Things To Do in Lahad Datu

Things To Do in Lahad Datu

Top Things to Do in Lahad Datu: Must-See Attractions and Activities

Searching for the best things to do in Lahad Datu? This guide covers the must-see attractions and activities, from unique caves and historical sites to thrilling outdoor adventures. Dive in and discover the top experiences Lahad Datu has to offer.

Key Takeaways

  • Lahad Datu is rich in natural wonders, offering lush rainforests, coral reefs, and unique cave clusters for exploration.
  • The Gudang Tembakau Memorial Site and the Guan Yin Temple are key historical and cultural attractions in Lahad Datu.
  • For adventure seekers, Segama ATV Park and Taliwas River Conservation Area provide exciting outdoor activities like ATV rides, jungle trekking, and river tubing.


Lahad Datu is a place where history and nature intertwine seamlessly, creating a captivating destination for travelers. This town is widely known for its abundant flora and fauna, offering visitors an opportunity to immerse themselves in a rich natural environment. The locals are proud of their heritage and the natural beauty that surrounds them, making Lahad Datu a charming and welcoming destination.

We will guide you through Lahad Datu’s top attractions and activities, which include:

  • Unique caves
  • Historical sites
  • Thrilling outdoor adventures
  • Breathtaking marine life at Blue Ring Reef

From the fascinating history of Gudang Tembakau to the breathtaking marine life at Blue Ring Reef, there’s something for every type of traveler. Let’s delve into what makes Lahad Datu a fascinating destination.

Discover Lahad Datu’s Natural Wonders

Lahad Datu is a treasure trove of natural wonders waiting to be explored. Its rich flora and fauna are a testament to the town’s vibrant ecosystem, making it a paradise for nature enthusiasts. Some of the highlights of Lahad Datu include:

  • Wandering through dense rainforests, where every step brings you closer to a new discovery
  • Diving into crystal-clear waters teeming with marine life
  • Exploring untouched landscapes that offer a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life

The beauty of Lahad Datu lies in its untouched landscapes that offer a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Lahad Datu boasts a diverse range of natural attractions, from lush forests and unique caves to vibrant coral reefs. Whether you’re trekking through the jungle, exploring hidden caves, or snorkeling in the azure waters, you’ll be surrounded by the incredible biodiversity that this region is known for. Get ready to be captivated by Lahad Datu’s astounding natural beauty.

Exploring Gua Tapadung

The Tapadung Cave Cluster, a hidden treasure along the banks of the Segama River, is one of Lahad Datu’s most compelling attractions. These caves, protected by the members of the Idahan tribe, hold a unique charm and a sense of mystery. With approximately 39 caves within the cluster, each one offers a different adventure and a peek into the region’s natural history.

Among the notable caves, Samang Buat Cave, also known as the Long Coffin Cave, stands out with its eerie legend. According to local folklore, two young men who fought to death over a girl were placed in the same coffin in a longitudinal arrangement, giving the cave its name. Another fascinating cave is the Pusu Ronggos Cave, each telling its own story and adding to the rich tapestry of the Tapadung Cave Cluster.

The Tapadung Cave Cluster is also the natural habitat for the white Walit bird, a species that adds to the uniqueness of the area. As you explore these caves, you’ll be captivated not only by their geological formations but also by the diverse fauna that inhabits them. This adventure that blends natural beauty with cultural history is not to be missed when visiting Lahad Datu.

Visit Gudang Tembakau Memorial Site

Step back in time at the Gudang Tembakau Memorial Site, a place that holds significant historical importance in Lahad Datu. Originally built by a German company in 1888, this former tobacco warehouse became renowned worldwide in the 1950s for producing some of the best tobacco. The site now serves as a memorial, reflecting its storied past and the impact it had on the local economy.

The Gudang Tembakau warehouse was a bustling hub of activity until its closure in 1962 due to high export costs and decreasing demand for its tobacco. Today, visitors can explore the site and learn about its history, gaining insight into the tobacco industry’s rise and fall in this region. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the past and a reminder of the ever-changing nature of industries and economies.

Thrilling Rides at Segama ATV Park

If you’re in search of an adrenaline rush, Segama ATV Park is the ideal getaway, offering exhilarating rides through verdant palm plantations. This adventure park caters to both beginners and experienced riders, ensuring everyone can enjoy the excitement of an ATV ride. With various models to choose from, you can find the perfect ride that suits your comfort level and experience.

Each ride is guided by experienced instructors who prioritize safety while maximizing the fun. As you navigate through the scenic views of the surrounding palm plantations and lush greenery, you’ll feel the rush of excitement and the joy of exploration.

The park’s pricing is also reasonable, with semi-automatic transmission ATVs available for MYR80 and automatic transmission ATVs for MYR70 on weekends and public holidays.

Dive into Blue Ring Reef

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The Blue Ring Reef, discovered in 2017 by local tour operator Glen Hapirulla, rapidly gained international recognition as a diving and snorkeling hotspot. This unique reef offers a vibrant underwater world filled with various types of corals and marine life. The reef’s unique features include:

  • A diverse range of corals
  • Abundance of marine life
  • Accessible depth of 24 meters
  • Ideal spot for both novice and experienced divers

With more than 60 dive sites, the Blue Ring Reef is a treasure trove for underwater explorers. Whether you’re swimming among colorful fish or marveling at the intricate coral formations, the experience is nothing short of magical. To arrange a trip to this underwater paradise, you can contact Dominic Monteroso of Darvel Bay Diving.

Panoramic Views from Tower of Heaven

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The 30-meter high Tower of Heaven provides a stunning 360-degree panorama of Mount Silam, lush forests, and the clear blue sea. Accessible via a mountain road, this tower provides one of the best vantage points in Lahad Datu. On a clear day, the views are simply spectacular, with the coastline, forested ridges, and Darvel Bay stretching out before you.

Ascending the Tower of Heaven is an experience in itself, enhancing the view compared to ground-level viewpoints. The clear weather conditions further enhance the panorama, making it a perfect spot for photography and soaking in the natural beauty of the region. Don’t forget to look out for the two radio masts in the foreground, adding a touch of modernity to the scenic landscape.

Enjoy Irunji Agrotourism Activities

Irunji Agrotourism, which began as a fish farming business, has blossomed into a charming agrotourism destination. Under the advice of the Sabah Tourism Board, Irunji Agrotourism now offers visitors a range of activities, including:

  • fishing
  • feeding fish
  • kayaking
  • swimming with large but tame fish

It’s a unique blend of leisure and learning, perfect for families, people, and nature lovers alike.

Owned by Irunji Bin Haji Parija, this site provides a serene and engaging environment where visitors can:

  • Connect with nature
  • Enjoy hands-on experiences
  • Cast a line
  • Paddle through calm waters

The activities at Irunji Agrotourism promise a memorable day out in the beautiful surroundings of Lahad Datu.

Experience Traditional Batik Ecoprint

At Alnisya Collection, visitors can dive into the traditional art of batik production using natural materials. This unique experience includes:

  • Creating your own designs using the hammering technique
  • Using real leaves as design motifs
  • Learning about traditional crafts
  • Taking home a piece of your own creation

It’s a hands-on activity that not only teaches you about traditional crafts but also lets you take home a piece of your own creation.

The hammering technique involves using a rubber mallet to transfer leaf patterns onto fabric, with leaves such as Teak and Blue Pea being popular choices. This method creates intricate and beautiful designs that reflect the natural beauty of the leaves themselves. At Alnisya Collection, you’ll not only learn about the art of batik but also get to appreciate the patience and skill that goes into this traditional craft.

Relax at Pantai Payang Beach

Image source: Pantai Payang Beach Facebook Page

Pantai Payang Beach, located in Lahad Datu district, Sabah, provides a tranquil setting ideal for relaxation. The beach offers:

  • Scenic views of the coastline
  • Gentle sound of waves
  • Ideal setting for unwinding and enjoying a peaceful day
  • Popular spot for picnics and family outings
  • Beautiful backdrop for creating cherished memories.

Accessible by road and equipped with basic amenities, Pantai Payang Beach ensures a comfortable visit for all. Whether you’re lounging on the sand, taking a stroll along the shore, or simply soaking in the tranquil atmosphere, this beach is a must-visit for anyone looking to relax and recharge in the natural beauty of Sabah.

Adventure at Taliwas in Danum Valley

The Taliwas River Conservation Area in Danum Valley offers a myriad of outdoor activities for a truly immersive rainforest experience. Previously known as Taliwas Camp and managed by the Yayasan Sabah Group, this conservation area is located about 36 km from Lahad Datu town. The campground, equipped with basic amenities, provides a comfortable base for exploring the lush tropical rainforest that surrounds it.

Activities available at the Taliwas River Conservation Area include:

  • Jungle trekking
  • Bird watching
  • Wildlife spotting
  • River tubing
  • Camping
  • Photography

Whether you’re an adventure seeker or a nature lover, the Taliwas River Conservation Area has something for everyone. Come and experience the beauty and tranquility of the rainforest firsthand.

Visitors can engage in various activities such as jungle trekking, bird watching, and river swimming. The easily trekked waterfalls like Taliwas Waterfall and Vanilla Waterfall add to the adventure, offering refreshing spots to cool off and enjoy nature. Electricity is available only from 6 pm to 11 pm daily, emphasizing the sustainable tourism efforts in place.

The Taliwas River Conservation Area offers:

  • Approximately 9,546 hectares of unique ultramafic and lowland forest
  • A biodiversity hotspot
  • Opportunities for birdwatching and observing diverse species in their natural habitat
  • Camping under the canopy or trekking through the forest
  • An unforgettable adventure in the heart of nature

Stroll Through Taman Bandar Lahad Datu

Taman Bandar Lahad Datu, a city park located in Lahad Datu, Sabah, is a tranquil haven featuring lush green landscapes and well-kept walking paths. Ideal for leisurely strolls or more vigorous jogging, the park’s tranquil atmosphere provides a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

It’s a great spot for relaxation and unwinding, allowing you to enjoy the simple pleasures of a walk in the park.

Visit Darvel Lagoon Hampilan

Nestled in Kampung Hampilan within the Kunak district of Sabah, Darvel Lagoon Hampilan is a picturesque destination that offers stunning scenic views. This lagoon is a sanctuary for nature enthusiasts, providing a tranquil setting ideal for relaxation and outdoor pursuits. The beauty of the lagoon lies in its:

  • untouched natural landscape
  • crystal clear waters
  • lush green surroundings
  • diverse flora and fauna

Making it a must-visit spot for anyone traveling to Lahad Datu.

Visitors to Darvel Lagoon Hampilan can engage in a variety of water sports activities, including:

  • kayaking
  • bird watching
  • banana boat rides
  • flying fish

The lagoon’s accessibility via Jalan Darvel Lagoon off Jalan Sappang Scheme makes it a convenient destination for a day trip filled with adventure and scenic beauty.

Unwind at Centella Herbs Shop & Therapy

Centella Herbs Shop & Therapy in Lahad Datu offers a variety of traditional massages and therapies for a genuinely relaxing experience. Services include Bekam Sunnah (traditional cupping therapy) and specialized postnatal care for women.

One of the standout offerings is the Aura Perkasa package, which includes multiple therapies designed to rejuvenate and invigorate. This is the perfect place to unwind and recharge after a day of exploring.

Explore Lahad Datu Guan Yin Temple

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Dedicated to Guan Yin, the Bodhisattva of compassion in Chinese Buddhism, the Lahad Datu Guan Yin Temple is a tranquil and spiritual haven. Known as ‘The One Who Perceives the Sounds of the World,’ Guan Yin is one of the most beloved deities in Chinese Buddhism, often invoked for her miraculous powers to assist those in need. The temple provides a peaceful environment where visitors can reflect and find solace.

Typically depicted as a young woman in white robes holding a jar of pure water and a willow branch, Guan Yin is celebrated widely, especially on the 19th day of the sixth lunar month for her attainment of Buddhahood. Visiting this temple offers an opportunity to learn about Chinese Buddhist traditions and to experience a moment of tranquility amidst the vibrant culture of Lahad Datu.

Masjid Nurul Iman: A Spiritual Retreat

Masjid Nurul Iman, located in Lahad Datu, Sabah, is a major spiritual hub for the local Muslim community. This mosque is a place of worship and reflection, offering a serene retreat for both locals and visitors. As a hub of the Muslim community in Lahad Datu, it stands as a symbol of faith and unity, welcoming all who seek a moment of spiritual peace.


Lahad Datu is undeniably a destination brimming with diverse attractions and activities that cater to all types of travelers. From the mystical allure of Gua Tapadung and the historical significance of Gudang Tembakau to the adrenaline-pumping adventures at Segama ATV Park and the serene beauty of Pantai Payang Beach, there is something for everyone in this charming town. Each attraction offers a unique experience, whether it’s diving into vibrant marine life at Blue Ring Reef or creating your own batik designs at Alnisya Collection.

As you explore the natural wonders, delve into the rich history, and engage in the thrilling activities that Lahad Datu has to offer, you’ll find yourself enchanted by its charm and beauty. So pack your bags, embrace the spirit of adventure, and discover the hidden gems of Lahad Datu. This captivating destination awaits your exploration and promises an unforgettable journey filled with memorable experiences.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to explore the natural wonders of Lahad Datu?

You should visit attractions like Gua Tapadung, Blue Ring Reef, and the Taliwas River Conservation Area to immerse yourself in the rich flora and fauna of Lahad Datu. Enjoy unique experiences at each location.

Can beginners enjoy the ATV rides at Segama ATV Park?

Absolutely! Segama ATV Park provides a great experience for beginners with various ATV models and guided rides to ensure safety and enjoyment for all levels of riders. You’ll have a blast!

What activities can I do at Irunji Agrotourism?

You can enjoy fishing, feeding fish, kayaking, and swimming with large but tame fish at Irunji Agrotourism. It’s a fantastic destination for families and nature lovers.

How do I arrange a dive trip to the Blue Ring Reef?

You can arrange a dive trip to the Blue Ring Reef by contacting a tour agency in Sabah for a unique diving experience with vibrant corals and marine life.

What is the significance of Masjid Nurul Iman in Lahad Datu?

Masjid Nurul Iman is a significant spiritual center for the Muslim community in Lahad Datu, serving as a place of worship and reflection for both locals and visitors seeking spiritual peace.

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