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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 |

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 | |

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2012

Desa Dairy Farm- The only place in Sabah where you feel like being in New Zealand

 

If you are keen in enjoying the glorious beauty of Sabah with its iconic mountain and beautiful beaches, you are guaranteed to discover that the Desa Dairy Farm in Kundasang will completely take your breath away with its panoramic view of the ever-present Mount Kinabalu, cool climate and lush green landscapes. You would feel as if you are in a typical New Zealand pastoral farm setting!
 
 
The Desa Dairy Farm lies at the foot of Mount Kinabalu in the Mesilau Highland, Kundasang. The 199 hectares Desa Dairy Farm is the largest of its kind in Sabah. The beautiful Desa Dairy Farm is only 30 minutes drive away from the Kinabalu National Park. There are over 600 cows living here. If you are on a bus or driving the uphill road from there you will be treated to the beautiful scenery along the way. The green vegetable farmland area surrounding the mountain is indeed a majestic sight to behold. Your journey to Desa Dairy Farm is arguably a wonderful experience in its own right.
 
 
The Desa Dairy Farm in Kundasang is at around 2000 metres above the sea level. It’s not surprising the air is refreshingly crisp and cool. The moment you enter the Desa farm area you will be struck by the breathtaking view of the green meadows stretching to as far as your eyes can see. I have to warn you though that you may need to bear with the stench of cow dung when you are there.
 
You will also see the beautiful Friesian cows grazing freely around the field. The presence of these majestic beasts makes you feel as if you’re no longer in Sabah. Instead the atmosphere is more similar to a typical New Zealand farm. Did you know that pregnant cows are even segregated from the rest of the gang for peace to enjoy their pregnancy.
 
You will notice that around 133 hectares of the Desa farm area is planted with unique plants that you can’t find anywhere else in the Kundasang area. You will see plants such as the white clover, Kikuyu and Narok Setaria littering the whole pasture. Do take your time to explore the vast green landscape of the Desa farm to just simply absorb and let the sight overwhelm your senses.
 
Apart from the magnificent scenery, you could also see dairy milks are collected in the milking station at 3pm daily. It is really interesting to see the Friesian cows lining up at the processing centre waiting for their turn to be milked. These cows don’t even have to be guided to line up at the automated milking station. It’s as if they know what to do when they reached the station. Each of these delightful Friesian cows can produce up to 14 litres of milk a day. You can either arrange for a guided tour or you can just simply turn up here to see the milking process by yourself.
 
You can purchase the processed milk which is available at the Desa Dairy Farm lobby from 11am onwards. You'll surely notice the freshness of its taste.. If you want a lasting memento of your visit, t-shirts, mugs and refrigerator magnets are also available for sale here. Do get something from the Desa farm to bring back to the folks at home.
If you really want to experience the beautiful scenery of an unspoiled farmland, the Desa Dairy Farm in Kundasang is the place for you to be in. You don’t even have to fly all the way to New Zealand to do so. It is definitely worth the RM3 admission price! 
 
Tags: Desa Dairy Farm | Desa Farm | Kundasang | Sabah | |

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 |