Sabah is the northern part of the island of Borneo and also a state of Malaysia, with around 3.3 million inhabitants. Sabah borders Borneo on the west on Malaysia's Sarawak and on the south on Indonesia's Kalimantan.

For the most part, Sabah consists of tropical rainforest, with a variety of plants and animals. The highest peak in North Borneo is the 4,095 meter high Kinabalu, which is also the highest mountain in all of Southeast Asia.

The largest cities in Sabah include Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, Tawau and Lahad Datu. The population is equally divided into the Christian or Muslim faith.

The dominant economic sector in North Borneo is products from numerous oil palm plantations. Vegetables and fishery products are also exported.

Another source of income for Sabah is the ever-increasing tourism. The area is particularly popular with diving enthusiasts, mountaineers and beach tourists, mainly from neighboring Asian countries.

The capital of Sabah is Kota Kinabalu with around 220,000 inhabitants. Some of the main attractions in the capital include the Sabah State Mosque, the Mount Kinabalu Botanical Garden, Jesselton Point, the seafront promenade, the night market, the Signal Hill viewpoint, the Sabah Local History Museum, the Kota Kinabalu City Mosque as well the modern international airport.

In May 2018 I visited Kota Kinabalu in Sabah for two days. The city had a lot to offer and was full of Asian tourists, so my tour of the city had to be well prepared.

On Sunday morning I first visited the Sunday market that was set up right in front of my hotel. Numerous local specialties were offered there, some of which looked quite adventurous. However, it was still a bit early for me to try it out and I first hiked up the nearby mountain.

From the Signal Hill viewpoint I had a fantastic view of the entire city and the approximately 200 meter long climb through the dense tropical rainforest offered some impressive photo opportunities. However, there was a significant risk of slipping on the damp stairs and I had to be extremely careful with my sneakers.

In the early evening, the lively harbor promenade was the biggest attraction for the numerous tourists who didn't want to miss the breathtaking sunset. The many cozy bars and restaurants right on the water literally invited you to linger. The local and relatively inexpensive fish dishes are particularly recommended.

I experienced the truly fascinating sunset from Borneo in the Italian fish restaurant “Gusto”, with a delicious fish soup and a large tuna pizza. The pizza had several huge pieces of fresh tuna on it, the taste was absolutely amazing. They were by far the two best Italian dishes I had ever tasted on the Asian continent.

My stay in Sabah was generally very impressive and quite inexpensive. This is precisely why North Borneo is very popular with Japanese, Korean and Chinese tourists.

In the end I would have liked to stay there a little longer, but the next day I went on to Indonesian Borneo.

I can only strongly recommend Kota Kinabalu as a travel destination.