Always the Do’s – What About the Dont’s when traveling to Sabah Borneo?


August, 2018

Day Trips in Sabah Borneo

It would probably be a safe bet to make if I were to say that each time you make travel plans, there’s always a long list of Do’s that those around you so freely offer. To me, that’s the easy part. The tricky part is knowing the Don’ts.

Social rules are so diverse all over the world, that what seems acceptable back home may not be elsewhere. So before planning your next travel, make sure to brush up on cultural differences to avoid offending local sensibilities.

I’m no expert at the Don’ts for the rest of the world but I do know a Don’t or two for Sabah Borneo or affectionally called the Land Below the Wind, a term made popular by the American author Agnes Keith. So let’s get to it.

1) Don’t Strip Naked on the Mountain (or anywhere else public for that matter)

Don'ts when traveling to Sabah Borneo

Mount Kinabalu summit. Photo: meme_and_me

On May 30, 2015, 10 tourists summited Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain between the Himalayas and New Guinea. At the peak, they stripped naked and took photos of their acts. You can read about it here.

To others planning on climbing the mountain, my advice is, please don’t do this – ever. It may seem cool to go home with a memento of you being stark naked on the majestic mountain but wouldn’t a nice selfie showing you made it to the peak suffice?

And before you say the selfie’s not enough, think of others when you do your full monty. Not everyone will a think a view of you baring it all is a welcome sight. The mountain is sacred to the locals and such blatant disrespect of it will not go down well.

If manners and thoughtfulness are not your cup of tea, then at least think of your body. At an elevation of 4095 m, it can get mighty cold up there on the peak.

2. Don’t show off your dancing skills at Places of Worship

Don'ts when traveling to Sabah Borneo

Kota Kinabalu City Mosque

You may be a serious artist who wants to make sure you are still honing your talent even when you’re on holiday but doing that in a skimpy outfit on the walls of a place of worship is not the way to do it.

Sometime in June 2018, 2 tourists were caught on video dancing barefoot on top of a wall outside the Kota Kinabalu city mosque. If that wasn’t bad enough, they were only dressed in crop tops and shorts.

This place may not be their place of worship but it is for others who practice the faith. That should be enough reason to respect it.

Sadly their actions had consequences not only for themselves but also for others. The mosque has now been closed for tourists.

3. Don’t endanger wildlife just for a photo op

Don'ts when traveling to Sabah Borneo

Selfie with Proboscis Monkey. Photo: Daxon

Sabah Borneo is a haven for wildlife, be it on land or sea. Some endangered and rare species can be found in Sabah Borneo. For example, the Borneo Pygmy Elephant, Banteng, Pangolin, Proboscis Monkey, Sun Bear, Hawksbill Turtles and so many more.

There are currently many educational and awareness programs in place by either the government or NGOs to preserve the natural habitat and avoid the extinctions of these species. Unfortunately, there are still those who prefer to flout the rules and harm them.

Something as simple as the act of picking up a Turtle just to get a picture to post on your social media page brings up so many detrimental consequences. Here’s an example. Or trying to get as close as possible to wildlife for a picture worthy of a year’s bragging rights with your friends back home – well, quite simply is just not worth harassing those poor animals for.

4. Don’t wear shoes in the house

Don'ts when traveling to Sabah Borneo

Remove your shoes when enter your host house in Sabah Borneo. 

This may seem like a matter of fact for most Asians but not so much for those in other parts of the world. And it’s understandable, as we said earlier, social rules are diverse the world over.

So it may be acceptable and polite in your home to use your shoes in the house but in Sabah Borneo, we walk barefoot in ours and expect our guests to do the same.

When you think about it, it’s quite reasonable and hygienic. No sense having all the dirt and dust from outside being trekked in all over the house. Plus with all the humidity around, your feet would probably thank you for the release.

Don'ts when traveling to Sabah Borneo

Paragliding activity in Sabah Borneo. 

So enough of the Don’ts. Now Do come to Sabah Borneo and let yourself have that holiday of a lifetime. And if you need help with either a Do or a Don’t, our lines are always open.

Want new articles before they get published?
Subscribe to our Awesome Newsletter.