9 January 2008

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Sabah Land Below The Wind


Also known as "The Land Below the Wind", Sabah is the second largest state in Malaysia is situated at the northern part of the island of Borneo, the third largest island in the world.

Sabah is a haven for divers, golfers and nature lovers. It is home to the highest mountain in Southeast Asia, and the largest flower in the world. Not only is it rich in natural beauty and resources, but also in the cultural heritage of its people. There are over 30 different ethnic races and over 80 local dialects spoken in Sabah.

Kota Kinabalu is the state capital and international gateway to the rest of Sabah with connection to various destinations in Asia and Australia. It is a very modern city with various shopping nightlife facilities.

A major attraction is Mount Kinabalu in the Kinabalu National Park, a world heritage site only two hours from Kota Kinabalu by road. It is the highest mountain in Southeast Asia, standing at a majestic 4,095.2m (13,432.26 ft).

Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, named after Malaysia's first Prime Minister, is a marine park encompassing five islands. It is famous for its crystal waters and beautiful corals.

From Kota Kinabalu, other recommended attractions include the Monsopiad Cultural Village, Rafflesia Forest Reserve, and Crocker Range National Park.

Kudat Peninsula is located at the northern most tip of Sabah, otherwise known as the Simpang Mengayau. The majority here are people from the Rungus tribe. Here, each village is reputable for its individual trade; honey from Gombizau, gongs from Sumangkap, beads from Tinanggol and the longhouse living culture of Bavanggazo.

Kudat is a famous destination for scuba diving, and it is said that the best of Sabah's seafood comes from Kudat.

Labuan Island is located off the west coast of Sabah. It is a famous destination for wreck diving and international deep sea fishing. Once a year, there is the Labuan International Sea Challenge, an exciting water sports challenge of deep sea fishing, kayaking and swimming.

Just a couple of kilometers off the island is the Labuan Marine Park, which encompasses three secluded islets, and snorkeling and scuba trails which showcase the fascinating underwater marine life.

Labuan is also the site of a number of World War II memorials.

Lahad Datu is a town located in the east of Sabah. The main industry here is cocoa and oil palm, and the town also a port for timber export. From here, visit the Tabin Wildlife Reserve and Danum Valley Conservation Area, a large protected forest where human settlement and human interference Is non-existent.

Sandakan is a town on the east coast of Sabah. Just a drive away from Sandakan is the Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary, the oldest and largest of its kind in the world. You can also see the endangered Proboscis monkey in the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary or at Sukau.

From Sandakan you can also visit Turtle Island Marine Park, one of the best places to see nesting sea turtles all year round.

Tawau is a town located at the south-east coast of Sabah. It was once a small coastal fishing village, which eventually flourished with cocoa and palm oil plantations. The Cocoa Village on Quoin Hill is a must-see cocoa estate, where you can take a guided tour on cocoa processing.

The nearby Sipadan Island, just off Sempoerna, is a renowned diving destination located in the centre of the richest marine habitat in the world, the heart of the Indo-Pacific basin. Here you can visit the mysterious Turtle Tomb, an underwater limestone cave with a labyrinth of tunnels and chambers that contain many skeletal remains of turtles.

From Tawau, you can also travel to the Madai Caves, a source for swiftlet's nests, which is used in bird's nest soup, a delicacy in the Chinese cuisine known to have medicinal properties.

Article from Maswings


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