If you are done exploring the islands of West Malaysia, maybe it is time to put on your adventurer’s cap and go east! Sabah is one of the two East Malaysian states occupying the northern part of Borneo. It is famous for Southeast Asia’s highest mountain, Mount Kinabalu, a diverse range of wildlife and some of the best diving in the world.
Do you know that Borneo is the third largest island in the world after Greenland and New Guinea, and is twice as big as Germany?
So, what is so interesting about Sabah besides taking on the climber-friendly Mount Kinabalu? We asked many friends what they think of Sabah and whether they will consider going there for a holiday, none of them knew that they could be in for an awesome feat!
We recently hopped on a 5-day tour in Sabah and found ourselves falling in love with this amazing place. There were so many activities we could do! If you like fitness adventures but not ready for extreme endeavours, here’s what we recommend.
1. Sunrise Hike
Standing at 1,050m high, St Veronica hill is only one-quarter of Mount Kinabalu, which is an easy hike for beginners. We began our journey at 5:30am, aiming to reach the top before sunrise at 6:10am.
During the hike, we passed by 14 Catholic Stations of the Cross, erected along the trail to commemorates Jesus successive incidents before He was crucified.
This path is well known for its peacefulness and locals shared that it helps them to de-stress while being immersed in nature. For us, it felt like a pilgrimage climb, counting down to the 14 stations was a great source of motivation to get to the top. Never knew that this awesome ABT (Abs, Butt, Thighs) exercise could be so therapeutic at the same time. The greatest reward? Stunning sunrise with bird’s eye view overlooking the historic Tamparuli town.
2. Snorkelling with SeaTango
Both of us could hardly swim so we requested to snorkel in shallow waters. To our pleasant surprise, we were assigned professional diving instructors (PADI certified) to hold us throughout the entire course. We felt so safe with them that we went more than 500m out in ocean, unknowingly. Snorkelling around clownfish and their habitat was an amazing experience. Elyn even managed to catch a glimpse of an eagle ray during her snorkel.
The highlight of this trip was really just having a boat all to ourselves where we could enjoy the sun and sea in private. It was also equipped with a huge unicorn floaty that we could play with when we were near shores.
3. White Water Rafting
For beginners, young and old, seeking moderate fun, white water rafting at Kiulu River is the mildest ever. It took us 2 hours to complete this 12km Grade 1-2 rapids. Instructions on safety guidelines given at the start were clear and precise.
Our guide, Mr Ming, spoke good English and had a great sense of humor. He made the journey more bearable as we could relax, laugh and enjoy the scenery. The best part was getting drenched while onboard and the “water wars” we had with other rafts. Mr Ming said it was necessary to prevent overheating, so we learned how to splash water at each other with the oars. In the midst of all, we had to count the number of Tamparuli bridges along the river stream as a challenge. Before we end the journey, we were allowed to jump into the clear, shallow waters for a refreshing dip. How fun could this get?
Core and back workout, checked! Adrenaline rush, checked!
4. Horseback Riding
Have you ever dreamt of riding a horse into the sunset with your partner? It is an airy-fairy, romantic scene that most ladies would want to experience. But riding is much more than just sitting in the saddle and letting the horse do all the work.
We had our own personal guide each, pulling our horses along as we learned how to neck rein. Upon reaching the beach, we were then taught to post the trot so that we could follow the horse’s movement and flow together in the same rhythm. It required a whole lot of balance and leg strength to rise out of the seat and come back down in the saddle. Honestly speaking, it was really tough but definitely good for working those abs and butt!
5. Hilltop Workout
We are always fascinated by beautiful sceneries and what the earth has to offer. So we took our morning workout to the next level, at the top of Sosodikon Hill aka Pyramid Hill, which is only 600 metres tall. This place is lesser known to tourists and probably a dating spot for the locals. The weather was cooling and the mere 5-min hike saved us plenty of energy for a full body HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) exercise on one of the platforms with an unbelievable view.
We highly recommend this tour because of the great service that Amazing Borneo offers and their responsibility towards customer needs and safety made the whole trip so enjoyable.
Are you planning an adventure trip to Sabah? Customise a tour that best suits your style. Quote “Barefacefettle” for a special 10% discount (expiring 31st December 2017) when you book your FitFun tour with www.amazingborneo.com