Discover the Best Islands in Sabah Malaysia

Best Island Destinations in Sabah Malaysia

Discover the Best Islands in Sabah Malaysia

Discover the Best Islands in Sabah Malaysia 1024 538 Shouket Ali

Some of the most stunning & varied islands in the world can be found in the Malaysian state of Sabah. The Sabah Islands are a naturalist’s & adventurer’s dream come true with their pristine beaches, white sand beaches, & verdant tropical rainforests. Eco-tourism & outdoor activities are popular on the islands because of their rich biodiversity, distinctive wildlife, & vibrant marine life. The Sabah Islands offer something for every kind of traveller, whether they want to relax on the beach, experience the local way of life, or explore the underwater world. With a wealth of wildlife and undiscovered natural treasures, the Sabah Islands are a sanctuary for nature lovers. Encounters with nature abound on the islands, ranging from the majestic Mount Kinabalu, the highest peak in Southeast Asia, to the endangered orangutans at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre.

Key Takeaways

  • Sabah Islands in Malaysia offer diverse and beautiful landscapes for travellers to explore.
  • Engage in unique wildlife and nature experiences, water sports, and cultural visits on the islands.
  • Plan your trip to Sabah Islands with transportation options, weather considerations, and wildlife sightings in mind.
  • Choose from a variety of accommodations, including budget, mid-range, and luxury options, and book in advance for the best experience.
  • Discover the best diving and snorkelling spots in Sabah Islands, with tips for enthusiasts and beginners alike.

A vast range of plant & animal species can be found in the tropical rainforests, mangrove forests, & coral reefs that make up the islands’ diverse ecosystems. Sabah Islands offer an abundance of opportunities for engaging in nature-based activities, such as bird watching, jungle trekking, and wildlife spotting. The opportunity to participate in a variety of water sports and activities is one of the main draws of the Sabah Islands. With their beautiful coral reefs and abundant marine biodiversity, the islands are especially popular for snorkelling and diving. Visitors can see colourful fish, sea turtles, and other marine life in the clear waters surrounding the islands, which makes for excellent underwater visibility for underwater exploration. Water sports including jet skiing, parasailing, and kayaking are also offered on some of the islands for those looking for an adrenaline rush.

Island Destinations close to Kota Kinabalu; Gaya Island, Pom Pom Island

The Sabah Islands provide a variety of gorgeous locations with vibrant coral gardens & a wealth of marine life for those who prefer to snorkel. With its shallow reefs full of colourful corals and tropical fish, Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, which is close to Kota Kinabalu, is a well-liked snorkelling spot. Other suggested snorkelling locations are Mantanani Island, Pom Pom Island, and Gaya Island, which all offer chances to get up close and personal with fish like parrotfish, sea cucumbers, & clownfish. Families and novice snorkelers alike can take advantage of expert guides who offer equipment rentals and safety instructions.

Tours: PADI guided snorkelling tour in Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park

Gaya Island is easily accessible by boat from Kota Kinabalu. A regular service between the two locations makes Gaya Island ideal for a day trip or longer stay at one of the resorts on the Island. April to October (dry season) is the best time to visit this amazing location.

What are some of the popular activities on Gaya Island?

Gaya Island located in National Park is home to plenty of outdoor activities and adventures including fishing, diving, snorkelling, boat tours and trekking. Trekking through the trails on the island is a great way to explore the flora and fauna in the tropical rainforest. These islands are home to monitor lizards, macaques, and a variety of bird species.

gaya island malaysia

Gaya Island Sabah

Please note that the Gaya Island community participate in the conservation of nature and biodiversity. The tourism efforts are aimed at promoting a sustainable ecosystem.

Stay at: Gaya Island Resort

In order to experience the traditional fishing techniques used by the island communities, anglers can also try their luck at deep-sea fishing or sign up for a local fishing excursion. The Sabah Islands provide visitors with access to the region’s rich cultural and historical legacy in addition to outdoor activities. Tourists can take part in cultural events like traditional dance performances and handicraft workshops, explore traditional villages, and tour historic sites and ancient temples. The islands host several festivals and events all year long that give visitors a chance to fully immerse themselves in the customs & traditions of the area.

The Sabah Islands offer a plethora of cultural & historical experiences, ranging from discovering the native customs of the region to delving into the island’s colonial past. There are frequent flights from Kuala Lumpur & other major cities to Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah, making it relatively simple to reach the Sabah Islands from the Malaysian mainland.

To get to the various islands in the area, visitors can take a ferry or speedboat from Kota Kinabalu. Once on the islands, there are several ways to get around, including motorbikes, rental cars, and taxis. For those who prefer planned excursions, several of the islands also provide transportation services and guided tours. The dry season (March to October) is the best time to visit the Sabah Islands because of the generally sunny & dry weather, which is perfect for outdoor activities and wildlife viewing. It is advisable to research each island’s distinct attractions prior to planning your trip, though, as some islands may have particular peak seasons for wildlife encounters or cultural events.

Island Name Location Activities Accommodation
Sipadan Island Off the east coast of Sabah Scuba diving, snorkelling, turtle watching Resorts and dive lodges
Mantanani Islands Northwest coast of Sabah Snorkelling, diving, island hopping Beach resorts and guesthouses
Lankayan Island North of Sandakan Diving, snorkelling, turtle conservation Beach resorts and dive centres
Mabul Island Malaysia

Mabul Island is home to luxury resorts

The Sabah Islands provide a variety of lodging choices to fit every taste & budget. There are many options available for travellers looking for lodging, ranging from luxurious beachfront villas to mid-range resorts and affordable hostels and guesthouses. Some of the islands offer basic bungalows & dormitory-style lodging for travelers on a tight budget, making them a comfortable and cost-effective choice for those trying to stretch their vacation dollars. Travelers on a budget can select from a wide range of beach resorts and boutique hotels that provide contemporary amenities and individualized services. There are upscale resorts and private villas with amenities like spa treatments, fine dining restaurants, & private beach access available for those looking for an opulent getaway.

It’s crucial to take location, amenities, and accessibility to attractions into account when making advance reservations for lodging. In order to give guests convenience and value, a lot of lodging options on the Sabah Islands offer package deals that include meals, activities, & transportation. When organizing your trip to the islands, it’s also a good idea to look for seasonal discounts and exclusive deals. The world-class diving locations in the Sabah Islands are well known for providing scuba divers with an unmatched underwater experience. Renowned for its breathtaking coral reefs and rich marine life, Sipadan Island is one of the world’s premier diving locations.

Mabul Island Sabah

Tours in Mabul Island Sabah

Experienced divers should definitely check out the island because it is home to a variety of pelagic animals, including barracudas, reef sharks, and sea turtles. Additional well-liked diving locations in the Sabah Islands are Mabul Island, Kapalai Island, and Layang-Layang Island, each of which provides distinctive marine life and underwater scenery. For divers of all skill levels, dive operators on the islands offer equipment rentals, certification courses, and guided diving excursions. Sabah Islands provide a range of diving experiences for enthusiasts, including exploring underwater caves, drift diving along colourful coral walls, and macro photography of unique marine life. For those who are enthusiastic about exploring the undersea world, diving in the Sabah Islands is a once-in-a-lifetime experience due to its warm waters, superb visibility, & diverse marine ecosystems.

Luxury resorts in Sipadan Island

It is convenient for visitors of all ages to experience the beauty of the underwater world at many of the snorkelling sites on the Sabah Islands, which are easily accessible from the shore or via quick boat rides. Snorkelling the Sabah Islands is a unique experience that lets visitors peacefully & fully immerse themselves in nature, thanks to its tranquil waters & abundant biodiversity. Finally, for those looking for adventure, leisure, and cultural immersion, the Sabah Islands in Malaysia provide a wide variety of experiences. There is something for everyone on these stunning islands, from discovering cultural heritage & historical sites to taking part in water sports and learning about rare wildlife.

Make the most of your trip by scheduling your visit to the Sabah Islands during times that are ideal for seeing wildlife and weather. Investigate various lodging options according to your preferences and financial constraints, bearing in mind elements like amenities and location. The Sabah Islands offer a wide range of options, from luxurious beachfront resorts to affordable hostels. Also, don’t pass up the chance to visit the vibrant snorkelling locations and top-notch diving locations that make the Sabah Islands a haven for scuba divers.

Popular: Semporna Islands Day Trip

Sabah Islands provide a distinctive fusion of outdoor activities, cultural diversity, & scenic beauty, all of which ensure a memorable vacation. Every kind of traveller will find something special on these breathtaking islands, whether they are looking for a family holiday, a romantic retreat, or a solo adventure. Sabah Islands, one of Malaysia’s most alluring destinations, invites you to set out on a voyage of exploration and leisure with its friendly hospitality and stunning scenery.


What are the best islands to visit in Sabah, Malaysia?

Some of the best islands to visit in Sabah, Malaysia include Sipadan, Mabul, Kapalai, Lankayan, and Mataking.

What activities can be enjoyed on the islands in Sabah, Malaysia?

Visitors to the islands in Sabah, Malaysia can enjoy activities such as diving, snorkelling, beach relaxation, wildlife spotting, and water sports.

What is the best time to visit the islands in Sabah, Malaysia?

The best time to visit the islands in Sabah, Malaysia is during the dry season, which typically falls between the months of March and October.

How can one reach the islands in Sabah, Malaysia?

The islands in Sabah, Malaysia can be reached by taking a flight to Tawau or Sandakan, and then transferring to a boat or speedboat to reach the specific island.

What are the accommodation options available on the islands in Sabah, Malaysia?

Accommodation options on the islands in Sabah, Malaysia range from luxury resorts to budget-friendly guesthouses and dive lodges, catering to different preferences and budgets.

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