When you ask yourself, what’s the most memorable childhood adventure you’ve ever had, you would probably remember scenic road trips, camping out in nature, or a picnic by the beach with family. And if you were a kid that loved dinosaurs and creepy crawlies, the first visit to a wildlife park must’ve been so exciting! In this day and age, seeing things for the first time can be easily accessed through the tip of our fingers but we know deep down, we’re missing out on some things the camera can’t capture. But we can still relive these memories not too far from where we are, from camping under the stars, splashing in clear turquoise waters to being enchanted by the mysteries of the rainforest, creating memorable adventures in Sabah.
Going camping often comes hand in hand with a scenic road trip, one of the more popular destinations would be Ranau. As you drive from Kota Kinabalu towards the mountain ranges, you will notice the change in scenery as you go higher in altitude. You will know when you’ve arrived once you start seeing pine trees taking over the landscape. This place is so popular for road trips and camping is because of the uninterrupted view of the majestic Mt. Kinabalu. Another reason would be to escape the tropical heat! Equipped with a common kitchen, toilet and bathroom, BBQ pit, cafeteria, and picnic tables, at Hounon Ridge Farmstay and Camping, you wouldn’t have to worry about the inconvenience of preparing everything from scratch!
Location: Bundu Tuhan, Ranau
Maybe the great outdoors in the mountains isn’t your idea of an adventure, and you’re looking for more sun, sand, sea with a touch of luxury. There’s a good variety of beach and island resorts surrounding the coast of Sabah you could choose from. Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort and Spa is frequented by locals and travellers for their beach area and amazing sunset views. The resort also has a program that introduces kids to nature in a supervised environment.
Just a 15 minute boat ride away from Jesselton Point jetty in Kota Kinabalu is a cluster of islands part of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park which includes Pulau Gaya, Pulau Sapi, Pulau Manukan, Pulau Mamutik and Pulau Sulug. You can either have a day trip with fun beach activities on one of these islands or have an overnight stay in an island resort. If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, you can try out the Coral Flyer zipline, the longest island-to-island zipline in Borneo (from Gaya island to Sapi Island).
Location: Kota Kinabalu
Tenom makes us remember those childhood days running about playing hide and seek while plucking and eating fresh fruits on our grandparent’s farm. At Padas Farmstay, visitors can experience an authentic lifestyle living on a farm. Do try their in-house speciality drink, the famous ‘Asam Boi’ calamansi drink produced freshly from the farm!
If you’re fascinated by animals and discovering more facts about them, Sepilok is the gateway to wildlife adventures! The knowledge you gain from a visit to Sepilok will leave you in awe. In Sepilok, you can visit Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and witness the feeding sessions at 10am and 3 pm from a platform which you will have to get there through the lush forest on a boardwalk.
Did you know Sabah has the smallest species of bears in the world? And they’re called Sun Bears because of the unique mark on their chests. They look as if they came to life from a cartoon, sadly the biggest threat to these bears are humans keeping them as pets. Fortunately we have superheroes like Dr. Wong, and the avengers of the forest, Sabah Wildlife Rescue Unit, giving another chance for these bears to live the life they’re meant to live at Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre. The centre is open to visitors to learn more about this unique bear species.
In the Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC) also located in Sepilok, there is a canopy walkway to discover wildlife on treetops and many looped trails for a bit of jungle trekking. The centre is also a popular spot for bird watching and the well known annual Borneo Bird Festival is usually held at this venue. Bird enthusiasts would flock to RDC just to complete their bird list!
The mighty Kinabatangan river located in the Sandakan region, is home to the highest concentration of wildlife and breath-taking nature. Wake up to the sounds of animal calls and witness wildlife in its natural habitat at a safe distance on river cruises. There are many lodges along the river and the well renowned Sukau Rainforest Lodge is one of them. The lodge embraces conservation, community development and sustainable tourism as part of its green policies but also provides comfort and luxury.
Location: Kinabatangan, Sandakan
There is so much more Sabah has to offer and it’s a never ending list of places you can go and things you can do. Visit sabahtourism.com for more ideas to plan your next memorable adventure!
Sabah Tourism Board
51, Jalan Gaya,
Pusat Bandar Kota Kinabalu,
88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Tel: +60 88212121