GETTING TO SABAH

By Air

Sabah is well-connected domestically and internationally. The main gateway to Sabah is the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) situated about 20 minutes away from the city. Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia provide daily direct flights to Sabah from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital city.

Internationally, Sabah is accessible from Brunei Darussalam, China, Hong Kong, Taipei, Japan, Thailand, Philippines, Singapore and South Korea. The flights that operate here include Silk Air, Cathay Pacific, Royal Brunei Airlines, Cebu Pacific Air, China Southern, Dragonair, Rayani Air, MASwings, FireFly, Indonesia AirAsia and Malindo Air. Visitors from Australia can also arrive in Sabah via Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia Airlines also has direct domestic flights to Kota Kinabalu from Johor Bahru, Kuching, Sibu, and Miri, with in-state service to Sandakan and other towns. AirAsia has direct domestic flights from Johor Bahru.


By Sea

Visitors from Labuan, Indonesia and Philippines can arrive in Sabah by sea. Ferry terminals and immigration checkpoints are situated at Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan and Tawau.

The Sutera Harbour Marina in Kota Kinabalu welcomes foreign guests who wish to berth their yachts in comfort and convenience. Vessels are required to do port clearance before their crew is allowed ashore.


By Land

Overland travel between Kota Kinabalu, Kuching and Brunei Darussalam is possible via the Trans Borneo Highway. However, visitors are advised to be prepared for long journeys. Those who are intending to self-drive should plan their routes and rest stops.


AIRLINK TO SABAH

Sabah has international air links to major destinations in East Asia and Australia. All international arrivals and departures are directed to Kota Kinabalu, the Capital City of Sabah. Most international air links from Europe and America can be connected through major cities in the South East Asia region such as Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei, Manila and Bandar Seri Begawan.


KOTA KINABALU INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Kota Kinabalu International Airport is the gate way to Sabah. Located 7km from the city of Kota Kinabalu. The only mode of public transport from the Airport is by taxi. Journey from the airport to the city is controlled where only airport taxis are allowed to pick up passengers. Please don't forget to purchase your taxi coupons from the taxi counter outside arrival hall. Two licensed money changers are available outside the arrival hall to change your foreign currency or traveler's cheques. All airport trolleys are free of charge. Some hotels provide shuttle bus to pick up passengers from the air port. Please go to Transportation for more details.

KKIA located at the Kepayan area, it can be accessed via Jalan Kepayan, Jalan Lintas and Jalan Putatan. The airport is capable of handling 9 million passengers annually, compared to its previous capacity which is 2.5 million passengers annually. It also features duty-free shops, other shops, lounges, travel agents, restaurants and many others.


ENTRY TO MALAYSIA

A valid passport (and visa wherever applicable) is required for of everyone entering Malaysia. A passport is also necessary for travel between Peninsular Malaysia and the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak, as well as interstate travel between Sabah and Sarawak. A social or Tourist Visit Pass does not permit the holder to take up employment, business of professional work in Malaysia. The Business Visit Pass allows foreign negotiations or inspection of business establishments. These passes, however cannot be used for employment purposes or for supervising the installation of new machinery of construction of a factory. No fee is charge for a Business Visit Pass issued for a period of up to three months. A fee of RM5.00 is imposed for each month thereafter.


CUSTOMS

All international arrivals must go through custom clearance. No duty free items are allowed from flights from Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak. However, visitors from Labuan are allowed to purchase duty free goods if they stay more than 24 hrs in Labuan Island. Please click here for more info. Please note that pornography, weapons and walkie talkies are prohibited. Items with triggers such as firearms, spear guns, air guns and etc are subject to licensing.


AIRLINERS

There are several popular airliners currently serving destinations to Sabah. From Europe, Australia one can take Brunei Airlines to reach Brunei and later opt reach Sabah by ferry (reaching Labuan) or by road. The National Airlines MAS serves international routes with transit via Kuala Lumper, the capital of Malaysia. Those from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan can choose Singapore Airlines or it's partner Tiger Airways. Airasia is the favourite domestic airlines, it's sister company AirAsia X offers international destinations as far as London and Sdyney.


IMMIGRATION

All visitors are required to complete an Arrival/Departure card, a Customs Declaration, and if required, a Travelers Declaration Form (TDF) and Quarantine Form. These are given out during all inbound Malaysia Airlines' flights. Travelers are no longer required to complete the TDF except under the following circumstances:

  • Resident and non-resident travelers who carry Ringgit in excess of RM 1,000.00
  • Resident travelers who take out foreign currency notes and/or travelers cheques exceeding the equivalent of RM 10,000.
  • Non-resident travelers who bring into Malaysia more than US$2,500 equivalent.

The current practice of obtaining prior written approval from Bank Negara Malaysia remains unchanged for the following:

  • Resident and non-resident travelers who carry Ringgit in excess of RM 1,000.00
  • Resident travelers who take out foreign currency notes and/or travelers cheques exceeding the equivalent of RM 10,000.
  • Non-Resident travelers who take out foreign notes and traveler's cheques in excess of the amount brought in, provided the amount taken out is more than the equivalent of US$ 2,500.

The TDF form should be handed to the immigration officer together with the disembarkation card and passport.



VISAS

Visa Requirement by Country

1. Countries that require Visa
  • Afghanistan (Visa with reference)
  • Angola
  • Bhutan
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Central African Republic
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Comoros
  • Congo Democratic Republic

  • Congo Republic
  • Djibouti
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Hong Kong (C/I or D/I)
  • India
  • Liberia

  • Mali
  • Myanmar (ordinary passport)
  • Nepal
  • Niger
  • Rwanda
  • Serbia & Montenegro
  • Taiwan - 15 days without visa
  • United Nations (Laissez Passer)
  • Western Sahara


2. Commonwealth Countries that require Visa
  • Bangladesh
  • Cameroon
  • Ghana

  • Mozambique
  • Nigeria

  • Pakistan
  • Sri Lanka


3. Countries That Require Visa For Stays Exceeding 3 Months
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria (Vienna)
  • Bahrain
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Croatia
  • Cuba
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Egypt
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany

  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyz Republic
  • Lebanon
  • Liechtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Morocco
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Peru

  • Poland
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • St Marino
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Slovakia
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • Uruguay
  • Yemen


4. Countries That Require Visa For Stays Exceeding 1 Month
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Benin
  • Bolivia
  • Bulgaria
  • Cambodia
  • Cape Verde
  • Chad
  • Chile
  • Costa Rica
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Estonia
  • Gabon
  • Georgia
  • Greece
  • Guatemala

  • Guinea Republic
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong SAR
  • Kazakhstan
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Macao SAR
  • Macedonia
  • Madagascar
  • Moldova
  • Mauritania
  • Mexico
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Nicaragua
  • North Korea
  • North Yemen

  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Portugal
  • Russia
  • Sao Tome & Principe
  • Senegal
  • Slovenia
  • Sudan
  • Surinam
  • Tajikistan
  • Togo
  • Ukraine
  • Upper Volta
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vatican City
  • Venezuela
  • Zaire
  • Zimbabwe


5. Countries That Require Visa For Stays Exceeding 14 Days
  • Iran (90 days)
  • Iraq (30 days)
  • Libya
  • Macao (Travel Permit/Portugal CI)
  • Palestine (30 days)
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • South Yemen
  • Syria (30 days)
  • Cote d'ivoire / ivory coast
  • No visa is required for U.S.A. citizens visiting Malaysia for social, business or academic purposes (except for employment).
  • No visa is required for stays of less than one month for nationals of all ASEAN countries except Myanmar nationals. For a stay exceeding one month, a visa will be required, except for Brunei and Singapore nationals.
  • For nationals of Israel, visas are required and permission must be granted from Ministry Of Home Affairs.
  • For nationals of Republic of Serbia and Republic of Montenegro, visas are required without permission granted from Ministry Of Home Affairs.
  • Nationals of countries other than those stated above (with the exception of Israel) are allowed to enter Malaysia without a visa for a visit not exceeding one month.



We hold no responsibilty in any inaccurate information stated above. We strongly advise that all travellers coming into Malaysia to check the latest entry requirments and visas from the Immigration Department of Malaysia.