Because of Sabah's remote location, just about everybody will arrive by air through the Kota Kinabalu International Airport in the capital city (tel. 088/238-555), about a 20-minute drive south of the central part of the city.
A surprising number of direct international flights connect Sabah to the region. Malaysia Airlines flies from Hong Kong, Manila, Osaka, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, and Tokyo, among others (tel. 1300/883-000; www.malaysiaairlines.com), and AirAsia flies from Bangkok (tel. 1300/889-933; www.airasia.com). Australian Airlines, operated by Qantas (tel. 131313; www.australianairlines.com.au), flies from Sydney.
Malaysia Airlines also has direct domestic flights to Kota Kinabalu from KL, Johor Bahru, Kuching, Sibu, and Miri, with in-state service to Sandakan and other towns. AirAsia has direct domestic flights from KL and Johor Bahru.
The most efficient way to get into town from the airport is by taxi. The cars line up outside the arrival hall and are supposed to use a coupon system -- look for the coupon-sales and taxi-booking counter close by. You'll pay about RM12 ($3.15) for a trip to town. Ignore the drivers that will try to lure you away from the coupon counter; they will always overcharge you.
If you're a foreign visitor, a valid passport (and visa wherever applicable) is required. A Social or Tourist Visit Pass does not permit the holder to take up employment, business or professional work in Malaysia.
The Professional Visit Pass allows foreign visitors to enter the country for business negotiations or inspection of business premises. These passes however, cannot be used for employment purposed or for supervising the installation of new machinery of the construction factory.
A fee is charged for a Professional Visit pass depending on purpose of visit, profession and country.
In the downtown area, you can get around quite easily on foot between hotels, restaurants, tour operators, markets, and the tourism office. For longer trips, a taxi will be necessary; in town trips cost about RM10 ($2.65). Taxis are flagged down on the street or by your hotel's bellhop.
Please check on our Transport information for longer trips alternatives.
Where to Stay?
Sabah offers a wide range of accommodations to suit the budget and preference of each of its visitors. Choose from resort type accommodations: (Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort, Nexus Karambunai Resort) to backpackers' lodges.
For more information regarding the choices of accommodations and rates, click here.
Where to Go?
A mecca for nature loves, beach bums, culture vultures, and shopaholics; there are plenty of destinations to choose from when you are here.
Tour & TravelAgents
For more information and further assistance in planning a trip to Sabah, contact our verified tour & travel agents.