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Rejuvenating Kiulu nature trekking

KIULU: THE Kiulu district has come up with what is believed to be the first dedicated trekking trails spanning 45km from Tamparuli, here, to the hilly Pekan Nabalu.

It offers the “Riverside Lung Washing Trekking Trails”, which live up to its reputation as a destination for adventure enthusiasts.

The term “lung washing” has a scientific explanation associated with the act of taking a break in nature.

Such an experience, away from city life distractions, is said to boost the immune system and help rejuvenate the body.

Kiulu assemblyman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai, who is the Sabah Tourism Board (STB) chairman, launched the trails at Kampung Lubok, here, recently.

He said the trails passed through several villages.

Trekkers were recommended to spend three to four days there. They could start their journey from either Pekan Nabalu or the Tamparuli town, which is about an hour’s drive from Kota Ki-
nabalu. Guides will be assigned to help them and they can spend their nights in community-managed base camps or village homestays.

The routes were categorised from “easy” to “challenging” and trekkers could follow well-marked trails over undulating, small uphill sections.

“Trekkers would be able to explore the Borneo lowland forest, learn basic jungle survival skills from the natives, identify wild indigenous medicinal plants as well as edible plants, and they can experience the culture and hospitality of the local people and see unique species of flora and fauna in the Kiulu forest.

“Kiulu offers you an experience of a lifetime by taking you through one of the loveliest and untouched parts of Sabah,” said Joniston.

Kiulu Tourism Association (KTA) president Dr Edmon Guntis added that trekkers could also expect to cross numerous suspension bridges, rivers and tri-butaries.

“You can have local expert guides who can share their knowledge of the jungle, and at the same time, show you how to use the natural resources from the forest to your advantage
in order to survive,” said Dr Edmon.

The Tourism and Culture Ministry (Motac) Sabah office director Awang Ahmad Zaki Abu Bakar said the move to introduce the trekking trails was timely as the Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz had described Kiulu as a model for rural tourism development in Ma-laysia.

A few years ago, Nazri visited Kiulu’s tourist attractions and had a first-hand experience of white-water rafting along the Kiulu river, as well as trying out Sabah’s longest zip line at Kampung Rangalau Lama.

Ahmad Zaki said locals would also benefit from this by giving the services required by trek-kers.

“Besides offering services as guides, villagers along the trekking trails could also offer homestay services or open up stalls offering authenic local delicacies and handicrafts, among others,” he said.

 

Source: New Straits Times

Sabah provides better diving experience – deputy minister

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah provides better diving experience as compared to Peninsular Malaysia, said Deputy Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Wira Mas Ermieyati Samsudin.

“This is my experience as a diver,” she said, adding that the diving industry in the country was getting bigger and was developing well.

She related that the longest underwater human chain in Southeast Asia occurred at Pulau Bidong in West Malaysia just last month. The chain of 200 meters was created by 190 scuba divers at a depth of 14 meters and succeeded in creating a new record in the Malaysia Book of Records (MBOR) 2017.

She cited that perhaps, the next record could be made in either Sipadan or Mabul, both located in the east coast of Sabah.

Mas Ermieyati, who was at the National Transformation 2050 (TN50) programme for Sabah’s tourism sector held at the State Cultural Centre near here, hoped she would still be able to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Sabah by 2050 and she would still have the same feeling of enjoyment when she dives at Mabul in the future.

“That is why it is very important for the people of Sabah to say what they want in order to get a better Sabah in 2050 … this is the time for them to share,” she said of the TN50 sharing session.

She also said that Sabah has a huge tourism potential and the country hopes to be among the top 10th destination for tourist arrivals.

“This all requires the input and aspirations from all the people of Sabah so that the government can take into account cultural sustainability and the local tourism,” she said.

She noted that Sabah, with her rich mix in cultural background, ethnicity and attractive places, must share its experience so that its hopes and aspirations could help in the 2050 tourism policy which will be implemented soon.

The deputy minister also said that the views and ideas shared with her ministry via its TN50 programme were crucial for formulating and drafting the nation’s tourism and cultural policy by 2050.

She said the views from the people including the Sabahans would ensure that whatever the government decided to implement next would take into account aspects such as the country’s cultural sustainability, heritage and ecotourism.

“All the opinions and aspirations shared through this programme will be collected and submitted to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak,” she said.

Mas Ermieyati said the TN50 programme themed Fine Culture, Sustainable Tourism, aimed at making the country’s tourism and cultural sectors as major contributors to the socio-economy apart from empowering arts, culture and heritage.

“This Motac TN50 dialogue is the second event organised by the ministry, following the first one that was held in Kuala Lumpur on Oct 17. There were three aspects discussed throughout the programme, namely culture, tourism and human development,” she said.

Source : Borneo Post

Video of adventurer and proboscis monkey hits five million views

KOTA KINABALU: The video of Irish adventurer, animal whisperer and king of animal selfie, Allan Dixon with a proboscis monkey taken in Sabah has reached five million views on @9GAG.

Dubbed as the real-life Dr Dolittle, Dixon has the ability to ‘talk’ to animals to get realistic selfies with wildlife for online content.

For six months in 2014, Dixon worked in Australia for the Best Job in the World Competition held by Tourism Australia and pursued photography and making videos with animals. Dixon, who is originally from Wicklow, Ireland has since traveled to Canada, Iceland, Norway, Australia, across Asia and visited Sabah recently.

Sabah Tourism hosted Dixon to Sandakan as well as a visit to see proboscis monkey. The now famous video selfie with the ‘big nose of Borneo’ garnered five million views on 9GAG Instagram account within three days.

When met during a high tea with Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun, Dixon said he planNED to produce a video on his visit to Sabah.

Source : Borneo Post

‘Proposed temple in K Penyu to attract tourists’

Kuala Penyu: The proposed construction of the Wong Tai Sin Temple here is to attract foreign tourists to Sabah, said Kuala Penyu Assemblyman Datuk Limus Jury.

He clarified that the proposed construction of a third temple outside of Hong Kong after Macau and Vancouver was not for other purpose as spread in social media.

“My recent statement on the proposed construction of the Wong Tai Sin Temple posed a bit of confusion in certain quarters and a handful of people.

“The proposed project is to attract foreign tourists from all over the world to Sabah, especially Kuala Penyu, as the public know that such temple has a significant impact on Buddhism.

“On the contrary, we need to be grateful that Kuala Penyu is lucky to be selected as the third location of Tong Wong Tai Sin in the world, apart from the one in Hong Kong as its centre or main base.

“In fact, I have informed Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman and Minister of Special Tasks Datuk Teo Chee Kang at a briefing and site visit by delegations from Hong Kong,” he said.

According to him, the effort to bring the project to the district is to make it one of the major tourist destinations in the State.

“We bring this project as a way and opportunity to transform the development landscape of this district into a tourist destination.

“This is because it not only generates income in terms of tourism but also will change the district’s sleeping town status for a long time due to the absence of prominent economic activities,” he said.

When the project is implemented, the youths will get a portion of economic pie and they do not need to go to cities to find jobs, said Limus.

More importantly, he said, the proceeds from the construction of the temple would be channelled back to the welfare of the needy community regardless of race and religion.

He noted that in Hong Kong, the temple has brought many benefits to the community as it has 17 schools and seven hospitals built from the collections of more than 300 million Hong Kong dollar a year.

Limus said the matter had been thoroughly refined and studied before deciding to proceed.

Hence, he requested the State Government to provide funds or grant to realise the construction of the project.

He was speaking at the opening ceremony of the 17th Menumbok Fishermen Festival and CTC Mobile programme (Mobile Community Transformation Centre) at Mempakul Beach, near here.

Sources : Daily Express