Top 5 most sought-after Sabah traditional handicraft

Have you heard about Handicraft Market or better known as “Pasar Kraftangan” in Sabah? They sell a variety of things made from natural resources such as wood and leaves. Tourists buy them as souvenir.

Let’s countdown the top five most sought-after Sabah traditional handicraft.

5. Bamboo Gift Box

The bamboo gift box can hold items such as cake, chocolate and candy, and usually given away to guests at weddings. It felt more traditional to give a gift box made of bamboo, instead of the modern gift box made of paper, thus why this gift box is much in demand.

4. Sompotan with tune

This is a mouth organ instrument made by the Kadazan Dusun people. it is made with dried gourd (Korubu) wind chamber attached to eight bamboo pipes using beeswax (Sopinit) and bound with rattan. You can play a nice tune with it, or you can just hang it on the wall as decoration.

3. Carving Lepa

Simply stunning carving of a ship “lepa” made from lightweight tambo wood. It is intricately carved with plant motifs such as the Kembang Tuli, Dahan and Kellong. This hand carved item is made by the the Bajau Semporna people.

2. Rinago Tray

This tray food can be used to carry food to guests in the house. It is made by the Rungus people. Eco-friendly, beautifully crafted with ribu-ribu fern and woven with rattan, it will surely give a great impression to the guest. 

1. Rinago Gasing

Let’s be honest, who do not a spinning top for themselves. Regardless if you are a man or a woman, you must have played with spinning top at least once. The traditional spinning top is played with ropes wrap around it, and release to the ground to see which top spin the longest. It is made from the ribu-ribu fern which grow in the wild in Kudat and is woven with rattan wicker fibre or rotan pulur to produce rinago craft. The Rungus people produce this excellent craft.

Written on 31 Dec 2019. By Nana


Sabah Mackarel Crackers or “Amplang (Keropok Ikan Tenggiri Tawau)” is one of the most delicious snacks in Malaysia

I finally get my hands on Amplang yesterday.

I was spending the weekends with my sister who resides in Penang, so by Sunday I was driving back towards Kuala Lumpur, when i decided to stop by the rest stop area of Sungai Perak.

My original intention was to buy some Grandfather Mango or “Manga Datuk” which only sells in Sungai Perak, because the mango farm was in Perak.

Then i was feeling tired and sleepy so i went into a shop to buy coffee, and to my surprise they sell amplang there!

I buy it immediately! I didn’t take a picture there because i was tired and sleepy at that time. So, I brought it to the office the next day, and took a picture of it wearing a Santa Hat!

So let me describe the taste. As I open the packaging, the smell of fish crackers comes out. I took one cracker and ate it. The taste of fish is very strong and tasty. It is very delicious, and crispy.

It says here in the packaging that the ingredients include spanish mackarel, sago flour, salt, palm oil and permitted flavouring.

So if you ever wanted to buy amplang in Semenanjung Malaysia, just drop by Sungai Perak rest stop area, and you will get to buy this delicious snack!


New Year 2020 Giveaway!

Hello students, staffs and friends.

New Year 2020! A New Year & A New Aspiration!

Let’s create a new community where we can gather, comment, like and grow our aspirations to be future leaders, starting with Smart Borneo, a news portal and online shop community!

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Join our New Year 2020 Giveaway Contest! It is so easy. Follow it, like it, and hashtag it, and find more people to do the same. For your diploma/ faculty to win, find 20 people or more to follow and hashtag your diploma/ faculty.


Announcing our Monday to Friday articles (Part 2)

Starting from next week, we will publish articles from Monday to Friday, every week!

We have revealed our Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday planner. Now let’s reveal the planner we have for Thursdays and Fridays!

Introducing, Borneo Cultural Thursday, where we will post articles on culture in Borneo, every Thursday!

At the end of the weekdays, we will post Borneo Nature Friday, where we will post articles on nature in Borneo, every Friday!

So that wraps out our announcement. Get ready for an exciting Monday to Friday starting from next week!


Announcing our Monday to Friday articles (Part 1)

Starting from next week, we will publish articles from Monday to Friday, every week!

Introducing, Borneo Food Monday, where we will post articles on food in Borneo, every Monday!

On the following day, it will be Borneo Product Tuesday, where we will post articles on products of Borneo, every Tuesday!

In the middle of the weekdays, it would be Borneo Travel Wednesday, where we will post articles on travels in Borneo, every Wednesday!

Check out tomorrow to see what we have planned for Thursday and Friday!


Sabah’s Annual Christmas Carnival

Every year, the churches in Sabah under the Sabah Council of Churches take turns to organise the Christmas Carnival event at the Padang Merdeka in Kota Kinabalu, with the collaboration of the Kota Kinabalu City Hall.

This four days carnival was held on the 11th to 14th December of every year.

Performances such as Christmas Carols can be heard resonating from Padang Merdeka as gospel singers, local artiste and volunteers sang their hearts out to the tunes of Christmas jingles.

The event which kicked off on Wednesday attracted thousands of people of various races and religions.

When we talk about carnivals, we would think about delicious foods to enjoy while walking with family and friends.

You guess it right! Various food stalls can be seen here. Visitors can enjoy the delicacies of Sabah, as well as taking pictures with Santa Claus and his helpers.

When we think about Christmas, we would think of a grand Christmas Tree decorated with lights, and this is one of the highlights of this Christmas Carnival.

Now that we know Sabah held this Christmas Carnival annually, would you want to join the outdoor festivities next year?


Guide of five things Sabahan can do during 2-days Christmas holidays

It's a season to be jolly indeed, as the Sabah Chief Minister Mohd Shafie Apdal announced a two-days public holiday for Christmas. The additional public holiday on the 24th December will be practiced annually for the state of Sabah, starting this year.

This will mark Christmas as another two-days holiday, alongside Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Chinese New Year and Hari Keamatan (Harvest Festival).

In Sabah, Christianity is the second largest religion which accounts for 26.6% of Sabahan, after Islam being the largest religion for 65.4% of Sabahan.

Until the late 1970s, Sabah would enjoy holiday break starting from half day of 24th December, a full day holiday on the 25th December and a half day on the 26th December of Boxing Day. These extended holidays were later cancelled, leaving only 1 day holiday on the 25th December.

So many things one can do in the two-days holidays. Smart Borneo has prepared a list five things to do in two-days of Christmas.

1. Visit your family and relatives

What better way to spent the holidays then to celebrate it with your family and relatives. Tighten that bond. Blood is thicker than water, as some may say it. Now is the time to see that cute little niece and nephews of yours. Have a big family dinner in the same table, or in the same room if you have several other tables, and simply enjoy each others company.

2. Holiday in the resort

Well it's the holiday, might as well use that Christmas Borneo time relaxing at the resort. It's the time of the year to de-stress yourself from your busy lifestyle. Experience the luxuries a resort can offer you like ambiance the hotel lobby offers with its Christmas decorations, the hotel's open swimming pool or your room's personal swimming pool if that's what you are looking for and eating the hotel's restaurant exquisite food prepared by one of the best chefs in Malaysia. Sounds good? Makes me want to sign up for it too!

3. Go to the highlands in Kundasang

Two-days is definitely enough time to have a little trip up the mountains of Kundasang. Imagine sitting on the porch of your chalet while feeling the cool breeze sweeping across your face. From your chalet you can see beautiful scenery of the Mount Kinabalu. If you are a little adventurous, you can walk along the canopy walk at the Poring Hot Spring or go to the Mount Kinabalu National Park. For a more family oriented activity, you could visit the Desa Cattle Dairy Farm where you can see the cows, eat waffles and fresh milk at the cafes there and take a family picture there.

4. Go to the island, namely the Taman Abdul Rahman Park Island

The Taman Abdul Rahman Park Island is considered to have one of the most advanced facilities in Sabah, comprising of 20 units of chalets, a club house, restaurants and diving facilities. The island encompasses five smaller island including Pulau Manukan, Pulau Sapi, Pulau Gaya, Pulau Mamutik and Pulau Sulug. These islands have strange animals and plants living in it, the most curious being the the Tambun bird, or better known as the Megapode which look like a chicken with long legs and makes the sound of a cat. Other than island hopping, you can also enjoy other activities such as diving to see the corals, riding the banana boat, parasailing, or just simply relaxing under the umbrella and see the waters crashing against the beach, feeling the sea breeze on your face.

5. Enjoy the city example visit Filipino Market in Sabah to buy pearls

It seems like a very generic idea to just be enjoying the city, but the city can be a fun place when you are not working. During workdays, as you drive through shopping district, you do not think much of it as just another shop on route to your working place. However, in long two-days holiday, you will experience the metropolitan city for what its offering you; the city people, the city market life and the little treasures you may find as you walk the city away. These lustrous round pearls can be found in the Filipino Market in Sabah, made into bracelets, necklace and even pins used for Muslim headscarves. You can also head to the Handicraft Market at Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens to buy Sabah Batik, beaded accessories and rattan containers.

All of these fun activities can be enjoyed during your two-days Christmas holidays in Sabah. Whether you plan for a get together with your family, a laid back getaway or an adventurous holiday with nature, or finding those little treasure in the city, all of it are worth it as it is an activity you can call your own outside your work days. So Sabahan, get your planners ready and get yourself the best two-days Christmas activities of 2019!


How Pearls formed

Natural pearls are quite rare and hard to find as most natural pearls from the sea have already been harvested. Therfore, cultured pearls are the ones mostly be considered in this trade. These beautiful cultured pearls come in a wide variety, such as South Sea Pearls, Saltwater Pearls, Freshwater Pearls and Tahitian Pearls.

Each types of pearls comes in many ranges of colours, sizes, lusters and shapes. Most commonly, Pearls are found in the colour of white, cream or gray. However, there are a variety of different colours as well including purple, black, pink, green, champagne, chocolate, blue and lavender. It is truly worth it to go on this journey of discovery of pearls.


Four things to look out for when buying pearls

You are in Sabah, and you saw some beautiful pearls. You want to buy some. However, you thought to yourself “Hold on. How do I go about buying these? Are there a certain criteria to a pearl that you can possibly look out for to make sure you get the best pearl out there?”

Well, you are in luck! Here are the four ways to evaluate pearls.

The first criteria is to see the level of luster. Look at how shiny the pearls are. Does it reflect the light? A pearl that is more shiny is an indication of a higher quality pearl.

The second thing to look out for is the quality of the surface of the pearl. The lesser the imperfections or blemishes, the better. The closer it is to a near clear perfection of the pearl’s complexion, the more valuable the pearl become.

The third aspect is the pearl’s shape. Most often, a near perfect round shape pearl would worth more than an oval pearl. Although, different people prefers a variety of different shaped pearls.

Last but not least, the fourth thing to take note on, is the size of the pearl. The bigger the pearls are, the higher the value of the pearls.

So, we hope you have learn all you need to know about pearls!


Introduction to Pearls

Pearls had always been a wearable accessory that give a calming effect to its wearer due to the aesthetic of the white shades which symbolizes purity, its round shape that shows balance and its lustrous polished beauty, all of which came from the depths of the mysterious waters. Pearls which once need to be collected from a living shelled mollusks from the ocean, has now become a convenient commodity to be easily farmed in freshwater and harvest to make up the majority of those currently sold. The diverse group of saltwater and freshwater mollusks which include oysters, mussels, clams, conchs and gastropods all produce pearls, although only those mollusks that have shells lined with nacre, example oysters, produce pearls used in the jewelry industry.

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