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Tourism Malaysia

Tea Garden with a Difference

Tea Garden with a Difference

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.

At the Tea Manufacturing Factory, my fellow tour members were totally engrossed in the lengthy explanation by the local guide Aubrey. Having no inkling of tea processing, their undivided attention didn’t surprise me at all.

I, on the other hand, was rather intrigued by a wide choice of creatively packaged tours available here. It’s pretty unexpected for a tea plantation, I must say.

Travellers today express growing concern for the environment and wish to play a part to preserve Mother Nature even during their holidays. Sabah Tea Garden has struck the right chord with a wide range of creatively packaged tours that combine an enlightening visit to the tea manufacturing factory, nature-based activities, cultural elements and conservation efforts.

CREATIVE TOUR PACKAGES – TAKE YOUR PICK
Its most sought-after tour package has to be the ‘Sabah Tea Adventure 2 Days 1 Night’, which garnered the first Tourism Malaysia award for Best Tour Programme for Educational Tourism. It is popular among students and outdoor enthusiasts as they get to enjoy a host of fun activities that takes them beyond learning about tea.

After checking in to a traditional Sabah Tea Longhouse, participants get to conquer obstacle crossings at the Sapaon Recreational Area and learn the importance of team work through team building games. They also learn how to make a fire and cook tapioca and sweet yams.

Unless there’s a heavy morning mist, participants will normally be greeted by a beautiful sunrise view of the majestic Mount Kinabalu the next morning.

Other highlights of the tour include jungle trekking at Kamunsu Hill, swimming in cool and pristine mountain water, night walk, and a tea factory tour. Needless to say, the educational programme offers participants a glimpse of sustainable agricultural practices and human development in harmony with nature.

Besides this award-winning package, various packages ranging from day trip to 3 day-2 night tour have also been created to cater to different group of visitors such as families, students, nature lovers, companies and government departments, cyclists and fitness enthusiasts.

The Quailey’s Hill Tour, for instance, is targeted at Australians and those who are interested to learn more about the World War II Sandakan-Ranau death marches and pay respect to a fallen Australian soldier. The 3 day-2 night Sabah Tea Rainforest Conservation Global Warming Prevention Programme is created particularly for Japanese university students who wish to play a part in nature conservation efforts. The programme is also open to students from Malaysian schools and universities.

Cycling buffs would probably be fascinated by the challenging trails, meandering in and out of the rainforest and in-between undulating tea bushes. Sabah Tea Garden has hosted various mountain bike races such as the Sabah Tea Adventure Race, a 40km racecourse that combines off-road mountain biking, jungle-running, obstacle course and river crossings.

Sabah Tea Garden also provides facilities for companies and government departments that opt to hold their meetings, seminars or conferences there. A venue amidst tea plantations and rainforest should be more inspiring than a mundane hotel room that normally draws yawns rather than ideas.

CONSERVATION EFFORTS
After spending almost the entire afternoon touring the tea plantation, we were informed by Aubrey that only 1,200 acres of the plantation land is used for tea cultivation, commercial buildings, and staff housing; the rest, or approximately 5,000 acres, is still very much covered with rainforest. It provides home and food for insects that would otherwise attack the tea plants. Hence, no artificial colouring or flavouring is added into the tea and it is 100 per cent pesticide free.

“The practice of forest conservation maintains a balanced ecology; therefore, there is no need for the usage of pesticides,” said Aubrey. Indeed, the balance of ecology conservation and tea cultivation that is very much emphasised here has proven to be a winning combination.

We were also informed that the workers here feed the soil instead of the tea plants. Different parts of the tea plant are gathered to make compost and used as natural fertiliser. For instance, tea branches from the pruning are left in the field while discarded tea stalks from the tea manufacturing processes in the factory are recycled back into the field. Fruit trees are planted to attract birds. Fishing is also prohibited except for a few days in a year in the Morolli and Sapaon rivers that flow through the plantation.

Such conservation efforts are actually very much in line with the Government’s aspiration to create a clean and healthy environment. In fact, the Ministry of Tourism has launched the 1Malaysia Green, 1Malaysia Clean campaign to promote the country’s abundance of natural beauty as well as to boost awareness on the importance of preserving the environment.

HIGH QUALITY TEA
Sabah Tea is one of the few organic tea plantations in the world and Borneo’s only organic tea farm. Being a single-estate plantation, the tea is not blended with those of other plantations. Therefore, quality of the tea can be controlled to ensure consistency. Besides giving us a detailed explanation of tea cultivation, harvesting, processing, packaging, and brewing, Aubrey also showed us the ways to identify premium tea.

Speaking of premium tea, at Sabah Tea Garden, only choice tender leaves from the quality Camellia sinensis plants are selected and used. The entire process is expertly and meticulously controlled.  The plantation is certified for organic production and processing by SKAL International B.V of the Netherlands, an internationally recognised organisation that performs inspections and grants certification for organic production methods.

Our tea trip ended on a perfect note with a glass of chilled tea at the Sabah Tea House. We also had some tea pancakes which were served with honey. Made of crushed tea leaf juice mixed with flour and egg, it is reputedly a must-have for all visitors to Sabah Tea Garden.

With a full stomach, we bade Aubrey and his colleagues at Sabah Tea Garden farewell. We vowed to be back again to join one of the tour packages. I’ve already set my heart on the ‘Sabah Tea Escapade’ package that comes with a fish massage.
CONTACT:
Sabah Tea Sdn. Bhd. (Inquiries Reservation):
Address 1: Lot 83, Lorong Mega, Off Jalan Kilang, Sedco Industrial Estate, 88450 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Address 2: P.O.Box 14479, 88851 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, MALAYSIA.
Tel: (6088) 440882
Fax: (6088) 423448
Email: info@sabahtea.net
Website: www.sabahtea.net
Tea Garden: Km17, Jalan Ranau/Sandakan, Kg. Nalapak, 89309, Ranau, Sabah.
Tel: (6088) 879220
Fax: (6088) 879224

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A day-trip to Melaka

A day-trip to Melaka

Click! Click! Click! …

Standing excitedly in front of Porta De Santiago, Timothy Woo snapped away with his camera.

He and three of his friends, from the United States, went on a one-day trip to Melaka recently.

“We were asking around for a destination that we could go on a day-trip from Kuala Lumpur, and everyone suggested Melaka,” said Timothy Woo, of Boston, Massachusetts.

Steeped in tradition and cultures, Melaka is situated about an hour and a half-away from Kuala Lumpur. They were joined by a local guide, Siva, who described the history of Melaka.

Melaka was first discovered by Parameswara, a young Hindu Prince said to be from Palembang. He then established himself as the king in Temasek, now known as Singapore.

Melaka soon grew to become a port of trade between the East and West, and traders from India, Arab, China and other parts of the world brought in goods such as tea, cotton, silk, silver, porcelain, ivory, Persian carpets, brassware, perfumes, incense and opium. The Chinese Emperor also sent emissaries to Melaka to establish ties with the small, but important city.

Others would come to Melaka 60 years later, especially the Portuguese led by Alfonso de Albuquerque, arrived first, conquering Melaka in 1511. Then, in 1641 the Dutch wrested Melaka from the Portuguese, rebuilt the city and controlled the important waterways of the Straits of Melaka.

During their visit to Melaka, Timothy and his friends visited several places including:  The Dutch Square (St. Peter’s Church, St. Paul’s Hill (A’ Famosa), The Stadthuys), Jonker Walk, Kampung Hulu’s Mosque, Taman Mini Malaysia, and went on the Melaka River Cruise.

“Melaka is full of history. It’s amazing that everywhere you look; there is something of historical significance,” said Timothy.

“I really like Harmony Street where there were three different places of worship for three different religions side by side,” said Timothy, adding that this made Melaka, and especially Malaysia, unique. (Harmony Street also known as Jalan Tokong Besi, was given the name because of the location of the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, Kampong Kling Mosque and Sri Vinayagar Temple situated peacefully along the same street).

“I’ve been to Macau before so the European influence mixed with Asian architecture always amazes me and Melaka reminded me of that,” he said.

“I think this really personifies what is interesting about Malaysia, where so many different people or different cultures and religions can live side by side in harmony,” he added.

“Besides Melaka, I have only visited KL and the surrounding suburbs. I find the people here to be extremely warm and hospitable,” said Timothy.

“Malaysia is a beautiful country with the landscape mixture of mountains and water. Malaysians have really gone out of their way to ensure that my trip has been fun. I find Malaysian food to be very distinct,” he said.

“Coming from the US, I have never been to an authentic Malaysian restaurant so I had never tried the food before. After coming here though, I have to say that it is great. I find it distinct because I can tell it is an influence of many flavours such as Chinese and Indian,” he added.

Christine Chiou, from California, who also went along on the trip added that Melaka seems to be a sleepy little town, rich with history. Christine was especially intrigued by A’ Famosa.

“I liked A’ Famosa (the Portuguese fort) a lot.  It was unlike any other fort I’ve seen before… it was so small!  How were they able to defend Melaka with such a small fort?” she asked, amazed.

Porta in Portuguese refers to portal, which means gateway and true enough Porta De Santiago was indeed one of four main gateways into the Portuguese fortress of A’ Famosa. The leader of the Portuguese army that conquered Melaka in 1511, Alfonso de Albuquerque started the construction of A’ Famosa in 1512 from which they fended off attacks by the armies of the Sultan of Melaka and Acheh for well over a century.

Christine had a great time taking pictures of the fort, especially with its rich history. They also saw unique Dutch headstones as well as an old well, strewn with coins and bank notes from all over the world at the fort.

Stacy Shi, of Boston agrees that Melaka is a very pretty and historical town.

“The architecture which combines multiple cultural influences is beautiful, and the temples and mosques are very intriguing as well,” she said.

“The park we visited at first with different types of houses (Taman Mini Asean) from South-East Asia was a lot of fun.  I liked seeing the different types of homes and seeing what it is like inside,” she added.

Meanwhile, Kenneth Fung from California agreed that though Melaka was a hot and humid place, but was delighted with its rich history.

“It’s lucky that our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable.  There are definitely a lot of interesting and diverse places within the city as well,” he said.

He however suggested a few changes could be done to better the tourism infrastructure in Melaka.

“I wasn’t able to find any easy tips or guides on where to go for short day-trips such as Melaka from Kuala Lumpur.  This information could be compiled for tourists that are staying in Kuala Lumpur,” he said.

Their excursion brought them to Jonker Street, a Chinatown renowned for its antique shops, clothing and craft outlets.

“There were some articles online that I looked up and it seemed that a lot of people recommended various snacks such as pineapple tarts that Melaka is famous for,” he said, searching for the nyonya pineapple tarts at Jonker Street.

Their final tour of Melaka ended with a delightful cruise of the Melaka River, enabling them to see up close the multi-cultural aspects of the city. The cruise passed by several historical sights including Kampung Morten, the oldest Malay village in the city. There is even a glimpse of the Melaka tree, where Parameswara was said to have rested upon and was inspired to name the city, Melaka.

The boats are available daily at every thirty minute interval between the following times: 9.30am to 5pm and 6pm to 12 midnight. The cruise starts from the Quayside Heritage Centre up to Taman Rempah, Pangkalan Rama.

A must-see on the cruise is Kampung Morten, a living museum showcasing a village that’s been around for hundreds of years. There are private museums here where one can get a deeper understanding of the local Malay culture including their costumes and crafts like embroidery work.

After an exciting excursion to Melaka, tired but happy, Timothy, Christina, Stacy and Kenneth came back with unforgettable memories and will definitely visit Malaysia again.

Further information:

Tourism Malaysia Melaka, Lot 02, Ground Floor, Lembaga Tabung Haji Building, Jalan Banda Kaba, 75000, Melaka

Phone: +606-288 3304 / 1549 / 3785
Fax: +606-286 9804
Email: mtpb.melaka@tourism.gov.my

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Hello everyone!

It is such a refreshing experience, coming into 2011! New travel destinations, or undiscovered previously have always been on top of travel destinations throughout the world.

Maybe this year, we’ll discover more of Malaysia’s unique experiences and travel hideaways. Who knows?

If you have any travel suggestions, do drop us a line. We’ll try and write about the place, and share our experiences (the ups or downs).

Till then, have a wonderful year and hope you have many wonderful travel tales in Malaysia!

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Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve, Kuala Lumpur

Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve, Kuala Lumpur

Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve

A rich variety of flora can be found within the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve

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.

In fact, one of Malaysia’s most prominent landmarks, the Kuala Lumpur Tower (KL Tower), is built on top of one of the oldest forest reserves in Malaysia, the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve.

Gazetted in 1906, Bukit Nanas serves as a green lung of Kuala Lumpur and is home to an abundance of flora and fauna unique to the Malaysian tropical rainforest.

Bukit Nanas can be categorised as a heritage for two reasons. Firstly, it is the only remaining patch of tropical rainforest that still stands in the middle of the city.  Secondly, it is one of the oldest permanent forest reserves in the country (it celebrated its Centennial Anniversary in 2006).

The 10.5 hectare forest reserve was also gazetted as a Wildlife Reserve and Bird Sanctuary in 1934 and in 1950 respectively, with a section of about five hectares dedicated as a Virgin Jungle Reserve.

When paying a visit to KL Tower, visitors should include a trip to Bukit Nanas in their itinerary, as it lies just beside the entrance to the tower and requires no admission fee. It offers nature lovers a good opportunity to learn more about the ecology of the local forest. It is also perfect for shutterbugs and photography enthusiasts.

Nature guides are available to explain about the various types of flora and fauna in the jungle reserve. The daily guided tour runs at 11am, 12:30pm, 2:30pm and 4:30pm.

“This jungle helps to cleanse the air within its surrounding environment, and the visitors here are very supportive of preserving the natural ecology,” explained Anthony Paleng, one of the nature guides, whilst guiding a group of visitors to Bukit Nanas.

According to him, a rich variety of flora can be found within the forest reserve, which includes rare herbs, creepers, ferns, climbers and giant bamboo grasses. Huge tropical tree species also occupy the jungle namely meranti, keruing, chengal and pulai.

“All of the trees here have a unique way of surviving in the wild, a bio defense mechanism specific to each species,” he explained further.

Along the trail, there are traces of broken branches, indicating the presence of local monkeys. If you are lucky, you might see the two local species of monkeys that exist in the park, namely the Silvered Langur and the Long-tailed Macaque. Other varieties of fauna include squirrels, snakes and birds.

A camp site is available for nature lovers who wish to pitch a tent and enjoy the lush greenery of the jungle, free of charge.

People who love jogging can also enjoy running through the forest trail, and there is an outdoor obstacle course for those who want to do a little stretching and body lifting.

Visitors to the forest reserve need to take certain precautionary measures during their visit as there are some slopes that are quite steep along the forest trails. It is advisable for visitors to dress casually, ideally sports wear which includes running shoes, as there is a ladder section that could be tricky to navigate.

For more information, please contact:

Anthony Paleng (Nature Guide)                                   Mobile: 6012-207 1562
Department of Forestry Peninsular Malaysia               Tel: 603-2230 6342
Site Office                                                                   Fax: 603-2292 5667
Lot 240, Bukit Nanas                                                     Web: www.forestry.gov.my
Jalan Raja Chulan
50250 Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur Tower (KL Tower)

The Kuala Lumpur Tower project was completed in 1995, and is used for communication purposes. It features an antenna that reaches 421 m (1,381 ft), which currently makes it the 18th tallest freestanding tower in the world. There are various activities that can be enjoyed by visitors here, which include a scenic view of the city through the observation deck, shopping, visiting the mini zoo, and also enjoying a pony ride. The Kuala Lumpur Tower also organises large-scale events annually such as the KL Tower International Jump Malaysia. KL Tower and Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve are on the KL Hop-on Hop-off city tour route. The KL Hop-on Hop-off city tour covers approximately more than 40 attractions where passengers can hop-on or hop-off the tour bus at any of the 22 designated stops in KL. The bus runs on a 15- to 30-minute interval between 8.30 am until 8.30 pm. For ticket prices and information on the KL Hop-on Hop-off city tour, visit www.myhoponhopoff.com.

Fast Facts

Getting There: The forest reserve is located in front of Jalan Raja Chulan and not far from the Telekom Museum. By car, drive up the hill at KL Tower and pay for the entrance fee and car park; admission to the forest reserve is free. Alternatively, take the Kelana Jaya Line LRT and stop at the Dang Wangi Station, or take the KL monorail and disembark at the Bukit Nanas station. Those who use the Ampang Line LRT need to disembark at the Masjid Jamek LRT station.

Main attractions: The forest trail or “Jejak Rimba” activity on the tropical rainforest can be soothing, as a walk through the sanctuary can be a refreshing change to the fast pace of urban lifestyle.

Other attractions: A large field for camping, a bird watching area, a jogging trail, and a mini herbal park.

Entrance fee: Free of charge

Visiting hours: 7.00am to 6.00pm including weekends and public holidays.

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A Taste of Survivor Island

A Taste of Survivor Island

FROLICKING IN A MUDDY POOL AND SEARCHING FOR HIGHLY VENOMOUS SEA KRAITS ARE NOT EVERYONE’S CUP OF TEA. DARYL YEP DID THAT ON SURVIVOR ISLAND AND LIVED TO TELL THE TALE

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.

Upon touching down at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport, we were whisked away by a van for a two-hour ride to Kuala Penyu, followed by a twenty-minute speedboat ride.

Though it took place a decade ago, avid fans of Survivor would probably still remember how corporate trainer Richard Hatch outlasted fifteen of his fellow Americans to become a millionaire after being marooned on Pulau Tiga for 39 days. Being the site of the very first season of not only Survivor US but also the UK version had generated wide publicity for Pulau Tiga and Malaysia as millions of viewers tuned in weekly to find out who was being eliminated.

Our arrivals were greeted by a large signboard that read “Survivor Island”, naturally. Some of the props used during the filming of the reality show were also visible.

CLOSE ENCOUNTER WITH THE SLITHERY KIND
Our excursion to Snake Island was eagerly anticipated. Though not entirely without fear and anxiety. The infamous rocky volcanic outcrop, also known as Pulau Kalampunian Damit to the locals, is inhabited by hundreds of the Yellow-Lipped Sea Krait (Laticauda colubrina). The 20-minute speedboat ride to the island was probably too short a time for some of us who started to contemplate whether it was a good idea to set foot on the island at all.

To be apprehensive is understandable. Though I had posed almost cheek to cheek with a huge python for a shot, I reckoned that the highly venomous Yellow-Lipped wouldn’t be as docile. Twice as poisonous as the King Cobra, a single bite from this sea krait would be enough to send someone to eternal slumber in no time. To paint a clearer picture, once bitten, one wouldn’t even be able to make it back to Pulau Tiga alive.

It wasn’t a surprise then that once we set foot on its shore, I was totally vigilant. Like a hawk, I observed every boulder, tree root and tree trunk, making sure nothing lurked beneath the rocks. Too engrossed in watching every step I took, I didn’t realise that our guide Nell and the rest had already gone far ahead of me searching for a specimen.

So, if Snake Island sounds dangerous, why are visitors still flocking to this place, you might ask?

Honestly, the snakes are actually quite harmless as they are rather inactive and lethargic during the day due to the heat. They will not attack humans unless stepped on or mishandled. They prefer to coil up among the rocks, tree roots and crevices in tree trunks and will only hunt for food in the sea at night.

Unlike true sea snakes that spend their entire life in the sea, the Yellow-Lipped come ashore to rest, digest their food, slough their skins, mate and lay eggs. They are hunted by the white-bellied sea eagles that circle low over the island. Hence, they head for the sea when it’s high tide to minimise the risk of being caught by the eagles.

A few minutes later, Nell found a pearly-blue snake with black bands resting among some rocks oblivious of curious intruders. Swiftly but gently he held the snakes for us to take a few close-up shots.  Needless to say, as soon as we got what we headed there for, we made a dash to our boat knowing very well that it isn’t a place for sightseeing.

On the way to Snake Island and on our way back, our boat passed by another island namely Pulau Kalampunian Besar or Sand Spit. It has been reduced to a strip of sand bar as a result of wave erosion. Some land and sea-based challenges during Survivor were held there.

HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Both Pulau Kalampunian Besar and Pulau Kalampunian Damit, together with the main island, Pulau Tiga (meaning “Island of Three”) form the Pulau Tiga National Park. They were designated as forest reserve back in 1933 and finally gazetted as a park in 1978. It was only in 1998 that the Sipadan Dive Center signed an agreement with the park to develop the Pulau Tiga Resort which was completed in 2000.

If Pulau Kalampunian Besar and the creepy Pulau Kalampunian Damit are nothing to shout about, the same cannot be said about Pulau Tiga. It was apparently formed sometime on 21 September 1897 when a huge earthquake at Mindanao Island in the Philippines triggered a volcanic eruption at the northern part of Borneo. An island measuring 66 feet wide was formed as a result. The subsequent eruptions of the same volcano over the next 40 years and the eruptions of two adjacent mud volcanoes that expanded and coalesced formed the present Pulau Tiga.

The last eruption took place more than 60 years ago. Nevertheless, warm mud still oozes from these geothermal vents of the island. Pulau Tiga is currently about 4.5km long, 1.5km wide and covers an area of 20.7 sq km. Except for the resort and the Park Headquarters that occupy a small part of the island, majority of Pulau Tiga is still untouched vegetation.

A NATURAL SPA TREATMENT
Although nature and recreational attractions are aplenty on the island, no trip to Pulau Tiga is complete without a dip in the mud volcanoes, not the eruptive kind but merely bubbling mud pool. The mud bath is said to have therapeutic effect, capable of curing rashes, for example.

The prospect of getting a free natural spa treatment got all of us excited. We had to hike up the 1,100-metre scenic Pagong-Pagong Trail that leads to the Mud Volcano. The downpour last night made the trail extra slippery. After hiking for about half an hour, we were greeted by basically a large pool of mud.

The muddy pond looked rather diluted, probably due to the rain. Not everyone would find the idea of coating themselves with natural mud appealing unless it’s done in a spa. Some people are hesitant about jumping into the muddy pond. Perhaps, they are afraid that they might get sucked in, quicksand-style.

To prove that it’s totally safe, Nell immediately stripped to his boxers and splashed into the pond, encouraging us to follow suit. Those who were convinced joined him to test the therapeutic effects of the mud, while others were satisfied to just observe from a nearby hut, built for visitors to leave their clothes and belongings. The surprisingly cool mud was pleasant to soak in. Bubbles of thermal gas that rose to the surface every few minutes made ‘gloop’ sounds.

As the mud in the pond was quite watery, any attempt to splatter it all over our body for a more realistic group photo was futile. All hope was not lost when Nell informed us that there is another small mud volcano with thicker mud which is specifically meant for “touching-up”. If you want the mud to work its magic, don’t wash it off before it is completely dry. Just lie on the sandy beach for a while before taking a dip in the sea to cleanse yourself.

WHAT ELSE TO DO?
Besides having props from Survivor scattered here and there on the island, names of the tribes were also being used. Hence, the beach on the northeast side of the island is called Pagong while the one on the southeast side is Tagi. Also, check out the Tribal Council.

Those who go jungle trekking at the various trails can see monitor lizards, macaque and proboscis monkeys, hornbills, sea eagles, and other flora and fauna. If you’re lucky, you will find the Megapodes (Megapodius Freycinet), a ground dwelling bird that looks like a chicken but can meow like a cat!

Pulau Tiga also offers a number of dive sites including West End, Tiga’s Trail, Dunlop Corner, Coleman Shoal, Midreef, Asmarqa Point, Larai Point, and House Reef. Non-divers can enjoy snorkelling at a designated area near the resort, or try kayaking and fishing.

Bidding farewell wasn’t easy. As I reminisced on my adventure at these islands, my mind was filled with colourful images and vivid exotic memories of my stay there.

SABAH – BACKGROUND:
Often called the ‘Land Below the Wind’ as it lies below the typhoon belt, Sabah occupies the eastern part of North Borneo and is East Malaysia’s second largest state with an area of 74,500sq. km. Sabah has the South China Sea on the west and the Sulu and Celebes seas on the east and a coastline of some 1,440km. Sabah is mountainous with lush tropical rainforests and its population of nearly two million is made up of more than 30 ethnic communities, speaking over 80 local dialects.
FOR RESERVATION / INQUIRY, KINDLY CONTACT:
SIPADAN DIVE CENTRE SDN BHD
Lot No. A1103, 11th Floor, Wisma Merdeka (Mail Box No. A236),
Jalan Tun Razak, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
Tel: +6 088-240 584
Fax: +6 088-240 415
Email     : rsvn@pulautiga.com.my
sdc@sipadandivers.com
Website : http://pulau-tiga.com
http://www.sdclodges.com
USEFUL CONTACTS:
1) Tourism Malaysia Sabah Office
Lot 1-0-7, Tingkat Bawah, Blok 1 Lorong Api-Api 1,
Api-Api Centre 88000, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Tel: +6 088-248 698 / 211 732 / 447075
Fax: +6 088-241 764
Email: mtpbbki@tourism.gov.my

2) Sabah Tourism Board
51 Gaya Street, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.
Tel: +6 088-212121
Fax: +6 088-212075, 219311, 222666
Email: info@sabahtourism.com
Website: http://www.sabahtourism.com/

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