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SUNDAY, JUNE 2, 2013

Mari Mari Cultural Village and Monsopiad Cultural Village, Sabah

Sabah is popular with its diverse ethnics and rich history. The Mari Mari Cultural Village and the Monsopiad Cultural Village are two of Sabah’s popular tourist spots in learning and finding out more about the culture and history of these ethnic groups in Sabah.

 

Together with MASWings, let us unfold the two cultural villages and see what do these two have in store for us.

Mari Mari Cultural Village is situated in a remote forest in Kionsom, Inanam. It is an ideal setting for a cultural village which preserves the environment of the tribes long ago. Situated 25 minutes away from the city and in a remote forest, you could enjoy only the sound of nature and the closeness of what the tribes feel years ago. Entering the village requires you to cross a hanging bridge to cross the river and get to the other side.

 

Upon entering the village, you will be introduced to a variety of ethnic tribes in Sabah such as the Bajau, Lundayeh, Murut, Rungus and Dusun. You will also be shown their traditional homes and how each and every house has a different look and feel. Besides that, the different ethnics at the cultural village will even demonstrate their traditional way of cooking food in bamboo and the brewing of Montoku, known as rice wine which is the favorite drink of the Dusun tribe.

 

Other tribes present there will also demonstrate the different kind of skill sets such as the traditional way of lighting a fire by the Rungus tribe, the extracting of tree bark in order to make various items such as ropes, vest, floors, and walls by the Lundanyeh tribe, and also blowpipe making by the Murut tribe. There are many more demonstrations in the cultural village itself such as dances and musical performance. Besides that, they will even teach you how to cook or craft using their traditional way if you are interested in learning.

 

The Monsopiad Cultural Village on the other hand, is another cultural village worth going to. The Monsopiad Cultural Village is founded in 1996 making it Sabah’s first living museum. The cultural village is situated beside the Penampang River and is surrounded by many other traditional buildings. It takes about an hour and a half from Kota Kinabalu and if you are wondering where the name Monsopiad comes from, the name is taken from a fearsome warrior who lived in the village of Kuai long time ago.

The Monsopiad Cultural Village is a Kadazan cultural village allowing you to learn more about the Kadazan tribe. Upon arriving at the village, you will be treated to various Kadazan displays such as their ceramic jars, padi grinders and bamboo items. You will also be shown the costume of Bobohizan Inai Bianti, a direct descendent of Monsopiad. There are lots of other interesting things being shown at the cultural village alone such as a massive monolith holding a dozen legends, and also the House of Skulls, where you will be shown 42 skulls which are also trophies of war from Monsopiad.

 

There are a lot more to the cultural village and it will not be interesting if you don’t see it for yourself. Let MASWings Airline fly you to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah and learn more about the various ethnics in Sabah.

Tags: Mari Mari Cultural Village | Borneo Sabah | Best Sabah Hotels | Monsopiad Cultural Village | MAswings | Kionsom | Inanam | Bajau | Lundayeh | Murut | Rungus | Dusun | Montoku | Kadazan | Bobohizan Inai Bianti |

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 |

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2012

Our Amazing Mount Kinabalu Journey

 

We went on our Sabah trip to climb Mount Kinabalu in early April this year. The journey to climb Mount Kinabalu was indeed a very fun and exciting experience to me. It was a tough climb to Mount Kinabalu but we all agreed that the sights and sounds that we encountered on our way towards the summit of Mount Kinabalu and during the journey back made our Mount Kinabalu climb really worth it.

On the way climbing Mt Kinabalu

 

Our flight arrived in Sabah in the afternoon. We spent one day in Kota Kinabalu exploring this wonderful capital city of Sabah. We woke up at the crack of dawn, had our breakfast and took a 2 hours bus drive towards Kinabalu Park Headquarters to begin the first day of our Mount Kinabalu climb.

 

We decided to use the Timpohon trail and departed from Timpohon Gate around 8.30am. Our first destination would be Laban Rata where we will stay there for the night before continuing our journey towards the summit of Mount Kinabalu. The weather was really nice and pleasant when we started our hike at the trail.

We could see many beautiful trees and plants along the way. I took some pictures of the unique pitcher plants that littered the trail. I also took the opportunity to catch my breath while doing so. The rest of my group didn't mind waiting for me and they even took some pictures of the wonderful plants themselves.

What I liked most about the journey was when we travelled closer to Laban Rata we began to see the amazing change in the terrain. This must be because we were steadily moving higher above the sea level. You would definitely be astounded by this. After 5 to 6 hours of trudging along the trail, we finally arrived at Laban Rata around 4pm. Needless to say, we were very happy to have reached the first stopover on our way to climb Mount Kinabalu.

I took some pictures of the mountain view from the rest house where we were staying. The mountain landscape surrounding our rest house was simply magnificent beyond words. As it was sunset we could see the sky over the mountain turning brilliant red. After we had our well-deserved dinner we all turned in for the night and tried to keep warm in the cold and chilly mountain environment.

We woke up at around 2.30am to begin the final stage of our Mount Kinabalu climb towards Low's Peak, the highest summit of Mount Kinabalu. With luck, we might make it to the summit of Mount Kinabalu by sunrise. It was a really challenging night-time climb. Luckily our guide was really useful in helping us to navigate through the increasingly steep climb. I have to admit I was suffering from the symptoms of altitude sickness as we descended higher up Mount Kinabalu. I took some pills, got better and continued with the rest of my group.

Just before sunrise we finally reached the summit of Mount Kinabalu. It was a really joyous moment for all of us ! We savoured the breath taking beauty of the mountain top and started to snap pictures as if there was no tomorrow. We could see the magnificent view of the mountain shadow slowly moving westwards as the sun began the rise. It was indeed a glorious sight.

 

After we had our fill of the view we began our descend back to Laban Rata. As it was already daylight when we started our journey down, we could see the amazing peaks nestled around us and the constantly changing terrain the further we descended. We just simply chatted amongst ourselves and enjoyed the scenery which made the tough descend more bearable.

We finally reached back to Laban Rata just before noon. Overall, it was a really wonderful experience for us right from the beginning part at Timpohon Gate until our final stop at Low's Peak. I would definitely go on another climb to Mount Kinabalu the next time I'm in Sabah!

Tags: Mount Kinabalu | Climb MT Kinabalu | Laban Rata | Low's Peak | Timpohon Gate | Best Sabah Hotels | Sabah tour |