Sabah is one of the portions of Malaysia that is located on the northern portion of the island of Borneo. Sabah is the second largest state in the country after Sarawak and it also shares a border with the province of East Kalimantan of Indonesia in the south. Kota Kinabalu, formerly known as Jesselton is the capital of Sabah and is often referred to as Land Below The Wind, a phrase used by seafarers in the past to describe lands south of the typhoon belt.

North Borneo together with Malaya, Sarawak and Singapore formed the Federation of Malaysia on the September 16 of 1963, and from then on it became known as Sabah.

Towns in Sabah

  • Kota Kinabalu – Is the capital city of Sabah and the largest city in East Malaysia.
  • Lahad Datu – A town located on the east coast.
  • Sandakan – Located in the east of Sabah and was formerly known as the capital of Sabah prior to WWII.
  • Semporna – A town located on the east coast, main skipping off points to the dive islands
  • Tawau – Major town located at the southeast corner of the state
  • Tenom – Central town in the interior of the state

Major Tourist Attractions in Sabah

  • Mount Kinabalu – The highest mountain in Malaysia.
  • Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park – Can find a group of coral islands off the coast of Kota Kinabalu.
  • Sepilok – Well-known orang utan rehabilitation centre
  • Sipadan – One of the world’s best dive spots with large pelagic species such as sea turtles, reef sharks, hammerhead sharks, manta rays
  • Layang Layang – An island off the west coast that offers spectacular diving.
  • Mabul – One of the world’s best muck diving locations

Travelling in Sabah

The only place is from Sarawak through the border crossing at Merapok near Lawas where you can travel overland into Sabah. Non-citizens of Sabah or Sarawak will have to go through immigration checks here.If you are planning to do the overland trail from Sarawak to Sabah; you may get it from Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei.

Hop in a bus

Most of the major cities in Malaysia have long distance express buses operating with air-conditioned and quite comfortable. The buses here are also cheap and easy to get. There’s also a lot of short-distance inter-town bus in Sabah. These are either small buses or vans which are converted to take in passeners. The charges are the same thou they carry only fewer passengers.