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)

Mount Tambuyukon article by K Ravi Mandalam

Dr. Ravi is one of my fellow colleague, whom I know since the early days I was in Kota Kinabalu. He’s a radiologist (and a good one), working in one of the private hospital in Kota Kinabalu. In April 2002, he invited me to be in his medical team, which looked after 23 Special Olympic athletes to summit Mount Kinabalu. That was only my second time climbing, and I was honored to be one of the doctors in his team.

He is also a Rotary Club member, and I have also joined few of their community services with him to some of the interior part of Sabah. I just joined in as a volunteer, (and most of the time as a medical provider) as he invited me to be part of the team.

Mount Kinabalu from Tambuyukon

In October 2006, Dr Ravi managed to trek Mount Tambuyukon, the 3rd highest mountain in Sabah and Malaysia (for the 6th time) with another 2 of his colleagues, George and Liaw. He managed to shoot a number of nice and colorful photos of Mount Kinabalu, from a different angle, and some of the endemic flora of Kinabalu on the way.

I have dedicated a special 3 web page article on his journey. It also includes more than 30 colorful photos of his quest. Check it out here.

El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) effect to Mount Kinabalu – It’s coming…

Do you know that El Nino drought that happened in 1997-1998 in Sabah gave a very big impact on the vegetation of Mount Kinabalu? I came across this news from New Sabah Times, mentioning about the possibility of the drought recur again in the next future.

According to the officials, during the 1998 El Nino event only 31 milimeters (1.25 inches) of rain were recorded at Park HQ between January and April, in comparison to around 850 milimeters (33 inches) during normal year. El Nino events affected the mountain in 1973, 1983, 1992 and 1998.

During this time, periods of small scale extinction have occurred in cases where plants have been limited to restricted areas, particularly after the events. Some studies have recorded about 22% local extinction within the ferns on Kinabalu within 10 years and observations after the 1998 El Nino drought suggest that as many as 50% of the epiphytes were killed off on certain parts of the mountain.

On the other hand many animals can move away from adverse conditions and endemism is much less, at least among the larger animals. Nevertheless some groups, particularly among the insects, have developed a remarkable degree of diversity.

During the drought, climbing Mount Kinabalu will be more difficult – in another way. Although the climb will be easy because of the dryness, however, there will be limited supply of mountain water in the tank for climber along the trail. If even there is water for drinks, it is not advisable to drink it directly (as we do usually). Because of the limited water, the microorganism inside the water is more concentrated. It is much safer to bring your own water supply, but it will make your luggage heavy.

The problem with this drought will be two-fold, as your body needs more water to overcome the heat and dryness.

More info on the El Nino drought from Wikipedia.

At this moment, open your eyes and your ears for the latest news on El Nino…

Travel agents will charge “ticketing fee”

KOTA KINABALU: Booking air tickets via travel agents is going cost more in Sabah from today.

Travel agents in Sabah will begin charging a “ticketing fee” following the trend towards zero commission policy being implemented by airlines.

The Sabah Association of Tours and Travel Agents (SATTA) said that they would collect a maximum of 10 per cent of the issued airfare for the air ticket with the adoption of the “ticketing fee.”

Nothing is free nowadays. The cost for your travel to Sabah maybe will be increased up to 10-20%, just to cover the “ticketing fee”. Calculate your budget and make sure you could cover the extra cost.

Read more from New Sabah Times

Try Sudoku

Try to solve the Sudoku puzzle below. There is only one rule: Every row, column and box of 3×3 cells must contain the numbers 1 through 9 exactly once.

Happy trying! 😉

[print version]

Visit for more puzzles, solutions, hints, books and other resources.

I know, there is nothing to do with Mount Kinabalu. It’s just a good way to kill your time when you got nothing to do.

Visit Malaysia Year 2007

Visit Malaysia Year 2007Do you know that 2007 is the Visit Malaysia year? Basically, this is the year where a lot of tourist/travelers from around the world come and spend some time (and some money) by coming and experience what they say as “Malaysia Truly Asia”.

So if you decided to come and spend some time in Sabah, and maybe climb Mount Kinabalu, you better book the place early. I would suggest 3-6 months in advance. Otherwise, the accommodation will be packed up.

Check out the official website by the Government of Malaysia.

Monsopiad Cultural Village

Monsopiad Cultural Village, the traditional village is a historical site in the heartland of the Kadazandusun people and it is the only cultural village in Sabah built to commemorates the life and time of the legendary Kadazan and head-hunter warrior: Monsopiad. The direct descendants of Monsopiad, his 6th and 7th generations have built the village on the very land where Monsopiad lived and roamed some three centuries ago to remember their forefather, and to give you an extraordinary insight into their ancient and rich culture.

Monsopiad Cultural VillageTake a step back into the past, to the days of head hunting and spirit worship, to the days when the Bobohizan, the female high priestess of the Kadazan, ruled the villages and took care of healthand spiritual well-being of their people.

More than being a museum, the concept of the Monsopiad Cultural Village is to document, revive and keep alive the culture and traditions, as well as the believes of the Kadazan people.

Monsopiad Cultural Village is privately owned and managed by his direct descendants.

Although I have lived here for the past 5 years, I have never been to this place. It’s very near to my house, but I just did not have the time to go. I am going to the place before the end of this year…

Don’t have $ to buy Photoshop? Try GIMP

Wilber - GIMP IconYou can easily get a pirated copy of Adobe Photoshop CS2 here in Malaysia. I got mine for RM5 (less than USD2) from Petaling Street, few copies, few years back. However, most of the time, the installation DVD was corrupted, and the registration process was invalid. As I don’t have that much money to buy the original copy of CS2 (or even Elements), I decided to turn to open source for alternative. I found GIMP.

My experience with GIMP was also not a very good one. When I got the first installation copy from a bundle cd-rom of a computer magazine, it can’t even installed properly. I still remember, it was version 1.x, and it was about 2 years back. It was really buggy back then.
Over the years, it was really good for GIMP as it has evolved to become one of the most reliable application on photo editing. When the latest stable release of GIMP out (mine currently is 2.2.13), I have found that there are not much bug that could give me problem while using it. Million thanks to all the developers.

I would recommend GIMP for anybody who would like to have an options to their Photoshop. Get it here, for free:

p.s. Do you know that you can use your Adobe Photoshop plug-in in GIMP? 😉

Switch your N|vu to KompoZer!

If you have been using N|vu to create your HTML based website, try to upgrade to KompoZer. KompoZer is actually N|vu, but the developers has fixed some bugs that comes with N|vu. So basically, you will get a “re badged” N|vu on your desktop!

N|vu >>>>>> KompoZer

In my opinion, it’s really good. Although there are some dispute on this bug-fixed N|vu and KompoZer issues in the forum, I don’t think it matters most to me. As long as I can edit my HTML files, get my website up into the server, and get my message across to Mount Kinabalu climbers from around the world, it is good enough. After all, it’s a free and open source software.

p.s. N|vu / KompoZer is an open source WYSIWYG HTML generator.