Sabah, Malaysia consistently ranks high on places to visit as it did on the TripAdvisor’s 2018 Traveler’s Choice Awards, as published in The Daily Express (April 12, 2018).
Many first time visitors to Sabah will most likely be aware of the many cultural and nature attractions to be found. Large parts of Sabah is still natural pristine forest, difficult to get to and if you really want to see some amazing sights, you have to get off the beaten path.
Many of the natural attractions in Sabah are well-known – Mount Kinabalu being the highest mountain in Malaysia, the Rafflesia being one of the rarest and largest flower in the world, and for scuba diving enthusiast, there is no where better to be.
The Tourism Industry in Sabah
The tourism industry in Sabah, and in Malaysia is well regulated. They understand the importance of the economic benefits it brings to the local community and how it aids in conservation.
One of the charms of tourism in Sabah is that it is filled with rich history and cultural significance. It is not too developed and that adds to the adventure and its rustic charms. Sometimes getting to the destination is an adventure in itself, traveling on a mountain road while in the relative comfort of an air-conditioned coach.
One of the Sabah tour agency I have met realizes the role they play in taking care of the tourists that arrive in Sabah. Partly because of their ingrained sense of hospitality and friendliness, as well as the pride they have in being a Sabah native.
Sabah or North Borneo in the historical context, is known for its nature and natural beauty. Undeveloped islands maintain their charm, the National Park that is home to Mount Kinabalu is still surrounded by untouched nature on all sides.
Need to go further out into the wild? Maliau Basin is a designated conservation area that tourists can visit and see wildlife in its natural habitat. Or the Kinabatangan river, the second longest river in Malaysia that flows through vast tracks of virgin jungle.
To witness the true beauty of Sabah, you need to get out of the city and out into the countryside. This is where tour agencies come in. Much of Sabah is still being developed and getting around might not be as simple as more well developed tourist destinations.
Getting Around in Sabah
The best way to get around Sabah and experience Borneo in its fullest is to travel with a licensed tour agent. They have the support and facilities that lets you enjoy your visit without any stress. Many of the best destinations are outside the city, with a travel time of three hours or more, over sealed and unsealed roads.
Depending on the tour package and destination, food and accommodation may be included. All you have to do is enjoy yourself and immerse in the local culture.
The best known scuba diving site is in Sipidan and the only way to get there is on an aeroplane to Tawau, then a coach ride to a small town called Semporna. To make sure you get all your travel connections right, and with adequate scuba diving time, the best way is to talk to a tour agent.
It is possible to get around on your own but you will be spending a lot of time making travel and accommodations arrangement. If you have a specific destination in Sabah you want to go to but find it challenging to arrange on your own, talk to a tour agent. It can make all the difference and take the stress out of your holiday.