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Poring Canopy Walkway, the highest in Sabah

Poring Canopy Walkway is located in the same area of the National Park as Poring Hot Springs, a hot sulphur spring that’s believed to have therapeutic properties that will be focus of a future blog.

The Canopy Walkway actually consists of two walkways; the first was opened in May 1990 whilst the second opened around 2005/6 specifically for bird watchers to take advantage of the hundreds of species found in Kinabalu National Park.

This second walkway is slightly lower and is the walkway we’re enjoying today with the original walkway closed for maintenance.

The height of the walkways ranges from around 20 to over 40 metres above the rainforest floor and the walks are around 175 metres long. It’s about a 1km walk to the entrance, as you’d expect uphill most of the way and culminates in a lots of steps, slippery when wet so wear some good walking boots or shoes with lots of tread.

The walk to starting point will take about 30 minutes. Just relax and go slow. It will help if you wear comfortable hiking shoes and carry some water. You better bring your umbrella just in case it rains.

Focus on savouring the rare and privileged feeling of walking through the millions of years old rainforest and enjoying the same view that the birds and smaller mammals enjoy.

Some of the trees, including the ones securing the Canopy Walkway are simply huge with massive girths and include the Menggaris tree (Koompassia excelsa). The walk takes around 20 minutes to complete, may be longer as time passes so fast then it’s time to slowly descend back to the pathway back to the main Poring Hot Spring area.

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Lankayan Island

Lankayan Island, a practically virgin island in the Sulu Sea is located at just 1.5-hour boat ride from Sandakan. The island can be counted as one of the best tourist getaways. Situated within the Sea Turtle Corridor, the pristine blue waters of the island proffer an excellent chance to spot the Whale Shark, see the nestings of Hawksbill Turtle and gaze at the colourful fauna. Through the Lankayan Dive Resort, which arranges all the tours, one can avail the facility of getting close to the whale shark. During the period between June and September, one can also see new hatchlings of baby turtles being released. The island is also home to the famous Lankayan Wreck, a popular diving station for divers who visit Sabah.

Borneo

Why go to Borneo?

“The lungs of the Earth” or Borneo is an island off the coast of Malaysia shared by 3 countries, Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia. The island also houses one of the world’s oldest rainforests (140 million years old), making it the last few havens for endangered species like the Borneo orangutan.

Borneo is one of the few locations in its setting where you can encounter the Orangutans. The old rainforest attracts many wildlife experts and conservationists from all over the world to explore and study the rich ecosystem and unique wildlife that can only be experienced on this island. It’s a chance for ordinary travelers like us to experience exotic land and wildlife without going on an expedition while learning how important it is for humanity to preserve this last bit of Earth’s lungs.

The best thing about Malaysia is that everyone speaks English so it is very simple and convenient to travel around the city by bus. In big cities like Kuching, Uber or taxi are also another great options if you are willing to spend a little more. In Brunei, it is easiest to negotiate with a taxi to take you to the few landmarks that are not walkable from the center.

In between cities, night buses are widely available with different comfort level at the main bus stations. Keep in mind that Borneo doesn’t have a developed transport infrastructure due to its thick rainforests so traveling a seemingly small distance may take hours more than usual.

Mulu national park is very difficult to travel by land (requires boat, cars, and hiking) so going by plane from Miri or Kuching is the easiest.

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The Beautiful Semporna in the Island of Borneo, East Coast of Sabah

Semporna is the capital of the Semporna District in the Tawau Division of Sabah, Malaysia. Semporna is located at the tip of Semporna Peninsula around Lahad Datu Bay, and is visited by tourists as a base for scuba diving or snorkelling trips to Sipadan Island, some 36 kilometres southeast of town.

The majority of the population is Bajau, many of whom live in sprawling stilt villages over the water on the outskirts of town. Thousands of Bajau Laut (also known as Sea Gypsies or Pala’u) people live on the sea around Semporna. They are one of the few nomadic seaborne peoples of the world, and spend most of their lives on boats, making a livelihood from the coral reefs in the area.

The Kadazan people also live in Semporna. Sabah Malay Creole is the lingua franca in Semporna. Semporna is also home to the only Chavacano-speaking community in Malaysia. Marine products are still the mainstay of the local economy, as well as tourism. Pearl culturing is a major component of this industry.

Semporna is also known for the Regatta Lepa traditional boat races which occur annually in April. Semporna was also the location of the finish line of Eco-Challenge: Borneo, held in 2000. Off the coast is a marine park called Tun Sakaran Marine Park, also known as Semporna Islands Park. It was gazetted by Sabah Parks in 2004.

Semporna is the gateway to diving in world-renowned island paradises like Sipadan, Mabul, Kapalai, Mataking, Sibuan, Mantabuan, Siamil and Pom Pom among others. Visitors to Semporna are mainly sunseekers looking for relaxation or watersports activities such as scuba diving or snorkelling.

As Semporna is a coastal town, various fresh seafood are readily available, cheap, and delicious.

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Lubok Kasai Jungle Experience and Lodge for the city folks wanting a nature gateaway

Lubok Kasai is located a 30-45 minute longboat ride from Nanga Sumpa in what is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful areas of Sarawak. Journey time from the Batang Ai Lake to Lubok Kasai is approximately 2 hours depending on the water level of the river.

The camp is surrounding by rainforest in an area that is inhabited by a thriving population of wild orangutans. Staying at Lubok Kasai offers the chance to explore the numerous jungle trails; spot local wildlife; and enjoy the clear cooling waters of the adjacent Lalang River. The Enseluai waterfall is just a short boat ride away; and of course your Iban hosts are always on hand; cooking traditional food and ready to provide assistance when required.

Lubok Kasai is ideal if you want a more relaxed itinerary; or indeed a tailor-made programme suited entirely to your needs: whether it be trekking in search for orangutan or other wildlife; taking a boat ride further upriver to have a picnic on pebble beach; simply chilling out by the river; or treating yourself to periods of quiet solitude, insulated from the outside world.

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Discover the Charms of the Kinabatangan River, the Longest River in Sabah

The 560-kilometre Kinabatangan River is Sabah’s longest river, beginning in the Crocker Range in Southwest Sabah and ending at the Sulu Sea southeast of Sandakan. From the headwaters to its vast river mouth, the Kinabatangan passes through a diverse range of habitats, including dipterocarp forest, seasonally flooded riparian forest, oxbow lakes, nipah and mangroves. Whilst the upper reaches of the Kinabatangan River have been extensively logged, much of the lowland forest and mangroves have survived.

This vast floodplain forest contains a rich mix of vegetation that supports a remarkable diversity of wildlife; including proboscis monkeys, orangutan, gibbons, Bornean pygmy elephants, tarsiers, slow loris, macaque monkeys, crocodiles, freshwater sharks, Irrawaddy dolphins, hornbills and a variety of other birds.

In 2005 the Sabah government gazetted the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary. This protected area essentially forms a narrow wildlife corridor that follows the river. Whilst the sanctuary now safeguards an area of 27,800 hectares, a range of conservation issues remain. A number of NGOs and researchers are active in the Kinabatangan, contributing to conservation projects and working to better understand the environment.

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Tabin Wildlife Reserve is the place to be to observe wildlife

In the eastern part of the island of Borneo lies Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Sabah. It is known as the largest wildlife reserve in Malaysia with an area of approximately 300,000 acres in the north-east of Lahad Datu town, south of the Segama River and north of the Silabukan Forest Reserve.

Tabin Wildlife reserve was founded in 1984 and has been declared a Wildlife Reserve due to the large number of animals frolicking in the forests, to which some being endangered species.

The Borneo Pygmy Elephant, Sumatran Rhinoceros and Tembadau, which are the three largest mammals of Sabah, are all found within the reserve. There are nine species of primate and three species of cats in the forest, all of which are in the protected wildlife list.

There are 300 species of bird species coming from four different families recorded in the wildlife reserve. Tabin Wildlife Reserve has been listed as an Important Bird Area.

Another attraction point of Tabin Wildlife Reserve is the active and mineral-rich mud volcanoes, thus this very nature gift is the cause for wildlife and birds to visit for their mineral intake. This place becomes an ideal platform for people of all ages to participate in wildlife observation and bird watching.

For those who loves nature-based activities, they can go jungle-trekking, night safari, night walk, wildlife-spotting, birdwatching and involve themselves in rainforest education. 

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Beautiful Rainforest-themed canopy enveloped the street of Jalan India, Kuching

This pedestrian shopping street of Jalan India in Kuching, Sarawak (Kuching’s Little India) offers beautiful architecture of a rainforest-themed canopy, giving a sense of aesthetic to its visitors.

The idea to create a beautiful pedestrian walk comes from Sarawak effort to create Healthy City.

The idea is that a healthy human does not only eat and work, but they need to rest, exercise and sightseeing to beautiful scenery.

At the first idea conception in the past, the shop owners do not agree on closing the Jalan India road, as they fear if cars cannot drive through, their shop will suffer a decrease in customers.

However, as the idea comes to fruition, the shopkeeper notice that more visitors comes to the street as it becomes a pedestrian walk.

People seems to appreciate the beauty of the street and how they can conveniently walk on the pedestrian walk and the canopy offers tourism attraction.

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Kuching Wetlands National Park

We can explore the Kuching wetland National Park through the Santubong Wildlife Cruise as it goes along the coastline surrounded by mangrove forest.

Kuching wetlands National Park covers an area of 6,610 hectares from Sibu Laut to Salak river.

The park has mangrove system, wildlife such proboscis monkeys wildlife enthusiasts and nursery ground for fish and prawn species.

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Mukah, the homeland of the Melanau full of cultural traditions

Mukah may feel like an off-the-beaten track destinaton to most tourist to Sarawak but this place is a cultural and foodie experience for some others.

From Sibu, you can take a boat along the Igan river, Sarawak to the town of Dalat and along the way you can see many floating houses along the man-made canal in Sungai Kut, Sarawak.

These are the settlement of the Melanau people. You can stay in the authentic Melanau village house built above the water.

You can also watch how the sago pellet processing and ‘kuih sepit’ wafer are made. There are alot of Mukah’s delicacies as well as Melanau’s handicraft at the local market for your memento.

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