Kota Kinabalu which includes a high rise building, city views and general coastal views

Dive among the colorful gems of the coral reefs and gaze up at the forested mountains in Malaysia’s easternmost state.

Trek through forests where elephants and orangutans run wild or climb to the top of one of Asia’s highest mountains when you visit this appealing region in Malaysia. Situated on Borneo’s northern coast, Sabah is known as ‘The Land Beneath the Wind’ due to its location just below the typhoon zone. In recent years, the state has made a name for itself as an outdoor enthusiasts’ paradise and offers a seemingly endless number of ways to experience the tropical wilderness.

Many head straight for spectacular Mount Kinabalu, which reaches 13,435 feet (4,095 meters) above sea level. Despite its height, it is a reasonably straightforward climb, but you are required to hire a guide to accompany you.

If you are a keen diver, explore the spectacular marine life found around the islands of Sipadan and Mabul. Animal lovers will relish the chance of a close-up encounter with an orangutan at Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center. The center is located on 16.6 square miles (43 square kilometers) of protected land at the edge of Kabili Sepilok Forest Reserve and is home to up to 80 orangutans roaming free in the reserve.

Several conservation areas offer more opportunities to enjoy the natural habitat. Take the canopy walk through the trees in the Danum Valley or cruise down the Kinabatangan River and look out for the native proboscis monkeys.

Reach Sabah by flying into the capital city, Kota Kinabalu. From here, a network of buses connects all of East Malaysia’s major cities. Internal flights are an option too, if you don’t fancy the long drive on less than perfect roads. Make sure you plan ahead before visiting Sabah because they have strict entry requirements. Organize all necessary visas and book your accommodation in advance because this can save you a lot of time.

Sabah has an equatorial climate, with year-round warm weather. October to February can be slightly wetter, while March and April are the best months to climb Mount Kinabalu and enjoy crystal-clear, panoramic views.

Popular cities in Sabah

Sandakan featuring a garden, a city and general coastal views
Known for Jungles, Nature and Budget
This historic township, once occupied by the Japanese in World War II, is now a gateway to northern Borneo’s rich world of ecotourism.

Reasons to visit

  • Rainforest Discovery Centre
Kota Kinabalu which includes landscape views and boating
Kota Kinabalu
Known for Swimming, Islands and Marinas
Sabah’s capital is a laid-back, oceanfront city not far from towering Mount Kinabalu, traditional villages and a spectacular marine park.