The third largest State in Malaysia, in terms of population, is Sabah. In 2015, the population was at an outstanding number of 3,543,500 people. Sabah played a huge role in Malaysian history, being one of the founding fathers of the Federation of Malaya, which is a contributor to the institution of the country of Malaysia. Sabah is also an ethnically diverse State, having a variety of races living in its territory. Over 870,400 of Sabah's population are non-Malaysian, which contributed to the diverse culture, religion, and languages in Sabah. The main language is Malay, but it has a distinct slang compared to the traditional language. Several languages of different ethnicities merged to form a unique slang used in Sabah. Religion wise, immigration has caused the increase of different religions being practiced in the State. Among these are Islam, Christianity, and Buddhism.
1. Abundance of Animal and Plant Species Sabah is a tropical paradise, sharing maritime borders with Vietnam and the Philippines. Because of this demographic location, its jungles house an abundance of animal and plant species. Forest reserves form half of the total land mass of Sabah. The Kinabatangan River in the State is considered as the largest forest-covered floodplain in Malaysia. Several of its national parks have been noticed by environmentalist due to their biodiverse plant species and climatic conditions. One of these national parks, namely the Kinabalu National Park, was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. Because of its rich natural resources, Sabah has thrived in the ecotourism industry. Ecotourism is the exploration of natural sites and environmental areas. The beautiful reservoirs in Sabah make it a competitive State in the field of ecotourism.
2. Renowed Musical Intrument: Sompoton Among the famous cultural symbols of Sabah is the musical instrument called "Sompoton". It originated from Sabah and is now used in different parts of the world. The Sompoton is made using bamboo pipes, which are inserted into a gourd and sealed with bees wax. It is a "mouth organ," similar with a flute, except that it can be played through both inhaling and exhaling. Each of the seven reeds has a different name, which are lombohon, monongkol, suruk, baranat, randawi, tuntuduk and tinangga. There are also some Sompotons made with only two reeds. This instrument is usually played by indigenous people in Sabah, during festivities, events, and even for leisure or pasttime.
3. Theories About the Origin of the name "Sabah" There are a lot of interesting theories about where the name "Sabah" came from. One theory makes reference to "pisang saba," a kind of banana, which is widely found in the State. Some would also say that the name came from "sabak," meaning "place where palm sugar is extracted." Notably, Sabah is a strong exporter of palm oil, and also timber and gas. Sabah also has the monicker of "Land Below the Wind," because it is located right below the typhoon belt of East Asia. Because of this geographical location, typhoons never hit Sabah, but it is a place commonly struck by tropical storms.
Sabah Tourist Spots
1. Sandakan Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center The abundance in plant and animal species in Sabah is evident in their tourist destinations. There are many places in Sabah that enable tourists to experience and enjoy the beauty of their wildlife. One of these is Sandakan Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center, which houses orphaned or abandoned orangutans. These animals are taught and trained to live in the wild. They are given survival skills to hone them once they are set free. Tourists who visit Sandakan Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center will get a chance to learn about orangutans and other wildlife species. It's a fun and informative trip that definitely has to be part of the itinerary.
2. Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park Sabah has the richest biodiversity in terms of marine wildlife. This, you can experience from two points of views in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. The first point of view is when you go scuba diving and snorkling. Through this, you get to see and experience the beauty of underwater life in Sabah, exploring the coral reefs, unique fish, and clear, blue water. The second is when you try the Coral Flyer. This activity will give you an aerial view of the ocean when you zipline from one tropical island to another. It's a breathtaking experience that glides you above the ocean to see its beauty.
3. Mount Kinabalu Poring Rainforest Mount Kinabalu has been proclaimed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site because of its abundance of natural resources and rich biodiversity. The mountain is 13,435 feet high, and at the top awaits a beautiful view of the tropical state. Tourists can explore the area through a private tour, enabling them to gain insight and information about Mount Kinabalu. If you endeavor on the hike, you will find a canopy walkway, which gives you a treetop view of the forest and all its lush greeneries. In this destination is also the world's largest orchids, which tourists have the option to go see. Hot springs are also offered for relaxation after that long hike up the mountain.