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!