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Sabah in the island of Borneo
Taking the opportunity whilst visiting friends in Kuching, I decided to visit Sabah, the only other Malaysian state aside from Sarawak in the island of Borneo.
Not knowing much about Sabah, I decided to visit the tourist information office. There the friendly locals advice me of the top 10 things to do in Sabah. I didn’t manage to achieve all 10 in that list, but I managed some. I am quite satisfied and would surely come back to explore this part of the island of Borneo more in the future.
3) I am one of the ‘lazy’ tourists so I didn’t hike up the Kinabalu Park, a World First Heritage site, boasting the magnificent Mount Kinabalu. My brother who is more adventurous than me went up to the submit (4101meters). He reckons that is the highlight of his Sabah trip. This hike is not for tourists like me as it takes a minimum 2 days but along the way, you will be rewarded with exciting wildlife encounter.
4) While my brother was up the mountain, I was soaking it up in the Poring Hot Spring. Indeed a rejuvenating, natural and therapeutic hot spring. Here the sulphuric hot waters of the spring fed into the open-air Japanese style baths. I don’t have to go to Japan for this!
5) That night went to the Selingan Turtle Island and watched the giant turtles lay eggs on the beach. The eggs are then transferred to the hatchery by humans (a little helping hand from humans). There I witnessed the release of the baby’s turtles into the sea, apparently 365 days a year. Wonderful experience.
6) Rafting, now that is my cup of tea! I saw the local life from a rubber deck of a rapid raft. Sounds strange but this are truly wonderful. We head south to this small town of Kiulu and ride down one of Borneo’s scenic rivers over gentle rapids (just right for me), pass lush green jungle forest (neck cramp from looking for wild life), pass the local towns (dusuns), orchards and villages.
7) I am not a diver but I was told that if you are, don’t miss the Sipadan diving site, considered to be the world number one site. Fancy that! Sipadan offers deep and shallow diving, wreck and reef diving and snorkelling.
8) Nightlife in Sabah is fantastic, eating out at local food stalls at the waterfront with life music. Such is life…
9) The town of Sandakan or capital of Sabah is similar to most towns in Malaysia. I am not much of a shopper or temple fanatic but it is still a wonderful experience.
10) Sabah Museum is not as good as the Kuching Museum in the sister state of Sarawak (in my humble opinion) but within the 17.5 hectares of lush green natural and planted jungle (botanic and zoological gardens), lies the Sabah museum (full of Sabah rich cultural heritage).
If I were to visit Sabah again, I would still visit my favourites (listed above 1-6)