Quick Glance
Sabah Hotels
HotelTravel.com - Discounts hotels up to 75% with guaranteed lowest rates.
Return to BorneoSearch Main Page Find a particular business through our Business Directory
  Get yourself placed in BorneoSearch   Know about BorneoSearch   Our contact information   Help us improve BorneoSearch   Post your opinions/ideas  
Flag of Malaysia

Quick Glance on State of Sabah
Sabah Logo Flag of Sabah
The Land Below the Wind

Map of Sabah"The Land Below the Wind" as it is sometimes called, Sabah is situated at the top tip of the Borneo Island. Being the thirteenth state of Malaysia, it covers an area of about 74,500 sq. km with a attractive sandy coastline of 1,440 km. Sabah faces the South China Sea towards the West, and towards the east are the Sulu Sea and Celebes Sea. The state inhabits 32 ethnic groups with the Dusuns forming the largest of all to make up the total population of 1.71 million.

The capital of Sabah is Kota Kinabalu (KK) with a population of 301,000. It was once known as Jesselton until it was destroyed during World War II. The tallest mountain in Borneo as well as in the whole of South-east Asia is known as Mt. Kinabalu, which the state capital is named after it.


Sabah is one of the three states in Malaysia that are rich in oil. It was also once very rich in timber resources. Its other primary exports include timber, cocoa, palm oil, rubber, copra, fish and agricultural products. The mining, manufacturing and quarrying industries have also contributed extensively to its economy. Sabah's strong networks of roads, railways, ports and airports have indeed lead to its economic success.


Sabah is a potential tourists' destination with loads of attraction to offer like the Beach, Seafood, Coral Reefs, Mountain climbing, Natural Rainforest, Orang-Utan sanctuary and many others. That is why tourism has played such an important part in Sabah's economic growth.

Mount KinabaluMany tourists come to Sabah among other attractions is to climb Southeast Asia's highest mountain. Towering at a height of 13,455 ft (4,104m), Mt. Kinabalu also known as "Spine of Sabah", is one of the many pride and joy Sabah has to offer to the world.

Tourists can enjoy Hotsprings, Canopy Walkway and Jungle Trekking in one of Sabah's most well preserved rainforest at Danum Valley Conservation Area, while taking in the pleasure of the sights and sounds around them. Some scientists describe the 438 sq. km rainforest as "the greatest expression of life on Earth" because of its incredible biodiversity comprising rich flora and fauna. Some have even remarked that the immense tranquillity of a real jungle world is so deeply felt that man can feel "human" again.

A town called Lahad Datu is located at about 83 km south-east of Kota Kinabalu, where its forest houses 275 species of birds, 110 species of mammals including true wild Orang Utans, five species of deer, bearded wild boars, howling gibbons, giant flying squirrels, flying frogs, magnificent Bulwar pheasants, the Asian elephants and one of Danum's best known beasts, the Sumatran rhinoceros that still roam in its depths.

Rafflesia arnoldiTo make the trip to the rainforest even more worthwhile, tourists can witness one of nature's wonders among these centuries-old trees of different shapes and sizes. Sabah is indeed very fortunate to bear the world's largest flower. Lying at a height of about 91 cm, the Rafflesia arnoldi as it is called, was named after Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles who discovered it in Sumatra in 1881. The flower can reach up to 3 feet in diameter and blooms as a single flower which bears no roots, stems and not even leaves. This floral wonder is 1.9 cm or 3/4 inch thick, weighs about 7 kg and has a distinctive pungent smell.

A good venue for rafting is at Padas River which now roars down the slopes producing multiples of exciting rapids.

Unlike neighbouring Sarawak, Sabah doesn't have magnificently huge caves but one that has considerable historical depth which are the Gomantong Caves, situated south-west of Sandakan.

For generations, birds' nests harvested here formed an important source of supplies to China where it had been and still is, a prized delicacy. There are two cave complexes where this all-time favourite 'treasure' can be found. One, the more accessible Simud Hitam, which soars to almost 100 metres high, produces less valuable "black" nests-hardened swiftlet saliva mixed with feathers. Whereas the bigger complex is at Simud Puteh which is more challenging to reach but produces 'white' nests that can fetch a tremendous US$450 per kilo.

The nests are harvested twice each year, the first in February to April and the second in July to September. The dangerous operation, involving the use of rattan ladders, ropes and poles, would prove an interesting sight to any visitor.


Green TurtleThe Hawksbill and Green turtles, the only two species of turtles found in Sabah can be sighted quite easily every night throughout the year, but they are especially plentiful during the peak months between July and October. Once, these fascinating creatures were fast becoming extinct. Their very survival depended very much on the restriction measures taken against hunting and the conservation efforts made by the Malaysian Government about 30 years ago. The Hawksbill turtles were hunted for their shells.


Orang HutanThis amazingly human-like primate is found only in the islands of Borneo and Sumatra nowadays. Not surprisingly, Sabah (formerly known as British North Borneo) is the best place in the world to see the Red Ape because of a conscious conservation programme going wayback in the 1930's.

Another fascinating creature, the pot-bellied proboscis monkey is also confined to the island of Borneo. Its most distinctive feature is the pendulous nose hanging over its mouth.

Marine Life

Corel ReefsSabah is world famous for its corel reefs. The best reefs are to be found around Manukan, Mamutik and Sulug island. Excellent reef patches are also found between Pulau Sapi and Pulau Gaya. Many types of Equipment for Scuba Diving can be rented at Diving Centres in Manukan where advice of coral details is also offered. There are various kinds of coral can be found; namely the staghorn, mushroom, cabbage, brain, etc...


There is no shortage of accommodation in Sabah. One can find 5-star to 2-star hotels in most major towns whereas budget hotels, hostel or guest houses are offered in smaller towns. The rate ranges from M$30 to M$650 per night.


Sabah has a tropical climate with temperatures ranging from 24 to 34 degree Celsius. Extra rainfall can be experienced during the North East Monsoon period (December to February).


Electricity Current throughout Malaysia is 230 volts, AC, 50Hz. Plugs are either round or square with two or three-pin types.

Working Hours and Holidays

Government office hour from Mondays to Thursdays is from 8am to 4.15pm but that on Fridays is from 8.30am to 11.30am and then from 2.30pm to 4.45pm. On Saturdays the working time is from 8am to 12.45am. Sunday is a rest day. Banking hours is from 10am to 3pm on weekdays and from 9.30am to 11.30am on Saturdays.

Public Holidays for Year 2011 of Rabbit:

New Year's Day 1st January (Saturday)
Chinese New Year 3rd-4th February (Thu-Fri)
Prophet Mohammad's Birthday 15th February (Tuesday)
Good Friday 22nd April (Friday)
Labour Day 1st-2nd May (Sun-Mon)
Wesak Day 17th May (Tuesday)
Harvest Festival 30th-31st May (Mon-Tue)
Birthday of Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong 4th June (Saturday)
Hari Raya Aidilfitri 30th-31st Aug (Tue-Wed)
National Day 31st August (Wednesday)
Malaysia Day 16th September (Friday)
Birthday of Yang Di-Pertua Sabah 1st October (Saturday)
Deepavali 26th October (Wednesday)
Hari Raya Aidiladha (Haji) 6th-7th Nov (Sun-Mon)
First Day of Hijriah 1433 27th-28th Nov (Sun-Mon)
Christmas Day 25th-26th Dec (Sun-Mon)


Malaysian Currency Denomination:-

The denominations are: Coins- 1 cent, 5 cent, 20 cent, 50 cent and a dollar coin. Dollar Notes are: 2 dollar, 5 dollar, 10 dollar, 50 dollar and 100 dollar.(1, 500 & 1,000 dollar notes have been discontinued)

Malaysian Currency Control:-

As a result of Bank Negara Malaysia's Exchange Control Measure's Implementation Plan, which has taken effect from 1 October 1998, all travellers are required to fill in the Travellers Declaration Form (TDF) on arrival/departure. This move was made to regain the country's monetary independence in the current world economic environment and to stablise the country's economy.

Residents and non-residents coming into Malaysia are entitled to bring in not more than RM1,000 in cash and but are allowed an unlimited amount of foreign currency.

Residents leaving Malaysia are entitled up to RM1,000 in cash and foreign notes including travellers' cheques not more than the equivalent of RM10,000 on departure.

Non-Residents, on the other hand, are only allowed to take out amounts less than or equivalent to the amount they have declared upon arrival.

A resident means:-
(a) a Citizen of Malaysia, including one who has obtained a permanent residency outside Malaysia but is residing in Malaysia.
(b) a Non-Citizen of Malaysia who has obtained a permanent residency in Malaysia and is residing in Malaysia.

A non-resident refers to all who do not reside in Malaysia, including a Malaysian citizen living outside Malaysia.

The TDF can be obtained from the following venues:-
(a) Malaysia Embassies of High Commissions.
(b) Tourism Malaysia Offices.
(c) All entry/exits points.
(d) Airports.

On Arrival
Complete your TDF prior to immigration clearance. Then submit the completed TDF to the Immigration Officer for endorsement. When the TDF is returned to you by the Immigration Officer DO NOT REMOVE it from your passport.

On Departure
Complete your TDF prior to immigration clearance. Then submit the completed TDF to the Immigration Officer for endorsement and retention.

Failure to declare is an offence. Prohibited amount in the possession of a traveller may be seized.

Should your need to carry ringgit notes, foreign currency notes and traveller's cheques in excess of the permitted limits, prior written permission may be obtained from:-

Head of Department
Balance of Payment Department
Bank Negara Malaysia
Jalan Dato' Onn 50480
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 603-291-0772
Fax: 603-293-7732


Copyright © 2000 - 2008 Gawi Company - All Rights Reserved. [Disclaimer]