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Get to know Pitas, Sabah Borneo as your next holiday destination

Get to know Pitas, Sabah Borneo as your next holiday destination

Get to know Pitas, Sabah Borneo as your next holiday destination

23

August, 2018

Have you heard of Pitas in Sabah Borneo? It is not a Pita bread. Pitas is actually a district that is located in Kudat Division of Sabah Borneo. Home to a majority group of Rungus, a sub-group of Kadazandusun people and Orang Sungai ( including the Tambanuo tribe). 

Pitas is originally called ‘Tupak, which derived from Rungus language means “across”. It refers to the local residents of Tombonuo tribe and Rungus tribe during the ancient time. After the commotion occurs between the two tribes in Bandau Bay, some of the residents in Bandau left the area to Bengkoka River in order to avoid from the “Sindaat Mongkorudu” (Black Magic) attack by Aki Palzavan and Aki Sook ( Aki means ancestor/grandfather). Since that day, the area name called ‘Tupak’ is changed into Pitas, as the local residents are no longer a victim of the black magic attack.

Apart from that, Pitas is also derived from the word of ‘Nopitas’ from Sungai language, which means “lost”. This refers to the local residents that escaped from the black magic and move to Bengkoka Village. Unfortunately, the Bengkoka River is often in a big flood which causes the river to cut off. The name subsequently enshrined by the locals until the time it became Pitas.

Not many people have heard of Pitas as it is only a small town, but it actually has natural charms that might get your attention. That is what makes Pitas a unique destination for holiday in Sabah Borneo. Get to know Pitas more below and make it as your next holiday destinations.

 

Natural Waterfall in Bongkol Village

Pitas, Sabah Borneo for your next holiday destination

Bongkol Waterfall. Photo: Aklee Madinjin

One of the interesting things in Pitas is the natural waterfall in Bongkol Village area. The Bongkol Waterfall is a new tourism destination in Pitas which discovered in 2014. It is about 21 km away from the Pintas town and another 5.5km trekking from Bongkol Village to reach the waterfall. The Bongkol Waterfall is suitable for visitors who are seeking for some adventurous and thrills holiday. The Bongkol Waterfall is located within a forest reserve area. Thus, there is no proper road trail to reach the waterfall. Visitors are required to go for a short trekking through the Borneo Jungle to reach the waterfall.

Unique Culture

Pitas, Sabah Borneo for your next holiday destination

Rungus Women. Photo: muslianshahmasrie

The major tribe in Pitas is Rungus, which is a sub-group of the Kadazandusun tribe. They have their own language, traditional costume, architecture, customs, and oral literature. Rungus tribe are well-known for their intricate design of beadworks that worn together with traditional costume. Apart from that, there are also other tribes live in Pitas, such as Orang Sungai (River People) include the Tombonuo tribe; Bajau; and other sub-Kadazandusun groups ( Kimaragang and Sonsogon tribe). With the diverse culture in Pitas, it is not a surprise that Pitas is one of the unique holiday destinations in Sabah Borneo.

Delicacies of traditional Food

Since Rungus is the major tribe that can be found in Pitas, there is also Rungus traditional food that anyone should get a taste of it. The traditional food of Rungus tribe is Sinasadan, or known as Tapai rice. It was made by mixing the yeast together with cooked rice, then left it overnight to produce the sweet taste and scent of Tapai. Sinasadan is famous among the locals in Pitas especially the locals from Narandang Kanibongan Village. Sinasadan is actually originated from Narandang Kanibongan Village, as the villagers are the original maker of the traditional food.

Pitas, Sabah Borneo for your next holiday destination

Sinasadan. Photo: Yefraim Yef

Legendary Island

Pitas, Sabah Borneo for your next holiday destination

Supirak Island. Photo: DaryIkless

Sabah Borneo is a state with many stories of myths and legends. It makes us feel fortunate to be in this state that is rich with unique culture and historical diversity. In Sabah Borneo, we do have a local folklore story about a legend of a rebellious child, which is the legend of Nakhoda Supirak. The legend of Nakhoda Supirak is closely related to the existence of Supirak Island, which resembles of a large ship at Malubang Village in Pitas. Most locals from Pitas and some in Kota Marudu can easily share the history and location of the Supirak Island. According to the story delivered by the locals for generations, the legend of Nakhoda Supirak is about a rebellious son towards his mother.

The story started a long time ago, a young man named Supirak lives together with his mother (Odu Gerawang). They were very poor which made Supirak wanted to sail to faraway lands. Supirak worked hard and eventually became a rich man. Then, he had his own ship and sailed with his entourage to many places. Somehow, they sailed to Supirak’s village. As the ship closer to the bay of Supirak’s village, his mother was waiting there for him. She immediately went to the place where the ship docked in hopes to meet Supirak as she longs to meet her son for a long time. Unfortunately, Supirak is ashamed to see his mother in that state, poor and stink. He then told his entourage that he knows nothing about the poor old women there and this made them chased her away.

Odu Gerawang was stunned as she could not believe that her son will disown her. Then, with tears and sadness, she prayed to the almighty to curse Supirak and his ship. It didn’t take long before that Supirak, his entourage and the ship turn into a large stone. According to locals, the story does explain the existence of the Supirak Island until now.

Apart from Supirak Island, there are also five rock wonders that can be spotted at the area. Batu Gerawang is believed to be the house of Supirak, which now it became a stone arch. Not far from the Batu Gerawang are the three freshwater wells, which is a water supply to the village area. Moreover, Batu Talam can be found in the area which the locals believed that the stone looks like a food cover. Next, the Batu Berunsai that looks like a group of people dancing together that turned into stone. Lastly is the Batu Dulang, three rocks with a flat surface are believed to be the plates of containers for the food.

In conclusion, Pitas is a very unique place that is worth to become a tourism destination. There are so many places in Pitas that are not yet explored by any locals and travelers, making it one of the hidden gems in Sabah Borneo. So, take the chance to make Pitas as your next holiday destination in Sabah Borneo!

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Always the Do’s – What About the Dont’s when travelling to Sabah Borneo?

Always the Do’s – What About the Dont’s when travelling to Sabah Borneo?

Always the Do’s – What About the Dont’s when traveling to Sabah Borneo?

03

August, 2018

Day Trips in Sabah Borneo

It would probably be a safe bet to make if I were to say that each time you make travel plans, there’s always a long list of Do’s that those around you so freely offer. To me, that’s the easy part. The tricky part is knowing the Don’ts.

Social rules are so diverse all over the world, that what seems acceptable back home may not be elsewhere. So before planning your next travel, make sure to brush up on cultural differences to avoid offending local sensibilities.

I’m no expert at the Don’ts for the rest of the world but I do know a Don’t or two for Sabah Borneo or affectionally called the Land Below the Wind, a term made popular by the American author Agnes Keith. So let’s get to it.

1) Don’t Strip Naked on the Mountain (or anywhere else public for that matter)

Don'ts when traveling to Sabah Borneo

Mount Kinabalu summit. Photo: meme_and_me

On May 30, 2015, 10 tourists summited Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain between the Himalayas and New Guinea. At the peak, they stripped naked and took photos of their acts. You can read about it here.

To others planning on climbing the mountain, my advice is, please don’t do this – ever. It may seem cool to go home with a memento of you being stark naked on the majestic mountain but wouldn’t a nice selfie showing you made it to the peak suffice?

And before you say the selfie’s not enough, think of others when you do your full monty. Not everyone will a think a view of you baring it all is a welcome sight. The mountain is sacred to the locals and such blatant disrespect of it will not go down well.

If manners and thoughtfulness are not your cup of tea, then at least think of your body. At an elevation of 4095 m, it can get mighty cold up there on the peak.

2. Don’t show off your dancing skills at Places of Worship

Don'ts when traveling to Sabah Borneo

Kota Kinabalu City Mosque

You may be a serious artist who wants to make sure you are still honing your talent even when you’re on holiday but doing that in a skimpy outfit on the walls of a place of worship is not the way to do it.

Sometime in June 2018, 2 tourists were caught on video dancing barefoot on top of a wall outside the Kota Kinabalu city mosque. If that wasn’t bad enough, they were only dressed in crop tops and shorts.

This place may not be their place of worship but it is for others who practice the faith. That should be enough reason to respect it.

Sadly their actions had consequences not only for themselves but also for others. The mosque has now been closed for tourists.

3. Don’t endanger wildlife just for a photo op

Don'ts when traveling to Sabah Borneo

Selfie with Proboscis Monkey. Photo: Daxon

Sabah Borneo is a haven for wildlife, be it on land or sea. Some endangered and rare species can be found in Sabah Borneo. For example, the Borneo Pygmy Elephant, Banteng, Pangolin, Proboscis Monkey, Sun Bear, Hawksbill Turtles and so many more.

There are currently many educational and awareness programs in place by either the government or NGOs to preserve the natural habitat and avoid the extinctions of these species. Unfortunately, there are still those who prefer to flout the rules and harm them.

Something as simple as the act of picking up a Turtle just to get a picture to post on your social media page brings up so many detrimental consequences. Here’s an example. Or trying to get as close as possible to wildlife for a picture worthy of a year’s bragging rights with your friends back home – well, quite simply is just not worth harassing those poor animals for.

4. Don’t wear shoes in the house

Don'ts when traveling to Sabah Borneo

Remove your shoes when enter your host house in Sabah Borneo. 

This may seem like a matter of fact for most Asians but not so much for those in other parts of the world. And it’s understandable, as we said earlier, social rules are diverse the world over.

So it may be acceptable and polite in your home to use your shoes in the house but in Sabah Borneo, we walk barefoot in ours and expect our guests to do the same.

When you think about it, it’s quite reasonable and hygienic. No sense having all the dirt and dust from outside being trekked in all over the house. Plus with all the humidity around, your feet would probably thank you for the release.

Don'ts when traveling to Sabah Borneo

Paragliding activity in Sabah Borneo. 

So enough of the Don’ts. Now Do come to Sabah Borneo and let yourself have that holiday of a lifetime. And if you need help with either a Do or a Don’t, our lines are always open.

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My top food and places to eat in Kudat, Sabah Borneo

My top food and places to eat in Kudat, Sabah Borneo

My top food and best places to eat in Kudat, Sabah, Borneo

25

July, 2018

Day Trips in Sabah Borneo

As a Malaysian, we tend to have a soft spot on our own local food, especially the food from our hometown. My hometown is in Kudat, Sabah Borneo. So, if you are in Sabah Borneo right now, be sure to make your way to visit Kudat. Known to be the tip of Borneo Island that offers a spectacular sight of beaches.

Apart from focusing more on the iconic landmarks of Kudat, you should not miss out to taste the food there too! If you want to know more on Kudat, food is a great way to gain an understanding of the place and its people. Lucky for you, as a locals living in Kudat, here are my top food and places to eat that you should try it out in Kudat.

Seafood Tomyam at Rainbow Herbs Restaurant

Top food and best places to eat in Kudat

Seafood Tom Yam. Photo: Hanimazlan Maznie

This is one of my favorite food in Kudat. The best Tom yam that I ever tried ( I am not trying to exaggerate here but seriously it is so good!). They even give a generous portion of prawns and fish, which makes the Tom Yam soup creamier. People usually will eat the Tom Yum with rice vermicelli, but I prefer to eat the Tom Yum with yellow noodle. Whenever I finish eating the Tom Yum with yellow noodles, there will be always an extra of soup left. Then, I will order another plate of rice and have another round. (hahaha…) When you got a chance to taste this out, you will not believe that this is the best Thai food that you’ve ever tasted. What’s more, you can only get this in the small town of Kudat. It is easy to find the restaurant as it located Kudat Ferry Terminal. So, when you are in Kudat, feel free to ask the locals for the location of the restaurants. They will easily tell you the location because it is popular among the local and the tourist.

Nasi Linopot + Coconut Shake at Samod Ku Café

Top food and best places to eat in Kudat
Top food and best places to eat in Kudat

Linopot Rice (Left) and Coconut Shake (Right)

Linopot Rice is one of the rungus people traditional food (Rungus is one of the major tribe in Kudat). Linopot Rice is a must-try when you are in Kudat. Linopot Rice is usually served during any celebrations in Kudat. Now, you can taste it whenever you want and you can only find it at Samod ku Cafe. This is one of my must-go places to eat because it is not only delicious, but the price is reasonable too! I can have 4 main dishes with 2 side dishes together in the Linopot Rice and it cost only RM6.50! Can you believe it? Plus, their famous coconut shake is to die for. I usually order the Linopot rice with all the dishes and the coconut shake, which cost me RM10 per set. So, tell me…isn’t this worth it for one meal? Wondering why this is considered my favorite place to eat in Kudat? The cafe offers a variety of Rungus traditional dishes. The main dishes will keep on changing every day as it is another way to let any visitors come and taste the dishes.

For your information, Samod ku Café is only open for lunch hour (11:30 am – 2:00 pm). You will need to book and order beforehand by contacting the owner, Mr. Daniel (+60198329029). This cafe is so popular among Kudat people and the Linopot Rice is always sold out at the cafe. Yeah, I have been in that situation before *huhuhu crying in the corner*.

Chicken wings Grilled at Pasar Malam Kudat (Night Market)

Top food and best places to eat in Kudat

Grilled Chicken Wings Photo: Norsham Blog

Grilled Chicken Wings are one of my favorite food to eat whenever I go to the town area. I will make sure to stop by at the night market to buy the grilled chicken wings and bring it back home as snacks. The grilled chicken wings look like any other grilled chicken wings. But, this one right here is my favorite as the sauce they’ve made is a perfect match for the grilled chicken wings. Yeah, believe me…once you dip the chicken into the sauce, eat it, and you will eat it non stop even if you are already full. So, do put this on your “To do list” when you are traveling to Kudat because this is a must try the food!

Kudat Hakka Yong Tau Foo at Batu 1, Kudat

Top food and best places to eat in Kudat

Delicious Yong Tau Foo served. Photo: Sir Sie

Looking for a nice breakfast spot? Here is the place that I love to spend my morning breakfast with my family. It is located at the Jalan Tamanggong Kurantud or locals called the area Batu 1. The shop opens from 7am until late afternoon. A famous spot that is not only for Kudat locals but also for visitors too. Many people can be seen standing up to wait to get a seat and have their ‘Yong Tau Foo’ or stuffed bean curd. There is a difference between the Yong Tau Foo in West Malaysia and the one in Sabah Borneo. Yong Tau Foo in West Malaysia is usually cooked in the soup while the Sabah style is braised. I personally prefer the Yong Tau Foo of Sabah Borneo style as it is tastier and flavorful, even the bean curd has the finer texture. The Yong Tau Foo is usually served with rice or noodles and it is cheaper. Until today, the shop still cooks the Yong Tau Foo in a traditional way – using firewood. It another way to gives an extra taste to the gravy. Every bite of the food is full of flavors. I am sure nobody can resist the delicious taste of the Yong Tau Food when he or she is in Kudat.

Fresh Seafood at Coconut Village, Kudat

Top food and best places to eat in Kudat

Fresh Seafood for dinner. Photo: France Agape

One of my favorite spot for a fresh seafood and it is cheap too! Coconut Village is the place that you should go to when in Kudat. The food portions were adequate and suitable for family size dinner. This is where my family and I will be going whenever we crave seafood for dinner. The Coconut Village also has a live band performances every night, making it a great place to relax and enjoy your food.

Here you go, these are my favorites places to eat in Kudat and you should try this out when you are planning to travel to Kudat. Don’t just go for a day trip to Kudat, stay more than a day and experience your gastronomic adventure in Kudat. You can also read these amazing places in Kudat too!

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Remarkable places in Tambunan to visit for your holiday

Remarkable places in Tambunan to visit for your holiday

Remarkable places in Tambunan to visit for your holiday

Most people have heard about Kundasang, but not Tambunan. This hidden gem of Sabah Borneo actually has many remarkable places to go. Before that, let us get to know about Tambunan. Tambunan is one of the 25 districts in Sabah Borneo and part of the interior division. It is about 81 km east from Kota Kinabalu City and it takes about 1 1/2 drive using the Kota-Kinabalu – Tambunan road. Tambunan is almost isolated from the west coast by the Crocker Range mountains.

Tambunan is well-known for its lush green terraced paddy fields surrounded by lush tropical rainforest. Many first-timers will amaze by the vast expanse of green paddy fields at the foot of the mountain range. Apart from that, there are many bamboo trees can be seen everywhere in Tambunan area. It is the legacy of the British colonial period, which is to plant 20 bamboos sprouts for every bamboo cuts. Tambunan Town also known for the producing the best quality of rice wine, which is lihing and tapai. Holiday in Tambunan is a great escape from the busy tourist destinations and experience the serenity of the area.

Along the ride way uphill to reach Tambunan from Penampang, there is a butterfly park at the right side. Kipandi Butterfly Park is home to some of the rarest butterfly species such as Rajah Brooke and golden birdwings. Kipandi Butterfly Park is not only a park, it also has a breeding program. Working together with the Sabah Wildlife Department, they breed the butterfly species and release it to the forest. There are over 100 species of butterflies detected in the park. can be found. Apart from seeing butterflies, various species of beetles also can be found at the park. Native orchids, flowers, and even pitcher plants can be seen at the park too! At the park, there is a is an Insect Museum that exhibits a wide range of insects’ collection. Some of the species can only be found in the Crocker Range area, such as the Stag Beetle or cyclommatus chewi.

Remarkable places in Tambunan

Mahua Waterfall is one of the remarkable places in Tambunan and it is worth to visit for Borneo holiday. It is a pristine natural fall that hidden deep within the Borneo Rainforest. Mahua Waterfall is 17 meters tall and has a pool depth of about 1.3 meters. After paying the entrance fee ( Refer to the table 1.0), walk for about 500-metre walkway to reach the waterfall. Along the way, there are many endless towering of trees with huge trunks, wild orchids, and insects. Be sure to take some photos of the falls and the surrounding area. Feel free to go for a swim at the falls or enjoy a picnic by the river. Hostel-type accommodation and camping are available for those who wished to overnight there.

Age Malaysian Non-Malaysian
18 years and above RM 3.00 RM 10.00
18 years and below RM 1.00 RM 6.00
Student ( 16 years and below) RM 0.50 RM 6.00

Table 1.0

Remarkable places in Tambunan

Tambunan Town can also be a unique holiday destination in Sabah Borneo. A visit to Gong Stone in Solibog Village will definitely make everyone curious about the stone. It is believed that the stone can produce the sound like the traditional Kadazandusun musical instrument, which is the gong.

Watch the video below to see the locals beating the Gong Stone and produce the similar sound like the gong instrument :

Isn’t this amazing?

Remarkable places in Tambunan

Sunsuron Homestay Tambunan

Want to know the best way to spend Borneo holiday to the fullest? Spend a holiday with the locals and experience their culture during your stay. Visitors can experience this in Sunsuron Village, Tambunan. Sunsuron Village used to be a headhunting and tribe wars zone for more than a hundred years ago. But in 1885, the unrest finally put to the end when the British North Borneo Chartered Company build a police base in Sunsuron Village. There are several homestays available for visitors to spend more than a day with the locals. Visitors can taste the delicious traditional homemade dishes at the homestay. Apart from that, they can also try out the homemade rice wine, such as lihing or tapai, which is famous at the area. Besides that, visitors can go around the village area and see the iconic landmarks of the village. Visitors also can challenge themselves with an adrenaline-rush activity of Quad Biking there!

Remarkable places in Tambunan

Sinurambi Tambunan Viewing Point

Wish to witness a great view of Tambunan Town? Visitors can go to Sinurambi Tambunan (Tambunan Viewing Point). The tower built in conjunction with the “Visit Tambunan Year 2017”. What makes the tower is so unique than any other towers is its architectural concept. The Tower is actually built based on Sabah Borneo’s traditional bamboo basket, Wakid. The tower is about 45-feet high above sea levels. It offers a breathtaking view of the paddy rice fields and Tambunan Town can be seen at the top. The tower also one of the perfect spot for astrophotography.

Remarkable places in Tambunan
Remarkable places in Tambunan

Wakid Hill. Photo by Joe Lorenzo

Seeking for more adventurous and thrilling experience for Borneo Holidays in Tambunan? There are several hiking trails available for any adventurous soul to challenge themselves. Mount Wakid is located at Sunsuron Village in Tambunan. With an elevation of 1,372 m above sea levels, the mountain is available for a day-trip climb. This is a great way for climbers to get a taste of the Crocker Range terrain. The trail started a leisurely hike from Sunsuron Village to the foot of the mountain along the Sunsuron River. Then, continue on the extreme hike towards the summit that took about a few hours to reach. Trekkers will get to pass by Kolopis Waterfall when descending down from the mountain. 

Remarkable places in Tambunan

Mannan Trail from Sinua. Photo by Oliverd

The second highest mountain in Sabah Borneo, Mount Trus Madi ( 2,642 m) is the most popular choice for the avid hikers. To conquer the summit of Mount Trus Madi, it requires climbers to spend more than a day to reach. This is due to the hiking trail proves to be much more challenging compared to Mount Kinabalu. But, the good thing about it is, Mount Trus Madi is less touristy. It is a Class 1 protected forest reserve (FMU 10) and managed by Sabah Forestry Department. Thus, trekkers need to apply permit to climb as there is a limit of trekkers allowed for overnight. Only 16 people, include guide and porter, are allowed to overnight at the Mount Trus Madi. The mountain also offers many species of flora that can spot along the trail. Trekkers can see many array species of Nepenthes and Orchids.

Remarkable places in Tambunan

Many Nepenthes species at Mount Tusmadi. Photo by Sunrise Odyssey

Remarkable places in Tambunan

Salt Trail is a traditional route used by the local villagers as trading purposes. The local villagers will use this route to trade their jungle produce to the local markets or Tamu. Salt Trail is also open for avid trekkers to trek along the route which will take about 4-5 days to complete it. The Salt Trail journey begins from Tikolod Village in Tambunan and ended at Inobong Substation in Penampang. Trekkers will gain an insight of the untouched jungle, flora, and fauna, as well as the villages area.

Tambunan Town is blessed with many interesting tourist destinations that are worth to visit for holiday. Spend a holiday in Tambunan Town can be a highlight for Borneo holiday and a trip to remember!

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Vacations in Sabah Borneo

Vacations in Sabah Borneo

Travel Sabah Borneo for your vacation of a lifetime

18

June, 2018

So you have a few vacation days coming up. Do you spend it going with a group of strangers on a cookie-cutter tour? Or do you make an informed decision of going where you know is gonna make it to your “memories-of-a-lifetime” wall of fame?

Decisions like that can be tricky but with a little bit of knowledge, you can definitely come out on top.

If Sabah Borneo is on your bucket list of places to go then here’s a list of 5 destinations that you definitely need to check out. It may not be on that cookie cutter tour of every tour provider in Borneo but it’s on ours and it’s definitely worth the trip. We promise.

Deramakot Forest Reserve

Vacations in Sabah Borneo
Sunrise view from Deramakot Forest Reserve. Photo: lachibum

This is pristine forest, one of the few last remaining intact lowland Dipterocarp forest in Borneo. You can learn more about this type of forest here.

Vacations in Sabah Borneo
A group of Proboscis Monkeys on the tree. Photo: Mike Gordon
Vacations in Sabah Borneo
Orangutan in Deramakot Forest Reserve. Photo: Mike Gordon

About 75% of mammals in Sabah Borneo can be found in Deramakot. This forest reserve is a key habitat for five globally threatened large mammals, namely Orangutan, Bornean Pygmy Elephant, Tembadau (Banteng), Proboscis Monkey and Clouded Leopard. If you visit, make sure to bring your best camera lenses and binoculars.

Vacations in Sabah Borneo
Going on morning safari in Deramakot Forest Reserve on 4WD vehicle.
Vacations in Sabah Borneo
Sunda Clouded Leopard. Photo: Whitworth Images

Going thru the forest either by foot or vehicle, you will soon come to realise how this forest is teeming with wildlife. Marbled cats, bearded wild pigs, tarsier, slow loris, flying squirrels, leopard cats, macaques, hornbills and the list just goes on.

Vacations in Sabah Borneo
Bornean Slow Loris. Photo: Ichabum

Do both the day and night safaris. Don’t miss out on the diverse wildlife that come out both in the daytime and at night. Of course, remember that this is a jungle and not a zoo. So animal sightings are purely based on luck. But when you do spot them, that’s when the magic happens.

To quote a fellow traveler “ ethereal experience”…

Kawang Forest Reserve

Vacations in Sabah Borneo
Kawang Forest Reserve

This is a recreational forest, and makes an excellent spot for camping as well as other recreational activities. In 1957 it was gazetted in an effort to preserve and maintain its biodiversity.

Vacations in Sabah Borneo
Twisty tree found Kawang Forest Reserve
Vacations in Sabah Borneo
Wild Mushrooms in Kawang Forest Reserve

Kawang Forest Reserve affords you the experience to marvel at the diverse species of flora and fauna that it has to offer. It is a nature lover’s paradise. As you enter, you can see a river that runs near the entrance and this has been landscaped to form a beautiful picnic and swimming area. A great setting for some R&R time with friends and family.

Vacations in Sabah Borneo
Tanaki Waterfall in Kawang Forest Reserve

For the more adventurous ones, there’s definitely no shortage of exciting nature activities for you to explore. From jungle trekking to waterfall swims to exploring the bat caves, it doesn’t disappoint. Take your time to breathe in the fresh forest air while you camp out in the wilderness.

Best part of it all is that it’s only a short 30 km drive from Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah Borneo.

Libaran Turtle Island

Vacations in Sabah Borneo
Sunrise view at Libaran Island. Photo: Jensen Chua
Vacations in Sabah Borneo
Beautiful view from the Libaran Island

Libaran island is located about 45 minutes away from Sandakan, the second largest town in Sabah after Kota Kinabalu.

Vacations in Sabah Borneo
Turtle Hatchlings released in Libaran Island. Photo: Slovenia- Explorer

Libaran combines something for both the conservationist and traveler in you. Libaran is home to a Turtle Conservation Program that collects and rescues eggs to ensure they hatch safely before being released back to sea.

Vacations in Sabah Borneo
Glamping type accommodations in Libaran Turtle Island

Instead of the normal resort infrastructure, Libaran offers a low impact accommodation set up. Don’t be fooled tho, you won’t be expected to rough it on the beach, instead you will find they have taken camping to another level – with glamping.

Definitely not a bad way to disconnect from the rest of the world. Not bad at all.

Long Pasia

Vacations in Sabah Borneo
Long Pasia Villages

Located more than 250 km from Kota Kinabalu, Long Pasia has so much to offer not only in its rich plant diversity but also with its bountiful culture, history and natural heritage.

Vacations in Sabah Borneo
Locals in Long Pasia harvest the rice paddy

The journey overland to Long Pasia is in itself an adventure. It is best to go in a four wheel drive. There are no hotels or resorts in Long Pasia, only homestays with a host family. A great way to really learn and immerse yourself in the culture of the locals.

Vacations in Sabah Borneo
Nooh Dawa – Man of the Jungle

Long Pasia is home to an amazing tropical rainforest. Mostly untouched as the locals are very protective of the forest. One of the great legends to meet there is Nooh Dawa, better known as King of the Jungle. Read about him here.

Vacations in Sabah Borneo
Maga Waterfalls in Long Pasia

Apart from the great treks along the scenic rivers and lush rainforest, one of the finest highlights of Long Pasia is the 5 tier waterfall known as the Maga Waterfalls.

Vacations in Sabah Borneo
Maga Campsite in Long Pasia

Here’s a short video of what lies in wait for you at Long Pasia.

Tambunan

Vacations in Sabah Borneo
Rice Paddy Field in Tambunan. Photo: Sylvia Soyoon

Located about 80 km east of Kota Kinabalu, Tambunan is a picturesque town with lush paddy fields lining its valleys.

Vacations in Sabah Borneo
Mount Kinabalu view from the summit of Mount Trus Madi. Photo: Oliverd

Although always in the shadows of the more popular Mt Kinabalu, Tambunan has its own impressive Mount Trusmadi which is the second highest mountain in Malaysia at 2,642 metres. The trails are less tourist friendly. The hike is very challenging and requires great physical fitness.

Vacations in Sabah Borneo
Mahua Waterfall.Photo: Edmond Teng

Tambunan is also home to Mahua Waterfall which is nestled in the Crocker Range Park. This is a plunge type waterfall and offers an amazing experience. The trail leading to the majestic waterfall is just as beautiful as the waterfall itself. And the cold water that awaits at the end is the best reward of all.

Although small in comparison to Kota Kinabalu, Tambunan definitely has its weight in gold with all its amazing little nuggets such as the Kipandi Butterfly Park, Rafflesia Information Centre, Trusmadi Forest Reserve and so much more.

Now, are you ready for that vacation of a lifetime? Top Peak Travel Borneo does Sabah Borneo like no other, that’s for sure.

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Hari Raya Celebration in Sabah Borneo

Hari Raya Celebration in Sabah Borneo

Hari Raya Celebration

in Sabah Borneo

25

June, 2018
Off-the-beat path of Sabah Borneo

So we just had one of the most anticipated celebration here in Sabah Borneo. It’s the Hari Raya celebrations or more commonly known around the world as Eid Al Fitr. This celebration is the Festival of Fast breaking as it marks the end of Ramadan.

Just as it is in any other parts of the world, here in Sabah which is part of the island of Borneo, we celebrate the end of Ramadan together with all friends and families and the occasional stranger. Yes, what you’ve heard over the grapevine is true, we really are very friendly people. Other things that you may not know, we have an amazing Borneo rainforest (or you might know that already) and an even more amazing selection of food. For all you avid travellers out there, I say it’s not enough to be amazed by a new place for it’s sights or people only but let your taste buds experience a new euphoria too when you travel.

During Eid Al Fitr, other than celebrating the end of Ramadan, I would say one of the other highlights is definitely the food. The array of food served is just mind boggling and eating all of it is a feat equivalent to climbing the majestic Mount Kinabalu. I kid you not.

Sabahan comfort food
Kuih makmur

To start with, there are always local snacks served. These are bite-sized cakes, biscuits and starchy jellies prepared in all colors of the rainbow. My all-time favourite is always kuih makmur, a ball-shaped peanut cookie made with ghee and covered in icing sugar that just melts in your mouth. I have learned that the best (and most dignified) way to eat it is to pop it whole into the mouth. Then there is dodol, a sticky sweet dessert made from coconut milk, cane sugar and rice flour. So sweet but oh so yummy. As you can see from the photos below, I could not possibly name every single sweet delicacy served on Eid Al Fitr but suffice it to say, you may not make it to the main course.

Sabahan comfort food
Delicious sticky and sweet dodol
Sabahan comfort food
Sabahan comfort food
Sabahan comfort food
Sabahan comfort food

If however, you do make it to the main course then you are in for another treat. Food oh glorious food. There is chicken, beef, mutton, vegetables, more chicken, more beef and more vegetables. It’s all so wonderful. The all time crowd favourite is always the Rendang, be it beef or chicken . Insert your meat of choice into a concoction of coconut milk and spices then slowly cook it for a few hours, then voila, you get your Rendang. Then you take your Rendang and eat it with Ketupat. This is rice cooked inside weaved coconut palm leaves. Or forget the carbs and dive in straight to all the proteins. Serunding, Ayam Masak Merah, Satay and the list goes on.

Sabahan comfort food
Sabahan comfort food
Photo: Nuhaa All Bakry
Sabahan comfort food
Photo: lushprotein

So have I got your attention yet? Well what are you waiting for? Book your trip over now. And if you get an invite to an open house while you’re here, please bring me along.

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