Sabah, Malaysian Borneo » City Info » Travel Tips

Sabah is a true gem of Malaysia, full of natural spaces, wildlife treasures and friendly people. This state is located on the northern side of Borneo Island, surrounded by the highest mountain of South East Asia - Mount Kinabalu and the most famous diving islands - Layang-Layang and Sipadan. This paradise has become a famous tourist destination having a wide range of attractions and World Heritage Sites.

City Transport

Sabah offers a wide range of modes of transport like bus, shuttle, railway, taxi, boats, ferries, marinas, and rental cars. 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 primary sources for getting around in Sabah are taxis and rental cars. Taxis are readily available at all places and cover significant 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 for rent. Many companies provide cars on rent and different types of vehicles starting from vans to coaches as per the travel needs of tourists.


Like European countries, Tipping is not the style of Malaysians, and it is not mandatory as service charges are added to bills. At many places, around 10% of service charges are added to the bills to cover Tipping. However, just like other tourist places, slight Tipping is expected from foreigners and at some times to appreciate good service.


Smoking is prohibited in public transportation. Any violation in this act is treated as a punishable offence with a fine. There is no law by the legislation about smoking in the public areas of the city. However, smoking is banned where food is sold or served; therefore, it is always necessary to ask the waiter before lighting up a cigarette in restaurants.


Sabah is a very safe state of Malaysia, and there is no major violent crime reported. The people here love to keep peace in the state and always have a friendly approach. Due to the peace-loving nature of the people, it is 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 police presence can be less. It is advisable to avoid unnecessary exposure to valuable and expensive items in crowded areas. 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 to Sabah?

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 March until September, and the last few month's temperatures can be high. The humidity level is relatively high all the time. Usually, the rainy season starts from October to February, but the possibility of rain is year-round. Being into the equatorial climate zone, Sabah never experiences extreme hot or cold, and therefore it has a moderate climate all year round.

Emergency Phone Numbers

Country Code +60
Area Code 89
Fire Department 994
Civil Defense Services 991
Universal emergency service 999