Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Sabah in Borneo

Where is Borneo and Where is Sabah?

Borneo is the third largest island in the world. It is owned Malaysia and Indonesia. Divided into three main parts  Sabah, Sarawak and Kalimantan. In this article we will focus on North Borneo, Sabah.

Sabah Borneo Malaysia
Located at the northern tip of Borneo, Sabah is the second largest state in Malaysia. Some 80% of its area is covered with virgin tropical jungle, and is home to some of the world rarest species of orchids and plants, such as the world’s largest flower Rafflesia, one of the world’s smallest orchid, podochilus and the world’s largest orchid, tiger orchid.  

Also known as “land below the wind”. Sabah has over 2,300 kilometers of coastline bounded by the South China Sea, Sulu sea and celebes sea.
The land rises from the low coastal hill and leads to highest mountain in Southeast Asia, Mount Kinabalu  (4101m).

Sabah is a truly plural society with more than 40 ethnics group living harmoniously together. Among the indigenous tribes are Kadazans, Bajaus, Rungus, Bisayas and Bruneis.
On the north eastern coast  of Sabah is Sandakan, the former capital. It remains a busy port with attraction such as the Sandakan Orchid House, Forestry Exhibition Centre and Goamantong Caves. These caves are known for its bird’s nest, a local delicacy.

The Orangutan Sanctuary at Sepilok is the only one of its kind in the world. Establish in 1964, this centre which  covers over 4,500 hectares offers tourist a class of view of the habitat of the orangutan. You may be lucky to catch a glimpse of these shy “wild men of Borneo”. It is located in a virgin jungle. A raised platform that has been specially built allows tourist to watch the habit of these magnificent creatures. The interesting eating behavior of the orangutan has generated a lot of interest among tourists and photographer. It has become the key attraction of the Sepilok  Centre. The feeding times are at 10am and 3pm everyday. Different species of wild mammals and more than 200 species  birds are also found here. if  you would like to stay overnight to observe these creatures  further, reasonably priced accommodation is available outside the sanctuary.

Poring Hot Spring is located in the district of Ranau 40 kilometers from Kinabalu Park. It was developed by Japanese during world war 11 which is situated in lowland rainforest. The springs are acknowledged for their curative properties and the waters contain sulphuric minerals are apparent to relieve pain muscles. The baths are favored by the climbers after climb Mount Kinabalu.

Poring Hot Spring resort also provides several facilities such as :

1.       Poring Orchid Conservation Centre
2.       Kipungit Waterfall
3.       Butterfly farm
4.       Poring Canopy Walkway
5.       Tropical Garden

Lahad Datu, 175 kilometers south of Sandakan, is gateway to the Danum Valley Conversation Area, an area where the Asian Rhinoceros still roam.

The jewel in crown of Sabah’s dive sites is Sipadan Island 30 kilometers south of Semporna in the Celebes sea. Sipadan is actually the crown of volcanic spire formed millions of years ago, and has been described by Jacques Cousteau as “An untouched piece of art ”.

If you are diver, never forget these underwater caves, Barracuda Point, turtle cavern, and Whitetip Avenue where is located at Sipadan island are fulfilled with wonderful exotic fishes and corals. There is habitat for flashlight fish, soldier fish and beautiful corals.

Underwater caves such as  Turtle Cavern, Whitetip Avenue and Barracuda point – all replete with magnificent  corals and exotic fishes – are famous among international divers.
Turtle Island approximately 40 kilometers north of Sandakan, these island are located on the straits of Sulu. The three main islands, Selingan Island, Gulisan Island, and Bakungan Island are well known for Hawksbill and green turtles. These turtle make nightly landing on these island to lay their eggs. Provide tourists with unforgettable and awesome experience. In 1997, these island were designated by the Malaysian government as reserved park to protect the eggs and prevent turtles from extinction.

Pulau Mabul
Pulau  Mabul is a small, oval shaped island surrounded by sandy beaches  perched on the northwest corner of a larger 200 hectares reef. It is about 30 minutes away from Semporna. It is home to diversity of macro animals which inhabit its coral rubble and sea grass sites. If you like to dive, you must not miss Eel garden and Ray Point.

Danum Valley Conservation Area
This wild life is situated 83 kilometers southwest of Lahad Datu. It provides facilities for research and education in one of Borneo’s last strongholds of undisturbed low land forest.
Nature lovers flock here to enjoy its scenic, floral and faunal splendors. Here one can find Sumatran Rhinoceros and mouse deer (kancil). Bird lovers will have a field day searching and looking for the 270 species of birds that have been recorded here.

Kinabatangan River
The Kinabatangan river, the longest and widest in Sabah, runs about 330 mile from the mid of Borneo island toward the east. Cutting through rich tropical jungles, it ends the strait of sulu. As one travels down river one will be mesmerized by the myriad types of animal that are found in the forests. They include the proboscis monkeys, orangutans, the endangered Sumatran Rhinoceros clouded leopards,pygmy elephant (unique species) and many species of hornbill.  The long nosed proboscis monkeys its big bellies and thick white tails are the centre of attractive.

    Mount Kinabalu