystal clear water and corals below.

A Weekend Escape At The Sapi Island!
The Breathtaking Views, The Adrenaline Rush and Just Pure Joy!
A Weekend Escape At The Sapi Island!
It’s the Amazing Coral Flyers!

The Coral Flyer Zipline was recently launched to offer a buzz of adrenaline rush for thrill seekers out there! From Gaya Island, you get on the zipline crossing to Sapi Island and it is super fun as you can see the excitement just by looking at the pictures. It made me super stoked seeing the pictures and it made me want to experience it myself and get that good dose of adrenaline rush.

A Weekend Escape At The Sapi Island!
Strap your camera with you and don’t forget to capture that unforgettable moment zipping across from Gaya Island to Sapi Island.

The experience I had in Sapi Island is superb and I would really recommend anyone to visit the island if they’re looking for a place to chill and just de-stress from the concrete jungles of the Kota Kinabalu City. Just take a 15 minutes boat ride from Jesselton Point to reach the Paradise Island and don’t forget to leave your problems behind okay.

A Weekend Escape At The Sapi Island!
Just enjoy the sun and just enjoy the relaxing ocean breeze as it blows all your troubles away! ^^

Apart from going to Sapi Island for day trip, there are also few places that you can spend for a day trip in your Borneo Holiday. Do check out our blog on Top 5-day trips to do in Sabah

Bring me to explore Kota Kinabalu City!

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Kampung Babagon Tagal River

Kampung Babagon Tagal River

KAMPUNG BABAGON TAGAL RIVER

05

July, 2017

Kampung Babagon Tagal

Look out for this very Fishy Road Sign that will lead you straight to Kampung Babagon River Tagal.

Want to enjoy some relaxing cold crystal clear water without going to the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park Islands or spend a day away from the stressful city life? Here’s what you can do if you’re planning to go somewhere nearby, there’s a place called the Babagon Tagal River In Penampang which will only take about 30-40 Minutes drive from the Kota Kinabalu city centre.

Make sure to bring some extra clothes and towels because there are gonna be a lot of swimming when you are there. Let’s see if the crystal clear water doesn’t make you want to jump in to have a short dip. Trust me you won’t regret a single bit as the cold crystal clear water will take away your stress and put you in the most relaxing state ever. Have a dip and just relax at the riverside and enjoy the calming sights and sounds of nature at its finest. Throw away all your problems and leave all your troubles in the city and just enjoy.

Kampung Babagon Tagal River

Well! What are you waiting for? Christmas!? Jump In! In Ya Go!

Super tempting crystal clear water that is super hard to resist not to go in. If you ask me, I think you wouldn’t have the chance to ask because I’ll be the first one to jump in before you get the chance to ask.

Other than swimming in the amazing crystal clear water, Babagon river is also one the best place to bring the family along as it has a lot of family activities to do there and one of it is to have your riverside family picnic. Enjoy the scenic views and also the relaxing surroundings together with your family and friends. Enjoy some barbecue wings along the river, and top it up with some cold drinks to complete your weekend escape from the city life.

Kampung Babagon Tagal River

Enjoy your riverside barbeque lunch with your family and friends and just relax

Kampung Babagon Tagal River

You can always use the public picnic area to have your small gatherings and barbeque party with your family and friends

When you’re in Kampung Babagon, you will have the chance to see the daily life of the local villagers there as there are many farms and fruits orchards in the area. So chances of you seeing the locals carrying fruits around the area is quite normal there. Don’t be shy with the locals as they are very friendly and welcoming to almost anyone who visits, just ask them politely and they might sell you some of their freshly grown fruits or maybe get a sample of it.

Kampung Babagon Tagal River

The famous Babagon River Underwater Bridge. Photo by: Desmond Chung

Kampung Babagon Tagal River
Kampung Babagon Tagal River

The normal everyday life of the locals in Kampung Babagon. This is a common sight

Kampung Babagon Tagal River

Wanna wash your car? You can do it here. Just find a good parking spot near the Babagon River underwater bridge and let the washing begin! Photo by: Nelson Michael

One of my favourite thing to do in Kampung Babagon River is of course FISHING! With the proper permits and agreements from the head of the village, you will be allowed to fish the river with one rule that is always Catch and Release all the fishes you caught. Here’s a brief introduction about the tagal system. Tagal is a system that is applied to most of the rivers here in Sabah and it is aimed to conserve and protect the rivers and also the Pelian or Mahseer fish from being over harvested. Each tagal river is a no go for fishing and it is only opened once a year for the local villagers to harvest the fishes in the river.

Kampung Babagon Tagal River
Kampung Babagon Tagal River

One of the fine examples of the healthy Mahseer Fish caught in the Babagon River. Catch, Photo, and Release! Thanks for the thrill!

In my opinion, Babagon River is one of the best places to visit and the best part is that it is not very far from Kota Kinabalu City Centre. Don’t know where to go for the weekends, plan your trip up to Kampung Babagon Tagal River and enjoy!

Do you want to know the top 5 day trips that you can do in Sabah Borneo? click here to read our blog on “Top 5 Day Trips To Do in Sabah Borneo“.

 

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TOP 5 DAY TRIPS TO DO IN SABAH BORNEO

TOP 5 DAY TRIPS TO DO IN SABAH BORNEO

TOP 5 DAY TRIPS TO DO IN SABAH BORNEO

27

June, 2017

Sabah, Borneo’s lush tropical rainforest and rich coral reefs, and colourful culture has made Sabah a great place to travel. Incorporate them with the relatively low prices for travelers has put Sabah as a must go-to place to visit. The only way to really experience the beauty of Sabah is basically to backpack your way from one end to the other. But if you don’t have the time, there are still many things to do on a daily basis.

5. Quad Biking in Kinabalu

Adventurous is your middle name? Then try out quad biking through dirt roads, up and down muddy slopes, across lush greeneries, and feeling the cool breeze on your face, all while having Mount Kinabalu as your backdrop.

4. River Cruise

Nature lover by heart, but not much time to kill? Enjoy a slow river cruise down the Weston Wetland Park and get the chance to see the endemic Proboscis Monkeys in the wild. Not to mention other wildlife as well, such as Flying Foxes, various types of Langurs, Crocodiles, and loads more. In the evening, be awed by a special performance from the Fire Flies with their “flashing lights” in their habitat.

For more information, check out our Proboscis Monkey River Cruise tour, or you can read our blog on Weston River Cruise for you to get the feel before deciding to go for a visit. 

3. Mari Mari Cultural Village

Sabah Borneo’s culture is rich and diverse and oh so interesting! You might not have the chance to stay with a native family for the next few days, but you can head on over to Mari Mari Cultural Village to experience and learn about Sabah’s diverse ethnicity. From their customs and beliefs, the way they do their chores, cook their food (with wood), how they greet, and so much more! You even have the chance to try out some local delicacies. Something not to be missed!

Feel free to read our blog as we share our trip to Mari Mari Cultural Village day trip.

2. City and Nature Tour

Want to know more about the history, architecture, and nature within a day but you just don’t know where to start? Ask the experts and they’ll be glad to show you a few places which fit nicely within a day. Do you know that Borneo was once colonized by the British Colony? They left many of their trails in Sabah and the history behind it is wonderful! Knowing that Sabah is predominantly indigenous people, you’ll be amazed at how mesmerizing the Floating Mosque looks like. Venturing into villages, you’ll see how fast scenery changes from concrete jungles to green landscapes, you’d think you just crossed borders! For booking tour, you can look up our Kota Kinabalu City and Nature Tour

1. Taste of Borneo Cooking Class

Sabah Borneo not only has you loving its’ food, it’ll want you to share it with your loved ones too. What better way then if not to learn it? Within a day, you’ll be able to learn several local dishes, which are pretty simple and taste nothing like the foods you eat in the shop. Authenticity is what it is and you’ll even mingle around with locals in the fresh market and get your hands down and dirty mixing up all the local ingredients to whip yourself a local cuisine in no time. To know more on how to join this authentic Borneo Cooking Class in Sabah, feel free to contact us here. Moreover, you can read our blog as we share our experience on the Unique Taste Of Borneo Cooking Class Tour.

 

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Essential Tips to Stay Healthy while Traveling in Sabah, Borneo

Essential Tips to Stay Healthy while Traveling in Sabah, Borneo

Essential Tips to Stay Healthy while Traveling in Sabah, Borneo

25

June, 2017

Travelling can be so amazing, but it can also be disastrous if you do not take care of your health while traveling in Sabah, Borneo. To stay healthy while traveling is totally doable if you strategize on your travel plans. Thus, here are some of the essential tips that you will need to stay healthy while traveling in Sabah, Borneo.

1. Before you go, do some research first…

Essential Tips to Stay Healthy while Traveling in Sabah

Before traveling, you would need to know which destinations you would go and to know what kind of illnesses that you may face there. Consult your local doctor as well as read online on how to avoid those illnesses. You can also research on options of dining places in your travel destination so that you can find options for healthy food to sustain throughout your trip.

You can also download our Travel Health Sheet here for FREE!

Download your Travel Health Sheet

2. Next, immunizations or vaccinations!

This is a choice that you will need to do before visiting Sabah. Several vaccinations are recommended before you travel, which depends on your itinerary. Seek your local doctors for advice and recommendations on travel health. You can also download our free travel health sheet too!

3. Stay hydrated while traveling

Essential Tips to Stay Healthy while Traveling in Sabah

Sabah is incredibly hot and humid with a bit of rain throughout the year. However, it is recommended for you to stay hydrated at all times and drink more water to boost your immunity and metabolism while you travel in Sabah.

4. Boiling water/ mineral water intake

Best not to drink tap water, and this applies to anywhere you travel. So, it is better to drink mineral water or boiling water. You should be carrying water bottle all the time to stay hydrated.

5. Walk every day

If your destination is only a walking distance, it is recommended to explore it on foot, as it is one of the way to do some exercise while travelling. Use a map, get lost or get found, you will eventually realise that there will be more hidden gems that are not in the travel guide. This is a chance for you to enjoy the sight, smell and sound of the new surrounding, as well as to save some budget for your trip.

Essential Tips to Stay Healthy while Traveling in Sabah

6. Pack some healthy snacks

Essential Tips to Stay Healthy while Traveling in Sabah

Bring healthy snacks for you to eat, it will help you to avoid unhealthy food that are readily available. Be careful when eating foods from street vendors, unpasteurized dairy products, and raw or uncooked foods.

7. Don’t forget your sunblock and insect repellent!

Sabah weather can be unpredictably hot. Thus, you will very much likely get sunburnt when going out. Apply your skin with sunscreen to protect from the hazardous impacts of sunlight. Apart from that, don’t forget to use mosquito repellent when you are in Sabah, because it is to prevent you from getting dengue fever, malaria, or life threatening diseases.

8. Bring your Wet Wipes and Hand Sanitizer

We recommended you to bring wet wipes and/or hand sanitizer to maintain good hygiene as some public washrooms can be dirty.

Essential Tips to Stay Healthy while Traveling in Sabah

9. Don’t forget your supplements and basic first aid kit!

Sabah weather can be unpredictably hot. Thus, you will very much likely get sunburnt when going out. Apply your skin with sunscreen to protect from the hazardous impacts of sunlight. Apart from that, don’t forget to use mosquito repellent when you are in Sabah, because it is to prevent you from getting dengue fever, malaria, or life threatening diseases.

10. Travel insurance is always a good idea

Travel insurance companies will make it easier for you by providing a cheaper rate for travelers to be prepared for any unexpected accidents (God forbid!), without having the need to pay extra charges. Just make sure to keep your travel insurance details with you at all times, as it will help to speed up the process and making sure your insurer is informed.

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