10 Best Things To Do in Sabah, Malaysia | Get In Touch With Nature

Things To Do in Sabah

Situated in the Northern part of Borneo Island, the state of Sabah is recognized for its humongous Mountain Kinabalu, lush tropical rainforests, and pristine coral reefs and coastlines. Additionally, you will discover unending pathways ideal for trekking, and sprawling wildlife in the awe-inspiring national parks. The local delicacies are vast and can suit everyone’s taste buds. So, in this article, we discuss a list of 10 things to do on your visit to the state of Sabah.

10 Best Things To Do in Sabah | Malaysia

1. Check out the orangutans at Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre
Source: Beat My Path

Established in 1964, Sepilok is Sabah’s oldest orangutan rehabilitation center, sheltering several abandoned young orangutans. These endangered primates have lost their habitat due to years of deforestation, and some have even been hunted down.

This amazing orangutan center provides a home to these threatened species and rehabilitates them. These young creatures is train so they can survive on their own in the wild, and they are fed at regular intervals.

2. Dine at the night market

Night Market
Source: Ideal Travel XPerience

The night market in Sabah is applauded for its wide selection of delicious local cuisine, including satay, meat skewers, and many barbequed items. The satay is usually served alongside a mouth-watering peanut sauce that will leave you craving for more!

If you are looking for something healthier, try the Roti Canai that comes with lentil curry. Other than that, you can also buy a bowl of Beef Rendang at a reasonable price. Regardless of whether you’re a vegan or a meat-lover, you will always find something that will be to your liking.

3. Scale the viciously tall Mount Kinabalu

Mount Kinabalu
Source: Mount Kinabalu Official Website

Standing at an astonishing height of 4095 meters, the beguiling Mount Kinabalu is Malaysia’s tallest mountain. This mountain has raked in enormous attention worldwide and can be very difficult to scale due to its harsh terrain. Climbing to the top requires a lot of courage and skills.

If you are up for the challenge, you will be greeted to a panoramic view of the surrounding area when you make it to the summit. The best way to climb the mountain is by signing up for a group tour. However, tickets for the tour are sold out pretty early.

4. Descend underwater at Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park

Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park
Source: Tour Company – Malaysia and Philippines

Near the city of Kota Kinabalu, you will discover five beautiful islands featuring impressive coastlines and corals at Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park. In addition, you can easily rent a speedboat from the city to reach these islands.

If you are seeking an exhilarating experience, you will be pleased to know that the islands feature several dive sites. So, do not forget to carry your diving gear with you on the journey.

5. Appreciate the serenity of Pulau Tiga Archipelago

Pulau Tiga Archipelago - Things to do in Sabah
Source: borneoadventure

Are you a fan of the American series called Survivor? The first season of that show was filmed on the spectacular Pulau Tiga islands in Sabah. Unlike many other islands of Malaysia, this place isn’t well-developed. There aren’t many lodges for you to spend the night in, and the islands are also sparsely populated.

Therefore, this archipelago would most likely attract tourists who are seeking seclusion and serenity. The coastlines are mesmerizing, and strolling on the soft white sand feels wonderful.

6. Know more about the region’s past at the Sabah State Museum

Sabah State Museum - Things to do in Sabah
Source: Wikipedia

Established on land with a total area of 42 acres, the Sabah Museum houses a garden, a zoo, and a small cultural village. This place located close to Bukit Istana Lama, and it features an outstanding art gallery showcasing various regional art pieces created by local talents.

Moreover, the museum has obtained and carefully preserved several historical artifacts, objects, and documents from Sabah’s past.

7. Take pictures of Proboscis Monkeys along the Kinabatangan River

Proboscis Monkeys along the Kinabatangan River - Things to do in Sabah
Source: Daily Cup Of Travel

Stretching 348 miles, the Kinabatangan River is one of Sabah’s longest rivers. This river looks stunning, and it is encircled by dense foliage. While cruising this river on a boat, you might get a chance to spot dozens of wild Proboscis monkey native to Borneo.

These endangered primates can be easily identified for their characteristic features such as a pot-belly and sharp red noses. Other than these playful primates, you might even catch a glimpse of pygmy elephants and crocodiles frolicking around you.

8. Traverse the mysterious Maliau Basin

Maliau Basin - Things to do in Sabah
Source: World Nomads

In the middle of Sabah lies the incredible Maliau Basin that still has not been fully explored by researchers and ecologists. If you decide to traverse the vast wilderness of this region, you better go prepared.

The dense jungle of the basin has a complex ecosystem, and you are bound to come across a variety of exotic and endemic animals. Venturing into these uncharted lands might require a significant proportion of your time, especially because you cannot get a guided tour of this place.

9. Discover Sabah’s distinctive plants

Rafflesia - Things to do in Sabah
Source: Bradt Travel Guides

Sabah’s most outlandish plant species are the Rafflesia and Pitcher plants, found the center of the region’s vast rainforest. Although they are difficult to spot, you can find them if you have keen eyes. The Pitcher plants are quite big and release sweet nectar to attract bugs into its mouth.

Once the insects enter its cavity, the plant can trap and digest it. Unlike pitcher plants, Rafflesia isn’t carnivorous but can be easily identified because of its irksome odor.

10. Experience the rainforests of Danum Valley at night

Danum Valley - Things to do in Sabah
Source: Culture Trip

Danum Valley possesses one of the most complex ecosystems in all of Sabah. The rainforest in this region shelters an astonishing amount of plants and wildlife and is an ideal place for camping overnight. Alternatively, you can also stay in the various lodges and bungalows this place has to offer. Heaps of tourists visit this place to take a night safari of the dense jungle.


In short, Sabah is the perfect getaway for those who want to relax from their urban life in a big city. There are plenty of natural wonders to explore such as rainforests, rivers, and remote islands. On top of that, there are a good number of hiking trails for you to wander freely.

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