Sabah is located on the world's largest island of Borneo, and with a total area of some 76 000 square km., it is the second largest state in Malaysia and with Sarawak, comprises what is known as East Malaysia.
Sabah was taken over by the British North Borneo Company in 1881, and became a protectorate of the British Empire with internal affairs still administered by the company in 1888. North Borneo was controlled by the Japanese from 1941 to 1946. After the war, the Company's rule ended and it became the colony of North Borneo. On 31 August, 1963, it was granted self-government power before it formed the Malaysian federation on 16 September, 1963 along with Malaya, Singapore and Sarawak. Since 1963, the state has been known as Sabah.
Interestingly, the Eastern part of Sabah has been for a long time claimed by the Philippines to form part of that country - even during the reign of Ferdinand Marcos, Philippino maps showed Sabah as being part of Philippine territory. The claim apparently originated by a grant from the Sultan of Brunei to the Sultan of Sulu at the beginning of the 18th Century.
The main attractions in Sabah could be said to centre around nature and the diversity of wildlife and vegetation. It has outstanding national parks, which include Kinabalu National Park, the Crocker Range Park, and the Sepilok Orang-utan Sanctuary. Others come to enjoy the islands of Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park and the diver's paradise of Pulau Sipadan. However, Sabah possesses a number of other attractions as well, all of which are worth exploring.
Over the whole island of Borneo, Proboscis Monkeys can be found in localised areas - one of the best places to see them is in Sabah in the Sukau region on the Kinabatangan River.
Sukau is generally a highlight of any trip to Sabah. There are trips on the river each afternoon to see the proboscis monkeys preparing for the night, and sightings of the elephants in the area, not far from the lodge, are quite common.
Sabah also has other places of interest - the Mt Kinabalu summit trek being very popular. Mt Kinabalu at 4100 metres, is the highest mountain in South East Asia (excluding New Guinea) and is ranked as the 20th highest mountain in the world. The trek from the Park Headquarters to the summit and back takes two days, although the summit can be reached in a day if you train for it - the Mt Kinabalu Marathon is held there every year. The athletes get to the top, and back, in under three hours! Once you have done the trek, you can only be amazed at the type of person who could, or would, want to run to the top. The trek arrives at the summit for sunrise, where, on a clear day you can see to the Philippines in the North.