Sabah is blessed with many great beach locations, and although most of them are a little distance from town, one in particular is worth a visit.
First Beach in Tanjung Aru is not far from the airport and a short walk from Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort and always has a buzz going thanks to a few eateries, a couple of bars and the very popular hawker food centre.
On a good day a stretch of clear, soft sandy beach will greet you, perfect for stretching out on and catching rays. Oddly enough you won’t often find tourists doing this though, as the beach can get incredibly hot during the day.
Sunset is a totally different bucket of sand though, as a cooling breeze appears, beach activities thrive, and people appear from where they hid from the day’s heat to enjoy the cooler air and the absolute magnificent sunsets.
On a bad day, well, trash wash up on the beach and the smell from nearby storm-water drains waft on the breeze, but bad days, luckily, are outweighed by the good.
First Beach Tanjung Aru is not just a beach, it has various restaurants and a few other facilities too. Here’s what you can find:
- A seafood restaurant at First Beach caters to groups and has cultural dance shows;
- Hawker Food Stalls offer chicken wings, local dishes and fresh fruit juices;
- Sugarbun, a local fast-food restaurant;
- Basic shower facilities are available on the Hawker Food Stall side;
Some of the activities you may spot on the beach include
- Ultimate Frisbee (on Tuesdays and Thursday evenings);
- touch rugby;
- good old swimming in the warm, shallow ocean waters – wouldn’t swallow any of it though;