Sabah is a haven for adventure seekers around the world. If you haven’t already, this is your sign to cross Sabah off your “to-visit” list!
However, this time we are bringing you some things to do and eat in the West Coast region. The West Coast of Sabah is home to some of the region’s most beautiful and diverse landscapes. This division comprises the Papar, Kota Kinabalu, Tuaran, Kota Belud, and Ranau districts.
From the highlands to the sea, buckle up ‘coz you’re in for a ride!
1. DESA Dairy Farm
Dubbed “Little New Zealand”, DESA Dairy Farm is a must-go if you’re planning a trip to Sabah. The 199-hectare dairy farm offers a unique and educational experience for visitors of all ages. Here, you’ll be able to witness the cow-milking process, feed the goats and rabbits, and learn about dairy farming. You should also take the chance to purchase dairy products like ice cream, milk, and yoghurt at the farm. Take a scenic two-hour drive from Kota Kinabalu to get here and a detour after to the Kundasang War Memorial and the Poring Hot Springs! No car? No problem, be road trip-ready with TREVO!
Location 📍Ladang Tenusu Desa Cattle, Jalan Cinta Mata Mesilou, 89308 Kundasang, Sabah.
2. Enjoy a Scenic Walk on Jambatan Tamparuli
Jambatan Tamparuli, also known as the Tamparuli Bridge, is a famous landmark in the Tamparuli District. The bridge is historically significant, built in the early 1900s during the British colonial era. The original suspension bridge was washed away in a flood in 1999. The new bridge structure is now more solid, supported by concrete pillars and steel cables. Spanning 200 meters, you can walk across the bridge and take photos with the stunning backdrop of the Tuaran River and the surrounding Tuaran town. Fun fact: the old bridge inspired the local folk song “Jambatan Tamparuli” by Justin Lusah. Give it a listen!
Location 📍Jambatan Tamparuli, Jalan Lama Tamparuli, Tamparuli, Sabah.
3. Drop by for some Kelapa Bakar and Lokan Panggang
As you make your way down from the highlands, stop by for some kelapa bakar (grilled coconut) and lokan panggang (BBQ clams). This popular street food spot is situated along Jalan Sulaman, Tuaran. Savour the lokan panggang grilled to perfection with hints of onions and ginger paired with some special sambal sauce. Then, cleanse your palate with mouth-watering kelapa bakar with its smoky and slightly charred flavour.
Location 📍Kelapa Bakar dan Lokan Panggang, Jalan Sulaman, 89200 Tuaran, Sabah.
4. Visit the Beautiful Kota Kinabalu Mosque
Do not miss the Kota Kinabalu City Mosque on the way back to the city. Also known as the “floating mosque” among the locals, the city mosque is situated along the coastal road. It is surrounded by a man-made lagoon and displays similar architectural features to the Nabawi Mosque in Medina. Deemed one of the most beautiful mosques in Malaysia, this majestic mosque accommodates up to 12,000 worshippers at a time. Also, if you have a thing for photography, a morning visit is recommended to capture the magical sunrise over the mosque. Just remember to dress and behave respectfully when visiting.
Location 📍Kota Kinabalu City Mosque, Jalan Pasir, Jalan Teluk Likas, Kampung Likas, 88400 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
5. Gaya Street Sunday Market
Fill your Sunday morning with a stroll along the stretch of the vibrant Gaya Street Sunday market. A popular destination for locals and tourists, here you can find an array of goods, from fresh produce to handicrafts, antiques, and souvenirs. Apart from that, you’ll also have the opportunity to sample some local cuisines, delicacies, and more street food! While you’re there, try to spot the legendary Caprilla Ice Cream truck that has been a generational local favourite. With that said, Gaya Street Sunday market is not only retail therapy but also a cultural experience.
Location 📍Gaya Street, Pusat Bandar Kota Kinabalu, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
6. Try Sabahan Delicacies
Eat like the locals with Sabah’s rich and diverse culinary heritage! Among the recommended dishes is Hinava, a raw fish salad made with fresh tuna or mackerel mixed with lime juice, sliced onions, and chilli. Another popular dish is Ambuyat, a starchy dish made from the sago palm tree that is typically served with various side dishes, like fish, chicken, or vegetables. Other must-try dishes include Pinasakan, a fish dish cooked in a spicy mixture of ginger, chilli, and turmeric; and Tuhau, a traditional condiment from wild ginger. And if you have the guts for some creepy crawlies, take your shot at eating the Butod (sago grub)!
📍My Native Sabah, Lot 48, 1st Floor, Blok F, Lorong 333-5 PLAZA 333, Jalan Bypass Penampang, 89500 Penampang, Sabah.
📍Little Sulap, 5, Lorong Dewan, Pusat Bandar Kota Kinabalu, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
7. Yii Siang Hainan Ngiu Chap
Hearty meals are essential in every travel, and Yii Siang Laksa Ngiu Chap HAS to be on your list! This eatery is well-known for its “Ngiu Chap”, or beef broth, specially prepared in Hainan style and served with noodles or rice. A great contender for this dish would have to be their flagship menu of Laksa. You can choose from either beef, seafood, or chicken in a rich, savoury broth in a bowl.
Location 📍Yii Siang Hainan Ngiu Chap, 36, Ground Floor, Block C, Nountun Industrial, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
8. Chill at KK Waterfront
The party continues in KK Waterfront, a leisure and entertainment destination located at the heart of the city. Relish the stunning views of the South China Sea while enjoying the ocean breeze. Satiate your appetite by choosing from a wide range of cuisines, from traditional Malaysian dishes to international flavours. In addition to that, KK Waterfront also features a range of entertainment options for you to let loose!
Location 📍KK Waterfront, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
9. Monsopiad Cultural Village
For an immersive cultural experience, head to Monsopiad Cultural Village in Penampang, Sabah. This traditional village aims to preserve the customs and heritage of the Kadazandusun people, one of the indigenous groups in Sabah. One of the village’s main attractions is the House of Monsopiad, a replica of the traditional home of Monsopiad, a legendary Kadazandusun warrior and headhunter. Visitors can also witness traditional dances and music performances and participate in various cultural activities, such as blowpipe shooting and batik painting.
Location 📍Monsopiad Heritage Village, Kampung Kuai Kandazon, Jalan Putatan Ramayah, 89507 Penampang, Sabah.
10. Catch a sunset at Tanjung Aru Beach
After a long day of adventure and exploration, it is time to unwind by catching the stunning sunset at Tanjung Aru Beach. This iconic beach is renowned for its breathtaking sunsets, and you have to be there to experience the surrealness of Mother Nature. Relax on the soft sand, dip your toes in the warm water, and watch as twilight shifts in the most magical way. Whether you’re travelling solo or with your precious ones, add Tanjung Aru Beach sunset to your itinerary – it’s the perfect way to end the day.
Location 📍Tanjung Aru Beach, Jalan Mat Salleh, 88100 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
Those are among our recommendations when spending time in the West Coast part of Sabah.
And if you’re travelling here in May, it’s even better as Sabahans celebrate Kaamatan or the Harvest Festival! That means it’s just a perfect time to venture around.
Leave your transportation worries behind, as TREVO is here to offer you a wide range of cars to choose from! Plus, you can enjoy up to 25% OFF your booking this Kaamatan with promo code KAAMATAN25. Booking period: 15 May- 4 June 2023. Driving Period: 26 May – 4 June 2023.