Jungle Adventure Tips – For Kinabalu Park Trail-ers…

  • My son in one of the jungle trail of KinabaluFind out about the trail and surroundings, be sure that you have enough time to complete the entire route before darkness falls. Do not stray off the path to chase after animals.
  • Use good judgment regarding fitness level required for the trek, and know your physical limits.

  • Always inform the park officials or let someone know your plans and destination for the day, especially if going alone.

  • Take plenty of water and pack a few easy snacks to keep energy level up. Unless trekking with a local guide, it is not advisable to eat jungle fruit or drink from any water source.

  • In the highlands try to trek on the ridge tops to save energy traversing the steep slopes and to catch a cool breeze.

  • Be as quite as possible to avoid scaring any wildlife. Getting an early start during the dawn provides the best chances to sight animals seeking food and the warmth of the early morning sun.

  • Wear thin, loose preferably cotton clothing to remain comfortable.

  • Cover arms and legs with long trousers and long-sleeved shirts to ward off mosquitoes and to provide protection against thorny plants.

  • Wear leech socks or long socks to prevent leeches from finding an entry way.

  • Choose sturdy footwear with proper ankle support and good traction.

  • Be prepared for sudden rain showers by carrying poncho that wraps over both body and your carrying pack to keep everything dry.

  • A white brimmed hat helps to shade a trekker from the heat of tropical sun.

Kinabalu Park itself have more than 10 jungle trails that you can use, although you have no intention to climb the mountain. The trails varies in distance, and you can choose whether you want to follow the 30 minutes trail or 3 hours trail. Information can be obtained from the Kinabalu Park office, and maybe you have to inform the park rangers on your trip and activities. Most travelers take the trail to see the flora, fauna (mostly birds) of Kinabalu.

2D1N Mount Kinabalu climbing package from Viewmalaysia.com

I came across a travel & tour website, Viewmalaysia.com, which provides a good package for Mount Kinabalu climbing in 2D1N. The cost of the package includes:

  • 1 night accommodation at Dormitory (Multi Sharing)
  • 1 breakfast, 1 Packed Lunch and 1 Dinner
  • 2 Ways Transfer (Kota Kinabalu Reservation Office at Wisma Sabah – Kinabalu National Park)
  • 2 Ways Transfer (Reception – Timpohon Gate – Starting Point)
  • National Park Entrance Fees, Climbing Permit, Insurance Certificate of Achievement
  • Mountain Guide

As this is a package that is provided by third party, please don’t email or contact me to make inquiry on the package. I am just showing you an options for the climbing package, apart from you deal with me directly.

And, as there is still no feedback from any of the climbers for this package, I am hoping that one of you can be the first to give me feedback!

Mount Kinabalu climbing package

Open source file archiver – 7-zip

I have been using a cracked copy of Winzip for the past 2 years, but I don’t think that is a good way. As I was also not be able to upgrade the software, I opted for Open Source Software. So far, the best open source file archiver that I have been using (since December 2006) is 7-zip.

7-zip is a file archiver with high compression ratio. It gives you the same function as Winzip and Winrar, but for you to use for free.

7-zip

The main features of 7-Zip

  • High compression ratio in new 7z format with LZMA compression
  • Supported formats:
    • Packing / unpacking: 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2 and TAR
    • Unpacking only: RAR, CAB, ISO, ARJ, LZH, CHM, Z, CPIO, RPM, DEB and NSIS
  • For ZIP and GZIP formats 7-Zip provides compression ratio that is 2-10 % better than ratio provided by PKZip and WinZip
  • Self-extracting capability for 7z format
  • Integration with Windows Shell
  • Powerful File Manager
  • Powerful command line version
  • Plugin for FAR Manager
  • Localizations for 63 languages

Personally, it’s the best alternative for Winzip and Winrar for me. I use to have both as my file archiver, but I am not really easy with illegal/cracked copy of the software. 7-zip did what I wanted and for a free software, I have no complain. It worked with both my OS, Windows XP and Xandros Linux.

Mount Kinabalu climbing identity name tag

I did some cleaning of my old stuff in my store room yesterday. Guess what did I found? My 4 Mount Kinabalu climbing identity name tags! It reminds me of the dates that I went and summit the highest peak of Borneo.

Mount Kinabalu identity name tags

You notice the discoloration of the above two tags? It was because I hanged it in my car (under the back mirror) for few months. It turns yellowish due to the heat. The tag in the center is my wife’s.

Anyway, the above name tag will be given to you (of course it’s your name on it) the morning just before you start your climb. It is for security and identification reason, apart from being a good souvenir for you to take back.

Now I remember all 4 dates of my climb: 26 January and 16 April 2002, 27 January 2003 and 9 July 2005. I went up there twice – as a doctor…

Mount Tambuyukon article by K Ravi Mandalam

Dr. Ravi is one of my fellow colleague, whom I know since the early days I was in Kota Kinabalu. He’s a radiologist (and a good one), working in one of the private hospital in Kota Kinabalu. In April 2002, he invited me to be in his medical team, which looked after 23 Special Olympic athletes to summit Mount Kinabalu. That was only my second time climbing, and I was honored to be one of the doctors in his team.

He is also a Rotary Club member, and I have also joined few of their community services with him to some of the interior part of Sabah. I just joined in as a volunteer, (and most of the time as a medical provider) as he invited me to be part of the team.

Mount Kinabalu from Tambuyukon

In October 2006, Dr Ravi managed to trek Mount Tambuyukon, the 3rd highest mountain in Sabah and Malaysia (for the 6th time) with another 2 of his colleagues, George and Liaw. He managed to shoot a number of nice and colorful photos of Mount Kinabalu, from a different angle, and some of the endemic flora of Kinabalu on the way.

I have dedicated a special 3 web page article on his journey. It also includes more than 30 colorful photos of his quest. Check it out here.

El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) effect to Mount Kinabalu – It’s coming…

Do you know that El Nino drought that happened in 1997-1998 in Sabah gave a very big impact on the vegetation of Mount Kinabalu? I came across this news from New Sabah Times, mentioning about the possibility of the drought recur again in the next future.

According to the officials, during the 1998 El Nino event only 31 milimeters (1.25 inches) of rain were recorded at Park HQ between January and April, in comparison to around 850 milimeters (33 inches) during normal year. El Nino events affected the mountain in 1973, 1983, 1992 and 1998.

During this time, periods of small scale extinction have occurred in cases where plants have been limited to restricted areas, particularly after the events. Some studies have recorded about 22% local extinction within the ferns on Kinabalu within 10 years and observations after the 1998 El Nino drought suggest that as many as 50% of the epiphytes were killed off on certain parts of the mountain.

On the other hand many animals can move away from adverse conditions and endemism is much less, at least among the larger animals. Nevertheless some groups, particularly among the insects, have developed a remarkable degree of diversity.

During the drought, climbing Mount Kinabalu will be more difficult – in another way. Although the climb will be easy because of the dryness, however, there will be limited supply of mountain water in the tank for climber along the trail. If even there is water for drinks, it is not advisable to drink it directly (as we do usually). Because of the limited water, the microorganism inside the water is more concentrated. It is much safer to bring your own water supply, but it will make your luggage heavy.

The problem with this drought will be two-fold, as your body needs more water to overcome the heat and dryness.

More info on the El Nino drought from Wikipedia.

At this moment, open your eyes and your ears for the latest news on El Nino…

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

Try Sudoku

Try to solve the Sudoku puzzle below. There is only one rule: Every row, column and box of 3×3 cells must contain the numbers 1 through 9 exactly once.

Happy trying! 😉

[print version]

Visit www.dailysudoku.com for more puzzles, solutions, hints, books and other resources.

I know, there is nothing to do with Mount Kinabalu. It’s just a good way to kill your time when you got nothing to do.

Visit Malaysia Year 2007

Visit Malaysia Year 2007Do you know that 2007 is the Visit Malaysia year? Basically, this is the year where a lot of tourist/travelers from around the world come and spend some time (and some money) by coming and experience what they say as “Malaysia Truly Asia”.

So if you decided to come and spend some time in Sabah, and maybe climb Mount Kinabalu, you better book the place early. I would suggest 3-6 months in advance. Otherwise, the accommodation will be packed up.

Check out the official website by the Government of Malaysia.

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…