Sabah is one of the 13 member states of Malaysia, and is its easternmost state. It is located on the northern portion of the island of Borneo. It is the second largest state in the country after Sarawak, which it borders on its southwest. It also shares a border with the province of East Kalimantan of Indonesia in the south. The capital of Sabah is Kota Kinabalu, formerly known as Jesselton. Sabah is often referred to as “The Land Below The Wind”, a phrase used by seafarers in the past to describe lands south of the typhoon belt.
Kundasang War Memorial
This was one of the first memorials to commemorate the brave Australian and British Prisoners of War who died in Sandakan and during the infamous death marches to Ranau during World War II.
The fort-like Memorial was designed by a local architect by the name of J.C. Robinson. It has 4 interlocking but separate gardens to represent the homelands of those who has died: an Australian Garden, a formal English Garden of roses, a Borneo Garden with wild flowers of Kinabalu and at the top level is the Contemplation Garden with a reflection pool and pergola.
The memorial is open to local and foreign visitors not only to view the perfect gardens but to remember those who sacrificed their lives for the Freedom of others. The Memorial is open to visitors with minimal entrance fees charged.
Layang Layang, meaning kite, is fast becoming another one of Malaysia’s premier dive destinations after the world-famous Sipadan Island.
This oceanic atoll is situated in the South China Sea about 300km north-west of Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah.
The little land mass supports a luxurious 90-room dive resort, a Malaysian Naval base and a nesting colony for several sea-faring migratory birds. The reef topography is essentially made up of a rich growth of hard corals; some so shallow that they break the sea surface during low tides, but most begin at depths of about 5m right down to the ocean floor.
Some of the marine animals observed around the 14 dive sites include black-tip sharks, hammerheads, jacks barracudas, bump-head parrotfish, lionfish, moray eels, turtles, nudibranches, gobies and the ghost pipe fish.
Pulau Tiga Marine Park
Pulau Tiga is the largest of the three islands that make up Pulau Tiga Park. Its beautiful landscape and unspoilt natural environment has attracted CBS TV Network of the USA to use this island as the main location for the popular ‘Survivor’ Programme, dubbing it the ‘Survivor Island’.
This island was formed through the eruption of several mud volcanoes. The last explosion happened in 1941 and since then the volcanoes have remained relatively passive.
Several small mud volcanoes spewing cool, mineral-rich mud can still be found near the summit of the island. The notion that this mineral rich mud is good for your skin makes mud-bathing a must-do activity on this island.
The island’s lush green jungle serves as a soothing backdrop, while the fine, white sand beaches and the clear unpolluted water are a wonder for nature lovers.
The coral reefs encircling the island are home to many species of fish and other marine life. Among the activities that await you here are diving, non-motorised water sports, trekking, bird watching and mud bathing.
The Park Headquarters is situated on the southern side of the island, not far from Pulau Tiga Resort, the only resort facility available on the island
The Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC)
The Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC) situated in Sepilok, Sandakan is a part of the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve. Located in Sabah, the RDC is an environmental education (EE) centre in the state.
Take a walk through the park, or a stroll on wooden the suspension bridge at the 950 metres canopy walk and view countless of exotic wildlife.
Night walks along the trail also offer a chance to catch a glimpse of wildlife such as the cunning mousedeer, wily civet cats, cute tarsiers and various insects and birds.
There are also many magnificent flowering shrubs a the Plant Discovery Garden, with about 250 species of native orchids. The orchid family, is known to be the largest flowering plants with about 25,000 wild species throughout the world.
Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park
The Tunku Abdul Rahman park comprises a group of five islands located only 20 minutes away from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah’s capital. The park is spread over 4,929 hectares, two thirds of which is sea.
The five idyllic islands, Manukan, Mamutik, Sulug, Gaya and Sapi have soft white beaches and are teeming with fish and coral, perfect for beginner divers as well as snorkellers and picnickers. Gaya and Sapi Islands also have hiking trails through their pristine jungles.
These islands are home to a variety of flora and fauna, including one of the most intriguing birds, the Megapode or Burung Tambun, a chicken lookalike with large feet and makes a meowing sound like a cat.