Located on Borneo Island’s north-western flank, Sabah is an east Malaysian state that boasts an idiosyncratic ethnic and geographical make-up. The granite slopes of Mount Kinabalu are a sight to see and most travellers who come to Borneo Island are here to undertake the challenging but manageable mountain.
Pulau Sipadan, Sabah’s only oceanic island on the south-eastern coast is touted as one of the world’s top diving havens but if you’re looking for ocean waters that seem tailor-made for amateurs, then head to the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. Located less than 10km away from Kota Kinabalu, this clutch of five islands feature some of the best forests, beaches and coral reefs in Sabah.
Beach hotel options along Sabah’s coast are plentiful – for a five-star experience like no other, the posh Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa and the luxurious Shangri-La Rasa Ria are unbeatable. Alternatively, the urbane and classy Gayana Eco Resort is an isolated upmarket establishment that blows most other beach resorts out of the water.