Previously – FINALE


Sabah, the land below the wind. One of the two states of Malaysia situated on the Borneo Island which is often called as East Malaysia. The land which has Orang Utans, the rafflesia and numerous flora and fauna, some of which could not be found in the Peninsula.

Not only the flora and fauna are different, even the people is different from the people in the Peninsula.

I have never been to Sabah before this trip. However, I have friends from Sabah during school days, university days as well as during the school camps that I joined. Listened to them speaking in Bahasa Malaysia with a slightly different ascent had always made me wondering about life in Sabah.

A lot of people in the Peninsula are ignorant, in my humble opinion. I have some acquaintances whom thought that Sabah is a backward state and stuff like that. Nevertheless, from my visit to Kota Kinabalu, they are richer than us.

True, some of the roads are in bad conditions (but nothing surprising as Shah Alam, being the capital city of the richest state in Malaysia is also facing the same problem). There are parts which are underdeveloped and require maintenance. However, apart from rich with nature beauty, the people in Sabah is also rich with tolerance, understanding and harmony.

It is amazing that in Sabah, people don’t really identify themselves based on race. They identify themselves as Sabahan, a single identity which they are proud of. That is why in Sabah, you can see a Malay having his breakfast in a Chinese-owned kopitiam and the kopitiam owner, knowing that they serve Muslim clients, only serve Halal food.

Try doing that in the Peninsula, there will be stares waiting for you.

Besides that, having the tallest mountain in South East Asia has given the state a beautiful backdrop for travellers and locals alike, to immerse in the moment and just enjoy the view. Honestly, the view is very magnificent that everytime I look back at the photos, I miss the place.

So diverse Sabah is, it causes me to wonder the ethnicity of the seller in the Filipino Market when we went there on our second night in Sabah. Our friend told us that due to the influx of illegal immigrants, Sabahans don’t really like going to the market. So, it made me wonder, are the sellers Sabahan or not? I never got my answer because although the language the sellers used is alien to me, I did not have the guts to ask. Maybe I was just afraid, that I might insult the sellers if they are really locals.

In short, if you are a Malaysian and you have never been to Sabah, please go. West Malaysians will surely have a shock seeing how people live harmoniously there without any racial issue to fight on. In fact, seeing how us, West Malaysians, always bickering about racial issues, had only made them wonder, why is it happening over here.

And for non-Malaysians, go check out Sabah [North Borneo]. You will not be disappointed, especially if nature is your cup of tea. A lot to be explored. So much to be seen. So plenty to be done.

Till we meet again…


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We are Khai and Amira, Malaysian travel bloggers behind Kaki Jalans. Our travels have taken us to almost all the countries in Asean and several countries in Europe. We are still actively travelling and adding to this list.


  1. Pingback: Visit Malaysia: Kota Kinabalu, Sabah [FINALE] – Farewell, North Borneo | The Best Things in Life

    • Yes Joyce. It touched me too because it seems there are no racial boundaries there 🙂

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