Sabah, a land as diverse as the sky and earth
From oceans and rivers to hills in its hearth
Natives who still claim this heaven as their own
The outsiders who came in and made it their home
The tribes who take pride in the history of yore
The new educated generation modernizing each pore
Each one bringing their heart and soul to this land
It’s filled with warmth and smiles like the golden sand
The radiant sun shining brightly, says a magical goodbye
As it paints a new canvas each evening in the sky
The rains kiss the winds as they envelop the air
Filling up those watching with awestruck stares
This land seeped into my heart and spread its wings
It’s made me its own, tied invisible magic strings
Though I departed sadly, sure to return to renew ties
Sabahlicious samplings can never leave my wondrous eyes.
How do you get about describing a country which on the surface seems simple and uncomplicated is by far the most complex and diverse place that I’ve seen? Tradition rubs shoulders with cultured modernity as most of the Sabahans are educated, well mannered, ever smiling and hospitable people while still bearing unbreakable bonds to the roots they came from. I guess most of these qualities have filtered down to them from this land which has been an amalgamation of various tribes, cultures, creeds, religion, and nationalities. Rather than show retaliation to the various foreigners who kept pouring in steadily, Sabah took them all in its stride and unified all the boundaries beautifully.
Much like it’s landscape that merges seamlessly from the ocean to rivers to hills and tropical forests, one who is willing to explore can be treated to whatever experience they are looking for. Calm and serene beach vacations to adventure activities for the adrenaline junkies, Sabah has it all. Hiking to the highest peak of Mount Kinabalu to exploring the tropical jungles. Sailing the emerald seas to searching for the Proboscis monkeys on the Borneo backwaters. Fancy cityscapes to secret romantic hideaways. Partying all night at the Jesselton harbour front in the bright lights with eclectic music playing to isolating yourself in silence at the small but beautiful islands. You name it and Sabah has it for you.
From shopping at the swanky mirror glazed malls, swooning at the international brands to wandering the local colourful markets, exclaiming in wonderment at the local handicrafts and food available. From beautiful 5 star resorts, radiating luxury and hospitality to simple homestays with the locals where warmth and love embrace your hearts, Sabah offers an experience second to none. The magical sunsets which cast kaleidoscopes of various shades and hues in the sky, is a visual treat, mesmerizing you to rub your eyes in disbelief as the magical colours tease the sky to finally submit to darkness.
The glutton in you gets excited after every meal, hypnotised by the vast varieties of food on offer, as it looks forward to the next meal, wondering how the taste buds could get even more tantalised but finally bowing down in defeat, accepting the fact that the meals here deserve the love and appreciation that the local people offer it and create magic from the various ingredients that form a part of their palate. Tropical fruits, gorgeous vegetables, seafood of vast varieties and pork, poultry and beef get dressed and served to perfection as fresh juices and iced drinks soothe the heat of the parched throats. Tea and coffee is second none to any religion here as they are treated with utmost respect both for its taste and those who drink it. One sees conversations and bonding happen at these Kopitaans where life is shared in general.
How can anyone not fall in love for this absolutely hypnotic country who seems like a beautiful angel out to impress and magically transport you in a world where reality seems like a distant cousin and you have no option but to lose yourself in the magic and absorb each and every gift it has to offer. You stare bright-eyed at it’s magic, as if willing the temptress to expose whatever has been still hiding from you, eager to explore the utmost diversity, the radical uniformity, the sublime beauty, the cultured simplicity and the urban traditionalism knowing fully well you will be the ultimate winner as you taste all of these Sabahlicious samplings.