Practical Tip: The Sabah Loop

A decent sealed road makes a frowning arc from KK to Tawau, passing Mt Kinabalu, Sepilok, Sandakan, Lahad Datu and Semporna (the gateway to Sipadan) along the way. The same can be said of the other half of the loop (going back to KK from Tawau via Keningau). It passes right by the entrance of the formerly elusive Maliau Basin, and is a much quicker way of driving from Tawau to KK (seven hours versus 10 to 12 hours) as well as a stupendously scenic drive through primary and secondary forest (once you get past the palm-oil plantations, that is).