Category Archives: Discover Sabah

The old and the new of Kota Kinabalu

I received emails from Mr. Anthony Catherall, served in North Borneo May – November 1960 with 11 Independent Field Squadron RE. He shared with me his extensive writings and vintage photos on some part of Kota Kinabalu in one of his friend’s website. It’s really nice to see those old photos, and I hope you can gain some information from it too!

I hope you are very well today.

Some of you may know I and my great pals served in ‘Malaya’ (Malaysia) in the late 1950’s and early sixties.

We all loved it there, the climate was and is most pleasing even to European skin.
We were very fortunate to serve in a unique unit there ’11 Independent Field Squadron Royal Engineers’, both on mainland Malaya and in North Borneo (Sabah) during May – November 1960. Some of our officers went on to reach Army Generals later in their careers.

I was inspired to write something down to try and record an important time in many peoples lives. I started off by writing some factual articles with plenty of photographs, followed later by some stories of mine. M good friend Hank who served a little later at Malacca has placed on his website.
If such a thing may interest you and you care to read them, you will certainly have a good insight into the still wonderful country of Malaysia and how it was all those years ago.

One called ‘Shangri-La in the Coconut Grove’ is all about the camp we lived in at Butterworth from 1959, with an interesting history dating back to the early 1940’s.

Another called ‘An Enlightening Ride on the Railway Tracks of Malaya’ tells the story of our long rail journey from Singapore to Prai.

Then we have, ‘Sunsets Never Change – Awang’s Story – my own fiction tale, some based on fact all about the Island of Penang from the middle 1930’s.

Click on the link below to take you to direct to the section (Malaya/Malaysia Past Present).
You never know, you may even take a holiday there one day?
Happy reading.
Sincere wishes

Anthony Catherall

Good morning Dr Ruhaizad Daud
Thank you for looking and reading some of my articles ( I’m sure you haven’t got through them all in one day) in the a link that I sent you.
Hopefully I will do another on our time in North Borneo During 1960. Then a lot of your countrymen will through you, be able to see and understand what it was like in those far off days.
Yes by all means share the material on your Blog, I will send you an up to date photograph of my self that you may want to include as a header so to speak, I will do that today, so wait for it.
Also on Hanks website, Is a photograph I took at the National Arboretum Memorial in Staffordshire, of our lost Colleagues messes Hall & Cooper who were drowned at Tamparuli.
I am still hoping go come back to KK before too long and we can meet.
Let me say also how sorry I was go hear about the recent earthquake you experience recently.
I was also disgusted with the behavior of the group who took their clothes off at the top of Mount Kinabalu. In my opinion your Judge was a little lenient with them in the sentencing.
Okay listen out for me later in the day with the photograph.

Warm wishes Tony

29 moth species that you can find at Kiram’s Village, Kundasang at the foothill of Mount Kinabalu

I actually took these photos in 2009, when Kiram’s Village was in its infancy. My family and I stayed in one of the chalet for a night, and we had a barbecue dinner. As usual, the weather was cold and wet. When I woke up the next morning, I was amazed by the numbers of the moths that swarmed the unit. Well, literally. More than 30 species spotted, and I bet that the owner of the chalet did not know about it. Kiram Village is known for its flowers before, and maybe with this post, it can be known for its moths!

kinabalu-moth-29 kinabalu-moth-28 kinabalu-moth-27 kinabalu-moth-26 kinabalu-moth-25 kinabalu-moth-24 kinabalu-moth-23 kinabalu-moth-22 kinabalu-moth-21 kinabalu-moth-20 kinabalu-moth-19 kinabalu-moth-18 kinabalu-moth-17 kinabalu-moth-16 kinabalu-moth-15 kinabalu-moth-14 kinabalu-moth-13 kinabalu-moth-12 kinabalu-moth-11 kinabalu-moth-10 kinabalu-moth-9 kinabalu-moth-8 kinabalu-moth-7 kinabalu-moth-6 kinabalu-moth-5 kinabalu-moth-4 kinabalu-moth-3 kinabalu-moth-2 kinabalu-moth-1Oh, now I need help from you to get me an entomologist, specialized in moths so that we can know what are the names of the moths in Kiram Village!


Help me raise fund for MERCY Malaysia Sabah Chapter – medical and dental missions

I have started running since 2013, after sustaining knee injuries that prevented me from playing football in 2012. I have been running more than a thousand kilometers – on roads and trails – from the shortest distance with my kids of 3km to running a climbathon 23km up and down Mount Kinabalu with the elite runners since then. I love running very much. I run for my health from my heart. It sounds crazy sometimes for some, but I think I was bitten by the so called “runner’s bug” and I have to admit that “runner’s high” is real.

This year however, I would love to take my trail running/mountain climbing passion to a different level. I will now run to raise funds for the needful. I have selected three big running/mountain climbing events which will be held here in Sabah, mainly around Mount Kinabalu for this kind of charity and fundraising event. The three big events are:

1) Salt Trail: Trek & Raise Funds for MERCY Malaysia Sabah Chapter on 16-17 May 2015
2) MAKNA Mount Climb for Cancer on 1-4 June 2015
3) Coalition Duchenne Mount Kinabalu Challenges on 7-9 August 2015

For my first fundraising event, I am planning to run the Salt Trail: Trek & Raise Funds 2 to raise fund for MERCY Malaysia Sabah Chapter with my wife. MERCY Malaysia is a non-profit organization which aspires to excel in medical relief, providing humanitarian services with the highest level of compassion, professionalism and care. Their mission is to provide humanitarian services in crisis or non-crisis situation irrespective of race, religion and boundary.

Salt Trail Trek & Treat Mission

Salt Trail Trek & Treat Mission

Laluan Garam Jungle TrekkingVillageVillageVillageVillageVillageVillageVillageMedical TeamDental TeamMedical CampMERCY Malaysia Sabah Chapter has been organizing medical and dental missions all over interior of Sabah since 2003. Most of their missions are in collaboration with other organization. One of their mission is Salt Trail: Trek and Treat. Crocker Range which is organized together with Sabah Parks and Partners of Community Organization Trust (PACOS Trust). This year the three organizations will organize the 11th Salt Trail: Trek & Treat, Crocker Range Mission. MERCY Malaysia Sabah Chapter would like to commemorate this collaboration by organizing “Salt Trail: Trek & Raise Funds 2”.

Salt Trail Challenges 2015Their mission is really close to my heart as I love serving the interior community and people of Sabah. I actually had involve in few other groups of non-profits organization providing free medical services to the interior and remote community of Sabah since 2001. I even have contracted malaria when I was serving the people in Pulau Banggi. Serving others who are in need of basic medical service have made me very thankful to what I have right now.

Salt Trail Challenges 2014This time my role is slightly different. I am running the second MERCY Malaysia’s Salt Trail: Trek & Raise Funds trail running to raise fund for them. The fund will be spent on conducting health promotion and services for communities in Sabah and to continue the development and improvement of health education to the communities through research and other evidence based strategies.

The Salt Trail is a route traditionally followed by villagers when taking their produce to the tamu (markets) on the west coast of Sabah, and returning with salt and other goods. It is still the only access route to the remote villagers in one of this Sabah Park, especially in upper Papar river and Tambunan area. Although the trail does not includes climbing Mount Kinabalu, the mountain will always be inside the event as the background scene that will color up our photos.

My wife and meFor me and my wife to be entitled to join the grueling 25.5km Salt Trail: Trek & Raise Fund of Sabah, we have to raise a minimum of RM1200 for both of us. We need your help!

Please join me in making a donation to MERCY Malaysia Sabah Chapter to support us and this great cause. Your donation is tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by Malaysian law.

With your help, I know we can make a difference for thousands of children, families and adults in our interior community of Sabah who will have their lives change by MERCY Malaysia medical and dental missions this year. Your donation, no matter how big or small is very valuable to them.

As a token of appreciation, I will list all the donor to this project in this blog’s Hall of Fame, for their contribution to the humanity. The top three donors will also receive a very special gift from us.

Thank you for your generosity. I hope I can count on you. This donation drive will end on 30th March 2015. Please click “Donate” button below, and Paypal (credit and debit card accepted) will handle the rest.

Thank you very much.

Eastern Plateau Expedition 2015, Mount Kinabalu

We went up the Eastern Plateau of Kinabalu last weekend. Managed to shoot a lot of photos and some short videos.

For your information, I used Openshot video editor, an open source application in my Dell Ubuntu 14.04 laptop. Photos and videos was shot using a China made video cam, Action Cam RD990.

I hope you enjoy the video!

Paragliding from Mount Kinabalu – soon you will be able to do it!

After a successful event by Borneo Air Sports Ozone Adventures last June on organizing the paragliding event from Ruhiang Hill of Tamparuli, at the foothill of Kinabalu, you will soon be able to paraglide from the majestic mountain yourself! Hopefully they will be able to organize another event that could enable us to paraglide from Sayat-Sayat Hut.

Quoting from their website;

Paragliding is the simplest way to learn to fly quickly, easily and offers you the opportunity to see the world from a totally different perspective. The freedom and pleasure you’ll enjoy from this pure form of flying are absolutely unsurpassed! After your initial certificate course, as you advance in your paragliding skills, more opportunities will open up to you. Some of these opportunities are winch towing, inland thermalling, cross-country flying, powered paragliding, competitions as well as local and overseas paragliding tours.

A tandem paragliding flight allows you to experience the thrill of flying free as a bird while enjoying fantastic views over the Tamparuli and Tuaran towns. You may experience the beautiful backdrop of Mt. Kinabalu at the background while flying. No training is necessary and there are almost no age or size limits for tandem paragliding.

It’s quite an interesting adventure, I guess…

Oh, I also managed to get a nice video from Youtube on paragliding from the mountain. The video was taken on 22nd April 2003, showing 2 tandem and 1 solo pilots flew down from Mount Kinabalu.

You can also read some of paragliding news from our online news portal here:
1. NST
2. Sabah Tourism

T-Shirt Womens Brown ” Live without Paragliding – I don’t think so!!! ” Sports

A photo from the past: 1960 near Tamparuli bridge

The Jambatan Tamparuli post written by Ben Godomon in September 2007 has lead to this historic photos dated back to 1960. Mr. Anthony Catherall apparently found the post and gladly shared with us his side of the story, more than 30 years later today. If you missed his comment, I hereby re-quote his entry:

It is interesting reading comments about the river flooding in 1999 and the early 1960’s. I was in Kota Belud in April till November 1960. Yes the river flooded so much so that there was a terrible tragedy on the bridge on the 18th May.

We in the Royal Engineers were stationed at Paradise Camp and were in then North Borneo to build and improve roads, build and improve bridges and build an airstrip at Kota Belud. That day 18 May 1960 a local woman living in Kampong Saya in Kota Belud had been seriously injured. Two soldiers attached to our unit, Private J.W.N. Hall, Royal Army Medical Corps, and Driver D.C. Cooper, Royal Army Serevice Corps were transporting the woman to Jesselton.

The Recovery of John Wesley Hall's Ambulance, Nortth Borneo

Pte. Hall on reaching the bridge where water was flowing over it got out of the Landrover and was guiding Dvr. Cooper as he tried to negotiate the bridge. The woman was strapped in the vehicle in the back. The water current was so strong that eventually the Landrover was swept into the river. Pte. Hall dived in to try and rescue his colleague to no avail.

About 3 days later the bodies surfaced and we rescued both them and the Landrover. Subsequently the two soldiers were buried at Camp Paradise. I have photo’s of the bridge in 1960 and of the Landrover being pulled out of the river with a Scamell.

Tony Catherall, Richard Chung & Frank Sowerby

Last May the Scamell Driver, Frank myself and one other friend John, with Richard Chung our kind driver visited Tamparuli to pay our respects to a memorial that has been erected, surrounded by a fence on the Pekan Tamparuli side close to the bridge itself.

This is a very important part of the history of Tamparuli, which we as soldiers can never forget.

New rates of fee charges for visitors to Sabah Parks

Effective from 1st of September 2008, Sabah Parks will impose new rates of fee charges for visitors like you and me. You may want to check it out if you decided to have some good time in one of Sabah Parks destinations:

  1. Kinabalu Parks (where Mt. Kinabalu is)
  2. Turtle Islands Park (east coast of Sabah, 40km north of Sandakan)
  3. Tunku Abdul Rahman’s Park (just 15 minutes away from Kota Kinabalu, a group of 5 beautiful islands)
  4. Pulau Tiga Park (where Survivors television series took place in 2001)
  5. Tawau Hill Parks (24km north west of Tawau)
  6. Crocker Range Park (where you could find Rafflesia blooming)

Few of the changes that I noticed:

  • Mt. Kinabalu mountain guides now can only take maximum 6 climbers at each climb.
  • They have also state clearly the fees for those who wants to go to other peaks of Kinabalu.
  • Expedition fee means that any climb that is done in Kinabalu Park other that the usual trail, Summit Trail and Mesilau Trail.
  • The porter fee has also change. I am not sure whether each porter can only bring 10kg per trip, as I usually see them bring up to 40kg before.
  • Conservation fee for most places still RM3 for Malaysian.

Check it out here:

Lokan Bakar (Roasted Clam) at Jalan Sulaman, Kota Kinabalu

Oh, I had a roasted clam session last month with my brother and his family form Muar. He spent 2 weeks of traveling here in Kota Kinabalua and Kundasang during the school holiday. We had a very good time together, and one of it was eating roasted clam at the well known stalls along Jalan Sulaman, 30 minutes drive out of Kota Kinabalu city.

Lokan (Polymesoda expansa) is a bivalves molluscs is found buried in the stiff mud of the landward fringe of mangroves. It is well-adapted to this habitat, being able to tolerate long periods of low tide, and has the ability to resume filter-feeding rapidly when inundated.

We had it with burned coconut juice, coconut pudding and a special sauce which is home made – a mix of sesame oil, lemongrass root, lime, black soy sauce, vinegar and I don’t know what else.

It taste like? Hmm… I don’t know how to explain it. You need to go there to taste it yourselves!


Lokan Bakar

Lokan bakar Jalan Sulaman



Lokan Bakar (Roasted Clam) in Kota Kinabalu


Map to Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, Kota Kinabalu

Few people have emailed and asked me whether I have any map to Lok Kawi Wildlife Park. Kuan & Tracy left a comment on my previous post about the park, asking the same thing.

After seeing that I could tell other visitors on how to drive from Kota Kinabalu to Kinabalu Park with Google Maps, I now found out it can also applied for Lok Kawi Wildlife Park.

Click the blue balloon for info, click and drag to navigate.

View Larger Map

Lets start from the airport Terminal 2, where Airasia is:

  1. Drive out from the airport to Jalan Mat Salleh-Lebuhraya Pantai Baru-Jalan Kepayan junction, and turn right. You will then be driving with the airport on your right, and newly developed railway track on your left. You are on A2 highway, heading south.
  2. Turn right at Jalan Kampung Ganang (or some called it Lintas Highway), and you should be on A1 highway.
  3. Turn left at Jalan Kampung Ganang-Jalan Pintas Penampang (A1-SA3) junction.
  4. Drive straight along the road, and you should see vacant paddy field on both side of the road. You should see a roundabout at the end of the road.
  5. Take a 3-o’clock turn to Jalan Penampang Papar, and you will be driving through villages at both side of the road. Some part of the road are not that well maintained.
  6. After passing Kampung Limbanak, you should see a very big signboard of “Lok Kawi Wildlife Park. Turn left after the sighboard.

Hope that you could find the way to the park!

How to get to Kinabalu Park HQ from Kota Kinabalu using Google Maps

After seeing the popularity of my “Kota Kinabalu City Map” post, I got an idea on a new post about going to Kinabalu Park from Kota Kinabalu only by using Google Maps.

It has been a while since I last review Google Maps, and the last time I tried to use it (maybe few years ago), the map that they present was not precise at all. It was almost impossible to use it as a guide for foreign travelers around the world to get to Kinabalu Park.

However, when I did another review of Google Maps today, there were A LOT of improvements. I could even see the details of the lane in front of my house using it!!!

So, I decided to make it an effort to post about how to get to Kinabalu Park using just Google Maps from Kota Kinabalu. I was very surprised that you CAN get to Kinabalu Park without the need of Sabah & Kota Kinabalu 2004/2005 Map (Periplus Travel Maps)(it’s outdated also) from!

View Larger Map
Click and drag the map with your mouse. Click the balloon tips for more info.

Follow the Blue Balloon Tips!

  1. We will start from Kota Kinabalu International Airport Terminal 2, where Airasia is. Most of budget backpackers and travellers board Asia’s leading low cost carrier. You can always rent a car from the airport terminal, as there are many providers there.
  2. Drive out from the airport, until you reach a T-junction of Jalan Mat Salleh. Turn right.
  3. Drive straight and take 12 o’clock position road at Tanjung Aru roundabout.
  4. When you reach another traffic light, turn left to Coastal Highway or Jalan Coastal, and you should be able to see Sutera Harbour Resort on your left. Drive straight through Kota Kinabalu city.
  5. Just follow Jalan Tun Razak until you reach Jesselton Point or Kota Kinabalu jetty, and take left turn at the roundabout of Jalan Tun Fuad Stephen. You should be able to see Sabah Port on your left, and soon, the South China Sea.
  6. You should arrive at a roundabout, and should be able to see Sabah State Mosque (white colour) on your far right. Take the 3 o’clock turn and drive straight at the next roundabout.
  7. Take left turn at the T-junction traffic light and another left turn on the Jalan Lintas-Inanam traffic light.
  8. You should be on A1 highway (on the map) and this is one of the trunk road in Sabah. Google is good enough to declare it as a main road, and it has ease our problem getting on it.
  9. Just follow the road for about 20 minutes, until you see a big roundabout that leads to north and west of Sabah. Take the 3 o’clock turn to go through Tamparuli, you should pass through a metal bridge. You are now on A4 highway (another Sabah main road), and this is one of the road to western part of Sabah (Sandakan, Tawau and Lahad Datu).
  10. Just go straight on the roundabout, and you will start driving uphill and winding road. Enjoy the journey and scenery.
  11. Stop by Pekan Nabalu if you want, as you have only about 12 km away from Kinabalu Park HQ.
  12. You should be able to see a very big signage of Kinabalu Park HQ, just after you turn left into the entrance booth.
  13. Happy climbing.