Top 29 Sabah Attractions (2020)

sabah

(source: borneoinsidersguide.com)

Sabah is the second largest state in Malaysia that is located in the northern part of Borneo. Sabah is famed for its beautiful beaches, fantastic diving sites, rainforest and of course, the infamous Mount Kinabalu. With so much to offer, here are the top 29 Sabah attractions that you should definitely check out.

Keningau

1. Sabah Handicraft Centre (Pusat Kraftangan Sabah)

Pusat Kraftangan Keningau (Keningau Craft Centre)

(source: triphobo.com)

Established back in 2012, Sabah Handicraft Centre aims to preserve and introduce Sabah’s handicraft to locals and tourists. This centre is one of the main Sabah attractions where several programmmes have been hosted to train the locals on creating forest-based, textile, earthenware products and many more. Due to the importance and impact of these programmes, the state government selected Keningau, a district rich with cultural heritage and abundant resources to be the hub for handicraft development.

Operating Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:00am – 5:00pm
Ticket Price(s): Free

2. Crocker Range National Park

Crocker Range National Park

(source: wikipedia.org)

Established in 1984, Crocker Range National Park is one of the largest parks in Sabah with plenty to offer. Among the facilities offered in this park are an observation tower, exhibition centre, insectarium and fernarium. This Sabah attraction also contains many species of flora and fauna unique to Borneo, apart from being an essential water supply for many towns and communities in Sabah.

Operating Hours: Daily, 24 hours
Ticket Price(s): Free

3. Bukit Trig Keningau

bukit trig keningau

(source: inspirock.com)

If you are looking for a great outing place to go with your families and friends, you should check out Bukit Trig Keningau. The trails here can be challenging, but not too difficult and boast a beautiful panoramic view of Keningau. The trail to the peak has around 6 checkpoints, with each checkpoint offering you a perfect picture-taking opportunity.

Operating Hours: Daily, 24 hours
Ticket Price(s): RM3

4. Keningau Heritage Museum

Keningau Heritage Museum

(source: wikipedia.org)

This building was built in 1946 during the British colonisation and served as a Government Rest House. Among the notable people that had visited and stayed in this Rest House are the first and second prime ministers of Malaysia. This Sabah attraction was then converted to a museum in 2008 to preserve aspects of Keningau’s heritage such as culture, history, Islamic civilization and more.

Operating Hours: Daily, 9:00am – 5:00pm
Ticket Price(s): Free

Kinabatangan

5. Gomantong Caves

Gomantong Caves

(source: meanderwithmeg.com)

Another one of the must-visit Sabah attractions is Gomantong Caves. This cave is located in Gomantong Reserve Park and is the largest cave in Sabah. In fact, Gomantong Caves is a limestone cave system that consists of 9 caves, and the two largest (up to 90 metres high) and accessible cave complexes are Simud Hitam (Black Cave) and Simud Putih (White Cave).

Of the two cave complexes, Simud Hitam is more accessible and is only a 5-minute walk from the registration centre which is suitable for everyone. On the other hand, Simud Putih requires a permit and steep hill climb of about 30 minutes to reach the entrance.

Operating Hours: Daily, 24 hours
Ticket Price(s): Subject to tour rates

6. Kinabatangan River Cruise

Kinabatangan River Cruise

(source: klook.com)

Kinabatangan River is the second longest river in Malaysia that flows through a mangrove forest into the Sulu Sea. In this stretch of river, there is a high population density of animals including orang-utans, pygmy elephants, wild cats and so much more. To get a chance to see these animals, you can go on a river cruise here that comes in a variety of packages that differs in duration.

Operating Hours: Daily, 24 hours
Ticket Price(s): Subject to tour rates

Kota Belud

7. Mantanani Island

Mantanani Island

(source: borneobah/twitter)

Mantanani Island is an island that is famous for its diverse marine life, beautiful beaches and a serene atmosphere. Looking like a thin knife from a bird’s eye view, this Island boasts a long shore that stretches up to 25 metres. There is plenty you can do here from island trekking to water sports, or you can even just laze on the beach.

Operating Hours: Daily, 24 hours
Ticket Price(s): Subject to tour rates

Kota Kinabalu

8. Mount Kinabalu

Mount Kinabalu

(source: lonelyplanet.com)

Mount Kinabalu is the highest mountain in Malaysia and stands at 4,095 metres above sea level. The entire climb will take approximately two days and will require an accredited tour guide to lead the way. Though the climb is not the easiet of hikes and is an uphill battle, once you arrived at the peak, you will be rewarded with one of the most beautiful panoramic view of Sabah and its surroundings.

Operating Hours: Daily, 24 hours
Ticket Price(s): Subject to tour rates

9. Manukan Island (Pulau Manukan)

Manukan Island

(source: klook.com)

Located just a short boat ride away from Jesselton Point, Manukan Island is a beach paradise with long sandy beaches and crystal clear sea. Though it is not the largest island (second largest island) in Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, its developed facilities attracts almost 200,000 visitors annually. Among the facilities that you can expect here are resorts, clubhouse, restaurants and also a diving centre.

Operating Hours: Daily, 24 hours
Ticket Price(s): Adult – RM3 | Child – RM1

10. Sapi Island (Pulau Sapi)

Sapi Island

(source: jomjalan.com)

Sapi Island is located 7km away from the city centre and is one of the most visited Sabah attractions. Located just a short boat ride away from Jesselton Point, you will be greeted with many colourful marine species which can be seen from the jetty due to the crystal clear sea. Not only does this place offer a more natural experience compared to the other islands, it also has the world’s longest island to island zipline.

Operating Hours: Daily, 24 hours
Ticket Price(s): Subject to tour rates

11. Signal Hill Observatory Platform

Signal Hill Observatory Platform

(source: cavinteo.blogspot.com)

Signal Hill Observatory Platform is located at the highest point in the city, offering an unparalleled view of the city. This UFO-looking observation deck is unique compared to the other buildings in the city that you will be able to recognise it from afar. To avoid the crowd, you should visit this place during the weekdays as many people come here to view the beautiful sunset on the weekends.

Operating Hours: Daily, 24 hours
Ticket Price(s): Free

12. Filipino Market

Filipino Market

(source:aromasian.com)

Another place that you should visit in Sabah is the Filipino Market, located along the Waterfront. Over here, you will be able to find many local produce that you can buy back as souvenirs such as dried seafood, salted fish, fruits and local snacks. There are also rows of food stalls, where you can have some delicious seafood.

Operating Hours: Daily, 9:00am – 10:00pm
Ticket Price(s): Free

13. Kokol Hill Elf

Kokol Hill Elf

(source: says.com)

Kokol Hill Elf is one of the latest and most popular Sabah attractions, offering visitors an amazing panoramic view of Kota Kinabalu city. Located 800 metres high on Kokol Hill, not only will you be able to catch a beautiful sunset here, you will also get to take many ‘Instragram-worthy’ pictures. If you are not afraid of heights, you can try the ‘Mega Swing’ whereby you will swing above the hill, similar to the one in Bali.

Operating Hours: Daily, 9:00am – 8:00pm
Ticket Price(s): RM120 (RM40 for Malaysian)

14. Tanjung Aru

Tanjung Aru

(source: thestar.com.my)

Tanjung Aru is located 6km away from the city centre and is one of the locals’ favourite beach. This beach got its name from the casuarinas that are available here along the white sand beach. On top of that, you will be able to catch one of the most beautiful sunsets here, apart from the many good and luxury resorts that are available here.

Operating Hours: Daily, 24 hours
Ticket Price(s): Free

Kudat

15. The Tip of Borneo

The Tip of Borneo

(source: sabaheats.com)

The Tip of Borneo, one the most popular Sabah attractions is located in Kudat, at the northernmost tip of Borneo. This tip is where the South China Sea meets the Sulu Sea, offering an unparallaled view of the sea and beyond. Over here, you will also be able to find a lighthouse and beautiful beach, that is complete with facilities such as a cafe, shop and washrooms for your convenience.

Operating Hours: Daily, 24 hours
Ticket Price(s): Free

Ranau

16. Kundasang

Kundasang

(source: stay-list.com)

Dubbed as Malaysia’s New Zealand, Kundasang is another picturesque mountain getaway. The only downside of this Sabah attraction is you will need to rent a car to get here and the journey is quite long. One of the things that you should visit here is Desa Cattle Dairy Farm, where you can get delicious local milk produce.

Operating Hours: Daily, 24 hours
Ticket Price(s): Free

17. Poring Hot Spring

Poring Hot Spring

(source: befreetour.com)

Poring Hot Spring is located around 2 hour of drive away from Kota Kinabalu and is one of the best Sabah attractions where you can spend your afternoon. Surrounded by the rainforest, you can soak in the natural mineral hot spring, which is said to improve the blood circulation and smoothen the skin. Not only that, you can also visit the butterfly farm, orchid conservation centre and tropical garden that are available here.

Operating Hours: Daily, 8:00am – 6:00pm
Ticket Price(s): RM15 (RM3 for Malaysian)

Sandakan

18. Rainforest Discovery Centre

Rainforest Discovery Centre

(source: vacation-key.com)

Sabah is blessed with one of the most beautiful rainforests in the world, and Rainforest Discovery Centre was introduced to educate the public about the uniqueness and importance of this forest. Over here, you can explore the different jungle trails and also the steel canopy walk. On top of that, if you are an avid birdwatcher, you will be glad to know that not only can you see rare bird species like the Bornean Bristlehead, Black and Crimson Pitta, and Rhinoceros Hornbill, the annual Borneo Bird Festival is also held here (usually at the end of the year).

Operating Hours: Daily, 8:00am – 5:00pm
Ticket Price(s): Adult – RM7 | Child – RM3

19. Selingan Turtle Island

Selingan Turtle Island

(source: borneo-authentic.blogspot.com)

Selingan Turtle Island has one of the oldest turtle hatcheries in the world. It is also one of the most crucial nesting and breeding grounds for Hawksbill Turtle and Green Turtle in South East Asia. During your time here, not only can you participate in the turtle conservations efforts, you also get to enjoy the white sandy beach and go for a snorkelling session with the turtles.

Operating Hours: Daily, 24 hours
Ticket Price(s): Subject to tour rates

20. Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

(source: lonelyplanet.com)

Founded in 1964, this rehabilitation centre was built to protect and rehabilitate orphaned orangutans in this area. Currently home to 25 orangutans, you get to learn more about these endangered animals and the opportunity to see them up close in this centre, with feeding sessions that take place twice a day. The only downside of this amazing place is the need for you to resist touching the orangutans as they are highly susceptible to human diseases and touching them will expose them to unnecessary risk.

Operating Hours: Daily, 9:00am – 3:00pm
Ticket Price(s): RM30 (RM5 for Malaysian)

21. Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre

Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre

(source: wikipedia.org)

Situated not too far away from the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre is the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, a sun bear rescue and rehabilitation facility. This centre includes large forest enclosures to provide a natural rehabilitation environment for the sun bears before they are released back into the wild. There are currently 43 sun bears in this centre for you to learn more about them and see them up close.

Operating Hours: Daily, 9:30am – 3:30pm
Ticket Price(s): Adult – RM5 | Child – RM2

22. St. Michael’s and All Angels Church

St. Michael’s and All Angels Church

(source: commons.wikimedia.org)

St. Michael’s and All Angels Church is one of the oldest Sabah attractions and is also one of the few surviving pre-war buildings. This stone church is a relic of colonial times and is recognised as one of the world’s heritage sites. Inside the church, you will see a chapel with beautiful stained glass windows (donated by Australia) that allows sunlight to shine in and bring colours to the wall.

Operating Hours: Monday, Wednesday – Saturday, 8:30am – 4:20pm
Ticket Price(s): RM10 (RM5 for Malaysian)

23. Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary

Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary

(source: meanderwithmeg.com)

This privately-owned sanctuary is located within an oil palm estate, giving you the opportunity to see the proboscis monkeys up close, which can only be found in Borneo. It is easy to recognise these orange-grey monkeys with the the male monkeys sporting big dangling noses, while the female monkeys have up-turned noses. Besides monkeys, you can join the night tour here for the opportunity to see flying squirrels, wild boars, crocodiles and fireflies.

Operating Hours: Daily, 8:00am – 6:00pm
Ticket Price(s): Adult – RM15 | Child – RM5

Tawau

24. Tawau Hills National Park

Tawau Hills National Park

(source: sabahtourism.com)

Located 24km away from Tawau city centre, this national park is Sabah’s nature gem. Home to a myriad of flora and fauna, you will be in awe with the beauty of Mother Nature during your visit here. One of the main highlights of this place is the 96.9 metre tree, the world’s tallest tropical tree which you will come across during your hike here.

Operating Hours: Daily, 7:00am – 6:00pm
Ticket Price(s): RM3

25. Teck Guan Cocoa Museum

Teck Guan Cocoa Museum

(source: tripadvisor.com.my)

Besides nature, Tawau is also famous for its cocoa production. This one-of-a-kind museum in Malaysia will open your eyes to its history, development and also the process of making a delicious bar of chocolate. Not only that, you can get an up close view of the chocolate production process in its cocoa manufacturing plant. At the end of your trip, you can purchase some cocoa products such as chocolate jam and instant hot cocoa beverages.

Operating Hours: Daily, 8:00am – 5:00pm
Ticket Price(s): Adult – RM25 | Child – RM15

26. Balung River Eco Resort

Balung River Eco Resort

(source: balung-river-eco-resort-tawau-my.book.direct)

Nestled in the Tawau Hill Park, Balung River Eco resort is a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. Apart from the opportunity to see exotic fruit species such as dragon fruit and abiu here, there are also plenty of activities in this Sabah attraction such as putting green, mountain biking, birdwatching and hiking. If you are looking to stay the night here, you can stay in one of the chalets here that are built from timber and river stone, giving off a rustic vibe.

Operating Hours: Daily, 24 hours
Ticket Price(s): Subject to tour rates

27. Al-Kauthar Mosque

Al-Kauthar Mosque

(source: ms.wikipedia.org)

Built in 1997 and completed in 2002, Al-Kauthar Mosque is one of the largest mosques in Sabah. Among the most distinct features of this mosque are its huge dome at the top (58m high with a 20m circumference) and the white walls. It is said that this mosque with a sea view can accommodate about 17,000 people at any one time.

Operating Hours: Daily, 24 hours
Ticket Price(s): Free

28. Tawau Tanjung Market

Tawau Market (Tawau Tanjung Market)

(source: etawau.com)

Tawau Market is one of the largest indoor markets in Malaysia with over 6,000 stalls. In this market, you will be able to find merchants selling dried foods such as dried salted fish, anchovies and prawns, crackers and fresh fruits. Not only that, if you are looking to buy unique local souvenirs for your friends and families, you will be glad to know that you can find wooden crafts and decorative items here.

Operating Hours: Daily, 5:00am – 5:00pm
Ticket Price(s): Free

29. Balung Cocos Columnar Basalt

Balung Cocos Columnar Basalt

(source: turbinemanlog.blogspot.com)

Columnar Basalt is a formation of rocks from the cooling lava on land after a volcano eruption. What makes the trip to see this most hexagonal-shaped rocks special is the fact that this is the only columnar basalt in Malaysia. Though the journey here can be slightly tricky, not only will you be rewarded with a view of this magnificent natural phenomenon, you can also take a dip in the river to cool yourself down.

Operating Hours: Daily, 24 hours
Ticket Price(s): Free

In conclusion, Sabah is a beautiful paradise with so much to offer. From natural trails to magnificent caves and beautiful beaches, it is no wonder why everyone is enchanted with this place. Apart from all the magnificent Sabah attractions, you will also get to feast on delicious local cuisines and fresh seafood.