The two Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak, located in the north of the island of Borneo, belong to the eastern part of Malaysia, separated from the western mainland by the South China Sea. The states have a very well developed network of roads and rivers. The rest of the island (Kalimantan) is the property of Indonesia.
The flora and fauna of these states are considered among the most unique in Malaysia. Here lives the largest primate in the world – the orangutan, grows the largest flower – raflesia, in the mountains you can find the rarest species of trees, orchids and ferns.
For tourists, Borneo will offer all kinds of recreation: relaxing on the beach and swimming in the clear waters of the atoll islands, diving, going down mountain rivers, an active cultural program to get acquainted with the traditions and customs of the locals.
SABAH STATE is called “The Land Below the Wind” because of its geographic location – it is located south of the typhoon zone. The state occupies the eastern part of North Borneo. The area of the state of Sabah is 74500 sq. km. The capital of the state is the city of Kota Kinabalu, built during the Second World War, with a population of just over 13 thousand people. This is the main financial, industrial and administrative center of the country, which has direct air links with all South Asian countries. The architecture of the city intertwines European, Malay and Chinese styles. The population consists of three main ethnic groups: Kadazan-Dusun, Murut and Bajau, who are mainly engaged in farming, trade and rice cultivation. An interesting detail: the tribes of the east coast of the Bajau people are still sea nomads who land ashore only for the purpose of burying the dead.
Attractions Kota Kinabalu
Kota Kinabalu Mosque
According to Top Pharmacy Schools, this mosque is an example of Islamic architecture and is located in the city center. It can accommodate up to 5 thousand people, and it has a special balcony for women for 500 people. Near the mosque, from Signal Hill, you can admire the panorama of the city and the port.
Sabah State Museum
Located on Bukit Istana Lama Street and built in the style of the huts of the Rungus and Murut tribes. The exhibition presents historical items, ceramics, jewelry, folk art products. It is interesting to look at life-size national huts. There is also a hall dedicated to the history of the state, its flora and fauna, the development of the oil and gas industry, and a science center. In the museum complex you can go to a cafe or restaurant, an ethnobotanical garden and a souvenir shop.
Street exhibitions and the central market are undoubtedly the best places to feel the life of the country, buy fresh seafood, fruits and vegetables, souvenirs and knick-knacks, and enjoy the exotic. (Just don’t forget that for the locals we are also a real exotic!)
Tanjung Aru beach
On the west coast of Kota Kinabalu is the luxurious beach of Tanjung Aru, surrounded by palm trees and casuarina. Here is the Prince Philip Yacht Park.
From here, excursions are organized to the islands in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Reserve, (20 minutes by boat) which occupies 50 hectares on 5 islands with unique beaches and an amazing underwater world.
Mount Kinabalu and National Park Preserve
The top of Mount Kinabalu with a height of 4093m – the highest peak in Southeast Asia, is located on the territory of the reserve of the same name, 85km from the city of Kota Kinabalu. The reserve occupies 754 hectares. From Kota Kinabalu, it takes 2 hours to reach the management of the reserve, located at an altitude of 1558m. The average temperature in these places is 13-20 degrees. The reserve is popular not only among climbers, but also among nature lovers, which is very diverse here. There are rare birds, trees, butterflies, orchids and the largest flower in the world, Rafflesia. reaching 170 centimeters in diameter. Flora and fauna are diverse: from jungles to alpine conifers. It is best to get acquainted with the nature of the reserve while climbing the mountain.
Hot Springs Poring
On the eastern edge of the Kinabalu National Park is another of its attractions – a natural health resort with hot springs (Poring Hot Springs). Here, at an altitude of 480m and in the thickets of a bamboo grove, a number of baths are installed, into which healing water flows from the nearest source. Nearby is a large swimming pool with cool water and a cafe where you can have a bite to eat. In a word, visiting the complex is a great opportunity to relax and unwind after a mountain hike. Moreover, a trip to Poring can be organized as a self-guided tour. In this case, tourists also have the opportunity to explore the natural environment of this mini-complex by trekking into the jungle along one of the proposed routes. During the hike, an amazing spectacle of centuries-old trees and lianas opens up.
Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary
The reserve is 24 km from Sandakan, the only place in the world where a person teaches monkeys to climb trees and lianas. In this rehabilitation center, captive-born animals adjust to life in the jungle. Here you can watch monkeys in their natural habitat. The best time to visit is between 10:00 am and 2:30 pm when the jungle primates come to feed. Also in Sepilok, on 5666 hectares of forest, there are several species of mammals and about 200 species of birds.
The northwestern STATE OF SARAWAK in the south of the island of Borneo borders with Kalimantan (Indonesia), and in the north with Brunei. It is the largest state in Malaysia with an area of 124,450 sq. km. The capital is the city of Kuching, translated from Malay means “cat”. Since the beginning of the 19th century, the history of this region was determined by the presence of oil and gas, the proximity of the Sultanate of Brunei and Singapore, and, as a result, military conflicts and civil strife in the struggle for influence. A kind of calling card of the state and the main attraction of Sarawak are “longhouses”, long houses. These houses stand on high rafters, and from time to time extensions are made to the house, one after the other. All family members, relatives close and distant, can live in one longhouse. Thus, entire tribes can live in one such “longhouse”.
Sarawak, as a state with numerous rivers, is known for its water travel. You can go on a safari through the wild jungle or just explore its ancient buildings, mosques, temples, museums and markets.