Rafflesia is perhaps one of the two groups of plants that are associated with Kinabalu more than any others, besides orchids. The spectacular Rafflesia grows wild in these forests as well. A parasite, Rafflesia has no stem or leaves of its own and gets its nourishment from thread-like filaments spreading through the roots and stem of its host forest vines.
The buds appear as small knobs covered in dark brown bracts on the stem of the vine and take about nine months to develop to the size of a cabbage before they open. The flowers are notorious for their bad smell, but this has been exaggerated and in any case lasts three to four days. Two species have been found on Kinabalu, the huge Rafflesia keithii, which really is a giant, growing up to a whopping 94 centimeters (37 inches) across and the smaller R. pricei, about 30 centimeters (12 inches across).
If you want to see Rafflesia, Tambunan Rafflesia Center is the best place for you to go. It is located an hour’s drive from Kota Kinabalu city.
Trekking should be prepared and a moderate level of fitness is needed. The trek can be slippery during the rainy season. A guide will lead you along the way to point out any sightings of the elusive Rafflesia (usually snuggled between tree trunks) in full bloom or in bud.
The Centre is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays. The entrance fee is RM20 (for single person or per group, maximum 6 people), inclusive of a guide.
To obtain further details on the whether there are any Rafflesia in bloom at the Tambunan Rafflesia Centre, Sabah Tourism Board at +6088-212121 or Sri Pelancongan Sabah at +6088-232121. Otherwise, you can contact me to help you plan your next trip there!
KUALA LUMPUR: Anyone planning to visit Sabah this weekend should consider coming to Semporna as this is where the sea faring Bajau community will be celebrating their legendary prowess at sea.
For three days beginning April 20, the sea gypsies of Sabah extend an invitation to the very cultural heart of the Bajau community and the Regatta Lepa XIV that showcases their unique wooden boats â€˜Lepaâ€™.
Read the story from New Sabah Times
In Sabah east coast Bajau community dialect, the word â€œlepaâ€ means â€œboatâ€. Lepa is usually made of Ubar Suluk or Red Seraya wood, it is a cultural legacy inherited by the people since time immemorial. The existence of Lepa is believed to originate from the fishing community who live in the islands along the coast of the district of Semporna.
Read more story from Sabah Tourism Board
How to get to Semporna…
- Daily flight by MAS or Airasia from KK-Tawau will take about 45 minutes.
- From Tawau to Semporna either by taxi or Mini bus will take about 1 hour 45 minutes.
- From Kota Kinabalu to Semporna by air-conditioned Express bus will take about 9 hours.
Oopsss! I notice that I have not post any Tanjung Simpang Mengayau (aka The Tip Of Borneo) photos here in my blog. Anyway, these are the some of the photos that I found interesting to share with you…
Looks familiar to you?
The big globe at the Tip of Borneo.
Looks small eh? But compare it with the photo below.
See how small the person that I shoot compared to the stone?
The walkway to the tip, where the globe is…
The beach of Tanjung Simpang Mengayau, taken from the Tip of Borneo.
The geology of the Tip of Borneo, which influenced by the water and the wind.
I came across a news today about Tune Hotels, a “no frills” hotel, which operates similar like Malaysian “no frills” airline, Airasia. I was really surprise with the fare (from RM9.90 per night). You may think that it’s really cheap, but it came with a price. With that price, you won’t get any towels, soap, shampoo, no room service available, no telephones, television, radio, safe, mini bar, tea and coffee making facilities in the rooms and no wardrobes in any of the rooms but you can hang your clothes with the ready available clothing hooks. So you better think twice before you go an book a room in the hotel.
However, you will get a nice 5-star King Coil bed, hot shower and internet access. That will be the price you pay for.
And make sure you ask for a room with windows (as some room are without windows) and air-conditioned room (as some rooms only have ceiling fan).
(Make sure you read their FAQ page properly before you make a booking)
Currently, there is one in Kuala Lumpur, and soon there will be one in Kota Kinabalu, Penang and Johor Bahru.
In my opinion, if you are coming to Kota Kinabalu, better for you to choose the backpacker and travelers lodges in the city. They are even more convenient, with more friendly environment and some of them provides shuttle buses to and fro the airport.
We know that Sabah is one of the place in this world that still has some natural habitat to wildlife creatures. However, to those who found out it is sometimes difficult to get to the remote place where this natural habitat live, then Lok Kawi Wildlife Park that was newly opened to public, is a good alternative. Visitor can see a number of ‘local’ animal like orang utan and proboscis monkey away from their natural habitat.
We went to the park on the 18th February, on the second day the park was opened to the public. Although the entrance fee that cost RM10 per adult is quite expensive (I think?), but for nature and wildlife conservation purposes, I don’t think it matters. At least, that’s the thing that we could do to support the park and the animals.
Well, after walking for about half an hour, and trying to explain and introduce all the animals to my 2 year old son, we got exhausted. At least, by doing that, he will be more educated than just being in front of the tv watching the animals from Animal Planet.
These are some of the photos that I took from the park.
Our group. I brought my 4-months old baby also.
My son infront of the elephant cage. Oh, he is trying to show me ‘peace’ sign with his finger. Until now he can only show his index finger…
I don’t know why they made this and why I take photo of it. I guess I just want to share with you the thing that they got.
They also have a couple of ostrich.
Adult proboscis monkey – in a cage. Notice the big golden colour nose?
The nose for young proboscis monkey is dark colour. It changes as they grow older.
If you like diving, then you might have heard about Layang-Layang Island in Sabah. I just would like to share with you the diving package that viewmalaysia.com has.
– 6 Nights Accomoodation at Layang-Layang Island Resort
– 5 Meals A Day
– 3 Boat Dives A Day
– Use of Tanks, Weights & Weights Belts
– 2 Ways Flight Ticket (Kota Kinabalu – Layang-layang Island – Kota Kinabalu)
Resort Facilities :
– 86 rooms with air-conditioned; extra size beds; private shower, TV, refrigerator; telephone and private verandah.
– Swimming pool, kayak & windsurfer
– Restaurant 0f 150 pax capacity serves Asian and Continental speciality.
– Bar serving exotic cocktails and refreshing soft drinks
– TV, Souvenir shop & Conference room
Dive Centre :
– PADI dive centre headed by certified instructors with a team of qualified dive masters.
– Our fleet of dive boats get you to the dives site within 10 to 30 minutes.
– Rental equipment : BCDs, regulators, fins, masks, snorkels, wet suit, dive torch.
– PADI dive courses are conducted regulary
Flight Schedule: (Every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Sunday – Subject to confirmation)
0630 / 0745 Kota Kinabalu / Layang-Layang
0815 / 0930 Layang-Layang / Kota Kinabalu
Daily Itinerary for Divers:
0700 Light Breakfast 1300 Lunch
0800 1st Dive 1500 3rd Dive
0930 Main Breakfast 1630 Tea Break
1130 2nd Dive 1930 Dinner
KOTA KINABALU: The KKIA Terminal Two building is not only to cater for domestic flights, but would also serve international carriers.
The Prime Minister said although low cost carriers Air Asia and FAX are the main players for now, they would also serve the international sector.
â€œIt is not merely a domestic terminal,â€ he said.
Speaking at the launching yesterday, he said that although the terminal is meant to cater for budget airlines, it doesnâ€™t mean that the services rendered at the terminal are sub-standard in nature.
Read more from New Sabah Times
Do you know that Pulau Tiga (The Survivor Island) is in Sabah?
Pulau Tiga is the largest of the three islands that make up Pulau Tiga Park, with Pulau Kalampunian Besar and Pulau Kalampunian Damit. Its beautiful landscape and pristine natural environment has attracted CBS TV Network of the USA to use this island as the main location of the popular Â‘SurvivorÂ’ Programme, dubbing it the Â‘Survivor IslandÂ’.
This island was formed through the eruption of several mud volcanoes. The last explosion happened in 1941 and since then the volcanoes have remained relatively passive although several small mud volcanoes spewing cool, mineral rich mud can still be found near the summit of the island. The notion that this mineral rich mud is good for your skin makes mud bathing a must-do activity in this island.
The islandÂ’s lush green forest serves as a soothing backdrop while the fine sand of its white beaches and the clear unpolluted water is a wonder for nature lovers. The coral reefs encircling the island invite many species of fish and other marine life to make it their home. Among the activities that can be done here include diving, non-motorised water sports, trekking, bird watching and mud bathing.
The Park Headquarters is situated on the southern side of the island, not far from Pulau Tiga Resort, the only resort facility available on the island.
I went to Sutera Sanctuary Lodges main office in Kota Kinabalu today to complain about the difficulty of travelers to contact them for the past few weeks. I spoke to their customer services and administration, and they admit that there was a shortage of front desk staff to deal with customer services.
Usually they have more than 5 staffs, but last few weeks, they have been functioning with skeletal staffs only (2-3 per day). That is why they could not cope with the calls and emails. It seems that the shortage of staff is because some of the staff was temporarily sent to Kinabalu Park to do some upgrade works.
However, from today, they are back with full force staff in the main office to cope with enormous number of Mount Kinabalu travelers.
Oh, they even give me their 2 hunting lines: +6088 243629 and +6088 244634
I came across Sabah Tourism’s Calendar of Events for 2007. It’s a downloadable PDF files that you can get here. It will show you all the tourism events for the whole year. Download your free copy now. With the calendar, you can plan your trip according to the events that will be held around Sabah, Malaysia.