Sabah situated in the mesmerically photogenic island of Borneo it is the second largest state in Malaysia with only Sarawak the other East Malaysia state being territorially bigger.
Kota Kinabalu is the state capital with a population approaching 650,000. Kota Kinabalu was formerly known as Jesselton until in 1968 it was renamed after the nearby Mount Kinabalu.
Borneo is fortunate because it is located south of the typhoon prone area around the Philippines resulting in Sabah being affectionately known as The Land Below The Wind.
The highest peak in SE Asia is Mount Kinabalu located within the Kinabalu national park and it towers over 4000 metres and although it is situated in tropical Borneo it is not uncommon to experience freezing overnight temperatures at the top.
The waters around Sipadan are so clear that visibility is over 30 metres and coral reefs at 10 to 15 metres are clearly visible.
The land below the wind is home to some of the most beautiful islands in world with some truly world class dive sites including one of the best in the world, Sipadan Island.
The other nature reserves and sanctuaries that are protected are listed as the following; Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary, Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Kota Kinabalu Wetland Centre, Sugud Islands Marine Conservation Area and the Rafflesia Forest Reserve.
The conservation areas in Sabah are not just limited to the national parks as the following forest reserves are also now protected; the Danum Valley Conservation Area, Maliau Basin Conservation Area, Ulu Kalumpang Forest Reserve and the Bidu Bidu Forest Reserve.
In addition to Kinabalu National Park that is now a world heritage site the other Sabah national parks are Turtle Islands Park, Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, Pulau Tiga Park, Tawau Hills Park, Crocker Range Park and Tun Sakaran Marine Park.
The creation of the conservation based Sabah Parks in 1962 heralded an era whereby many areas were attributed with protected status and planted the seeds for many future consevation projects.
After a brief history of plundering the forests of its timber for export there have now been conservation initiatives executed to help preserve the forests in their natural state.
The forests are home to the worlds largest flower the Rafflesia which can grow in excess of 1 metre in diameter, weigh up to 10 kg and gives off a pungent smell that attracts insects helping it to pollinate.
Sabah stretches to over 76,000sq km across Borneo and is indigenous to some of the most fascinating flora and fauna on the planet, even to this day a constant stream of eminent scientists from all over the world visit the wondrously diverse rain forests discovering all sorts of new species.
The 16th September is known as Malaysia day and on this day in 1963 North Borneo was renamed to Sabah upon the integration into the Federation of Malaysia.
The area surrounding Kota Kinabalu is rich in ecological wonders with the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park just offshore and the Kinabalu National Park that is home to Mount Kinabalu closeby.
Sabah shares borders with both Sarawak and Indonesian ruled Kalimantan.
Selamat Datang Ke Sabah, Negeri Di Bawah Bayu
Welcome To Sabah, The Land Below The Wind
Travel To Sabah - The Land Below The Wind
Travel to Sabah and you will find It has a coastline extending to nearly 1,400km and the warm tropical tides of South China Sea in the west and north, the Sulu Sea in the northeast and the Celebes Sea in the east flow onto the beautiful beaches of this paradisal island.
It is the only oceanic island in Malaysian waters because it is not connected to the continental shelf as it rises 600 metres from the seabed on an extinct underwater volcano.
The abundance of marine life including many colourful species of coral fish are a delight to behold in these crystal clear waters and it is not uncommon to encounter Barracudas, small Sharks and lobster.
It is a worthwhile hike to get to the top as you are greeted by a stunning view of the sun rising above the South China Sea and is a must do for the fit and active that travel Sabah.