Essential Tips to Stay Healthy while Traveling in Sabah, Borneo

Essential Tips to Stay Healthy while Traveling in Sabah, Borneo

Essential Tips to Stay Healthy while Traveling in Sabah, Borneo


June, 2017

Travelling can be so amazing, but it can also be disastrous if you do not take care of your health while traveling in Sabah, Borneo. To stay healthy while traveling is totally doable if you strategize on your travel plans. Thus, here are some of the essential tips that you will need to stay healthy while traveling in Sabah, Borneo.

1. Before you go, do some research first…

Essential Tips to Stay Healthy while Traveling in Sabah

Before traveling, you would need to know which destinations you would go and to know what kind of illnesses that you may face there. Consult your local doctor as well as read online on how to avoid those illnesses. You can also research on options of dining places in your travel destination so that you can find options for healthy food to sustain throughout your trip.

You can also download our Travel Health Sheet here for FREE!

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2. Next, immunizations or vaccinations!

This is a choice that you will need to do before visiting Sabah. Several vaccinations are recommended before you travel, which depends on your itinerary. Seek your local doctors for advice and recommendations on travel health. You can also download our free travel health sheet too!

3. Stay hydrated while traveling

Essential Tips to Stay Healthy while Traveling in Sabah

Sabah is incredibly hot and humid with a bit of rain throughout the year. However, it is recommended for you to stay hydrated at all times and drink more water to boost your immunity and metabolism while you travel in Sabah.

4. Boiling water/ mineral water intake

Best not to drink tap water, and this applies to anywhere you travel. So, it is better to drink mineral water or boiling water. You should be carrying water bottle all the time to stay hydrated.

5. Walk every day

If your destination is only a walking distance, it is recommended to explore it on foot, as it is one of the way to do some exercise while travelling. Use a map, get lost or get found, you will eventually realise that there will be more hidden gems that are not in the travel guide. This is a chance for you to enjoy the sight, smell and sound of the new surrounding, as well as to save some budget for your trip.

Essential Tips to Stay Healthy while Traveling in Sabah

6. Pack some healthy snacks

Essential Tips to Stay Healthy while Traveling in Sabah

Bring healthy snacks for you to eat, it will help you to avoid unhealthy food that are readily available. Be careful when eating foods from street vendors, unpasteurized dairy products, and raw or uncooked foods.

7. Don’t forget your sunblock and insect repellent!

Sabah weather can be unpredictably hot. Thus, you will very much likely get sunburnt when going out. Apply your skin with sunscreen to protect from the hazardous impacts of sunlight. Apart from that, don’t forget to use mosquito repellent when you are in Sabah, because it is to prevent you from getting dengue fever, malaria, or life threatening diseases.

8. Bring your Wet Wipes and Hand Sanitizer

We recommended you to bring wet wipes and/or hand sanitizer to maintain good hygiene as some public washrooms can be dirty.

Essential Tips to Stay Healthy while Traveling in Sabah

9. Don’t forget your supplements and basic first aid kit!

Sabah weather can be unpredictably hot. Thus, you will very much likely get sunburnt when going out. Apply your skin with sunscreen to protect from the hazardous impacts of sunlight. Apart from that, don’t forget to use mosquito repellent when you are in Sabah, because it is to prevent you from getting dengue fever, malaria, or life threatening diseases.

10. Travel insurance is always a good idea

Travel insurance companies will make it easier for you by providing a cheaper rate for travelers to be prepared for any unexpected accidents (God forbid!), without having the need to pay extra charges. Just make sure to keep your travel insurance details with you at all times, as it will help to speed up the process and making sure your insurer is informed.

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Unique Taste of Borneo Cooking Class Tour

Unique Taste of Borneo Cooking Class Tour

Unique Taste of Borneo Cooking

Class Tour


June, 2017

“Don’t just eat like a local. Learn to cook like one, too!” – John Lee, The Globe and Mail

Sabah is filled with various types of delicious foods like Western food, Chinese food, Indian food, and so on. But the most interesting type of food to checkout when you are visiting Sabah is the Local Kadazandusun food as you can only try this when you are in Sabah and it is a must-not-to-be-missed-thing to do. The experience is unbelievable! I had the chance to be a “tourist” in my hometown one day, to join the Taste of Borneo Cooking Class Tour with our guests. We were brought to the Local Market also known as “TAMU” in the local dialect, to see a big variety of vegetables, fishes, and also some of our Endemic Fruits such as the “TARAP” fruit, “BAMBANGAN” fruit and much more. Also get the chance to mingle around with the locals at the market and see how do they do their business there.


We were guided by two elderly couples throughout the market up to their house not far from Donggongon Town. When we reach to their house, they served us a few traditional Borneo Dessert with local black coffee before starting the cooking lesson. It started with a soup called Pinasakan. 

It is a popular dish among the Kadazandusun people in Sabah, this is the recipe that is used by the local people back in the olden days to keep it from going bad because, in the olden days, they usually traveled very far from home to get to the seaside to trade and get supplies. There was no refrigerator back then, so what they did is, they extract the moisture out from the fish so that it would withstand the long journey back home. The taste is sour, sweet and of course, delicious. Read our blog on “Pinasakan” being the popular dish for Kadazandusun.


Preparation of the soup. Also introductions to some of the ingredients used in the soup.   

The second dish is the Labu Putih Soup or Winter Melon soup with some chicken. This is a soup that is well known by both the Kadazandusun people and also the Chinese people in Sabah. It’s a simple dish to prepare but the taste is extraordinary. You’ll get that soft and tender chicken meat that is cooked together with the winter melon and also the aromatic soup that is super appetizing.


Winter Melon Soup With Chicken.   


Guest prepare the vegetables for the next dish.   

Tasting the soup 

Explaination on the food preparing

When the soup is boiling, we were introduced to some local vegetables such as the Wild Fern, Water Spinach, and also Tuhau. The couples taught us how to prepare them before cooking it. The most interesting vegetable for me is the Tuhau. It has a very strange smell to it and some people even describe the smell is like a beetle bug that the locals call the Posisang (a small beetle bug with a deadly smell).

Amazingly, they don’t taste as bad as how they would smell and it is super delicious. Once everything is cooked, rice is served together, and we all sat with the couple to chit chat and enjoy the foods. Honestly, the food was amazing! Get ready to skip your diet because the dishes was super appetizing and it is hard to resist from getting a second round.

After having our amazing lunch, we sat down to have some rest and the couple took us for a short tour around their garden to is filled with lots of beautiful colorful flowers. We took a few pictures with the couple for our good experience with them and to our surprise, they gave us a small token for our memories. It is a small recipe book for us bring back and remember the recipe.

After saying our goodbyes the driver then took us back to the hotel. It was an amazing experience that anyone should try as the couple will not only fill your mind with some super delicious recipe but also fill your stomach with their superb dishes.  

Momma’s sharing story to the guest

Momma is explaining some local herbs fresh from home.

Bon Apetite!

Photo Session with the guest

Interested in joining our Taste of Borneo Cooking Class? Bring your family or your friends to get the first experience of hands-on cooking the local Kadazandusun dishes, and don’t worry there will be a local family will help and teach you! 🙂 Feel free to check our tour here. 


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Bizarre fruits in Sabah that you might never hear before!

Bizarre fruits in Sabah that you might never hear before!

Bizarre fruits in Sabah that you might never hear before!


June, 2017

When you visit Sabah, be sure to try out some of the bizarre fruits in Sabah. Refrain yourself from buying fruits in the supermarket because it is too common for you, instead, go to the local market which offers a wide variety of delicious and rare fruits that Mother Nature has in store for you. Get ready to open your eyes to a ‘new world’ when you taste the bizarre fruits in Sabah!

Here are some of the bizarre fruits in Sabah that you never heard before: 

1. Tarap Fruit or Marang

Bizarre fruits in Sabah
  • This is one of the native fruit that I am sure most Sabahan love to eat. However, for the first-timer or visitors, they may hate the fruit, and some eventually get used to the smell and they like it! Some say it’s due to its smell that makes them not too likable to the fruit, but I personally don’t feel the smell is as strong as the durian smell.
  • The skin of the Tarap is covered with soft and blunt spines, which doesn’t prick at all. When it is ripe, it is easy to tear open because of its rind that turned soft. The flesh of the Tarap is so appetizing, sweet soft, and creamy white. The seed of tarap can also be eaten by frying it with a little bit of oil. Somehow, looking at the picture makes me crave for Tarap fruit now!

2. Bambangan or Wild Mango Fruit

Bizarre fruits in Sabah
  • It is a seasonal fruit which Sabahans love to eat. However, this fruit will not be eaten raw (usually), but will be pickled, or use for cooking with fish, such as Pinasakan ( steamed fish).
  • The bambangan is spherically-shaped, brown skin and yellowish in color. It taste a bit like mango fruit, as it can be sweet or sour, due to it being a seasonal fruit. It is known to contain health-giving additives and can reduce cardiovascular diseases.

3. Breadfruit or Buah Sukun

Bizarre fruits in Sabah
  • This is one of the fruits that can keep you full for the next few hours. I have tasted this fruit in the form of fried fritters at the tamu (local market), and it tastes so delicious and filling. The breadfruit is a versatile type of crop, which you can either eat it raw or cooked, even when it is not ripe.
  • The breadfruit is usually round, oblong, or oval in shape, with a rough surface and can weigh up to 6kg. When the breadfruit is unripe, the flesh is in white color, starchy, and fibrous. If it is ripe, the flesh is in yellow color and creamier. Breadfruit is high source of gluten-free carbohydrate, calcium, iron, and minerals, as well as being a low fat, and cholesterol fruits. Breadfruit can help people in maintaining a good diet and healthy lifestyle, for those who consume it.

4. Pulasan

Bizarre fruits in Sabah
  • Some people might confuse with this fruit, as it is closely similar with rambutan due to its shape and outer look. However, pulasan is extremely sweet and juicier than rambutan, the rind is thick and dark red in color, which is covered with blunt spines.
  • Pulasan name is originating from a Malay word ‘pulas’, means to twist as we need to twist the fruit in order to open it.
  • One of the good thing about pulasan fruit is its high content of Vitamin C and can help for those who are trying to lose weight, or maintain a healthy body. Traditionally, the leaves and roots of Pulasan tree can be used for healing of the wounds.

5. Jackfruit

Bizarre fruits in Sabah
  • Jackfruit is almost exactly the same as Cempedak, but it is slightly larger than the latter. Good thing about this fruit, it is available all year round! It has a distinctive sweet and fruity aroma, and its flesh is starchy and fibrous. Jackfruit is considered as a source of dietary fiber.
  • Jackfruit can be eaten raw, cooked as a dish, or can be as a snack food in form of fritters. Some say the taste of Jackfruit flesh when it is ripe is similar to a pulled pork or chicken, which is why jackfruit has become a meat substitution for those who wanted to cut meat in their diet.
  • Jackfruit can be used in making anything from curries, noodles, deep fried snack to ice-cream! Its golden yellow flesh is not sweet and is rich in potassium, plus the seeds are edible as well and a good source of protein.

6. Eggfruit Canistel or Buah Lemak

Bizarre fruits in Sabah
  • This is one of the exotic fruit that I have never tried (yet). I have seen this kind of fruit at the roadside local market in Kundasang, Ranau. Never crossed my mind that this is a fruit and is edible too!
  • The eggfruit is a similar shape like a small mango or apricot because of its skin in yellow color. However, its size can differ, it can be nearly round shape, somewhat oval, spindle-shaped or sometimes heart-shaped. Interesting isn’t it?
  • The eggfruit flesh when ripe, is sweet and musky, and taste like an egg yolk or mashed sweet potato. Apart from that, it is rich in nutrients because it contains beta-carotene ( an essential nutrient for the eyes), iron (good for anemic), and antioxidants (aid to fight diseases).

7. Tamarillo fruit

Bizarre fruits in Sabah
  • Tamarillo or known as Tree Tomato plant, because of its look resembling a tomato. In Sabah, Tamarillo can be found in the cool climate and highland area at Kundasang. It has a unique and exotic taste. Tamarillo flesh is mildly sweet and tangy, it can taste very similar to jams, jelly, and passion fruit.
  • Tamarillo fruits are in oval and egg shape with smooth skin. The fruit itself is rich with vitamin A, vitamin C, minerals and antioxidants, can be consumed for healthy well-being and meeting our nutrient requirements.
  • Tamarillo fruits can be eaten raw as fruit, can be used in making juices, and very filling. In Sabah, some local use Tamarillo fruit to cook with fish as a dish or make a pickle.
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Insta-Worthy Places in Sabah

Insta-Worthy Places in Sabah

Insta-Worthy Places In Sabah


June, 2017

Sabah is blessed with beautiful beaches, sunsets, jungle scenery, villages and its own beautiful cultures. It is no surprise that travelers would come to Sabah just to snap some photos of its surrounding areas. So, let me share with you some of the insta-worthy of places in Sabah that I am sure can make all your Instagram followers be amazed by the beauty of Sabah.

1. Signal Hill Observatory Tower, Kota Kinabalu

One of the perfect spot for locals and tourists to capture Kota Kinabalu city view. However, it would be very cool when you can capture the Kota Kinabalu city view at night from the Signal Hill.

2. Street Arts in Gaya Street, Kota Kinabalu

An old Welfare building turned into street art graffiti building and other buildings in Gaya Street area, which added some flavors to Kota Kinabalu city and it is perfect to use as a backdrop for model photo shooting. This would be a cool place for you to check out and snap some photos!

insta-worthy places in Sabah
insta-worthy places in Sabah

3. Sunset Bar Shangri La’s Tanjung Aru, Kota Kinabalu

Feeling romantic and relax with a glass of cocktail when you are here in Sunset Bar. One of the perfect place to witness the beautiful sunset in Sabah and the surroundings are breathtaking. Thus, it is worth to snap some photos for your Instagram profile!

insta-worthy places in Sabah
insta-worthy places in Sabah

4. Mahua Waterfall, Tambunan, Kota Kinabalu

One of the top destinations of Sabah interior, which is surrounded by shady forest and running stream makes the area very cooling and refreshing. It is simply picturesque. You will not need to add filter effects when you snap a photo in this area.

insta-worthy places in Sabah
insta-worthy places in Sabah
insta-worthy places in Sabah

Mahua Waterfall ~ water as cold as an ice. refreshing af . . #TamanBanjaranCrocker #MahuaWaterfall #TripOfTheMonth

A post shared by Glena Annabelle Dee (@glena_dee) on

N A T U R E #ikysyik #mahuawaterfall #tambunan

A post shared by Nurul Asyikin Hamid (@syikinhamid) on

Mahua waterfall 17m height

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5. Kalampunian Beach, Kudat

One of the beautiful beach in mainland Sabah before reaching the Tip of Borneo, where the combination of beautiful cloudless sky, brilliant deep blue color of the sea and white sandy makes one a pure joy to walk on the beach. It is another reason of this being an insta-worthy spot in Sabah. Want to go visit Kudat someday? Click our Kudat Tour for more inquiries.

insta-worthy places in Sabah
insta-worthy places in Sabah


A post shared by Pearly Shells (@purlys) on

Homecoming. Picture taken by @shaneyee88 😘

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#GoJalan #SeeSabah #Sabah #Malaysia

A post shared by Lamb Chops (@whitelambchops) on

Like what you read so far? Make a plan to visit  Sabah Borneo.

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6. Tambatuon, Kota Belud

A perfect setting for a place to rest and relax, surrounded by the beautiful valley of the Kedamain River, paddy fields, and fruit orchards. Who can resist with the beautiful village area? I know I could not resist it, which is why this place should be one of the insta-worthy spots in Sabah. Experience an authentic village life in Tambatuon tour, which you will never regret it in your life!

7. Nabalu town (view of Mount Kinabalu), Kundasang

Before reaching Kinabalu Park or Ranau town, be sure to stop by Nabalu town for snack and handicrafts. Not forgotten also to view the majestic Mount Kinabalu, which you can easily see it from the viewing point in Nabalu town. A perfect spot for you to capture photos of Mount Kinabalu surrounded by lush rainforest as your background, and it is no wonder a perfect spot or insta-worthy in Sabah.

8. Desa Cattle Dairy Farm, Kundasang

Located at the foothill of Mount Kinabalu, and surrounded by the green pastures, a group of grazing cows, plus the cooling air breeze. It is truly a breathtaking scenery and often chosen for wedding photography destination.

9. Mamut Copper Mine, Ranau

Ranau was home to the largest mining project in Malaysia, the Mamut Copper Mine before it ceased operations in 1999. Now, it has become one of the main attractions for locals and tourist to visit. Why is it Instagram-worthy? Just look at the incredibly beautiful man-made lake, scenery, and refreshing air.

10. Luang Rock Beach, Kuala Penyu

Lastly, one of the insta-worthy spot in Sabah would be at the Luang Rock Beach in Kuala Penyu. A bell-shaped rock, surrounded with mossy green rocks, sea, pebbles, rusty-red rockface, and caves as your background will be perfect for photo shooting. Not only that, you can capture an amazing shot of sunsets there!

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Interesting Places To Go In Sabah With Kids

Interesting Places To Go In Sabah With Kids

Interesting Places To Go In Sabah With Kids


May, 2017

Don’t listen to those who say traveling with kids are hard. It is one of the greatest moment in your life when you travel with your kids. Not only does it strengthen your bond with your kids, but also to create memories together. Planning to travel to Sabah but don’t have any ideas where to bring your kids?

Here are some interesting places that you can bring your kids to visit while in Sabah.


a) Gaya Street Market

Interesting Places to go in Sabah with kids

b) Mari- Mari Cultural Village

c) Kota Kinabalu Wetlands

Interesting Places to go in Sabah with kids

d) “Rumah Terbalik” / Upside Down House

e) Sabandar Leisure Rides

Interesting Places to go in Sabah with kids

f) Tunku Abdul Rahman Park (TARP)

Are you looking for travel’s guide to Kota Kinabalu city? Read our blog on Traveler’s guide to Kota Kinabalu and Things to do in Kota Kinabalu with Kids.


a) Tinopikon Park

b) Sinilou Kibambangan Water Park

c) Lok Kawi Wildlife Park


a) Arnab Village Farm

b) Desa Cattle Dairy Farm

c) Poring Hot Spring

Are you planning to bring your family to Ranau? Come and read our blog on “Don’t miss this when you’re in RANAU!” and you might can know some amazing places in Ranau that you never heard before!


a) Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

b) Borneon Sun Bear Conservation Center

c) Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary

d) Turtle Island Park

Want to know more Sandakan? Check out the travel guide to Sandakan blog post to know where to go when you and your family in Sandakan.


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The Legends of Mount Kinabalu

The Legends of Mount Kinabalu

The Legends of Mount Kinabalu


April, 2017

“Once upon a time there was a giant living…at the foot of Mount Kinabalu.” – Ansow Gunsalam, 1983
Being part of the third largest island in the world, Sabah is abundant with rich culture, diverse ecosystem, and many more hidden gems ready to be explored. One of the many mysteries that stares at us each day (literally, especially when the sky is clear of clouds) is none other than the majestic Mount Kinabalu itself.

A mountain so highly regarded by our ancestors as well as present time by the locals, Mount Kinabalu is known as Aki Nabalu, ‘the revered place of the dead’, Aki also means ‘grandfather and/or male ancestors’ in KadazanDusun dialect. Before the spread of Christianity, a majority of indigenous people here were pagans who practiced animism. They believed in spirits and invisible beings are it good or evil spirits. It was believed (then) that the summit of Mount Kinabalu was the highest point in Borneo, which is why spirits would go there to enter the afterlife.

Before climbing up the treacherous mountain (during those days), locals would perform religious ceremony upon reaching the summit. These rituals were to pacify these roaming spirits who lived there in order not to harm them and giving them safe passage. Nowadays, these ceremonies are conducted annually by the National Park guides. Part of the ritual is to offer seven chickens, eggs, betel nuts, sirih leaves, lime, rice, as well as local cigars.

Another legend has it that the name Kinabalu, Kina meaning ‘China’, and Balu meaning ‘Widow’, put it together in English and you’ll get Chinese Widow.
The Kadazan tale goes like this;-
Many centuries ago there was a Dragon living at the summit of the tallest mountain, deep in the jungles of Borneo Island, guarding a precious pearl. Upon hearing this, the Emperor of China sent all his three sons to steal the pearl from the dragon. Whoever succeeded, would get the throne. There were three princes. So off they went to Borneo Island (on their own) in search of this amazing pearl guarded by the ferocious dragon. The eldest and second prince failed to retrieve the pearl from the dragon whilst the youngest prince, with his ability to outsmart the dragon, was able to steal the pearl at ease and slew the dragon (of course with a few cuts and bruises here and there for added macho-ness).
Descending back to the tropical jungle of Borneo and hurt, the youngest prince was rescued by native villagers who nursed him back to health. There, he met a beautiful Kadazan woman which he fell in love with and soon after, married her. After years of living on Borneo Island, the prince felt homesick, so he decided to go back and visit his family back in China, promising his wife and family that he will return and bring them to China with him.
His wife grew anxious of waiting for him that she would go to the coastal area and wait for his ship to dock. However, her village was so far in that she decided to climb the highest mountain nearby, so she could have a wider and further view of ships sailing the South China Sea. From then on, locals would see her climbing the mountain each sunrise, coming back only after sunset to attend to her children.
Heartbroken, but still determined that her prince charming would come back, she eventually fell ill and died at the top of the mountain. Touched by her loyalty to her husband, the spirits of the mountain turned her into stone, facing the South China Sea, so she could forever wait for her husband’s return.”

Locals say that St. John’s Peak is the stone her body was turned into.

So what happened to Prince Charming? Well, he returned safely back to China and received a grand welcome by his family for slaying the dragon and (most importantly) outsmarting the dragon into stealing his pearl. He told his parents of his new life in Borneo and how he wanted to bring them to China, which they (obviously) disagreed and told him he was already betrothed to a princess from another kingdom.

So what do you think? Do you like it? I love it! This heart-wrenching tale will forever be in my heart and for many generations to come, while Mount Kinabalu will forever stand high and mighty in Borneo Island. Here are some pictures for you to see the beauty of Mount Kinabalu area. If you are interested in climbing Mount Kinabalu, contact us now for more information.

Looking for an alternative trekking than Mount Kinabalu?

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