Sabah is located at the northern part of the island of Borneo (the 3rd largest island in the world). It covers an area of about 73,600 sq. famously known as the“Land Below The Wind” as it lies beneath the typhoon belt.
Sabah was once ruled by the British North Borneo Company in 1818, and became a colony of the British Empire in 1888. In 1946, the Company’s rule ended and was taken over by the colony of North Borneo until it was admitted into the Malaysian Federation in 1963. The administrative capital is Kota Kinabalu.
Largest indigenous ethnic group is the Kadazan/Dusun approximately 25% of the total population.The largest non-indigenous ethnic group is the Chinese who make up for about 30% of Sabah’s population.
Travelling In Borneo
Bahasa Malaysia is the official and national language. However, English is widely spoken.
Equatorial / Tropical with Relative Humidity 85 – 95%
Standard Malaysian Time is 8 hours ahead of GMT.
The electricity supply is 220/240 volts at 50 hertz. The electrical plugs and sockets used are similar to those used in Britain. North Americans will have to use adaptors which are readily available from the major hotels.
Currency& Banking Hours
The unit of currency is the MALAYSIAN RINGGIT (RM). On arrival and departure, travelers are required to complete the Travelers Declaration Form which will be given upon the arrival. .Visitors are allowed to bring in any amount of foreign currency but amounts over USD10000 have to be declared upon entry. It is illegal to bring in or to take out more than RM1000 in local notes. Travelers Cheques and foreign currencies can be changed for MALAYSIAN RINGGIT at banks and hotels.
Banking hours are :
Monday – Friday
9:30am – 3:30pm
Normally visitors entering Malaysia are allowed to bring into the country, duty-free: up to a liter of alcoholic beverages and 200 sticks of cigarettes or 50 cigars and 225gm of tobacco
There is a severe penalty for drug traffickers. Presently, only Israeli passport holders are not valid for entry to the country except with prior exemption. Visitors from most countries are not required to obtain a visa except for nationals from : Bangladesh,Bhutan, China, Cuba, Hong Kong ( Certificate of Identity), India, Myanmar,Nepal, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Vietnam. All other nationals are allowed in without visa requirements for a stay of 7 days.Generally visitors from Western countries are allowed in without a visa requirement for a stay of 1-3 months. Validity on passports should be 6 months or more.