Is Sabah Expensive To Visit - woguides sabah van rental
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Sabah, a Malaysian state nestled on the island of Borneo, is a haven of diverse landscapes, rich cultures, and exotic wildlife. For travelers considering a journey to this tropical paradise, a common question arises: Is Sabah expensive to visit? In this guide, we’ll delve into the factors that contribute to the cost of a Sabah trip and help you understand how to plan your budget.

Table of Contents


Accommodation costs in Sabah can vary greatly depending on your preferences. The state offers a wide range of options, from budget-friendly hostels and guesthouses to luxury resorts and lodges nestled in the rainforest. Staying in Kota Kinabalu might be more affordable than some of the more remote eco-lodges, but the choice is yours based on your comfort level and budget.


Transportation costs are generally reasonable in Sabah. Local buses and rideshare services are affordable ways to get around cities and towns. If you plan to explore more remote areas, renting a car might be convenient, but it will add to your expenses. Domestic flights between major destinations are also relatively affordable if booked in advance. In addition, to make your journey in Sabah more enjoyable and stress-free, consider the option of van rental with a skilled driver.

Food and Dining

Eating in Sabah can be very budget-friendly if you opt for local eateries, street food stalls, and markets. You’ll find a variety of delicious dishes influenced by the state’s diverse cultures. Trying local cuisine is not only an economical choice but also a cultural experience in itself.

Activities and Attractions

The cost of activities and attractions can vary widely. Entrance fees for national parks, wildlife tours, and guided activities like diving or snorkeling can contribute significantly to your expenses. However, these experiences are often the highlights of a Sabah trip, offering unique encounters with wildlife and nature.

Island Getaways

The cost of visiting the islands around Sabah can be a bit higher due to transportation fees and accommodation rates. Renowned diving spots like Sipadan might have higher costs associated with permits and guided dives, but the experience is often deemed well worth the investment.

Tips for Budget Travel

Plan in Advance: Research and plan your activities ahead of time. This can help you budget effectively and take advantage of early booking discounts.

Choose Wisely: Prioritize the activities and attractions that align with your interests and budget constraints.

Local Experiences: Embrace local culture by dining at local eateries and exploring markets, which offer affordable and authentic experiences.

Group Travel: Consider traveling with a group to share expenses like transportation and guided tours.

Off-Peak Travel: Traveling during the shoulder season or off-peak times might result in lower accommodation and flight costs.


Is Sabah expensive to visit? While some aspects of a Sabah trip can be on the pricier side, it’s entirely possible to explore this tropical paradise on a budget. By making strategic choices, prioritizing experiences, and planning ahead, you can craft a memorable and rewarding trip to Sabah without breaking the bank. The enchanting landscapes, diverse cultures, and unique wildlife encounters await travelers of all budget ranges.

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