What a charming house! It was my dream tropical home. The garden was lovely and the house is set on a rather high ground so the view of the Sandakan city is spectacular. It is an oasis after the hub of the busy port below.
I conquered Mount Kinabalu on 27 Mar 04. It was the 1st mountain of that height which I climbed. The satusfaction which I got was incredible. I would urge all travellers to also try to go right up on to the summit.
Mount Kinabalu is the highest mountain in South East Asia, with the height of 4095.2m. It is also the first UNESCO Heritage Site in Malaysia. Mount Kinabalu is essentially very "rocky" near the peak and "green" from the foot to the mid-point.
Fitness is important to conquer this magestic mountain. Do enjoy the process, I mean, the journey. Look out for the pitcher plants and wild orchids.
The hike up to Low's Peak from Laban Rata was no exactly easy. We woke up at 2am in the morning and set-off for the hike up to Low's Peak to catch the marvellous view of the sunrise at 2.30am. There were many many hikers and all of us formed a line and it was quite interesting to see a long long stream of lights leading up to the summit (created by the torch lights of hikers).
Some areas were pretty dangerous. You will pass by Sayat Sayat to register yourself before you reach the very very steep rock surfaces. We rested so many times as we summit. On average, you will need some 3-4 hours to reach the Low's Peak.
Well, when I finally reached the top, I saw the daybreak, followed by the sunrise. I forgot all the "pain" and all I could remember now is the sense of satisfaction I got and of course the nice scenery. Oh, and the cold cold wind when I reached the top too.
The Rungus are a sub-group of the Kadazan-Dusun, Sabah’s major indigenous people. However they speak a different language and retain distinctive customs, dress, architecture, oral literature and some of the state’s most talented artisans.
Their homeland, in the northwest corner of Sabah in Kudat district, about 160 kilometres north of Kota Kinabalu, is relatively easy to access with your own transport, but is far from the regular tourist trail. It’s difficult to imagine why the region has remained so untouched for so long as it is enchantingly picturesque. Apart from the cultural fascination of the Rungus and their traditional lifestyles, there’s an entire coastline of wonderful deserted beaches, just waiting to be explored, as well as the old port town of Kudat, that for a brief period served as the state’s colonial capital.
(Extracted from web link.)
Getting there to Kampung Bavanggazo was not easy. Oops, before that, obtaining the contact number of the places was already difficult. (Now I know I can just email to Sabah Tourism for any information. They do reply emails.) When my friends and I reached the Long House, we were greeted by the daughter of the owner. She is Agnes. She runs the place. We were the only tourists staying overnight that day. Agnes, being a very nice guide, brought us to the nearby village, told us a lot about the Rungus Culture and its people. The Long House itself is cooling as it is made of wood. Indeed an experience not to be missed.
See my Accommodation Tip for more informtaion
This place is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
The islands around Kota Kinabalu are charming and picturesque. The five islands of Pulau Gaya, Pulau Sapi, Pulau Manukan, Pulau Mamutik and Pulau Sulug and the surrounding seas covering a total area of approximately 12,185 acres have been designated as the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park. (I only went to Manukan Island.)
Crystal-clear waters are just a ten-minute boat ride away from Kota Kinabalu. For the better part of the year, the seas are usually very calm in the mornings. A journey to the islands by speedboat would be an exhilarating ride across a smooth shimmering surface. Those wishing for a quiet holiday will find peace and tranquility especially during the weekdays when there are few bathers around. Water skiers would likewise find the seas of Pulau Mamutik, Pulau Manukan and Pulau Sapi excellent because of the gentle waves.
Three hundred years ago a warrior and headhunter lived in a village on the slopes of a river near Kota Kinabalu. He was part of the biggest indigenious group of people in Sabah: the Kadazan-Dusun. All these years later, the legends and true stories about this tribe are being told by the direst descendants of the warrior. It's very strange to realize that the girl that guides your tour is a relative of a legendary headhunter. Her grandma used to act out serious and important rituals for the spirits. She herself even says to have contact with spirits. Believe me, when you hear her stories, you almost feel them.
Of course the village is made for tourists, but I must say it was quite interesting. And we were the only two people there at that time. We even had a few traditional dances performaned just for us.
Should you have a bit of money to spare and really want to dive somewhere special in Sabah, I would suggest the island Sipadan. Pulau Sipadan is a little oceanic mushroom sitting 34 km out of the coast from Semporna and can be reach by one of the dive resorts’ boats. The longer you are on the water the more curious you’ll get, until your eye catches a tiny dot on the horizon. It has a green hat of trees and forest and has a beautiful underlining of a white beach that goes all around the little piece of land. You’ll walk around it in half an hour.
There are several dive resorts on the isle. More that you would think imaginable, but I found it not disturbing. My advise is to go to Borneo Divers. They have the best spot on the isle, exactly in front of the drop-off and with a nice wooden bar that’s situated above the water. Cabins are basic, but you’ll be out diving all day anyway.
Be prepared to see loads of turtles!! After a few days you will not even turn your head anymore to look at one… But the most special aspect of the diving at Sipadan is the amazingly steep and deep drop-off, just a few meters from the beach. It falls 600 meters into the ocean!
Further possible sightings: nudibranches (my personal favorite), hammerheads, leopard sharks, and of course all the other colorful beauties that we usually find on the reefs.
Not only in the water but also on land there are some wonderful creatures: turtles again, huge lizards and coconut crabs…
Truly wonderful place on this big earth!
you can go by boat from kota kinabalu jetty harbour either to gayana eco resort or to bunga raya for swimming, snorkelling, relaxing
Gayana Eco Resort rests at the edges of a lush coral reef island off the coast of Borneo. 52 overwater villas are architecturally designed to enhance the sounds of the surf below while capturing the enduring vistas of Mt. Kinabalu on the horizon. At its heart, the resort is about protecting our precious Marine Ecology, and the only property with an on-site Marine Ecology Research Centre passionately propagating endangered Giant Clams and restoring natural coral reefs; where guests of all ages participate in restoring vibrant life back to once damaged ocean floors.
Bunga Raya Island Resort is a romantic and luxurious jewel set on a coral reef island off the coast of Borneo. A secluded island hideaway of 47 timbered villas, the resort is framed by white sand beach on one side and the centuries old virgin jungle on the other. Hillside private villas reflect the simplicity of the Borneo architectural style
even you are not able due to lack of tiness and not willing to climb up to kinabalu it is a pleasure to see the landscape up to mt. kinabalu park entrance and to see the botanical garden of mt kinabalu
Occupying an area of 280 acres it is one of the largest wildlife parks in Malaysia.
It is home to a fascinating and varied collection of tropical animals comprising mammals, birds and reptiles. These animals live in large enclosures designed to be like their natural habitat. Water is used as barriers wherever possible, together with low fences and walls camouflaged with vegetation.
we were fascinated of the animal show, also that sunbear, probiskey monkey and other local animals were real near to see..just pity that orang utan were out of home at our visit
One of the renown caves for birds nest harvesting and located at Gomantong Hill in the lower Kinabatangan area or Gomantong Rainforest Reserve. Consisting of two cave complexes which are Black Cave (Simud Hitam) and White Cave (Simud Putih), these caves have been harvested for the prized birds nest for many years even till today.
Created in the year 1984, Tabin has been declared a Wildlife Reserve primarily on account of the large number of animals inhabiting its forests, some of which are highly endangered. The three largest mammals of Sabah, namely Borneo Pygmy Elephant, Sumatran Rhinoceros and Tembadau are all found within the reserve; nine species of primate are present, as well as three species of cats all of which are on the protected wildlife list. Of bird species, 42 families representing 220 species have been recorded. One of the highlights of Tabin being the active and mineral-rich mud volcanoes, attracting frequent visits by wildlife for their mineral intake and present an ideal platform for wildlife observation and bird-watching.
As starting or finsihing place of your wildlife trip lahad datu is worth to visit due to its very friendy people
Lahad Datu is located in the Tawau division, occupying the peninsula on the north side of Darvel Bay. Lahad Datu is surrounded by stretches of cocoa and oil palm plantations. Apart from that, it is also an important timber exporting port.
A haven for naturalists, Lahad Datu is the gateway to Danum Valley Conservation Area, Tabin Wildlife Reserve, and Madai Caves. Lahad Datu is also the base for the Borneo Child Aid Society (locally Humana Child Aid Society Sabah) which provides education for more than 5, 000 children of plantation workers as well as others who are without access to basic education.
On the bank of Sabah’s longest river, the Kinabatangan River, Bilit Rainforest Lodge is situated strategically in the heart of numerous intriguing wildlife and fascinating habitats such as oxbow lakes, limestone caves, mangrove swamps and various types of tropical forests.
on the boat trip we were able to see probiskey monkeys, crocodiles, wildpig and many different birds..when you are lucky you can also see organ utan and the borneo pygmy elefants
choose bilit rainforest lodge as your accommodation
Sandakan is the second-largest city in Sabah, East Malaysia, on the north-eastern coast of Borneo. It is located on the east coast of the island and it is the administrative centre of Sandakan Division and was the former capital of British North Borneo. Sandakan is known as the gateway for ecotourism destinations in Sabah, such as the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, the Rainforest Discovery Centre, Turtle Islands Park, Kinabatangan River and Gomantong Caves
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