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Top 5 Places in Sabah to See Stars

SEPT, 2016
Sabah Map
Star 2 writer, Ming Teoh wrote an article listing Sabah top 5 places to witness a tremendous stars scenic — we couldn’t agree more! To help you in your quest of watching the best star’s view in Sabah, here are a list of places from where you can enjoy a glorious starry starry night!
You’d be thrilled to know, then, that you have the opportunity to enjoy your favorite activity closer to home.
There are meteor showers just about every month, but the two main ones which astronomy enthusiasts usually watch out for are the Perseids in August, and the Geminids in December. Usually, viewings depend on the weather. If it’s cloudy, you won’t be able to see anything; also, natural light (from the moon) and artificial lighting (from street lamps, car lights, and building lights) will lessen visibility. So, the best places to stargaze are open spaces, such as fields and beaches, where there are no buildings or other artificial light sources.
Here are some places in Sabah where you can enjoy stargazing and skyscape photography, and more.
Sabah star
Kampung Jangkit, Kuala Penyu. Photo: Harris Jeffrey

Lahad Datu

One particular good spot for viewing the night sky and astro photography is Silam Coast Conservation Area and Felda Sahabat 16, Tambisan. This coastal town also has many other attractions. Besides several markets – a dried fish market, a vegetable and fruit market, a chicken market and a fish market – there is the nearby Danum Valley Conservation Area, where you can go jungle-trekking, swim in the rivers, go bird-watching, and enjoy night jungle tours. At the Tabin Wildlife Reserve, you can go on jungle treks, view wildlife, and do filming and photography.

Sabah star
Kampung Marang Parang, Kudat. Photo: Harris Jeffrey


Check out the skies at Taman Bukit Tawau (Tawau Hills Park), which offers picnic areas, camping sites, and chalets. This park has a rugged volcanic landscape, with a hot spring and majestic waterfalls. Its highest point is Gunung Magdalena. To the locals, this park is also known as Table, National Park, Taman Negara, Abacca or No.4 Gudang.

This third largest city in Sabah offers an old-world charm and many tourist attractions, such as the Tanjung Markets, Bell Tower, Japanese War Cemetery, Confrontation Memorial, Teck Guan Cocoa Museum, Ulu Kalumpang Forest Reserve, Maliau Basin Conservation Area, and Taman Bukit Gemok (Bukit Gemok Park).

Sabah star
Pantai Indarason Laut, Kudat. Photo: Christianto Soning


To view spectacular night skies, head to Tanjung Simpang Mengayau (Tip of Borneo), Kampung Marang Parang, Tindakon Dazang Beach, Terongkongan Beach and Kulambu Beach.

Kudat, situated north of the capital Kota Kinabalu, was originally inhabited by the Rungus, part of the Kadazan indigenous people who traditionally lived in longhouse communities inland. In fact, the name Kudat comes from the Rungus word kutad, which refers to the coarse grass that grows abundantly in the location.

The coastal town is famous for some of the most pristine beaches in the state, including Pasir Putih, Bak Bak and Kalampunian. It is also famous for its fresh seafood. Besides experiencing the Rungus culture, other tourist attractions include the central market, fish market, Sidek Esplanade and Kudat Golf Club.

Sabah star
Kampung Tambatuon, Kota Belud-Ranau Bypass. Photo: Luqman Al-Hakim

Kota Belud

Be one with the stars at Kampung Sangkir and Melangkap. Along the Kota Belud-Ranau Bypass, there is another good spot. Head on to Kampung Tambatuon, which is located in the foothills of Mount Kinabalu, next to the Kedamaian River.

Located on the west coast of Sabah, Kota Belud is known as the unofficial capital of the indigenous Bajau (Nomads) people. It is famous for its Sunday tamu (open air market) where you can see buyers and sellers haggling over prices. But in October, the tamu is held on a larger and more vibrant scale, and this is known as the tamu besar (grand market).

Another interesting sight is the golden mosque on the hill. Kota Belud can be a stopover en route to Kudat, Mantanani and Manana Beach

Sabah star
Tanjung Simpang Mengayau (Tip of Borneo), Kudat. Photo: Harris Jeffrey

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Look skywards at Bundu Tuhan. (In the Dusun language, Bundu refers to a type of fruit tree, and Tuhan means landslide or felled.) Located in the Ranau district, Kundasang is the closest town to Mount Kinabalu, and offers a breathtaking view of the mountain. It is also close to Kinabalu National Park, Malaysia’s first Unesco World Heritage Site.

Kundasang is famous for its vegetable market (open daily), and is inhabited by the native Dusun who work as farmers, park rangers, mountain guides or porters in Kinabalu National Park.

Other tourist attractions in the area include the Kundasang War Memorial and Gardens, and Kundasang Golf Course.

This occasional series, Lost & Found, highlights the hidden ‘gems’ of Sabah – destinations that are lesser known or are being rediscovered. If you have any places to recommend, e-mail us at with the subject ‘Lost & Found’. If you are also interested to write for us, let us know too. We reserve the right to edit all submissions. Contributions will appear in online at
For more information on stargazing in Sabah, visit:
“I have loved the stars to fondly to be fearful of the night”
― Galileo
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