Travel to Sabah, Malaysia – Episode 771

categories: asia travel

Places of Interest in Sabah (Podcast)

Hear about travel to places of interest in Sabah as the Amateur Traveler talks to Howard Stanton from the Tampat Do Aman eco-adventure lodge about his adopted country.

Howard says, “Sabah is a fantastic place. It’s unique. It’s naturally tremendously beautiful. It has mountains, fantastic beaches, jungle, and a very big depth of culture with 37 indigenous races of people. And one of the reasons I live here, it’s very safe. The people that are the big draw. They’re wonderful people, very hospitable. They’re very naturally hospitable, very friendly, very willing to help. But it’s also the natural environment is the combination of the two. It has one of the oldest rain forests in the world at Mount Kinabalu, fantastic diving, and great water sports on the beaches. It’s an all-around great sort of destination to come to”.

Howard is originally from Stratford upon Avon but has been in Sabah for 18 years.

Borneo is the third largest island in the world and is actually made up of parts of three different countries, The southern 2/3rds are Indonesia. The north is comprised of the Sultanate of Brunei and two Malaysian states Sarawak and Sabah. Sabah is roughly the size of Scotland.

Howard recommends flying into the Kota Kinabalu which is the state capital of Sabah. He suggests you visit the islands off the coast of Kota Kinabalu, the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marin Park. It has five islands with great beaches and snorkeling and can be a great spot to recover from jet lag.

In the city, visit the Filipino market and the nearby crafts market. Learn more about the indigenous cultures at one of the cultural villages like the Monsopiad Heritage Village, visit the state museum, or hop on a steam train, the North Borneo Railway.

Serious hikers may want to do the 2-day hike to the summit of Mount Kinabalu, but Howard also recommends a visit to the Kundasang War Memorial and the canopy walk and waterfalls by the Poring Hot Springs.

We then head to Sandakan which holds some of the most popular attractions in Sabah. On the way stop at the Sabah Tea Resort to see the tea fields. In Sandakan, visit the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and the Sun Bear Rescue Center. Do a nighttime walk at the Sandakan Rainforest Discovery Centre and then see the proboscis monkeys at Labuk Bay. If you love sea turtles you may want to visit Turtle Islands National Park.

Next head to the Kinabatangan River where you can see more wildlife including the Borneo pygmy elephant. Howard recommends a homestay to connect more to the local culture. 

Scuba divers rave about the island of Sipadan with some of the best diving in the world. Find yourself in a school of barracuda. There are so many sea turtles that Howard says after a while, “they are just in the way”. 

We close by talking about Howard’s eco-adventure lodge which is located near Kudat and the Tip of Borneo. Get off the tourist track and connect with the locals in this amazing destination.

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Show Notes

Tampat do Aman – Eco Lodge and Jungle Camp
Rungus people
Kota Kinabalu
Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park
Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park
Mamutik Island
Manukan Island
Sapi Island
Handicraft Market (Kota Kinabalu)
Monsopiad Heritage Village
Bak kut teh
Yu Kee Bak Kut Teh
Kota Kinabalu City Waterfront
Tanjung Aru
Tanjung Aru Beach
Sabah Museum
North Borneo Railway
Tiffin carrier
Gaya Street Sunday Market
mata kuching
KDCA Sabah
Mount Kinabalu
Pitcher plant
Kundasang War Memorial
Kundasang Market
Poring Hot Springs
Kinabalu Falls
A Guide to Orchids of Kinabalu – NHP Borneo
Sabah Tea
Sabah Tea Resort
Homestay Desa Cinta Kobuni
Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre
Sun Bear Rescue Conservation Rehabilitation Education Research
Sandakan Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC)
Labuk Bay
Turtle Islands National Park (Malaysia)
Kinabatangan River
Borneo elephant
Osman’s Homestay
Green humphead parrotfish
Scuba Junkie
Mabul Island
Lankayan Island Dive Resort
Luxury Hotel Gaya
Tanjung Simpang Mengayau
Banggi Island
Balambangan Island


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Monkey image by Richard Mcall from Pixabay

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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

5 Responses to “Travel to Sabah, Malaysia – Episode 771”

Mark Pearson


Great episode, a lot of great memories all be it distant ones, agreed with comments on Turtle Island and Sepilok forest research centre and walks. Paganakan was one of the best places i stayed at on all of that SE Asia trip

Robert Cooke


I spent 6 weeks travelling through Sabah and Sarawak and Borneo is wonderful!

I was delighted to hear Howard in particular. I stayed in Tampat Do Aman in February 2012 so just a year after it opened. I loved my time there. I can see from browsing through the website it has only grown and has a lot more to do.
Howard even allowed me to come over to his house at 7am just so I could watch the Superbowl which I was desperate to watch. He is a fantastic guy that really cares about local community and his guests.

Cindy Carlsson


I had no idea I wanted to go to Borneo until listening to your guest. Wow! What a great episode and now I will have to give serious thought to Borneo.

Chris Christensen


That’s what I like to hear Cindy!

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