SABAH EAST MALAYSIA
Sabah, located in East Malaysia, covers an area of
76,115 square kilometer, is the second largest state in Malaysia
with the population of 2.8 million comprising of 32 ethnic groups
and other non-indigenous people speaking 80 local dialects.
The main indigenous group are the Kadazandusun, Muruts, Bajaus,
Kedayans, Sulu, Bisaya, Rumanau, Minokok, and Rungus. They are
all interwoven by culture, tradition, marriage and language.
The result is a face and dialect unmistakably Sabah. The state
is made up of 7 districts namely, Pantai Barat Selatan, Pantai
Barat Utara, Sandakan, Tawau, Lahad datu, Keningau and Beaufort.
The state of Sabah is bordered by Sarawak on its southwestern
side, Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo) to the south, the South
China Sea in the west and north, the Sulu Sea in the northeast
and the Celebes Sea in the east. Sabah was known in ancient
times as the "Land Below The Wind" because it lies
below the typhoon belt. Sabah's terrain is rugged, with Mt.
Kinabalu, at 4,101 metres, the highest mountain in South East
Asia, dominates the surrounding landscape. It has a wide diversity
of flora and fauna, as well as one of the world's largest rainforests.
For many visitors, the primary attractions of Sabah are its
outstanding national parks, which include Kinabalu National
Park, the Crocker Range Park, the Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary,
the islands of Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park and the diver's
paradise of Pulau Sipadan and other beautiful tropical paradise
island found in Sabah any many more attractions. Sabah is gifted
with its unspoilt beaches, isolated tropical islands, fascinating
culture, colourful and beautiful marine life, spectacular countryside
dominated by an awesome mountain Mt Kinabalu.
Off Sabah's coast, the waters are diving enthusiasts' dream.
Swim in the pristine crystal waters of the Celebes Sea off the
coast of Semporna and snorkel or dive the exquisite reefs. Climb
Southeast Asia's highest and most majestic peak at over 13,000
feet. Camp in the ancient village of the Rungus Tribe in a traditional
longhouse, and find out how life there has stood still for hundreds
of years . Sabah will surely impress you with her unique and
unspoilt character, truly Borneo's Sabah, Malaysia. Sabah is
one of the great ecological wonders of the world. According
to Sir David Attenbourough, famed conservationist and filmmaker,
"Sabah is one of the world's greatest treasures of wildlife."
HISTORY OF SABAH
Human settlement began in Sabah or North Borneo 27 000 years
ago. The kingdom of Brunei took control of Sabah's west coast
in the 16th century while the Sulu Sultanate controlled Sabah's
east coast in the 17th and 18th centuries. British encroachment
started with the occupation of Balambangan Island by the British
East Indies Company. In 1764, the Sultan of Sulu was forced
to concede his power over Sabah territories to the British.
The British also installed Raja Muda Hashim as the new Sultan
of Brunei after a succession struggle for the throne of Brunei.
Brunei's control over Sabah diminished by the 19th century.
In 1850, an American trader, Charles Lee Moses, succeeded in
obtaining a lease over a large part of the west coast from the
Sultan of Brunei. This eventually passed into the hands of Alfred
Dent, a British businessman. Dent converted the lease into a
cession. In 1870, William Cowie and Baron Overback persuaded
the Sultan of Sulu to hand over his concession in Sandakan.
By 1878, both Brunei and Sulu had delivered all their Sabah
territories to the British. In 1879, the British established
administrative capitals at Sandakan, Temparuk and Papar. In
1881, the Chartered Company of British North Borneo was established
to manage the procurements, with W.H. Treacher as the first
Governor of Sabah. British Government protection was also granted.
This lasted until 1941, the year of the Japanese invasion. Following
the end of the Second World War, Sabah was placed under the
British Military Administration (BMA). In 1946, the Company
surrendered its rights to the British Government and on 15 July
1946, Sabah became a British Crown Colony.
Sabah eventually obtained its independence by joining Malaysia
in 1963, after Tunku Abdul Rahman allayed its fears of domination
by the Federal Government. The findings of the Cobbold Commission
in 1962 found over 70% of the population of Sabah and Sarawak
favoured joining Malaysia, and on 31 August 1963, the Federation
of Malaysia with Sabah and Sarawak was formed. Both the Philippines
and Indonesia challenged this development. But Malaysia was
formally formed on 16 September 1963.
PLACES IN SABAH EAST MALAYSIA
Kota Belud is a small town located 77 km from Kota Kinabalu.
Every Sunday it comes alive in a scene of blazing, riotous colour
when the "Tamu," or open market, takes place.
Tuaran is the location of the region's agricultural station.
Nearby is Mengkabong, a Bajau village built over water. Also
close by is Tamparuli, a town specializing in the production
of local handicrafts.
Another village that offers an insight into Sabah's varied ethnic
groups, Penampang is home to the Kadazan people. The village
is located 13 km south of Kota Kinabalu.
Sandakan is busy port on the Sulu Sea, about 386 km from Kota
Kinabalu. The forestry exhibition in Sandakan showcases the
astounding variety of flowers and plants found in Sabah; the
Sandakan Orchid House has a collection of rare orchids. Along
the Labuk Road from Sandakan is a crocodile farm, housing about
1,000 crocodiles of various sizes.
Located on the southeast coast of Sabah, Semporna is the jumping-off
point for Pulau Sipadan, a diving paradise, and Pulau Gaya,
the island where Sabah pearls are cultured.
A long way from Kota Kinabalu (238 km), Kudat is, nevertheless,
worth a visit, as it is home to the colourful Rungus tribe.
The journey to the village is an attraction in its own right,
winding through the region's varied terrain of mountains, valleys,
PLACES OF INTEREST IN SABAH EAST MALAYSIA
Mt Kinabalu Park
Mt Kinabalu rises 4,101 metres above a vegetation that ranges
from the rich lowland dipterocarp zone through the montane oak,
rhododendron and conifer forests to alpine meadow plants and
stunted bushes of the summit zone. It is an area that probably
has one of the richest flora in the world. Allow about 2-3 days
to reach the summit. You need to get a permit to climb the mountain,
and you'd have to make arrangements for accommodation and transportation.
It has to be made at least a week in advance. Book early during
the school holidays. Not to be missed here is the Poring Hot
Tunku Abdul Rahman Park
The Tunku Abdul Rahman Park is a park with a difference. It
comprises five idyllic islands which are only 10 to 25 minutes
away from Kota Kinabalu by speedboat. These islands, Pulau Gaya,
Pulau Sapi, Pulau Mamutik, Pulau Manukan and Pulau Sulug, offer
stretches of white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and some
of the most diverse coral reefs and marine life in the world.
They are ideal spots for picnicking, diving and snorkerlling,
particularly Sapi and Manukan which have picnic facilities and
Mamutik where cabins are available for rental.
Sepilok Orang-Utan Santuary
Here, orang utans that have been abandoned by their mothers,
or were formally in captivity, are rehabilitated until they
are fit enough to be returned to the wild.
Sabah’s longest river, the riverine forest boasts an astonishing
variety of wildlife that is both common and easy to see.
Turtle Islands National Park
Visited by marine turtles which come ashore to lay their eggs,
mainly between August and October.
The journey to the Gomantong Caves takes a whole day; first
a boat-ride across the bay from Sandakan, then a drive by landrover
through 16 km of dense jungle. Within the marvellous caves,
swifts build their nests high on cave walls and roofs. These
nests are considered a delicacy, and are carefully collected
by native men climbing on tall bamboo poles. Tours can be arranged
through the Forest Department in Sabah or a travel agency.
One of the premier research centre in South East Asia, it is
a meeting place for naturalists from all over the world. A sanctuary
to over 110 mammals and home to over 275 bird species and numerous
reptiles, amphibians, fishes, countless insects and other fascinating
With a 1,665 to 1,998 metres drop, the island is an exceptional
place for the more experienced diver. The waters beneath offer
fascinating seascapes and marine life, including several diverse
species of coral and reef fish.
The turtle capital of the world. Everything from hammerhead
sharks to the smallest and prettiest nudibranch in and around
Sipadan's reef. It is an underwater photographer's paradise.
Other places of interest includes Sabah State Mosque, Kota Kinabalu,
Sabah Foundation Building, Kota Kinabalu, the Sunday Gaya Street
Fair, Signal Hill, Sabah State Museum, The Science and Technology
Centre and Art Gallery, Tanjung Aru Beach, Kampung Monsopiad,
Central Market, Rafflesia Forest Reserve, Tambunan Plain, Tambunan,
Gunung Trus Madi, Mewah Waterfall, Kota Belud, Tenom, Tenom
Orchid Centre, Kudat Longhouse. Islands & Beaches includes
Pulau Tiga Park, Mantanani Island, Lankayan Island and Kapalai
Island. Please of interest includes Kinabalu Park, Longhouses,
Mengkabong Water Village, Poring Hot Spring, Tamu, Whitewater
Rafting, Kinabatangan Wetland, Madai Cave, Tambunan Rafflesia
Centre and Sabah Agriculture Park.
Accommodation facilities available in the state of Sabah East
Malaysia includes Nexus Resort Karambunai, Mengatal, Sabah,
Kinabalu Daya Hotel Kota Kinabalu, Beringgis Beach Resort Sabah
and Belmont Marco polo Tawau, Sabah East Malaysia.
GETTING TO SABAH EAST MALAYSIA
Its capital, Kota Kinabalu, receives flights from Kuala Lumpur,
Johor Bahru, Kuching, Singapore, Hong Kong, Manila, Brunei.
Jakarta, Seoul and Taipei. Being a vast state, domestic travelling
is via daily flights covering Labuan, Sandakan, Lahad Datu and
Tawau. Large areas are still inaccessible. A rail network stretches
from Kota Kinabalu to Tenom. Buses, taxis and boats are other
modes of transport available. SABAH Air provides another way
to view Sabah. Launched in June last year, this new concept
called "heli-picnic" has been gaining the favour of
On the whole, Sabah has an equatorial climate. The temperature
is relatively uniform within the range of 23°C to 31°C
throughout the year. During the months of March to September,
the weather is generally dry and warm. Humidity is consistently
high on the lowlands ranging between 85% to 95% per annum. The
average rainfall per year is 2,400 mm, depending on locality,
and the wettest months are from November to March.
Malaysia Hotels Dot CC, brings you some of
the best hotels in the state of Sabah, East Malaysia. We bring
to you Nexus Resort Karambunai, Mengatal, Sabah, Kinabalu Daya
Hotel Kota Kinabalu, Beringgis Beach Resort Sabah and Belmont
Marco polo Tawau, Sabah East Malaysia. We present them here
comprehensively with factual information on all our participating
hotels and resorts in the state of Sabah, East Malaysia.
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