South East Asia is one of the most popular destinations for Indians when they consider International travel. Although countries like Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia are usually on the radar of Indian travellers, not a lot of people know about this hidden gem, Borneo. Borneo is the largest island in Asia and the third largest in the world. It is shared by three countries, Indonesia occupies the southern part of the island, whereas the northern side of the island is occupied by Brunei and Malaysia. Borneo is also known for having the second oldest rainforest in the world and is even older than the Amazon Rainforest.
In the northern part of Borneo lies the tiny nation of Brunei. Although small, but thanks to its extensive petroleum and natural gas fields, it is actually considered a developed country. During its peak, around the mid 1400s, Brunei used to occupy the majority of the island of Borneo. Now, most of the northern part of Borneo, majorly the Sarawak and Sabah region belong to Malaysia
The region of Sabah lies towards the northernmost side of Borneo. The capital city of Sabah is Kota Kinabalu which also houses the major airport in Sabah. Kota Kinabalu, popularly known as KK, is a major tourist destination and also a gateway to explore Sabah and Borneo.
How To Reach Sabah, Malaysia
In order to reach Kota Kinabalu from India, one would have to take two flights. One flight to Kuala Lumpur and then from Kuala Lumpur, another flight to Kota Kinabalu would be required. Indians only require a Malaysia Visa for both Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu. It is fairly easy to obtain a visa as well. There are two types of Visa that tourists can apply – E-Visa and Entri Visa. While the E-Visa can grant multiple entries into Malaysia and takes about 3-4 days to obtain, Entri Visa is much faster granting single entry permit and can be obtained within a few hours.
Also Read: GUIDE TO KUALA LUMPUR
Currency in Sabah, Malaysia
The currency used in Sabah, Malaysia is Ringgit. The exchange value is around 17-20 Rupees per Malaysia Ringgit. Malay is the official language although English is widely spoken in Kota Kinabalu. Islam is the official state religion but you do see a lot of Christians as well. Most of the places in Sabah will have a Type G port for charging, so it’s always good to carry a converter while travelling to Sabah, Malaysia.
Sabah is home to Mount Kinabalu, which is the highest mountain in Malaysia with a height of approximately 4100 m. It is also one of the youngest mountains in the world and is said to be growing by a few centimetres every year. Popular activities in Sabah include diving and snorkelling in the water facing parts of the island and trekking or mountain biking in the interiors of the region with the picturesque view of Mount Kinabalu in the background.
Where to Stay
As per accommodation requirements, there are plenty of stay options at Sabah. For those who want to spend their time in the lap of luxury, hotels such as the Shangri La Rasa Ria, offer numerous options for relaxation. The resort has its own golf course, private beach and also provides multiple tour options to its guests.
For those who would like to live like the locals and experience the culture, one can explore homestays. Guests can choose to stay in nearby villages with the locals and experience their rich culture and delicious food. One of the recommended Tour Operators in Sabah is Trek Finder Tours, who offer a variety of popular tours and activities in the area.
It’s a great time to visit Malaysia and explore it to the fullest. The Malaysian Government is promoting Malaysia as one of the best destinations to travel. It has recently launched its campaign Visit Malaysia 2020 to attract more people to travel to Malaysia. In case you are planning a trip to Malaysia or South East Asia, Sabah should definitely be on your list.