Sabah family itinerary

Presenting our Sabah family itinerary. To be honest, Sabah never crossed our minds when we were planning for seaside vacations. Philippines (Cebu and Boracay), Indonesia (Bali) and Thailand (Krabi) are the more popular options.

As our kids are now older and more active, we wanted a sporty and adventurous itinerary for them.
sabah map

Under the sea, high up in the mountains. Island hopping, snorkeling, hiking, white water rafting and even flying fox. These activities are all available within 2 hours from Kota Kinabalu city center. We were sold at a Tourism Malaysia exhibition 🙂

…… ……Sabah family itinerary 8D7N, A trip of many firsts.

Island Hopping with kids. Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park consists of 5 islands, all 20 minutes from Kota Kinabalu city.
island hopping sabah

Parasailing, Banana boat and snorkeling. I had always wanted my family to be adventurous 🙂
Parasailing Sabah

Sabah family itinerary
Sabah family itinerary

We even did a flying fox between two islands Gaya and Sapi! (Coral zipline).

Exploring Kota Kinabalu city on foot.

Food, glorious Food. Seafood in East Malaysia is even cheaper and fresher than West Malaysia. Generally, we still prefer street food from West Malaysia and Singapore, but we still had fun hunting down some of the famous food in Sabah (生肉面 pork noodle, pineapple bun etc).
sabah mount kinabalu itinerary5

Whitewater rafting Sabah
Whitewater rafting Sabah

White water rafting is one of the highlights for us. Rapid along Kiulu is milder, and harder to topple the boat. Nevertheless, it offers thrills and spills for my family 🙂

Mount Kinabalu
Mount Kinabalu

Enough of water activities, we headed up the hills. Majestic view of Mount Kinabalu.

Summary of locations in West Sabah. (A-City KK, Island hopping), (B- White Water rafting near Tamparuli), (C- Kinabalu Park, Desa Cow Farm), (D- Poring Hot spring, Canopy walk, waterfall)
sabah map

Desa cow farm
Desa cow farm

Desa Cow Farm is up in the mountains. From certain angles, and with the low lying clouds, we might believe this is a valley somewhere in New Zealand. Kids were eager to feed the hungry animals or taste some fresh ice cream.

Garden Lodge is our bungalow at Kinabalu Park. This lodge is huge, enough for 3 families and it even come with a fireplace! (pricey tag of RM 3000 per night!)
kota kinabalu Garden lodge

After a refreshing night (where temperature drops to 15 degrees, we drove to Poring Hot Spring vicinity.
Over 3 hours, we did a mini hike, cross a tree-top canopy and enjoy some fish spa at the waterfall. We did not soak ourselves in the hot spring but kids did enjoy some swimming at the pool (non hot spring).
Sabah poring hotpring

The last two nights of our vacation is spend on luxurious Gaya Island Resort. From our boats, we could only marvel at the magnificent villas constructed on hillside.
Gaya Island resort

Every meal on Gaya island offered us a glimpse of South China Sea. We just need to take our time to enjoy our cuisine 🙂
sabah mount kinabalu itinerary2

Guests will enjoy Gaya Island’s swimming pool or snorkeling at their house reef. We love both!

After all the hiking and walking from the earlier part of our itinerary, Gaya Island Resort offers an opportunity to relax and enjoy some slow moments. Massage and spa indulgence for Mummy at Spa Village.

1) All expenses on Gaya Island Resort had been sponsored.
2) Amazing Borneo Tours provided some discounts for our itinerary.

Do pop by our Sabah itinerary and photos below.
Sabah Family Itinerary 8D7N
– Sabah Day 1 – Street food discovery
– Sabah Day 2 – White Water Rafting!
– Sabah Day 3 – Twin Islands Hopping
– Sabah Day 4 AM – Desa Cow Farm
– Day 4 PM – Kinabalu Park
– Day 5 – Poring Hot Spring + Waterfall + Canopy walk
– Day 6 – Gaya Island Resort – Luxury Villa
– Day 7 Gaya Island Resort Family Activities

More photos have been uploaded on our Fanpage album :
Day 1 and 2 – Klagan hotel, White Water rafting
Day 3 – Water sports, Island hopping
Day 4 – Desa Cow Farm and Kinabalu Park
Day 5 – Poring Hot Spring and vicinity
Day 6 – Gaya Island Resort
Day 7 – Snorkeling and private beach
Day 8 – Hiking, Home sweet home

I hope to climb Mount Kinabalu with Boon Wee (perhaps with Boon Kang too) in a few years time 🙂

Author: SengkangBabies

I am a Blogging Daddy of four. Our kids are roaming Singapore to bring you FUN, This blog is use to capture our kids' growing up phases, and we want you to leave our blog with a smile :) View all posts by SengkangBabies

20 thoughts on “Sabah family itinerary”

  1. Wah! I never thought of SABAH as a destination not to mention 8 days! Seriously, this is such an adventure for the whole family. I can’t wait for the kids to grow up to partake in such adventures with us! Yet, I don’t want them to grow up. Contradiction. lol
    May recently posted…GIVEAWAY & DISCOUNT: Sea Apple ShopMy Profile

  2. Sabah has never been a family destination for us too but after reading your post, I think we might just try it when Buddy’s older. Love the outdoor activities your family did together – flying fox, whitewater rafting, banana boat, parasailing plus the pampering at the Gaya Island Resort. I’m sure this must be one of the holidays your kids will remember very fondly for a long long time! Thanks for sharing these new destinations with us Andy!
    Angie.S recently posted…Saving Space, Saving Memories with SPACESHIPMy Profile

  3. HI There! We are planning to travel with our 2 yr old son to Sabah in mid april. Was wondering if you can help me with the following questions :
    a) During Day 4 and Day 5, did you stay at a lodge near Kinabalu or did you travel back to your hotel in KK?
    b) Review of The Klagen hotel?

    1. Hi Urvi,

      a) would recommend you stay in a lodge. Travel time is easily 2 to 2.5 hr one way (depending on jams).
      Staying overnight allow you to enjoy the cool evening and morning, and as a pit stop to explore further inland.

      b) Klagen and Le Meridien are both popular with tourists. Basic necessities available, but we normally only need the bed.
      Try airbnb too for more options.

  4. Hi we have two children 5 and 7yo. We love adventures! Would you that we follow your itinerary for 8d7n for our kids?

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