When travelling here in Sabah make sure tha you are protected from bugs and mosquitos!!, Like anywhere here in the tropics of South East Asia Mosquitos pose a big problem as they transmit Malaria and Dengue Fever, Both of these viruses can cause huge health problems for the victim..especially in the evenings wear loose fitting long sleeve shirts and long trousers/pants to alleviate the chances of being bitten Cover ALL bare skin with a strong Mosquito repellant...Don't worry about the smell "aroma" as everyone will smell the same ....if they are smart!!! See your doctor before setting out if you decide to take a course of anti- Malaria medication..
Like all of the tropics I found it always neccesary to carry with me adequate amounts of fresh bottled water. The heat here is constant with very high humidity ,being located very close to the equator. Dehydration can creep up on you here and is always good to be able to replace the lost fluids.. Always wear a hat here and a good sunscreen, I saw some really bad cases of sunburn on the beach here..
When purchasing your bottled water ALWAYS make sure that the cap "seal" has not been broken and the bottle has been refilled with local tap water!!! ..I was caught this way and suffered the consequences for a few bad days.. Buy your water at the supermarket and keep it in your hotel/hostel refridgerator.
I had been visiting Pulau Sapi every year in the 90's but since a tragedy struck, I kept away from the island. My friends and I were snorkelling at the area between Pulau Sapi and Pulau Gaya. The water was pristine, the sky was clear and there was hardly any waves. At mid-day, we headed back to the beach for lunch. But alas, one of our friends was floating in the water already blue in the face and lifeless. The water was about 3-4 metres deep. There was no apparent sign of struggle nor difficulty faced. At the autopsy, it was found that the person had died of asthma attack.
So please, if anyone has had a history of asthma, do not venture into the waters, and if you really have to, please just stick around with a group of friends or with lifeguards around.