Would you like to be my co-writer/editor for Kinabalu Blog book?

Yes. You heard it right. I have been delaying (procrastinating) my book since the past few months as I am doing another project right now. And I think I can create a better book by offering you to be my co-writer cum editor, as I my English is not so good. (I got credit for my SPM English subject).

So, if you think you can work on your own, have a very good motivation on delayed gratification with good English grammar and command, then you may want to consider the offer.

My plan is very simple. A lot of my website and blog visitors found out that the free information here are precious. Some of the post are not available anywhere. (Try google “climbing Kinabalu sandals“. The first result most likely is mine)

So, I am planning to extract the best informative post from this blog, maybe around 50-100 posts and print it out as a book. You as a co-writer/editor will help me on the proofreading and editing the content. I am not keen on finding formal editorial services at this moment of time, as I am doing this for fun, and not so much for profit. Unless, I don’t have any choice.

We will then go to Lulu.com to get the book published. As a token of appreciation, the profits from the book will be shared among us.

Sounds really simple, eh?

If you think you can or know anybody is, drop me an email.

Kinabalu climbing booking is up and running again!

Good news for all Kinabalu climbers! I managed to get hold of one tour operator that could help me handle the enormous booking request that I received from all over the world. It has been about 6 months since I last stopped the services due to some technical issue, but today, I resume servicing again.

I have also updated some few things in the booking page (like omitted the pricing and cost) and clean up the database of client that I received since 2007 (ha ha ha)…

So send your request booking now through our booking pages. You will get some good discount if you send through me!


p/s: We still have issues with Sutera Sanctuary Lodges, but managed to get through it. Thanks to the tour guide (in which, I will have to keep the name confidential), I hope more people can enjoy the climb!

More photos from the past: 1960’s Jambatan Tamparuli

Courtesy of Mr. Anthony Catherall, he emailed me more photos of Jambatan Tamparuli in May 1960, during the big flood tragedy that had claimed the lives of 2 brave British soldiers and a local woman.

Please read his entry here if you have not read it. Enjoy the photos!
The Landrover emerges from Tamparuli River, May 1960

The Scammel hauls out the Landrover

The extension where the stretcher lay can clearly be seen

The investigation begins

Tamparuli Bridge 1960

Tamparuli Bridge from Kota Kinabalu

The memorial plaque to two brave soldiers

By the way, the photos are copyrighted to Mr. Anthony Catherall. Thank you very much!

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.

Vote Sipadan as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature

Yeah… I read it from the newspaper few days ago. Our Sabah’s Minister of Tourism, Datuk Masidi Manjun urged us to vote Sipadan Island as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. Although we have not heard any good news on him getting the price of Kinabalu climbing down, I think we should support him and our government vote for Sipadan.

Head to New7Wonders website, fill up some form and cast your vote for Sipadan. You have one voice and seven votes, in which you cannot vote for the same place for all your votes. It has to be different places. Otherwise they will ask you to cast your vote again.

Pulau SipadanI have done my part on voting. Personally, I voted the places that are nearer to our country and neighboring countries, so that I could easily visit the places if they ever be selected.

As a support, I am also putting a voting widget in my sidebar until the voting process ended. The voting will continue through 2010 and 2011. However, to get Sipadan to qualify for the next stage of voting, it needs to be at least 11th place in Group B (Islands) by July 7, 2009. At the moment of writing, Sipadan is at 17th place. So please cast your vote now!

While writing this post, I found a nice writing on Sipadan diving experience here. A nice read for scuba junkies.

P/S: Good news for Facebook junkies. You can become a fan of New7Wonders inside!

Strange experiences and mystical belief of Mount Kinabalu?

I received an email from one of my good friend during my holiday. Cikgu Ismail sent me a suggestion to write about mystical experience that I had during my trip up the Majestic Mountain of Kinabalu.

Personally, I have never encountered any extraordinary and strange phenomenon and experiences during my several visits up the peak. But then, I heard from few climbers that they experienced some strange event even before they climbed Kinabalu. Some of them are during the climbing and the rest were after the climb.

Pray The Lord for a safe climbingIs Kinabalu so mystical that ‘it’ knows what’s your intuition? Does it has extraordinary power that could harm anybody that tries to harm the mountain?

The locals believe that the ‘mountain spirit’ is alive and until now, they still perform religious ceremonies annually. These ceremonies were performed to appease the spirit of the mountain as well as the ancestral spirit who lived there. The park’s guide will perform a sacrifices of seven chicken and eggs, as well as cigars, betel nuts, sirrih leaves, lime, and rice. It is believed that the ceremony is done to ask the spirit of the mountain to protect the climbers of Kinabalu from any danger, as long as the climbers respect them.

With that statement, I could conclude that the accidents that happened on the mountain were mostly due to the climber’s fault. We cannot blame the mist and the mountain when anything bad happened to us on the mountain.

In relation to the mystical experiences, I just want to share with you a personal climber’s experiences. It maybe related to the mountain but it may not be. What is important here is to learn a lesson from the experience…

Ahhhh… My God. Bad news … After sending you an email last night, I suddenly felt some dull aching pain at my right waist, starting from 2am. I was rolling in bed, bearing the pain. It last until 4 am. I fall asleep after that when the pain ceased. When the pain started back at 6:30 am, I forced myself to go to Hospital Kulai…

I was examined by a medical assistant, and given an injection to alleviate the pain. He then asked me to rest for an hour, after which his urine and blood test results came back. At about 11am today… Oh my God … the world feels dark. Dr. Kenanga bte Abd Malek suspected that I have renal stone… most probably in the kidney. I have to do an x-ray this coming Wednesday. OMG….

I am writing this to you because I want to share the pain with you! I keep thinking on why I end up like this… Is it because I drank a lot of ginger tea, eating ox tail soup, drinking less plain water bla bla bla…

Opssss … Then I remembered that I had the intention to bring back a piece of rock from Low’s Peak when I get there. Perhaps the “mountain spirit” read my intention and want to give me a warning… not to do something with the mountain… I started to believe… Is this the reason?

Thank The Lord for the achievementAfter about a week, I got the following email:
Wonderful news. I went for an x-ray this morning… The doctor confirmed that I don’t have kidney stone. She only predict that I sustained minor renal injury. It’s just a bit weird that I didn’t pass out blood nor sandy materials in the urine. I am not really sure what had happened. I then made an appointment for an ultrasound scan from Johor Bahru Hospital.

Last night before I went to bed… I remembered about my intention to take some rocks from the mountain… Then I decided not to take any rock from the mountain back to Johor… I fast asleep then…

The result was stunning! X-ray findings this morning was really surprising!

Moral of the story:
Follow the rules of Sabah Park Authorities, in which one of them is don’t take anything back from the mountain (even a single rock). The mountain has its own ‘spirit’. Bad intentions will have bad results in return…

Do you have any strange experiences during your climbing trip? Share with us here!

The story of red durian seeds…

I didn’t know that my post about red coloured durian will be the most popular post of all time for Kinabalu Blog!

It started when I wrote about red coloured durian  couple of years ago, after a suggestion from one of my good friend, Cikgu Ismail from Kulai, Johor (an avid mountain climber).

Red coloured durian is actually a rarity, in which only few parts of the world have it. After publishing that post, I received 2 emails from two different place, asking me to send them the seeds…

The search begins
Last month (February 2009), while I was doing my usual weekend groceries shopping in Sunday Tamu (market), Putatan, I saw with my own eyes, the red coloured durian. It was nicely tide up with ‘tali rafia‘ (a type of rope). It was a surprise for me as I have been looking for it for the past few month in few different places.

Knowing that it will be difficult for me to find the seeds during off season, I grabbed the opportunity to buy it. I bought it because of the 2 special request email, from Thailand and US separately – asking me whether I could mail them some seeds for their garden.

It cost me RM30 for 4. I was lucky because I noticed that it was the last bunch of durian fruit in the whole ‘tamu’ (Sunday market). I could not find it anymore the following weekend.

Personally, the red durian is not as smelly as the one that I used to eat when I was young in my hometown, Bakri, Muar, Johor. Those days the durian cost only 50 cents each, and most of the time my mom will make a ‘bubur’ (porridge) out of it because we could not finish them all. The red coulored durian is also almost odourless and tasteless. I personally think that it taste horrible. Very bland indeed. I could not even finished a single bit of it!

Anyway, after bringing the durians back home, my wife (who hate durians) barred me from keeping the durians inside the house. Although I told her that this kind of durian is almost odourless, she insisted that the durians stayed outside the house. And it stayed there until it ripens and cracked opened by itself.

The journey begins
After getting all the information and suggestion on how to make sure that the seeds will not dies off in the journey across the earth, I started to process the seeds. As it taste horrible and my wife don’t eat durian, I have to manually remove the fleshy part of the seeds out.
I didn’t know that the durian was so ‘powerful’ until I chat with one of the local elderly here, after I felt giddy the next morning after I ate a piece of the red durian. To my surprised, he said that it’s a known ‘adverse reaction’ of this fruits. It’s very usual for people to felt a bit sick after eating that durian. Luckily I did not finished the whole bunch. Otherwise I could not even stand properly…
Following the suggestion, I packaged all the seeds properly, dividing all the seeds equally. You can see it how I processed those seeds…

Red coloured durians!!!

The close up of the red durian.

The left durian is slightly orange-pink in colour.

I manually remove the soft pulp of the fruit. It tasted really bland.

Washing off the mess...

The packages. One package arrived in Chiang Mai and the other arrived in Florida safely...

Few days after sending those seeds, I received an email from the friend in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Apparently, the seeds arrived safely. Some of those seeds were already germinated!

A week after that, my friend from Florida also emailed me that the seeds arrived safely with some of them were germinated! The photos below were sent by my friend from Chiang Mai, Thailand!

I wrapped the seeds with some wet cotton gauze.

Germinated durian seeds.

I hope that the seeds can live happily ever after in their new soil…

Durian: King of Tropical Fruit

Welcome to Kiram’s Village, Kundasang

Forget about Sutera Sanctuary Lodges Kinabalu Park accommodations. They are expensive and not worth staying in. Can you imagine staying in bunk beds Grace Hostel will cost you RM120 per person, per night?

With RM120 you can stay in Kinabalu Pine Resort, Winner of 2005/06 Malaysian Tourism Awards – Excellence in Hotel Services (2 Star) standard room with breakfast and have your own veranda facing the Majestic Kinabalu.

Personally, I have been shying away from staying in Kinabalu Park for the last 2 years, as they were cutting my throat with their prices.

Enough with the bashing. I am would like to introduce you to Kiram’s Village, Mesilou, Kundasang. Situated just before the entrance of Mount Kinabalu Golf Club, Kundasang, this group of chalets are owned by one of my high school super senior, Jamalul Kiram.

It’s new, don’t have much promotion and still don’t have any website but the place is just so beautiful. We had a family gathering last month with other members of Sekolah Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Ipoh Old Boys Association (STAROBA) Sabah Chapter. We just had a great time, barbecuing and karaoke, until the air was too cold for us. The temperature went down to 15 degree Celcius at night!

Check out the photos!

Kiram's Village Chalets
Sunrise @ Kiram's Village. There's a fish pond in front of the chalets.
Mesilau Pinnacle at the background.
The signboard. You should not miss it as it's just before the golf course.
Family units, complete with cooking area and two bedrooms (left).
Office cum diner cum karaoke place. With a view...
Mesilau Pinnacle at the background.
Yes, it's Kundasang...
This place is higher than Kinabalu Park...
Kinabalu from the golf course...

Just drop me an email if you decided to spend some quality time with your family in this place. It’s a nice weekend getaway, just 1 and half hours drive from Kota Kinabalu.