Let’s Discover Sabah!
1) Kinabalu National Park
Kinabalu National Park, the entrance to Mount Kinabalu, is located at 1,585 metres above sea level and is the main starting point for the summit trail that leads to the top of Mount Kinabalu. It covers an area of 754sq km and is made up of Mount Kinabalu, Mount Tambayukon and the foothills.
Kinabalu National Park was Malaysia’s first UNESCO World Heritage site, approved in the year 2000. UNESCO chose this site thanks to the more than 5000 vascular plant species and 90 lowland mammal species that can be found there. The most famous plant in Kinabalu National Park is the Rafflesia, a parasitic flowering plant that produces the largest flower in the world.
One of Kinabalu National Park main attractions is the majestic Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain in Malaysia and South East Asia with its height of 4,905.2 meters above sea level.
2) Sipadan Island
The late Jacques Cousteau, a world-renowned oceanographer, once described Sipadan Island as an untouched piece of art while divers around the world have voted it as one of the top five dive sites in the world.
Declared a bird sanctuary in 1933 by the Colonial Government of North Borneo and re-gazetted in 1963 by the Malaysian Government, the dense vegetation on Sipadan Island supports a large variety of tropical birds that include sea eagles, kingfishers, sunbirds, starlings and wood pigeons. Exotic crustaceans including the amazing coconut crab roam the beaches and scurry among the undergrowth. Encounters with turtles, resident schools of jacks, bumphead parrotfish and barracudas are almost assured when diving around the tiny coral island.
3) Mabul Island
Mabul Island is reputed to be one of the best places for underwater macro-photography in the world. Located in the clear waters of the Celebes Sea off the mainland of Sabah, it is surrounded by gentle sloping reefs two to 40m deep.
Diving is the main activity on this island, and it can be done all year round. Marine life that can be seen here include sea horses, exotic starfish, fire gobies, crocodile fish, pipefish and snake eels. There are over eight popular dive spots, each with its own speciality.
4) Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary
This centre was established in 1964 to help rehabilitate orangutans which had been orphaned. Just like a human baby, the orphaned young orangutan (which would normally live with its mother for 5-6 years) needs to be taught how to cope in the wild, while its health is carefully monitored during rehabilitation.
The best times to visit the ‘Wild Men of Borneo’ are at 10am and again, at 2.30pm when the primates emerge from the forest for their daily ration of bananas and milk. Watch as the orang utans are fed from a platform in the centre and then returned to roam freely in the forest where they can fend for themselves.
5) Linangkit Cultural Village
Situated in Kampung Selupoh, the Linangkit Cultural village in Tuaran guarantees an in-depth look into the rich social culture and mystical history of the Lotud tribe of Sabah. Grab the chance to gather information of the culture as well as heritage lies within the village. You will definitely love the environment and friendly Lotud people living there.
Lotud people are very well known for their skilful weaving especially Linangkit, one of the unique traditions of this tribe. It is a form of traditional embroidery to decorate and hide the seams of two joined pieces of fabrics. They also live in longhouses like other indigenous tribes of Sabah, except each Lotud longhouse shelters only one family and have a remarkable collection of antique items inside the longhouse.
• KUALA LUMPUR •
Kuala Lumpur, or popularly known as ‘KL’, is Malaysia’s capital city and one of Asia’s most dynamic cities. This bustling metropolis is a melting pot of races and cultures, and is home to a population of 1.6 million people. One of the most charming features of this flourishing urban centre is its ability to juxtapose the old and new. Iconic high-rise buildings such as the Petronas Twin Towers stand alongside colonial buildings, creating a delightful contrast. Upscale shopping malls, themed places of interest and trendy nightspots add character to the city’s entertainment options. Getting around this modern city is convenient with the comprehensive transportation system, KL Hop On Hop Off Coach tours and KL City Hall’s tram service. Well-manicured parks, lakes, museums and heritage quarters make KL a cornucopia of delightful attractions.
PETRONAS TWIN TOWERS
At a height of 451.9m, the magnificent Petronas Twin Towers is a world-renowned icon of modern Malaysia. It is the centre piece of the Kuala Lumpur city centre (KLCC) development, which comprises landmarks such as the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Suria KLCC shopping mall, star-rated hotels, a mosque as well as the immaculately landscaped KLCC Park. Highlights include a visit to the Skybridge on the 41st Floor and Viewing Deck on the 86th Floor.
Getting there: KL Hop On Hop Off tour bus/RapidKL LRT – KLCC Station
• KL TOWER, Jalan Puncak, off Jalan P. Ramlee •
Poised atop Bukit Nanas, KL Tower is a major landmark in the city. This telecommunications tower is the seventh tallest in the world. It stands at 421m. The tower is situated in the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve.
Note: The entrance fee stated here is for Single Ticket (Observation Deck only). For a full list of entrance fees, call or visit the website. Single tickets can be purchased online.
Getting there: KL Hop On Hop Off tour bus/A shuttle service is available from the tower’s main gate.
• NATIONAL MUSEUM, Jalan Damansara •
The country’s premier museum is a repository for the nation’s rich heritage and history. Built in 1963, the facade features a Minangkabau-styled roof with two impressive front murals.
Getting there: KL Hop On Hop Off tour bus / Tram.
• ISLAMIC ART MUSEUM, Jalan Lembah Perdana •
This museum showcases the beauty of Islamic arts in Malaysia and around the world. Highlights include Islamic architecture and replicas of famous buildings such as the Taj Mahal in India, Masjid Al- Haram and the Amir Timur Mausoleum in Uzbekistan.
Opening hours: 10.00am – 6.00pm
• SULTAN ABDUL SAMAD BUILDING, Jalan Raja •
One of the most prominent and distinguished landmarks of KL, the Sultan Abdul Samad Building is an enduring attraction amidst the rapidly changing city skyline. Built in 1897, the building was named after the reigning monarch at the time. The stately edifice served as the government administrative building during the British era. Constructed entirely of brick, it boasts a Mahometan or Neo-Saracenic style with an imposing porch, graceful arches, shiny copper domes and a 41.2m high clock tower. The building houses a Tourist Information Centre.
Getting there: KL Hop On Hop Off tour bus / Tram / KL by Cycle / RapidKL LRT – Masjid Jamek Station. Sultan Abdul Samad Building is a short walk from the station.
• ISTANA NEGARA, Jalan Duta •
Istana Negara or the National Palace is the official residence of the King of Malaysia. This majestic edifice situated at Jalan Duta officially became the National Palace in November 2011, replacing the old palace in Jalan Istana. It has 22 domes, with the largest dome reaching up to a height of 40 metres.
Note: Visits are limited to the outside.
• Aquaria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre •
Occupying 60,000 sq ft, Aquaria KLCC showcases a variety of marine life from various parts of the world.
• PUTRAJAYA •
Touted as Malaysia’s ‘Intelligent Garden City’, Putrajaya is the futuristic administrative capital of the country. This model township combines the beauty of nature with strategic town planning and infrastructure development. It is a proud symbol of Malaysia’s aspiration to be a developed nation. Putrajaya is known for its striking architecture, wide open spaces, parks and a scenic manmade lake. The focal point of Putrajaya is the Putra Square. Aesthetically designed offices line the streets while uniquely shaped bridges link the various precincts of Putrajaya. The pinkdomed Putra Mosque stands as one of the most prominent structures in the township. Tours and day trips to Putrajaya are easily available from Kuala Lumpur. Make this futuristic city your next holiday destination!
• PERDANA PUTRA •
This resplendent building houses the offices of Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister as well as the Ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department. The design of Perdana Putra incorporates elements from the Islamic-Mogul architecture. Rising 50m in height, the building features striking design elements such as a green-pitched roof, onion-shaped dome and wrought iron motifs of the bunga raya or hibiscus, which is Malaysia’s national flower. Visitors are free to view the building from the outside.
• LAKE PUTRAJAYA •
Sprawling over 400ha, the serene Lake Putrajaya is one of the most prominent attractions in this city. The lake covers about 13% of the total land area, which stretches over 4,931ha. Lake Putrajaya was created to enhance Putrajaya’s aesthetic appeal. It also serves as a climate moderator. Putrajaya Lake Cruises are highly popular as they offer a chance to view the attractions around Putrajaya from an interesting and different perspective. Cruises are equipped with guides and commentaries.
Tel: 03 8888 5539
• PUTRA MOSQUE •
One of the most famous landmarks in Putrajaya, this mosque is distinguished by its magnificent pink dome. It is constructed with rose-tinted granite and inspired by some of the world’s most famous mosques. The basement wall resembles the King Hassan Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco while the minaret is designed after the Sheikh Omar Mosque in Baghdad. Putra Mosque is made up of three main areas; the Sahn or courtyard, the prayer hall as well as the function room. Visitors should be dressed appropriately.
• PUTRAJAYA WETLAND •
Comprising the Wetland Park (138ha) and wetland area (197ha), this is a must-see destination for nature-lovers and environmentalists. There are 24 wetland cells thriving with flora and fauna and the main habitats are marshes, swamp forests, ponds and lakes.
Herons and Cinnamon Bitterns
Images by Tourism Malaysia.
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