The Malaysian State of Sabah invented the word diversity. Get close up with Orang Utans, Pigmy Elephant, Sumatran Rhino, Giant Turtles, the spectacular tropical islands of the Coral Triangle, virgin rainforest, lost world canyons, and the highest mountain in South East Asia.
Biodiversity at its Wildest!
The Malaysian State of Sabah invented the word diversity. Sabah’s beauty is quite simply gut-wrenching. This is one of the most physically stunning places on Earth, a land of deep green jungle, craggy mountains and shockingly blue ocean that all seems to collide into one moving, magnificent vista.
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Borneo, the 3rd largest island in the world, split between three separate countries, is considered a pinnacle of ecotourism - and for good reason! This lush rainforest paradise is home to an unbelievable range of biodiversity. You may encounter endangered species that can’t be found anywhere else, including giant Orang Utans, Pygmy Elephant, and the elusive Borneo Rhino. It’s no wonder Malaysian Borneo has become a leader in sustainable tourism. This beautiful country has so many natural riches to protect. Check out the amazing beaches, islands and Orang Utans, available as day trips from capital Kota Kinabalu.
Try the Kota Kinabalu Handicraft Market (aka Filipino market) where you can bargain over unique souvenirs like pearl jewellery, traditional musical instruments or colourful sarongs. Kota Kinabalu also has a number of shopping centres including the enormous 1Borneo Hypermall, packed with chain stores, restaurants and whatever else you could possibly need. Finish your retail jaunt with a culinary trip to the Night Market.
Sandakan is a captivating town with its very own charm, friendly people and fabulous places to devour seafood. Places of interest that can be visited are the world famous Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre - The world's largest and an area of 11,000 acres of virgin equatorial rainforest that has been set aside as forest reserve and orang utan rehabilitation centre. Here, you can experience a close encounter with the "Wild Man of Borneo." There is also the Sandakan Crocodile Farm located on the Labuk Road near Sepilok and Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary. Take a day trip to Sandakan and Sepilok with multiple cheap quick flights from Kota Kinabalu
Danum Valley Conservation Area comprises 43,800 ha (108,186 acres) of virgin forest. It is a vast reserve of lush tropical lowland forest rich in Sabah's unique flora and fauna. The area has been recognised as one of the world's most complex ecosystems. Serving as a natural habitat for a number of endangered wildlife species suhc as the pygmy elephants, orang utans and proboscis monkeys.
Borneo has a typical equatorial climate with sunshine all year round. Temperatures are fairly uniform, averaging 25-33 degrees Celsius during the day and rarely dropping below 20 degrees Celsius at night.
Sabah has been voted one of the world’s top diving locations. Layang Layang Island and Lankayan Island are the latest hot destinations offering frontier diving if you're looking for something new and fresh. The island of Sipadan, off the east coast of Sabah, was endorsed as one of the top dive spots by world-renowned diving legend, Jacques Cousteau. From macro life to pelagics, wreck diving to wall diving, coral gardens teeming with a rich diversity of corals and fish, underwater caves with sleepy sharks and a cavern where turtles go to die - the diversity will amaze.
Many treks around Mt Kinabalu, for example, really consist of vigorous hikes, jaunts you want to be fit to attempt, but don’t need to be in Olympic shape to finish. Gunung Kinabalu, as it is known in Malay, is more than the highest thing on the world's third largest island. And it is more than scenery. Mt Kinabalu is ubiquitous in Sabah to the point of being inextricable. It graces the state's flag and is a constant presence at the edge of your eyes, catching the clouds and shading the valleys. It is only when you give the mountain your full attention that you realise how special this peak, the region's biggest tourist attraction, truly is.
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