its rugged, mountainous terrain, Sabah possesses
relatively few coastal beaches. However, it does possess some of
the best islands in the region.
The seaside resort of Tanjung
Aru is 6 km from Kota Kinabalu. International class hotel accommodations
or budget chalets are available.
Shaped like a 'shitake'
mushroom, Pulau Sipadan draws diving enthusiasts from all over the
world because of its exceptional water clarity, its unusual seascape,
and its extraordinarily wide variety of marine life. Sipadan is the
only oceanic island in Malaysia.
The Tunku Abdul
Rahman Park comprises five idyllic islands which are only 10 to 25
minutes away from Kota Kinabalu by speedboat. These islands--Pulau
Gaya, Pulau Sapi, Pulau Mamutik, Pulau Manukan and Pulau Sulug--offer
stretches of white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and some of
the most diverse coral reefs and marine life in the world. They are
ideal spots for picnicking, diving and snorkeling, particularly on
Sapi and Manukan which have picnic facilities, and Mamutik where
cabins are available for rental.
This man-made island, located
165 miles northwest of Kota Kinabalu, was created in 1991 from a
coral atoll in the South China Sea. Soil from the mainland and sand
pumped from the seabed formed what is today a major attraction for
scuba divers and anglers. The 5,000 to 6,000 foot drop around the
reef makes it an excellent dive site and the island has become a
sanctuary for thousands of terns. Chalet-type accommodations are
Like Sabah, Sarawak possesses
a coastline that prevents the formation of many lengthy and deep
sand beaches. Nonetheless, there are a few gems in Sarawak--beaches
made all the more attractive for the relative lack of attention
that they have received. Salang Island,
a tropical paradise with white sandy beaches and crystal clear
waters perfect for snorkeling, is uninhabited--the perfect holiday
escape. The coral reefs lie close to the shore, and colorful little
fish can be glimpsed weaving through the coral. The island is also
a popular nesting place for turtles.
about 90 km from Kuching, with its secluded bays and inlets and
interesting rock formations, is another inviting spot.
Getting around within Sarawak:
Express boats are available to service the intricate network
of rivers and the main towns along their banks. Bus companies also
operate regular services within the town centres and certain rural