6 must-do travel itineraries to Sabah and Sarawak

  • Malaysia
  • Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Being a multiethnic destination, Sabah is home to a variety of colourful cultures and traditions. Photos: Tourism Malaysia

Roads less taken

Sure, the markets and museums are fascinating places. But Tourism Malaysia recommends that travellers go off the beaten path for a fresh perspective of the two states. Whether it’s fishing in the rivers of Sarawak or a scenic camping trip in Sabah, these experiences certainly lend new lens to both destinations.


Day 1: Depart from Kuching to the Batang Ai jetty. The five-hour journey will take you past Serian town. Get some food and other rations for your fishing trip at the local farmer’s market here. Stop for lunch at Lachau town.

Upon arrival at the jetty, board a traditional motorised Iban longboat to upper Batang Ai river tributaries. The boat ride will take close to two hours. You will spend the night at a guesthouse, where you can experience the laidback Iban lifestyle.

Day 2: After breakfast, pack your camping and fishing gear. Then depart upriver in search of potential fishing spots. Fish for the whole day and then set up camp at a suitable area. For lunch and dinner, enjoy native-style meals by the riverbank.

Day 3: After breakfast, opt for jungle trekking or go for a swim in the river. After lunch, return to the guesthouse. You have the option of either spending another night here or heading back to Kuching.

Travel to a longhouse in Sarawak to discover the unique communal living experience.


Day 1: From KK, make your way to Polumpung Melangkap View Camp Site in Kota Belud. The venue is located next to the Panataran River. Immerse yourself in a camping experience with a kampung atmosphere. You will also get a nice view of Mount Kinabalu from the camp site. Some activities to look out for include a river expedition and campfire.

Day 2: Take a boat to Mari Mari Sepanggar Island. This island is twice the size of Manukan Island but with less crowd. Swim in the turquoise ocean and snorkel to discover colourful reefs.

In the late afternoon, transfer back to Jesselton Point. Then depart to Sutera Marina jetty to board the North Borneo Cruise. The cruise takes passengers on a two-hour scenic ride past the islands of Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine park and down the central coast gliding along the city’s popular Waterfront.

Day 3: Spend the day exploring some historical sights in KK such as the Atkinson Clock Tower, Padang Merdeka, Malaysia Monument and North Borneo War Memorial. The Atkinson Clock Tower is an all-wood, nail-free structure built in memory of the first district officer of Jesselton, the former name of Kota Kinabalu. Padang Merdeka and Malaysia Monument are all landmarks and reminders of Sabah’s colonial past.

Sabah is home to some of the most spectacular islands with clear blue waters.


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