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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, JUNE 8, 2012

Find the best meals at Kubah Ria Baru

 

I would like to bring you guys to see what’s new at the Kubah Ria Baru, which is located not far from Satok area. It is just besides Satok Bridge within the Petra Jaya area. If we take the bridge from Satok we could see the place on our left.
 
As the name suggests, Kubah Ria Baru is considered new in which it was publicly opened in mid-2010. Kubah Ria Baru was built to replace the old Kubah Ria which is quite well known among the local townsfolk. Seeing that it was my first time here what I can say is the place looks beautiful from the outside.
 
The environment is clean and neat, maybe because the place is still new and well maintained by the cleaning staff. Parking lots are available for visitors but with a price of RM1.00 per hour. I you wish to avoid paying for parking fees you can park your car farther a bit and walk in.
 
 
Most of the current stalls are mostly from the previous Kubah Ria stall owner but there are some new ones as well. Pizza Ria is available for those who loves pizza but most of the stalls serve local delicacies such as satay, the infamous mee kolok, chicken rice and laksa Sarawak. There is even a stall that serves 'ayam panggang' or roasted chicken, which reminded me of Kenny Rogers seeing that the chicken was roasted on hot charcoal.
 
For those who would like to have something foreign there are also western and Japanese food available. There are a total of 45 stalls here in Kubah Ria Baru.
 
In terms of price, it is reasonable and quite worth it but you need to pick the right stall. You can choose to order your meal from any stall and sit anywhere you like. The best part of eating here is the view. Located just beside the Sarawak River, the outlook of the whole place is just gorgeous especially during dawn.
 
Be amongst the first to experience the totally new eating environment! If you would like to visit Kuching, Sarawak to see what the city of cats has to offer, you can check us out www.SarawakBorneoTour.com for the best deals or you can email us your inquiries to Ask@SarawakBorneoTour.com. 
Tags: Kubah Ria Baru | Sarawak Borneo Food | Kuching Food court | Best kuching hotels | Kubah Ria Food Court |

TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

Magrina Awing George is crowned as Miss World Harvest Festival (WHF) 2012

Miss World Harvest Festival (WHF) 2012 Magrina Awing George poses with 1st runner-up Gracia Vicky Chua and 2nd runner-up Karissa Kara Simon after being crowned at the Sarawak Cultural Village on Saturday. 

 

Magrina Awing George is crowned as Miss World Harvest Festival (WHF) 2012 at the Sarawak Cultural Village here on 26 May, 2012 and the 19-year-old said to be always be proud of your native heritage, strive to be the best and never look down on yourself.
Of mixed Kayan-Iban parentage, Magrina from Miri gave these words of encouragement particularly to the Orang Ulu people in the hope that her native community would go all out to achieve success and embrace development to be on par with advanced societies in the country.
Making her first foray into a beauty pageant, she beat 13 other finalists for the coveted crown, and walked away with a cash prize of RM3,000, a sponsored Diploma in Tourism Management course courtesy of UCSI University and a complimentary stay at Grand Margherita Hotel among others.
“I am very happy and excited. I have never expected this. With this win, I will continue my studies. The winnings will be used to help my family,” she told the press after the event.
The second of five children, Magrina who aspires to become a successful television personality cited her mother as her biggest influence. Apart from winning the Miss WHF 2012 crown, she also won third place in the Miss Talent subsidiary title through her rendition of Jessie J’s hit song ‘Price Tag’ earlier in the evening, pocketing a cash prize of RM500.
Coming in second in the Miss WHF 2012 pageant was 18-year-old Gracia Vicky Chua who is of mixed Iban-Chinese parentage from Kota Samarahan. The school leaver who aspires to become a teacher won a cash prize of RM2,000 apart from a sash, trophy and flower bouquet for the top three winners.
 
 
Gracia also spotted a lovely voice when rendering the late Datuk Sudirman Arshad’s ‘Salam Terakhir’ at the Miss Talent competition.
Karissa Kara Simon, 23, of Iban parentage, was third and got herself a cash prize of RM1,000. She also won RM700 for winning the Miss Photogenic subsidiary title.
As for other subsidiary titles, Miss Beautiful Eyesight went to 21-year-old Bidayuh Farahana Zita Joes. She also came second in the Miss Talent category after entertaining the crowd with her ‘Dangdut’ dance move to the tune of ‘Goyang Dangdut’. In total, she won RM1,400 for her achievements in both categories.
Twenty-year-old Stephanie Yiap Ai Nee who is of mixed Chinese-Bidayuh-Filipino-Japanese parentage was Miss Congeniality, and walked away with a cash prize of RM800, courtesy of 360 Hotel. The hotel also announced that all finalists would each receive a complimentary stay package.
Yiap, who is currently pursuing a Degree course in Business, also took first place in the Miss Talent title. Her lively performance of ‘Let’s Get Loud’ by Jennifer Lopez won her RM1,000. She also pocketed a further RM500 by winning the Miss SMS Favourite title with a total of 4,410 votes.
Miss Versatile subsidiary title went to 23-year-old Kayan-Canadian Rebekah Livan Balan. She won a cash prize of RM700 and a hamper. Rebekah who loves to play the ‘sape’ rendered Tuku Kame’s ‘Lan E’ instrumental and sang Misha Omar’s ‘Pulangkan’ as she opened the night’s Miss Talent competition.
Best Traditional Costumes title went to 19-year-old Iban from Sri Aman – Annie Salang. She pocketed RM500 while 24-year-old Helina Sarani Saba, an Iban from Bintulu, took home RM300 for winning Miss Best Catwalk.
All subsidiary title winners also received a bouquet of flowers and sash.
Prior to the announcement of the Miss WHF 2012, the audience was entertained by cultural troupes such as ‘Giring-Giring Bamboo’ from Sumatera, Indonesia, Sungai Asap (Belaga) Orang Ulu Cultural Group and the Orang Asli Jo’oh Mah Meri from Kampung Bumbun Selangor.
A theme play – The adventure of Kumang and Keling based on Iban folklore – was performed before the start of the Miss WHF 2012 programme.
Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg was the guest-of-honour at the event. Also present were Assistant Tourism Minister Datuk Talib Zulpilip, Tourism Ministry permanent secretary Datu Ik Pahon Joyik who is chairman of WHF 2012 and Sarawak Cultural Village general manager Jane Lian Labang who is also organising chairperson of WHF 2012.
Tags: WHF 2012 | World Harvest Festival 2012 | World Harvest Festival | Sarawak Cultural Village | Dayak | Dayak Culture | Gawai | Borneo | Kuching | SCV |