Sam's Exotic Travels to Sabah State, Malaysia on the Island of Borneo
I visited Sabah with fellow photographers from Hong Kong, including my good friend Norman Lau in January 2010. It was my first visit to Sabah and to Malaysia. On our tour, we visited the capital, Kota Kinabalu, Mount Kinabalu and Kinabalu National Park on the west coast and Tawau and Semporna on the east coast, meeting with local FAPA chapters in K.K. and in Tawau. It was a great trip, even though I caught the flu in Semporna, and missed the boat trip to Sipadan Island, one of Sabah's great photo sites.
Sabah, often referred to as "The land below the wind", because of its location just south of the typhoon-prone region around the Philippines, is one of 13 member states of Malaysia, located on the northern portion of the island of Borneo. It is the second largest state in the country after Sarawak, which it borders on its south-west. It also shares a border with the province of East Kalimantan of Indonesia in the south.
The western part of Sabah is generally mountainous, containing the three highest mountains in Malaysia. The most prominent range is the Crocker Range which houses several mountains of varying height from about 1,000 metres to 4,000 metres. At the height of 4,095 metres, Mount Kinabalu is the highest mountain in South East Asia . The jungles of Sabah are classified as rainforests and host a diverse array of plant and animal species. Kinabalu National Park was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 2000 because of its richness in plant diversity combined with its unique geological, topographical, and climatic conditions.
The central and eastern portion of Sabah are generally lower mountain ranges and plains with occasional hills. Kinabatangan River begins from the western ranges and snakes its way through the central region towards the east coast out into the Sulu Sea. It is the second longest river in Malaysia after Rejang River at a length of 560 kilometres. The forests surrounding the river valley also contains an array of wildlife habitats, and is the largest forest-covered floodplain in Malaysia.
Over three quarters of the human population inhabit the coastal plains. Major towns and urban centers have sprouted along the coasts of Sabah. The interior region remains sparsely populated with only villages, and the occasional small towns or townships.
Click below to view places visited on our trip.
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