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Travel Guide to Sandakan

Travel Guide to Sandakan

Travel Guide

to Sandakan

07
April, 2017
Don’t have any idea where to go in Sandakan? Some guides for you to make your Sandakan trip exciting!

Sandakan, the second largest town in Sabah after Kota Kinabalu, is located on the northeast coast of Borneo. Sandakan was the former capital of British North Borneo until 1946, due to its busy port with visiting traders from around the world. Sandakan town has a history that is very important to the Australians and British for its infamous Death Marches which commenced here in 1945 during World War II (WWII). After WWII, the capital moved to Jesselton ( now Kota Kinabalu).

Not only does Sandakan hold precious history to the Australians and British, it also serves as the gateway to Sabah’s best ecotourism destinations for travelers. Read here for more information on Sandakan. In this blog post, we will share some of the attractions around Sandakan and food to try.

Top 5 Alternatives to Mount Kinabalu for trekking in Borneo

Sandakan is so worth visiting for its proximity to some of Borneo’s most accessible wildlife attractions. Just over 30 minutes drive from Sandakan town, Sepilok is one of the main attractions in Sandakan. The Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre is the place that travelers should go to watch Orangutan up close in their natural habitat. Beside to it, travelers can go to the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. Just nearby to Sepilok, Rainforest Discovery Centre is also worth a visit by travelers when in Sandakan, as it offers jungle trails and magnificent canopy walk for travelers to get intimate with nature, as well as get in some birdwatching activities.

In addition, travelers can go to the Turtle Island Park for a rare experience to watch turtle nesting and laying eggs, as well as witness turtle conservation at work. Travelers can check out our tour information on Turtle Island Borneo Conservation Project for booking. Other places of interest in Sandakan which can be visited by travelers would be the Sandakan Crocodile Farm which is located at Labuk Road and have over 3000 reptiles. If travelers want a chance to see the big-nosed Proboscis Monkey, then Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary is the place travelers should visit on a combo day trip tour.

For more wildlife destinations, travelers should head to Kinabatangan River – Sukau and Bilit for more Proboscis Monkey sightings or head to Gomantong Caves to see how the edible bird nests are harvested. Travelers can also continue overland and south of Sandakan to the Tabin Wildlife Reserve and Danum Valley. Our company does provide these tours for travelers to get the chance for a wildlife adventure in Borneo.

 

Sandakan was the major port for early settlers to Sabah. It is nicknamed as “Little Hong Kong” due to many Chinese settlers coming from Canton to Sandakan. Thus, this is the reason that until today the Chinese people in Sandakan have a stronger Hong Kong – Cantonese accent compared to other parts of Malaysia. A spillover effect of this, one of the places of interest in Sandakan is Puu Jih Shih Chinese temple, built for the Chinese people in Sandakan, a majestic temple definitely built to awe as it faces the Sandakan Bay.

Another must-visit attraction is the Sam Sing Kung Temple – the oldest temple in Sandakan that was built by the four main Chinese communities in Sandakan, namely Hakka, Cantonese, Hainanese, and Teochew.

Travel Guide to Sandakan
Travel Guide to Sandakan

Sandakan also was known as Sabah’s most historic town, has many other places of interest, which travelers can go through while doing the Sandakan Heritage Trail which covers the historical points of interest and sights around the city. The walk can take about 2 hours or more, and it commences at the 100-year old Masjid Jamik, then to the Pryer Monument –  a granite structure erected to honor the founder of Sandakan, William B. Pryer.

Travelers can climb up to the Stairs with Hundred Steps which will lead you to see a panoramic view of Sandakan town and bay. Along to that, travelers can also visit the Agnes Keith House – which used to be the home of the famous American writer who penned “Land Below The Wind” in 1939, and next to it is the English Tea House and Restaurant. Travelers will have the option to have refreshment and enjoy the view overlooking the town.

Next stop, travelers can go to the remains of an old staircase, that was once a part of the Chinese Consulate before the war. Visit the Goddess of Mercy Chinese Temple, which was built in the 1880s. Then, continue the journey reaching the St Michael and All Angels Cathedral, which was erected in the late 19th century and one of the oldest stone buildings in Sabah. The Sandakan Heritage Trail ends when travelers pass the Malaysia Fountain and can see the Harrisons Trading Building and two oldest banks in town, HSBC and Standard Chartered.

When in Sandakan, trying out Sandakan food should not be missed! Since Sandakan is located next to the sea, seafood in this town are so much fresher, and it makes up the town’s favorite and popular eats. Drop by to Sim Sim Water Village (Bridge no.7) to try out the tasty springy noodle, served with dim sums, century egg dumplings, and curry laksa. Travelers also can try grilled fresh fish at Pasar Sim Sim, served with amazing home-made sambal chili. Moreover, travelers should stop by at Nam Chai Restaurant for the famous seafood Bak Kut Teh or travelers can eat more fresh seafood at the 1Malaysia Steamboat Restaurant located at Trig Hill for only RM30.00 per person.

Travelers can drop by at Pasar Kim Fung located at Mile 4 for a quick delicious bite, available for dinner or supper too! Another do-not-miss food item is the Sandakan famous UFO tarts – a thin butter sponge cake as the base, top with a meringue enclosing a yellow center of eggy custard, which is so yummy to eat with a cup of hot tea/coffee and can be found in any Chinese bakeries in Sandakan.

Travel Guides to Sandakan

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Top 5 Alternatives to Mount Kinabalu for trekking in Borneo

Top 5 Alternatives to Mount Kinabalu for trekking in Borneo

Top 5 Alternatives to Mount

Kinabalu for trekking in Borneo

22
March, 2017
Mount Kinabalu and other mountain trekking tours are the ones you should not miss during your trip to Borneo Sabah! To summit Mount Kinabalu, you will need to hike for two days and early reservation is required in order to reserve a spot. Since Mount Kinabalu is famous for it being the highest mountain on the island of Borneo, it has become one of the main reason for travelers to visit Sabah. However, if you are planning to hike Mount Kinabalu at the last minute, expect those chances to be slim as climbing spots are very hard to come by. Not only that, you will need to pay the expensive price of a last minute Mount Kinabalu tour. And well, that would be a bummer now wouldn’t it?
Fret not, as Borneo island has so much more to offer for avid mountaineers and adventure seekers who plan to do hiking and jungle trekking. Here we give few suggestions of places that can be an alternative to Mount Kinabalu for your mountain trekking desires.
Top 5 Alternatives to Mount Kinabalu for trekking in Borneo

1. Kawang Forest Reserve Jungle Papar, Sabah

If you are an adventurous nature lover, then Kawang Forest Reserve is a must to try out for trekking expeditions. This is one of the alternative adventure places for you to go, if you missed the chance to experience Mount Kinabalu Jungle trekking adventure. Kawang Forest Reserve is also an excellent spot for camping and other recreational activities. Whilst engaging in the activities, you will get to experience a peaceful, natural and beautiful Borneo rainforest adventure just outside of Kota Kinabalu city. Moreover, you will get the chance to acquire survival skills and some introduction to the Borneo wildlife in the Kawang Forest.

Top Peak Travel provides several tour options to Kawang Forest Reserve in order to quench your thirst for adventures! We offer two types of tour for your convenience, you can choose either Kawang Borneo Trekking Day trip or 3 days 2 nights Kawang Rainforest Adventure.

Top 5 Alternatives to Mount Kinabalu for trekking in Borneo

2. Salt Trail Crocker Range, Sabah

On the island of Borneo, it’s obvious attraction is the dense rainforest jungle and nothing can compete with the experience of spending a few days in the jungle. Salt trail Crocker Range can be an alternative for you to go for an adventure as well as to hike across the Crocker Mountains. The Salt trails also have a more historical significance on the island of Borneo, due to its function as a trade route for remote villagers to barter their local-made products to the outside world for items that they require.

The salt trail requires about 4 days to complete. During which, you will get the chance to get close to nature, going through trees and grass covered high-lying peaks, low-lying areas with muddy paths, dense jungle, several river crossings and some local hospitality. Here you can really get a taste of the authentic feel of nature in Borneo. Rumor has it, if you are lucky, you might even encounter wildlife there too!

If you or your group are interested in doing the Salt Trail Crocker Range expedition, contact us or email us directly and we would love to arrange it for you.

Top 5 Alternatives to Mount Kinabalu for trekking in Borneo

3. Long Pasia Sipitang, Sabah

Another alternative to Mount Kinabalu for trekking in Borneo, would be Long Pasia in Sabah. Long Pasia is located in the south-western part of Sabah, adjacent to the border of Sarawak and Kalimantan. With an altitude of 1,000m above sea level, unknown to many, Long Pasia is teeming with hidden gems of the natural and historical heritage of the heart of Borneo. Moreover, Long Pasia is where you can also experience an exciting adventure whilst immersing yourself in the age old culture of the Lundayeh people.

Going through the Long Pasia Trekking expedition in Sabah, there would be no resorts or hotels. Instead what you will get is an authentic home stay experience where you will live with a family or a host. Undoubtedly it will be a tough journey to reach the isolated villages but what you get is a rewarding experience with the rich abundance of nature – the untouched mountains, rivers, jungles, waterfalls, caves to explore and a great wildlife viewing. You will be in good hands as there will be a guide with you throughout your journey ensuring that you experience nature at its best and purest.

You should definitely put Long Pasia on you must visit list when you are in Borneo . We offer Long Pasia tours if you are interested to experience the adventure trip of your lifetime. Click here for more information on the tour.

Top 5 Alternatives to Mount Kinabalu for trekking in Borneo

4. Headhunter’s Trail Mulu, Sarawak

Headhunter’s trail is a great way of entering or leaving Gunung Mulu National Park, and it is considered one of the most worthwhile trips in Mulu area, as you will gain the ultimate adventure at this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Headhunter’s trail tour will combine a visit to the main caves, jungle walks, climb the limestone Pinnacles, staying in a longhouse and hopping on the beautiful longboat journey to leave from Gunung Mulu National Park. Thus, you will get the chance to experience caving in the largest cave chamber and most extensive cave systems in the world – which is the Deer Cave and Clearwater Cave. Along the Headhunter’s trail, you will see the fascinating array of flora and fauna, with excellent introduction provided by the guide.

If you are interested to be amazed on this adventurous trip as an alternative to Mount Kinabalu for trekking in Borneo, you can check out our website for more information on Borneo Headhunter’s Trail.

Top 5 Alternatives to Mount Kinabalu for trekking in Borneo

5. Walk with Penan Tribe, Sarawak

Apart from immersing yourself in the nature and wildlife of Borneo Island, spending time with the people is also a great way for you to gain the experience of your lifetime. Penan tribe is a small ethnic group of Borneo, which are still living their traditional nomadic hunter – gatherer existence in Sarawak. Thus, living with the Penans is such an amazing experience as they are in tune with their natural habitat, being the last of the true hunter-gatherers and are noted for their practice of ‘molong’, which means never take more than necessary.

You will have the chance to spend time with the Penan people, live their daily lives and have meals together with them, as well as exploring the rainforest, all with Top Peak’s Borneo holiday tour packages. One important thing for travelers to know is jungle trekking with the Penans is so incredible as they really know the jungle inside out, they can navigate the rainforest with their eyes closed, find the ripest fruit in the jungle and slice it open for you, bringing you to the most beautiful places. Thus, this tour would have no set routes to trek, unlike in the National Parks, so the guides will just cut a way through the jungle for you to discover the rainforest of Borneo in its purest form.

 

“Only one who wanders find new paths.”
― Norwegian Proverb

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Don’t miss this when you’re in RANAU!

Don’t miss this when you’re in RANAU!

Don’t miss this when

you’re in RANAU!

08
March, 2017

Ranau is a small town which is located in Sabah, the island of Borneo. It is situated in the West Coast division of Sabah, where it is noted as a hilly geographical structure and the major producer of highland vegetables in Sabah. Ranau is inhabited almost entirely by the Dusun community and is on the highway which is connecting Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan. Ranau is also known for its tourist destinations,one of is the being Mount Kinabalu (the tallest mountain in Borneo).

However, if climbing Mount Kinabalu is not your cup of tea, there are actually few other places that travelers can go to to spend their trip in Ranau. Here, we will give a few examples of interesting places in Ranau for travelers to go.

Attractions in Ranau

Entrance of Kinabalu National Park

Attractions in Ranau

Kinabalu National Park Walkway

Attractions in Ranau

Kinabalu National Park Map Trail

Attractions in Ranau

Botanical Garden

Attractions in Ranau

Signboards Liwagu Trail

Attractions in Ranau

Jungle trekking in Kinabalu National Park

1. Kinabalu National Park

Kinabalu National Park has been recognized as a Center of Plant Diversity for Southeast Asia by UNESCO, as it contains a vast expand of pristine forest. The main attraction of the Park is the majestic Mount Kinabalu. However, if travelers did not manage to climb Mount Kinabalu, travelers can go for jungle trekking around the park headquarters. There are nine networks of trails around the park, which are the Bundu Tuhan View Trail, Kiau View Trail, Pandanus Trail, Bukit Ular trail, Bukit Tupai & Bukit Burung trail, Mempening trail, Liwagu trail, Silau Silau trail and Mountain view trail.

Walking around on the trails will allow travelers a chance to exercise those seldom used muscles and adjusting to the altitude before climbing the summit of Mount Kinabalu. In addition, travelers can have a greater chance to see birds and other small wildlife. Kinabalu National Park also has a botanical garden, where travelers can see some rare flowers that can be found in Borneo.

2. Desa Cattle Dairy Farm

Desa Cattle Dairy Farm is located at the foothill of Mount Kinabalu, approximately 8km from Kundasang town -known as “Little New Zealand in Sabah”. The farm is 199 hectares and it is a milk processing factory for cows and goats. Travelers could get the chance to see the majestic view of Mount Kinabalu in the early morning at Desa Cattle Dairy Farm. On the other hand, travelers could also take in the breathtaking view of the scenery plus enjoy the cooling breeze air at Desa Cattle Dairy Farm.

Apart from visiting Desa Cattle Dairy Farm to take in the fascinating scenery there, travelers can also do a few other activities, such as feeding calves with bottled milk, feeding goats with grass, Raw Milk Processing and Milking Process. Travelers also can purchase some souvenirs there especially the popular dairy products like Desa Cattle’s milk in a box, ice cream, yogurt, and many more to satisfy your sweet tooth.

 

Attractions in Ranau

Mount Kinabalu View in Desa

Attractions in Ranau

Desa Cows

Attractions in Ranau

Desa Farm Stone Landmark

Attractions in Ranau

Mount Kinabalu View

Attractions in Ranau

Desa Outside View

Attractions in Ranau

Young Calf in Desa

Attractions in Ranau

Desa Product - Gelato

Attractions in Ranau

Desa new product - Milk Coffee

Attractions in Ranau

Freshly made Yogurts from Desa

Atrractions in Ranau

3. Mesilau Nature Park

Mesilau Nature Park is a great place for travelers to escape from the hot tropical sun as the climate in that area is much cooler. It is the highest point that can be accessible with automobiles, surrounded with hills and closer to the foot of Mount Kinabalu. Due to the chilly climate, there are sparsely spaced trees, but with a great range of ferns, fruiting shrubs, orchids, rhododendrons, the biggest pitcher plants in the world (Nepenthes Rajah) and other medium-height vegetation.

Mesilau Nature Park also serves as an entry point to the Mesilau trail, which used to be an alternative starting point to the Summit trail (originally started from Kinabalu Park headquarters), in order to conquer Mount Kinabalu. However, the Mesilau trail is recommended for those who are fit and sturdy due to its uneven trail which goes in a vertical manner compared to the Timpohon Summit Trail. Travelers can enjoy a nature walk in Mesilau as there are several trails that travelers can embark on, such as Kogonon trail and Nepenthes Raja trail. There are also an impressive numbers of bird species and insects that can be found in Mesilau for travelers to see.  

4. Poring Hot Spring

Poring Hot Spring is situated in the lowlands, and about 43km from Kinabalu National Park. Travelers can go there to de-stress and soak away the sores and aches of their muscles in the spring’s hot sulphuric minerals, known to have healing properties and very commonly popular among the locals.

Apart from just soaking inside the hot spring, travelers can also venture towards other attractions in the Poring Hot Spring, such as the butterfly farm, Poring Orchid Conservation Centre, the tropical garden, Rafflesia Flower site, Poring Canopy Walkway, Kipungit waterfall, Bat cave and Langanan waterfall. For more information, you can read here.

Atrractions in Ranau
Atrractions in Ranau

5. Lupa Masa Jungle Camp

Another interesting place for travelers to go in Ranau would be the Lupa Masa Jungle Camp. It is a place where travelers can simply just relax and enjoy the surrounding nature. A unique jungle camp that is located on the lower slopes of Mount Kinabalu National Park. The word ‘ Lupa Masa’ literally translated from Malay language means forget time, which many travelers tend to not realize the time during their stay there. It’s a place for travelers to snub their busy schedule and follow the primitive tempo of mother nature.

Just a 45 minutes walk from the village of Poring, travelers can go towards the camp and experience the jungle with guided help. Main activities that travelers can do in Lupa Masa Jungle Camp are jungle-based activities, such as guided day or night walks, wildlife sightings, bird watching, jungle survival courses, or for a relaxing time they can go for a swim in the waterfalls and rivers. We also provide a tour to Lupa Masa Jungle Camp, check out our website here.

6. Mamut Copper Mine

Here is another interesting place that not a lot people know about. Ranau was home to the largest mining project in Malaysia – Mamut Copper Mine. However, it ceased operations in 1999 because of an overflow of mixed copper flowing into the fields which caused many farmers to lose their crops and homes. Now, it has become one of the main attractions for the locals or tourists to visit, due to its incredibly beautiful scenery and refreshing air. There are basic accommodations available there, namely the Mount Kinabalu Holiday Camp.

Atrractions in Ranau
Atrractions in Ranau

7. “Tagal” Fish Spa Sungai Moroli, Kampung Luanti

Travelers will have the chance to acquire a unique spa experience when visiting the “Tagal” Fish Spa Sungai Moroli, Kampung Luanti. “Tagal” in the local Kadazan-Dusun dialect means “no fishing”, and its purpose is to preserve the environment as well as the ecosystem of the river for the benefit of generations to come. Thus, it becomes as natural ecotourism spot. Travelers can come to Kampung Luanti for regular fish massages activity which helps to remove dead skin from the feet. Apart from the fish massages activity, travelers can also choose to go for jungle trekking, camping, relaxing and get to know ways of life of the villagers in Kampung Luanti.

8. Sabah Tea Garden

Sabah is known for its own local tea brand – Sabah Tea, which has been established since 1978. Sabah Tea Garden is the only pesticide-free tea farm in Borneo. This is one of the attractions in Ranau that travelers should not miss visiting and it is only a couple minutes away from “Tagal” Fish Spa Sungai Moroli, Kampung Luanti.

A trip to Sabah Tea Garden is both fun and educational for travelers as they can enjoy few activities while in Sabah Tea Garden, such as obstacle-crossing in the Sapaon Recreational Area, jungle trekking along the trails to the peak of Kamunsu Hill, swimming in a cool and pristine mountain water, a night walk and a tea factory tour. Needless to say, travelers could have a glimpse of sustainable agricultural practices and human development in harmony with nature on this trip. Most importantly, travelers could also enjoy freshly-made tea pancakes and Sabah Tea Pandan teh tarik from the Tea House. For more info, travelrs can check their website at Sabah Tea.

Attractions in Ranau

Sabah Tea Garden Office

Attractions in Ranau

Sabah Tea Plantations

Attractions in Ranau

Sabah Tea Garden Longhouse

Attractions in Ranau

Sabah Tea Garden Heart Landmark

Attractions in Ranau

View from Sabah Tea Garden Restaurant

Attractions in Ranau

Sabah Tea Garden Restaurant

Atrractions in Ranau

9. Kundasang War Memorial

A visit to the Kundasang War Memorial is to commemorate the brave Australian and British Prisoners of War who died in Sandakan and also during the infamous death marches to Ranau during World War II, as well as for people of North Borneo who risked their lives to help the prisoner of war. Travelers not only can learn the history but also be able to see the beautiful scenery and the 4 well-preserved gardens, namely the Australian Garden, English Garden, Borneo Garden and Contemplation Garden & Pool – representing the different nationalities..

10. Lohan Paragliding

Lohan Paragliding is the newest attractions in Ranau, located in the Sport & Paragliding Complex and is only a 10 minutes drive from Ranau town. Take off point is located at the high point in Lohan, where it offers a beautiful view of Kinabalu Park and Liwagu valley.

Fret not, travelers who wishes to experience this adventurous activity but does not know how to paraglide, there will be tandem masters who will be flying together to the landing area. Travelers could also get the chance not only to experience flying but also viewing the scenic view of Borneo jungle and districts in Sabah.

Atrractions in Ranau
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Travelers’ guide to Kota Kinabalu

Travelers’ guide to Kota Kinabalu

Travelers’ Guide to Kota Kinabalu

08
March, 2017

Kota Kinabalu, or generally known as ‘KK’, is the capital city of Sabah. KK is located on the west coast of Sabah within the West Coast Division, and it is the largest city in Sabah. KK is a fast growing tourism destination, where it becomes the main pit stop for travellers before going off to either the wild adventures in the jungle or the beautiful coral reefs in the islands of Sabah.

From indulging in the delicious seafood to island hopping near Sabah’s deep water, the abundant wildlife adventure tours to the swanky shopping malls in the city – KK offers much to travellers who want to stay on during their trip in Sabah.

Kota Kinabalu has become a must visit place for travellers near and far by giving these few reasons below to tempt travellers to stay on. There are plenty of tour packages in Kota Kinabalu;- from leisure to outdoor activities, as well as corporate incentives fully customizable and planned by us.

1. Absorb in sights of the city’s attractions.

Taking a day trip around the city, travelers can see the three buildings surviving the 1945 Allied Bombings – Atkinson Clock Tower on a hill beside Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, the old post office – which is now the Sabah Tourism Board headquarters, and a welfare office, which has become an unofficial street art gallery;- beautiful paintings done by local artists . Just behind that, take a walk up the stairs to the Signal Hill Observatory Platform to enjoy a breathtaking view of Kota Kinabalu city.

Hop in a cab to go to Sabah Museum to immerse in the rich culture and history of Sabah; visit the mesmerizing beauty of the Floating Mosque at Likas or the tallest building in Kota Kinabalu – Menara Tun Mustapha. 

Feel free to check our Kota Kinabalu City & Nature Tour for more info.

Travelers' guide to Kota Kinabalu

Atkinson Clock Tower

Travelers' guide to Kota Kinabalu

Sabah Tourism Board Office

Travelers' guide to Kota Kinabalu

Old Welfare office

Travelers' guide to Kota Kinabalu

Signal Hill Observatory Platform

Travelers' guide to Kota Kinabalu

Likas Floating Mosque

Travelers' guide to Kota Kinabalu

Sabah Museum

Travelers' guide to Kota Kinabalu

Menara Tun Mustapha

Kota Kinabalu Food

2. Kota Kinabalu is a good place to eat, drink and chill.

Kota Kinabalu offer travellers a good place to eat, drink and chill. With its diverse cultures from various ethnic races’ comes with its different cuisines, ranging from local traditional culinary, Asian fusion, Western cuisine, etc. For budget holiday travellers, there are also affordable prices in and around KK city. Travellers can go to KK’s night market, located near Le Meridien hotel, where one can enjoy fresh seafood cooked on-site and experience first-hand locals hospitality. Apart from that, there are also coffee shops that offers affordable prices on food and beverage.

KK city also has nightlife to offer for those who wants to relax and chill after a long day. Travelers can find bars, pubs and clubs along the Kota Kinabalu waterfront overlooking the sea and within KK Times Square.

3. Beautiful Sunsets near Kota Kinabalu Beaches

Travellers can witness a truly beautiful sunset in Kota Kinabalu city. According to Huffington Post writer, Kathleen Peddicord, she wrote an article listing Sabah as one of the top 8 places in the world to see sunset. Travelers can just walk around the Kota Kinabalu Waterfront to view the sunset over a pint of beer after a long day. Waterfront is one of the most popular holiday spots for locals and tourist to go for nightlife.

There’s another amazing spot to watch the sunsets and chill, at the Sunset Bar at Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort. Travelers can sit, take a sip of cocktail, listen to the jazzy sounds of the live band while be  mesmerized by the sunset. Travellers can also go to Signal Hill Observatory Tower for a chance to watch the panoramic view of Kota Kinabalu city as well as the beautiful sunset. Check our blog post about Sunset in Borneo Sabah.

Kota Kinabalu Sunset
Kota Kinabalu Island

4. Island Hopping Tour Packages

There are a few islands that can be found near Kota Kinabalu city, namely the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park (TARP), which consists of Gaya, Manukan, Sapi, Mamutik, and Sulug islands. The five islands are unique in a way that they form part of the national marine conservation area that are minutes away from Kota Kinabalu city.

Travellers can simply take a boat ride from Jesselton Point Terminal and choose which island to go. Once at the islands, travellers can experience a wide-range of water activities, such as island hopping, parasailing, banana boat ride, coral flyer zipline, sea-walking and more. Or else, they can opt to just relax and soak up the sun.

We offer a daytrip tour to traveller to get the chance experience islands near Kota Kinabalu, please check TARP Island Hopping for booking.

5. Shopping Malls and Local Market

Kota Kinabalu is a modest size area, but has major shopping malls and shopping areas that travellers can find in many other Asian cities, which are mostly located in the main Kota Kinabalu city. However, it does not have the quality offerings to compete with the likes of the Kuala Lumpur shopping malls, but there are still some bargains and surprises in store, enough to give the Sabah shopping experience to the travellers.

There are a few major shopping malls in Kota Kinabalu city, such as Centrepoint, Karamunsing Complex, KK Plaza, Wawasan Plaza, Wisma Merdeka, Suria Sabah Shopping Mall, Oceanus Waterfront Mall, Imago Shopping Mall, Warisan Square, and 1Borneo Shopping Mall. Moreover, if travellers would like to go somewhere unique where they can practice their bargaining skills, then Gaya Street Sunday Flea Market and Filipino Market is the place to go! These wonderful markets are a good place for travellers to purchase local handicrafts, souvenirs and many other interesting items, but bargaining is a must.

Travelers' guide to Kota Kinabalu

Suria Sabah

Travelers' guide to Kota Kinabalu

Wawasan Plaza

Travelers' guide to Kota Kinabalu

Wisma Merdeka

Travelers' guide to Kota Kinabalu

1 Borneo

Travelers' guide to Kota Kinabalu

Karamunsing Complex

Travelers' guide to Kota Kinabalu

Imago

Travelers' guide to Kota Kinabalu

Center Point

Travelers' guide to Kota Kinabalu

Handicraft Market

Travelers' guide to Kota Kinabalu

Gaya Street Sunday Market

Kota Kinabalu Wildlife

6. Nature & Wildlife Tour Packages

It is not a surprise for Kota Kinabalu city to be titled as a nature resort city. Apart from going out from KK areas to experience the wildlife and nature tour, travellers can also experience it in Kota Kinabalu too!

Travellers can go to the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, for a chance to see the Borneo Pygmy elephants, Proboscis Monkeys, Malayan Tigers, and some different species of deer. In addition, travellers can also experience Borneo’s ocean biodiversity at Aquarium and Marine Museum in University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) campus. Kota Kinabalu wetlands are another one of the places for travellers to enjoy fresh air, a walk through the unique ecosystem, as well as bird watching.

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10 Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know Before About Borneo!

10 Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know Before About Borneo!

10 Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know Before About Borneo

01
March, 2017

Borneo is an incredible place which can fulfill every travelers’ dream. For travelers that are looking for something that is extraordinary to one’s eye, Borneo has the potential to fulfill their expectations. Be ready to be blown away with the amazing beauty of the jungle, rich cultural diversity and one of a kind tropical adventures.

Here are 10 facts about Borneo Island that attract most to the wanderlust out there.

1. Borneo is not a country! It is actually an island consisting of three different countries – namely Brunei, Malaysia (Sabah & Sarawak) and Indonesia.
 2. Borneo is the 3rd largest island in the world, behind Greenland and New Guinea. The land area of Borneo is 287,000 square miles or 743,330 square km.
10 facts about Borneo
10 facts about Borneo
3. The Borneo rainforest is one of the most ancient forests in the world, estimated to be about 140 million years old. Currently half of the world’s timber comes from Borneo.
 4. Home to the Orangutans, which can only be found in the rainforest of Borneo and Sumatra. Orangutans share about 97% of their DNA with humans – an interesting fact. (Photo source: Orangutan Foundation
10 facts about Borneo
10 facts about Borneo
5. Borneo also houses approximately 210 mammals – 44 of which are native to Borneo. It is inhabited by many endangered species such as Sumatran Rhinoceros, the Bornean Pygmy Elephant, and Bornean Clouded Leopard. Our tour package offers wildlife adventure tour for those who interested get a close up to wildlife.
6. Its highest point is Mount Kinabalu which is located in Sabah, Malaysia. This site has been accorded UNESCO World Heritage status which is now a tourism hotspot. 
10 facts about Borneo
10 facts about Borneo
7. Borneo is one of the world’s most biodiverse spots. Being home to an estimated 15,000 different plant species, with about 35% of it endemic – species such as The Nepenthes species, wild Orchids, Calophyllum tree and many more. Our tour package offers sightseeing and close up experience with the amazing natural habitat. (Photo source : Phillo )
8. The largest flower in the world – Rafflesia Arnoldii, can also be found in Borneo. It is known as the corpse flower because it gives out a rotting corpse smell. Sabah and Sarawak is especially known by tourist with this gigantic flower species. (Photo source : Rafflesia )
10 facts about Borneo
10 facts about Borneo
9. Borneo has various cultural influences, as it is home to close to 200 ethnics groups, which make up the natives of Borneo. Each of the ethnicity have different customs, laws, traditions, dialects and respective cultures. Some of the main ethnic groups are Dayak, Malay, Banjar, Chinese and Kadazan-Dusun. (Photo source : Brillio.net)
10. Borneo is twice the size of Germany; it covers an area of 287,000 square miles. They pack amazing adventures one can never get bored exploring into.
10 facts about Borneo
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Sabah Travel Guide – Top 10 Reasons to Travel to Sabah

Sabah Travel Guide – Top 10 Reasons to Travel to Sabah

Top 10 reasons to travel to Sabah

22
February, 2017

Many of you have heard about Sabah, the second largest state in Malaysia –  also known as the Land Below the Wind. With the population over 3.1 millions of people, blessed with unique cultures, beautiful beaches and diving spots, nature, and wildlife diversity, This is a place that you should never miss on your travel bucket list.

Sabah will always have something unique to offer to you. So, if you have not yet made any vacations plan, be sure to mark Sabah as one of your lists. Here,we will provide you the top 10 reasons why you should travel Sabah.

Top 10 reasons to travel in Sabah
Kota Kinabalu City view from Signal Hill Observatory Tower. Photo: Rosmadi Shakri
1. Kota Kinabalu –  Nature Resort City
The capital city of Sabah, formerly known as Jesselton during the British colonial era days. You will never missed a chance to visit Kota Kinabalu (KK) city as it is the main gateway to other destinations in Sabah.

You can head to the Signal Hill Observatory Platform to enjoy the KK city view and islands. Take a walk along the KK city Waterfront to experience the food and nightlife entertainments, or you can go further south to the Filipino handicraft market to purchase inexpensive textiles, pearls and other souvenirs to bring back home. Shop till you drop in KK’s shopping malls or you can go for a Sunday Market at Gaya Street area. One of the best thing in KK is you will be fascinated with the variety of cuisine offered not only in hotels, restaurants but also by hawker’s stall.

You can read our blog post on Kota Kinabalu previously known as Api Api.

2. Islands in Sabah
Sabah also was known as the “Maldives of South East Asia”, as it has dozens of islands that are open for tourist. Who can resist with the clear water and white sandy beaches of this beautiful tropical island? Sabah offers a various experience on where you can go for a diving and other activities.

You can go for Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park (TARP) island hopping – consist of Manukan, Mamutik, Sapi and Sulug island, in a day. Apart from diving, you can also go for a birdwatching in Mantanani Island. Get close to the marine life to dive in Mabul Island, Kapalai Island and the most famous diving spots – Sipadan Island.

You can read our blog post on Top 5 Islands in Sabah.

3. Habitat for Wildlife
Half of Sabah is covered with forest, most of it as forest reserves and it is a home for the most unique and rarest wildlife. This gave many reasons to not only travelers but also wildlife experts,filmmakers, conservationists to travel all the way to discover wildlife in Sabah.

You can either meet Orang Utans at Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, or you can go for a river cruise at Kinabatangan river to discover Proboscis Monkey and majestic birds. Pygmy elephants and Clouded Leopard spotting in Danum Valley Conservation Centre or in Deramakot Forest Reserve. Spotting the Bornean rhinoceros and tembadau in night safari at Tabin Wildlife Reserve. Moreover, you can choose to swim with turtles in coral reef around Turtle Island Marine Park.

You can read our blog posts on the Mammals Of Borneo : Kinabalu National Park6 Borneo Tours of Wildlife Will Leave a Permanent Exotic Experience in Your Life, Borneo Reptilians and Borneo Amphibians.

4. Nature
Sabah is a perfect place for nature lover where it is rich with natural resources and tropical rainforest. You will get the chance to experience the real beauty of nature and getting to know some rare and exotic flora in Sabah.

Take a nature walk around the Kundasang Kinabalu park, where you can get a majestic view of the Mount Kinabalu. Exploring the natural bird-nesting caves in Sabah – Gomantong Caves, Madai Caves, and Batu Punggul Caves. Jungle trekking in the Kawang Forest Reserve; the unique Lupa Masa Jungle Camp;  or to Maliau Basin, where you can experience a peaceful, natural and beautiful environment

Top 10 reasons to travel in Sabah
Top 10 reasons to travel in Sabah
Sabah diverse cultures. Photo: EstherK Borneo
5. Sabah Culture
There are more than 30 different ethnics group, with each different language, culture and heritage, living together in Sabah. You are welcome to experience the uniqueness of the various culture in Sabah.

Get to know various traditional homes of Sabahan ethnic in Mari-Mari Cultural Village in Kota Kinabalu, or stopping by to the living museum-Monsopiad Cultural Village to understand the unique ingenious architecture, simulated lives and ritual ceremonies. There are other places you can visit as well, such as Kadazan Dusun Culture Association Cultural Village, Meranjak homestay, Linangkit Cultural Village, Chanteek Borneo Indigenous Costume Museum.

6. Historical Places
Another reason to visit Sabah is due to the state’s rich with history. There are few historical landmarks you can go for a visit. Get to know the history during the World War II, by visiting the Kundasang War Memorial park and Sandakan Memorial Park. You can also visit the Mat Salleh Memorial Tambunan, Petagas Memorial Garden, Atkinson Clock Tower, North Borneo Railway and much more.

You can read our blog post on The Atkinson Clock Tower of Jesselton, British North Borneon

10 reasons to travel in Sabah
Top 10 reasons to travel in Sabah
7. Tip of Borneo
Going to the northern point of Borneo, where the South China Sea meets the Sulu sea. Tip of Borneo is located in Kudat, a limited development but possess a fascinate view of the scenery. Tip of Borneo also known as Tanjung Simpang Mengayau meaning the junction to the battle at the tip and it used to be a watch-point for pirate invasion hundred of years ago.

Best thing is, it is open to all and the entry is free! You can experience not only the scenic view, but also can do activities such as fishing, surfing, camping, and much more.

8. Best place to Stargaze
Not most of people know that Sabah’s offer the places for you to enjoy stargazing. It is recently becoming popular in the tourism industry.  With its low levels of light pollution and less cloudy skies, you won’t missed the chance to capture the beautiful night sky and horizon. There are few best places to stargaze in Sabah, but one of the best locations for stargazing would be in Tanjung Simpang Mengayau, Kudat.

You can read our blog post on Top 5 Places in Sabah To See Stars .

Sabah star
Pantai Indarason Laut, Kudat. Photo: Christianto Soning
Top 10 reasons to travel in Sabah
9. Sunsets View
You will never get bored of looking the sunsets while in Sabah. It is not a once in a lifetime events, but a daily occurrence. The air in Sabah is clean and giving clear view of sunsets, added with the dense cloud of the tropical climate created a more colourful and magnificent sky for sunset. Thus, most people refer to Sabah sunsets as “the most beautiful sunset in the world”.

You can check our post on Sunset in Borneo Sabah.

10. Mount Kinabalu
Mount Kinabalu is the tallest mountain in Malaysia with 4095 meters high above sea level. If you are up to the challenge, you can get 2 days 1-night package to climb up to the Low’s Peak Summit. Currently, there are two summit trails – Ranau trail and Kota Belud Trail (New!). Ranau trail is used by the climbers daily and Kota Belud trail is considered to be more challenging. Unfortunately, Mesilau Trail will be closed due to the inaccessible path from the recent earthquake. Thus, all climbers will ascent and descent via Timpohon trail from now. It is advisable for you to book early to avoid disappointment as Mount Kinabalu only limit 135 climb permits per day which issued by Sabah Parks.

You can read our blog post on Mount Kinabalu Climb History .

Sabah star
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