Sabah is considered as Malaysia’s second largest state with an estimated area of 76 000 square km. Looking in the map, the place can be found resting in the amazing island of Borneo. Both Sabah and Sarawak embrace the popular area of East Malaysia.
During the ancient times, Sabah has the reputation of being the “Land Below The Wind” mainly because it is situated underneath the typhoon belt. Rising about 4,100 meters, the famous Mt. Kinabalu is one of the boasted attractions in the rocky terrains of Sabah. The mountain provides an overlook of the vastness of the surrounding landscape. Surrounded by some of the world’s great oceans, one can find the South China Sea at the western part of the area, while the huge oceans of the Celebes Sea, as well as the Sulu Sea, can be found on the eastern side. The place also houses the largest rainforests with a rich variety of flora and fauna. All in all, there are 31 indigenous groups in Sabah which includes the Bajaus, Kadazans, Bisaya, Muruts, Kedayans, Sulu, Rungus, Rumanau, as well as the Minokok with over 80 dialects.
According to history, the British North Borneo Company overpowered Sabah until 1881, and eventually became part of the British Empire territory. The internal affairs, however, were still governed by the company in 1888. North Borneo was conquered by the Japanese empire from the year 1941 up to 1946. The place eventually became part of North Borneo’s territory after the war. On August 31, 1963, the place was endowed with self-government power. The Malaysian federation was formed together with Singapore, Sarawak, as well as Malaya, on September, 16, 1963. It was also on that same year when the place was recognized as Sabah. For many years, the Philippines claimed the east of Sabah as one of its terrains, which apparently started off in the early 18th century.
Kota Kinabalu is the state capital of Sabah which provides a doorway for International access to Malaysia through accepting flights from countries which are mostly from SouthEast Asia, such as Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and Manila. The domestic flights are also available between the areas of Sandakan, Labuan, and Tawau, as well as the major town of Lahad Datu, with still large portions of hard-to-reach areas. The original town, which was formerly known as Jesselton, was totally destructed during World War II which eventually became a new city a few years after the war. Buses, taxis, as well as boats can be found along the railway extending from Kota Kinabalu on the way to Tenom.
The abundance of nature, diversity of wildlife and the rich vegetation were known as Sabah’s primary attractions. The famous Crocker Range Park, together with the Sepilok Orang-utan Sanctuary and the Kinabalu National Park, were some of its renowned tourist spots. The place of Sabah also boasts some of its beautiful islands such as the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park and Pulau Sipadan, and many other great places that are worth visiting and exploring.
Proboscis Monkeys, which are mostly found in localized areas, can be seen at the Kinabatangan River. Sukau, in which the Kinatabangan River is situated, has been popular due to its rich wildlife where it is being inhabited by a large population of proboscis monkeys and orang-utans. Trips to the wildlife-abundant place of Sukau are offered every afternoon for guests who want to observe the proboscis monkeys. A number of elephants can also be seen in the place which is quite very common.
Sukau is also considered as home for a number of wildlife animals such as the maroon langur, silvered langur as well as the Hose’s or grey langur. There are also other unsual species that resides within the vicinity of the area, such as the Bornean gibbon, long-tailed macaque and pig-tailed macaque. Two nocturnal primates, namely, the slow loris and western tarsier, also shares their huge home with the other mammals, such as the Sumatran rhinoceros and the Asian elephant, more than 200 classified species of birds, and the amazing reptiles like pythons and crocodiles.
Other great places in Sabah include the very popular Mt Kinabalu. Being the highest mountain of South East Asia, excluding New Guinea, Mt. Kinabalu rises at 4100 meters and is considered to be the 20th of the world’s highest mountains. The two-day trek, starting from Park Headquarters towards the mountain’s summit, became a popular activity in the area. The Mt Kinabalu Marathon, which is held once a year, provides training for a number of athletes who could do the summit trek within a day. Within three hours, the athletes can trek all the way to the top of the summit, and back to the headquarters!
If you have the guts to try the activity, you will be amazed with these individuals, and reaching the summit on sunrise with a breath-taking overlook on the Philippines visible from the North will pay all the laborious effort. At various times of the year, the temperature at the surrounding area of the summit maintains at the freezing point. With five altitude plus temperature related zones, the summit of Mt. Kinabalu can be trudged, starting off from the Lowland Forest, followed with the Lower Montane of aproximately 2300 meters, then the Upper Montane which runs up to 2,800 meters. Next in line is the 3200-meters Sub-alpine abundant with famous pitcher plants, and finally the Alpine where you can hardly see some plants.