An exotic land bearing within itself a wealth of culture, friendly people, and places to explore, Sabah will wow you with its immense diversity and astounding versatility. Whether you are a nature enthusiast, a wildlife aficionado, a bargain hunter, or a beach lover, come away with us and let ECHO Adventures show you how to have fun the local way!
Listed are the five things you must do in Sabah, in no particular order:
1.Explore lush nature and wildlife surrounding the Kinabatangan floodplain
For an unforgettable wildlife encounter, make Kinabatangan your next pit stop and go on a river cruise where you can spot harems of proboscis monkeys prancing from tree branches, flocks of colourful birds gliding in the sky and herds of pygmy elephants feeding by the riverbanks!
Stretching 560km from the Crocker Range in the southwest of Sabah to the Sulu Sea in the east, the Kinabatangan River sustains one of the world’s richest ecosystems. The surrounding areas along the river consist of five distinct habitats — dipterocarp or dry, waterlogged and limestone forests, and freshwater and saline swamps. The lower basin of the river itself is the largest forest-covered floodplain in Malaysia and has the largest concentration of wildlife in the South East Asian region.
Other than being home to Borneo’s indigenous orangutan and proboscis monkey, the surrounding forest is also one of only two known places in the world where 10 species of primates are found. All eight species of hornbill found in Borneo make the area their home.
2. Watch sea turtles come ashore
The Turtle Island Park (gazetted 1977) lies 40km north of Sandakan in the Sulu Sea and consists of Selingan, Bakungan Kecil, and Gulisan islands. The park is a safe haven for the endangered green and hawksbill turtles and gives you the rare opportunity to watch turtle landing.
Selingan, the largest of the islands, houses the park’s headquarters, a turtle hatchery, tourist accommodation and basic facilities. Throughout September and October, you can expect to have up to 50 turtles coming to the shore to lay eggs. Make your reservations ahead of time to experience this magical encounter!
3. Take a road trip to the Tip of Borneo
One of the cleanest and most scenic places on the ‘Land below the Wind’, Kudat town; which lies in the northern side of Sabah, brims with a host of places to see and activities to enjoy. Bask in the scenic view of the rustic countryside or have a picnic at the beach – the choice is yours entirely.
Above all, Kudat is most famous for the breathtaking Tip of Borneo — locally known as Tanjung Simpang Mengayau. The view from the dramatic headland overlooking the meeting point of the South China Sea and Sulu Sea is simply to die for! Over the years, Kalampunian Beach, too, has become a popular camping and surfing spot for locals and foreign backpackers alike.
4. Island hop and plunge into the deep!
With an abundance of islands fringed with white sandy beaches and sparkling azure waters, Sabah is a haven for beach bums and scuba diving enthusiasts! For the best of diving and snorkeling, head over to Semporna — home of the world-famous island of Sipadan — an underwater ‘Amazon’ in the Celebes Sea with over 3,000 species of fish and hundreds of coral species within its ecosystem.
In addition to Sipadan, Semporna also has many other world-class diving destinations such as Mabul, Mataking, and Kapalai islands — each offering their own underwater sighting specialties.
5. Soak up the sights and sounds of KK City
In addition to its wonderful nature, fabulous wildlife, and gorgeous islands, Sabah’s capital of Kota Kinabalu ‘KK’ City is also one worth exploring and experiencing during your stay — offering great Instagram-worthy landmarks and experiences. With over 40 ethnic groups, Sabah is a beautiful melting pot of rich cultures and traditions.
Its people, too, are guaranteed to be some of the friendliest people you can find as you travel. Also, food is one of KK City’s biggest offerings, thanks to eating being its people’s favourite pastime! Select your day tour of choice and let us do the rest.