TOP 5 DAY TRIPS TO DO IN SABAH BORNEO

TOP 5 DAY TRIPS TO DO IN SABAH BORNEO

TOP 5 DAY TRIPS TO DO IN SABAH BORNEO

27

June, 2017

Sabah, Borneo’s lush tropical rainforest and rich coral reefs, and colourful culture has made Sabah a great place to travel. Incorporate them with the relatively low prices for travelers has put Sabah as a must go-to place to visit. The only way to really experience the beauty of Sabah is basically to backpack your way from one end to the other. But if you don’t have the time, there are still many things to do on a daily basis.

5. Quad Biking in Kinabalu

Adventurous is your middle name? Then try out quad biking through dirt roads, up and down muddy slopes, across lush greeneries, and feeling the cool breeze on your face, all while having Mount Kinabalu as your backdrop.

4. River Cruise

Nature lover by heart, but not much time to kill? Enjoy a slow river cruise down the Weston Wetland Park and get the chance to see the endemic Proboscis Monkeys in the wild. Not to mention other wildlife as well, such as Flying Foxes, various types of Langurs, Crocodiles, and loads more. In the evening, be awed by a special performance from the Fire Flies with their “flashing lights” in their habitat.

For more information, check out our Proboscis Monkey River Cruise tour, or you can read our blog on Weston River Cruise for you to get the feel before deciding to go for a visit. 

3. Mari Mari Cultural Village

Sabah Borneo’s culture is rich and diverse and oh so interesting! You might not have the chance to stay with a native family for the next few days, but you can head on over to Mari Mari Cultural Village to experience and learn about Sabah’s diverse ethnicity. From their customs and beliefs, the way they do their chores, cook their food (with wood), how they greet, and so much more! You even have the chance to try out some local delicacies. Something not to be missed!

Feel free to read our blog as we share our trip to Mari Mari Cultural Village day trip.

2. City and Nature Tour

Want to know more about the history, architecture, and nature within a day but you just don’t know where to start? Ask the experts and they’ll be glad to show you a few places which fit nicely within a day. Do you know that Borneo was once colonized by the British Colony? They left many of their trails in Sabah and the history behind it is wonderful! Knowing that Sabah is predominantly indigenous people, you’ll be amazed at how mesmerizing the Floating Mosque looks like. Venturing into villages, you’ll see how fast scenery changes from concrete jungles to green landscapes, you’d think you just crossed borders! For booking tour, you can look up our Kota Kinabalu City and Nature Tour

1. Taste of Borneo Cooking Class

Sabah Borneo not only has you loving its’ food, it’ll want you to share it with your loved ones too. What better way then if not to learn it? Within a day, you’ll be able to learn several local dishes, which are pretty simple and taste nothing like the foods you eat in the shop. Authenticity is what it is and you’ll even mingle around with locals in the fresh market and get your hands down and dirty mixing up all the local ingredients to whip yourself a local cuisine in no time. To know more on how to join this authentic Borneo Cooking Class in Sabah, feel free to contact us here. Moreover, you can read our blog as we share our experience on the Unique Taste Of Borneo Cooking Class Tour.

 

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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!

12

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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Turtle Island Adventure

Turtle Island Adventure

Turtle Island Adventures

25
May, 2017

People say, wherever we travel, we’ll look for a beautiful and relaxing island or preferably, “paradise”. Same goes for me, I’ll look for the best and beautiful island to go to for relaxation.

There’s a lot of things you can do while staying on an island anywhere in the world. You can choose from the most expensive resort to the cheapest budget inns on the island, but one thing is for sure, all activities done there are the same! Yes, it is! From swimming to snorkeling, to diving, you’ll definitely be able to explore a lot of things and witness the beauty and uniqueness of the marine life underwater. You will still get the pleasure, you still get amazing photos, put on your one-of-a-kind beach wear, with your sunnies perched on your nose bridge, and sand in between your toes, and have that amazing picture for Instagram and Facebook!

However, did you guys know those islands that you normally go are different from conservation islands which most people aren’t aware of? The conservation and preservation of the island itself for the wildlife and beach are totally different and this is what I found out after visiting one of the conservation islands here in Sabah. 

Turtle Island Adventure
Turtle Island Adventure

Visiting one of the famous conservation island known as Selingan Turtle Island was actually an amazing adventure. It’s not only a place that we can go for relaxation, but also a place where every tourist that come, can learn something about the conservations of one of the world’s endangered species, the majestic Green Turtle. This place is very calming and has limited tourist capacity, so would be best to book ahead of time cause they’ve got limited space.

I admit that the price to get into this conservation island is EXPENSIVE! Yeah, it is! BUT? It’s worth it. The accommodation is clean, simple, and nice and it even has an air-cond. The food was great because it was a buffet spread (foodie haven). And of course, during leisure, you can take a stroll down the beach or go for a swim, but do bear in mind, tourist aren’t allowed to walk around after 6 pm as the Ranger on duty will be doing their regular checks on the beach to see if any Mother Turtles are coming up to shore from time to time.

TURTLE TIME!! TURTLE TIME! Yes! It’s the sound of the Ranger telling us a turtle has come to shore. Everyone literally stopped what they were doing and rushed to get their torch light and joined their Guide to where the Turtle was about to lay its eggs. For the first time ever, I saw a HUGE Mother Turtle laying its eggs calmly. Plop. Plop. Plop! Came out the eggs in synchronization.

The Ranger took the eggs without the Mother Turtle’s realization and start counting how many eggs in total for record purposes. We were quite lucky, not only was the Turtle huge, but it was also a first timer to land on Selingan Turtle Island. So after taking measurements and all mandatory processes, the Ranger tagged the Mother Turtle so that in future, if ever the Mother Turtle comes back again to lay eggs, they have a record. Once all that is done, the freshly laid eggs were put into a hatchery for the hatching process.

Turtle Island Adventure
Turtle Island Adventure
Turtle Island Adventure
Turtle Island Adventure
Turtle Island Adventure
Turtle Island Adventure

To me, the next exciting part of the trip was releasing the Baby Turtles into the sea. It was so much fun to see all the Baby Turtles follow the torched light direction and (for the first time) swim into the open ocean. What a way to end an unforgettable trip, but it’s just the beginning for those little Baby Turtles. Chances of survival for these little ones are minimal, not only because they’re easy targets for predators, but due to pollution caused by human beings, we have cut their chances of survival by more than 50%!

Was the trip amazing? Definitely. Was it worth it? Worth every penny! If you have the chance to visit Sabah, do make yourself free to go to one the conservation islands here in Sabah. If you want to join our tour on Borneo Turtle Island Conservation project, you can check it out here.

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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

20

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.

1. KOTA KINABALU

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.

2. PENAMPANG

a) Tinopikon Park

b) Sinilou Kibambangan Water Park

c) Lok Kawi Wildlife Park

3. RANAU

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!

4. SANDAKAN

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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Weston River Cruise Tour

Weston River Cruise Tour

Weston River Cruise Tour

19

May, 2017

Two months ago, I had the opportunity to join the Weston River Cruise tour in Weston, Beaufort. Being a newbie in the company, I was very excited as I had never been on a river cruise before. I know I am not the adventurous type of girl, but if you get the chance to join a river cruise and it’s a place that I have never been to in Sabah, then I’m game for it!

To begin with my story, let me share some information about Weston town. Weston town is located in Beaufort, Sabah. It was named after Mr. A.J. West, who is a British North Borneo railway engineer and the town was built as the terminal point for the first railway of North Borneo. It’s roughly a two-hour drive from Kota Kinabalu city. In Weston town, there is one row of shops, back then, British made a jetty point and a Chinese primary school built in wood, which remarkably, is rich in 100-years of history.

Weston is treasured with wildlife and nature. It is home to Borneo Proboscis Monkey, Silver Leaf Monkeys, Long-Tail Macaque, Birds, Snakes, and many more. Moreover, Weston also has a variety of aquamarines living there, such as the Mudskipper Fish, Otters, Crocodiles and River Shrimps. Apart from spotting the wildlife there in Weston, you can also participate in watching the stunning view of the “Reddish Fire Sunset”.

Weston River Cruise

Our trip started about 1.30pm from Kota Kinabalu City, but we (one of my colleague, is the driver, and I) had to go and fetch our guests at Borneo Beach Villas, Karambunai. Our guest is a family group, a father, with four of his lovely children. Thus, we depart from the villas and enjoyed our trip to reach Weston town. However, on the way to Weston town, it was raining heavily and it’s hard for us to see the road! I can see the children were getting restless due to the long journey to reach Weston town. Luckily, my colleague played a movie “King Kong” through his mobile phone and I did some ice-breaker with the children.

Exactly at 5 pm, we reached Weston town, yet, it was still raining (sigh!), but that did not stop us all to continue the tour. Upon arrival at Weston Water Village, we went for an afternoon tea at one of the local cafes there. I was told by my colleague back in the office that the food served here are so delicious. Gosh, I could not agree more! The food really was so delicious especially their homemade pastry – the glutinous rice shrimp (Yummy!). Even our guests loved eating the fried noodles and had second helpings.

Weston Water Village
Weston River Cruise

After our high tea, the rain finally stopped (Yippee!). We put on our life jackets and hopped on a small river cruise boat to start river cruising along the Weston River, and I cannot explain the happy feeling inside of me to go for river cruising for the first time ever! The after-rain weather really does bring out a euphoric feeling somewhere in me, as we cruised along the river hoping to spot for wildlife. We spotted a few Proboscis Monkeys hanging on a tree and our riverboat driver brings us closer to the river bank to see the Proboscis Monkeys. Our guests were so excited, especially the kids when they saw the Proboscis Monkeys upfront.

While everybody including myself was busy taking pictures of the primates, out of a sudden there was one Proboscis Monkey which jumped unto the other tree but failed and ended up going into the water (Haha!). However, it was quick to climb up to the other tree. One of the amazing fact that you need to know about this creature is their fingers and toes are partially webbed making them good divers and swimmers for them to swim across the river to move to new areas. You cannot imagine the feeling we felt that time when we see the live action from the Proboscis Monkey, it was quite a show for those who were first-timers to see it, especially to our guests and myself.

After that, we continued our river cruising to spot more of the wildlife. As it was raining before, there were not much of wildlife coming out that time. We did spot a few Long Tailed Macaques, and they were soaking wet and cute too! However, we were warned by my colleague, being our professional guide for the day, to not believe the cuteness of the primates, because they are the most sneaky and aggressive animals, will steal anything from anyone. One of the most significant experiences on this river cruise tour was, we managed to see Silver Leaf Monkeys, which happen to be the hardest wildlife to spot in Weston due to its characteristic for being overly shy.

Weston River Cruise Tour
Weston River Cruise Tour
Weston River Cruise Tour

Afterward, we went back to the cafe at the Weston Water Village. Along the way, we can see the wooden stilt village nearby, which was funded by government and the locals there were mostly fishermen. Joining this Weston River Cruise Tour was not only for wildlife sightings, but to also indulge ourselves with the magnificent sight of the sunset. Upon reaching the local cafe, a run of the mill dinner buffet was served, but the food was so tasty and delicious. Lucky for us, we are the only customers that day and the food served was all for us to eat. Oh yes! After dinner, we spotted some bats as well in the cafe and took some pictures before continuing our tour activity.

Weston River Cruise Tour
Weston River Cruise Tour

Later that evening, we hopped on the same boat again, this time, in pitch darkness. The tour does not end without going to see the fireflies. My colleagues had this green light torchlight which attracted tons of fireflies to our boats, and our guest, especially the children, were so excited to see the fireflies and even wanted to catch it! It was a sight to watch the colony of fireflies lighting up the mangroves trees. It really did feel like Christmas in March (in a tropical climate). Such an incredible experience to get the chance of a lifetime to see such an unbelievable sight, for a city girl like me. Not only that, looking at the light from the fireflies, really reminded me one of the scenes from the movie “Avatar”.

Finally, our Weston River Cruise ended. We bid goodbye and thank the owner of the local cafe for their good service and delicious food. We depart from Weston and continued for a two-hour drive back to Kota Kinabalu city.

Planning to bring your family to Weston River Cruise? You can check our tour here. Moreover, you can read our blog on 5 quick tips about Family Travel in Borneo before planning to visit Borneo.

Borneo-travel-with-family

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Trip to Kinabatangan River

Trip to Kinabatangan River

Trip to Kinabatangan River

05

May, 2017

“Sabah Borneo is well known for its beautiful nature and wildlife that is still protected and undisturbed.”

Trip to Kinabatangan river

Yes! living in Sabah, Borneo, as my hometown is a privilege for myself and every local people that live here should also feel the same.

My life as a nature tour guide was never a burden or boring for me. In fact, it made me fall in love with God’s Nature and wildlife that comes in different type, size, sound, and shape. Every single day of my life I go for touring and of course, I am proud introducing my own heritage to the tourist that come from all around the world that puts Sabah, Borneo, on their bucket list as a place that they MUST VISIT!

There are so many places I’ve been in Sabah, but one place incomparable to the rest is Kinabatangan River which is the longest river in Sabah;- 560 kilometers in length. Why? Reason being, this is the best place to have such a great escape from a busy life and stressful work. Along Kinabatangan River, you can see beautiful lodges to stay and to calm your mind away from cities and problems! You might choose any resorts or lodges, or even bed & breakfast to stay, depending on your budget or demands. It is up to you as all the lodges along this river do the same activities and program!

Talk about the cruise? Yes . It’s such a fun relaxing excursion cruising in our little amazon. Hahaha.. I always get fascinated even when I’ve been doing this cruise every single day, learning each day on how the wildlife lives in their own habitat. I mean for real! They have to find their own food, shelter to sleep and avoid from being hunted by predators, and it’s totally different with the animals that you see locked in cages at the zoo or sanctuary. 

Trip to Kinabatangan river
Trip to Kinabatangan river

I just love the sound of the Proboscis Monkeys jumping from one tree to another, with the smell of the Borneo Pygmy Elephants popoh which was a good possibility the elephants are coming out and when it does come out… Booyah! Everybody’s super happy with a big smile on their faces and yeah! It’s like a party fever in the river, all boats from different lodges will speed up their boat ride and come to the area where the Pygmy Elephants are as it’s one of the highlights of Kinabatangan River to see them in the Wild.

Trip to Kinabatangan river
Trip to Kinabatangan river
Trip to Kinabatangan river

Not only that, different types of monkeys such as Silver Langurs, Macaques, Crocodiles, and birds, can also be found along this river. In other words, all you want to see, you might see it here!

Trip to Kinabatangan river

When you’re surrounded by nature, you will definitely have the feeling to explore it by doing the Jungle Trekking activity! Don’t ever miss it! It’s normally done in the morning at the oxbow Lake. It’s a beginner’s trek, so no worries to the first timers! The trek takes around two hours in which you will have the chance to see Orang Utans up on the trees in their nests, but most of all, you’ll gain knowledge on Borneo plant species and trees along the way to the jetty. Touchdown! It’s paid off your efforts to reach to this jetty as its time to enjoy the natural Borneo fish massage at the river while enjoying the calming nature and experience that you will never get anywhere else.

What else is interesting apart from the wildlife and nature? For sure it’s the culture of the villagers that live there which is mostly the riverine people. During your free time in the afternoon, it’s the perfect time to go for a walk around the villages and see the houses built on stilts. Sometimes you will have the chance to go inside of the house that belongs to the villagers there and witness their daily routine.

Trip to Kinabatangan river

Being a nature lover, at the same time share it with my guests, is such a great opportunity as it makes me appreciate more of what we have in our own place and share priceless information that will open up the eyes of every guest that come a million miles away to visit Borneo and catch their attention on the importance of protecting and preserving animals and nature. Besides, I always tell each of my guests that if they are looking for a perfect gateway, this is the best place for relaxation and they’ll definitely have such an unforgettable memory to bring home!  What else is there to it? Start planning and put this on your list!

You can join our Kinabatangan River Safari to experience it yourself! Click here for more information.

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