Category Archives: Discover Sabah

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

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…

Terminal 2 can take 2.5 million travelers a year

AirAsiaDo you still remember that Kota Kinabalu has two terminal airport? Terminal 1 is for most of international flight, mainly to provide transit for flight by our national carrier, Malaysia Airline System (MAS). Terminal 2 is a low cost carrier terminal (LCCT), mainly for AirAsia and FAX. If you came to Sabah during the last 1 year via Terminal 2, you will notice a massive renovation activity going on with the terminal. Yeah, it was annoying, noisy, hot, dusty and congested. But, no fretting anymore, as it has come to an end.

Read more from New Sabah Times

Anti-malaria medication for travelers to interior of Sabah

While doing my daily work today in the clinic, a guy from Canada came to see me regarding prophylaxis (preventive) medication for malaria while traveling here in Sabah. He planned to join a volunteer work that involved in providing ‘gravity feed water’ in few villages in the interior of Sabah. It occurred to me that this is also a good way to provide you the information about taking anti-malaria medication before coming to Sabah, especially if you plan to go into the virgin rain forest here.

In my medical school days, there are only few numbers of mediation that you need for malaria prevention. However, as the time goes by, there have been known that some species of malaria are resistant to the earlier treatment and medication.

I look into this website, International Association For Medical Assistance To Travelers (IAMAT), and found out specific guidelines on malaria prevention to travelers who wants to travel to anywhere around the world. Specifically, I look for ‘malaria’ and ‘Sabah, Malaysia’.

I found out that I have their “World Malaria Risk Chart”. I can’t remember where I got it, but it is the most relevant information that I can share with you. The leaflet was printed as at March 15, 2005. I don’t think that there are a lot of new anti-malaria medication for the past two years.

So, what are their recommendation?

Sabah is considered a place with high incidence of choloroquine-resistant and/or multi-drug resistant Plasmodium faciparum in Malaysia. You need to follow ONE of the following suppressive medication regimes:

FOLLOW A LARIAM (MEFLOQUINE HYDROCHOLORIDE) REGIMEN:

LariamTake one tablet of LARIAM 250mg ONCE a week. Start one week before entering the malarious area, continue weekly during your stay and continue for four weeks after leaving. (Lariam should not be taken by persons suffering from cardiac diseases, liver or kidney disorders, epilepsy, psychiatric disorders, pregnant women and children under 30 lbs/15 kg in weight.)

FOLLOW A MALARONE (ATORVAQUONE + PROGUANIL) REGIMEN

MalaroneTake ONE tablet daily (250mg Atorvaquone +100mg Proguanil). Start 1 to 2 days before entering the malarious area, continue daily during your stay, and continue for 7 days after leaving. MALARONE should be taken at the same time every day with food or milk.

FOLLOW A DOXYCYCLINE (VIBRAMYCIN) REGIMEN

Take ONE tablet daily of 100mg Doxycycline (Vibramycin). Start one day before entering malarious area, continue daily during your stay, and continue for four weeks after leaving.

DoxycyclineWhen taking Doxycycline avoid exposure to direct sunlight and use sun screen with protection against long range ultraviolet radiation (UVA) to minimize risk of photosensitive reaction. Drink large amounts of water to avoid esophageal and stomach irritation.

Doxycycline should not be taken by persons with known intolerance to tetracyclines, pregnant women and children under eight years of age.

ANTI-MALARIAL REGIMEN FOR PERSONS WHO CANNOT FOLLOW ONE OF THE ABOVE REGIMEN

ChloroquineTake Chloroquine (Aralen) in weekly doses of 500mg (300mg base). Start one week before entering malarious area, continue weekly during your stay and continue for four weeks after leaving. It is imperative to use a mosquito bed net to avoid the bite of the nocturnal Anopheles mosquito. Use repellents and insecticides.

Persons following a Chloroquine regimen must be aware these drugs are much less effective than Lariam, Malarone or Doxycycline. They must seek immediate medical attention in case of flu-like symptoms – fever, headache, nausea, general malaise – appearing about seven days or later after entering malarious area.

Persons traveling to or working in remote areas where medical attention cannot be sought within 24 hours should consult with a specialist before leaving their home country for advice on possible self-treatment regimen in case of a malaria breakthrough attack.

Sunday Gaya Street Fair – What do they sell?

I went to Gaya Street for a photography session. Just to show you what do they have. Colourful beads

Colourful beads.

Burgers and drinks

Burgers and drinks.

Fruits

Fresh fruits.

Uncle playing kulintangan

Uncle playing kulintangan.

King of fruits - DURIAN

King of Fruits – DURIAN!

Orchids

Orchids.

Corals

Corals.

Cactus

Cactus.

Jeweleries and pearls

Jeweleries and pearls.

Puppy

Puppy.

Puppy

Another view of the same puppy. It was chained at the neck by the seller. Waiting for someone to buy it as a pet.

Another 13 Backpackers & Travellers Lodge added!

Upon doing some updating of the website, I was informed that there are new addition to our members of Backpackers and Travellers Lodge around Kota Kinabalu, Tuaran and one at the foothill of Kinabalu! (just 2 km from Kinabalu Park entrance).

Kinabalu Rose Cabin near Kinabalu Park

So, for those who are looking for an option for accommodation, check out our newly updated page on “The Lodges”.

http://www.mount-kinabalu-borneo.com/kota-kinabalu-lodges.html

Seawalking Discover Sabah’s Beauty Under the Sea

Imagine yourself walking at the bottom of the sea! When I heard about it I did not know what to expect. The thought of walking on the seabed made me so curious that I had to experience this under sea adventure!

Borneo SeawalkingSo what is seawalking? Seawalking gives you the opportunity to literally walk under the sea! It is made possible by the Sea Trek Underwater Helmet Diving System, so there is no need for carrying oxygen tanks or other complicated equipment. It is so easy to use and an be enjoyed by the whole family, from ages 7 to 80 years old.

The walk takes 20-30 minutes below the sea surrounding Gaya Island, one of the islands which make up Tunku Abdul Rahman Park. You first have to register at Sapi Island where the seawalking operation is situated. There will have a brief explanation about basic hand gestures for underwater communication and walking techniques.

After briefing, we hopped on the boat and went to the pontoon where the real fun begian. At the stairway, the Seawalking Diving Helmet is put on, and one by one went down by a ladder guided by the instructor. At the bottom of the ocean floor there are ropes, which guides you during the walk. Be sure not to stray off! The instructor gave me some feed to attract the tropical fish. I was amazed with the beauty and colors of these countless exotic creatures. We had our pictures taken under the sea and will definitely impress people who see me posing with the ‘community’ of the underwater world.

by Susan Metselaar, from Malaysian Borneo Sabah Newsletter
www.borneoseawalking.com

Where can I get FREE Sabah Traveller’s Map?

I went to Sabah Tourism Building today to get some information about the latest news on tourism industry in Sabah. While going through their notice board, I found the latest FREE Sabah Traveller’s Map. I picked one for myself, just to know what’s inside and wonder if it would be a benefit to you.

The map has these features:

  • Obviously, it is free. If you did not able to snatch it from the airport when you arrive here, just head to Sabah Tourism Building to get one.
  • Size about 0.5m x 1m, foldable and easy to carry.
  • Maps of all major cities in Sabah – Labuan, Tawau, Sandakan and Kota Kinabalu included.
  • Advertisement on places to stay, eat, car rental sevices and activities that can be done while you are here.
  • Telephone directories of the important places and hotels around Sabah.

So, make sure you have one for yourself. It is easier for you to go around with a map.

Sabah Traveller's Map

13 Sabah Events to be included in Visit Malaysia Year 2007

State of Sabah has submitted 13 events for inclusion in the Visit Malaysia Year 2007.

There will be 2 anchor events, 4 major events, 2 highlight events and 5 supporting events.

The 2 anchor events are:

  1. Sabah Fest Celebration, which is Sabah’s most anticipated cultural event where rich and colourful, generations-old cultures and tradition are showcased through dance, music, song, crafts and food.
  2. 21st Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon, the world toughest mountain race, which will be held on 6-7 October 2007.

The 4 major events are:

  1. Harvest Festival, on May 30-31.
  2. 22nd Sabah Dragon Boat Race on June 17.
  3. Tip of Borneo Symphony Orchestra in June.
  4. Sandakan Memorial Day in August.

The 2 highlights:

  1. 4×4 Borneo Safari for adventurers and challange seekers, from October 28 to November 4.
  2. Tamu Besar Kota Belud.

The 5 supporting events:

  1. Sabah Fishing Tournament, on May 11-13 in Kota Kinabalu.
  2. Pesta Rumbia on July 7-8 in Kuala Penyu.
  3. Semporna’s Regatta Lepa on April 21-22.
  4. Kudat’s Coconut Fest on September 7-9.
  5. Kiulu 4M Challange on December 2.

So, have you trip planner organised. You don’t want to miss the event!

The World’s Top Dive Sites in Sabah – Siadan, Mabul, Kapalai & Lankayan

Sabah is blessed with some of the most beautiful islands, coral reefs and atolls. The clear waters and exotic treasures of marine life found here have captivated visitors and divers from all over the world.

Sipadan Island
Rated as the world’s top dive sites. For the true diving enthusiast, the island needs no introduction. Praised by the internationally renowned oceanographer and filmaker Jacques Cousteau as one of the best diving spots in the world, it is unique as the only oceanic island in Malaysia.

Sipadan IslandIts geographic position puts Sipadan in the centre of the richest marine habitat in the world, the heart of the Indo-Pacific basin. Sipadan rises 600 meters from the seabed to provide spectacular wall dives and underwater garden. More than 3,000 species of fish and hundreds of coral species have been classified in this richest of ecosystem. Sipadan is also renowned for its unusually large numbers of green and hawksbill turtles, which gather there to mate and nest. It is not unsual to see more than 20 turtles on each dive.

Another unique feature to divers is the turtle tomb that contains many skeletal remains of turtles. The residential schooling barracuda and big-eye trevally are one of the highlights on every diver’s Wish-list, which often gather in thousands forming spectacular tornado-like formations. Mantas, eagle-rays, scalloped hammerhead sharks and whale sharks may also be seen, as well as as abundance of macro life.

For sustainable and conservation purpose, there will be no onsite dive resorts operating on SIpadan Island. Diving activity will continue for divers to be ferried in by operators operating from the mainland or nearby islands other than the islands of Sipadan and Ligitan.

Mabul Island
Situated only about 15 minutes by speedboat from Sipadan, Mabul is recognised as one of the world’s best “muck-diving” sites, one of the richest single destinations for exotic small marine life in the world. Flamboyant cuttlefish, blue-ringed octopus, mimic octopus, gobies and frogfishes are everywhere, as are moray, snake eels and practically the whole scorpionfish family. There is no doubt about it, mabul is a magical macro site! The beauty af Mabul and Kapalai will also appeal greatly to non-divers as well. There are two resorts on Mabul Island, with the third resort ad off-shore refurbished oil-rig.

Kapalai Reef
Kapalai Reef Actually a sandbar, Kapalai sits on top of the Ligitan Reefs. The sole resort is built water-village-style. Together with Mabul and Lankayan, Kapalai offers some of the best “muck-diving” in the world. Flamboyant cuttlefish, blue-ringed octopus, sea moths and mating mandarinfish, giant frogfish, ribbon eels, harlequin ghost pipefish and crab-eye gobies are found right by the jetty! While the abundance of other marine life like the various gobies, ambonian shrimps, mantis shrimps, crocodilefish, lionfis and scorpionfish, are unusually almost ignored as being too common here!

Lankayan Island
Lankayan Island Located in the Sulu Sea, the northeast coast of Sandakan. This is a small island paradise with only one dive resort, surrounded by stretches of white sandy beaches, swaying casuarinas and beautiful sunsets.

Described as a true macro-world paradise, there are also larger marine creatures such as leopard sharks, marbled stingray and giant grouper as well as schools of bumphead parrotfish, yellowtail barracude and scads. Nearby is the Turtle Islands Park, so the hawksbill and green turtles are also ‘visitors’ in its dive sites.