Robert Frost once wrote, "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." He could very well have written about Tanjung Simpang Mengayau, a mere dot on the map of Kudat district in Malaysia. Relatively unknown due to its remote location, Tanjung Simpang Mengayau doesn't get many visitors, and for now, this outpost on Borneo Island remains a paradise.
This promontory in an isolated part of Sabah is reachable after three hours' drive northeast of Kota Kinabalu, the last part of which is over unpaved dirt roads snaking through a small traditional Borneo village. A proper road to these parts, in fact, was only built as recently as in the 1960s, prior to which access was made possible only by navigating a boat along the coast.
As a young capital, Putrajaya may not have the character and soul of the great cities of the world, but it is well on its way there with innovative architecture, community-centric town planning and long term ambitions. In relation to many of Malaysia's other cities like Kuala Lumpur and Melaka, the garden city of Putrajaya is like a new kid on the old block. Granted, it lacks the dramatic history of the former and the age-old culture of the latter but what it has in excess is youthfulness, a modern vision and a spirit to embrace the new.
The Federal Territory of Labuan comprises Labuan Island (75 km²) and six other smaller islands which are Pulau Burung, Pulau Daat, Pulau Kuraman, Pulau Papan, Pulau Rusukan Kecil, and Pulau Rusukan Besar.
Facing the South China Sea, Labuan is situated south-west of Sabah and to the north of Brunei Bay. One can visibly see nearby Sabah and Brunei which is accessible via ferry service.
It is one of three federal territories in Malaysia. The others are Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, located in Peninsular Malaysia. Labuan is recognised as an international offshore financial and business centre.
It is said that Labuan is derived from the Malay word used at the time, labuhan, which means port.
Offering a host of amenities, Labuan has become a popular island for tourists foreign and local. It boasts world-class resorts, sandy beaches, duty-free shopping, wreck-diving, golfing as well as several important World War II Memorials.
A lone oil well sits atop Bukit Telaga Minyak in Miri, Sarawak, an icon of the city’s present-day tourist attraction and an important landmark that sparked Malaysia’s entire history in oil and gas. Ironically, it almost never got built if not for the perseverance of a young college dropout from England.
Choosing cadetship over completing his studies at Jesus College, Cambridge, had brought Charles Hose to Borneo in 1886, where he subsequently played an instrumental role in shaping the geographical landscape and history of Miri.
Apparently, it took some 20 years – with many obstacles in between – for Hose to convince various parties of the treasures that lay beneath their feet. Hose, who became Resident of Baram (a district near Miri) in 1890, when he was only 27, had even put up a proposal for oil explorations in Miri; it was, however, rejected by a British consultant geologist on the grounds of rural Miri’s poor logistics at the time.
A RANGE OF TOUR PACKAGES AND CONSERVATION EFFORTS MAKE SABAH TEA GARDEN A POPULAR SPOT FOR BOTH EDU- AND ECO-TOURISM. DARYL YEP FINDS OUT.
Having returned from Cameron Highlands recently where I overdosed on a dizzying array of tea, I suppose going on another tea trip is out of the question. But strangely enough, in no time, I found myself traversing steep and winding roads yet again, to be surrounded by rolling hills of scenic tea plantations and served a variety of tea. Apparently, this writer just can’t resist anything that the Land Below the Wind has to offer.
Nestled in a pristine rainforest reputed to be 130 million years old at 2,272 feet above sea level, Sabah Tea Garden offers visitors an unusual visit to the ‘tea forest’ where rainforest trees and organic tea plants grow side by side. Its popularity as a weekend getaway has been growing through the years, particularly among families and students. Besides, Kota Kinabalu is just a two-hour drive away while Mount Kinabalu Park is merely an hour’s journey.
I was tempted to dive right in to the awesomely inviting turquoise waters as we arrived at the dock. The tranquil natural surroundings were reminiscent of an idyllic setting for a summer romance. The bright blue sunny sky, though scorching, was welcomed with much pleasure. We had in fact prepared for the worst after being informed that the past few days were cloudy with torrential rain. Sheer tranquillity, along with sun-drenched pristine beaches, is of the essence on an island escapade. Pulau Tiga, it seemed, had already fulfilled my simple desires.
The feeling of weariness I had earlier slowly dissipated. Somehow, the sound of crashing waves always has the miraculous ability to calm my senses. Any complaint suddenly became trivial. Now, I wasn’t exactly being grouchy but seriously, travelling over five hours in three modes of transportation in a hot and humid day can somewhat sap one’s strength, not to mention enthusiasm.
The bustling city of Kuala Lumpur has many tall buildings and modern structures. However, many people are not aware that in the heart of the city, a patch of greenery still exists.
Place: Marine Ecology Eco Research Centre (MERC)
Location: Gaya Island, Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park
Where: Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
“This is called the chocolate chip starfish. Look at the brown spots on its skin!”
“Looks very much like chocolate chips!”
Sarah, a volunteer at the Marine Ecology Research Centre (MERC), held the starfish firmly in her hand.
We were at the touch pond at MERC, where a collection of sea creatures are put on display for visitors’ to get up and close on the conservation efforts carried out here.
Several dive sites in three states in Peninsular Malaysia have been temporary closed due to coral bleaching, a phenomenon caused by global warming that has increased sea water temperature. According to the Department of Marine Park, Malaysia has more than 80 dive sites.
The closure period is from July 2 until October 31, 2010 and the affected areas are listed below:
It is pitch black, cold… and eerily scary.
Brrr…gives me the goosebumps. No wonder bats like to live here.
What was that?!
I was trying my best to walk as slowly as possible on the slippery plank walk, with trusty headlamps lighting the way. It was a torture, especially with guano– bat dung ‘perfume' on the ground everywhere, its smell hanging heavily in the air.
The silence around me was eerily spooky.