5 Things Traveler Need Not Pack to Malaysian Borneo

5 Things Traveler Need Not Pack to Malaysian Borneo

5 Things Traveler Need Not Pack to Malaysian Borneo

03
September, 2017

Discover the beauty of the sunset in Malaysian Borneo

Coming to Malaysian Borneo is one of the greatest feeling for any traveler. It just makes you want to jump right into packing whatever is deemed fit to bring. Over the excitement of traveling to Borneo, some travelers tend to forget that it’s the tropics, and weather, climate, and culture is totally different than that of other countries around the world. If this is your first time traveling to Malaysian Borneo, here are five things you need not pack with you.

1. WINTER CLOTHING

Things You Need Not Pack to Malaysian Borneo

Wear light clothes and a long pants for jungle trekking in Borneo Jungle.

Borneo is located at the center of Southeast Asia, enjoys an equatorial climate that provides high humidity. Thus, bringing winter clothing is a No-No. Lightweight natural fabrics work best and pack long pants, as well as breathable long sleeved shirts if you are going for trekking expeditions in order to avoid from becoming an insect feast. Since the weather varies in Malaysian Borneo, travelers are advised to pack light clothings as well as rain gear.

2. SMALL & VALUABLE ITEMS

Things You Need Not Pack to Malaysian Borneo

Travel with jewelry will require you to always carry along or keep in safe box.

Think twice before bringing your priceless valuables. Petty theft and crimes of opportunity are fairly common especially cities that are more touristy areas. It is advisable for travelers to tone down the bling and leave it at home. However, if travelers really need to carry something valuable along with them (such as jewelry for special events), best to keep it in a safe box or lock valuables in the luggage.

3. REVEALING ATTIRE

Things You Need Not Pack to Malaysian Borneo

Wearing revealing attires are not encouraged in Malaysian Borneo.

Like the whole of Malaysia, Borneo is engulfed in rich culture, tradition, and religion; Islam being the official religion in Malaysia. Wearing revealing attires are not encouraged as it is still quite a conservative place. But fret not, wearing shorts and tank tops are fine (depending where you are), and wearing your bikini at the islands or the beach is fine (as long as you’re not wearing it while walking down the busy roads!).

4. UNECESSARY BOOKS

Things You Need Not Pack to Malaysian Borneo

Wear light clothes and long pants for jungle trekking in Borneo Jungle

I love bringing a book when traveling, just to catch up on my readings (I’m on holiday aren’t I?). But when traveling light, do travel light and not pack those gigantic / heavy books with you! They can wait in your humble abode until you get back to tear your nose into each pages! Also, you can easily purchase e-books online and read it anywhere in your own convenience, great way to save on unnecessary weight load.

5. BULKY ELECTRONIC DEVICE

Things You Need Not Pack to Malaysian Borneo

Bring only necessary electronic devices for traveling

Traveling for a long time would mean bringing most of your work electronics with you. I learned it the hard way, and most times, I end up having a back ache lugging around my electronics. Thanks to high tech mobile phones these days, you can easily download relevant apps to do your work straight from your mobile! If you really need to bring a laptop to catch up on emails or do designing work, get a lightweight portable laptop which is easily carried around.

Still, want to know more on travel tips in Malaysian Borneo? Just drop us an email at info@toppeaktravel.com.

Here at Top Peak Travel Borneo, we provide you a Free Downloadable Travel Packing List for travelers who planned to travel to Malaysian Borneo. Don’t miss this out! Check out our other blog entry on the Hidden Gems in Sabah Malaysian Borneo! 

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Proboscis Monkey of Borneo!

Proboscis Monkey of Borneo!

Proboscis Monkey of Borneo!

03

September, 2017

The handsome looking Proboscis Monkey of Borneo. They can be found mostly in the mangrove rivers of Borneo

Even the scientific name of this monkey is also very interesting and catchy. Nasalis Larvatus is their scientific name. Locals in Kalimantan, Indonesia, call it Monyet Belanda, which in English means Dutch Monkey due to its unique features of big and long hanging nose, and white fur, giving it a very unique physicality compared to other monkeys in Borneo.

The description for the Proboscis Monkey is it has a long nose and it has is a very distinct feature that separates it from all other species. In fact, when people first noticed it they didn’t even think it was a monkey due to its physicality. The males have a nose that is even larger than that of the females. It is believed that a larger nose attracts the female. The nose can be up to 10CM(4 inch) long. The males can be up to 21.2KG with the females is about 10KG. This difference is larger than with any other primates in terms of their size. They have a reddish brown coloring and the limbs are gray in color. These Monkeys have a very large stomach too.

The Proboscis Monkey can be found only on the Island of Borneo, making them endemic to Borneo Island. They live in the lower elevations of the forests and around the swamplands. They are mostly found living around Mangroves. The famous place for you to spot the Proboscis Monkey in Sabah is in Beaufort and Sandakan area. There are several places for you to have the opportunity to see these wonderful creatures which are, Klias River, Weston River, Labuk Bay, to name a few. Not only will you be able to see this majestic beauty, but you will also get the chance to see other types of monkeys such as the Silvered Leaf Langur that shares the same habitat with the Proboscis Monkey, and also the Firefly or Firebug and many more. If you are lucky you can even see the Estuary Crocodiles, Wild River Otter, various types of birds, and many more as the swamplands are filled with many types of flora and fauna.

A Male Proboscis Monkey with its Long Nose and Large Stomach

The Proboscis Monkey has a unique behavior if compared to any other types of monkeys. Their warning call is very loud and this is because of their big nose that they can produce a louder voice. Usually, a single male Proboscis monkey lives with a big group of females and they do not live with the same group for long. For the male Proboscis monkey, they will move from one group to another group frequently. One of the coolest thing about the Proboscis Monkey is their capability to swim in deep waters and that makes them able to swim from island to island.

Their uniqueness doesn’t just end there as they also have a very interesting digestive system and they can only eat certain types of foods. The Proboscis Monkey has 4 chambers in their stomach, it is actually a Folivore and Frugivore, which means that they are a leaf eating monkey but sometimes they will also eat ripe fruits, flowers and also insects. Their preferred food is young leaves and shoots of the mangrove. Another interesting fact about the Proboscis Monkey is that they are a seasonal eater as they will usually eat fruits from January to May and usually leaves from June to December. The Proboscis monkey consumes about 55 different plant species and prefers young leaves just starting to grow instead of the mature leaves.

If you are heading down to Borneo, make sure you do not miss to catch a glimpse of the Proboscis Monkeys. It’ll be good to see them with your own eyes and to experience it for yourself. If you are planning to see this elusive monkey I will suggest that you go to the Weston river as it is only about two and a half hours from Kota Kinabalu city and the river has a healthy population of Proboscis Monkeys and they can be easily seen just around the mangrove trees in big groups.

The beautiful wide Weston River that is full of life

Keep your eyes peeled for this Good Looking Monkey around the Mangrove Area as they can be normally seen around trees eating leaves or just Chilling Out…

If you are looking for a chance to experience the Proboscis Monkey River Cruise, you can read up one of our blog post entry on “WESTON RIVER CRUISE TOUR” or maybe you are looking for a day trips in Sabah? Then, read our “Top 5 Day Trips in Sabah Borneo“.

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A Walk into The History & Culture of Sabah, Borneo

A Walk into The History & Culture of Sabah, Borneo

A walk into the History &

Culture of Sabah, Borneo

01

September, 2017

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“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” – Marcus Garvey

Your holiday destination to Sabah, Borneo, will never be completed without going to the Sabah State Museum in Kota Kinabalu city, Sabah, Borneo. Get the insight of the history and culture in Sabah, Borneo. Moreover, it is a good place for you to spend with your family and friends for a day trip in your Sabah Borneo Holidays.

The Sabah State Museum is about 5-10 minutes away from the city, and it is located on top of a hill, opposite the Queen Elizabeth Hospital; the museum is clearly visible to all motorists on the road below. The Sabah State Museum is easily accessible from the main road, which you can reach there via public buses, Uber/Grab car, or taxi.

Sabah State Museum’s main building was built in 1984. Its architectural design was inspired by one of the Sabah Borneo’s indigenous tribe;- Rungus and Murut longhouses. The design of the museum is so unique that it attracts many visitors to experience the fun and educational walk into the history of Sabah Borneo.

A giant size replica of “Wakid” is the bamboo basket which originates from districts of Ranau and Tambunan in Sabah Borneo – Traditionally used by Dusun people to carry fruits, firewood, vegetables and paddy stalks

Brochure and map as your guide to the Sabah State Museum and the background are the skeletons of the giant 68-feet Bryde’s whale, which was found in Gaya Island Bay in 2006

Last Sunday, I got the opportunity to go back there again after 10 years, but this time, I bring along my little siblings and cousins to the museum. Well, I figured all kids should have to visit the Sabah State Museum one day or another so they will have something to learn about Sabah’s heritage and culture. I was worried that the kids might not enjoy the tour, but how can it be not fun? I expected the trip will last about 1 hour or less, but we ended up being there for more than 4 hours!

Although the museum is small, it contains plenty of historical artifacts ( such as totems statues, weapons, blowpipes, skulls, traditional costume, etc), documentation and photographs, which displays the history of Sabah in the indoor exhibition. Before going into the indoor exhibition, the kids were amazed to see the skeleton of the giant 68-feet Bryde’s whale;- found stranded and eventually died on a shallow reef at the Gaya Bay on 2006.

A collection of old cars were exhibit outside the museum

Crossing the suspension bridges to reach the heritage village

The kids were enjoying their trip to the museum, especially the outdoor museum, with a lot of walking and hiking around the museum area, checking out the vintage cars, visiting the replicas of old traditional houses at the Heritage Village, facing their fear to walk on the suspension bridge, admiring the water lilies in a pond, hopping on the railway trains, etc.

Re-visiting the Sabah State Museum certainly brought me closer to understanding my culture and the history of my home-state. This is definitely recommended for locals and also non-locals to drop-by to the museum as it is really interesting and educational.

The kids were enjoying their trip to the museum, especially the outdoor museum, with a lot of walking and hiking around the museum area, checking out the vintage cars, visiting the replicas of old traditional houses at the Heritage Village, facing their fear to walk on the suspension bridge, admiring the water lilies in a pond, hopping on the railway trains, etc.

Re-visiting the Sabah State Museum certainly brought me closer to understanding my culture and the history of my home-state. This is definitely recommended for locals and also non-locals to drop-by to the museum as it is really interesting and educational.

If you have no idea what to do for a day in Kota Kinabalu city, you can just visit the Sabah State Museum or you can read our choices of Top 5 day trips to do in Sabah Borneo. The museum is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm. For other cultural activity in Sabah Borneo, you can read our Mari-Mari Cultura Village Day trip tour.

Discover Kota Kinabalu City in your Borneo Holidays!

FREE KOTA KINABALU TRAVEL GUIDE

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Trekking in Sabah Borneo Rainforest

Trekking in Sabah Borneo Rainforest

Trekking in Sabah Borneo Rainforest

30

August, 2017

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“Life is better in Hiking Boots”

Trekking in Sabah, Borneo, will offer a chance to get close to the greatest nature, a life lesson of survival skills, discover the marvel of the lush green Borneo Rainforest, and explore the mystery that surrounds the Borneo Rainforest. It is truly an adventure that you should seek while traveling to Sabah, Borneo!

Borneo Island is home to one of the oldest rainforest in the world, and it makes Borneo a haven for trekkers to get closer to nature. Moreover, some of Borneo’s Rainforests are part of important ecological reserves and protected forests. Thus, making it one of the reason for trekkers to trek into Borneo Rainforests to spot some of the endemic plants and wildlife in Sabah, Borneo. Here are some of the recommended places to trek in Sabah, Borneo, for beginners and avid trekkers.

1. LONG PASIA

Get your trekking gear ready and explore the wilderness of Borneo Rainforest. Apart from that, you will get a chance to survive and thrive in the Borneo Rainforest with a local native guide. Get your hands-on experience to see some of the untouched mountains, rivers, trees, waterfall, and cave. Long Pasia is one of the places that you should put it in your itinerary trip to Sabah Borneo. Interested to go? Do try out our 5D4N Long Pasia Trekking Expedition.

2. SALT TRAIL CROCKER RANGE

Nothing can compete for the experience of spending few days in the Borneo Rainforest and a chance to learn its historical significance as a trade route for remote villagers to exchange their locally made products to other villages for other products in return. Salt Trail Crocker Range is perfect for small groups of hardcore trekkers and nature lovers, exploring the Sabah Borneo rainforest and also get an authentic insight lifestyle into one of the Sabah Borneo indigenous tribe – Dusun.

If you or your group are interested in doing the Salt Trail Crocker Range expedition, contact us or email us directly and we would love to arrange it for you.

3. MALIAU BASIN

Maliau Basin in Sabah Borneo has known as “Lost World”, due to the reason of it being the last remaining untouched areas on the planet until 1947 when a pilot almost crashed into it. Before, scientists and researchers were the only ones allowed to explore Maliau Basin’s rich and complex ecosystem. Nowadays, Maliau Basin is open for public but with limited slots available.

Trekking into Maliau Basin will grant you a promising reward – a chance to see the rarest plants, birds, and wildlife in Borneo rainforest. The best thing of it, you can get the chance to see the magnificent 7-tier Maliau waterfall, which is one of the 20 waterfalls that were discovered in Maliau Basin. Trekking to Maliau Basin will surely trigger your heart and soul, feel free to reach out to us for travel arrangement.

4. DANUM VALLEY

One of the recommended places for trekking in Sabah Borneo Rainforest is in Danum Valley. Being Sabah Borneo’s largest protected lowland forest, it is no wonder Danum Valley is home to the widest range of Borneo flora and fauna. Since Danum Valley is considered as an ecosystem, it is difficult to gain access to the conservation area and would need a limited number of visitors ( with permit pass) can explore the area. Get the chance to go for the Tree Top Canopy Walkway which stands 26m above the ground, and have the amazing perspective view of the forest canopy from up there. Apart from that, you can also visit an ancient Kadazandusun burial site, which the coffins are still tucked into the cave and crevasses in the cliff.

Fascinating isn’t? Book your tour with us!

5. KINABALU NATIONAL PARK

If you are not into an extreme hardcore trekking, you can also go to Kinabalu National Park for trekking around the several kilometers of trails and you can finish it within one or two days trek. There are nine networks of trails around the park, which are well maintained and safe to walk, such as the Bundu Tuhan View Trail, Kiau View Trail, Pandanus Trail, Bukit Ular trail, Bukit Tupai & Bukit Burung trail, Mempening trail, Liwagu trail, Silau Silau trail and Mountain View Trail. You can go for trekking at these trails as an alternative to Mount Kinabalu climbing. Apart from that, you can have a greater chance to see rare flowers at the Botanical Garden, birds, as well as other small Borneo wildlife there.

You can read our choices of alternative Mount Kinabalu for trekking in Borneo too!

After reading this, are you ready to escape the city and get into the wilderness? If you say YES, then you should get our Essential Trekkers Guide in Sabah, Borneo. Grab it for free before your trekking expedition in Sabah, Borneo Rainforest!

Get your Essential Trekkers Guide in Sabah Borneo NOW!

DOWNLOAD ESSENTIAL TREKKERS GUIDE IN SABAH

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Ambuyat – The Edible Gooey Bornean Delicacies

Ambuyat – The Edible Gooey Bornean Delicacies

Ambuyat – The Edible Gooey Bornean delicacies

29

August, 2017

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If you are looking for that unique taste of Bornean delicacies, I will recommend you to go and try the Ambuyat!

It is one of the unique food that can be found in Borneo as it is very gooey and it looks like glue when it is served. It has various names such as the Pinantung, Ambuyat, Sagu and many more and they can be found in almost all parts of Borneo as it is eaten by a majority of natives in Borneo.

Ambuyat

The Ambuyat before it is cooked looks like flour; white powdery form and you can buy them in local markets or Tamu around Borneo. They are usually sold in packs and some people say it looks like a pack of starch.

The Pinantung is a very famous dish amongst the native community (Kadazan, Dusun, Rungus, and etc etc) here in Sabah but it is also famous in the Bruneian community up to the Sarawakian community. To my surprise, this dish can also be found in eastern parts of Indonesia and it is very similar to the one we get here and the name is Papeda or Bubur Sagu. The Papeda is a famous dish for the local native people in Maluku and also Papua New Guinea.

Ambuyat
Dinner at D'Place Kinabalu
Another similar version as Ambuyat
Dinner at D'Place Kinabalu

In Indonesia, the name of this local delicacy is called the Papeda. It is the same exact thing if you look closely. Well, it’s good to know that people from other parts of the world are eating the same food as yours. Both the Ambuyat and also Papeda is from the trunk of the sago palm. For those who don’t know, the Ambuyat is a national dish in Brunei. Let’s get to the best part about this dish which is the preparation of this dish. The preparation of this dish is unique as it doesn’t need any fire or pan to cook it. All you need is a hot water and a reliable wooden spoon to prepare this dish and it is a very easy dish to prepare. Once you’ve mastered it, preparing the Ambuyat is like ringing a bell.

Ambuyat

Just pour the Sago Starch into the bowl and next pour in some hot water and gently give a light stir and keep pouring the hot water in until it thickens up. Once it coagulates, give it a light scoop and if it’s in a sticky form, then it is ready to be served. Eating the ambuyat is a little tricky with a spoon so the best way to eat them is by using a traditional chopstick called the Candas, which looks like the Chinese chopsticks but is thinner and made from sago leaf stalk or bamboo stick, to scoop the gooey Ambuyat.

Ambuyat
The Candas is one of the essential that you will need to eat the Ambuyat

Ambuyat

With the candas, it is easier to scoop the Ambuyat. Just put the front tip of the Candas into the Ambuyat, give it a little twist, pull and you’re good to go! For those who are having a hard time with the Candas can always use the good ol’ fork.

Believe or not, the Ambuyat is actually tasteless! Yes, they are tasteless I repeat. That is why when you’re eating the Ambuyat it is important to have your own customized dipping. The dipping can be either be a local fish soup called the Pinasakan, a canned sardine with tomato sauce, curry or anything that you like. Add some hot spicy chillies, some lime juice, or maybe a pinch of salt for that extra taste or just throw in some small slices of Bambangan (Local Mango) for that good sweet and sour taste. The Ambuyat will taste better if the dipping soup is based on your taste. The best dipping for the Ambuyat is the Pinasakan as it will give every scoop a superb spicy taste with a little extra flavours from the fish.

Ambuyat

It’ll add taste to your Ambuyat with the Pinasakan. Add some Bambangan and some extra hot chillies too for that Red Hot Chili Peppery taste. A little chilli won’t hurt the tongue.

Ambuyat
Ambuyat
Ambuyat

Another famous dipping for the Ambuyat is the classic canned sardine with tomato sauce and some cut chilies and a squeeze of lemon for that sweet, sour, and hot taste to your Ambuyat. All these dippings will make the Ambuyat taste better but for me, the good ol canned sardine is the unbeatable champion for all and also one of my personal favourites for the dipping. The Ambuyat may be tasteless but with the right dipping, I’m sure it’ll make your appetite go wild.

Next time if you happen to visit Borneo, make sure to put the Ambuyat in your bucket list as this is one of the unique food that you shouldn’t miss trying when you’re visiting Borneo. So if you are in Borneo, look for the Ambuyat and get right into the Gooey Action!

Do you wanna taste out other food in Sabah Borneo? Read out “Must eat food in Sabah Borneo”If you are looking for a place to taste Ambuyat, contact us now and we can bring you to D’Place Kinabalu for a taste of traditional food. 

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Traditional Dinner at D’Place Kinabalu

Traditional Dinner at D’Place Kinabalu

A night out to D’Place Kinabalu

in Borneo Holidays

27

August, 2017

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Looking for some local traditional cuisine in Kota Kinabalu city?

Head out to D’ Place Kinabalu for the authentic local dishes that is not easy to find. D’Place Kinabalu only opens for lunch and dinner. It is located at Plaza Shell at the center of the Kota Kinabalu city. Previously, D’Place Kinabalu was located at Kepayan Perdana, but it is inconvenient to tourists or guests. There are three types of set meal you can choose such as Lunch Ala-Carte, Lunch Buffet, and Dinner Buffet.

Dinner at D'Place Kinabalu
Dinner at D'Place Kinabalu
Dinner at D'Place Kinabalu

Upon arrival, we were welcomed with few staffs in Kadazan traditional costumes, as well as the local Kadazan songs as the background music. I was told that the new outlet in Plaza Shell are considered in a bigger space compared to their previous outlet at Kepayan Perdana. There are also two private rooms that are available for function purposes. Apart from that, you can choose to sit outside on the balcony, but I recommend you guys to sit outside only during lunch and not at night because you might miss out to watch the Cultural Dance Performance during dinner.

Dinner at D'Place Kinabalu
Dinner at D'Place Kinabalu
Dinner at D'Place Kinabalu
Dinner at D'Place Kinabalu
Dinner at D'Place Kinabalu
Dinner at D'Place Kinabalu

Just a note.

If you want to take the Buffet Lunch/Dinner set meal, make sure you come with an empty tummy because there are loads of traditional delicacies for you to try! Firstly, we were served with a ginger drink and we’re so ready to grab some delicious traditional food to fill our hungry tummy! Only during the buffet, we should not worry about dieting, because we should eat more. Hahaha… Anyway, D’Place Kinabalu serves live butod to eat. You can taste it out when you are there, but would need to buy, one piece is MYR 3.

Dinner at D'Place Kinabalu
Dinner at D'Place Kinabalu
Dinner at D'Place Kinabalu

Around 7.30pm, it’s time for the cultural dance performance! There were about three performances presented that night, the first one was Kadazan tribe traditional dance. Next, the Malay traditional dance, and lastly, the Murut tribe traditional dance. We were all fascinated with the excellent performances by the dancers, especially the bamboo dance part.

Dinner at D'Place Kinabalu

Around 9 pm, it’s time to call it a night. We took some pictures with the traditional dancers and bid goodbye to everybody. Thank you D’Place Kinabalu for the delicious food, good service, and hospitality! We will be back there again soon.

If you are looking for Sabah’s traditional delicacies, this is the place that you should go to. Although, it is not all Sabah’s traditional food was served, these food were enough for local and tourists to have an easy access to taste the traditional food in the city, rather than have to go through the rural villages to find these tasty delicacies. Read our other blog entry on “Traditional foods that make you drool

Contact us if you want to go for a dinner at D’Place Kinabalu. 

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