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TUESDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2017

Let's Go Bird Watching in Sarawak

If you are planning to go to Sarawak any time soon, why don’t you make time to go bird watching while you are there? Sarawak has a lot of destinations where you can do just that!

Sarawak, the legendary land of headhunters and hornbills, is the largest state in Malaysia. This state occupies the north-western portion of the great island of Borneo. Here, the ever wet rainforests reach unparalleled diversity and are home to various kind of tropical wildlife and animals.

A great portion of Borneo’s 650 bird species have been recorded in the state, including most of the island’s endemics such as the bizarre Bornean Bristlehead. Sarawak offers superb birdwatching opportunities as it holds the highest number of national parks and nature reserves in the country. These range from balmy lowlands and shorelines to cold mossy forests at the summits of the higher mountains.

 

Photo credit to Sarawak Tourism Board

 

Kuching and Surrounding Areas

 

Black Oriole (Photo credit to Sarawak Tourism Board)

 

Kuching is a logical place to begin your birding adventure in Sarawak with an international airport and good roads are being well-provided. There are numerous nature reserves within an hour drive of the city that offers you a variety of bird watching opportunities. One of the most popular park is Kubah National Park, which has beautiful lowland rainforests and has a great variety of birds. A number of endemic species for example Bornean Banded Kingfisher, Bornean Wren Babbler, and Blue-banded Pitta could be found here.

 

Bornean Wren Babbler (Photo credit to Sarawak Tourism Board)

 

Bornean Wren Banded Kingfisher (Photo credit to Sarawak Tourism Board)

 

Pygmy White-eye (Photo credit to Sarawak Tourism Board)

 

Next is Santubong National Park. It is located near the coast, with its rugged sandstone terrain and tall rainforests. This is the closest site to Kuching which offers you a chance of seeing Rhinoceros Hornbill, one of Sarawak’s most emblematic birds. It is also a protected species.

Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, although better known for its population of reintroduced orangutans, is also an excellent bird watching destination that hosts many lowland birds, including the rare Long-billed Partridge. Further south, near the Indonesian border, Borneo Highlands comprises a range of forested hills culminating in Mount Penrissen at over 1300 m in elevation. This area gives you the chance to see some of Borneo’s endemic submontane birds, including Pygmy White-eye, Chestnut-crested Yuhina, Bornean Barbet, and Mountain Serpent-Eagle.

 

Northern Sarawak

 

Asian Paradise Flycatcher (Photo credit to Sarawak Tourism Board)

 

Other than Kuching, you could also fancy bird watching in Miri. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Gunung Mulu National Park is Sarawak’s most famous park. Mulu is incredibly biodiverse and hosts a wealth of rare flora and fauna, although being well known for its amazing limestone cave systems.

The entrance to Deer Cave is an almost guaranteed site for the Bat Hawk, especially at dusk when up to 1.8 million Wrinkle-lipped Bats emerge from the cave. Mulu has an eye-catching bird list of 262 species, which includes all eight species of Bornean hornbills, and over half of the island’s endemics such as Fruithunter, Hose’s Broadbill, and Whitehead’s Spiderhunter. Montane specialties can only be seen via a multi-day trek to the upper slopes of Mount Mulu.

Pulong Tau National Park is Sarawak’s largest reserve, comprising nearly 600 sq. km of pristine montane rainforest. This national park occupies the western flank of the Kelabit highlands. Its spectacular mountain landscapes include Mount Murud, Sarawak’s highest peak (2,424 m), and Tama Abu range.

The main villages, Bario, Ba’ Kelalan, Long Banga and Long Lellang, can be reached by flights from Miri, or alternatively, by four-wheel-drive vehicle. More than 300 species of birds are listed in this park, including the rare endemic Bulwer’s Pheasant and Black Partridge. Pulong Tau National Park has a broad altitudinal range and habitat diversity, and is home to numerous other endemic species including Bornean Whistler, Mountain Barbet, Whitehead’s Broadbill, and the enigmatic Dulit Frogmouth.

 

Dulit Frogmouth (Photo credit to Sarawak Tourism Board)

 

In the far north of Sarawak in Ulu Trusan region, the mountainous Payeh Maga IBA is one of the state’s most promising new birding destinations. You can get there by four-wheel-drive vehicle from the town of Lawas, and while day hike into the forest is possible, you should be prepared to camp in mountain shelters if you wish to spend more time at the higher elevations. Special attractions here that you could also check out include Bornean Frogmouth, Bornean Leafbird, Bare-headed Laughingthrush, and the recently rediscovered Black Oriole.

 

Bornean Bristlehead (Photo credit to Sarawak Tourism Board)

 

Coastal Areas

At the coastal areas, you could spot waders and other water birds as Sarawak offers excellent wintering grounds for those species along its extensive coastline. The globally Vulnerable Chinese Egret often congregates in significant numbers in the Bako-Buntal Bay with possibly the largest concentration of the species in Borneo.

 

Eurasian and Fareastern Curlews (Photo credit to Sarawak Tourism Board)

 

Buntal, a fishing village less than an hour’s drive from Kuching, gives access to part of this coastal region. Spectacular congregations of large waterbirds such as the Far-eastern and Eurasian Curlews are not unusual in the Bako-Buntal Bay in the wintering months, which is usually the rainy season in Sarawak. Some 55 species of water birds, including the Pacific Golden Plover (often seen in its beautiful breeding plumage) have been recorded here. You could also enjoy seafood meals while you are there in Buntal!

 

Rhinoceros Hornbill (Photo credit to Sarawak Tourism Board)

 

How about that? Are you excited to go for an adventure in Sarawak now? Check out our website for different types of great tour packages that we offer you and book your tour with us now or you can email us for a customised tour at here.

Tags: Sarawak | Bird watching | Bird | Birds | Borneo | Sightseeing | Nature | Wildlife | Malaysia | Fun | Leisure | Adventure |

THURSDAY, AUGUST 10, 2017

A Memorable Trip to Sabah with My University Friends

On 18 to 22 March 2017, I went on a 5 days 4 nights class trip with fellow Uni-mates to Sabah, accompanied by our subject lecturer, Encik Yaziz Kasim, for educational purposes. Among the attractions that we had visited in Sabah were Desa Cattle Dairy Farm, Poring Hot Springs, ‘Fish Spa’ in Tagal Moroli, Philippine Market and more. We had our itinerary all planned out months before the trip.

On the first day, we went on a City Tour, with the tour guides being amongst ourselves after doing some individual research about the places that we were going to visit. We went to interesting spots in Kota Kinabalu, such as the Double Six Monument, Merdeka Field Kota Kinabalu, Signal Hill Observatory Tower, Aquarium & Marine Museum at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and more. The main purpose of the day was to get to know more about Sabah and learning about their history.

Kota Kinabalu Waterfront

Group photo at Kota Kinabalu Waterfront

 

 


A baby turtle swimming in the UMS aquarium

 

 

 

The next day, we got a bit adventurous and went to explore the Gaya Street Sunday Market, the Monsopiad Cultural Village, the Upside Down House and the 3D Museum. The Gaya Street Sunday Market was packed with people including both locals and foreign tourists, as expected, since the market is only opened on Sundays and the goods sold are interesting and most of them represent the culture in Sabah. That day, I put my Korean language skills to test as I got the chance to converse with a Korean family. Despite being nervous, the family praised me for it.

At the Monsopiad Cultural Village, we learnt a bit about Monsopiad culture from the friendly tour guides there, which included learning to make a fire manually using woods and sticks, learning the traditional dance and music, and the historical headhunting culture. Meanwhile at the Upside Down House and 3D Museum, we gained fun and exciting memories as we took photos with the interesting arts and crafts.

Just 'hanging around' on the ceiling of the bathroom

 

 

 

There is even an 'upside down' car! And it's a Kancil!

 

 

 

Fighting bare hands with a man with weapon? It's okay, it's just a 3D art!

 

 

 

A photo at the end of the 3D Museum in Sabah

 

 


On the third day, we woke up as early as 4.30 in the morning to get ready for the day trip to Kundasang. We had our breakfasts at the nearby café at 6AM and then split into two groups before taking off with two vans at 7am.

After about two hours, we arrived at our first destination, the Desa Cattle Dairy Farm. The weather was rather nice and cool that day so we were able to enjoy the beautiful scenery at the site, which is also known as the Little New Zealand at Sabah. I also got the chance to feed the cows and goats at the feeding area at a low price. Then, we went to Tagal Moroli ‘Fish Spa’ to allow dead cells on our skin to be nibbled off by the Tagal fishes. It was a fun experience despite feeling a tiny bit of pain from being ‘kissed’ by the fishes. Next we went to Poring Hot Springs as our last destination for the day to relax our mind and body before going back to Kota Kinabalu at around 6pm.

Enjoying a warm dip at Poring Hot Springs

 

 


On Day 4 four, our main focus was on Corportate Social Responsinily-related activities. We went to Rumah Amal Kasih, an orphanage home in Kota Kinabalu, to help the owners of the home and create fun memories with the children raised there. We helped to clean and organize the house with the lead from the owner and also took our time to celebrate the birthday of one of the children there. The owner was grateful with our help and hoped to see us again soon. Then, we went to UiTM Sabah for Cultural Exchange Program and met up with our fellow diploma students and lecturers there.


On the last day of the trip, we went to check out the Philippine Market in the afternoon since our flight was at 6pm. Noticeably, the market was packed with foreign tourists coming from all over the world and it was very interesting to see the sight and sound. We bought a little souvenir and local snacks, such as Kuih Cincin, keropok, ikan manis a and more. Here is a tip that you could apply; When buying seafoods at the market, remember to bargain the price especially when the price were marked up very high. to bring back home to our families and friends. Thankfully, we arrived in Kuching safely and went home with happy memories.

Tags: Kota Kinabalu | Sabah | Pakej Percutian ke Sabah | Pakej Percutian | Kundasang | Poring Hot Spring | Tamparuli | Tagal | Fish Spa | Holiday Package | Student | Student trip | University trip to Sabah | Double Six Monument | Merdeka Field Kota Kinabalu | Pasar Filipino |

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2016

Mulu WhiteWater Rafting

Are you heading to Mulu for a few days of fun, tour and adventure?

If you are heading to Mulu National Park, then you might as well join our WhiteWater Rafting at Sungai Tutoh. This is the latest list of activities organised by Benarat Lodge.

 

It is a 2 hours adventure for the thrill seeker along the Tutoh River, Add in the fun into your itinerary, as you tour the Caves, witness the 5 million bats coming out from the caves and onwards to see the Penan Settlement.

 

 

 



 

 

The Whitewater Rafting package includes safety jacket, trainer to guide you and off you go!

Rate per person: RM150 per person

 

To know more information, please email us at: Ask@SarawakBorneoTour.com

 

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TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014

Palawan's Jewel: The Puerto Princesa

Puerto Princesa in the Philippines is located in the western province of Palawan which some would describe as being the country's final ecological frontier. It is the least populate city in the Philippines with a population of around 210,000.

 

Puerto Princesa is an example of a multicultural melting pot in the Philippines. It has a diverse population of indigenous groups such as the Batak, Palawanos, Molbogs and Takbanwas living together in the city. They have a rich history of cultural legacy and folklore waiting to be explored. Filipinos migrants from other provinces also add to the potpourri of diversity in the city.  Palawan city is also known as a model city in terms of its environmental preservation efforts and cleanliness.

Not many have heard of Puerto Princesa. You might be wondering what is so special about this small Philippines city. If you travel 50 kilometers north of the city you will discover one of the most awe-inspiring natural attractions that you have ever seen in your entire life, and it is the Puerto Princesa Underground River. Since 1999, this river was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Puerto Princesa Underground River is the longest navigable underground river in the world. You can navigate up to 4 kilometers in this great river that flows directly into the South China Sea.

This magnificent river was also chosen as one of the new 7 Wonders of Nature in early 2012. Ever since the Puerto Princesa Underground River was discovered, tourists began to flock into this small Palawan city to explore this special river. The number of tourists visiting Puerto Princesa Underground River has risen at an exponential rate, causing the city authority to limit the number of visitors at 780 per day. The tour of the underground river is so popular that visitors have to book their tour a few months in advance in order to secure a place.

With its magnificent cave system, it is not surprising that the Puerto Princesa Underground River is always attracting visitors, explorers and scientists from all over Philippines and abroad. These rising numbers flocking Puerto Princesa is a proof to the fact that the river has a lot of wonders to offer its visitors. You will be greeted with a breathtaking view of the caverns and rock formations when you navigate into the river. The 24 kilometers long St. Pauls Underground River Cave that contains the underground portion of Cabayugan River, stretching around 8.2 kilometers, is the main attraction within the Princesa Underground River system. You must see it by yourself in order to appreciate the magnitude of its beauty.

The Princesa Underground River has a complete mountain-to-sea ecosystem. It is indeed beyond the shadow of a doubt that the river rightly deserves the designation of both the UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the new Seven Wonders of Nature.

 

This hidden jewel of the Philippines has now begun to show its sparkling intensity to the whole world as Puerto Princesa is starting to be transformed into a major tourist destination. Perhaps it is now your turn to discover the glorious beauty of Puerto Princesa and its underground river.

Tags: Puerto Princesa | Palawan | Batak | Palawanos | Molbogs | Takbanwas | UNESCO Heritage | Underground River | Cabayugan River | |

FRIDAY, MAY 24, 2013

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in Sepilok, Sandakan Sabah

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in the Malaysian Sabah District of North Borneo was founded in 1964, to rehabilitate orphan of orangutans. The site is 43 sq km of protected land at the edge of Kabili Sepilok Forest Reserve. Today around 60 to 80 orangutans are living freely in the reserve.

 

The facility provides medical care for orphaned and confiscated orangutans as well as dozens of other wildlife species. There are also some other animals that may be found in Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, namely sun bears, gibbons, Sumatran rhinos and the occasional injured elephants.

Sepilok Orang Utan Sabah

 

Recently rehabilitated individuals have their diet supplemented by daily feedings of milk and bananas. The additional food supplied by the centre is purposefully designed to be monotonous and boring so as to encourage the apes to start to forage for themselves.

 

In the wild orangutan babies stay with their mothers for up to six years while they are taught the skills they need to survive in the forest, the most important of which is climbing. At Sepilok a buddy system is used to replace a mother’s teaching. A younger ape will be paired up with an older one to help them to develop the skills they need.

Sepilok Orang Utan Sabah

 

The creation of reserve areas minimises the impact of deforestation on orangutans and far fewer young apes become the victim of the illegal pet trade as a result of these ‘sanctuaries’. Babies are often caught during logging or forest clearance or captured by poachers who slaughter the adult apes to reach them. The Malaysian Government has clamped down on illegal trading, outlawing all such practice and imposing prison sentences on anyone caught keeping them as pets.

 

While orangutan rehabilitation is still the primary goal at Sepilok, it also focuses on public education on conservation, research and assistance on other endangered species such as the rhinoceros. Sepilok is considered by the Wildlife Department to be a useful educational tool with which to educate both the locals and visitors alike, but they are adamant that the education must not interfere with the rehabilitation process. Visitors can apply to work there as a volunteer helping with the cleaning and caring of the orangutans.

 

Visitors are restricted to walkways. Some orangutans have become familiar with people but touching them is strongly discouraged, and while the apes are naturally shy and gentle, the more mischievous ones may try to grab your camera or hat, in which case you should call for a ranger as trying to wrestle the 200 pound apes may not be a good idea. For the more adventurous, there is trekking through mangrove forests. As this is under the Forestry Department, you will have to get a permit from them before trekking the 5km trail which runs through Sepilok Laut. You can also arrange for a return boattransfer or accommodation in chalets in the forests.

 

You must go to Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre if you would like to know more about the orangutan and MASWings makes it easy for you by providing you direct flights to Sandakan, Sabah. Visit www.maswings.com.my now to book your flight!

Tags: Sepilok Orangutan | Borneo Sabah | Sandakan | Best Sabah Hotels | Borneo Island | MASwings | sun bears | gibbons | Sumatran rhinos |

THURSDAY, APRIL 25, 2013

Main Reasons Why Sabah And Sarawak Must Be your Ultimate Destinations

  Sabah and Sarawak are two different locations in Borneo Island. The word Borneo has been there since year 1839 when James Brooke made his first landing in Kuching city itself with his ship by the name of The Loyalist. Ever since then, the White Rajah has been governing Sabah and Sarawak for several generations, which eventually gave Sabah and Sarawak a new chapter.

 

  As time flies by, Sabah and Sarawak now becomes the ultimate destination for domestic and international tourist spot. Both Sabah and Sarawak have so much to offer when it comes to travel. Be it for family vacation, business trips or personal visits.

 

If you are still unsure what Sabah and Sarawak have to offer you, then here are the main reasons why Sabah and Sarawak must be your ultimate destination.

 

 

Food

  Food alone is more than enough to represent the cultures in both Sabah and Sarawak. In Sarawak, places like Kuching City, is a heaven for food lovers on their personnal blogs. Some even described the taste of food in Kuching itself, is like a fantasy and filled with all sorts of colours and presentations.

 

  In Sabah, food such as the Sago worm is an exquisite dish that you can find in the jungle. It is usually served deep fried or you can eat after it is boiled.

Culture

  Both local and international tourists have so much to learn when it comes to culture. For an example, a visit to the longhouse deep within the heart of Sarawak is something to look forward to. Although it is generally known as longhouses, the ethnic groups in Sarawak especially the Ibans are divided into a few different ethnics as can be seen from their ethnic Ngajat dance have different version in the longhouse.

 

  If it is in Sabah, the most unique cultural dance you will find is the Bobohizan dance. Performed by a group of Papar Kadazan, the Sazau Bobohizan dance will be performed by the priestess. The dance is used to send spirits of the dead to a different realm known as Pongouvan.

 

 

Challenges

  The UNESCO heritage site, Mount Kinabalu or the Pinnacles in Mulu National Park will fulfill that desire.

 

  As for Mount Kinabalu, for those who had the experienced of climbing Mulu Pinnacles, Mount Kinabalu is much easier for them, but if you are a first timer, Mount Kinabalu is hard enough to be tackled for a first timer.

 

  Both offered different challenges respectively. Then again, most tourists who took up the challenge on climbing up Mulu Pinnacles mentioned that it was not easy getting up there. It is not just only about the weather, but also the mind and physical toughness is something that you need to prepare before you can attempt the climb Mulu Pinnacles.

 

 

Beautiful Rainforest

 

  The archipelago of rainforests both in Sabah and Sarawak, have been preserved and labelled as protected rainforests in the world. Visiting either one, will let you see how these rainforests in each state tend to grow on top of one another creating a beautiful canopy like you have never seen before.

 

  If you are tourists who happen to be doing some research and looking for new medical discoveries, then you might want to try out Sabah and Sarawak as the million years’ old rainforests will give you rare insights.

 

 

 

Historical values

 

  Every city has a story to tell. And every state changes from time to time leaving historical footprints behind. The Kundasang War Memorial in Sabah is a place where relatives and families of fallen heroes will gather and reflect back on their sacrifices. Those fallen heroes, consist of British and Australian soldiers who marched a total of 160 mile and leaving only 6 survivals to tell their tales.

 

  In Kuching, one of most prominent historical site it is the Kuching City Waterfront itself. Before it was converted into a Waterfront, it was also known as a place for early settlements of the sea Dayaks.

 

  Then in year 1864, after the landing of James Brooke, Chinese businesses started to grow like mushrooms. And the historical business district can still be seen across the road of the entire whole stretch of Kuching Water Front.

 


 

Festive Seasons

 

  Due to the mix culture in Malaysia, especially in Sabah and Sarawak, you will have the Christians, Chinese, Dayaks, Indians and Malays. The different believes and ethnicities, is what makes Malaysia unique. For an example, the Chinese will celebrate the Chinese New Year, Moon Cake Festival, Wesak Day and Chap Goh Mei. As for the Dayaks, it would be the Gawai festivities. Muslims on the other hand will celebrate Hari Raya which is also known as Eeid Season by international Muslims. Christians as usual, will be Christmas and Indians would be the Deepavali.

 

  With all the mixed ethnicities, during the festive seasons, you will see different kinds of cookies and food laid out on the table.

 

 

Food is cheap

 

  Food in Sabah and Sarawak is still considered cheap. All you need to bring is RM 10 in your pocket to have a decent meal and a glass of water from those outdoor street cafes for the day.

 

 

World Rainforest Music Festival

 

  Usually held every year, in the middle of June, the sound of traditional music comes from all over the world and can be heard during this time of the year. During the event itself you will get to hear music from other parts of the world and watch live performances.

 

 

  The above reasons would be good enough for you to decide to pack your bags and head over to Sarawak and Sabah in Borneo.

Tags: Sabah and Sarawak | Borneo Island | Sabah and Sarawak Food | Mount Kinabalu UNESCO Heritage | Mulu National Park | Mulu Pinnacles | Borneo Rainforest | Sabah Sarawak Rainforest | Sabah War Memorial | Kundasang War Memorial | World Rainforest Music Festival | |

MONDAY, APRIL 22, 2013

Most Memorable Trip in Borneo- Day One & Day Two (Part 3): The Nanga Ukom Long House

  The moment we arrived at Nanga Ukom longhouse Sarawak Jared, the assistant to the tuai rumah, warmly greeted us. Jared functions as a secretary to the longhouse chief, tuai rumah by recording the names of any visitor that visits Nanga Ukom longhouse
 
 
  We took a deep breath, settled down for a while and had a little chat with the longhouse residents. As I walked around, I noticed several peculiar objects that were hung all over the long house area. These objects were present in every corner of the longhouse. I asked Jared about these curious objects. He then proceeded to tell me an interesting tale about the object.
 
 
  The Iban people of Sarawak called these objects Piring Ampun. The Piring Ampun serves as a memorial for those who have recently departed. The Piring Ampun is hung on every corner of the long house as a sign for the departed spirits to ask them to go to the next world in peace as their time in this world has ended. The Piring Ampun is hung for a duration of 100 days starting from the date of the deceased’s time of death as the Iban believe that it’ll take the recently departed 100 days to reach his final destination. Food is put on the Piring Ampun as a sign of offering for the departed spirits. I was fascinated by this tale since although I’m an Iban boy I grew up in the city and have never heard of Piring Ampun.
 
The longhouse chief, tuai rumah returned to the longhouse at around 5.30pm. He greeted us warmly and sat down with us. The relatively young tuai rumah, at the age of 28, gave us a tour of the longhouse. He invited the Spanish couple to watch the cock-fighting event or locally known as Sabung Ayam, which they politely refused! As for me, I took the opportunity to watch this traditional longhouse past time. I can see some residents bringing up their best roosters for the event. In this event, the participants from either the same longhouse or another longhouse would pit their roosters against each other to win the bets that are placed on the winning rooster. However, I didn’t manage to catch the exciting part of the cock-fighting event, as both of the roosters in this cockfight were reluctant to fight each other, which was then considered as a draw.
 
 
 
  Our dinner at 7.30pm consisted of mouth-watering traditional Iban cuisine such as chicken cooked with ginger, green vegetables and jungle ferns. I also managed to observe an interesting thing that evening. The tuai rumah’s father was treating his grandson who was down with fever. He smeared a twenty-cent coin with a white sap powder, put in on his grandson’s stomach and recited some prayers. This was the first time that I have even seen a traditional Iban medicine at work.
 
  Later, we all gathered at the hallway and were treated to an enchanting Ngajat dance performance accompanied by the sound of a beating gong. The tuai rumah’s father started the dance and two young ladies then joined him in. The beauty of the Ngajat dance is something that you must experience within the traditional longhouse setting.
 
 
 
 
 
 
  After the dance, the longhouse chief, tuai rumah served us Tuak, a traditional wine made from either rice or sugarcane, to us. The taste is uniquely different from the typical beer or liquor. We are then entertained with some stories.
 
  We were told of the significance of an Iban tattoo that decorated most of the resident’s bodies. Tattoo is like a marker for a person’s rite of passage. When a young man is newly married, a tattoo will be carved on his body before he leaves the community. It is a sign that the boy has reached maturity. Even until today, when a person is about to leave his longhouse, before he travelled, a tattoo will be carved on his body as a reminder on his roots. In the distant headhunting past, a tattoo on an Iban warrior’s knuckle signifies the number of enemies that he has slain.
 
  We also learnt about that evening was on how the next longhouse chief, tuai rumah is selected. The new tuai rumah is a male selected from the previous tuai rumah’s own bloodline based on his capabilities and maturity. If the tuai rumah has no sons, he will have to marry of his daughter and pass down the title to his future grandson. The tuai rumah may only decline appointment by resigning once he took office. The office of the tuai rumah is for the duration of five years.
 
  We then had a history lesson about Nanga Ukom longhouse Sarawak. It was founded 29 years ago by the tuai rumah’s grandfather who moved from the jungles of Batang Ai to be close to the river. Several families subsequently joined him and settled here up to this day. The Nanga Ukom residents worked as farmers and fishermen. They would travel downriver to Lubok Antu to sell their produce at the market.
 
  The tuai rumah then explained to us about customary Iban marriage in Sarawak. In the past girls were married off at the age of 15 or 16. Nowadays, they would be given the choice of getting married at 18 after finishing school to go on to look for employment. The couple wishing to get married must first seek out the tuai rumah and request for a marriage. The tuai rumah would normally consent. If a couple wishes to divorce, they will bring the matter up to the tuai rumah. They would have to explain to the tuai rumah about the reason for the divorce.
 
  After the long story session, our first day ended. We kept ourselves warm by wearing long sleeved clothing as we slept in the cold longhouse.
 
 On the second day of our trip, we woke up at 7 am, had breakfast and readied ourselves for our journey back. We then walked back up the same trail that led us to Nanga Ukom to see how the locals make blowpipes.
 
 
 
  Dani and Ann, the Spanish couple, bought some beautifully made handicrafts. The intricately made and beautifully carved blowpipes and wooden shields on display here really fascinated me. The price was even cheaper here compared to downtown Kuching.
 
 
 The blowpipe that we saw was made out of high-grade quality ironwood. It can last for more than a hundred year. The blowpipe was around 10 inches long, about the same length as a British Musket.  If you want to use the blowpipe, you would have to insert one or two bamboo darts inside it. You will then blow through it to hit the target in front of you.
 
 
 These bamboo darts were lethal as they were usually coated with poison that can cause the victim to fall unconscious. In the past, the headhunters use the blowpipes before decapitating their target.
 
 
 When James Brooke landed in Borneo, he encouraged the locals to use guns. The blowpipe was supposed to be passed down from one generation to another. It is not meant be given away or sold. 
 
  Our tour guide and the Spanish tourists went in for a walk into the jungle for the next 45 minutes. They wanted to see various types of plantations and crops. As my sports shoes were in a bad condition, I had to wait for them from inside the boat. I took more pictures of the dangerous trail that the residents of Nanga Ukom have to go through daily.
 
 
 
  We learnt that what makes the Nanga Ukom culture so beautiful was than the unity that the Nanga Ukom residents have as one family under one roof. They treated us with great warmth and welcomed us like family member. It felt really good and refreshing despite of the short time we spent there.
 
  You definitely must spend some time with the people of Nanga Ukom longhouse and get to know them better. They were eager for us to learn of their culture as well. It was an extremely amazing and fulfilling experience. Although we were tired and exhausted from the long journey, we all agreed that it was worth it. The visit to the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, the pepper farm and the sharing of our time with the Nanga Ukom longhouse residents will leave us a long-lasting memory of the wonders and beauty of this land I call home.
 
 
Tags: Sarawak Longhouse | Borneo Longhouse | Long House in Sarawak | Iban in Sarawak | Sarawak Nanga Ukom Long House | |

SATURDAY, APRIL 13, 2013

Most Memorable Trip in Borneo- Day One (Part 2): Trip to the Pepper Farm and Nanga Ukom

  Our next stop was the pepper farm, which is about one hour's trip from the Semenggoh Wild Life Centre. During our short trip to this wonderful farm, we had   the privilege of discovering the secret behind Sarawak’s well known black pepper farm. I have heard of both locals and tourists giving wonderful feedback on the world famous Sarawak Black Pepper.
 
 
 
  We also saw some grinding machines that are used to produce the wonderful Sarawak Pepper that we have grown to love, especially here in Sarawak. These grinding machines were designed with two sections, namely the right and left section. The right section of the grinding machine is used to produce low quality pepper. The left section on the other hand is reserved for making premium quality pepper.
 
 
  The old machine, which was put up for display purpose, also functions the same way as the new machine apart from the fact that  it was made out of wood and needed to be operated manually.  The old-fashioned grinding machine that we saw in the pepper farm works by the operator to turning the hand-operated round lever. The new machine on the other hand only requires the operator to pour in the pepper seed and let it do the grinding on its own. 
 
 
 
  After we had our fill of observing the fascinating method on how pepper is produced in this farm, we embarked on our three hours journey to Nanga Ukom longhouse. On our way to Nanga Ukom, we made a quick stop at a small town called Lachau to buy some gifts and a few necessities that would be useful for the longhouse community we were planning to visit. I bought some small packets of food for the children of the longhouse. The Spanish couples settled for some bags of salt since our tour guide mentioned that these things are much needed the residents who would otherwise have to travel some distance to town in other to get them.
 
 
  We began to notice that the clouds were getting darker so we proceeded with much haste. We hope that that it will not rain until we reached our destination. We finally arrived at Nanga Ukom at around 4.30pm. From here, we will continue on to the longhouse by boat. Our tour guide was fortunately sensible enough to arrange transportation with the boatmen in advance. We will spend 45 minutes on the boat before finally reaching Nanga Ukom longhouse. The boatmen had to make several stops along the river, turned off the boat engine and navigated by oar through some narrow parts.
 
 
  We were lucky that our journey down the river to Nanga Ukom longhouse was pleasant. In fact, the dark cloudy skies eventually receded and gave way to sunny weather. We were initially very afraid that it would rain and we might end up having to delay our trip. The unspoilt view along the river was very breath taking indeed. After 45 minutes on the boat, we finally reached the vicinity of Nanga Ukom longhouse. From here, it’ll just be a 10 minutes walk towards the hills of Nanga Ukom before we reached the longhouse. We just simply can’t wait to meet the residents of Nanga Ukom longhouse and get to know more about the traditional Iban living. I’m sure that’ll be something to write about!
 
Tags: Sarawak Pepper Farm | Sarawak Kuching Pepper Farm | Borneo Kuching Pepper Farm |

Most Memorable Trip in Borneo- Day One: Trip to Semenggoh Wild Life Centre, Kuching

  I was looking forward for the trip on the first day with Joey, my friendly tour guide and two tourists from Madrid, Spain called Danni and Ann.
 
 
 
  As I looked up the skies, I could see that the weather was good even though it was little bit cloudy. We started off our journey at 8 am from Singgah Sana Lodge in downtown Kuching. While waiting for Joey, we made preparations and checked to see whether we have everything in our backpack.
 
  When we were inside the van, Joe gave us a briefing regarding the rehabilitation centre since it was important for us to know about the rules and regulations when looking at the Orang-utans. He gave us this list of   DO’s and DON’T’s once we arrived.
 
The DON’T’s
 
1)      Do not bring food or drink during the trip as they are sensitive to smell
        2)      Do not use a stick or your fingers to point at the Orang-utans as they will consider it as a   challenge
        3)      Do not use flash while taking pictures as they will be shocked and would possibly attack you.
        4)      Do not attempt to touch the Orang-utan younglings as their mother is very protective.
        5)      Do not stare directly into their eyes as it will provoke them.
        6)      Do not stand too near the Orang-utans for safety reasons.
        7)      Do not bring a camera tripod. They will think that it is a weapon.
 
The DO’s
 
        1)      Do be careful when walking. Orang-utans might perch on the treetops doing their business.
        2)      Always look up as some young naughty Orang-utans tend to throw stones or tree branches
        3)      Do RUN if the shelter ranger told you to do so!
 
  It took us at least an hour’s journey from Singgah Sana Lodge to the rehabilitation centre took us. The journey time can be extended to a further 15-30 minutes if the traffic is busy. We arrived at our designated destination by 9 am. We walked down the trail and followed our guide. We had our first sight of the Orang-utans at our first pit stop.
 
  We were fortunate to see a mother Orang-utan and her child coming out from bushes. Although it was their feeding time, they do not seem to be eating at all. As we walked along the trail, we could see a signboard with all the Orang-utans’ name written on it. It somehow reminded me of the old Western style ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’ poster. 
 
 
 
  When I interviewed one of the rangers named Mr. Mustadza, he told us that the Orang-utans’ names were given after the staff who worked in the rehab centre. Some were named after famous people. One of the Orang-utans here is called Ritchie. The 35 year old Ritchie weighs around 150 to 160 kg. He got his name from James Ritchie, who was a famous photographer as well as a journalist. Somehow, Ritchie did not make his debut appearance on that day. However, we were happy enough to see a female orang-utan called Seduku and her child along the way. Seduku was initially nervous when she encounters a large number of tourists. She tends to carry her child behind her back as if she is trying to prevent humans to take her child away.
 
 
 
  Some of the rangers advised us to keep our distance at least 5-6 feet away from them. Her child was just 5 months old. One hour later, Seduku’s husband, called Anwar, came out. Anwar is lazier and is less protective over his child since he prefers the attention from the photographers. However, we still needed to be cautious and alert just in case anything goes wrong.
 
  According to the rangers, there have been cases where rangers were attacked by the Orang-utans last year. One of the trails where this incident happened was closed for safety reasons. They might look cute and fragile but they can be very aggressive. A ranger told us that the orang-utans are just like humans with their own mood swings. We even learnt some amazing facts about Orang-utans. Do you know that their DNA resembles human DNA by at least 90 to 95 percent? I guess that explains their mood swings. One of the wildlife centre rangers was attacked last year by a female Orang-utan called Hot Mama. This fiery Orang-utan is legendary for her short temper and aggressivenes.
 
 
 
 
  Mustadza explained that the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre was meant to be a rehabilitation centre for Orang-utans and other wildlife. The Semenggoh Wildlife was finally open to the public after receiving enthusiastic public interest and enquiries. Mustadza goes on to explain that the general public wanted to see the wildlife roaming around in a natural setting rather than being caged. I can’t help but agree with him on that point. Seeing these marvellous Orang-utans and other wildlife moving freely in this beautiful wildlife centre is indeed a breath taking and awe-inspiring moment!
 
 
 
  After spending an hour in the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre we followed our guide and headed off to the pepper farm where the famous Sarawak black pepper is produced. As we looked forward to this next part of our trip, we were glad that we had the chance to see the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre and its colourful inhabitants.
Tags: Kuching Semenggoh Wildlife Center | Borneo Kuching Semenggoh Wildlife Center | Orang Utan Semenggoh Wildlife Center | Sarawak Semenggoh Wildlife Center |

MONDAY, APRIL 1, 2013

Michelle Yeoh's Visit for Awards and Conservation

 Datuk Seri Michelle Yeoh, well known for her role as one of the best Bond Girl Heroine in history when she took on the role as Wai Lin in year 1997 by the title of Tomorrow Never Dies and voted as the Top 50 Most Beautiful People in The World by the People’s Magazine in year 1997. Her other notable works can be seen in movies such as, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon in year 2000, The Touch 2002, Silver Hawk 2004, Memoirs of A Geisha 2005, The Mummy Tomb of the Dragon Emperor 2008 and others. She visited Sarawak’s first marine national park, located at Talang – Satang Island, Sematan, Kuching, Sarawak on the 29 March 2013.

Michelle Yeoh having a turtle in her hand

 The international movie star, Datuk Seri Michelle Yeoh was actually impressed with the hard work that had done by the management of Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC). “The SFC did an incredible job and I am sure everyone, including the media will continue to pledge their support to make this programme even better,” she commented.

 

 She added that the turtles do not only belong to Sarawak state but it is also Malaysian turtles to begin with. If no one is taking action on protecting the turtles, it will be gone in future.

 

 Her visit to Talang – Satang Island Kuching, inspired and gave encouragement to the staff at the Sarawak Forestry Corporation during her visit. She was offered to become a spokesperson to promote the turtle conservation initiative by the Sarawak Forestry Corporation.

Michelle Yeoh in action releasing the tiny turtles

 

 

 The international Malaysia born – star is not only just an actress. She is now even a foster mother to those new hatchling turtles. While visiting, other than releasing the 17 newly hatched turtles into the sea, she adopted 10 turtle hatcheries comprising of 800 eggs. It was a programme organised by Sarawak Forestry Corporation.

 

 Datuk Seri Michelle Yeoh eventually had named each hatchery after the name of her family members such as Sy Kai, Michelle Thompson, Caroline and Christian Hu Hu.

 

 Her visit to Kuching was not only for the three day International Film Festival Award and ASEAN 2013 (AIFFA) which ended on Saturday but also to promote the turtle conservation programme.

 

 The Talang - Satang National Park is actually an island that covers a total area of approximately 19, 400 hectares (19.4 sq km). The island itself compromises all land below the high tide marks and the surrounding seas for a radius of 4.8 km from the highest point on each island.

 

 Talang – Satang Island is an island that is responsible for 95 per cent for turtle landings in Sarawak. Among all of the turtles, the Green turtle also known as the Chelonia mydas is the most important of all. 90 per cent of all the turtles that landed on the island are actually the Green Turtle species itself.

 

 Other than actively involved in acting on the big screen and adopting the 10 turtle hatcheries and renaming them after her family members, she is also an active ambassador to:

 

a) Make Road Safe campaign  - www.makeroadssafe.org/Pages/home.aspx

 

b) amfAR Aids Research – http://www.amfar.org/

 

c) LIVE TO LOVE - http://www.live2love.org

 

d) FORCE OF NATURE AID FOUNDATION - http://www.forceofnature.org/

 

e) MERCY MALAYSIA - http://www.mercy.org.my,

 

f) ICM (Institute for Brain and Social Cord Disorder) - http://icm-institute.org/?lang=en.

 

A governor to:

 

g) LoveFaithHope Charitable Fund - http://www.lfhf.org

 

A patron to:

 

h) AIDS Concern - http://www.aidsconcern.org.hk

 

i) Hong Kong Cancer Fund - http://www.cancer-fund.org

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SATURDAY, FEBRUARY2, 2013

Surrey Bike Tour for Greener Kuching

 

Kuching City, the capital of Sarawak is a beautiful city with varieties of secrets. One will never know not until landed in Kuching itself. Located at the Main Bazaar Street opposite Ghee Hoe Hin is a mysterious looking newly opened shop. This week in the beating heart of Kuching City itself, I had an exclusive interview with the Surrey Bike owner.

 

Melvin: Good afternoon sir.

 

Mr Gerald Loew: Good afternoon.

 

Melvin: My name is Melvin and I am from Kuching itself. I heard of your newly opened Surrey Bike shop so I would like to know more about it. But first may I know a little bit about you? 

 

Mr Gerald Loew: My name is Gerald Loew and you can call me Gerald. I am 48 years old and this is my lovely personal assistant. She is my wife. Her name is Mrs Maizan or you can call her Maizan age 38. So, what would you like to know?

 

Melvin: For starters, where are you from?

 

Mr Gerald Loew: I am from Austria itself and my wife here is from Kelantan. We moved to   Indonesia for about one and half years ago. We opened up a small clinic and decided to do it for free to help needy people. We used traditional medical methods to treat our patient.

 

Melvin: So what makes you and your family decided to come down to Kuching and take up the task?

 

Mr Gerald Loew: We heard that there are people in Kuching who needed our services so that was when we decided to get out of our comfort zone and do something new.

 

Melvin: What about the three lovely looking bicycles displayed outside? What are your concepts or ideas behind it?

 

Mr Gerald Loew: Our main idea for the bicycle is for health reasons in the first place. People in this world today, have been using motorbikes, cars and other means of public transports are not in a very good health condition. So, we started the idea with the thought of helping society, by giving them a healthier lifestyle to go around Kuching. What other better ways to view this beautiful city? Besides, we do believe by cycling it also helps to save the environment and creating a greener Kuching.

 

 

Melvin: When you first opened this shop, has it ever occurred to you that people here will mistook it as a rickshaw?

 

Mr Gerald Loew: It happened several numbers of times when we first opened it. It was normal   to us.

 

Melvin: Can you tell us a little bit more about the Surrey Bikes? For an example, its weight and how many people can sit in it?

 

Mr Gerald Loew: Sure! Would love to! These very popular trends of Surrey Bike originated from Austria, weighs at least 130 kilograms for the bigger size. The smaller size is at least 80 kilograms. The bicycle is unlike your ordinary two wheeled type. It comes with a roof, comfortable leather seats, brakes and steering wheel to go around. It is like driving a car.

 

 

Currently, Mr Gerald Loew owns only three of the Surrey Bikes in Kuching which comes in traffic light colours. The bigger size can carry up to four adults and two kids, while the smaller ones which weights at 80 kilos can carry 2 adults and 2 kids. Having a Surrey Bike is a good way for families or couples to go around.

 

Melvin: What is the cost like for one?

 

Mr Gerald Loew: The two smaller units cost RM 7000 while the bigger ones, like that red one over there is at least RM 8000.

 

Melvin: Do you have further plans for these three bikes of yours?

 

Mrs Maizan: My husband was suggesting to me that we can put up head lights on the bike. So that, tourists and public does not only ride it during the day but during the night as well. And perhaps a little bit in future, we have ideas on putting up a simple radio so that when they ride on it, at least they have some entertainment.

 

Melvin: Do you use it to fetch up your kids?

 

Mrs Maizan: Yes we do. Our children enjoy the ride a lot. Even when their classmates wanted to try it out. So we told them to just hop in and give them a short ride.

 

 

Melvin: How much is the rental for these three Surrey Bikes?

 

Mr Gerald Loew: The red Surrey Bike which is slightly bigger than the yellow and green is at RM 25 per hour while the other two is at RM 20                               per hour.

 

Melvin: Do you have any future plans for your Surrey Bike business?

 

Mr Gerald Loew: Yes we do. We are planning to expand the Surrey Bike culture and would like to do it at my wife’s hometown in Kelantan. It will be   interesting to see people in Malaysia trying something new.

 

Melvin: I see. Well, our interview comes to an end and I would to give my personal thanks to you for allowing me to interview you personally and see how does this Surrey Bike works.

 

Mr Gerald Loew: You’re welcome. Would you like to try it for yourself?

 

Melvin: Would love too!

 

When Mr Gerald Loew mentioned the Surrey Bike is not your typical bike he was not kidding at all. It was difficult and heavy. I tried the 80 kilograms. Even to reverse it was hard enough. The Surrey Bike really makes you sweat too. But it was a good experience to try out something new. So, be sure not to miss the spot at the Main Bazarr Kuching! For more information, do contact Mr Gerald Loew for bookings at 016-875 3721 or do contact us for more information at ask@SarawakBorneoTour.com

 

Tags: Kuching Bike Ride | Kuching Surrey Bike | Kuching Bike Adventures | Kuching Bike Tour | Sarawak Surrey Bike Tour | Sarawak Bike Ride | Sarawak Surrey Bike |

7 Reasons to Visit Mahakam River

 

 The Mahakam River is the largest river in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. In the Upper Mahakam River, there is a Dayak Vilage named Long Apari. There are three beautiful side rivers named Apari, Hubung and Kasau. Distance from Balikpapan to Mahakam River will take at least 2 hours and 11 minutes of journey by using car, starting from the South part of Balikpapan itself.

 

 Most of the Dayaks on the upper part of Mahakam river lives on agricultural resources such as birds’ nests, rattan, and gold washing.

 

 If you’re planning to travel here, carrying basic needs can be very challenging and expensive at times.

 

 Long Bagun is located 300 km away from the Spring of Mahakam. It will be the final destination along this river. Long Iram is a small city further down the route. It is much easier for bigger ships to cross this area during the rainy season.It will be difficult for huge ships to travel down this area during the dry season. Canoes with motorboat are always ready as a secondary mode of transportation.

 

  There is a wide river, along the destination of Long Iram. The brown murky water now turns into the visible beautiful panoramic view of the sea. A distant village can now be seen. The distance between the Long Iram and Samarinda, is about 475 km and if it is by sea travel it will be more than that.

 

 Muara Pahu is a lively village and located at the side river that flows through Mahakam. Stopping by here, visitors will get to see local villagers and cheerful children playing along the bridge and about their daily lives.

 

 First thing to do here is to stay a little bit longer and enjoy some food around here. The long various food stalls here will give you great varieties of food to choose.

 

 Travelling down the stream is a river connected to four big lakes. The four big lakes are important for transportation and connect into the next stream that leads down to the north side rivers of Muara Kaman with another two more streams named Kedang Kepala and Belayan.

 

 Visiting and having dinner at Senoni Village is the second thing to do. Most boat owners will make a quick stop for dinner at Senoni which is about 30 km downstream from Muara Kaman. About 30 km downstream from Muara Kaman, is where travellers will find a good can of cold beer served with fresh river lobsters from the locals here.The place alone is actually a great place to dine in.

 

 If you travel further down the stream of Mahakam River, here you will get to see the authentic Muara Muntai wooden village. To get here you need to cross the Jempang Lake.

 

 Feeling a little adventurous? Try out the Ohong Creek. It is a preserved rainforest of over a thousand years old. If the season is right, you will find wild Orang Utans and wild leopards roaming around freely.

 

 You would not want to miss visiting the Mancong Village, one of the oldest Dayak Longhouse of East Kalimantan is a place. You will be given a warmth traditional welcome ceremony by the Dayak people here. Even better, you get to try out their authentic food recipe from the Dayak tribe. You will be one with the local tribes.

 

 

 If your visit into the deep areas of Mahakam is over, do not forget to make a rendezvous point to Muara Pahu. This area is actually an observation center for dolphins. It is known as the Fresh Water Dolphins information center and open to all travellers. If you are lucky enough, you might encounter one dolphin at the Delta of Bolowan River.

 Other than that, food in the area of Mahakam river is a must try especially the delicious traditional Soto Banjar with soup. Different locations have different flavour of it. It is an iconic dish not to be missed out.

 

 

 So, are you ready to pack your gear and travel deep into the Mahakam River? If you are, do fly with us to Balikpapan and book your tickets at www.maswings.com.my for more flight details.

Tags: Mahakam River | East Kalimantan | East Indonesia | Mahakam River House Boat | Mahakam River Dayak |

Free Tickets Giveaway to Balikpapan Indonesia by Maswings Airline

 MASwings officially declared and opened its new route with a direct flight from Kuching and Kota Kinabalu to Balikpapan. MASwings made its announcement during its press conference on the 14 January 2013 at Kuching Hilton Hotel. On 15th January 2013, MASwings opened its attractive flight at RM 312 inclusive of returning air ticket. The flights are now opened on every Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.

 

 The route opened is a direct flight from Kota Kinabalu and Kuching to Balikpapan. The journey from Kota Kinabalu to Balikpapan will take at least 2 hours and 10 minutes. Flights from Kuching to Balikpapan will take at least 2 hours and 20 minutes.

 

 The sole purpose of such promotion is to introduce to the outside world what Balikpapan is all about and attracting international tourists from Balikpapan coming in to Sarawak and Sabah. In addition to it, MASwings is also looking at this opportunity as a way to boost the tourism industry in Sarawak.

 

 To spice things up, MASwings is organising sweepstakes on Facebook with Free Tickets to be given away.

 The sweepstakes was officially launched by MASwings on its Facebook page on 28thJanuary 2013 and will end on the 17thFebruary 2013. Since it is the beginning of year 2013, it is a time perfect time for contestants to try out their luck and win themselves a going and return air ticket to from Kuching and Kota Kinabalu to Balikpapan.

 

 All the contestants have to do is to click on “Like” the MASwings Facebook Fan Page before proceeding to the next part. After “Liking” and “Sharing” only then contestant will be taken into a new page to fill up the form at http://www.facebook.com/MASwings/app_415371831874431 with terms and conditions applied.

 

Other than that, there are simple quizzes for contestants to answer.

 

 Selected winners may fly from the 1stMarch 2013 until 30th May 2013.

 

 The good news is, the current on-going sweepstakes, is open to all nations!

 

 Contestants or fans of MASwings need to follow closely on the latest updates and promotions available on Facebook to get the latest updates and offers.   

 

 If contestants missed the sweepstakes updates or did not manage to win do not worry. There will be other contest later for them to join in future. Details for other promotions will only be revealed once it is confirmed. So for all past and future contestants, be sure to be on the lookout for any upcoming events.

 

 Contestants’ best option is to just keep track and see what MASwings is currently doing and what are their newest updates on the Facebook pages.

 

 For latest flight updates and bookings, you can log on to www.maswings.com.my for more details. Aside from that, please do not forget to click on “Like” MASwings and support on the Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/MASwings. Any inquiries or suggestion are always welcome and MASwings will do their very best to tend to your needs and see what they can do about it. Cheers and all the best to contestant and who are currently joining the sweepstakes Hope to see you all winners aboard with MASwings flying from Kota Kinabalu and Kuching to Balikpapan city by then!

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FRIDAY, JANUARY 18, 2013

Is Balikpapan City in Indonesia only Known for Oil and Gas?

Photo Credits Goes To: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Balikpapan_4.jpg

Located on the East side of Kalimantan, Balikpapan is a city that is well-known for industry such as oil, mining, gas, and timber. But some never heard of it. There are quite a handful of people thinking Balikpapan is a place where there are a lot of factories and social status is off poor economics state. Well, is that true?

 

The answer to it is the opposite of what one may think of. Balikpapan, an archipelago with the size of a total 639, 031 in population is a beautiful island located on the west side of Kalimantan. The fact is, although Balikpapan is well known for its iconic oil and gas industries; and it became a very popular tourist attraction.

 

In Balikpapan, there are several multinational companies’ have turned their base of operation to Balikpapan itself as a business centre. Even one of the roads here is named after their iconic industries, such as Jalan Minyak which means The Oil Street.

 

Due to the multinational companies, Balikpapan is transforming into a place whereby the island itself will soon be filled with different ethnics and cultures. The diverse ethnicities and cultures is what made Balikpapan a place that is worth to visit and stop by. Be it for personal business trip, family trip, or even a couple retreats as a grandeur holiday spots.

 

There are many things to do here in Baikpapan once you made your landing at the Sepinggan International Airport.

 

First of all there is the Klandasan market. The Klandasan market is where you get see local fresh fruits and vegetables are sale directly from the farm. Everything you see is fresh and green.

 

The Vegetable Garden Inpres will be a great spot to stop by. This is the place whereby you can actually buy gifts and handicrafts. And if you do happen to be wearing any jewellery with you during your visit at Balikpapan, then you have come to the right place. They offer services such as helping you to wash away your faded gold or silver. And if you are planning to purchase any of them this place alone offers you the best price in town.

 

You need some relaxation? No worries. The beach is just nearby. Police Beach Kemala is a great spot for you to just sit down, relax and enjoy the sunrise or sunset.


Picture above is the Balikpapan preserved forest.

 

Feeling a little bit adventurous? Well, there is the Preserve Forest Wein River though. You will be walking along with nature. It is 10,000 hectares of preserve forests with endangered wild animals such as the orang-utan, honey bears, and the proboscis monkey. You will get to see plants such as the Semar and the very popular Ginger Pouch. This place here is a good start for you to take away your minds away from work and stress of your life

.

Picture above: Time to feed the crocs at the Barnacle Crocodile.

 

Just in case if you’re bored on spending money and having that nature walk. You might want to try the Crocodile Barnacle. You eventually get to feed those reptiles at the price of Rp. 10,000 per head. After having that long walk around Balikpapan, and if you are hungry, try out the exotic crocodile satay meat here. But if you are an animal lover, then enjoy the sights of other animals such as the elephants, monkeys, turtles and racoons.

 

The iconic mega structure of oil refinery in Balikpapan is what makes Balikpapan well known as the oil town as well. The place is not open to public but from a distance, you are able to see the many buildings of oil refinery within that area.

 

Although Balikpapan is known as the oil town, yet still there are other things to look around. Whether or not it is an oil town or a tourist attraction, it is for you to decide once you visited the place and see it for your own self. Or it can be both as the town itself is more than meets the eye.

 

For more flight details, you can check it out here, http://www.maswings.com.my/

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TUESDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2012

Borneo Long House Story

Longhouse Story Longhouses in Sarawak and Sabah are actually very different than the longhouses designed in Europe. Europe longhouses architectural materials consist of tough bricks and just a few blocks in one unit. In Sabah and Sarawak, longhouses are made from simple wooden trees, with stilts on it, divided into different section, rooftops made out of leaves and families living inside can be a total of 100 families all in all with a living room which they call it as the Ruai section. Then...

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Tags: Sabah Sarawak Longhouse | Borneo Longhouse | Longhouse in Sarawak and Sabah | Annah Rais Long House | Long House in Sarawak | Iban in Sarawak | Borneo Tours |

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2012

The Magic of Maliau Basin Sabah

 

Tawau holds one of Sabah’s most best kept secret, the Maliau Basin Conservation Area. This breathtaking 588 square kilometres Maliau Basin is full of different types of exotic trees, plant life and various species of rare animals. The Yayasan Sabah-run Maliau Basin is located far from the hustle and bustle of Sabah modern city life.
 
The unique Maliau Basin Sabah had been undiscovered for millions of years and was only explored recently back in 1988. There is no known record of permanent human settlement in this area. Even until now only less and half of Maliau Basin has been fully explored. Out of the 588 square kilometres of land, only 70 kilometres are open to public visitors. Famous personalities such as Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have even visited Maliau Basin recently to experience its many delights. There is still many more of this wonderful conservation area that is yet to be discovered. Who knows what new secret that this Sabah’s own ‘Lost World’ will unearth?
 
The lush green forests and magnificent waterfalls within Maliau Basin are sights that you will never forget. The unspoiled beauty of these gifts of nature is arguably unrivalled anywhere else. The deep canyons and gorges littering the landscapes are mind-blowingly impressive. You can see the deep imposing Imbak Canyon in all of its glory here. Then you can also find the majestic Lake Limununsut, which is the only freshwater lake in the Sabah, right here in Maliau Basin. Over the horizon you will also see the 1.6 kilometre-tall Mount Lutong serving as a backdrop to this beautiful conservation area.
 
The 82 species of animals inhabiting this unspoiled conservation area are a delightful discovery. Some of these animals are on the endangered species list. You can see animals such as the Asian Elephants and the Sun Bears roaming free here. It is really comforting to know that Maliau Basin provides them protection from illegal hunters and poachers. Another interesting thing to note about the animal life is that so far there are around 35 new species of amphibians, various species of water beetles, fish and crabs that have been discovered so far. It does makes you wonder in anticipation of what new animal life will be found next once the huge Maliau Basin is fully explored!
 
The ecological diversity of the Maliau Basin plant life will definitely attract the aspiring botanists out there. With the various species of trees, plants and flowers flourishing in this tranquil wilderness, you’ll really be overwhelmed by such rich variety. The types of trees you can see here alone numbers at around 1800. The selection of 80 types of orchids growing here is no less impressive. It would indeed be an endless journey if you want to discover all the delightful plant life here in Maliau Basin.
 
If you are looking for a place to experience beauty and nature that is truly magical and virtually untouched by human hands, Maliau Basin definitely fits the bill. Once you are here you’ll definitely be spellbound! The memories of your visit here will stay with you for the years to come.
Tags: borneo | maliau basin | sabah | tawau | Danum Valley Conservation Area | Mount Lutong | yayasan Sabah | Prince William | Kate Middleton | Duke and Duchess of Cambridge |

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2012

Top 10 tips on How to Travel to Sabah on a Budget

 

Have you ever thought of travelling to Sabah with big family members? You might say it is too expensive to have a holiday in Sabah. Fear not, here are some tips you can use to maximise your travel to Sabah with the minimum of spending!
 
As you look around for a bargain tour package, make sure you do it when budget airlines are having their special promotions. Airlines such as Air Asia (www.AirAsia.com) and MasWings airline (www.MasWings.com.my) or www.MalaysiaAirlines.com do offer regular cheap tickets promotion for Sabah flights. Do keep an eye open for any special flights offer online. The savings are indeed worth it. However, AirAsia tend to have promotions 6 months to 1 year ahead of flight schedule. If you are 110% sure that you are flying on that specific date, do go ahead and book online but every changes done later will cost you money. I have also found out that sometimes, it is better to book your flights after the travel fair. The fare was actually cheaper which was what I found out recently.
 
You should read about Sabah from the various available tour guidebooks. Then you’ll have an idea of which wonderful but affordable places in Sabah you can travel to. You’ll learn which place offers you the most value for money in terms of food and accommodation. So, you’d better start reading up on guidebooks such as Lonely Planet, Frommers or Rough Guides before you start on your Sabah travel!
Another way to save money for your Sabah travel is by going there with a group of friends. As they say, the more the merrier. If you are travelling in a group of 10 or more you’ll be able to split the costs of transportations and accommodations among yourselves. For example, when you want to hire a van to go some place out of the main cities in Sabah you’ll be able to distribute the rental costs and thus each person would only have to pay a relatively small sum. A Nissan Urvan van can accommodate up to 10 persons and a coach could take up to 40 persons or 43 persons maximum.
 
 
When it comes to looking for accommodations in Sabah, you should firstly compare the hotel rates first. Some websites do have such facility to let you compare rates first before you book. Go to: www.BestKuchingHotels.com. There on right handside, you can see a box that says “Compare 30 sites of hotel rates before you book”. You may also go to book online at hotel booking sites such as agoda.com or booking.com as the rates advertised online are certainly much cheaper. If possible, you should try and look for a bed and breakfast type of accommodation since it is priced even lower than a conventional hotel. There are many such budget Inn in and around Kota Kinabalu city. Tune Hotel is fine except that it is not in centre of town or Kota Kinabalu waterfront area where all the happening places are but it is near 1Borneo shopping mall.
 
If you are a regular Facebook or Twitter user, perhaps it is worth your while to make friends with people living in Sabah on these social media before starting your Sabah travel. Try and get to know them better. When you come over to Sabah, you’ll already have local friends who can show you around town and guide you to which interesting place you should visit. You might even be lucky enough to have a generous friend who would let you stay over for the duration of your Sabah travel!
 
When you have finally arrived in Sabah, you can opt to walk as your primary means of transport if it is possible. Perhaps you are staying somewhere near all the major attractions. It definitely would save you some money and it is also good for your health. After all, being on holiday doesn’t mean that you don’t have to keep fit.
 
Generally speaking, food in Sabah is rather expensive. Do skip all the overpriced fancy restaurants. Why don’t you try out the regular food stalls? In fact it is possible that these food stalls offer a more authentic sample of the delightful Sabahan cuisine. Then again, there are also the ever-present KFC or McDonald’s fast foods outlets for you to go to if you feel like having western foods.
 
Normally tourist hotspots tend to be more expensive as the retailers operating there will probably take advantage of this fact by increasing the price of the wares on offer. Instead, why don’t you go off the well-beaten tourist path? Apart from being cheaper it could also lead you to discover the authentic part of Sabah which most tourists might not even discover.
 
If you really have to use public transportations, always try to use buses instead of taxis. You won’t believe how unbelievably expensive the taxi fares are in Sabah. By using the bus to go around, you’d make a considerable saving during your Sabah travel.
 
Finally, you will definitely find it hard to resist the temptation to splurge and shop for lots of things that you don’t really need. If you really want to buy stuff, make sure you buy less and know where to get cheap items. At the end of the day, being on holiday is more than just about shopping. It’s about discovering new places and experiencing new environment.
 
If you follow these simple tips, you definitely won’t have to spend a fortune when you go on your Sabah travel. You’d be surprised at the affordable cost of having a good holiday in the beautiful state of Sabah. Hope the tips above will answer some of your questions before you go to visit Sabah
 
Tags: Sabah | Maswings | AirAsia | best kuching hotels | Sabah agoda | Sabah budget tour | Sabah Holiday | Sabah booking |

THURSDAY, JUNE 28, 2012

Going through the Headhunters? Trail to hunt for adventure

The Headhunters’ Trail is definitely the most complete way to explore Gunung Mulu National Park. Considered as one of the best trekking path in the whole of Borneo, the Trail is a must of those who wish to see the whole of Mulu National Park comprehensively, and also Northern Sarawak.

 

Mulu Pinnacles at Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak Borneo

Mulu Pinnacles at Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak Borneo

Once, when headhunting was practiced more than a hundred years ago, Kayan warriors from Baram foraged through the Mulu area to attack the Murut longhouses and Chinese settlers who lived along the Limbang River.
 
Those fearsome war parties paddled their boats up the Melinau River up to the Melinau Gorge, before dragging the boats overland for 3 km towards the Terikan River. The so-called ‘Kayan Road’ where the boats were dragged was a 4-metre wide trail, having poles laid across the path, is now called ‘Headhunters’ Trail’.
‘Headhunters’ Trail’
 
A trek along the Trail would be of high preference for those who wish to ultimately challenge their muscles, as well as those participating in a teambuilding trip.
 
Mulu National Park can be reached by air from Miri or Kota Kinabalu, and upon arrival at the Mulu Airport, visitors would be transferred to their Benarat Inn for lunch. After lunch, they would be led for a 45 minutes walk to visit the Deer and Lang Caves via the plankwalk.
 
Both of the Mulu Caves in Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak is a part of the largest cave passage in the world, and perhaps the most well-known Mulu cave, Deer Cave, with its enormous chambers is home to
more than 5 million bats.
Deer Cave entrance at Gunung Mulu National Park
 
Here also visitors can witness one of the most popular attractions in Gunung Mulu National Park, the wonderful display of the bats coming out in waves from the cave as they move towards the jungle to hunt for food at night. Visitors then would return to the Mulu National Park headquarters in early evening, and be transferred by van back to Benarat Inn for dinner and a restful slumber.
 
Day two would start just after breakfast, and visitors would be brought by boat to the source of the Clearwater River for a visit to the Wind and Clearwater Caves, another two of the famous Mulu caves. Lunch would be at the Clearwater Spring, and then visitors would be transferred by boat to Long Lutut. They would then have a 3-hour trek through the lowland jungle to Camp 5, a very basic accommodation for the night. And in rather basic conditions, visitors would enjoy dinner and then sleep.
 
Jungle trekking at Gunung Mulu National Park
 
The breathtaking Mulu Pinnacles of the Gunung Mulu National Park beckons visitors on the morning of the third day. After breakfast, visitors would make the climb to Mount Api, and during the ascent, they could see how the vegetation changes as big trees gradually give way to bushes and plants such as rhododendrons. Reaching the top, visitors could enjoy their packed lunch while admiring the brilliant view across the Pinnacles towards the Brunei Bay. They would then move down to Camp 5 for rest and dinner, and a well-deserved sleep.
 
Some trees could be a thousand years old.
 
Once breakfast for the fourth day is completed, visitors would then move along the Headhunters’ Trail, crossing through two rivers to reach the both at Kuala Terikan. From there, they would go down the river to the Iban longhouse. They would spend a night as guests there, in basic conditions without much comfort, but providing the first-hand experience for the Iban lifestyle and their customs. Visitors could expect to sleep on simple mats on the ground, and having their own sleeping sheets would be very helpful. The Ibans are rather a very friendly group of people, and are generous to share their traditional music and dances.
 
The Ibans are rather a very friendly group of people, and are generous to share their traditional music and dances.
 
Morning of the fifth day arrives, and visitors would bid their Iban hosts and friends goodbye, before making their journey home to Medamit by boat. From Medamit, they would travel by land to Limbang airport before taking the flight to Miri, and those going back to Kota Kinabalu would be transferred by boat to Labuan, before reaching Kota Kinabalu.
 
 
Visitors exploring the Headhunters’ Trail should be prepared by having the usual essentials such as long sleeved shirts and pants, T-shirts, water bottle, towel and toiletries, torch light, raincoat, sun lotion, and of course, a bed sheet and a pair of good trekking shoes.
Tags: Headhunters trail | headhunter trail | gunung mulu | mulu national park | show caves of mulu | deer cave | borneo adventure |

FRIDAY, JUNE 22, 2012

Australian War Memorial Park

A must-visit in Kundasang is the Kundasang War Memorial which was established in 1962, this was one of the first memorial to honour the brave Australian and British Prisoners of War who perished in Sandakan during the notorious death marches to Ranau during World War II. 

 

Kundasang War Memorial Park is one of the first memorial to honour the brave Australian and British Prisoners of War who perished in Sandakan
Kundasang War Memorial Park is one of the first memorial to honour the brave Australian and British Prisoners of War who perished in Sandakan
 
 
The Kundasang War Memorial is dedicated to the memory of the 1,800 Australians and 600 British servicemen who perished in the P.O.W camps in Sandakan and they were forced to march from Sandakan to RanauThe memorial also honours the people of North Borneo who risked their lives to help the POWs. They were forced to march by the Japanese Army somewhat 260+ kilometers through the jungle of Borneo.
 
Dedication plaque at the Kundasang War Memorial Park
 
Major G. S. Carter, D.S.O. (Toby Carter) a New Zealander employed with Shell Oil Co. (Borneo) initiated the building of the Memorial in 1962, together with the launching of Kinabalu Park; to commemorate the fallen Australian and British prisoners at the Sandakan POW Camp. The fort-like Memorial was designed by J.C. Robinson, a local architect. 
 
 
Kundasang Was Memorial is an hour drive away from Kota Kinabalu town and you will arrive at this town called Ranau. The Kundasang War Memorial Park is situated at the foot of Mount Kinabalu and is very close to Kundasang food and vegetable market. The temperature here is slightly lower than other parts of Sabah making it an optimum spot for vegetations. The temperature here is cold, similar to the likes of Ba’kelalan
 
War plaque
Plaque engraved with the names of fallen heroes
 
With its towering pine trees and blooming roses, the Memorial is made up of four beautiful gardens - the Australian Garden, the English Garden, the Borneo Garden and the Contemplation Garden and Pool - to represent the different nationalities, and a walk in the garden is resonant to that of a stroll in a quaint English garden. The scent of roses lingers in the air and the serene atmosphere makes Kundasang War Memorial an ideal place to contemplate and remember the heroes of the war. Visitors can also opt to view a brief video on the history of the Sandakan Death March. 
 
With its towering pine trees and blooming roses, the Memorial is made up of four beautiful gardens
 
This place would probably take you about 30-40 minutes to cover as they are surrounded by a few sections. You just need to pay a small entrance fee which is being used to  maintain Kundasang War Memorial for generations to come. 
Tags: Kundasang War Memorial Park | POW camp | Sabah | Kundasang | Prisoner of War | War Memorial Park Sabah | WW2 Sabah History | Borneo | North Borneo | Kundasang POW camp | Australian War Memorial Park |

FRIDAY, MARCH 30, 2012

Sarawak Baleh River Raft Safari

The Sarawak Baleh River Raft Safari is an electrifying river safari race that begins with a night-long of merrymaking, showcasing the Iban hospitality before the race is launched the next day. Spectators will witness top rafters from all over pitting their physical and mental skills against the dangerous rapids of a 50 km stretch of the Sarawak Baleh River. The Baleh River Raft Safari is an accomplishment that needs accuracy and is very challenging indeed.
Visitors can witness rafters navigating their man-made natural rafts down rapid streams of Malaysia’s longest river; Rejang river Sarawak, to Sarawak’s last frontier town of Kapit. The time and venue are:

Date: 5 - 8 April 2012
Event: Baleh Kapit Safari 2012
Venue: RH Salang Pulau Sibau Mujong, RH Bangkong Ng Banyau Mujong, Kapit River Front and Kapit Town

The Sarawak Baleh River Raft Safari started in 1996 and normally takes place in the month of April. The sport is very challenging. Participants need to steer their rafts through treacherous rapids.

The best part of the Baleh River Raft Safari is that, participants will get the chance to see various cultural multiplicity and ethnic heritage of the native riverine communities. An overnight stay in a local longhouse provides competitors a once-in-a-lifetime insight into the lifestyle of the tribes that call the wild river their life-source and untamed rainforest their home.

The Sarawak Baleh River Raft Safari is an extremely demanding and exciting two-day rafting race, which sees top rafters pit their physical and mental skills against numerous rapids at the 50 km stretch Baleh River. The rafting for the Men's Bamboo Raft Open Category will start from Rumah Minggat, Sungai Oyan, Mujong and stop for a night at Rumah Naong, Batu Bansu, Baleh on the first day.

The participants will resume their rafting from Rumah Naong, Batu Bansu, Baleh and end at Kapit Wharf, Kapit on the second day. On the same day, all other rafts in the Men's Bamboo Raft Closed, Men's Freestyle Raft, Women and Tourists Categories will begin their journey from Rumah Naong, Batu Bansu, Baleh and end at Kapit Wharf, Kapit.

This event is open to international participants so do not miss this thrilling ride of a lifetime. Check out details of the event at www.SarawakBorneoTour.com or e-mail us at Ask@SarawakBorneoTour.com for information.

 
Tags: Sarawak Baleh River Raft Safari | Baleh | raft | river safari | Sarawak | Rejang | Kapit | Baleh Kapit Safari 2012 | Baleh River | Sarawak water sport | Kuching | Borneo |

Benak Festival famously known as Tidal Bore Carnival in Sarawak


River Surfing Fun yo!


Sri Aman is a market town and port, and the capital of Sri Aman District and Sri Aman Division in Sarawak, East Malaysia. Sri Aman is also called Bandar Sri Aman, and was formerly known as Simanggang and has a population of 26,100. Sri Aman in the Malay language means "town of peace ." Sri Aman is located on the Lupar River, it is 193 kilometers, a three hour drive, from Kuching the capital city of Sarawak. It is a trade center for the timber, oil palm, rubber, and pepper of its mostly agricultural district.

Benak is the native tongue for tidal bore, and Benak happens everyday. During spring tide, tidal bore with a high magnitude, it can be observed clearly from distance. The 'Benak' continues its journey for another 30km inland, ending near the small village of Engkili in the same division.

Bores occur in relatively few locations worldwide, usually in areas with a large tidal range (typically more than 6 metres (20 ft) between high and low water) and where incoming tides are funneled into a shallow, narrowing river or lake via a broad bay.
 
Tidal Bore Surfer in Sarawak
Tidal Bore Surfer in Sarawak

The funnel-like shape not only increases the tidal range, but it can also decrease the duration of the flood tide, down to a point where the flood appears as a sudden increase in the water level. A tidal bore takes place during the flood tide and never during the ebb tide. A tidal bore may take on various forms, ranging from a single breaking wavefront with a roller — somewhat like a hydraulic jump — to "undular bores", comprising a smooth wavefront followed by a train of secondary waves (whelps). Large bores can be particularly unsafe for shipping but also present opportunities for river surfing!

There are only five spots in Asia where this unusual phenomena occurs and Sri Aman is sure to provide the excitement and fun to see for ourselves of one of the best waves in the world.
It has become an annual event and held every year. The festival is set to be one of the most exciting tourism destination.

I recommend to all to come over to Sri Aman to feel and experience Benak Festival that will promise only fun and excitement for you.
 
The red circle marks the location of the event.

Book your tours through www.SarawakBorneoTour.com to come and celebrate Benak Festival wih us or you may e-mail your inquiries to Ask@SarawakBorneoTour.com.

Date: 6 - 8 April 2012
Event: Tidal Bore Carnival (Benak Festival)
Venue: Tebingan Batang Lupar, Sri Aman
Tags: Benak | Benak Festival | Sri Aman | Sarawak | Sarawak Borneo | river surfing | surf | tidal bore | tidal bore carnival | Kuching | Kuching City | Sarawak river sport |

FRIDAY, MARCH 23, 2012

Ba'kelalan's Unknown Apple Orchard

 
Ba’kelalan is one of the great enchantments of the Kelabit Highlands and is revered with sub-tropical natural beauty and amazingly fresh weather. Ba’Kelalan is located at the heart of Borneo's notable and oldest tropical rainforest.  

The main village here belongs to the Lun Bawang race, a group of people known for agricultural farming of paddy fields, and especially their mastery in successfully cultivating apples in the highlands. The name Ba’ Kelalan comes from the Kelalan River, while Ba’ refers to wetlands in the Lun Bawang native tongue.

They produce Malaysia’s first apples; sugary and crunchy, absolutely delicious. Other fruits are also grown here, especially mandarin oranges, passion fruit, budding strawberries, vanilla and asparagus.

Take a bite into the crunchy apples will surely erect your taste buds. It is sweet, tasty and amazingly fresh, mostly due to its natural surroundings and almost free of pesticides.

The limited use of pesticides also facilitated in ensuring the apples to thrive in the cool climates of Ba’ Kelalan plus the proper technique of pruning and appropriate use of fertilisers also helped.

There are numerous variations of apples grown here. These are the Ba’ Kelalan (formerly known as Manalagi) apples, Rome Beauty, Tropical Beauty, Lady Williams, Anna apples, Kwanglin and Jonathon.

The farm is now run by former pastor, Tagal Paran, Andrew’s brother. To celebrate the apple harvest, each year an Apple Fiesta is held in Ba’ Kelalan.

Apart from the apple picking, its stunning scenery, the lovely view of the mountains, valleys, rivers, flora and fauna and wildlife are pretty unspoiled and were so for generations. The people inhabiting the area are, likewise, of unique culture and tradition.

Ba’kelalan is a land of the friendly smiles from the young and old. The people will make you feel that you are truly at home and is one of them and, which sets Ba'Kelalan apart from the others.
 


Visitors wishing to experience Malaysia’s delicious apples, picturesque rolling hills and warmth of the Lun Bawang tribe, should visit this unrivalled spot in Malaysia. E-mail us on Ask@SarawakBorneoTour.com for inquiry and we will get back to you soon. You can also check out www.SarawakBorneoTour.com for an overview of Ba’Kelalan packages offered with the best price.
Tags: bakelalan | ba'kelalan | lun bawang | kelabit highlands | apple harvest | sarawak | borneo | orang ulu | ulu tribe sarawak |

Things to Prepare if you are going to Bako National Park for an unforgettable adventure

 

With its rainforest, abundant wildlife, jungle streams, waterfalls, interesting plant life, secluded beaches, panoramic rocky shoreline, bizarre rock formations and extensive network of trekking trails, Bako National Park Sarawak offers visitors an excellent introduction to the rainforest and coastline of Borneo.

Bako may not have an instantly recognisable star attraction, but there can be very few places in the world that pack so much natural beauty into such a limited area, all just 37 km from Kuching. Its accessibility - and its sheer range of attractions and activities - have made Bako National Park Sarawak one of the most popular nature parks in Sarawak.

Bako National Park Sarawak contains an incredible variety of plant species and vegetation types, and this is one of the park’s great attractions it is also probably the best place in Sarawak for wildlife experiences. Visit www.SarawakBorneoTour.com and check out our full-day tour package to Bako National Park Sarawak to experience the nature and see the wildlife of Sarawak's tropical rainforests.
 
 
If you are going for the trip here are a few suggestions on what to pack for the eco-journey. It is recommended that visitors prepare their own checklist for apparel or equipment before embarking on their trek which may be useful or necessary, depending on their plans. In terms of clothing, it is ideal for a visitor to dress in short's and T-shirts when going on trails in the forest, but for extra protection against sunburn on the plateau and against insects in the evening it is highly recommended for visitors to bring along slacks and long-sleeve shirts.

Be prepared for muddy trails in the forest if after rain so it is best for visitors to wear training shoes or comfortable boots with good soles. Take note that it can get very hot on the plateau, so a hat, re-hydration salts and sun lotion may be needed on longer walks.

Water bottles are essential in making the trip, and necessity item on longer walks. To bring enough water for the entire trip may be a challenge for the long trek, therefore it is a good idea to bring water purifying tablets or a water filter since even in the dry season, there are nearly always some flowing freshwater streams encountered along the long trails.
 

A small torch is useful for overnight journeys and rucksack to carry your extra clothes. Bring along a packed lunch and some chocolate, raisins to maintain sugar levels.  Bottled water can be bought at the canteen at the Park Headquarters.

So be sure that you prepare your list of things to bring for the trip, so your Borneo eco-journey would be an enjoyable and hassle-free nature-loving excursion.
So come check out www.SarawakBorneoTour.com for more details for the trip. Email us at Ask@SarawakBorneoTour.com for inquiry and we will get back to you soon.
Tags: bako national park | sarawak | rainforest | kuching | proboscis monkey | mangrove | borneo | sarawak river cruise | bako | sea stack | kampong bako | gunung santubong |

THURSDAY, MARCH 22, 2012

Bako National Park, the smallest national park in whole Sarawak

 

Bako National Park

 

Dry season is the best time to plan your trip to Bako National Park Sarawak, which is from the month of April to October. Boat journey to Bako National Park Sarawak between the month of November to March may be too rough during the monsoon season.

A day trip to Bako National Park Sarawak can be very rewarding, and it is recommended that the journey to Bako National Park Sarawak should begin early in the morning. To fully enjoy the breathtaking experiences that Bako National Park Sarawak offers, an overnight stay or longer should be considered before making the trip.

SarawakBorneoTour.com offers trip to Bako National Park Sarawak, where we can guide you on a day trip, and arrange transport and permit. From Kuching, Bako National Park Sarawak can be reached in two stages-about 45 minutes’ drive on a new sealed road to the park terminal at Kampung Bako, followed by a 30-minute boat ride to the Bako National Park Sarawak Headquarters at Teluk Asam. Taxi fares from Kuching are reasonable and an inexpensive bus service is also available.
 
 
A permit for entering Bako National Park Sarawak and accommodation bookings can be obtained at www.SarawakBorneoTour.com.

The water at the Bako Park National Sarawak Headquarter is too shallow for boats to reach the jetty at low tide. To avoid waiting at Kampung Bako boat terminal, it is advisable to time your arrival during high tide. From the jetty, boats are operated by the villagers at reasonable fares. The boat ride to  Bako National Park Headquarters provide a good view of the mangrove forest that lines the river mouth and bay.

When heading out, the visitor has a splendid view of Gunung Santubong, the mountain on the west side of the bay. The cliffs and bay of Bako Peninsula are on the right. A spectacular sea stack can be seen along the coastal cliffs beyond Park Headquarters. The sandstone forming the stack was modeled by the incessant beating of the waves as well as the chemical weathering in the hot and wet tropical climate.

So click on to www.SarawakBorneoTour.com for more details. Look for Bako National Park Sarawak trip package for the best deals in town.
Tags: Bako | Bako National Park | World Heritage | Sarawak Borneo | Sarawak | Kuching City | Kuching | nature | Proboscis Monkey |