Sabah is a true gem of Malaysia, full of natural spaces, wildlife treasures, islands, and friendly people. This state is located on the northern side of the Borneo Island surrounded by the highest mountain of South East Asia like- Mount Kinabalu and most famous diving islands like Layang-Layang and Sipadan. This paradise has become famous for the warm and friendly people besides wide range of attractions and World Heritage Sites.
Sabah offers a wide range of modes of transport like bus, shuttle, railway, taxi, boats, ferries, marinas, and rental car. In major towns, there are airports for domestic travel and Heli-charter for some places on islands. A railway track connects the capital city with Tenom with small stops to enjoy the picturesque environmental ride. There are only two modes of public transport, long-distance coaches that connect different towns, and short-distance buses covering the area within city boundaries. Besides public transport, the main sources for getting around in Sabah are taxis and rental cars. Taxis are easily available at all places and cover major parts of the city. However, it is always necessary to fix the fares before setting up, as taxis are available without meters. The taxi which runs from airports is available with fixed rates. Another safe and affordable option of transport is to take a car on rent. Major companies provide cars on rent and different types of vehicles starting from vans to coaches as per travel needs of tourist.
Like European countries, Tipping is not the style of Malaysians and it is not mandatory as service charges are already added in bills. At many places, around 10% of service charges are added to the bills to cover tipping. However, just like other tourist places, little tipping is expected from foreigners and at some times to appreciate good service given by the restaurants.
Smoking is strictly prohibited in public transportation like a railway. Any violation in this act can be treated as a punishable offense with a fine. There is no law passed by the legislation about smoking in the public areas of the city. However, smoking is banned at the places where food is sold or offered and therefore it is always necessary to ask the waiter before lighting up cigarettes in restaurants.
Sabah is a very safe state of Malaysia and there is no major violent crime reported. Here people love to keep peace in the state and always have a friendly approach especially towards tourists. Due to the peace-loving nature of the people, it becomes safe to walk around the city at any time. Preferably, use public transportation during night travels. Still, it is necessary to obey rules and take few precautions, especially while taking tours to faraway islands where the presence of police can be less. It is advisable to avoid unnecessary exposure to valuable and expensive items in the crowded area. Like other tourist places, petty crime, like pick-pocketing, bag snatching, etc is very uncommon and rarely any such crimes are reported.
When to Travel
Sabah comes under an equatorial climate zone and climate conditions differ in highland and coastal areas. Mainly Sabah has only two seasons, i.e. wet and dry season, and rainfall is expected all around the year. The dry season starts from the month of March until September and the last few month's temperatures can be high. The humidity level is quite high all the time. Normally rainy season starts from October to February but the possibility of rain is year-round. As being into equatorial climate zone, Sabah never experiences extreme hot or cold and therefore it has a comfortable climate all year round.
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