Need a break? How does this sound — good food, home made spirits/wine, sea breeze and just an awesome laid back culture to immerse yourself in?
So, where is this paradise we’re referring to? Is none other than the beautiful island of Borneo, Sabah. The island is the second largest state in Malaysia and shares the island of Borneo with Sarawak, Brunei, and Indonesian Kalimantan.
The beautiful island is rich with nature, unique cultures, fun adventure, beautiful beaches, and fantastic cuisines for the adventurous taste buds. Oh and they have the world’s largest flower – the Rafflesia, one of the highest mountains in South East Asia – Mount Kinabalu, to one of the world’s top dive sites – Sipadan Island.
You’ll be amazed by the places to see and things to do here. With that said, we have listed down the top five things to do in Sabah! Explore the unique culture and tradition of Sabah and get ready to be treated with unique Sabahan hospitality. Let’s get right to it shall we?
Dive in Sipadan Island
Most of us underestimate how breathtaking our Malaysian islands can be. And Sipadan Island is one of them. Known for one of the best diving spots in the world, Sipadan is also well-known for its crystal clear waters and its unusually large numbers of green and hawksbill turtles which gather there to mate and nest and it is not unusual for a diver to see more than 20 turtles on each dive. There are a total of 12 dive sites in Sipadan with the most popularly recommended dive sites such as : Turtle Cavern, Barracuda Point, South Point and Hanging Gardens. If you can’t dive, you can opt for snorkelling instead.
Indulge in Food
What better way to start off your trip than with food! And Tamu market is just the place to do so. Tamu is the Sabah version of a Farmer’s Market and Tamu in English means “open air market”. For the freshers greens and local delicacy, Tamu has it all. From tobacco, coffee powder, traditional medicine to botod (Sago Worms) and much more. Boted is a definite must try! You can either have it raw, boiled, fried or even grilled but the locals prefer to have them raw and alive. Apparently, it tastes much better than when it is actually cooked. This little worm is high in protein and the locals claim that it can cure asthma and lower cholesterol.
Hike and Climb
If you’re a nature junkie yourself, you would want to check out what Sabah has to offer. You can either opt to climb one of the highest mountains in South East Asia, the majestic Mount Kinabalu or to jungle trak the Tawau Hills Park. Both magical and challenging in their own way.
Experiencing The Local Rice Wine
We pretty much covered the adventurous side of Sabah, here’s where the fun starts! You can’t end your journey without tasting the local rice wine. There are a few to choose from, from Tapai to Lihing, each of them are pretty potent when overly consumed. Tapai is a well known-indigenous fermented beverage, it’s colourless, almost transparent. Made from the tuber of the cassava plant, the preferred party drink of the Murut. Lihing on the other hand is fermented glutinous rice and natural yeast, called ‘sasad’ and also made from rice. They are all pretty much have a fragrant smell but don’t be fooled by the sweet smell cause after a couple of sip, you might wake up in the morning with a horrible hangover.
Get to Know an Orang Utan, or Two
One should end their Borneo adventure with some cuteness overload! What are we referring to? The Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary of course! You are given the opportunity to watch the orang utan up close in their natural habitat. There will be a board-walk which leads to a viewing gallery and the feeding platform. Yes! The feeding platform, where the apes are fed milk and bananas twice a day at 10am and 3pm by rangers.