Sunday, February 01, 2009

Sabah Weekend Getaway

Only 48 hours to spare? Make the best of your brief break and check out the best of Sabah for an unforgettable weekend:

If you are in Kota Kinabalu

Kinabalu Park

To do: Spend a weekend in any of the cosy cabins in the park and enjoy the cool mountain air. Visitors literally stop and smell the roses when visiting Kinabalu Park, a perfect change from the hustle and bustle of the city. The park, heralded as Malaysia’s first World Heritage Site, has excellent facilities including restaurants, a multi-purpose hall, information centre and several nature hiking trails for the adventure enthusiast.

Special attraction: This is where your journey up Mount Kinabalu begins. Sabah’s unmistakable landmark attracts visitors from around the world all year round. Just a short drive from Kinabalu Park is the Kundasang Memorial Park; home to beautiful gardens commemorating the fallen Australian and British soldiers of World War II.

Tunku Abdul Rahman Park

To do: Tunku Abdul Rahman Park is made up of five islands – Manukan, Mamutik, Sapi, Gaya and Sulug just off the coast of Kota Kinabalu city. A speedboat-ride takes an average of 20 minutes to any one of these islands where you can enjoy a multitude of water sports, go diving, snorkelling or just laze on the beach. You can opt to spend a night or two on Manukan Island in the lovely seaside chalets. Check out for more information.

Special attraction: Go seawalking at Sapi Island! Imagine traipsing the seabed without getting a single strand of hair wet while surrounded by a myriad of marine life. Call 088-249115 or visit for more information.


To do: Head north of Sabah and visit the town of Kudat. Home to the native Rungus people, Kudat boasts several must-see places including the Gombizau honey farm, the gong-making village of Matunggong and the famous Bavanggazo longhouse.

Special attraction: Kudat is most famous as the location of the Tip of Borneo, Tanjung Simpang Mengayau. A mere 40-minute drive from Kudat town, its breathtaking view alone is well worth the visit.

If you are in Tawau

The Islands

To do:
The islands located off the coast of Semporna are deemed some of the best scuba diving sites in the world. Visit the romantic Mataking Island for a wonderful pampering experience or the floating chalets of Kapalai.

Special attraction: Sipadan Island needs little introduction, having been hailed one of the top three diving sites in the world. Mabul is known as a macro-diving haven. Also worth checking out is the unique Seaventures – an oil-rig turned dive resort just a stone’s throw away from Mabul.

Balung Eco Resort
To do: Balung Eco Resort offers visitors a unique plantation experience. The eco-resort is built amidst a sprawling 1400-hectare plantation, its fertile soil home to a myriad of fruits, flowers and other crops.

Special attraction: Join a guided tour to discover little-known facts about the plantation and the crops grown there. Give freshwater fishing a try and enjoy freshly harvested garden produce at the resort’s restaurant. Also, check out the Tower Deck to get a panoramic view.

If you are in Sandakan

The Rainforest Discovery Centre

To do: Located in the famous Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve (which is also the location of the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre) the RDC is a centre for environmental education. Take a walk on the 150-metre long steel canopy in the heart of the jungle and spot some of the most unique flora and fauna found in this part of the world. At the Visitor’s Building, walk through the exhibition hall to learn more about nature’s gifts.

Special attraction: The Night Walk is a great opportunity to bump into elusive nocturnal creatures. The 800-m Rainforest Discovery trail also allows visitors to walk among gigantic Dipterocarp trees while looking out for darting animals such as civets and flying squirrels.

Sandakan’s Historical Sites

To do: One of the best ways to spend 48 hours in Sandakan is to soak up the rich historical sites of the city. The ideal way to see the best of Sandakan’s places of interest is to follow the Sandakan Heritage Trail. A relatively easy walk around the city, the trail takes visitors to more than 10 historical spots, including the William Pryer Memorial, St. Michael’s and All Angels Church and the Sam Sing Kung Chinese Temple.

Special attraction: The home of famed Agnes Keith, the American writer who coined the term ‘Land below the Wind’, has been converted into a museum containing various memorabilia that chronicle the writer’s life during her time in Sabah. Right next to Agnes Keith’s House is the quaint English Tea House. Perfect for a quick cup of tea and oven-fresh scones!

Source: Sabah Tourism Newsletter

NOTE: All Photos Copyright to Sabah Tourism

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