Author Archives: drizad

About drizad

A self employed General Practitioner who lives with his lovely family in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. He dedicates his spare time serving people with precious information on climbing the Majestic Mountain of the Borneo, Mt Kinabalu. Reachable at drizad(at)gmail.com

Red coloured durian – only in Sabah…


Red durianI received an email from my good friend, Cikgu Ismail yesterday. He attached few photos on the interesting things that he found in Sabah, and not found anywhere else, especially from the Peninsular Malaysia. One of the photo that he emailed me was a red coloured durian – which currently claimed to be found ONLY in Sabah (correct me if I am wrong).

Durian, or the scientific name is Durio zibethinus, is widely known and revered in Southeast Asia as the “King of Fruits,” the fruit is distinctive for its large size, unique odour, and a formidable thorn-covered husk. Its name comes from the Malay word duri (thorn) together with Malay suffix that is -an (for building a noun in Malay), meaning “thorny fruit.”

The fruit can grow up to 30 centimetres (12 in) long and 15 centimetres (6 in) in diameter, and typically weighs one to three kilograms (2 to 7 lbs). Its shape ranges from oblong to round, the colour of its husk green to brown and its flesh pale-yellow to red, depending on species. The hard outer husk is covered with sharp, prickly thorns, while the edible custard-like flesh within emits the strong, distinctive odour, which is regarded as either fragrant or overpowering and offensive. The taste of the flesh has been described as nutty and sweet.

The durian smell…
Quoted from Richard Sterling, a travel and food writer, said:
… its odor is best described as pig-shit, turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock. It can be smelled from yards away. Despite its great local popularity, the raw fruit is forbidden from some establishments such as hotels, subways and airports, including public transportation in Southeast Asia.

You can be fine with durian!Well, as I am a local Malaysian, I don’t think could agree with him. And I don’t think that it smells like pig-shit. Anyway, don’t forget to try one when you are here. If you can’t get hold of the red coloured one (usually available almost all around Sabah), try the original cream coloured one. You can get it almost from anywhere in Malaysia.

Good luck!

Resources: Answers.com

Recommended book – Into The Heart of Borneo

The book is about two educated englishmen who venture to the Island of Borneo determined to capture the the sights of a rare albino rhino. The author sets the humor rolling straight off, and in his sardonic wit, recounts his adventures into the rainforest of Borneo.

Duly noted are the risks to life and limb (and appendages)he must be aware of during his adventure. These lessons are given to him by his good natured guides who taunt and tease the overweight white (very white) man. All in good fun, the banter flows both ways. Descriptions of their meals may take a tough stomach on the part of the reader.

He spared the reader nothing when it came to describing the delights of dinnertime. The recollection of some repasts, especially the gourmet monster lizard meals were among the more memorable (unfortunately). It was amazing what they scrounged up to eat. I will not spoil all the little surprises they had at mealtime, you will know soon enough when you read the book!

Aside from the culinary experience, I found the travel journey delightfully funny and educational. While I know this is NOT the kind of trip I would care to have, I appreciate that the author had the guts to do it. At times, he doubted his stamina, but that is what made the novel work – he was a regular guy doing something outrageously difficult, not to mention dangerous. I can see that this kind of adventure would appeal to many others, but for me, I took his trip in an armchair where I was safe and knew what I was eating for lunch!

He is a charming writer, hooking the reader with teasing references. I admit I learned alot about their culture and some of their more sensitive political and social issures. A quick read, I went out and bought more of his books and look forward to a similar experience.

A review by Janice M. Hansen, courtesy of Amazon.com

4+3 things to learn from Sabahan.com – a cross sectional review

Sabahan.comI got an opportunity from my good friend, Gaman to review his blog, Sabahan.com, when he runs a contest to review his blog almost a month ago. I was not interested at the beginning, but when I saw his latest post saying that he needed another 2 reviews to complete his Group 5 entries, I just decided to give it a shot.

This review of his website will based on my novice knowledge about webmastering and blogging which I learned from scratch for the last 2 years. Most of my reviews will bias towards the few professional bloggers in the blogosphere, as I am going to make them as the benchmark of my review.

I really hope that my reviews can be useful, especially for new aspiring bloggers, as well as the seasoned bloggers. Gaman, hopefully you can take it as a pinch of salt.

Let me begin.

After few clicks on Sabahan.com blog, I can conclude that you can learn 4+3 things from it, i.e. 4 “Good” and 3 “Can Be Improve” features of the blog.

4 “Good” Features:

  1. Uncluttered blog design.
    1. Gaman is using WordPress, that I must admit as the best platform for bloggers, with 2 column and white background.
    2. Black font and white background is the best combination for longer reading time and ease to the eyes (that is why books use white coloured paper).
    3. Almost with no images, it can be an advantage for visitors with slower internet connection, as it will reduce the upload time.
    4. By using his own domain name, the blog gives Gaman 100% control over his blog, as compared to free services like Blogger and WordPress.com.
    5. For blog optimization purposes, I see that Gaman use few WordPress plugins such as Post Teaser, User Online and Subscribe To Comment plugin.
    6. With Google Site Search on the upper right corner of the page header, Gaman gives a good exit options for his ‘lost in his space’ visitors.
  2. Various monetization methods. This is the part which most of aspiring new bloggers wants to know about. I must tell you that Gaman really knows how to use this tool properly. He did not put all his eggs in one basket by having a lot of advertisers. He did it cautiously also. By having relevant ads – the ads that is relevant to his content – makes his blog credible and not seen as an advertisement billboard.
    1. Gaman did not utilize Adsense ads campaign to the maximum, as he only use one Google Adsense 336×280 ad campaign in every post and a 728×15 link unit for the header on every page. He could actually put more ads than that, but I think he tried to avoid cluttering the page with too much ads.
    2. Positioning the Text-Link-Ads links high above the fold on the left sidebar has made the area filled with sponsored links.
    3. Gaman uses ContentLink ads in the blog post (which sometimes some visitors feels it a bit obtrusive), obviously noticeable by double underline phrases with a javascript pop-up when we hover our mouse on the links.
    4. The other monetization methods that Gaman uses are ReviewMe, Chitika, AzoogleAds and some affiliate product reviews. I can’t comment on these as I did not go through all his post to look for it.
  3. He ‘burn’ his feed with Feedburner, i.e. using RSS feed to syndicate his content. By having Feedburner, his loyal computer literate blog readers will easily subscribe to his feed. Nobody should miss the syndication image that can be obviously seen on the top left sidebar. I won’t suggest you to put your number of your feed subscribers, if it is less than 20 (Gaman’s feed subscribers are hovering around 180-200 at this moment).
  4. Link exchange page (he labeled it as ‘Partners‘) . This is a good old webmaster school lesson but still a relevant way to get links from other website and blogs. With social networking platform is building up, link exchange methods like this are usually confined to the traditional static websites. I am not surprised to find that Gaman has only 39 links in his link exchange page, and still can get a PR5 from Google, as most of his inbound links will come from social networking platforms and other blogs. Maybe that is why he put MyBlogLog widget on the sidebar!

3 “Can Be Improve” features:

  1. No photo of Gaman himself. Oh c’mon Gaman… If a professional blogger like Darren Rowse and Yaro Starak put their photo on their blog, why can’t you? My mentor Ken Evoy said that by having your photo on your website and blog, visitors will be more adaptive and connected to you compared to one which didn’t have one. With emerging social networking platform, its easier for the visitors to ‘get connected’ with you in the virtual world with your photo on board. Even a primary school textbook has a photo of the writer at the back of the book!
  2. No favicon. I use Firefox as my official web browser, and the one feature that I like is favicon. I know it is not necessary, but I don’t think there is any harm on having one. Apart from making your URL beautiful, favicon can speed up your time looking for a specific URL in your bookmark folder only by looking at the favicon. Get one free from the numerous favicon generator around.
  3. To get the most out of your older post (which can really become dusty and buried deep in your webhost database), I would suggest that you install Popularity Contest plugin by Alex King. One problem with blog that I notice is that; older post get pushed down and out of the homepage as the day goes by, and this process is even faster if we post everyday.
  • Like for example your Technology>Google category. How would you know which is the most popular post from that 183 post that you have written? Some visitors will judge your blog just by looking at the most popular post that you have written. If they like it, most probably your blog will be bookmarked and they will subscribe to your feed. Put up the link to the 10 most popular post on your blog sidebar. It will keep your visitors a little longer in your blog, and your popular post won’t be dead buried inside your webhosting server. Oh… with that you might need to consider changing your theme from 2 column to 3 column to optimize the presentation.

As a conclusion, I don’t think my review matter most to Gaman, as at this moment, he still could earn a good sum of money (a lot more than what I am earning now!). Mind you that Gaman took some TIME to reach this stage…

If you’re serious about growing your online blogging business

If you have been into internet marketing long enough, I bet you must have heard about Rich Schefren. I downloaded his latest report on Attention Age Doctrine. It really blew up my mind when I read about:

  1. How most of internet marketers failed nowadays NOT because of lack of information, but because of OVERLOADED and CONFUSED with all the information that are available in the internet.
  2. All the rules of business growth, marketing effectiveness and personal performance HAVE CHANGED with the birth of ATTENTION ECONOMY.
  3. Why the Information Age is ALREADY OVER.
  4. Why trying to keep up with the latest information will only keep us DUMBER.
  5. How to THRIVE with information overload.
  6. Why people are getting DUMBER with each new technology release.
  7. What is INTERRUPTION AGE as compared with COMMUNICATION AGE?
  8. Too Many Options Will Paralyze, Delude, Waste Time & Disappoint us.

The other reason why I really interested with Rich’s report is that I saw my mentor’s name, Yaro Starak as one of his student. I am a registered member of Yaro’s Blogmastermind, which I joined couple of weeks back.

For your information, Yaro’s Blogmastermind membership program is a learning class for BLOGGERS who have the vision of becoming a “Professional Blogger” (like Darren Rowse), and how to treat BLOGGING AS A BUSINESS.

If you have a blog and want to get the most out of your blog, I really recommend you to download FREE Yaro’s Blog Profits Blueprint and better still, join his mentoring and teaching class with Blogmastermind. It worth every penny.

Shoes and gears for Kinabalu Climbathon skyrunners

If you think that choosing a suitable footwear for a climbathon is easy, you should think again. I was surfing around for new content for this blog, when I remembered to check the Federation for Sports Altitude website. Apart from knowing that the 21st Mount Kinabalu Climbathon this year will be held earlier that usual, (August 25-26), I also notice a good resource on choosing shoes and gear for the participant/contestant of the event.

So, if you are thinking of taking part in the climbathon, you may find this guide useful.

Shoes and gear – a skyrunner’s mini guide

In the mountains, speed means safety: the ability to move quickly in the face of an oncoming storm or to have to descend rapidly due to hypoxia can be decisive issues.
Variable temperatures, terrain and altitude all require products that are technical, light, thermal, breathable and elastic that protect without restricting your movements and hence, speed.

Skyrunning has helped to revolutionize this concept.
Trail running shoes with a good grip and a protective upper to resist water and snow are a must. See the table below for recommended styles currently available. What to wear? In certain races, some items are compulsory: like full-length tights or long, microfibre pants, a long sleeved top or cyclist’s top with pockets in the rear for a lightweight windproof jacket. Sun glasses, a head band, or gloves may also be listed as compulsory accessories. Ski poles are usually an optional.

Ordinary road running gear – shorts and singlet – is acceptable in shorter races in warm climates without too much altitude. The list of compulsory race material is indicated in the race brochures and in the rules for each race. In training at high altitude, never leave without a windproof vest, tights or microfibre pants, hat and gloves. Away from marked courses an altimeter/compass is useful or take a GPS. Don’t forget a water bottle and energy bars. Technical fabrics and lightweight trail running shoes are continuously evolving – the whole kit has lightened from 3 kg when skyrunning started in the early 90s – to less than 1 kg. Shoes and equipment are featherweight and functional.

FSA choice
The following shoes have been selected by the FSA Technical Committee as suitable for skyrunning.
Rating: good***, very good****, excellent*****
Weight: Based on men’s size 9 (US)

Shoes and gears for Kinabalu Climbathon skyrunners

***This guide is for climbathon athletes, NOT for regular mountain climber***

Vertical Limit – A mountain madness story

I love climbing books. I love climbing movies. Therefore, I was thrilled when this movie came out. It is an action packed, edge of your seat, high altitude climbing film. No doubt about it. There is even a cameo appearance by mountaineer Ed Viesters. The only real problem with the film is the plot. It is downright unbelievable, at times. If, however, you can suspend disbelief, you will still enjoy this film. I know that I did.

The film revolves around a brother and sister, played by Chris O’Donnell and Robin Tunney, who are estranged following the death of their father while climbing. His death scene is a real nail biter, as it deals with a situation that a climber hopes never occurs. Three years later, the sister is climbing professionally, while the brother has retired from climbing and is, instead, working as a photographer for National Geographic.

He and his sister inadvertently meet up on K2, the second highest peak in the world and probably the most perilous to climb, while he is on assignment for National Geographic, and she is there to climb. The sister is set to climb K2 as part of the climbing team put together by a millionaire played by Bill Paxton. For him, K2 is a trophy mountain, and he plans to climb it with the intention of reaching the summit just as the inaugural flight of the airline he owns is flying overhead. He has put together an ace team, but, alas, K2 has a mind of its own.

While climbing, they are overtaken by a storm, after the millionaire disregards his lead climber’s warning that the team should turn back. The sister ends up falling into a crevasse. An avalanche kills off the rest of the team, except for the lead climber and the millionaire, who join the sister in the crevasse. Hypoxic and injured, they maintain radio contact with base camp and let them know of their predicament.

The brother now steps up to home plate. Organizing a six person, rescue team led by a stereotypic mountain man, wonderfully played by Scott Glenn in a standout performance, the brother sets out to rescue his baby sister, and the fun begins. The climbers each set out with a canister of nitroglycerine, as they plan to set off the nitroglycerine in order to get the three surviving climbers out of the crevasse which has been covered over by the avalanche.

Give yourself over to the dazzling mountain views, the stunning, hair raising, mountains madness, and try to ignore the silly plot. Anyone who knows anything about mountains would know that setting off explosives on snow packed slopes is tantamount to an open invitation to avalanche, something no climber wants. Notwithstanding this, get set for an action packed adventure. Despite the silly plot, it is an otherwise entertaining and enjoyable film.

If the crunch of crampons on ice is in your blood, if you love the idea of an ice axe saving you from a fall thousands of feet off a cliff, if the idea of a cornice breaking off, while you are standing on it, is a challenge to your climbing skills, then this is definitely the movie for you. If the words avalanche, hypoxia, and pulmonary edema are all in your everyday vocabulary, then you, too, will enjoy this film. If you just like action packed adventure, make sure you also see this film. I am sure that you will enjoy it.

The DVD itself is an excellent value. It comes laden with a number of special features, including a National Geographic special on K2, featuring Jim Wickwire and Rick Ridgeway who, in 1978, along with Lou Reichardt and John Roskelley, were the first Americans ever to reach the summit of K2. The DVD also shows you how some of the stunts in the film were done. All in all, this DVD is well worth buying, and the film is well worth watching.

Reviewed by Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle), courtesy of Amazon.com

Brief history of Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, The Land Below The Wind

Kota Kinabalu sunsetKota Kinabalu, or “KK” as it is popularly known, is a pleasant Borneo surprise, set between lush tropical hills and the South China Sea. It is the state capital of Sabah and a resort-city of exciting contrasts – vibrant, serene and hassle-free, with modern infrastructure and many attractions. Strategically situated less than three hours by air from East Asian capitals, KK has direct flights to/from major cities – Kuala Lumpur, Bandar Seri Begawan, Singapore, Manila, Cebu, Hong Kong, Taipei, Kaoshiung, Seoul, Tokyo and Sydney. KK was granted city status on 2 February 2000. It is the eastern hub and getway to Malaysia.

KK traces its beginnings to 1881, as a tiny British settlement on Pulau Gaya, the biggest of five islands directly across the bay from present-day KK city. In 1897, rebel Mat Salleh and his men fought and burnt the island settlement. The British relocated to the mainland at Kampung Gantisan, a small fishing village. In 1899, the British named the new settlement ‘Jesselton’ after Sir Charles Jessel, the Vice-Chairman of the British North Borneo Chartered Company.

Jesselton was also known as Api-Api, which literally means, ‘fire-fire’. It was said that it derived this name from the frequent fires that occurred during festive seasons caused by flying sparks from firecrackers burning the thatched roofs and wooden structures of the shophouses. Some believe the name Api-Api may have derived from the Avicennia trees which grew abundantly along the coasts and were used for firewood (kayu api).

To liberate North Borneo from Japanese occupation during World War II, Allied Forces bombed and completely destroyed Jesselton, leaving only three colonial buildings standing. These were the elegant Sabah tourism Building at 51 Jalan Gaya, the Atkinson Clock Tower and the former Land & Survey Building. Unfortunately, the latter was burnt down in a New Years Eve Fire in 1992.

The Sikh Temple, located away from the town center, was also spared from the bombing. The high cost of re-building forces the Chartered Company to relinquish their land rights over North Borneo to the British Government. North Borneo became a British Crown Colony on 15 July 1946. At the same time, Jesselton was selected as the new capital of North Borneo, to replace Sandakan, which was also destroyed during the war.

Jesselton was renamed Kota Kinabalu on 30 September 1968, for the majestic Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain in South East Asia, at 4,095.2m (13,435 ft). Post-war reconstruction of the capital saw major changes to its skyline, coastline and land area. Most of KK is built on reclaimed land.

Reference: Sabah Tourism Board

Aerial view of Kota Kinabalu

Kinabalu Mountain Biking Package Trip from BUSAT

BUSATI received emails from some of our visitors, asking me about Kinabalu Mountain Biking. They just want to feel something different from climbing Kinabalu. After scaning some of tour operators here in Kota Kinabalu, I have found a company which can give you a very competitive price for your mountain climbing package. Borneo Ultimate Sports Adventure Tours has a lot of packages, specially tailored to even a novice mountain bikers.

They will pick you up from your hotel/KK city, take you out of the city and bring you backcountry only 30mins to 1hr drive away! They will provide you the transportation, Mt. Bike, Ultimate guide, refreshment & lunch. Their ultimate guides have over 10 years experience in mountain biking and make safety their number one priority.

I have also discussed with their management, to give you a good discount, just saying that you are “Referred by RUHAIZAD  DAUD”. To give you an idea on what the mountain biking package looks like, I hereby give you some of the package that I think is suitable.

For Beginners:

Tour Itinerary CODE: MBT 01 – MOUNTAIN BIKING DAY TRIP (PAPAR/KIULU/KOKOL)

PAPAR (BEGINNER / EASY)
0800hrs Pick up from the hotel (KK area) and transfer to Kg. Pengalat by road (45mins drive).
0900hrs After bike fitting, start the bike ride along the paddy fields, banana & rubber plantations and a suspension bridge (about 25km).
1130hrs End up at the Kg. Tagupun and light refreshment is provided before you proceed to Papar town to have lunch at the local restaurant.
1300hrs Transfer back to KK City.
KIULU (INTERMEDIATE)
0800hrs Pick up from the hotel (KK area) and proceed to Telipok town by road (1hr 30mins drive).
1000hrs After bike fitting, start the bike ride at Lawamandau village and admire the local village with the fantastic view from the top of the hills (25km), refreshment will be provided half way of the bike ride.
1200hrs End up at the Kiulu BUSAT camping site and a BBQ lunch will be provided.
1300hrs Transfer back to KK town.

For Rafflesia and Waterfall lovers:

Tour Itinerary (Day Trip) CODE: MBT 03 – TAMBUNAN RAFFLESIA & MAHAU WATERFALL MT. BIKING

Tambunan Rafflesia
At 0730hrs, pick up from your hotel and proceed to Tambunan Rafflesia Centre by road for about 1hr 30mins drive. The largest concentration of Rafflesia buds can be found at the Raffflesia Conservation Area, Which was established for the sole purpose of conserving this very rare parasitic plant. There is no particular flowering season for Rafflesia, and the flower can appear at any time during the year. Nature trails connects all the known sites where Rafflesia buds are found and the Information Centre provides and excellent display on the life cycle of a Rafflesia plant.After bike fitting, begin the Mt. bike challenge on sealed road for 2-3hrs where you can enjoy the magnificent view of Sabah’s reserved forest and the cool air as you cycle downhill. You will also pass by the settlement of the local village and their paddy fields. Lunch at local restaurant and rest.
Mahua WaterfallTake a ride for another 30 minutes towards Tambunan town and into the village road basically on graveled road. Time to be no your bike again this time on a more challenge trail. Bike for 15 minutes until you reach the waterfall. you will definitely want to dip intot he clear water to refresh yourself from exhaustion and heat. At your own free leisure around the waterfall area. Proceed back to KK.

For biking, rafting and camping in one package:

Tour Itinerary CODE: MBT 04 – 2D/1N KIULU MT. BIKING, RAFTING & CAMPING

Day 01 KK / Kg. Kokol / Kiulu (Lunch, Dinner)
0730hrs pick up from your hotel. Riders will be taken from Kota Kinabalu up to the top of the hills approximately 1000ft above sea level by vehicle. They ride to a narrow single track which takes them through the jungle. The riders will need to carry or push their bike if necessary. Once out of the forest, riders will follow a road down a long steep descent to Kiulu Village then they will ride along the country road to Malangan village where they will camp overnight by the river. Camp fire activity on your own.
Day 02 Malangang / Pukak / KK (Breakfast, Lunch)
The next morning after breakfast, riders will make their way across the suspension bridge to visit some of the local villagers. The route is along single track with some short hills and slightly technical sections. The route is very scenic and gives you a chance to see traditional villages and farming areas of the Kadazandusun.At 1000hrs, start rafting via Kg. Pukak on Kiulu river. The river is a perfect introduction for first time rafters and children. A comprehensive safety briefing will be given on the river bank prior to the starting of rafting. You will have a chance to try body rafting, swim and participate in paddling. A day filled with fun and laughter, learning and mild adventure. After rafting, enjoy the BBQ lunch by the river side. Finally transfer back to KK hotel.

For 3D2N mountain biking:

Tour Itinerary CODE: MBT 05 – 3D/2N MT. BIKING PACKAGE

Day 01 KK / Gunung Emas (Dinner + Accommodation)
0700hrs, pick up from your hotel and depart for Gunung Emas at 6,000ft. After bike fitting, bike downhill towards Tambunan Village for 19km and proceed to MahuaWaterfall with 6.7km off road. After a brief rest and admiration, cycle back towards Tambunan Valley for lunch (approximately 20.7km). take a ride to Tambunan Rafflesia Centre for the biggest flower in the world. Overnight at Gunung Emas.
Day 02 Gunung Emas / Tambunan / Keningau (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner + Accommodation)
After breakfast, at 0700hrs continue biking over 23km towards Tambunan town with 80% downhill.10km on off road before reaching another main road. Bike again for 30mins on off road for 17km through beautiful local village and paddy fields. Reach Keningau town where you will stay for anight. After dinner, take a visit to the night market and experience the typical lifestyles of Keningau people.
Day 03 Keningau / Kimanis / Papar / KK (Breakfast)
After breakfast, at 0700hrs transfer to the highest point of 4200ft of the Crocker Range. Cycle downhill to Ulu Kimanis for 35km and proceed to Papar town for lunch that takes another 17km on flat road. After lunch and rest, proceed cycling towards Kinarut where you will go through countryside road for 20km, take a ride back to KK.

For 4D3N muntain biking and rafting:

Tour Itinerary CODE: MBT 05 – 4D/3N MT. BIKING & PADAS RAFTING

Day 01 KK / Gunung Emas (Lunch, Dinner + Accommodation)
0700hrs pick up at your hotel and depart for Gunung Emas at 6000ft. Bike fitting and bike downhill towards Tambunan for 19km through Sunsuron village and proceed to Mahua Waterfall 6.7km off road that takes about 10mins. Cycle back for 20.7km to Tambunan Valley Resort for lunch then drive back to Tambunan Rafflesia Centre where you can see the biggest flower in the world and back to Gunung Emas for an overnight stay.
Day 02 Tambunan / Keningau (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner + Accommodation)
Bike tour to Tambunan town for 23km downhill and off road for 10km for 30mins ride. Bike for 17km through village and paddy fields. Reach Keningau for lunch and overnight stay. After dinner visit night market and experience the lifestyle of Keningau people.
Day 03 Keningau / Tenom (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner + Accommodation)
After breakfast at 0700hrs, bike tour to Tenom for 3 hours. 35% off road through cocoa, rubber, banana and coffe plantations. After lunch, check in at Perkasa Hotel in Tenom and continue biking at 1500hrs. bike to Lagud Sebarng to Visit Tenom. Dinner at local restaurant.
Day 04 Tenom / Padas Rafting (Breakfast, Lunch)
After breakfast at 0640hrs, take a train ride to Pangi station for Padas White Water Rafting. Raft the river for 1½ – 2 hours. The ultimate adventure comes as you shoot through rapids after rapids and experience the nerve tingling excitement! After rafting enjoy the BBQ lunch then later transfer back to Kota Kinabalu.

So, if you decided to choose either one of the package above, make sure you do not forget to tell them that you are “referred by Ruhaizad Daud”. You will be given a special price for your trip!

Ready? Here is their link : http://borneoultimate.com.my

Popular sites and events in Melbourne, Australia

Tourism in Melbourne, Australia, is an important industry with approximately 7.6 million domestic visitors and 1.88 million international visitors in 2004. Melbourne attracts a large numbers of tourists, particularly young backpackers. Among popular sites and events in Melbourne are:

  1. The Melbourne Cricket Ground, known as “the MCG” or simply the “G”. From April to September, there are typically one or two Australian rules football matches there per week; the game can be spectacular, it is unique to Australia, relatively inexpensive to attend, and is safe and enjoyable for all, including children. It has also hosted two Bledisloe Cup rugby matches. During the summer, cricket matches are played there – the most important being the Boxing Day test match between December 26th and December 30th, and several one-day international games in January and February which are perhaps more enjoyable for the casual spectator. The MCG was renovated in preparation for the 2006 Commonwealth Games, creating a maximum capacity of 103,000.
  2. The Melbourne Observation Deck, located some 237 metres above the city streets on the 55th floor of the Rialto Towers, offers spectacular views of the central business district and beyond. The Rialto Towers is the second tallest building in Melbourne after the newly constructed Eureka Tower.
  3. Melbourne Park, home of the Australian Open tennis tournament, one of the four Grand Slam tournaments (held in January each year).
  4. The Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre is located in Southbank and was built in the 1990s as a replacement for the Royal Exhibition Building. It has hosted thousands of conventions and exhibitions since its opening.
  5. The Melbourne Museum is located on the north-eastern fringe of the CBD, next to the Royal Exhibition Building. To many Melburnians, the most significant exhibit is the preserved body of Phar Lap, the famous racehorse of the Depression era. For those who cannot visit the nearby forested ranges, the Forest Gallery is a living internal facsimile. Technically-inclined visitors may be more interested in CSIRAC, the fifth electronic computer built and the only one of its generation to survive intact. The Museum complex is also home to Melbourne’s IMAX cinema.
  6. The Royal Exhibition Building located in the Carlton Gardens was built in the 1880s for the World’s Fair and is only one of a few such buildings that still exist. The building and gardens was granted World Heritage listing on 2 July 2004. It is the first building in Australia to be granted this status. The building also held the first sitting of the Australian Parliament on 9 May 1901. Subsequent federal parliamentary sittings were then moved to the Victorian Parliament building located in Spring Street and the Victorian government moved to the Exhibition Building.

If you are thinking to go to Melbourne for your next backpacking trip, Cheaperthanhotels has a lot of accommodation in Melbourne, from 2 star to 5 star, which you can choose.

This is a sponsored post

How fast your blog upload?

Our blog have a lot of plugins (especially WordPress), widgets, theme, graphics, bells, whistle, advertisement and javascript installed. Have we ever test how long does our blog to upload? If we follow the 8-second rule, (the old Web 1.0 webmaster rule), if our website fail to load on the visitors browser within 8 seconds, the visitors will almost always turns away. Some search engine will have time out in 30 seconds. Loading time over 24 seconds looses 40% of potential viewers due to impatience!. It will then of course reduce our availability of ‘monetizing’ our blog with them, especially if we highly depends on Adsense or affiliate products.

The problem is also prominent after I installed Nuffnang and Advertlets ads on my blog. Both local Malaysian blogger-advertiser platform use javascript to serve the ads on my website. After installing both of them, I found out that it kind of slows down my blog uploads, especially if they serve an ad. It is not so obvious (the slowness) if they do not have any ads.

Tools:

Submit Plus! Load Test resultTo estimate how long our website loads, one of the tool that I use is from Submit Plus! Free Load Test, a free indexing services that will measure how long your website/blog load. You can also try using their tool below:


Load Test - Submit Plus

Load Test – Enter URL (60 sec):


My result:

Submit Plus! Load Test result

Discussion:

  1. As you can see, the 5 biggest file that hog your upload process are mostly photos and pictures. 2 Blogmastermind banners and 3 images – makes about 53% of page size.
  2. 2 links script from PayPerPost, Google Adsense script and Advertlets script – makes it another 19% of the page size. All top 10 hogger makes it up to 72% of your page size, i.e. only left you with 28% for your content???
  3. If you notice, Advertlets script (no. 10) loads slower that Nuffnang (no. 26) because Advertlets serve me an ad while Nuffnang was not. So, it is not a good way to compare their script load (unless both serve me an ad).
  4. The next 10 hogger are the scripts, codes and advertisements in my sidebars!!!
  5. Luckily I picked the right theme. As their files are mostly very small, they loads very fast. So, my blog slowness is NOT directly contributed by wrong theme. (theme uploads starting from number 22)
  6. The plugin that hog my upload is UTW.

What you can do:

  1. Tweak your script to ditch the unnecessary images, bells and whistle.
  2. Download and install Throttle plugin for WordPress.
  3. Content is king. Write more valuable post to get your visitors stick on and comeback to your blog.

My two cents:

Okay, okay… I have edited my Blogmastermind image to make it smaller. How’s your blog upload?