Now that Malaysia is in the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) phase, additional travel restrictions such as needing a permit for interstate travel have finally been lifted. This means that going for a short domestic getaway in Malaysia
is finally back on the table! What better way to start than by visiting Sabah's attractions and the amazing things to do there? ✨. From glorious mountainscapes and lush forests to desert islands fringed with crystal clear waters, we've prepared a list of 10 IG-worthy attractions in Sabah that are just a short drive from Kota Kinabalu
Note: Do note that opening hours may currently be affected by COVID-19 and that the information in the article is accurate at the time of publishing. We advise you to check with the accommodation or attraction directly before confirming your plans.
1. Le One Kokol Elf (45 minute drive)
A short 45-minute drive from Kota Kinabalu is Le One Kokol Elf
, home to Sabah’s very own Bali Swing! With a backdrop of Menggatal’s famed lush rainforests, this spot is known for affording visitors with a swoon-worthy sunset view - perfect for capturing an Insta-worthy shot! ? If you're not quite brave enough to get on the swing, you can also cosy up in one of the many comfortable and uniquely designed rattan furniture. If you're lucky, you can snag the ones that look like a bird's nest or the special one that hangs quite literally off a tree ?!
To find out more about why Kokol Elf is so loved by Instagrammers, we've got you covered right here
P.S. Check out these 7 amazing hidden gems in Sabah!
2. Polumpung Melangkap View Camp Site (1 hour, 18 minutes drive)
Next on our list of attractions is the Polumpung Melangkap View Campsite (PMVCS)
. Set on the beautiful hillside of Kota Belud, the campsite is located an hour and 18 minutes drive from Kota Kinabalu. With its crystal clear river and jaw-dropping scenery, this Insta-worthy spot with its New Zealand-esque appeal is perfect for those of you who want to inject some nature-themed shots into your feed! Besides taking a rejuvenating dip in the crystal clear streams and catching the breathtaking sunset view on camera, visitors can also enjoy a magical night of stargazing. ?
RM3 (All-day entrance), and an additional RM6 for an overnight camping permit
P.S. Discover the best of Sabah with this 5D4N Kota Kinabalu, Kundasang and Kinabatangan itinerary!
3. Lasau Podi (1 hour 37 minutes drive)Lasau Podi
is the place to be if you’d like to fill your Instagram gallery with scroll-stopping pictures of the Milky Way. Located about 86 km away from Kota Kinabalu, the 'off the beaten track' campsite of Lasau Podi offers adventurous travellers and photographers a heart-stopping night time view that cannot be replicated anywhere else. ? While the road to get to Lasau Podi is rather difficult with rough terrains and no street lights (which can pose as a hazard if you're driving at night), the hassle is absolutely worth it ?!
Do note that Lasau Podi is not a designated campsite, and does not come prepared with amenities such as toilets, shops, or lodging. Fortunately, Tegudon Tourisme Village (TTV) is just 30 minutes away from Lasau Podi and is better equipped to handle visitors who want to enjoy an authentic camping experience without giving up too much comfort.
4. Tegudon Tourisme Village (1 hour 35 minutes drive)
Another favourite spot for Instagrammers is Tegudon Tourism Village (TTV)
which is located 68.1 km from Kota Kinabalu. Picturesque with a calming view of vast paddy fields and the gently flowing Wariou River, TTV looks just as stunning in the daytime as it does at night and will inject a much-needed pop of colour to your Instagram feed! ? With its famed suspension bridge and designated stargazing area, TTV affords visitors with plenty of fun and stunning photo ops.
P.S. TTV will re-commence operations from 26 June 2020
onwards for day trips. Campers will be allowed to stay overnight from 10 July 2020 onwards
. If you’re looking for other Sabah Parks that are already open to visitors, you might want to check this out
5. Maragang Hill (2 hours drive)Maragang Hill
is a fairly recent hiking attraction that opened in 2017 and is located at the foot of Mt. Kinabalu in Kg. Mesilau, Kundasang. When hiking, take the opportunity to snap dozens of photos of unique flora and fauna, cool streams and finish off with a gorgeous 360-degree view of the Crocker Range and Mt. Kinabalu. ⛰️ The local community even built a platform on the west wing of Maragang Hill so that hikers can shoot their perfect selfie with Mt. Kinabalu! ?
Do note that you're not allowed to hike up Maragang Hill without a guide. To book the Maragang Hill Hiking package, contact Mesilou Volunteer Club (MEVOC) who help to manage the hill.
+60 14 678 7136 (Jumaidi Lasim, Chairman of MEVOC) or email [email protected]Facebook
6. Desa Dairy Farm (2 hours drive)
A well-known spot in Sabah for its sheer Instagrammability is the Desa Dairy Farm
. The farm is located in Kundasang - famed for its rolling hills, vast green pastures and much cooler climate! Once you step into the farm, you won’t doubt that it has earned itself the moniker: the 'New Zealand of Malaysia'. ❤️ Literally every step in and around the farm is worth a dozen photos - the scenery is just that breathtaking! Besides snapping photos of the scenery, visitors can also grab snapshots together with the cute farm animals or the tasty desserts produced at the farm itself. ?
7. Kundasang Selfie Garden (2 hours drive)
The Kundasang Selfie Garden
(like the name implies) is a man-made garden perfect for grabbing a quick selfie or hosting an impromptu mini photo shoot. Located in Kundasang this attraction was only recently built and comes equipped with 5 selfie stations! ? Consisting of the 'Kundasang Frame', 'Decorated Tree', 'White Post Lighting', 'Forever Love Window' and the 'Love Kundasang Sign', you'll easily be able to spend quite some time here to try and get the perfect Insta-worthy shot! To further sweeten the deal, the Kundasang Selfie Garden also has a view of Mt. Kinabalu serving as a backdrop - ensuring that everybody knows your photo was authentically taken in Sabah. ?
RM3 (Adults), RM2 (Children)
8. Mahua Waterfall Tambunan (1 hour 30 minutes drive)
Waterfalls always make for stunning photo ops - which is why Mahua Waterfall Tambunan
is the perfect IG-worthy attraction in Sabah you should visit! Nestled deep within the tropical forest of the Crocker Range, it takes an hour and 30-minute drive from the city centre to get to the location - plus an additional 500-meter trek to get to the waterfall proper. ?? Standing at approximately 17 meters tall, the gorgeous waterfall is surrounded by towering Seraya trees with massive trunks, giant bamboo trees and beautiful bird’s nest ferns that will have any nature enthusiast crow with absolute delight and reach for their camera. ?
9. Peak of Hope (1 hour drive)
Enjoy taking photos of the stunning panoramic views from atop the 2,050-meter summit of Peak of Hope
in Tuaran. Located in the village of Bosung about 40 km from Kota Kinabalu, the Peak of Hope is a relaxing getaway spot that has been opened to the public since October 2018 and is a prime location to see the sunrise and sunset. Shutterbugs will definitely love the cool amenities provided at the top of Peak of Hope for their photography needs! From clear, circular swings, to a 'staircase to heaven', elegant 'arched frames' and giant, colourful wooden chairs, this unique spot will definitely make your Insta-followers go green with envy! ?
10. Tip of Borneo (3 hours and 30 minutes drive)
Located in Kudat, the Tip of Borneo
is one of the most popular attractions in Sabah. The drive to this spot takes approximately 3 ½ hours from Kota Kinabalu city (so we recommend slotting it in at either the very start or end of your day), but the hassle of getting there is definitely worth it! ? This dramatic headland view of where the South China Sea meets the Sulu from the east can be described as simply breathtaking. A famed spot to catch sunsets, full moons and starry skies, there are several go-to spots where you can grab stunning photos - including the flagpole, the globe and the dramatic rocky outcrop that lace the shoreline and forms the 'Tip of Borneo'. ?
So since it's going to probably take a while for other countries to ease their travel restriction
, why not indulge your wanderlust by making Sabah your next staycation destination. With all its spectacular scenery and Insta-worthy attractions, you'll definitely be able to keep your Instagram feed lit! ?