Surprisingly, not many Malaysians can say they’ve visited both states in East Malaysia — usually one or the other – despite the space to explore and reconnect with nature. As with the rest of Malaysia, East Malaysia is populated by a variety of races, alongside the Dayak, a collective term for the various tribes that originated there. Read on to find out more about this verdant paradise and the treasures within.
Home to the Sea Gypsies, this is a place where you can get a glimpse of the Bajau Laut’s unique lifestyle in the midst of marine splendour. Semporna is made up of eight islands and adventure awaits at every corner, with beautiful coral reefs to explore, panoramic trails surrounded by clear turquoise waters, and even a bird sanctuary to discover.
Niah National Park
Just under an hour from Miri, Niah National Park features one of the largest caverns in the world and is filled with the nests of swallows, yielding the coveted birds nest, where the indigenous Penan people have traditional rights of collection for income. The park is filled with glorious greenery and is home to a variety of birds, insects, reptiles, macaques, and hornbills.
Situated just behind Mount Kinabalu, this quaint little town boasts majestic views of the mountain surrounded by green pastures, courtesy of Desa Dairy Farm. Enjoy a day out meeting friendly cattle and experiencing how dairy products are produced first hand. Be sure to stop by the Kundasang War Memorial to admire the well-kept gardens and learn a little about local history as well.
Fans of Survivor will recognise the island as a filming location for the popular reality show but there's really so much more to explore here. Teeming with wonderful flora and fauna, the island offers recreational activities such as hiking and snorkelling, along with a unique therapeutic experience at the mud volcanoes.
Gunung Mulu National Park
Protected for its astonishing limestone formations, this UNESCO heritage site is surprisingly easy to access despite its relative isolation in northern Sarawak. Mulu has four main caves — Deer, Lang, Clearwater and Wind — with Deer as the largest passage in the world while the Sarawak chamber holds the title of world’s largest chamber. The cave also leads to a Garden of Eden, a hidden valley and waterfall enclosed by limestone cliffs, a treat for nature lovers and spelunkers alike.
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