Sabah’s natural beauty and cultures a hit with visitors

BEIJING: Chinese tourists love the natural beauty and people of Sabah.

Sydney Chiang, 29, recalled seeing the sparkling “blue tears” on the beach, the beautiful coastline and al fresco dining accompanied by a sea breeze and sweet floral scents.

“Some say Malaysia is truly Asia, and you can really see the country’s charm in East Malaysia,” she said.

The senior consultant has been to Sabah twice, first in February 2014 to visit Tawau and Mataking Island, and again in June last year to Kota Kinabalu.

Tropical scenery aside, it was the integration of cultures that left a deep impression on Chiang.

“Almost everyone can speak two or three languages. Scarf-wearing Muslims and Indians can speak fluent Mandarin too,” said Chiang, who is from Shandong province.

For self-employed Christine Chen Xining, 47, Sabah is comparable to Hawaii.

“Sabah is clean and offers a variety of tropical fruits and delicious seafood,” she said.

Beijing native Cathy Kang, 28, said she felt “very excited and accomplished” when she reached the peak of Mount Kinabalu and caught the sunrise after a strenuous hike.

The kidnappings in Sabah and air tragedies which have cast a shadow over the tourism industry have not deterred these China nationals from holidaying in Sabah.

Kang said she visited the state in April 2014 – a month after the disappearance of Flight MH370 – and arrived on the very day a Chinese tourist was abducted from a resort off Semporna.

“The fact that our flight to Kota Kinabalu was full was reassuring. We felt safe as long as we didn’t venture to remote areas,” she added.

All of them said they would not hesitate to recommend Sabah to their friends.

Chiang said she had successfully promoted Sabah as a honeymoon spot to her newly-wed friends.

Kang strongly recommended Sabah for its beautiful scenery and affordable travelling costs.

Avid diver Xi Weiwei, 29, is eager to visit Sabah again this June, barely a year after his last trip.

“I have seen many sea creatures at Sipadan which I have not seen elsewhere, a testament to the conservation efforts there.

“Sabah has a beautiful sea and a healthy marine ecosystem,” he said.

This news was taken from the Star

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