Top 8 Best Family Activities in Sabah 2022

Family vacations build lifelong memories and remove each family member away from daily arduous routines while opening up each person’s minds to new cultures, cuisines, and experiences. Family activities together on the other hand can cultivate positive relationships between family members by increasing teamwork and appreciation for each other.

Sabah is known as the land below the wind because the state lies below the typhoon belt of East Asia but is never affected by any typhoons except for some tropical storms. In the past, Sabah’s economy is primarily based on agriculture, forestry, and petroleum. To date, Sabah also heavily relies on its growing tourism and service industry. Sabah has many family-friendly attractions and is a good place to reconnect with nature. Read on to find out the 8 best family activities in Sabah.

Why is Sabah a great destination for a family trip?

Sabah is the perfect getaway for a family vacation due to its well-preserved rainforests, alluring beaches, and captivating wildlife. Your visit to Sabah will be filled with adventure and exciting activities such as visiting the Sun Bears at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre or meeting an orangutan or two at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. That is not all, you can also snorkel and swim amongst sea turtles at the Turtle Islands National Park. 

If you love aquariums, stop by The Aquarium and Marine Museum where you can see fishes, turtles, sharks, and more. Afterward, pay a visit to the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary just in time for their scheduled feeding shows. Before you leave Sabah, visit the Gaya Street Sunday Market to hunt for some unique souvenirs for your loved ones.

8 Best Family Activities in Sabah 2022

1. Meet The Orangutans At Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

Meet The Orangutans At Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre
Image credit: dive-malaysia.com

The Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre is located within the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve and was established in 1964 to rehabilitate orphaned orangutans. The place is surrounded by tall trees and has an outdoor platform and an outdoor nursery viewing area. Visitors can catch a glimpse of orangutans during the scheduled 10am and 3pm feeding sessions at the platform. Alternatively, some orangutans can be seen from the outdoor nursery. Entrance fees cost RM5 per person and you can purchase souvenirs at the gift shop before you leave.

Operating Hours: 9am to 11.30pm, 2pm – 4pm daily

Address: Sabah Wildlife Department, W.D.T. 200, Sandakan, Jalan Sepilok, Sepilok, 90000 Sandakan, Sabah

Google Map: Navigate Now

Google Reviews: Here

Website: https://dive-malaysia.com/sepilok-nature-resort/

Refer Price at: shopee.com

Refer Price at: klook.com

2. Swim With Sea Turtles At The Turtle Islands National Park

Swim With Sea Turtles At The Turtle Islands National Park
Image credit: etawau.com and sabahtourism.com

The Turtle Islands National Park is located within the Turtle Islands, which lie in the Sulu Sea north of Sandakan in Sabah. The name Turtle Islands refers to 10 islands, 3 of which are part of Turtle Islands Park of Malaysia, and the other 7 belong to the Turtle Islands Wildlife Sanctuary of Tawi-Tawi province, Philippines. The boat ride to the island takes an hour and while you are there, you can see turtles coming up to the beach at night to lay their eggs. If you are lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of baby turtles on the beach during the daytime. The clear waters of Turtle Islands are also great for snorkelling while swimming amongst sea turtles.

Operating Hours: All-day

Address: Turtle Islands National Park, Sandakan, Sabah 

Google Map: Navigate Now

Google Reviews: Here

Website: https://turtleisland.com.my/

3. Take A Walk Through The Sandakan Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC)

Take A Walk Through The Sandakan Rainforest Discovery Centre RDC
Image credit: sabahtourism.com

The Sandakan Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC) houses a variety of attractions including a long canopy walkway, exhibition halls, the Plant Discovery Garden, the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve, environmental education programs, and a small lake with a suspension bridge. Visitors will be able to reconnect with nature through a guided walk at the Plant Discovery Garden and Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve. At dusk, visitors would also be treated to the sight of a red giant flying squirrel soaring gracefully across treetops.

Operating Hours: 8am to 5pm daily

Address: Jalan Lintas Sibuga, Sepilok, 90000 Sandakan, Sabah

Google Map: Navigate Now

Google Reviews: Here

Website: https://www.sabahtourism.com/destination/rainforest-discovery-centre-rdc/

Refer Price at: klook.com

4. Visit Sun Bears At The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre

Visit Sun Bears At The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre
Image credit: bsbcc.org.my
Visit Sun Bears At The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre
Image credit: bsbcc.org.my

The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre is a sun bear rescue and rehabilitation facility in Sabah that currently houses 43 rescued ex-captive sun bears and 1 captive-born sun bear. To raise public awareness of the preservation of Sun Bears, visitors will be shown a series of well-documented videos on the efforts carried out by the conservation centre. The conservation centre offers visitors the rare chance to see sun bears, orangutans, macaques, and squirrels. There are also telescopes laid out for visitors as the bears usually can be seen from a distance within their natural habitat.

Operating Hours: 9am to 3.30pm daily

Address: PPM 219, Elopura, 90000 Sandakan, Sabah

Google Map: Navigate Now

Google Reviews: Here

Website: https://www.bsbcc.org.my/index.html

Refer Price at: klook.com

5. Watch Feeding Shows At The Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary

Watch Feeding Shows At The Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary
Image credit: sabahtourism.com

The Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary is located amid the mangrove forests of Semawang. Here you can see Borneo’s indigenous Proboscis Monkeys. Families with children must not miss their chance to watch the sanctuary’s scheduled feeding shows at 9.30am and 11.30am. It is also recommended to opt for the exciting night tour to see wild boars, flying squirrels, fireflies, and crocodiles. For those who wish to spend the night, the sanctuary offers an air-conditioned lodge with twin or double rooms, a family chalet, and dormitories.

Operating Hours: 8am to 5pm daily

Address:  Off Jalan Labuk, 90000 Sandakan, Sabah

Google Map: Navigate Now

Google Reviews: Here

Website: https://www.sabahtourism.com/destination/labuk-bay-proboscis-monkey-sanctuary

Refer Price at: klook.com

6. Explore Marine Life At The Aquarium and Marine Museum

Explore Marine Life At The Aquarium and Marine Museum
Image credit: mysabah.com
Explore Marine Life At The Aquarium and Marine Museum
Image credit: triphobo.com

The Aquarium and Marine Museum houses a collection of marine animals and showcases marine biodiversity. It is divided into 3 main sections which are the Deep Dive Diorama, Aquarium Showcase, and Marine Museum. Visitors would be treated to the sight of a variety of marine life such as fishes, turtles, sharks, and more. Interestingly, there are also fossil specimens being exhibited at the museum. It is a great place for young children to learn about environmental protection and marine conservation.

Operating Hours: 9am to 12pm, 2pm to 4pm (Tuesday – Sunday) Closed on Monday

Address: Jalan UMS, 88400 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Google Map: Navigate Now

Google Reviews: Here

Website: https://www.facebook.com/UMSAkuarium

7. See The Tallest Tree In Sabah At Tawau Hills Park

See The Tallest Tree In Sabah At Tawau Hills Park
Image credit: sabahtourism.com and bikeandtours.com

The Tawau Hills Park consists of rugged volcanic landscapes including a hot spring and spectacular waterfalls. It offers picnic areas, camping sites, and chalets. The tallest tree in Sabah is also located in this beautiful, well-preserved park. It is a great place for simple family fun amid towering trees and greenery. You can do most of the walks or treks yourself, however, do note that a permit and a guide are required if you wish to hike up the mountain. 

Operating Hours: 8am to 3.30pm daily

Address: Tawau Hills Park, 91000 Tawau, Sabah

Google Map: Navigate Now

Google Reviews: Here

Website: https://www.sabahtourism.com/destination/tawau-hills-park

8. Go Bargain Hunting At Gaya Street Sunday Market

Go Bargain Hunting At Gaya Street Sunday Market
Image credit: sabahattractionsinmalaysia.com and sabahtourism.com

At the vibrant Gaya Street Sunday Market, you will come across curious handmade trinkets at local arts and crafts stores, pets, pet-related merchandise, several souvenir shops, and an array of flower shops with gorgeous blooms on display. While shopping, you can enjoy music played by street performers, and along the way, you can stop by the musical ice cream truck to enjoy delicious ice cream. There is also a good variety of local street food, local delicacies, and fragrant locally brewed coffee.

Operating Hours: 6.30am to 1pm (Only open on Sundays)

Address: Kota Kinabalu, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Google Map: Navigate Now

Google Reviews: Here

Website: https://www.sabahtourism.com/destination/gaya-street-sunday-market

Disclosure: This list was compiled by the team at My Weekend Plan after extensive research and shared opinions to suggest helpful recommendations for the public. The sequence of brands is in no particular order so if you have any other great suggestions too, please email us [email protected] For more information, kindly refer to our copyright, privacy & disclosure policy.

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