Often called the 'Land Below the Wind' because it lies below the typhoon belt, Sabah occupies the eastern part of North Borneo and is East Malaysia's second largest state with an area of 74,500sq.km. Sabah has the South China Sea on the west and the Sulu and Celebes Seas on the east with a total coastline of some 1,440 km. Sabah is mountainous with lush tropical rainforests. Its population of nearly two million is made up of 32 colourful ethnic communities. Kota Kinabalu, the capital, is a fertile lowland plain where most commercial and administrative activity is concentrated. It is the eastern gateway to Malaysia with direct air links to Brunei, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Indonesia and Taiwan.