When travelling to East Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak), what is the recommended starting town? and which town should be the final landing point? I will be flying from KL and going back to KL afterward.

The plan is to at least visits the famous towns.

3 Answers 3


Ok, Since I travel to Sabah a lot, here is my take on your plan.

  1. Fly from KL to KK and make that your start/end point.
  2. Explore KK Town
  3. Check out the islands (Manukan and Sapi which are only 15 minutes from town)
  4. Explore Kinabalu National Park (2 hrs away from KK)
  5. Fly KK to Sandakan (45 mins)
  6. Explore Sandakan, filled with Eco Tourism. Places like Sepilok Orangutan Center, Gomantong Caves, Kinabatangan River, Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary, Turtle Island.
  7. Move down via road to Lahat Datu
  8. Explore Danum Valley (Pricy)
  9. Move down to Tawau
  10. Explore Tawau Hills
  11. Move down to Semporna
  12. Get on a boat to Mabul and Sipadan Islands if you dive
  13. Back to Tawau, then fly Tawau to KK.
  14. KK to KL Done!

Hope you make it to these stunning towns in Sabah Borneo! I have visited most of the places there and they are amazing in my opinion.


  • How long yould you recommend for this programme? It looks like a minimum of 9 days would be required
    – Adriano
    Dec 9, 2013 at 8:16

I have visited Borneo many times and its a beautiful destination. The major draws for me to Borneo are the jungle scenery and the native tribal cultures.

If you have a lot of time and want to experience all of Borneo, I would recommend flying into Kuching and out of Kota Kinabalu (or vice versa) with a stop in Brunei.

In Kuching, Bako National Park, the crocodile farm, and the longhouse tribal tours are pretty cool.

Bako National Park: Bako Bako Monkey

In Brunei, there is an incredible patch of virgin rainforest in Temburong National Park that has a nice jungle treetop walk.

Temburong National Park

In Kota Kinabalu, you can climb Mt. Kinabalu and visit the Sipadan Islands for nice diving/beaches.

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You could take buses or fly between each city depending on how much time you have. Brunei is relatively expensive to fly to but there is a cheaper airport in Miri, Malaysia which is very close.


For Saba, Kota Kinabalu is a good starting point. It's a convenient small town with a good range of accommodations and easy access to the rest of Saba (plane, bus, vans, cabs). You will also be able to reserve tickets for Mount Kinabalu.

All in all, a good place to start your trip and get some nice food before diving in the wilderness.

Can't give any advice about Sarawak, though.

  • Mount Kinabalu is in Kinabalu National Park, right? how long would you usually spend there, is it just a day trip?
    – Adriano
    Dec 9, 2013 at 9:05
  • 1
    yes, it is in the park. It's about 2 hours away from KK so you could make it a day trip but you won't be able to climb the mountain. It's much better to make it a 2-3 days trip and enjoy yourself. My first time, I went up, came down the next day after watching the sunrise, then went to the poring hotspring to relax and recover a bit. For a day trip, Poring hot springs might be a better choice.
    – Sylverdrag
    Dec 9, 2013 at 11:14
  • thx - I also read & heard that Borneo is wet in December but that it's not that bad. would you say it's fine to go at this time of the year?
    – Adriano
    Dec 10, 2013 at 16:51
  • Forecasts look pretty wet, but I don't know what the deal is, I am not there ATM.
    – Sylverdrag
    Dec 11, 2013 at 8:16
  • created question for this travel.stackexchange.com/q/22365/9395
    – Adriano
    Dec 11, 2013 at 8:26

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