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SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2017

A fish spa especially for your feet in Sabah

You probably have only heard about spa for your body and your face, but what about other parts of your limbs? For example, your feet. Well, Sabah might just got the thing for your precious feet.

 

Let me introduce to you – the Tagal Sungai Moroli Fish Spa in Sabah.

 

Tagal Moroli Fish Spa Sabah Malaysia

Tagal Moroli Fish Spa sign at the entrance

 

The Tagal Sungai Moroli in Kampung Luanti is 131 kilometers away from Kota Kinabalu. Here, you will have the chance to try out the fish massage. This fish massage is deemed to have curative effect on those who suffer from psoriasis.

 

Tagal Moroli Fish Spa Sabah Malaysia

How it looks like during the 'spa'

 

The word 'tagal' in the local kadazan-dusun dialect means 'no fishing'. The main purpose of 'tagal' is to preserve the environment as well as the ecosystem of the river for the benefit of the generations to come. The Pelian fish or the Malaysian Mahseer originates from the family of Cyprinidae.

 

Tagal Moroli Fish Spa Sabah Malaysia

Tagal Fish

 

Other than this ticklish fish nibbling activity which helps remove the dead skin from your feet, there are also several activities to be done here. You can also choose to trek in the jungle or camp here at Kampung Luanti. If you do intend to extend your stay at Kampung Luanti, there is a homestay program that you can join to learn more about the ways of life of the villagers here in Kampung Luanti and also to relax.

 

With so many attractions here in the Land below the Wind, there is no reason why you should not extend your stay here. Sabah is the place to go if you are a fan of all nature things that Mother Nature provides.

 

Tagal Moroli Fish Spa Sabah Malaysia

Experiencing the 'fish spa' can be fun, ticklish and maybe painful at the same time

 

The beauty of the scenery and untouched jungles and beaches are simply to die for. Accommodations in Sabah are plentiful and do not worry about not finding a place to stay. There are plenty to choose from based on your budget and convenience.

 

Tagal Moroli Fish Spa Sabah Malaysia

The Tagal fish statue

 

Check out our website for affordable holiday packages in Sabah! Just click at SarawakBorneoTour.com/ NjoyBorneoTour.com/ Cuti-CutiMalaysia.net for more information.

Tags: Kota Kinabalu | Sabah | Pakej Percutian ke Sabah | Pakej Percutian | Tagal | Fish Spa |

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 |

TUESDAY, APRIL 15, 2014

Little known facts about Pulau Tiga and Layang-Layang Island in Sabah

Little known facts about Pulau Tiga and Layang-Layang Island in Sabah

Pulau Tiga

 

 

Have you ever watched Survivor, the popular U.S. TV Series? If yes, then you would know that Pulau Tiga was the first location of the recording. Pulau Tiga or Tiga Island is a low-lying island about 35 nautical southwest of Kota Kinabalu, and can be reached by road to Kuala Penyu, followed by a 15-minutes speedboat ride. Pulau Tiga is the largest of three islands within the Pulau Tiga Park (gazetted in 1978), the other islands being Kalampunian Damit and Kalampunian Besar (better known as Snake Island for the sea snakes which breed there).

 

The magnificent view of the sea from the shore of Pulau Tiga

Image credit to Sabah Tourism Board

There is plenty to do here, whether snorkelling, kayaking or even doing something simple like spending the day swimming in the clear water. For the divers, this island is the ultimate location.

As Pulau Tiga is believed to have formed by the eruption of several mud volcanoes, the guests can enjoy the mud bath. The mud volcanoes are still emitting gaseous and periodical eruptions but are totally harmless; instead the mud contains minerals which are good for the skin.

 

Mud bath, one of the attractions in Pulau Tiga

 

There are mammals of various species including the ubiquitous macaque monkeys and reptiles such as the large monitor lizards. There is also a birdlife, such as hen-like megapode, which incubates its eggs in the hot sand, while there are numerous insects and wild orchids to be seen. It is not surprising that Pulau Tiga was chosen as the location for the first Survivor given its pristine environment.

 

Tabon Megapode, a type of bird in Pulau TIga

Image credit to Avian Vocalizations Center

 

Pulau Tiga has only two resorts to accommodate its guests. The original Pulau Tiga Resort, situated in the forests behind a sandy beach, offers PADI dive course and dive sites for both novice and experienced divers. The surrounding reefs are shallow, with healthy coral and visibility up to 20 m (less during the southwest monsoon). The rich variety of marine life includes nudibranch, a type of marine gastropod mollusks which shed their shell after their larval stage, bamboo sharks, cuttlefish and marbled stingray, with guaranteed sightings of banded sea snakes on Snake Island.

Another resort is the Borneo Survivor Resort, located on the eastern side of the island, which offers a range of beach games, boating, fish and snorkelling.

 

Layang-Layang Island

 

 

Layang-Layang, means kite and swallow in Malay, is the only atoll in all of Malaysia, Layang-Layang (Swallow) Reef rises 2,000 m from the sea floor of the South China Sea. A name fits with its environment, Layang-Layang Island has a numerous species of birds nesting and visiting the island such as Black-napped tern, Great crested tern, Sooty tern, Brown booby, Lesser frigatebird, Pacific golden plover, Plumed and Pacific-reef egrets, Ruddy tern and Yellow wagtails. Of course, there are lots of Barn swallows habitating the island.

 

Swallows at Layang-Layang Island

Image credit to Sabah Tourism Board

 

Layang-Layang is located about 300 km northwest of Kota Kinabalu, offers total isolation and subsequently stunning visibility and pristine reefs with a rich pelagic marine life. Not surprisingly, the island has earned a reputation as one of the world’s top ten dive spots.

An island was created around the original reef as a base for the Malaysian Navy, and a single resort, Layang-Layang Island Resort, subsequently opened for divers, who reach the island on scheduled flights by small plane.

 

The man-made island at Layang-Layang Island

Image credit to Sabah Tourism Board

 

There are frequent sightings of barracuda and big-eye trevally, as well as schools of scalloped hammered sharks, grey reef sharks, leopard sharks and the occasional thresher and silvertip sharks on the outer reefs. Rays are regular visitors, including huge manta rays, pygmy devil rays, marbled rays and eagle rays.

Special sightings over the last few years include whale sharks, orcas and melon-headed whales. Spinner and bottlenose dolphins frequently follow the dive boats and lucky divers have even dived among these creatures.

 

Hammerhead sharks swimming underwater at Layang-Layang Island

Image credit to Sabah Tourism Board

 

The walls of Layang-Layang’s reef are covered with healthy corals, with sea fans stretching more than 3m across filtering plankton from the passing currents. Green and hawksbill turtles are frequently seen on the reef, while the 20m deep lagoon includes macro creatures such as seahorses, cuttlefish and pipe fish. With its remarkable variety of pristine marine life, Layang-Layang is indeed worthy of its worldwide recognition.

In conclusion, if you plan to organise a trip to Kota Kinabalu, and if you love a bit of adventure, you may want to check out Pulau Tiga (Tiga Island) and Layang-Layang Island.

Tags: Island in Sabah | Pulau Tiga | Tiga Island | Layang-Layang Island |

TUESDAY, AUGUST 20, 2013

North Borneo Railway Train Schedule

Train Schedule

The North Borneo Railway runs two weekly return departures (Wednesday, Saturday) from Kota Kinabalu to Papar, year round. Lasting approximately 4 hours, passengers experience the lush landscape of the coastal and rural regions of Sabah. A typical ‘tiffin’ colonial lunch will be served on the return trip.

Itinerary :
9.30 am                    Boarding at Tanjung Aru Station – Breakfast is provided
10.00 am                  Depart from Tanjung Aru Station for Papar
10.40 am                  Stop at Kinarut Town – visit Tien Shi Temple or traditional shops
11.00 am                  Depart from Kinarut Station
11.45 am                  Arrive in Papar Town – visit local wet market and shops
12.20 pm                  Re-board train for return journey
12.30 pm                  Depart from Papar Station for Tanjung Aru
12.40 pm                  ’Tiffin’ Lunch onboard
1.40 pm                    Arrive at Tanjung Aru Station

 

Breakfast & Tiffin Set Lunch :

Tags: Kota Kinabalu | North Borneo Railway | Train Schedule | Papar | Tanjung Aru | Kinarut Town | Tiffin Lunch | Borneo Sabah | |

FRIDAY, JUNE 7, 2013

Manukan Island- an Unforgettable Honeymoon getaway

Do you want to experience an unforgettable honeymoon trip? Then you should go to Manukan Island for a perfect honeymoon getaway. It is only within a short boat rides away from Kota Kinabalu. Once you are there, you will know why the beautiful Manukan Island is extremely popular amongst tourists and local Kota Kinabalu residents alike.

MASWings has regular flight from Kuching to Kota Kinabalu once every day. From Brunei, three daily MASWings flights connect Bandar Seri Begawan to Kota Kinabalu. If you are coming from across the sea, there are available direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu.

From Kota Kinabalu, you can take the ten-minute boat ride from the Jesselton Ferry Terminal to this beautiful island. Manukan Island is one of the largest islands in Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, Sabah’s only marine national park. The magnificent Manukan Island has a lot to offer to visitors coming to its shores. The clear blue water surrounding Manukan Island makes it the perfect spot to go snorkelling or diving. In fact, these two activities are popular amongst visitors to this island.

If you go for a dive in the water, you will be astounded by the colourful variety of tropical fish and beautiful coral reef formation littered throughout the area. Apart from snorkelling or diving, you can in indulge many other activities in Manukan Island such as para sailing, jet skiing and boat riding. You could just simply sail along the water surrounding this island and enjoy the breath taking scenery with clear blue skies that complemented the equally clear blue water. The soft clean water is indeed captivating to the eyes. Do make sure you take many photos when you are here to capture this perfect scene!

On Manukan Island itself, you can find many things to do to indulge yourself in the honeymoon vacation that you are in. The various choices of accommodations available here will surely make you want to spend a night or two with your loved one in this tropical paradise. Manukan Island boasts complete recreational facilities for visitors, with several restaurants serving local and international cuisines, several chalets, a clubhouse and of course a dedicated diving centre for avid divers out there.

Walking together hand in hand with your loved one down the beach, with its clean sands and the beautiful palm trees rustling overhead is one experience that you will never forget. Visitors to Manukan Island often say that this island is one of the best places for a honeymoon getaway. You would be hard-pressed to disagree with them once you are here to see Manukan Island for yourself. The various indigenous plants and animal life throughout Manukan Island adds to the colourful atmosphere of this natural retreat. Watching the sun setting across the horizon is indeed a romantic and breathtaking view.

Words alone cannot describe the beauty of Manukan Island. You really have to go there to fully experience it. If you are planning for a honeymoon getaway, why don’t you take a trip to Kota Kinabalu, hop on a boat and head straight to this wonderful island for a trip of a lifetime?

 

Tags: Manukan Island | Sapi Island | Sabah Borneo | Honeymoon Sabah | MASwings | Manukan Island Resort | Jesselton Ferry Terminal | Taman Tunku Abdul Rahman |

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 |

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, DECEMBER 24, 2012

The colourful Gaya Street and Filipino market in Kota Kinabalu Sabah

Gaya Street market and Filipino market in Kota Kinabalu Sabah are the most famous markets that visitors to Sabah must try out if they are looking for a wonderful shopping experience. The atmosphere and variety of goods being offered in these two markets will make your visit there a worthwhile experience.
Gaya Street market is located at the Kota Kinabalu Central Business District right at the centre of downtown Kota Kinabalu. The Gaya Street market opens every Sunday from 6.30 am in the morning until 1 pm in the afternoon. The residents of Kota Kinabalu would normally spend their weekend browsing through the various wares that Gaya Street market has to offer with their family.  The area comprising the Gaya Street market starts from the Jesselton Hotel all the way to the Kota Kinabalu municipal building.
 
In Gaya Street market, you can find many stalls selling many types of goods that you can find under the sun. As you walk through this Sabah market, you’ll be astounded by the choices of goods on offer here. They have stalls selling various types of souvenirs, daily hardware, traditional local handicrafts, local paintings and even live animals. It is can be an overwhelming sensation to see the range of goods being offered at this wonderful Sabah market. The Gaya Street market will indeed give you an experience unlike any other.
The Filipino market Kota Kinabalu lies further down the road opposite the Centrepoint Shopping Complex in Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens. The immigrant-run Filipino market is also in downtown Kota Kinabalu. Like the Gaya Street market, the Filipino market is no less impressive in the range of goods that it has to offer you. The Filipino market’s attraction is that the atmosphere makes you feel as if you’re shopping in a typical market in the Philippines without even having to leave Sabah.
Filipino market in Kota Kinabalu
You can find a number of uniquely Filipino products such as Filipino food and handicrafts being on offer here. There are also several tailors operating here should you feel the need to do some clothing alterations. The arguably most famous product on offer at this Sabah market that people keep talking about is the cultured pearl. You should get one as a momento of your visit here. After all, it is only five ringgit per piece.
When the sun goes down, you will find a wonderful selection of fresh seafood produce, meat, poultry, vegetables and fruits on sale here. The fresh fruits on sale here is definitely worth a try. You must not miss tasting the delicious local red durian sold here. It is very unforgettable. Apart from the fresh produce, the Filipino market also has stalls selling both local and Filipino food that are hard to resist. The grilled seafood is very amazing ranging from various types of fish, prawns and even big fat juicy lobsters!
After you have been to these wonderful Sabah markets, you will surely want to return here for a repeat visit. The Gaya Street market and Filipino market offers you a wonderful slice of the vibrant Kota Kinabalu shopping experience that you must not miss. Why don’t you come and see for yourself what these wonderful Sabah markets have waiting for you?
Tags: gaya street market sabah | gaya street market kota kinabalu | gaya street market | filipino market sabah | filipino market kota kinabalu | filipino market | sabah market | shopping sabah | shopping in kota kinabalu | kota kinabalu | sabah | gaya market |

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2012

The best of Sabah traditional food

Sabah is undoubtedly famous of its iconic Mount Kinabalu and beautiful sandy beaches. Do you know that Sabah also has a special collection of mouthwatering traditional cuisine? For food lovers out there, Sabah traditional food is something that you will never forget. With its diverse ethnic population, each of this group offers their own distinct Sabah traditional food. You must not miss trying out Sabah traditional food when you are here. The unique Sabah traditional food will astound and delight...

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Tags: sabah food | sabah traditional food | sabah cuisine | sabah local food | food in sabah | traditional food in sabah | sabah famous food |

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 |

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2012

The vibrant Sabah Harvest Festival

If you are in Sabah during the beginning of May you will be able to enjoy the colourful Sabah Harvest Festival or Kaamatan that is celebrated by the Kadazandusun people of Sabah. This vibrant Sabah Harvest Festival will sure to dazzle you with its showcase of rich Kadazandusun cultural heritage.

The Kadazandusun of Sabah celebrates the Sabah Harvest Festival or Kaamatan annually to give thanks for the bountiful rice during the rice harvesting period. Kaamatan is the largest festival in Sabah and is celebrated statewide by the Kadazandusun people. The Kadazandusun has been celebrating this Sabah festival for several generations from the time when these people were collectively agrarian rice planters. During the harvest time the Kadazandusun community would work hand in hand gathering the rice stalks with special knives said to be able to appease the rice spirits.

 

This festival in Sabah begins on the first of May and reaches its climax by the end of May where there will be a lot of festivities and merrymaking. One important feature of this festival in Sabah is where the local Kadazandusun high priestess would conduct a ritual inviting Bambaazon, the rice spirit, to the festival. It is believed that this festival in Sabah will not be able to commence until this spirit is present. In the far-flung past, this ritual would be conducted under the first full moon in the rice field where there would be a procession through the field led by a warrior wielding his sword to ward off evil spirits.

 

Apart from seeing the traditional thanksgiving ritual, you will also be able to see various events such as cultural shows, exhibitions, traditional Kadazandusun games and buffalo races being held to celebrate this Sabah festival. Every year since 1960, this Sabah festival has been celebrated on a statewide scale where the Kadazandusun community would showcase their rich cultural heritage through traditional songs, dances, cultural shows, agricultural exhibitions, handicraft sales and of course. The local community would turn out fully decked in their colourful traditional attire. The special rice wine called tapai is served throughout the festival. You will be amazed at the various colourful activities being held during this Sabah festival.

 

This year’s Kaamatan was celebrated all month long with various events being held throughout Sabah. The beginning of the festival was marked with a colourful cultural show held in Kota Kinabalu JKKN complex that presents a rich blend of the state’s cultural heritage. Towards the end of May, there was a Kaamatan grand finale celebration held by the Kadazandusun Cultural Association in Penampang. This place was where all the main festivities were held towards the final two days in the month of May. If you are in Sabah for the next Kaamatan festival, do make sure you mark these important dates!

 

By the end of this wonderful Sabah festival, you are guaranteed to leave Sabah with lots of wonderful memories on the ever-vibrant and colourful Sabah Harvest Festival. Why don’t you take a trip to Sabah during the month of May and experience the sights, sounds and colours of the Kaamatan festival yourself?

Tags: sabah harvest festival | kaamatan | sabah festival | sabah festivities | festival in sabah | kaamatan festival | kadazandusun |

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 |

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 | |

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 |

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2012

Pulau Sipadan Diving

Pulau Sipadan in the Celebes Sea is an island located off the coast of Sabah. Pulau Sipadan is famous for its beautiful diving site. Pulau Sipadan, in spite of its small size, is teeming with diverse marine life and beautiful coral reefs. In fact Pulau Sipadan has been acknowledged throughout the world as having the most diverse marine natural environment. It is unsurprising that endless divers would go diving in Pulau Sipadan to experience the magnificent underwater view that this island has to offer.



What really puts Pulau Sipadan on the map was Jacques Cousteau's famous documentary featuring the island. In this documentary, the world-famous French oceanographer likened Pulau Sipadan to a magnificent piece of art that he has not encountered for the past 45 years. Pulau Sipadan is completely unspoiled as visitors are not allowed to stay on this beautiful Sabah island. Those who wanted to dive here are required to get a diving permit. Since diving permits are limited, you are well-advised to book your diving trip to Pulau Sipadan in advance.

If you want to go diving in Pulau Sipadan you will have to stay in accommodations at the nearby islands of Kapalai or Mabul. If you are on a tight budget you could stay on the Sabah mainland towns of Semporna or Tawau. From Semporna, it would only take you an hour's boat ride to Pulau Sipadan. Once you arrive in Pulau Sipadan you will definitely notice its amazingly clear water, especially between April and December. It is indeed a good thing that the Sabah authorities do not allow visitors to stay on the island and risk polluting the pristine environment.

If you are a beginner diver, it is important for you to go diving with an experienced guide. The currents near the Pulau Sipadan water can be quite strong. There are many experienced and friendly diving instructors operating in the Pulau Sipadan that are willing to help and guide you to navigate the wonderful diving locations spread through this beautiful Sabah island. The diving locations in Pulau Sipadan are breathtakingly beautiful, to say the least. As you go diving under the ocean, you will see magnificent marine life such as the rare green turtles and over 3000 species of fish swimming around in the clear water.

One notable diving location in Pulau Sipadan that you should try out is the Barracuda Point, one of the world’s largest fish areas. This diving spot is full of barracudas swimming around in an enchanting whirlpool formation. If you want to see beautiful coral reef formations while diving, then you should go to the equally famous Mid Reef. You will be able see many amazing types of beautiful corals under the sea bed. You will also see the small anemone fish zigzagging in and out of the coral reef formations.

To describe the wonderful diving scene in Pulau Sipadan in mere word words does not do it any justice. You must come here and experience the beauty of this unspoiled island off the coast of Sabah and witness the captivating underwater scenery yourself. Pulau Sipadan will undoubtedly bring your diving experience to a whole new level. So don’t miss out on the amazing Pulau Sipadan experience now.

Tags: sipadan | pulau sipadan | sabah | diving | Celebes Sea | Jacques Cousteau | Kapalai | Mabul | Semporna | Tawau | Barracuda Point |

THURSDAY, JULY 26, 2012

7 Reasons Why You Should Come To Sabah

Sabah Borneo is growing into a big tourism industry player, offering its own unique appeal to tourists from all over the world. Whether it is the white sandy beaches, lush jungles, exotic wildlife, or a rich cultural experience that you're looking for, Sabah has all of these to offer.

 

There are seven reasons why you should put Sabah as your next holiday destination if you are planning to go on your own or with friends or family.

Number one on the list is the islands of Sabah. Sabah is well-known for its surrounding islands, making it a popular destination among tourist both from far and near. The most famous island in Sabah is the Sipadan Island which keeps attracting thousands of visitors each year. Sipadan is an oceanic island formed by living corals growing on top of an extinct undersea volcano rising 600m from the seabed. The geographic position of Sipadan at the heart of the Indo-Pacific basin puts it in the centre of the richest marine habitat in the world. There are more than 3000 species of fish and hundreds of coral species that have been classified in this rich ecosystem. Sipadan is well known for its unusually large numbers of green and hawksbill turtles that gather here to mate and nest. Among other islands worth visiting are Mabul Island, Mataking Island  and Survivor Island (Pulau Tiga).

 

If you are into sea turtles then this should be your second reason why you should come to Sabah. Turtle Park Island consists of Selingan, Bakungan Kecil and Gulisan islands. The park is a safe haven for the endangered green and hawksbill turtles. This gives you the rare opportunity to watch turtle landings. Selingan, the largest of these three islands, houses the park's headquarters, a turtle hatchery, tourist accommodations and basic facilities. The other two islands are used for conservation activities.

 

The third reason for you to come to Sabah is that you can get up close and personal with the wildlife of Borneo.  Lok Kawi Wildlife Centre offers just that. This centre consists of two components: the zoological and the botanical. The main objective of the park is to become a family-oriented park. The Borneo Pygmy elephants, Sumatran rhinoceros, Orang Utan, Proboscis monkey, Malayan tiger, as well as some different species of deer are among the inhabitants of the zoo (zoological component). The botanical component offers visitors the opportunity to go jungle trekking along the botanical trail. Other wildlife centres worth visiting are the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary, Danum Valley Conservation Area, Klias River and many others.

 

Getting to know the various cultures here in Sabah should be your fourth reason to come to Sabah. Visit Mari-Mari Cultural Village in Kota Kinabalu where you will be introduced to various traditional homes of Sabahan ethnic communities, consisting of the Bajau, Lundayeh, Murut, Rungus and Dusun people.  Do stop by at Monsopiad Cultural village, a living museum located 16 km or about half an hour away from the Kota Kinabalu, and be prepared to be teleported back to the times of ancient Borneo through the display of unique ingenious architecture, simulated lives and ritualistic ceremonies. You will also get acquainted with each village tribe as you enter their homes and experience their rich culture. There are other places to visit as well such as the Kadazan Dusun Culture Association Cultural Village, Maranjak homestay, Linangkit Cultural Village and others.

 

The fifth reason why Sabah needs to be in your list is due to the state’s rich history. There are two well-known World War II memorials located in Sabah; the Kundasang War Memorial Park and the Sandakan Memorial Park. Kundasang War Memorial Park was one of the first memorials to commemorate the brave Australian and British Prisoners of War who died in Sandakan and during the infamous death marches to Ranau during World War II. The memorial also commemorates the people of North Borneo who risked their lives to help the POWs. The Sandakan Memorial Park commemorates the tragedy and atrocity which struck Sandakan between January and August 1945. The Memorial Park bear witness to the death of approximately 2400 Australian and British prisoners of war held by the Japanese in the Sandakan POW camp during the beginning of Allied victory in the Pacific war. There are also other historical monuments or places in Sabah such as the North Borneo Railway, St Michael’s and All Angels Church, Atkinson Clock Towers and many others for you to see.

 

The sixth reason to go to Sabah is the famous Sabah Waterfront, your one-stop entertainment and dining centre. As you walk along the waterfront you will have a lot dining place to choose from. You could also find nice souvenir shops here if you are looking for a memento of your trip to Sabah. The Borneo Trading Post here offers a good selection. If you're looking for antique goods, head on to the Nan Hai Treasure Gallery where you can find authentic Chinese artifacts recovered from the sea.

 

The seventh and final reason why you should come to Sabah is Mount Kinabalu, the tallest mountain in Borneo Island. Located within Kinabalu Park, listed by UNESCO as one of the World Heritage Site, thousands of tourist visit Mount Kinabalu each year.  It takes two days to ascend Mount Kinabalu. However visitors would not have to worry of not having previous experience in mountain climbing. The summit of Mount Kinabalu offers a spectacular sunrise view that will make the two day effort worthwhile.

 

So plan ahead to where you want to go when you arrive here in Sabah, Borneo. We hope that we have given you a few ideas on where you should head to. For more info please e-mail your inquiries to Cutiborneo@yahoo.com or check out the amazing package deals on our web site.

Tags: sabah | kota kinabalu | Mataking | Mabaul | Sipadan | Selingan | Lok Kawi Wildlife | Mount Kinabalu | St Michael | All Angels Church | Atkinson Clock Tower |

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 |