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Sabah – one of 13 states of Malaysia, second largest in the country, is located on the northern part of the island of Borneo. The state is famous for its tourism, particular eco-tourism and is often referred to as “Land below the Wind”. If you’re on a holiday here, here are some activities you should not miss on.
The Turtle Islands Park in Sandakan is a good place to learn and witness the cycle of life that the turtles go through. Here visitors will see mother turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs, and also get to help out the baby turtles to venture into the sea when they are released from the hatchery. A good exhibition centre on the first floor of the administration building also has tons of valuable information on the sea turtles. This visit also teaches us the importance of keeping the environment clean and chemically free, especially the sea and ocean.
For much of the history of the Semporna region on the south-eastern part of Sabah, this region consists of a sleepy town and a few villages with the main occupation being fishermen. This is not the case any more, since the last two decades this region has become the underwater paradise for the state. To protect the marine diversity of this region, Tun Sakaran Marine Park was established in 2004 and managed by the Sabah Parks. This Marine Park has eight islands as well as three large reefs and the park is surrounded by the Celebes Sea. Because of its proximity to the world's reknown Sipadan Island Park, divers, snorkellers and tourists are also taking time to visit this park. If one comes from the Semporna Jetty, this would take about 30 to 45 minutes and covering a distance of 15 to 25 kilometres, depending of which island is the destination.
Once located at the popular dive heaven of Sipadan Island, through conservation and regulation, the Sipadan Dive Centre has now been relocated to the Mabul Island. Today Mabul Island is the main accommodation area for divers and snorkellers at the Semporna region and also for those who are keen to explore the great underwater adventure of the irresistible lure of the Sipadan. Located near the northern end of Mabul Island, and situated right in front of a patchy white sandy beach, this is where the chalets of the new Sipadan Dive Centre. The new beach front chalets of rainbow colours, seven in total, are divided into two rows and were built with wooden stilt structures.
Sabah is located on the northern part of the Borneo Island, the third largest island in the world. It has a land mass of 73,619 square kilometres, which is just slightly bigger than the Washington state of USA. Two thirds of Sabah shoreline are surrounded by seas and with its long shoreline, it also comes with many tropical islands, as many as one hundred, which range from the habitable big ones to exotic tiny ones.
Last century a prize winning book called “Land Below the Wind” which was written by celebrated American writer Agnes Keith, has created a lot of interest from the Western world to explore this wonderful mysterious land. Today with avid promotion done by the state government in many developed countries and also via words of mouth, Sabah is fast becoming the popular choice for an ultimate tropical vacation.