Situated on the island of Borneo is the beautiful state of Sabah. Malaysia’s jewel, Sabah is blessed with lush rainforests, breathtaking beaches and one of the highest mountains in the region, Mt Kinabalu. Many travellers are enticed to fly into the capital Kota Kinabalu, before heading out to explore the natural beauty of the state. This region offers many unique experiences for the whole family, from exciting canopy walks to sighting orangutans in the wild.
Here are our top five family activities to enjoy in Sabah.
Mari Mari Cultural Village
Discover the unique history of Borneo with a half day sightseeing tour of the Mari Mari Cultural Village. Nestled in the countryside near Kota Kinabalu, this museum seeks to share knowledge, history and culture of this fascinating region. This educational experience will have you enjoying a guided tour of traditional houses, featuring five ethnic tribes in total. You will see a bamboo cooking demonstration, a fire making demonstration and traditional dances. Have the opportunity to participate in activities suitable for the whole family, before enjoying lunch, high tea or dinner with your fellow travellers.
Poring Hot Spring and Nature Reserve
The Poring Hot Spring and Nature Reserve is situated on the foot hills of Mt Kinabalu. While many gather to soak in the soothing waters of Sabah’s most famous hot water spring, there are also plenty of activities for the little ones including a butterfly farm, an orchid conservation centre and a fantastic canopy walk. Stroll along the walkway, over 40 metres high and nearly 160 metres long and admire the tropical rainforest. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the rare Rafflesia, the world’s largest flower.
Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre
A visit to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre is a treat for animal lovers of all ages. Relish the chance to see wild orangutans up close in their natural habitat, the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve. The boardwalk will take you to the viewing gallery where you can watch these spectacular primates gather to be fed by the rangers every morning and afternoon. Wander the trails that meander through the forest and keep your eye out for other wild animals that forage in the area.
North Borneo Steam Railway
The North Borneo Railway is the oldest running steam train in Sabah. Jump onboard and be taken on a whirlwind tour through the beautiful scenery of Borneo. This route will take you along the stunning coast of Lokawi Bay offering picturesque views of the South China Sea, before passing through Kinaut, a traditional trading village. On your journey you can expect to see coastal towns, paddy fields, rainforests and plantations. A unique way to explore the landscapes of this region, this rail ride is a treat for train lovers of all ages.
Kota Kinabalu Handicraft Markets
For a colourful shopping experience, head to the Kota Kinabalu Handicraft Markets located along the waterfront. A favourite for locals and tourists, these bustling markets offer a bounty of goods and are the perfect place to grab your souvenirs. Find unique treasures such as sarongs, handbags, pearl jewellery, ornate wood carvings and tribal masks. Gain cultural insights and enjoy the experience of haggling with the locals to secure a bargain.