Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Lemaing Eco Camp

Lemaing - The Sir Hugh Low Expedition Camp
The three villages of Kiau are situated at the foot of Mount Kinabalu in the heart of Sabah. For most people coming to the East Malaysian state, visiting or even climbing the highest mountain in Southeast Asia is on top of their list. But only very few know that the popular trail leading up the mountain is not the one that was used on the very first documented ascent in 1851. Approaching Mount Kinabalu from Kiau, you follow the historic trail past the picturesque Minitinduk Gorge all the way along the Kadamaian River. On the way, you reach a bamboo construction that looks as if it may become some kind of fancy house someday. This is Lemaing - The Sir Hugh Low Expedition Camp.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Eco Holidays at the Kinabatangan

A long-tailed macaque paying Sukau Rainforest Lodge a visit
What a terrific weekend within the rainforest of Sabah, Malaysia! Not only did I experience the beauty of Sepilok Rainforest close to Sandakan in eastern Sabah, but also did I get the extraordinary opportunity to cruise along Sabah's longest river, the Kinabatangan, through the amazing rainforests of the area of Sukau. On this exciting journey I saw orangutans, countless long-tailed macaques, gibbons, various kingfishers, owls, a crocodile and even a python wrapped around the thick branch of a tree. The most fascinating thing about this trip were probably our guides who managed to find all those partly well hidden creatures which I wouldn't have found even if I had been standing right in front of them.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Proboscis Monkeys and Fireflies at Garama Village

Proboscis Monkeys
This weekend I had visitors from Germany here in Kota Kinabalu who wanted to explore Sabah for a few days. Of course we wanted to do something exciting and "Bornean" together. Since we did not have much time, we decided to try a one-day trip to Garama Village in the southwest of Sabah, where we would be able to spot the famous Proboscis "Long-Nosed" Monkeys as well as fireflies during a river cruise along Garama River.

We were picked up in Kota Kinabalu by a tour bus and drove down south for about two hours before reaching Garama Village. Before starting the river cruise, a little boat took us to a small restaurant where we had tea and local sweets - pisang goreng (fried bananas) and sticky rice with anchovies wrapped in banana leaves. After enjoying the quiet in the middle of nowhere, we started the river cruise in the late afternoon, because the Proboscis monkeys do not come out as long as it is still too hot.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Diving in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park

Let's go diving!
(Photo taken by our lovely captain)
This past Sunday I went on a diving trip to the coral reefs around the islands of Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park (TARP). I joined a group of seven other divers from Singapore, Hong Kong, Jamaica and Taiwan. Our great guides-team consisted of a Malaysian and an English dive master who made it an unforgettable experience!

We left from Jesselton Point in the western end of downtown Kota Kinabalu and enjoyed the beautiful boat ride along the coastlines of the islands Gaya, Sapi, Mamutik, Manukan and Sulug which form the TARP, which was named after Malaysia’s first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman. In 1974, this state park three kilometers from Kota Kinabalu was gazetted as Sabah’s second national park with the goal to protect the local marine eco-systems as well as flora and fauna.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sarawak Aims to be a Major Eco-tourism Destination in Region

Mulu National Park
KUCHING: Malaysia, especially Sarawak, will promote itself as a major eco-tourism destination in the region to tap the shifting global trend among tourists towards eco-tourism.

Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg, citing statistics from the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), said tourists were now flocking to places such as Central Africa, the Amazon in Central America, Kenya in Africa, and Southeast Asian countries.

“When there is a trend like that, Malaysia thinks we can play a role in attracting interests towards new products based on our bio-diversity,” he said during a special interview session with journalists covering the 17th Meeting of Asean Tourism Ministers here yesterday.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Great News for Bornean Sun Bears Lovers!

The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) - the only sun bear conservation centre in the world has finally opening its door to public on 17th January 2014; strategically located next to Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre in Sandakan. It was founded by Siew Te Wong, in 2008 as a two-stage effort to provide the care, rehabilitation and release of orphaned and captive sun bears, as well as address the lack of knowledge and awareness of this little-known bear both in Malaysia and internationally.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Irresistible Buffet Satay Celup and Steamboat – Ben’s Satay Celup

Eating is a lifestyle for Sabahan, for its not only satisfying cravings and hunger but when comes to eating together it also foster relationships. Personally, I love eating with friends and families as we share our daily life over the scrumptious meal. 

Recently, heard about a newly opened buffet steamboat which Satay Celup is one of their specialties; it is the first in Kota Kinabalu to offer Satay Celup as it is a cuisine from Malacca (West Malaysia). On top of that, unlimited supply of seafood is the main attractions for most of the diners! 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sandakan Memorial Park

A perfect place for history enthusiasts, the Sandakan Memorial Park is located 11 km outside of Sandakan. It is located on the original site of the World War II POW (prisoners of war) camp. The memorial park tells the tragedy and atrocity occurred between January and August 1945 in the form of pictures and information panels displayed in the park and pavilion. The site was the starting point of the infamous Death March ordered by the Japanese soldiers, which claimed the lives of approximately 2400 Australian and British prisoners of war (POW).

The rusting remains of an excavator, generator and a boiler still lie in their original positions in the memorial park. The Sandakan Memorial Park is the venue for the annual Anzac Day, 25 April, and Sandakan Day 15 August services.

Pix: Jistasika Paulus

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Sukau Rainforest Lodge is Sabah’s Top Nature Lodge

Sukau Rainforest Lodge (SRL) celebrates another feat by claiming the ‘Excellence in Hotel Services Category - Nature Lodge in the Sabah Tourism Awards 2013 on 16 November 2013. The biennial Sabah Tourism Awards is the top accolade for tourism and hospitality industry in the state of Sabah, Malaysia of which, 35 outstanding organizations and individuals were given special recognition. 

Opened in 1995 by Albert Teo, SRL is a beacon for aspiring conservationists and ecolodge operators around the world. The lodge’s latest achievement is essentially attributed to its commitment to sustainable tourism development principle of triple bottom line- economic, social, and environment. Such principle includes application of ‘Green Policy in daily operation for instance, utilising rainwater and solar hot water heating, which makes SRL completely self sufficient in water and power supply. Electric motors are used for river safari tours to wildlife areas to minimise air and noise pollution hence, reducing impact to the wildlife. Read their Green Policy (