Sabah is truly a magical place for landscape photography or even sightseeing activities. It’s nicknamed Negeri Di Bawah Bayu (“Land Below The Wind”), Sabah is one of the two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo and they are richly blessed with nature diversity, unique cultures, fun adventure, beautiful beaches, and many more.
As a landscape photographer myself, I have been to Sabah for more than five times now and it never fails to amaze me. There are so many beautiful locations for landscape photography lovers up here. So on this post, I would like to share 5 places to do landscape photography in the Land Below The Wind .
1. Kota Kinabalu
Kota Kinabalu is the capital city Sabah state in northwestern Borneo, is often referred to as “KK” in short. In KK city itself, there’s a few good spots for landscape photography. Masjid Bandaraya Likas is a great spot to shoot sunrise or even sunset. The mosque is surrounded by a man-made lake which produce a tranquil reflection usually between dawn to sunrise. If you lucky, you might catch the reflection during sunset as well. There’s also few other spots like ODEC which located inside University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) compound where you can shoot sunset with rocky shoreline on the foreground. But I must warned you, the scattered rock is very slippery! Tanjung Aru beach is also good for sunset, but there is barely any good foreground here, just a plain beach with sands. There might be some drift woods laying on the shore though. Click at each photos below to reveal their location.
2. Kuala Penyu
Kuala Penyu is a town located in Interior Division of Sabah and is famous for its beaches, especially the Tempurung Beach, Sawangan Beach, Kampung Vietnam and few more. At Tempurung beach, during low tide, you will see most part of the shore is covered with green-mossy pebble stones and at Sawangan beach, there is an old jetty that leads straight into the sea where it can be a good subject for landscape photography. Kampung Vietnam, there is a few abandoned ships stranded just off the shore. You can walk to get near to the ships and the water is about knee-deep, not too shallow. It is best to photograph them during sunrise.
3. Tip of Borneo,Tanjung Simpang Mengayau
This dramatic headland is situated in the northern-most tip of BORNEO. “Simpang Mengayau” means ‘lingering junction‘ as it is here that the South China Sea lingers and meets the Sulu Seas flowing from the east. Isn’t that amazing?! It is located in the Kudat Peninsula, about three to four hours (215km) drive from Kota Kinabalu City. My first visit to this location was 5 years ago which was in 2012. Back then, there was an abandoned boat, stranded just off the shore (see photo below) which makes an interesting subject to photograph. I took that shot at sunrise where I had to wade into the low tide sea to get near to that boat and ended up blessed with beautiful sunrise. It was a great memories, but sadly, I was informed that the particular boat has been destroyed by the waves.
4. Tindakon Dazang Beach
Located about 30km from Kudat town, Tindakon Dazang is a must visit location for seascape photography lovers! This place has a beautiful rocky coastline covered with vivid green seaweed-moss. To get to this beach, you need to cross a small gravel road inside of a palm oil plantation and it can be a bumpy ride depending on what type of vehicle you are driving. 4×4 is highly recommended, although you can still reach with normal car. Entry/parking fee is required and you can pay to the local villagers who took care of the place.
5. Mabul Island
Mabul is a small island off the south-eastern coast of Sabah in Malaysia. The island has been a fishing village since the 1970s. The island itself is just a 20-hectare piece of land surfaces which you can cover the entire island by just walking around on foot. The local people here is mainly from “Bajau Laut” of Sea Gypsies. You can do a few type of photography in this island like, landscape, human interest or even underwater photography.
This is the top 5 places that I have visited and I can say they offers great opportunity for landscape photographers.
Until my next post then!