Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri for Kinabalu Blog readers

Tomorrow is the Aidilfitri or Eid-ul-Fitri, often abbreviated as simply Eid, a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting. Eid is an Arabic term meaning “festivity” or “celebration” while Fiá¹­r means “to break the fast” and can also mean “nature” from the word “fitrat” and therefore symbolizes the breaking of the fasting period. On the day of the celebration, a typical Muslim family is awake very early and then after praying the first normal everyday prayer, is required to eat in a small quantity, symbolizing the end of Ramadan.

For Muslims, Eid ul-Fitr is a joyous occasion with important religious significance, celebrating of the achievement of enhanced piety. It is a day of forgiveness, moral victory, peace of congregation, fellowship, brotherhood and unity.

I usually celebrate Aidilfitri with my family back in Muar, Johor. However, this year, I could not go back for the holiday because of my wife’s turn to work in the hospital (she is a nurse). We will only celebrating Aidilfitri here in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah with my in-laws.

Hope that you will enjoy your festive season.

Maaf Zahir & Batin
From me, Mainie, Dany Hijazi & Syahzanani Izzati

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri for Kinabalu Blog readers

How I change my Adsense payee name to get paid through Western Union

I registered my Adsense check name as “Ruhaizad Daud” and have been receiving my monthly checks for the past 1 year, and I don’t have any problem with clearing the check through my account.

Until recently when Google Adsense announced that they are going to start paying publishers through Western Union, I was really excited as I don’t have to wait for 4 weeks anymore for the payment to get cleared!

However, I notice that my Adsense payee name is NOT the same as my Mykad. My name on my Mykad is “Ruhaizad bin Daud”, and I heard from LiewCF blog, Western Union will not cash out my money, if the Adsense payee name is not the same with what stated on Mykad, I won’t be able to cash my money out.

Western Union

Thanks to LiewCF, he gave a very good post on how to request for a change of my Adsense payee name.

I will hereby write about how efficient Google is on updating my account payee name. The whole process took less that 3 days, considering the time that I requested was during the weekend.

After sending Google an email through their Adsense Help Center, I received a reply from Christina, one of The Google Adsense Team who managed my issue. This is what the email look like:


Thank you for your email. I’ll be happy to work with you to update your
payee name.

In order to initiate this process, please reply to this email and include
the answer to each of the following questions. This will help us ensure
the privacy and security of your AdSense account.

1 – Have you ever received an AdSense payment? If so, what was the amount
of your most recent payment?
2 – What was the first day you received a page impression?
3 – How many page impressions did you get on your first day?
4 – What’s your new payee name?

You can find some of this information by logging into your account and
checking your advanced reports. In your response, please also include your
updated payee name exactly as you wish it to appear in the future. Once
you’ve replied and we’ve updated your account information, please be aware
that you’ll need to re-enter your tax information and form of payment.

Also, please note that we start processing payments on the 16th of each
month. If you’re scheduled to receive a payment this month and your
account information is updated after the 16th, your payment will be issued
to your previous payee name. So, if you’re scheduled to receive a payment
this month and won’t be able to accept it, please let us know.

Once I receive your response, I’ll correct your account information to
reflect your new payee name.

For additional questions, I’d encourage you to visit the AdSense Help
Center ( ) or the official AdSense blog
( ). Alternatively, feel free to post your
question on the AdSense Help Forum ( ).


The Google AdSense Team

I then replied to them with this email:

Hi Christina,

Thank you for the reply. These would be the details:

1. Yes, I have received Adsense payment before. The amount for the
most recent payment is $XXX.XX on 24 September 2007.
2. The first day that I received my first impression was 24 XXXXX 2006.
3. XX impressions.
4. Ruhaizad bin Daud

Please change my Payee Name to Ruhaizad bin Daud.

Thank you.

Ruhaizad bin Daud

It took another day for them to reply to me with this email:

Hi Ruhaizad,

Thanks for your response. I’ve updated your payee name to Ruhaizad bin

I’ve also reset your form of payment and tax information. As a result,
your account is currently on hold. To remove the holds, please follow the
instructions below.

1. To resubmit your tax information:

– Log in to your AdSense account at
– Click the ‘My Account’ tab
– Click the ‘Tax information’ link
– Follow the instructions on the ‘Tax information’ page to update your
current form, or to submit a new form

If you have questions regarding which tax form to fill out, please visit .

2. To select your form of payment:

– Click the ‘My Account’ tab
– Click ‘Edit’ next to Payment Details
– Choose the type of payment you would prefer and click ‘Continue’.

Please keep in mind that we start processing payments on the 16th of the
month. If you’re expecting a payment this month, please make sure to
re-enter your tax information and form of payment before the 16th of the
month. Otherwise, your earnings will roll over and be paid out in the next
payment cycle.

We appreciate your continued patience and cooperation.

For additional questions, I’d encourage you to visit the AdSense Help
Center ( ) or the official AdSense blog
( ). Alternatively, feel free to post your
question on the AdSense Help Forum ( ).


The Google AdSense Team

I immediately followed her instruction above to resubmit my tax information and change my selection of my form of payment.

Done with the Google request. Now I have to look for Western Union agent here in Kota Kinabalu to get my money out.

Upon checking the Western Union official website, I notice that most RHB Bank and CIMB Bank (previously BCB) are official Western Union agents. Luckily I got both banks just around the corner nearby my clinic.

So, have you changed yours?

5 medications you should have for your Kinabalu climbing trip

Medical preparations for your trip up to Kinabalu is one of the important thing to do before you start your climb. While novice climbers think that the medication in the first aid kit is enough, some of experience climbers think that it is better to have some extra medications in hand, in case of unexpected requirements. These would be my personal list of medication (based on my medical background), that I would bring up on my trip. These are the medications that I brought during my past climbing trip.

  1. Panadol, Uphamol aka paracetamol or acetaminophen. It is a good medication to relief pain, headache, fever and discomfort due to cold/flu & following dental procedures. Normal dosage per tablet is 500mg, and I usually prescribe 2 tablets 3-4 times daily. However, in climbing context, you can take 2 tablets of paracetamol if you have muscular pain during the climb, and may repeat 6-8 hourly. You can take it either before or after meal. One special precaution on Panadol is that it can leads to kidney and liver failure if taken in long period of time, or overdosage.
  2. Ponstan, aka Mefenemic acid. A slightly “powerful” medication than paracetamol, used to relief mild to moderate pain including muscular, traumatic and dental (tooth) pain, headache, menstrual pain, post operation and post delivery pain. Also suitable for Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. I usually use ponstan for those who feels that panadol is not powerful enough to control pain. Normal dosage per capsule is 250mg, and to be taken 500mg (2 tablets) during the pain, 8 hourly. You have to take ponstan after meal because it can cause some gastric irritation (gastrik aka ‘dugal’ in local language). Long term usage can cause stomach ulcer, kidney and liver impairment.
  3. Lomotil, Beamotil or Dhamotil. An almost a “wonder drug” for diarrhea and uncontrolled loose stool – an event spoiler for anybody. It contains diphenoxylate HCl 2.5mg and atropine sulphate 25mcg to stop your purging. A good medication to take if you have a very sensitive stomach and bowel movement. Can be taken before or after meal, but suggested to take 1 tablet after each unformed stool. If you don’t have this medication, you may have to divert every few hundreds meter of the Summit Trail into the bushes to “get the job done”.
  4. Maxolon aka metoclopramide. A medication used to relieve vomiting and nausea. Nausea that can be caused by food poisoning or even acute mountain sickness can be alleviated with this medication. To be taken 1 tablet, 10mg 8 hourly, usually before meals. I usually advise person who take maxolon to take their meal 30 minutes after ingesting maxolon. Not suitable for children.
  5. Piriton aka chlorpheniramine maleate. Another wonder drug for allergic reaction and runny nose. Scientifically put: allergic conditions including hay fever, urticaria, agioedema, vasomotor rhinitis, allergic eczema, atopic and contact dermatitis, insect bites and pruritus. Basically, it is used for anything that cause you to itch and nose congestion. It can be taken with or without food, 4mg 4-6 hourly, with maximum of 6 tablet a day. However, piriton is known to cause sleepiness and inability to concentrate, but minimal if you are climbing.

You can get almost all the medications from your nearby pharmacy. However, if you are unsure, better ask your doctor/physician to help you.

October Hall of Fame For Kinabalu Blog

Here’s for October ’07!

  • Ben Godomon, wrote an article here in this blog about Jambatan Tamparuli (Tamparuli Bridge), apparently one of the famous bridge here in Sabah. For travelers going to Kinabalu Park from Kota Kinabalu, you will almost definitely use this bridge on the way. Ben blog about music, travel, technology and sport commentaries in his “Chronicles”. He wrote about Sabah’s official orchid nominated: paphiopedilum rothschildianum (”sumazau” slipper orchid) which excites me very much, as I only saw this orchid once in the “Mountain Garden” of Kinabalu Park. The orchid is endemic only to Sabah’s rainforests, at elevations of 500 – 1200m above sea level.
  • Caneelia aka JACQ is a nice girl who blog about her “Life of A Borneo Lady”. I stumbled into one of her entry about Mount Trusmadi when I wrote about it few months back, and apparently, it was her parents who did the climb. I wonder when she will climb Mount Trusmadi… She writes few blogs, and I must admit that she is a very active lady (or, should you change your tagline to “Life of A Borneo Girl” instead?). You should read about her post on playing paintball here in KK!
  • Fadzil is my younger brother who live in Muar, Johor. He lives in the place where I came from. I was also born there, but never got the chance to explore the place as I traveled as young as 13 years old to study. He wrote some entry on the famous Muar River cruise, which he did it few months back with his family. Oh, he is an amateur blogger, a “drift-car” enthusiast and a religious teacher…


Jambatan Tamparuli: the bridge and the song it’s based on

“Jambatan Tamparuli” is the title of a Kadazandusun song composed and sung by Justin Lusah in the mid 1970s. In my opinion, Justin Lusah is Kadazandusun’s greatest ever songwriter. This song first appeared in his 2nd album. Also in my opinion, it is not his best song, and I can name several of his other songs which I think has better melody, but I am digressing here.

The song has reached heights never reached by other Kadazandusun songs before or since – it has been recognized as a national heritage, in essence, a national monument.

Well, now let’s see the actual bridge the song is based on.

Tamparuli town is located near the Tuaran river. There are 3 major bridges over this river, as can be seen from this Google Earth image. The image below is approximately at 6°8′ N, 116°15’E:


#1 in the pic above is the new (high) suspension bridge, officiated in the early 1980s by the then Chief Minister of Sabah, Datuk Harris Salleh. It is intended for the use of vehicles and pedestrians. About 50m in length, this bridge is a real lifesaver. Before it was built, if the low bridge #4) is flooded, tamu traders, towkays and general townsfolk have to stop their cars on the other side of the river and get to town via the hanging bridge (#2) carrying all their things.

#2 is the original hanging bridge, *the* Jambatan Tamparuli. Hence, the basis for Justin Lusah’s 1970s song. This picture must have been taken on or near the low bridge on Tamparuli town’s side. We are looking downstream. Thanks to Charsuede for the picture.


It was washed away in the biggest flood ever to hit Tamparuli in January 1999. From the picture above you can imagine how high the floodwater must have climbed! The previous worst flood was reportedly 37 years earlier, in the early 1960s.

I only saw the partial extent of the flood myself 3 days after its peak on 5th January 1999 and I must say I have never seen the river that angry and fast-flowing – it was at least 10 feet above the low bridge – if even an Olympic swimmer ever decided to try to swim across I doubt he’d make it. I am still kicking myself for not taking pictures then.

This is a picture of the same place taken in August this year – taken from the top of the new hanging bridge. Of course the old hanging bridge has been gone for 8 years.


#3 is the new hanging bridge (i.e. Jambatan Tamparuli as it is known to the world now). The following is a picture of what it looks like as you stand on it (the little guy is a tad more than 3 feet tall) and look on the right hand side as you walk towards Tamparuli town. As you can see, the low bridge (#4) is quite near. A local joke is that accidents might happen (vehicles might plunge into the river etc) because the drivers might be too preoccupied with checking out the girls in short skirts walking on the bridge above.


The construction of this new bridge started not long after the old bridge was destroyed. It is very steady, no rocking at all, even at the ends, unlike the old bridge, where people would hold on to dear life when getting on or off it.

#4 is probably the oldest: the low bridge. Some people might mistake this as the bridge in Justin Lusah’s song. Having said that, I think this bridge is more intriguing than the hanging bridge. Built in the 1950s (I might be wrong here), it is testament to its fine engineering that it is STILL standing after being hit by many logs and floodwaters over the years. And yes, even after *the flood* of ’99, it is still there.

Back to the song, I think its fame reached its zenith in July 2005 when Marsha (herself a Tamparulian) sang it live during the 7th Akademi Fantasia season 3 concert. The popularity of the reality show must have guaranteed millions of primetime viewers for the then 30-year old song. The picture below (courtesy of Astro) showed the host Aznil Nawawi attempting to dance the sumazau with Marsha during a solo break in the song.




Ben GodomonBen Godomon is a guest blogger from Chronicles, Unconventional World Records, Money Talks, IT Security News and Our Music Portal.

Do I need a Swiss Army Knife (SAK) for my Kinabalu climb?

Not necessary, but it is better if you have one. I use to have my own multi-tool while I was in the university. Mostly used for daily usage, this handy multi-tool are also lightweight when I go for any outdoor trip.

But when I came to Sabah and fell in love with Mount Kinabalu, I know that I need to upgrade my multi-tool to become more suitable for my climb. I bought a Victorinox Swiss Army Multi-tool just before my first trip up on Kinabalu in 2002. It was a bit expensive then, but it was really worth it.

Why do you need a multi-tool?

My mentor always tell me, “Hope for the best but prepare for the worst”. By taking the advise seriously, having a multi-tool during your climbing trip up on Kinabalu might save your life. Although I only used the can opener and the knife of my Victorinox Swiss Army multi-tool during most of my climb, it gives me a “peace of mind” to know that I have other tool elements that I “might” use during emergency situation.

So, by having this multi-tool, it completed my preparation for the worse of the climb, apart from my first aid kit and other necessary items.

Why Victorinox Swiss Army multi-tool?

Apparently, it is the only high quality multi-tool that is easily available almost anywhere in Malaysia. At one time, because of the expensiveness, I bought a similar looking multi-tool – but not the original Victorinox – that was “Made In China”. Unfortunately, the blade broke when I use it for few times, and rusts sets in in just few months.

There are other multi-tools around, but I don’t think that it has the credibility, performance, versatility and value like Victorinox has.

Victorinox History

Victorinox Swiss Army Climber Pocket KnifeIn 1891, Karl Elsener, then owner of a company that made surgical equipment, discovered to his dismay that the pocket knives supplied to the Swiss Army were in fact made in Germany. Upset, he founded the Association of Swiss Master Cutlers. Its goal was simple — Swiss knives for the Swiss Army.

Upon suggestion by his engineer friend, Jeannine Keller, Elsener began working on what became the predecessor to the modern Swiss Army knife, called the “Soldier’s Knife”. The original had a wooden handle, as opposed to the plastic and metal seen today, and featured a cutting blade, a screwdriver, a can opener, and a punch.

This knife was sold to the Swiss army, but Elsener was not satisfied with its first incarnation. In 1896, after five years of hard work, Elsener managed to put the blades on both sides of the handle using a special spring mechanism, allowing him to use the same spring to hold them in place, an innovation at the time. This allowed Elsener to put twice as many features on the knife; he added a second cutting blade and a corkscrew.

Karl Elsner used the cross and shield to identify his knives. The same symbol is still used to identify a Victorinox Swiss Army Knife. When his mother died in 1909, Elsner decided to name his company “Victoria” in her memory. In 1921 the company started using stainless steel to make the Swiss Army Knife. Stainless steel is also known as “inox”, short for the French term acier inoxydable. “Victoria” and “inox” were then combined to create the company name “Victorinox”.

The term “Swiss Army knife” was coined by US soldiers after World War II, as they couldn’t pronounce its original name, “Offiziersmesser”.

Which Victorinox multi-tool?

Aah… It is really mind boggling when you head to Victorinox official website and see there are hundreds of similar tools in the website. Don’t know which one to choose? Maybe this short guide on choosing your Victorinox Swiss Army Knife may help:

  1. Features. The good thing about Victorinox Swiss Army Multi-tool is that they have categorized the multi-tool according to your usage. For example, in our case, I choose “Victorinox Swiss Army Climber Pocket Knife“, which I personally have. It has all the basic features that’s necessary for climbers. And because of their varieties, Victorinox has also created their own multi-tool “Collection”, for those who wants more specialize collector’s series. For example, GolfTool – Victorinox – Swiss Army, a specialize multi-tool for golfers which has “removable ball marker & tee punch with groove cleaner”.
  2. Budget. How much should you spend for a multi-tool like Victorinox? Well, I must tell you that it doesn’t matter how much you spend, as it worth every penny. But make sure you know what activities are going to do, and then compare the features that they have before buying. Size of the multi-tool is almost unimportant, as each and every Victorinox multi-tools has been designed and engineered to be compatible with each activities.

What does Victorinox Swiss Army Climber Pocket Knife has?

  • Contains 13 stainless-steel tools
  • Large knife blade, small knife blade, large screwdriver, small screwdriver, reamer/punch
  • Can opener, bottle opener, wire stripper, tweezers, toothpick, scissors, hook, corkscrew
  • Just 3-1/2 inches long
  • Includes key ring; lifetime warranty against defects

By the way, do you know that Victorinox also has multi-tool which features 2GB of USB memory drive?

Book your Kinabalu climbing package from

I started to accept quotation requests for Mount Kinabalu climbing since February 2007. Statistically, I have received more than 500 request, but from that number, Aiden and me could only process and handle less than 5% of it.

The major reason why we could not deal with the other request for the climb is that most of the request is made to close to the climbing dates. As I have mentioned before, climbing Kinabalu is selling like hot fried-bananas this year 2007, as it happens to be the Visit Malaysia Year. Most of the climbers who sent us the request, plan to go within 3 months from their request date. It is almost impossible to get a place for climbers to climb within that period of time as it is always full when we contacted Sutera Sanctuary Lodges. Sadly, we have to turn the request down because of this.

Sutera Sanctuary LodgesSecondly, Sutera Sanctuary Lodges has not given us a good cooperation on dealing with the bookings. It was really difficult to get through them – especially by telephone – and Aiden have to go to their office almost every other day to get the latest feedback on our bookings. It wears us down.

Lately, I heard that Sutera Sanctuary Lodges is going to increase the accommodation rate in Laban Rata starting from 2008. They are also going to have new rules and regulations on climbers of Mount Kinabalu pertaining the lodges in Laba Rata and the climbing packages. This is the highlight of our challenges.

So, at the moment, I am going to put down the reservation form for climbers, temporarily. As an alternative, climbers can check out our new affiliate partner, which will be handling all the climbing packages, until our problems is solved. have 2 packages specifically for Mount Kinabalu climbers – 2D1N package and 3D2N package – which will cost US$315 and US$370 respectively. The packages are meant for international climbers. I would suggest that Malaysian climbers to contact Sutera Sanctuary Lodges directly for Malaysian rate.

Book your climbing packages here:

Click “Asia” and search for Mount Kinabalu Package. I really hope that you can get a bed for the climb.

Good Luck!

Journey to Kunak, Sabah – A travelogue by Kay Stanford Jr Kastum

For those of you who are a Sabahan or have been to Sabah before, you would definitely agree with me on this one; Sabah is pretty much still in touch with nature. There are still so many places for you to discover. From the mountains to the valleys, there’s always a new place to experience and visit in this great place dubbed ‘Land Below the wind’. I’m sure most people have heard of Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, Tawau or even Kudat. But have you heard of a place called Kunak?
Parents home in the Estate

Some of my friends here in Kuala Lumpur, in peninsular Malaysia would mistaken it for ‘Kudat’ most of the time. Kunak is actually located in the east-coast of Sabah. Our whole family relocated to Tawau and eventually to Kunak from Kudat. My dad works with an oil palm estate company then known as Mostyn Estate. Now it’s known as Golden Hope Plantation.
My friend Jai, a Bugis

I stayed in Kunak mostly during my school days breaks. I stayed in Tawau town since I was studying there. The distance between Kunak and Tawau is around 83 kilometers. So, what’s up with Kunak? Well, based on my experience living in an plantation estate, life is good here!

Madai waterfallsmadai-waterfalls.jpg
I believe the Kunak population is mostly Bugis and Bajau. There are quite a number of Kadazan dusunpeople here who owns lands through the efforts of Tun Fuad Stepehens? as I was told. They were relocated from Kota Kinabalu area for some kind of program. Thus we have this area in Kunak just before the town called ‘Kampung Kadazan’ where most of the families who runs and owned agricultural lands (mostly for palm trees) are concentrated and lived quite close to each other. Other races includes Chinese, ‘Orang Timur’ (Originally Irian Jaya descendants from Indonesia), the Suluks, Cocos and the Tidungs to name a few. The Cocos also have a great history. They were descendants from the Cocos (Keeling) Islands now under Australia.

Agricultural is the main business in Kunak, palm oil mostly. These crude palm oil (CPO) is exported to other countries like Japan as well as for the Malaysian market. Second biggest plantation in Kunak would be the cocoa. Have you eaten ripe cocoa? It taste so good!
My sister,Madai tree-hugger

Anyway, since Kunak is situated near the sea, fisheries are the other important source of income for this little town. You get only fresh seafood here. Very reasonable price too. When you have a chance, go to one of these restaurants: Fook Seng Restaurant or Vui Kee. They are the best in town my friend! For your info, if you are a Muslim traveler, Vui Kee is a ‘Halal’ restaurant. By the way, locals here refer’s Kunak as ‘Pekan Koboi’ or cowboy town. No horses here but I guess it’s because it’s a small town.
Canopy Walk

There are one or two hotels in town but their operations are a little bit suspicious. (If you know what I mean). There are of course government rest house which I believe you can rent? Can’t help you there with that info. Otherwise you can contact me and I will ask my mom to let you use my old bedroom for a night or two 😀

I love trees!my-tree-custom.jpg
A great place to visit while in Kunak just have to be the ‘Madai waterfalls’. It’s just less than 1 kilometers from Kunak town. This 40 meters high waterfall is really awesome and beautiful as well as breath taking especially when it’s not a dry season. The area is managed by the state forestry department of Sabah and you need to pay a small fee to enter. There will be staircase to reach the waterfall area. You can even swim in it if you want to. Within the compound, there is also a canopy walk. Really fun stuff. You would be able to spot some forest wildlife as you go about.

Another must see or should I say a must-experience place would be the Madai Caves. It’s not far from the main road and you can go there after visiting the falls. Madai caves is also a habitat of these birds called ‘swiftlets’.
Road entrance to Madai Caves

The friendly locals

They made their nest using their saliva and that my friend is like gold. These natural product are highly sought after for it’s medicinal purpose. It’s called ‘birds nest soup’. In the Hong Kong market, it is said that price can fetch up up to USD1500.00 per kg!! The bird’s nests are harvested twice a year. If you are thinking of going over the next season to harvest, well chances are very slim. Only the ‘Idaan’ people are given the exclusive rights to do it. They have been doing it for hundreds of years.
My sis again :|, background is the cave

If you are planning to visit the caves, it is advisable to bring a local guide at least. I heard stories of western ladies being raped after going into the caves without any guides etc. But I believe that’s not true, but then again just be cautious.
Near the cave mouth

Cave Entrance

Once reaching there, all you need to do is get permission from the elders and you should be fine. They may be some folks there who will offer to be your guide. It’s up to you to use their services or not. Oh by the way, Madai has also been an archaeological sight to the discovery of ancient civilization that can be dated as far as 15,000 years. Cool eh?
They say this one looks like the statue of ‘Mother Mary’

Other interesting things to check out in Kunak would be the natural hot springs as well as the local wine made by Puan Catherine Makansang in Kampung Kadazan. She makes the best ‘Montoku’ drink! 😀 (Montoku is a local alcohol brew made from fermented rice)


Kay Stanford Jr. Kay Stanford Jr Kastum is a guest blogger from and A Sabahan who live in Kuala Lumpur, has an interest in stuffs like music, photography and video editing but does not have the right tools to do it.

Recommended book – Stranger in the Forest: On Foot Across Borneo

What a little beauty this is!

Nearly 20 years ago, a gangling, footloose American gets boozed with a bunch of Borneo river-dwellers, and finds himself bound in a gentle obsession.

Soon after, he takes off across the island of Borneo on foot armed with a quick schooling in tribal bartering systems and not much else. He has no visa, no valid passport, an unreliable map, and a few sentences of Bahasa Indonesian.

He can survive in the rainforest only as long as he maintains the trust of the people he meets, as guides, tutors, friends. He does far more than survive, and it is clear from the modesty, resilience and humor that comes through in his writing, that he was made for just this journey.

For months on end he immerses himself in a world of exquisite natural richness, among a people who are white-skinned in the permanent shade of the forest canopy, who have no tradition of stories of the moon or stars because they are almost never seen.

For weeks at a time he and his hunter guides are – in a Western sense – utterly “lost”, moving apparently aimlessly through trackless bush. When Hansen asks one of his companions how they will find their way to their destination, the Penan hunter says simply: “We will follow our feelings.” Without ever laboring it, Hansen has written a travel book that is deeply satisfying to the spirit, full of wonder and rich in humor. He also captures the moment at which an ancient, closed culture hears the first troubling thunder of global economics.

When finally he reaches the coast, Hansen is so depressed by “civilisation” that he does the sane thing – slipping back into the jungle to retrace his steps, all the way back to Sarawak.

So truly does he tell his story, I find myself missing him – wondering what he got up to when he finally returned to the US, what travels he might have done since. As I was finishing this book, I saw a travel brochure extolling Kuching, the Sarawak trading town that was Hansen’s first step-off point. The glossy explained how easy it was nowadays to travel inland, with the interior “opened up by good logging roads”.

Eric Hansen, lead the weeping.

A book review By Hugh Riminton (Sydney), courtesy of

Asia Hotels Blog – Asian News On Travel & Hotels

Asia Hotels Blog is a blog for, which is an online travel and hotels guide, reservations, and reviews for Asia and Australasia. It has few travel stories in Asia, which I think is nice to read. After surfing the blog for few moments, I found out that the blog is quite new, with 12 articles written.

One of the article that I like to read is “Ten things to do if you are trapped on an island“, particularly number 10: Write a great novel. I love to write. With plenty of time in the island, I will do my best to write a biography about my experiences in the island. And hopefully I could get out from the island as the novel finishes, so that I can get it published.

Not surprisingly, Sabah beaches does not listed to be one of the “Best beaches in Asia“. It may be because of a lot of beaches in Sabah is still not discovered and less advertisement about it. I must say that Tanjung Simpang Mengayau should be in the list with Seminyak, Palawan, Phuket and Maldives in their blog post.