Sabah is a Malaysian state that occupies the Northernmost 10% of the island of Borneo. Sabah borders Sarawak (another Malaysian State), East Kalimantan (part of Indonesia) and almost borders the country of Brunei, with only a sliver of Sarawak between the states of Sabah and Brunei. The federal territory of
Labuan is just a short distance off the coast of Sabah.

It is possible to drive or fly to Sabah from Burnei and Sarawak, and indirectly from Indonesia, but it is a rough trip. The vast majority of tourists visit Sabah by flying into Kota Kinabalu. Here is how to arrange to get to Sabah from outside the island of Borneo.

===Choose a Gateway City===

In most cases tourists chose to fly into the capital of Sabah, Kota Kinabalu (airport code BKI) to start their visit to Sabah. Although BKI is Malaysia's second busiest airport, the somewhat remote location results in a limited number of gateway cities with direct flights to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

Here are the most accessible gateway city choices as of early 2010:

Kuala Lumper, Malaysia
Hong Kong
Shanghai (Pudong), China
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Seoul (Incheon) South Korea
Manila and Manila (Clark), Philippines
Jakarta, Indonesia
Taipei (Taoyuan), ROC
Tokyo (Narita), Japan

Travelers will need to arrange to get to one of these gateways, perhaps with one of the airlines in Step 2

===Book the Flights to Sabah===

Call one or more of these airlines that serve Sabah (or book online}:

Air Asia (KL, Macau, Singapore, BSB, various Chinese cities and internal flights)

Indonesia AirAsia (Jakarta)

Malaysia Airlines (Bandar Seri Begawan, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul-Incheon, Singapore, Taipei-Taoyuan, Tokyo-Narita plus internal flights)

Korean Airlines (Seoul)
Asiana Airlines (Seoul)
China Eastern Airlines (Shanghai)
Dragonair (Hong Kong)
Jetstar Asia Airways (Singapore)
SilkAir (Singapore)
Royal Brunei Airlines (BSB)

===Be Sure All Visitors Have Appropriate Visas or are Exempt===

Getting to Sahah without the right visa would be very unfortunate. Double check the current rules for your nationality for Malaysia and any gateway country you pass through.

Sabah maintains separate immigration controls from the rest of Malaysia, but visas are issued by the central government.

  • Have fun - Sabah is a wonderful place to visit.
  • Article copyright 2010 by JadeDragon. Do not copy.