Picture; lush green rainforests, pristine white sandy beaches, the sweet face of an Orangutan gazing at you, an underwater world brimming with color and life, mouth-watering dishes that tempt you for more and the smiling faces of friendly people. You name it, Sabah has got it; and for the nature lovers it is absolute paradise. In case you didn’t notice, we LOVED our trip to Sabah and here are our top reasons why you should visit it too:
Witness wildlife in its natural habitat
The Bornean forests are home to some of the most remarkable creatures we have ever seen. Due to the devastating amounts of deforestation in Borneo over the last 30-40 years, many species of plants and animals are at risk of extinction. Sabah is one of the few places in the world where you can still see the elusive Orangutan in the wild. With the current threat on Orangutan’s this is an experience that shouldn’t be missed.
Orangutans are not the only attraction that make Sabah an unforgettable experience. Sabah is also home to Malaysia’s second most popular monkey, the Proboscis monkey. Along the shores of the Kinabatangan River you can spot them (and their notorious nose) swinging in the trees above your head or nibbling on some exotic fruit. Sleeping in the Bornean rainforest is a must for any nature lover, and a stay in the natural forests along the Kinabatangan River will likely bring encounters with other incredible wildlife such as; long and short-tailed macaques, eagles, crocodiles, Kingfisher and the sweet Pygmy Elephant (a personal highlight).
Have an intimate encounter with the “Man of the Forest”
The Malay word Orangutan means “man of the forest”. Not only can you see these incredible creatures in the wild, but you can also get up close and personal with them in sanctuaries dedicated to protecting and rehabilitating these endangered animals. The Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre is the perfect place to admire these remarkable creatures, as well as learn more about what we can all do to protect them.
Dive one of the world’s best dive sites
After diving Sipidan Island it was easy to understand why it is continually on the list of top 10 dive sites in the world. The waters of Sipidan Island are swarming with marine life and you are constantly surrounded by schools of fish. From the famous Barracuda, to the bumphead parrotfish and the giant trevally; there is no shortage of tropical fish. Turtles and sharks are pretty much a guarantee and the coral is breathtakingly beautiful.
Regardless of the price and permit requirements this is an experience that should not be missed by any diver. If you don’t dive, then we couldn’t think of a better place to start than this tropical paradise.
One of our favorite things about traveling is trying new food and experiencing all that the local cuisine has to offer. The incredible variety of dishes and flavors in Sabah definitely didn’t disappoint and we were in culinary heaven.
The combination of Chinese, Indian and Malay dishes meant we were always spoilt for choice and the wonderful array of spices fueled our ever growing addiction. Not only is ALL the food incredibly delicious, but it is also unbelievably cheap.
Meet the people
If all these reasons haven’t convinced you to visit Sabah, Malaysia then the people will. There is nothing worse than traveling in a country or place where the local people are hostile and unfriendly. Thank goodness, Sabah was the complete opposite for us and the Malaysian people made us fall even more in love with this amazing country.
Everywhere we went we were greeted with warm smiles and friendly faces. Most Malaysians can speak some form of English and their curious questions mean you can always strike up conversations and get some local advice. Malaysia has a fascinating mixture of religions and culture and the genuine openness of the people is truly refreshing.
For us, Sabah has it all and we couldn’t recommend it enough. It’s rich culture, diverse wildlife, unique natural habitats and warm people mean it should be on everyone’s travel list.