By sister F.karim
Known as the land below the wind. Sabah is situated on the east coast of Malaysia and lies 6 degrees north of the equator. The capital of Sabah is Kota Kinabalu, which is home to the famous Mount Kinabalu.
Not so long ago my husband decided to surprise me with a holiday to Malaysia. When I found out where we were going I shrieked with joy. I totally fell in love with Malaysia ever since our first trip in 2008. I was extremely excited as this was going to be my first trip to Sabah. I waited in anticipation for our plane to land; I couldn’t help wondering what this Sabah was all about.
We stayed at the Grand Borneo hotel in the 1Borneo shopping Mall about 30 min drives from Kota Kinabalu City Centre. The hotel offers a free shuttle service daily to the City Centre and back. The mall is one of the largest malls in Borneo.
We took a drive to Jesselton point to catch a ferry to the Tunku Abudur Rahmaan marine park. The marine park consist of 5 islands, we visited 2 of the 5 islands. Sapi Island was the first island that we visited .The scenery was absolutely breathtaking and the water was turquoise like the pictures you see in magazines and postcards, and I was totally mesmerized. We went snorkeling baby sharks and it was the most amazing feeling one could ever experience. A delicious braai on the beach was arranged for us by our tour guide. The rest of the day was spent relaxing on the beach and enjoying the beauty of the island. You can also go sea walking and diving at Sapi Island
The water is so clear that you can see the fish.
The next day we went to the famous Mount Kinabalu in the Kinabalu Park. Mount kinabalu is the highest peak in Southeast Asia. The view of the mountain is mind blowing, seeing the mountain covered in the clouds was too beautiful. Aside from seeing the magnificent mountain we also went to the natural hot springs. They have naturally heated pools as well as a hiking trail. We went on the canopy walk trail, it was a long and tiring walk up but to finally see the canopy walk, a bridge built between the trees with all natural materials was definitely worth it. The view from up there was mesmerizing; I was a bit afraid as I’m not a fan of heights but totally worth it.
Touring the City Centre was very easy , we mostly went everywhere walking. We also took a bus to the local beach in Kota Kinabalu called Tanjun Aru. The beach was beautiful and not too crowded and we actually could see the planes landing from the beach. There are also plenty of Halaal restaurants on the beach so food isn’t a problem. And there was also a Salaah room on the beach front so we didn’t have to miss our salaah.
The one experience about Sabah that I won’t forget is the food. My husband and I were invited for supper by the Sabah tourism board. The restaurant was actually a floating restaurant on the lake. The cuisine ranged from various types of fish, all the fish are in tanks and you basically choose your preference of fish. I have never eaten such delicious seafood in my entire life before. I was also lucky enough to go to the food market, yes I said Food market on the beach, and the market is filled with various stores selling just different kinds of food and fruits, there is so much variety that we got very confused and couldn’t decide what to eat.
To me Sabah is the ideal holiday destination because:
Malaysia is a Muslim country so salaah facilities are very easily accessible. The people are very kind and helpful.
Almost all the food is Halaal and if the restaurants are not Halaal they will inform you. You will find Halaal food everywhere in Sabah.
If you an adventure junkie or love the outdoors Sabah is perfect with the various adventure sports, like mountain climbing, river rafting or visiting the rain forest, or just admiring the nature.
If you love the beach like me Sabah is perfect with its white sandy beaches and clear Blue waters. The beaches are breathtaking and perfect to relax.
Shopping -Malaysia has been voted one of the most affordable shopping destinations in the world. Brands from Guess, Gucci, and Versace Etc. are available ridiculously low prices. Even for those who don’t really buy brand names shopping in Sabah is really affordable.
The transport system in Sabah is very easily accessible and makes it very simple, safe and fast to travel.
Affordability- most people think because you travelling overseas its really expensive, it actually is very affordable the cost of food in Malaysia is really cheap for about R25 two people can have a proper Meal. The hotels are also very Classy and affordable even for people on a budget.
Sabah is definitely a must see destination.
Sabah has it all! The sun, Beach, Nature, Food, sight-seeing and the Culture. To me it is the perfect holiday destination. I loved it so much that I did not want to come back home after the wonderful experience that I had. I can’t wait to experience a little more of Malaysia soon.