If you’re tired of visiting mainland Malaysia, go off the path and visit Sabah! This hidden gem is located at the northern part of Borneo and home to one of the most famous hiking spots in the world, Mount Kinabalu.


Credit: GIPHY

If you’re not a fan of hiking though, fret not! Sabah has so much more to offer. With gorgeous beaches and pristine waters 😍, take a much-needed break from city life with this 3D2N itinerary.

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Lankayan Island in Sabah

Credit: Bas Leenders on Flickr

Getting to your accommodation

Public transportation is not that well-developed in Sabah. And although the taxis in Sabah use meters, some taxi drivers will still insist on charging you high rates. So, the best way to explore Sabah is to rent a car! Alternatively, if you dislike driving or are unable to drive, Uber is here to save the day (yay technology) 👏

#HHWT Tip: Taxis departing from the airport have fixed rates. To avoid being overcharged, buy a coupon for your destination at the airport counter and hand that coupon directly to your taxi driver.

Day 1

Take an early flight and arrive at Kota Kinabalu airport in the late morning. We’d recommend first checking into your hotel and dropping off your bags before heading off on your Sabah adventure! 😎

Discover Sabah’s indigenous culture at Mari Mari Cultural Village (5 hours)

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Credit: @iskndr.ibrhm on Instagram

Sabah is home to more than 35 ethnic groups, making the food and culture there so diverse! Experience what life was like as a native Bornean at Mari Mari Cultural Village (5 ethnicities are featured). Tours are available at 3 different timings and meals are included as part of the tours. Hotel pick up is also available. Check the website here for more details.

  • Visit the houses of the 5 tribes
  • Shoot from a blowdart

Ever dreamed of shooting from a blowpipe? Test your marksmanship skills with this native Sabahan weapon at Mari Mari Culture Village, and get a first hand experience of Sabah's many native cultures! 😎 #hhwt #havehalalwilltravel #aceqm2016 #tourismmalaysia #MariMariCulturalVillage

A post shared by Have Halal, Will Travel (@havehalalwilltravel) on

  • Learn how to start a fire

#HHWT Tip: Remember to bring cash as credit cards are not accepted here.

Address: Inanam, 88450 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Have dinner at Kampung Nelayan (2 hours)

2-kampung-nelayanCredit: Fila Territory

Kampung Nelayan offers a unique dining experience like no other in Kota Kinabalu. Not only does the entire restaurant ‘floats’ on a lake, it also has nightly cultural dance performances for their guests to enjoy!

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Participate in cultural dances

Enjoy the freshest seafood while being entertained with cultural dances. Maybe participate in them too? 😜

Address: Jalan Bukit Padang Luyang, Taman Tun Fuad, 88300 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Day 2

Experience white water rafting at Kiulu River (5 hours)

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Credit: @kilafaten on Instagram

If this is your first time trying out white water rafting, Kiulu river is the place for you! This rafting trip features rapids that are between grade 1 to 2 with a rafting distance of up to 15 kilometres. The rates are also very affordable so it’s perfect for your first rafting experience.

Address: Kampung Pukak Kiulu, 1 hour drive from Kota Kinabalu

Visit the Filipino Market (2 hours)
  • Buy some local Sabahan keropok
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Stalls selling keropok
  • Buy some traditional handicrafts
Enjoy local food at the Filipino Market (2 hours)


Ayam percik – marinated chicken barbecued over an open flame

Credit: willygame814 on Instagram

  • Try local snacks like ayam percik! 🍗

Address: Jalan Tun Fuad Stephen, Pusat Bandar Kota Kinabalu, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Day 3

Island hop at Tunku Abdul Rahman Park (5 – 7 hours)

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Tunku Abdul Rahman Park is a marine park that consists of 5 islands and is accessible via speedboat from Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal. The waters at these islands are so clear that you’ll think you’re in Maldives 😍

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Scubadoo – See marine life without the hassle of scuba diving gear

Aside from dipping your toes in the crystal clear waters, you can also try out water activities such as snorkelling! Do check out the rates at the respective islands if you’re interested. Also note that you need to have a booking with a dive centre if you wish to go diving at the islands.

#HHWT Tip: Island hop within the marine park if you have time to spare!

Shop at Suria Sabah Shopping Mall (2 hours)
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Suria Sabah Shopping Mall

Credit: CEphoto, Uwe Aranas

While Sabah is known for nature tourism, that does not mean that the city is not well-developed. Suria Sabah AKA Suria KK is known for its iconic salad bowl design above its main entrance. The mall also faces the South China Sea and offers a scenic view of Tunku Abdul Rahman Park.

Address: 1, Tun Fuad Stephens Road, 88000

Have dinner and enjoy the sunset at Jesselton Point Waterfront (2 hours)
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Sunset from Jesselton Point Waterfront

Credit: @asraf__ on Instagram

After all that exhausting shopping for cheap deals, you’re bound to get a little hungry. Head on over to Jesselton Point Waterfront for some much needed dinner! The place offers casual dining options with a magnificent view. Remember to catch the beautiful sunset while having dinner, before you leave Sabah and head home.

Address: Kota Kinabalu, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

If you got time to spare, we suggest visiting this beautiful island of Pulau Bohey Dulang, as the views are simply breathtaking and you won’t regret it!


Credit: fasheyusoff on Instagram

If you’re thinking of visiting Malaysia, why not choose Sabah? With its diverse culture and gorgeous beaches, this Malaysian state is definitely a destination that you should not miss!

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