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.
An Orang Ulu dance enthrals guests as they arrive at the Royal Mulu Resort (RMR). The resort, a 30 minutes’ flight from Miri city in East Malaysia, is an ideal getaway. It is especially so, for those wishing to go on a trip to the famed UNESCO World Heritage site, Gunung Mulu National Park.
Before joining Tourism Malaysia, about the only “adventure” I ever had was climbing the corporate ladder in the concrete jungle that was Kuala Lumpur. Nowadays, though, climbing actual mountains has become part of the job in promoting Malaysia.
One of the first peaks I attempted to scale was Gunung Stong (Mount Stong) in Dabong, a small rural village in Kelantan. It is believed that the word stong is a Malaysianised – or specifically, Kelantan-ised (if there is such a term) – version of the English word, “stone.” If you have been to Kelantan, you will know that they will turn any word that ends with the “n” sound into a nasal “ng” sound. And so the story goes…
Juicy, red, succulent strawberries…ever had a craving for some?
Malaysians are very fortunate as we do not have to book the next plane ticket overseas as strawberries are grown right at our very doorsteps.
Cameron Highlands, with its cooling climate and low temperatures is the most suitable place for these strawberries to thrive.
“When holding a scorpion, never touch the middle of its body. This is the most sensitive part,” bellowed Mohamad Jahangir, a worker at the Butterfly Farm at the Kea Farm area, Cameron Highlands.
“Make sure you touch the scorpion at its tail (not the part with the sting, though). This is because scorpions can only sting in one direction, which is only in the middle towards the middle of their body,” described Mohamad at length.
“It cannot sting from left to right, but at all times do before careful when confronting a scorpion. It is best to avoid it, as it is one of the deadlier species,” Mohamad enthused, having worked at the Butterfly Farm for 12 years now.
Mohamad then bid a tourist to come near him. Without warning, Mohamad swiftly placed the scorpions in his hands and put it on Noor Azlan’s, T-shirt.
Visitors surrounded him, watched in awe. Some felt afraid, and others backed away from the scorpions Mohamad was pulling from an enclosure.