Borneo / Sabah / The State

Sabah occupies the top portion of the island Borneo ( the third largest island in the world) and covers an area of 74,500 sq km (29,388 sq miles) with a coastline of about 1,440 km (about 900 miles) washed by the south China Sea on the West and the Sulu Sea and Celebes Sea on the East.

Sabah lies between 4º and 8º North of the equator, and its climate is tropical but pleasant. Sunny blue skies typify most days and it is summer all year round. Though depending on the month and locality, rain may cause a little inconvenience, with the annual rainfall varying from 60 to 120 inches. As a general guide the wet season falls between November and February. Fortunately, Sabah does not experience any natural disaster or calamities. In fact it is under the typhoon belt (thus the name "Land Below The Wind") and is free from any climatic disturbances.

Temperatures seldom reach 90º F (33º C) and usually vary during the day from 74º F to 88º F (23º C to 31ºC) and are cooler on the mountains.

Sabah is a unique land, a melting pot of many indigenous and immigrant groups. The population comprises over 30 different races and over 80 different dialects, each group having its own colourful culture, tradition, festival and customs.

The indigenous group include the Kadazan/Dusun, Bajau, Murut, Rungus, Lotud, Brunei, Orang Sungei, Kadayan, Bisaya and many other subgroups. The Chinese form the largest non-indigenous group. The main groups and their 'adat' (cultural observances) are highlighted here.

Kota Kinabalu, the gateway to the rest of Sabah, is also the State Capital. Kota Kinabalu or K.K. as it is usually called, is relatively new town as the original town was destroyed during the Second World War.

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