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Trip to Sabah: Here are 7 exciting must-go visit places

Trip to Sabah: Here are 7 exciting must-go visit places

So we decided that for our trip to Sabah, the moment we arrive in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah we would straight away head on to Kundasang in Ranau.

To make the most of our trip, instead of using the usual straight route with nothing much to see along the way, we took the old route instead.


Foggy view.

We have been warned earlier to be extra careful when using this route due to the visibility issues (heavy fogs) and heavy vehicles that uses the road on daily basis. So if you decided to be adventurous like us, take this into consideration. Otherwise stick to the usual route via the town area.

  1. First stop – Visit Gunung Alab and then Mahua at Tambunan

En route Mahua, don’t forget to stop by Gunung Alab for quick coffee and simple meal.


Gunung Alab restaurant is just beside the road – dont miss it!

Pack some food to snack on along the way too.

If you see hungry stray dogs here, please be generous to feed them too. I bought breads and gave them all away.


Had yummy meals here!

After our quick meal & chill, we drove straight to Tambunan to check out the famous Mahua Waterfall.


Huge trees out here!

Water is crystal clear.

This breathtaking view.

The famous mahua Waterfall.

2. Stay around Kundasang/Mesilau area

Our latest favorite lodge is Tisan Nulu in Mesilau. Apart from the affordable price, the location is strategic and the rooms are spacious with ample parking space. En bloc of the lodge is a fully equipped common kitchen in case you feel like having instant noodle for supper.

You can do BBQ here too – but you may need to buy your charcoal and other supplies from nearby minimart.


Ample parking space at Tisan Nulu.

Clean and well equipped kitchen.

In the morning, don’t forget to greet Akinabalu (Mount Kinabalu) from the observatory area just beside the lodge while having your fresh brew coffee.


Akinabalu saying Good Morning.

Inseparable pair. They keep each other warm.

The homestay staff, Nani is super friendly too.


So hungry!

They love head rubs.

By the way, if you happen to see the neighborhood’s cats and dogs that may appear every now and then at the homestay, please be kind to them. We bought packets of cat food during our stay there too.

3. Try Paragliding / Hiking for once in Ranau!

We didn’t get to experience both due to the rainy season and we didn’t bring along the appropriate hiking shoes (for hiking), but for once, if you can, you should go for this.

We will definitely go for this activity during our next trip to Sabah.

Do check with your local host to get in touch with them and arrange for the experience.

4. Food outlet hopping – Eat dinner at Restoran Soboroong Selera Kebun and then supper at Hooga Café


The menu at Restoran Soboroong.

The entrance to this quaint restaurant.

Piping hot salted fish!

Grilled beef in coconut milk.

Kind hearted staff – love this!

Restoran Soboroong is a no frill quaint place for dinner offering homecooked like local food. Friendly staffs too.

We ate here every night during our stay. Food is of generous portions and served piping hot. Reasonably priced too.

After Restoran Soboroong, we hopped to Hooga Cafe just few minutes walk for desert. The coffee and cake is good here. There is a little park within this cafe basking with lights (lights park) where you can take photos if you wish, but there is a small fee to enter though.

The ambience here is so chillax – perfect for winding down after a long day.


Old bus turned into an ice cream truck

Yummy cakes!

Lights installation?

Entrance fee to the lights park.

5. Visit Desa Farm & Eat Ice Cream!

I know, I know….its another touristy place. But ever since they imposed time slots to visit, the crowd is now more manageable than before. But be sure to book in advance and pay your entrances before visiting.

Dont forget to sample the gelato, milk and cheese here!


Mount Kinabalu from the farm

Gelato! Must have.

Desa Farm’s version of Camembert

Baby cow enjoying milk! They drink so fast too!

Information board about the area surrounding Mount Kinabalu.

6. Swing by Polumpung Melangkap, Kota Belud

This place has improved so much since we last visit 3 years back.

They now have few options of homestays that you can choose to rent. If you want to be adventurous, rent their tents and sleeping bags instead. They also have clean common toilets/shower place and kitchen for guests.


Ice cold water that runs from Mount Kinabalu.

I ate these wild berries when I was younger

One of the best fried rice I had

We had our coffee & meal at the nearby cafes and they are pretty good. You can charge your devices for free at the charging station while having your meals too.

7. Explore Tamparuli

Apart from visiting the famous Tamparuli bridge, do check out the market and support local sellers.


The famous Tamparuli bridge

Young local performers

Banana fritter! MYR1 for 5 pieces!

Humble food sold here but so yummy!

The locals here call it “Tarap”

Friendly salted fish seller.

We love the banana fritters, fried noodle (on the go style) and salted fish from one of the sellers here (try the famed ikan Liking)

We will definitely be back again to discover other places we have yet to visit – few days is NOT enough to visit the whole of Sabah.

Missing you already Sabah!

To experience exciting tours for your next trip to Sabah, take a look at what our hosts offer HERE!