The east Malaysian state of Sabah welcomes millions of tourists each year, hence it is common that one would be able to find a wide range of budget accommodations here catered to the backpackers, business travellers as well those who are here for vacation.

The Airport View Hotel best near the airport

Located close by to the airport, the Airport View Hotel is a great place to stay for those here on stopovers where rooms start from RM80. The hotel is located in the state capital of Kota Kinabalu which is also where one could find Ang Hotel which is easy to locate and situated in the city center. Room rates here start from RM60.

Akinabalu Youth Hostel and North Borneo Cabin

If you are intending to just stay in a room and spend most of your time here outdoors, then the Akinabalu Youth hostel is an ideal choice where rooms start from RM20 per night. The North Borneo Cabin is another affordable choice here where rooms start from RM30. Century Hotel provides rooms that start from RM90 per night. There are also many homestays and cabins located in Lok Kawi along the west coast of Kota Kinabalu.

Accommodation in Sandakan

Over in Sandakan there are several options available:

  1. The Hotel Seafront Sandakan is one of the common choices as they provide affordable rooms with basic facilities that start from RM60 per night.
  2. Hotel Ramai here have room rates starting from RM65 per night.
  3. For a similar rate, you could also enjoy a good night’s stay at Hotel Star City.
  4. For a cheaper alternative, the Hotel City View of Sandakan offers a lower range with RM50 per night rooms with basic amenities.

Sabah towns, cultures and history

Sabah is one of the states that make up East Malaysia, the other being Sarawak. It is divided into various residencies, an administrative concept passed down from the British North Borneo era. They are Interior Residency which is around the south western areas that include towns like Tenom and Keningau, the West Coast Residency which is where capital town Kota Kinabalu is located, the Sandakan Residency at the east where Sandakan is located. The Kudat Residency is the northern corridor of the state where Kudat is the main city there and Tawau Residency is located around the south east. Major towns here are Semporna, Tawau and Lahad Datu.

People of Sabah

Sabah is popular and is known to be one of the most culturally rich states in the country. It consists more than 2.5 million people of which is divided among various races like Malay, Chinese, Indian while the native groups here are predominantly Kadazandusun while others like Bajau, Murud and Bisaya make up portions of the population here. Among the chinese however, most of them are from the Hakka dialect.

Most of the Chinese who migrated to the state during the British era, belong to the Hakka dialect group although there are also large numbers of Cantonese especially in Sandakan. There are also many Filipinos and Indonesians, many of whom entered Sabah illegally and later became naturalised under a controversial state policy.

History of Sabah

It was previously known as North Borneo prior to joining Malaysia in 1963. Ruled by the Brunei monarchy way back in the 16th century, it became part of the Sulu administration before the Europeans came by and started making claims. After that, the Japanese occupied North Borneo during the Second World War which observed the Death Marches by British event. Sandakan, which was the capital then was replaced with Jesselton which later was changed to be called Kota Kinabalu.

In 1963, Sarawak, Malaya (the former name for Malaysia), and Singapore formed the Federation of Malaysia and it was then that the name of the state was changed to Sabah.


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