Kid-friendly destinations in Sarawak Borneo

Kid-friendly destinations in Sarawak Borneo

Kid-friendly destinations in Sarawak Borneo

27

February, 2018

Sarawak Borneo Tour Package
Kid-friendly destinations in Sarawak Borneo

Travelling with kids to the “Land of the Hornbill” has become more popular nowadays. Sarawak Borneo is rich with green tropical rainforests, teeming with rare species of flora and fauna;- from the carnivorous pitcher plants and the rare Rafflesia flower, to the cute orangutans and proboscis monkeys. Traveling with your kids to Sarawak Borneo will let them gained a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

To help you plan your holidays in Sarawak Borneo, we bring you 6 kid-friendly destinations in Sarawak Borneo to go to during the summer holidays or spring break. Feel free to bookmark our article and read it again when the holiday comes around!

1) Kuching City

kid-friendly destination in Sarawak Borneo

Sarawak River in Kuching City

The fascinating capital city of Sarawak Borneo, Kuching City offers many travelers with many ethnic tribes, history, and interesting places to discover. Not forgetting, the fantastic fusion cuisine of Kuching City awaits you and your kids to indulge. Walking around in Kuching City is suitable for your children, not only is it safe, but clean too! (You won’t get to see a single trash on the roads!) Don’t forget to bring your kids to experience river cruising along the Sarawak River using a wooden boat or tambang and get to explore every aspect of this historic riverine capital.

Want to take a walking tour of Kuching City? Read our article here

2) Cat Museum

kid-friendly destination in Sarawak Borneo

Cat Museum with the kids. Photo by TimeOut

The word Kuching means “cat” in Malay, which is why you’ll get to see many statues of cats around the town area and it can be a good photography subject for a family portrait. Apart from that, if any of your kids (or yourself) is a cat-lover, take a trip to Cat Museum, which is located at the Kuching North City Hall. The Cat Museum exhibits many feline things, such as a collection of articles on cats, artifacts, cat statues, and figurines from all over the world, as well as cat posters and souvenirs. The good thing about it is there is no entrance fee but you do have to pay a small fee for bringing in your camera. Trust us, you will want to bring your camera inside as there will be many photo opportunities which can be taken there. It can be a quirky activity to visit Cat Museum, but there are also other quirky things that you can do in Malaysian Borneo.

3) Sarawak Cultural Villages

kid-friendly destination in Sarawak Borneo

Ulu Tribe House in Sarawak Cultural Village

This outdoor museum showcases the traditional houses of various ethnic groups in Malaysia and Sarawak Borneo, such as Bidayuh, Iban, Melanau, Penan, Orang Ulu, Malay, and Chinese. Your kids will be given a ‘passport’ to get stamped while going for a relaxing stroll around the village and witness the traditional houses. Each traditional house showcases different types of demonstrations that include wood and bamboo carving, reed weaving, beadworks, pounding rice or crushing sugar cane, as well as other traditional activities. Don’t miss out to enjoy the multi-cultural dance performances in the village’s own theatre or let your kids experience blow dart. There also have few good restaurants and handicraft shops for you and your kids to have some snacks or purchase some local souvenirs to bring back home.

Did you know that the Rainforest World Music Festival is a 3-day music festival which held yearly in Sarawak Cultural Village? Feel free to read our guide to Rainforest World Music Festival article. 

4) Semenggoh Wildlife Centre

kid-friendly destination in Sarawak Borneo

Get a closer look of orangutans at Semenggoh Wildlife Centre. Photo by XIA

Let your kids experience Borneo Wildlife for your family holidays in Sarawak Borneo by visiting Semenggoh Wildlife Centre. A centre that is established for the purpose of rehabilitation and conservation for orangutans before being released back into Sarawak Borneo’s rainforest. This centre is about 20 km away from Kuching City, your kids will get the unique opportunity to get a closer look on the semi-wild orangutans from their natural habitat. The Semenggoh Wildlife Centre is not a zoo as the orangutans are not kept in cages and are free to roam around the thick, green forest. Therefore, orangutans are hardly seen around the centre as they are shy and reclusive animals. So, it is best to go there during the feeding times, which are at 9:00 am and 3:00 pm.

5) Bako National Park

kid-friendly destination in Sarawak Borneo

The Bako National Park beaches can be seen above.

Though Bako National Park is one of Sarawak Borneo’s smallest park, it is also one of the most interesting and diverse of 7 distinct plant ecosystems that can be found there! Your kids will love to explore the park as they will have the chance to see the iconic primate in Bako National Park, which is proboscis monkeys. Other Borneo Wildlife that can be found there will be the charming yet shy silver langur, Bornean bearded pigs, long-tailed macaques, flying-lemurs and more. In fact, wildlife encounters are almost guaranteed and it is perfect to let your kids experience it during your family holidays to Sarawak Borneo. Best of all, Bako National Park is only less than an hour from Kuching City, includes an enjoyable longboat ride across the bay.

6) Gunung Mulu National Park

kid-friendly destination in Sarawak Borneo

The amazing sight of Mulu Pinnacles

The largest national park in Sarawak Borneo and also Malaysia’s first World Heritage Area (awarded in 2000). It is known for its iconic limestone pinnacles, which somehow resembles Putangirua Pinnacles in New Zealand that was once a film destination for one of J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous fantasy novel; The Lord of The Rings. Interesting right? Other than that, the main attractions in Gunung Mulu National Park are the chamber caves ( Deer & Lang Caves, Clearwater Cave, and Wind Cave), bat observatory, rainforest canopy skywalk, adventure caving and Mulu Summit Climb. Bring your kids to experience the stunning show caves and the amazing bat exodus from Deer Cave, this is something that your kids will remember for the rest of their life!

Travelling with kids is no longer a trend, but it is an absolute must-try! When you bring your kids to experience Sarawak Borneo, it eventually will open up their little minds with some of the exotic cultural experiences, discover Borneo Wildlife from their natural habitat, see the unique species of flower and plants in Sarawak Borneo, and explore the tropical Borneo Rainforest.

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The origin name of district’s area in Sabah Borneo

The origin name of district’s area in Sabah Borneo

The origin name of district’s area

in Sabah Borneo

14
February, 2018
Sabah Borneo Tour Package
zipline and white water rafting adventure

Lupa Masa Jungle Trekking

Sabah Borneo is a unique place to visit, not only is it known to have many tribes living here, its diverse culture and tradition, but also the beauty of the places in Sabah Borneo as there are still many natural forests that are still left untouched and conserved. Not forgetting, the food in Sabah Borneo is to die for! It is so delicious that any travelers will certainly miss the unique taste of Sabah’s delicacy when they are back to their hometown.

When visiting Sabah Borneo for Borneo Holidays, there will be several districts that we either pass through or encounter. We may find that the name of each district in Sabah Borneo is unique and special. Therefore, this article will explain to any travelers (and locals too!) the origin of the districts’ name in Sabah Borneo.

First off, let us get to know Kota Kinabalu.

The origin name of district's area in Sabah Borneo
Kota Kinabalu City view from Signal Hill Observation Tower

Kota Kinabalu is the capital city of Sabah Borneo, which is located on the northwest coast of Sabah Borneo facing South China Sea. Formerly known as Jesselton during the British Colonization in 1800, it is a major gateway to explore the wildlife and nature in the northern region of Borneo Island. Kota Kinabalu is named after Mount Kinabalu (the highest mountain in Malaysia) and “Kota” which in the Malay language means fort, town, or city. Read our article on Traveler’s Guide to Kota Kinabalu.

Next, we’ll go to the outskirts part of Kota Kinabalu City, which is Penampang.

The origin name of district's area in Sabah Borneo
Sigah (headgear worn by Kadazan Men) Roundabout in Penampang, to symbolizes the Kadazan tribe.

Home to one of the major tribes in Sabah Borneo – Kadazan, and is considered as part of Kota Kinabalu area. Penampang is derived from an old village that is within the district itself, the village name is “Pampang” derived from Kadazan dialect, meaning big rock. There were many big rocks found in the village a long time ago. Eventually, the term “Pampang” was changed into Penampang.

Next, let’s ride down to the agricultural town of Papar, which is about 45 minutes drive from Penampang.

The origin name of district's area in Sabah Borneo
Papar Town. Photo by David Lim

Papar was originally ruled by the Brunei Sultanate. Thus, the name Papar comes from Brunei dialect which means a flat or open land. It is no wonder that Papar is known as an agricultural town due to many flatlands that are used for the purpose of growing rice and fruit orchards. In addition, if you’re feeling slightly adventurous, you can go on the North Borneo Railway Train to reach Papar, passing through the lush landscape of the coastal and rural regions of Sabah Borneo. Moreover, travelers can enjoy a typical ‘tiffin’ colonial lunch that will be served on the trip.

Afterwards, let’s head to a small rustic town of Menggatal, located on the west coast side of Sabah Borneo and is under the jurisdiction of Kota Kinabalu City Hall.

The origin name of district's area in Sabah Borneo
An old colonial building in Menggatal Town. 

Some locals might find Menggatal name is very funny and unusual, because the word Menggatal means flirtatious or provocative in Malay language. However, the people in Menggatal are not like that. The name Menggatal actually derived from a mango tree grown in the area, which is Mangga meaning mango, and Gatal meaning itchy in Malay language. So, whoever consumed the mango fruit, they will feel itchy as its side effect. Therefore, the locals there named the area as “Mangga Gatal”, but after awhile, the name somehow was shortened and became Menggatal.

Next, let’s venture further up to Tuaran, which is about an hour drive from Menggatal.

The origin name of district's area in Sabah Borneo
Drone view of Tuaran Town by Shariff Putra.

The name Tuaran is believed to be derived from the Malay language, “Tawaran”. Tawaran has two meanings; the first meaning is freshwater, which refers to the abundance of freshwater in the area. Apart from that, another meaning is to bargain, as it is fact that trading activities had been taking place within Tuaran area before the British Colonization commenced in 1884. Locals from interior parts of rural villages will come to Tuaran Town to sell their jungle produce to the local communities that live in the coastal part.

After that, let us get to know the land of the cowboys in Sabah Borneo, which is Kota Belud.

The origin name of district's area in Sabah Borneo
Kota Belud Horsemen. Photo by Adam Lai

Kota Belud is home to one of the tribes of Sabah Borneo, which is Bajau tribe. Its name is derived from a combination of one Malay word and one Bajau (dialect) word, Kota meaning fort, or city, and Belud meaning hill. There is actually a story behind Kota Belud’s name, in the past, there was hostility among the races of different villages in the area. Therefore, in order to defend themselves and to avoid enemy attacks, they decided to choose a hill as their fortress. Thus, the name of Kota Belud referred to as “Defense Fortress on the Hill”.

Afterwards, let’s go uphill through the mountainous region of Crocker Range, where we will reach Ranau district, home to almost entirely Dusun tribe community.

The origin name of district's area in Sabah Borneo
Panorama view of Ranau Town. Photo by Steve Benedict

Ranau name is actually from the word “Ranahon”, which means rice fields in Dusun dialect. Most Dusun people who live in Ranau mostly cultivate rice paddy fields either on the hilly terrain or on the flatlands (for the interior part of Ranau). Sooner or later, the term “Ranahon” was shortened to become “Ranau”. In addition, to visit Ranau, a traveler should do these interesting activities in Ranau that should not be missed out!

In a nutshell, getting to know the history of each district area in Sabah Borneo can be very interesting. However, it would be much more interesting and fun if travelers can get to spend their Borneo Holidays in these district areas of Sabah Borneo.

KotaKinabaluTravelGuide

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Let’s Fly High with Tandem Paragliding

Let’s Fly High with Tandem Paragliding

Let’s Fly High with Tandem Paragliding!

14
September, 2017

Don’t say YOLO if you haven’t gone to try the Tandem Paragliding in your Sabah Borneo trip!

Enjoy the thrill and a sense of freedom of Tandem Paragliding amongst the breathtaking scenery of the Borneo rainforest. Soaring like an eagle while you paraglide with the professional, fully trained, and qualified tandem pilots. Your outdoor adventure starts after you are debriefed by your pilot and ready to fly. Be sure to witness the magnificent view of the villages and Borneo Rainforest, when you soar up high above the sky!

Tandem Paragliding in Sabah, Borneo, has started for quite some years now, but recently it has become a popular outdoor activity in Sabah Borneo. As far as I know, there are two places that you can go for Tandem Paragliding in Sabah, Borneo, which is in Lohan, Ranau and Kokol Hill, Menggatal.

However, before you are planning to go for tandem paragliding in Sabah Borneo, here are some tips that you need to know:

1) Know The Restrictions

You would need to know some of the rules and regulations before going through a tandem paragliding in Sabah, Borneo. Kids or participants (17 years old and below) would need to be accompanied by parent or guardian. Minimum weight is 30 kg and maximum weight 110 kg to participants who wants to join this. Apart from that, for those who have a height-phobia, it is not recommended to join this activity.

Tandem Paragliding Sabah Borneo

A kid on a Tandem Paragliding, photo by: Crassula

2) Contact the Tandem Master to Book the Activity Time Slot

No walk-ins available as this activity is not offered on a daily basis. You would need to contact the tandem master in advance and make full payment before your activity date. Luckily, Top Peak Travel could help you to arrange your travel and booking for the tandem paragliding in your Borneo trip. However, last minute booking would not be possible to reserve your tandem paragliding activity early.

3) Wear Proper Shoes

This is considered an extreme adventurous activity, thus, wearing proper and comfortable shoes is a must. Oh, and also some proper clothing as well. We won’t want the possibility of danger could happen during your tandem paragliding activity.

Tandem Paragliding Sabah Borneo

A kid on a Tandem Paragliding

4) Have FUN!

Tandem Paragliding is not something everyone does all the time (unless you’re an extreme adrenaline junkie). It’s something that makes you squirm for the next few nights and keep you awake thinking, “Why in the world am I doing this again??”. But trust me, it’s something you will definitely want to try and enjoy. So don’t fret and most importantly, enjoy yourself! Let this whole new experience enjoy the wonders of what Mother Nature is giving us!

Tandem Paragliding Sabah Borneo

Have fun on a Tandem Paragliding, photo by Ranau Paragliding Park

Check out the photos below to pump you up on Tandem Paragliding in Sabah Borneo:

Here’s a video of Tandem Paragliding on Kokol Hill, Menggatal by Murphy Ng: 

Feeling pump up now? Contact us for booking and experience a sense of freedom with Tandem Paragliding!

Traveling with kids? Read our Top 5 Kid-Friendly trips in Sabah Borneo

FREE KOTA KINABALU TRAVEL GUIDE

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Desa Dairy Cattle Farm, Mesilau Highlands of Kundasang

Desa Dairy Cattle Farm, Mesilau Highlands of Kundasang

If you’re planning a trip up to the Kundasang Highlands, there is a place that you shouldn’t miss visiting when you’re in Kundasang. Above the Highlands of Kundasang is the Desa Dairy Cattle Farm. 

If you’re planning a trip up to the Kundasang Highlands, there is a place that you shouldn’t miss visiting when you’re in Kundasang. Above the Highlands of Kundasang is the Desa Dairy Cattle Farm. If you ask me, I’d say it’s more than just your ordinary Cattle Farm as the place has one of the best views of Mount Kinabalu overlooking the green pastures and also the cool breeze and air to add up to the package. It’s not only about the beautiful panoramic views, you can also get the chance to experience first hand on how they milk the cows and process the milk.

Not to forget that you can also buy the freshly processed milk, a variety of cheese, and goat milk yogurts and the best part is, the delicious gelato ice cream. Head down from the main building and head straight to the feeding pen and feed the cute calves and goats. Trust me, if you are bringing your children, they’ll love it. In my opinion, the Desa Cattle Farm is one of the best places that I’ve visited so far. It is not only fun but it is also educational at the same time and for me, it is totally worth it!. So next time if you’re planning to head up to Kundasang, put the Desa Cattle Farm on your list as my words can’t fully describe on what I have experienced there, so I suggest that you should experience it for yourself.

Desa Dairy Cattle Farm
One of the amazing view of Mount Kinabalu at the Desa Cattle Farm. Nice right?
Desa Dairy Cattle Farm
Sample some of the finest milks, yogurts and gelato ice cream in Sabah
Desa Dairy Cattle Farm
You buy the Desa products here at the mini shop.
Desa Dairy Cattle Farm
One of the activities there is you can feed the calf with a bottle of milk.
Desa Dairy Cattle Farm
You can even get close to the calf. Don’t worry, they won’t bite…

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5 Quick Tips About Family Travel in Borneo

5 Quick Tips About Family Travel in Borneo

5 Quick Tips About Family Travel in Borneo

30
April, 2017
5 Quick Tips About Family Travel in Borneo
5 Quick Tips About Family Travel in Borneo
There is nothing quite like a bonding family holiday. It’s great to expose our children to new places, wonderful for mom and dad to relax with low stress. Malaysia Borneo is a wonderful choice for family travel as there are a lot of Borneo holiday package offer.
Here are 5 quick tips when visiting the region with the whole crew 🙂
Sunscreen – The weather is hot, hot and hotter in Sabah (it’s the tropics after all) so protecting your family from the sun is a must. All ranges of sunscreen are sold locally in the city areas (Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan) but it’s quite hard to find anywhere else. So make sure you have a good supply on hand before setting off on a family adventure out of the city area.

Social Differences – One of the best byproducts of family travel is introducing everyone to cultural differences from our home countries. There are many things that may be taboo or different in Sabah from your home country or vice versa, embrace those differences and realize that is why we travel to learn about other cultures, races, and traditions. Joining the Kota Kinabalu tour packages, such as our tour to Mari-Mari Cultural Village, enable you to keep an open mind to accepting social norms it will make us all more tolerate and bring our family closer together.

Food – Food can be an adventure in itself when traveling in Borneo. From eating with your hands to trying new tastes or cooking styles make sure you watch, listen and follow what locals do and you will leave your family holiday with some great stories to bring back home so, be food adventurous in Sabah.
Prices or haggling – One of the most debated travel questions when shopping abroad is “What is local price vs tourist price?”. Haggling can be fun as much as it can be stressful when you’re on family holidays in Sabah. Remember price negotiation isn’t about getting the cheapest price… it’s about paying a price that you feel is fair to you and the seller.  A few tips to make the process smooth are: always smile and be polite(everyone likes a happy shopper), don’t have buyers remorse (if you bought it, enjoy it, no matter the price) and finally enjoy the process (it can be fun if you let it be)
Safety – As parents, we will always be concerned with our families safety. That doesn’t mean we have to be guarded when in an unfamiliar place. Sabah is a very safe place for travel, especially family travel, so leave your worries on the airplane and enjoy your time on the island.
Travel Quotes

The Legends of Mount Kinabalu

The Legends of Mount Kinabalu

The Legends of Mount Kinabalu

07
April, 2017
“Once upon a time there was a giant living…at the foot of Mount Kinabalu.” – Ansow Gunsalam, 1983
The Legends of Mount Kinabalu
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.

The Legends of Mount Kinabalu
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.”
The Legends of Mount Kinabalu
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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