Snorkeling in Kota Kinabalu

Almost anybody can enjoy snorkeling in Kota Kinabalu, doesn’t matter of age, skill or physical fitness.

Snorkeling is fun and easy way to see the underwater world, but learning a number of skills will make your snorkeling experience much easier and more enjoyable.

It’s OK if you’re a beginner, intermediate, or expert. There will be life vests available.

Islands to visit around Kota Kinabalu are Palau Manukan, Palau Mamutik, Palau Sapi, Palau Gaya and Palau Sulug. All reachable by speedboat. You can even island hop to 2-3 islands in one day.

These islands are rich of vibrant corals and tropical fish.

All of the islands also have buffet lunch stalls, or go the old-fashioned way and do a picnic.

Wild parts of Borneo

The third largest island on earth has the equator running right through it making its post glacial state a hot bed for plant and animal diversity. This means more opportunity to see interesting life! The modern Malaysian state of Sabah, on the north coast of the island, offers all of the creature comforts for its guests and treasure trove of enchanted forests and incredible wildlife.

A few days on the Kinabatangan River might get you 5 or 8 species of monkeys or apes including the orangutan (in Malay “orang” means human and “utan” means forest!).

Diving in Sipidan will leave you breathless as its untouched beauty can only be seen by 100 people/ day as a law.

Falling out of the boat and into those waters was one of the most incredible experiences of my life with black tipped sharks, barracuda, and beach ball sized clams all within eye shot.

Danum valley, recognized as one of the world’s most complex ecosystem, this forest serves as a natural home for endangered wildlife species such as the Sumatran rhino, banteng, Asian elephant, clouded leopard, orang utan, proboscis monkey, as well as a vast range of Sabah’s lowland fauna.



Where is Sabah?

No worries, below is a brief introduction of what Sabah is all about.

Sabah is a state in Malaysia which is situated in the northern region of the Borneo Island. Towards the south-west of Sabah lies the Sarawak state of Malaysia and Brunei, while towards its south is the province of East Kalimantan of Indonesia.

Kota Kinabalu is the capital of Sabah. In Sabah, the western region is mountainous, the eastern and central regions have plains and lower mountain ranges.

The population of this place was 3.387 million in 2007. Throughout the year, the climate is usually humid and the temperatures range from 25 degrees Celsius to the low thirties. The wet season is from November to April and there is 120 inches of annual rainfall. There are 30 different ethnic races in Sabah and these have more than 80 local dialects.

The major indigenous groups are Murut, Bajau and Kadazan and also considerable populations of Indians, Malays and Chinese.

Competitive Cyclists aim for more exposure

Sarawak cycling coach Dzulkaflee Hassan revealed to The Borneo Post that he’s pursuing to unearth 30 cyclists with the potential to participate in the state cycling team.

“We need to start now so that we can get the new riders for competitive exposures. The more riders we unearth and discover, the better,” he said.

Dzulkaflee mentioned that he wants to prepare his cylists for the 2014 Sukma in Perlis and the Sukma 2016, hosted in Sarawak. Sukma is so important to him that he also wants his cyclists to make it their goal as well.

“For the talent scouting, first of all we will start in Sematan (SMK Sematan). We will then move on to other divisions such as Miri, Bintulu, Sibu, Sarikei and Sri Aman,” he added.

In another development, the current state cycling team will fly to Bandung, Indonesia for mountain bike practice sessions, and to improve their training. They are scheduled to train there in March next year.

“We specifically choose Bandung as our training location as many cycling champions go there to train. They can do it if they do their best.”

“Bandung is also famous for being a place that produces many good cycling talents,” he said.

Apart from preparation for Sukma, the Sarawak Cycling Association (PBS) will also conduct a coaching course here next month. The aim of the course is to produce more cycling coaches in the country.

In turn, those who attend the course will be certified as coaches approved by the Malaysia
Cycling Association (PBM).

What’s Borneo like?

Borneo, located in Southeast Asia, it’s the world’s third largest island, with a land area of 743,330 sq km (287,000 sq mi). Borneo is divided up between three countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei, with Indonesia administering the largest portion. Borneo is completely covered with jungle, like much of Southeast Asia. The rainforest of Borneo is acknowledged to be among the world’s most distinct and species-rich, topped in biodiversity. This has made Borneo a very popular destination for eco-tourism.

The population of Borneo is 18,590,000 as of 2009, making for a relatively low population density of 57/sq mi, or 22/sq km. The largest city on Borneo is Kuching, Malaysia, with a population of about 681,901. There are about ten other major cities on the island, ranging in population from 300,000 to 700,000. Of particular historical interest is the small country of Brunei, the remnant of a sultanate that controlled almost all shipping in the area between the 14th and 16th centuries, during the Islamic seafaring. Today, the Sultan of Brunei, who holds absolute power, is the world’s fourth richest monarch, behind only the monarchies of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Thailand. His palace, with 1,788 rooms, 257 bathrooms, and a floor area of 2,152,782 square feet (200,000 sq m), is the world’s largest by a huge margin.

Borneo is a diverse island. There are more than 40 ethnic groups on Borneo, speaking 65 languages or dialects. Malay being the majority, there are many Chinese communities, and 30 Dayak sub-ethnic groups. The island is predominately Muslim, as the next majority would be Christians in Sabah and Sarawak.

Ultimately, the highlight of Borneo is its nature, not its (mostly small) cities. Borneo has 15,000 species of flowering plants with 3,000 species of trees, 221 species of terrestrial mammals, and 420 species of birds, many of which are endemic. Borneo is west of the Wallace Line, meaning its flora and fauna are derived from Asia rather than Australia. The Bornean Orangutan makes its home here, the 45,000 individuals making up the world’s largest orangutan population. Other unique or endangered species found here include the Pygmy Elephant, Clouded Leopard, Sumatran Rhinoceros, Sun Bears, and the Dayak Fruit Bat. The Sumatran Rhinoceros is among the world’s most endangered animals, with only a few hundred living individuals.

The island of Borneo is the location of many beautiful cloud forests, often nestled in the mountains of the island, where moisture is so thick that moss grows on practically everything. Some of the best known cloud forests are found around Mt. Kinabalu, located at the northern tip of the island. In the Malaysian state, Sabah. Mt. Kinabalu’s altitude of 4,095 meters (13,435 ft) makes it the tallest mountain on Borneo, also making Borneo the world’s third tallest island, behind Hawaii and New Guinea. In Sarawak (also located in Malaysia) has the former largest cave in the world, Gunung Mulu, however the 1st largest cave opening in the world.