Book review: Sabah Insight Pocket Guide

I personally own this guide book. This 100-pages full coloured guide book is a comprehensive guide for travellers to Sabah, Malaysian part of Borneo. I bought the book few months back as a references for my Kota Kinabalu Travel guide which will be published soon by a4trip.com.

The guide book is written by Wendy Hutton, a reknown writer and editor since 1967 in South East Asia. It was written in a very systematic way, whereby she divided the book into day-itineraries which covers half and full day itineraries in Kota Kinabalu and the surrounding area, and excursions, which means you need to go to the places and spend more than one day to experience it.

The book highlights all the best spots in Sabah – from the majestic mountain of Borneo, Mount Kinabalu to the deep blue water of Sipadan Island. She also includes tips on shopping, eating out and nightlife, mostly around Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan and Tawau (i.e. the main big cities of Sabah).

Amazingly, she also includes some history and culture of this part of Borneo, calendar of special events (in which you may get the more detail annual calendar from Sabah Tourism website), some practical tips for travelers (from air to ground), plus the list of recommended hotels and the free pull out maps of East Malaysia (Sabah & Sarawak), Sabah and Kota Kinabalu.

These are the places that are featured in the guide book:

  1. Kota Kinabalu highlight with sightseeing
  2. Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park (a group of island just 10 minutes away from Kota Kinabalu)
  3. Discover Kadazandusun Culture in Monsopiad
  4. Bajau village in Tuaran
  5. Kinabalu Park HQ
  6. White water rafting in Padas & Kiulu River
  7. Rungus Longhouse
  8. Nature trail in Rafflesia Information Center
  9. Long Pa Sia and Maga Falls
  10. Sepilok, Gomantong and Kinabatangan River for orang utan & proboscis monkey
  11. Turtle Island marine park
  12. Mount Kinabalu – to the summit of Borneo
  13. Sipadan Island
  14. Danum Valley Conservation Center

While she did not include Maliau Basin, Tenom Agricultural Park, Survivor Island Pulau Tiga and Layang-Layang, the places that she mentioned are more than enough if you really experience them all.

So, should you buy it?
Yes, definitely! Moreover if your trip is focused mainly on Sabah. It’s good for you to have it with you on your trip here, as other travel guide books may includes other states like Sarawak, Kalimantan (Indonesia) and Brunei, which the information sometimes can be very superficial.

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