The Borneo Islands are made up of Sabah, Sarawak (East Malaysia), Brunei and Kalimantan (Indonesia). Kota Kinabalu, Sabah’s largest city and also it’s capital, is just a two-hour flight from Kuala Lumpur, and this city has literally something for everyone. Adventure lovers can try conquering Mt. Kinabalu, beach lovers can choose to relax in an exotic beachside location, and swimmers can enjoy island hopping as well as snorkelling and other beach-based activities.
Day 1: The city
Enjoy the sights and sounds of Kota Kinabalu. Stay in the city centre, where shopping malls, local hawker stalls, mosques and other areas of interest like the waterfront promenade are within walking distance.
Day 2: Island hopping
Three main islands: Sapi Island, Mamutik Island and Manukan Island. Enjoy activities like snorkelling, deep sea diving (if you have a PADI license), or other watersports like parasailing, banana boats, etc.
Day 3-4: Hiking up Mt. Kinabalu
Visit the national park for breathtaking views of Mt. Kinabalu, Asia’s largest mountain. If you want to arrange for a climb, be sure to check out websites like http://www.mountkinabalu.com for some great advice and climbing packages. Climbs normally take 2D1N. Stay the night in a dormitory halfway up the mountain.
If you’re not interested in hiking up to the summit, then a day in the national park is enough for great views – combine it with Poring Hot Springs and Nature Reserve.
Day 5: Poring Hot Springs
Unless you’re returning from the summit of Mt. Kinabalu, the hot springs itself can be missed – but make sure you try out the Canopy walkway. 41m above the ground, the walkway is a lovely experience and at the same time allows you to explore the jungle. Also make time to see the Rafflesia – the largest flower in the world. Blooms once in fifteen months, lasts just seven days, and is only found in Sabah and nearby areas.
Day 6: The beach
Book a night’s stay in a secluded beach away from the city. Stay in beautiful cottages with private beach access and amazing seafood and BBQs at any of the top hotels in KK – I totally recommend Nexus Resort & Spa.
Coming up next week: our travelogue and detailed impressions from Sabah 🙂