Kota Kinabalu is the capital of Sabah. For many visitors, the primary attractions of Sabah are its outstanding national parks, which include Kinabalu National Park, the Crocker Range Park, and the Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary. Others come to enjoy the islands of Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park and the diver’s paradise of Pulau Sipadan. However, Sabah possesses a number of other attractions as well, all of which are worth exploring.
The capital of Sarawak is Kuching. Like Sabah, Sarawak is known to international visitors primarily because of the extraordinary natural wonders of its national parks, including Gunung Mulu, the Niah Caves, and Bako. Sarawak’s cultural treasures are also fascinating, reflecting the influence not only of the state’s many ethnic peoples, but also the odd western influence of Sarawak’s “White Rajahs.”
Malaysia Airlines flies regularly to Kuching International Airport as well as to Miri from Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Singapore, and Kota Kinabalu. Boats are a common mode of transport in Sarawak, as its the dense vegetation of its interior is crisscrossed with rivers. Travel in areas not reachable by boat is often by light aircrafts and helicopters. Major towns are serviced by buses.
Sabah Holiday Attractions
Sabah State Mosque, Kota Kinabalu, with its majestic domes and gold inlay motifs, is a spectacular sight, ideally located as a place of worship for Kota Kinabalu’s Muslim inhabitan3ts and visitors.
The 30-story circular glass building, supported by high tensile steel rods emanating from a central building, is an architectural and engineering feat. It is one of only four such buildings in the world.
Kota Belud is a small town located 77 km from Kota Kinabalu. Every Sunday it comes alive in a scene of blazing, riotous colour when the “Tamu,” or open market, takes place.
Tuaran is the location of the region’s agricultural station. Nearby is Mengkabong, a Bajau village built over water. Also close by is Tamparuli, a town specializing in the production of local handicrafts.
Penampang, Another village that offers an insight into Sabah’s varied ethnic groups, Penampang is home to the Kadazan people. The village is located 13 km south of Kota Kinabalu.
Sarawak Holiday Attractions
The Sarawak Museum, located in Jalan Tun Abang Haji Openg, is one of Asia’s finest. It houses a collection of Bornean ethnological and archaeological items and an exhibition featuring a reconstruction of the great Niah Caves, with remains of the Neolithic people who lived in the Caves. Closed on Fridays and public holidays.
The Sunday Open Market – A vast variety of handicraft items are available in Kuching–woodcarvings, beadwork, bamboo and rattan products, and woven cloth, hats, baskets, sleeping mats and pottery, all created in the distinctive designs peculiar to each ethnic group. The Sunday Open Market is a particularly enjoyable spot to browse.
Outside of Kuching Skrang River Safari, The safari takes you on a four-hour journey along the Skrang River, occasionally shooting the rapids, to the Iban longhouses. Their traditional ceremonies include an offering of rice wine to their guests.