Sabah hugs the northern part of Borneo Island and shares its boundaries with Sarawak, Brunei, and Kalimantan ( Indonesia ).
Its 1,440 kilometre-long coastline is washed by the South China Sea on the west, Sulu Sea on the east, and Sulawesi ( Celebes ) Sea on the southeast.
This second largest Malaysia state ( 73,620 sq. kilometres ) is home to about 2.4 million people comprising over 31 different races. Numerous colourful cultural and religious festivals are celebrated annually with gusto.
Sabah, which was formerly known as North Borneo, is generally mountainous and is sometimes referred to as the "Land Below the wind" because it lies just below the typhoon belt.
It is also a land of enticing beaches. The abundant marine and coral life thriving underneath the many tropical islands, which surround Sabah form a major backbone of its thriving tourism industry.
These enchanting seascapes, coupled with adequate island tours and scuba diving facilities have been luring in tourist by the thousands annually.
Without doubt, its most spectacular attraction is the 4,101 metre high Mount Kinabalu, South East Asia's highest mountain. The world's largest orang utan sanctuary is also located in Sabah.
The world's largest orang utan sanctuary is also located in Sabah.
Kota Kinabalu , formerly known as Jesselton, is the capital of Sabah and has a population of about 350,000. It is a relatively modern city as the original one was razed during the Second World War.
Known as KK most of the time. Kota Kinabalu is well connected by air to Seoul, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Taipei, Manila, Brunei, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Kuching.
Among many attractions are Mount Kinabalu, the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, Poring Hot Spring, Sabah Foundation Building, State Museum, beautiful beaches and a few good 5 star resorts.
Mount Kinabalu is located East of KK and can be reached by a 2-hour drive from town.
About 43 km southeast of Kinabalu Park headquarters is the poring Hot Spring. Its major attraction is the open-air sulphur baths located in a beautiful landscapes garden. There are also refreshing hot pools for visitors to use and accommodation facilities are also available.
The Tunku Abdul Rahman, named after Malaysia's first Prime Minister, comprises five islands, which offer crystal clear water, white sandy beaches and diverse coral reefs and marine life.
The park was gazetted in 1974 and can be reached in 20 minutes by speedboat from KK. It is an excellent spot for picnics, diving and snorkeling.
A 10-minute drive form the city to Likas Bays stands the imposing Sabah Foundation Building. This unique structure is one of the few hanging structures in the world. It is a glass shrouded tower of 72 sides rising 30 storeys into the sky and is a must for any visitor's itinerary.
Traveling southwards out of KK will bring one to Papar about 32 km away. This tiny but well-planned town, which is surrounded by padi fields, is also linked to KK by rail.
The train's next stop after Papar is Kimanis – a onetime American colony set up by the America Trading Company in 1865.
After Kimanis comes Beaufort , which is a quiet little provincial town on the River Padas – which regularly floods most of Beaufort town.
Boasting a fair amount of charm, it is used more as a stopover for travellers shuttling between KK and Tenom – an agricultural district and centre of the Murut community.
The 154 km long journey Beaufort to Tenom passes through stream jungle and spectacular countryside of the Padas Gorge .
When travelling by road out of Kota Kinabalu in a southeasterly direction, the journey will take visitors across the Crocker Range and down into Tambunan .
Tambunan is home to a traditional Kadazan ( an ethnic tribe ) village where tourist can experience their "Kampung" lifestyle.
Rolling hills and padi-fields dominate its landscape, and Mob Salleh Fort is an attraction.
Lying equidistant ( 48 km by road ) between Tenom and Tambunan is Keningau . Travellers often use it as a stopover point before making excursions into the Murut district of Tenom.
Keningau is basically a lumber and agriculture town deep in the heart of Murut country.
Cattle and ponies grazing on its plains are picturesque sights. The place also boasts a fine collection of cultural heritage of the Murut people.