One of the most popular tourist destinations in East Malaysia, Sabah offers a broad spectrum of cultural and biological diversity as well as natural beauty, adventure, and gastronomy.

Because of the Covid-19 travel restrictions, many people have been unable to leave their homes for over two years; however, if the pandemic eases in the near future and you're looking for a low-cost holiday spot, Sabah may be the ideal choice.

Many of Sabah's tourist attractions seem like they belong in a foreign country and are absolutely breathtaking. Take a look at these!

Malaysia's New Zealand: Kundasang

Kundasang is a popular tourist spot that is frequently compared to New Zealand. The imported Friesian cows from New Zealand may be seen wandering the lush pastures that overlook Mount Kinabalu's majestic scenery. You may try Kundasang's milk-based ice cream or sign up for adventurous activities like paragliding and ATV riding.

Bali Vibes at Kota Belud

Paddy fields, magnificent hills, and bustling markets evoke images of Bali, Indonesia's most iconic island. The small town, home to some 90,000 residents, offers the ultimate cultural experience at Tamu Besar ("Big Market"), celebrated every October. An extravagant procession, a cultural beauty contest, and water buffalo racing are among the festival's highlights.

Experience Maldives at Sipadan Island

When visiting Sipadan, diving or snorkeling is a must-do activity – you will not be disappointed! Sipadan's aquatic marine life, which includes over 3,000 fish species, turtles, and hundreds of coral species, has the potential to match the world's best diving spots. With scenery that rivals the Maldives, it's no surprise that the government has resolved to protect this slice of paradise on earth by restricting tourists (with limited daily permits) and granting a month-long break every December.

Maliau Basin, Malaysia's Own Amazonia

The 'Lost World of Sabah,' Maliau Basin, is a remote site requiring Yayasan Sabah's permission to explore. It's a vast basin of unspoiled forests that's been regarded as one of the world's last remaining untouched wilderness. Maliau, with its over 12 different forest habitats, is sometimes compared to the Amazon rainforest and is well-known for the adventurous trek to the beautiful seven-tiered Maliau Falls.

Bahamas-Style Retreat at Layang-Layang Island

Layang is an island resort remote enough from the mainland for stunning reefs to flourish, yet close enough for you to spend your days diving to see stingrays, sharks, and seahorses deep inside the lagoon.
If you've always wanted to visit the Bahamas islands, which are renowned for their crystal blue seas and breathtaking scenery, this is the ideal budget choice for you.

With the number of Covid-19 cases on the rise in Malaysia, the future may seem bleak for those with wanderlust. When circumstances improve, be sure to visit these hidden gems in Malaysia before traveling to overseas tourist destinations.

Photo Credit: Tripadvisor, Hello Travel, Sipadan, Sinar Harian, Ticket2u, Layang Layang Resort & Bradt Guides