Sabah, Malaysian Borneo

The premier nature adventure destination in the world. Occupies a relatively small chunk of Borneo, yet what a punch it packs.

Sabah, Malaysian Borneo

Situated on the beautiful island of Borneo, Sabah is one of the thirteen states which Malaysia is made of. Sabah is the second largest state in Malaysia and shares the island of Borneo with Sarawak, Brunei, and Indonesian Kalimantan.

Sabah is richly blessed with nature diversity, unique cultures, fun adventure, beautiful beaches, and fantastic cuisines for the adventurous taste buds. We have it all, from the world’s largest flower – the Rafflesia, one of the highest mountains in South East Asia – Mount Kinabalu, to one of the world’s top dive sites – Sipadan Island. Sabah is also known for her great natural treasures which include the world-renowned Danum Valley Conservation Area and Tabin which is Sabah’s largest wildlife reserve.


Sabah, which was known as North Borneo before it joined the Malaysian Federation in 1963, was part of the Sultanate of Brunei in the 16th century while the north-eastern coast of the state became part of the Sultanate of Sulu which was centered in the southern islands of the Philippines. In the mid 18th century, Europeans began making an appearance and the British managed to open a trading post on Pulau Balambangan off the northern tip of Sabah. This post however failed to take off.

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Sabah is one of the most culturally diverse states in Malaysia. Its population of about 2.5 million is a mix of native groups (who are usually divided into Muslim and non-Muslim groups), Chinese, and other smaller ethnic groups such as Indians and Eurasians. The main native groups are the Kadazandusun, Murut, Bajau, Suluk, Bisaya and Orang Sungai. Most of the Chinese who migrated to the state during the British era, belong to the Hakka dialect group although there are also large numbers of Cantonese especially in Sandakan. There are also many Filipinos and Indonesians, many of whom entered Sabah illegally and later became naturalised under a controversial state policy.

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Get In

Sabah maintains autonomy on immigration rules, mostly so that non-Sabahans cannot freely immigrate and swamp the state. Malaysians from Peninsular Malaysia and neighbouring Sarawak are subjected to some level of immigration control, such as showing their identity cards, and are restricted to a stay of 90 days at a time. Foreigners need to fill out a second immigration form. Nevertheless, for most travellers this is just a formality and an interesting extra stamp in their passport..

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Negeri Di Bawah Bayu

Sabah at a glance

  • Country: Malaysia
  • Capital: Kota Kinabalu
  • Area: 73,904 km2
  • Population: 3,900,000


  • Mount Kinabalu: Listed as one of the world’s 50 most incredible hikes by Lonely Planet.
  • Sipadan Island: The island is known above all for some of the best scuba diving anywhere in the world.
  • Sepilok: The famous Orangutan Sanctuary is situated here in the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve.
  • Danum Valley: See the tropical rainforest near Lahad Datu at its most pristine.
  • Turtle Islands Park: It is made up of three islands in the Sulu Sea off the coast of Sabah’s East Coast. The three islands are Selingan, Bakkungan Kecil and Pulau Gulisan. Selingan is the largest and is the only one of the three Island’s which allow visitors to stay overnight.
  • Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park: Very popular coral islands just off the coast of Kota Kinabalu.
  • Kiulu Valley: Experience the way the local community live by the river in the beautiful Kiulu Valley.

Enchanting Sabah

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