Friday, February 26, 2010

Pulau Sapi *by JS*

The next day after the Mt Kinabalu adventure, monkey and JS decided to go island hopping around the Tunku Abdul Rahman(TAR) National park. The National Park was established in 1974, just offshore Kota Kinabalu. It comprises 49 square kilometers of which two-thirds are sea, and the rest are coral reefs and five islands namely Pulau Gaya, Pulau Sapi, Pulau Manukan, Pulau Mamutik and Pulau Sulug. The park is named after the first Prime Minister of Malaysia.
The little island is Pulau Sapi

Pulau Sapi, literally known as "Cow Island" in Malay is just off the south-western tip of Pulau Gaya. The 25 acre island features one of the nicest beaches in the park and most popular with tourists for snorkeling and scuba diving. It is developed with tourist facilities that includes a jetty, picnic shelters, barbecue pits, tables, changing rooms and toilets. The forest is inhabited by curious crab eating macaque monkey so watch your belongings !

The island is underlaid by folded sandstone, shale and marl which are basically sedimentary rock and are part of the Crocker range rock formation of the western coast of Sabah. Towards the end of Ice Age which happened about one million years ago, changes of the sea level occurred, resulting in portions of the mainland being cut off by the sea, thus forming the islands of which one of it is Pulau Sapi. Exposed folded sandstone outcrops still feature the coasts of most of these islands forming cliffs, caves, honeycomb and deep crevasses hence creating a very interesting shoreline.
no crab eating macaque monkey insight but got this carnivore monkey :)
Pristine beach
View of beach from the other side
Contrasting rugged side of Pulau Sapi
Interesting sedimentary folded rock formation
curved sandstone cliff sculptured by the forces of nature
This honeycomb rock was probably form by waves trapping exploding air as it crashes on the shore thru the course of time
Really serene side of Pulau Sapi
The island in the distance is Pulau Manukan which we are heading to soon
amazingly crystal clear turquoise water and just look at the fishes!!
there was a few garfish swimming around!!
and something for you wildlife enthusiast!
So folks, you have seen quite a fair bit of Sabah in the last couple of's now time to log on, book your flights, book your hotel pack your swimming trunks/bikinis and head for the "LAND BELOW THE WIND" :)

Conquering the Fear of Heights *by JS*

After the refreshing walk around Kinabalu National Park Hq, we were on our way again and this time to Poring which lies within the Kinabalu National Park and is situated along the eastern face of the big mama at an elevation of 550m AMSL and about 40km away.

Poring is situated in lowland dipterocarp rainforest, contrasting with the montane and submontane rainforest of Kinabalu National Park. Bamboo forest is also in abundance at this elevation. Also at this altitude Rafflesia plants thrive but you won’t see them near to civilization. To see one of these flowers in full bloom in nature one will probably have to walk quite far. There are enterprising village folks staying around Poring who will bring tourist to see these giant flowers in the wild for a small fee.

Poring is known for its hot springs. The hot springs are known for their therapeutic properties and the waters with their sulphuric minerals are reputed to ease aching muscles and one can understand why these baths are favoured by returning climbers of Mount Kinabalu. The presence of hot spring around Mt Kinabalu suggest that there are geological activities although it is not consider volcanic in nature.
Apart from the hotsprings, the other favourite attraction at Poring is the canopy walk where visitors can stroll amidst the canopy of the Menggaris tree - the King of the Forest. The Walkway is 160m long and 41m high which translate to about 13 storey!

This is what we came for…………it’s for some one to conquer one of her biggest fear…..HEIGHTS!!

As we entered into the Poring hot spring area, we cross a river and walk thru low land bamboo forest and finally arrive at the main springs characterized by the sulphuric smell in the air. The water is sufficiently hot to boil an egg!!
Bamboo forest
The bamboo is not as small as you think!
The main springs
The trek to the canopy walk took like forever on a uphill ascend with out ending……..however soon we reach a hut where the walk starts…….
When monkey saw this, I could see the “I give up” look.
However due to sheer face saving kiasu tidak akun kalah attitude, no choice but to go thru with it………and afterall it’s meant to conquer your fears….. so here we go!!
After about 5 steps…..
Monkey :- (shouted) don’t shake!!
JS :- huh, no one shaking leh…….you are alone of the walkway. hehe.
Anyway monkey finished the first link and jumped on a platform built around a Menggaris tree thinking it was safe haven for the moment……
except the tree was swaying a bit due to wind so better quickly jump on the next link lar…….and off she went……a much longer link…..panic man!!
scary eh?
*added & edited by Monkey: "scary? which part the BUTT or the Height??? -_-"
After some struggling, we arrive safely at the descending station……monkey eppy eppy……JS clap clap for monkey ……..well done……well done.
Buttress of a Menggaris tree
a satisfying smile from monkey
Then we headed for the Kipungit water fall….it was kind of nice to cool off after a hot afternoon and this place does give you the feeling of coolness.
now action action....earlier on sweat man :)

Kipungit Waterfall is a 30 minute walk from Poring Hot Springs. Signboards and a well-marked path through the forest will lead you to your destination. The waterfall is smaller than the Laganan Waterfall, which is a 90 minute walk from Poring Hot Springs. With its shady canopy and beautiful rocks, the area is private, peaceful and a great place to relax. Definitely worth the walk :)

With that i suppose we come to the end of our Mt Kinabalu National Park we go and look for lunch!! :)

Oh Yummo!!!

everynite without fail,
on our way home to the hotel in Rome,
we stopped by this lil shop. :D

JS quenched his thirst with a shot of decaffeinato espresso
and Monkey had her GELATO!!!!

hehehehhe today is a public holiday in Malaysia,
feeling a bit lazy but lots to do,
JS been blogging for me quite a fair bit this week...
Thank You u ar!!!

will find some time to blog during the weekend,
will will will........
so far the past 2 weeks had been a never ending CNY celebrations
lunch dinner lunch dinner
now I see food oso SCARED!!!!
well maybe not Gelato...kekekekekke

Happy Weekend folks!!!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mt Kinabalu......a trevia *by JS*

Mt Kinabalu is the highest Mountain in South East Asia........true or false??
I'll come back to that later :)

After the spectacular sunrise, we pushed on to Mt Kinabalu National Park The park headquarters is located at about 5200ft AMSL so you can expect nice and cool weather.
The drive there is scenic and winding down your windows is a must do……and the air is filled with this familiar piney smell as we are actually encroaching into temperate climatic zone with the presence of coniferous forest.

guess who came with us?? :)

A bit about the Kinabalu National Park. Kinabalu National Park or Taman Negara Kinabalu, established as one of the first national parks of Malaysia in 1964, is Malaysia's first World Heritage Site designated by UNESCO in December 2000 for its "outstanding universal values" and the role as one of the most important biological sites in the world.
Located on the west coast of Sabah, East Malaysia on the island of Borneo; it covers an area of 754 sq km surrounding Mt Kinabalu, which at 4,095 AMSL, is the highest mountain on the island of Borneo.
The region was designated as a national park in 1964. British colonial administrator and naturalist Hugh Low led an expedition from Tuaran to the region in 1895. He also became the first recorded man to reach the peak of Mount Kinabalu.The highest peak of the mountain was later named after him—Low's Peak.
This botanical site contains a variety of flora and fauna that ranges over 4 climate zones; from rich lowland dipterocarp forest through the montane oak and bamboo forest, rhododendron to the coniferous forests, to the alpine meadow plants, and to the stunted bushes of summit zone. The mountain is also known for its many carnivorous plant and orchid species, most notably, the Nepenthes rajah or "monkey cup" or pitcher plant as we call it.
It is also home to a multitude of endemic animal species, including the Kinabalu Giant Red Leech and Kinabalu Giant Earthworm. The park also plays host to a variety of birds, insects, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles.
Mount Kinabalu is one of the youngest non-volcanic mountains in the world. It was formed within the last 10 to 35 million years as an igneous intrusion or Pluton. The mountain still grows at a rate of 5 millimetres a year. So much for information about Mt Kinabalu National park.

Anyway the main reason we stopped here was because…………because………………because……..our stomach was going klug klug klug……… and there was not a restaurant in sight for miles….. We quickly found the main restaurant and settled down to a nice hearty breakfast.

yes, nasi lemak, porridge, fry eggs......all favourites!!

After Breakfast we ventured out into the park surrounding and nature trails and started clicking with our cameras again.
walking happily along one of the trails
Bamboo forest
Giant ferns and they have been around even before the Jurassic age
Some more ferns. This life form even outlasted the dinosaurs!
Take pictures until nothing to take ants lor!!

There is actually so much to see here at the park hq and nature trails. You can spend like 4 to 5 days and walk all the trails which will cover literally most of the national park(except the big mama) and you still won’t get bored or fed up with the place.
The glaciated landscape of Mt Kinabalu. This happened during the ice age

Off course the highlight of the park has to be the big Mama. For those aspiring to climb, please take note that one needs to be reasonably fit physically to scale this mountain and there is lots of preparation one needs to do such as physical training program, book accommodation, book climb, book transport, etc and it’s also not cheap nowadays.
Monkey and JS will leave that for another day……….

Many of us always thought that Mt Kinabalu is the highest mountain in south east asia……well, actually it’s not, it is the 2nd tallest mountain in the South East Asia and that's depending how you define SEA. On record there are 3 peaks in Irian Jaya(Indonesia PNG) which is higher than Mt Kinabalu so that makes Mt Kinabalu the 5th highest mountain…..but Geographically Irian Jaya is not part of Asia so how can it even be part of South East Asia?? It probably belongs to Australasia. The counter argument….Indonesia is part of SEA so Irian Jaya is part of SEA! This is always and will always be open to argument……...Does it really matter whether its 2nd or 5th highest?? I guess not.......We are just so lucky to have such a beautiful mountain in Malaysia and very accessible unlike her peers.
Anyway the winner in the highest peak category goes to…………………………….Hkakabo Razi at 5881m, Myammar and it has a snow peak!