Thursday, 22 March 2012

The Green Connection

This is my first trip to travel as a Sabah Young Tourism Ambassador. Not bad for a good kick start, the finalists and ambassadors visited Green Connection and gained our knowledge.

Mr. Eric Yu was the one who guided us in Green Connection. He is the acting Head of Education and he has accompanied us from the beginning of our tour until the end before you say ‘goodbye’.

I remember that the very first animal that we met was the Plumbeous Water Snake, which located right before the entrance into the small cave called the Cave Fauna. The Green Connection is displaying the few types of insects that can be found in Malaysia. Bear in mind that the cave is a man-made cave. You should try to hold it when you are there. Interesting piece of art!

Mr. Eric has a great and wide knowledge for the creatures that can be found in Malaysia, may it be the marine life, or wildlife creatures that live in the jungle.

After a short tour in the Cave, we came to the aquariums and Mr. Eric was explaining to us and to let us know how many endangered species here in Sabah. I have to agree that back in 1950, the forest is wide and there are enough space for the endangered species to stay in the forest. Now, and later in 2020, the forest was expected to be less than 30% what we have in 1950. Now, Sabah still has about 40 rhinos, 1500 pygmy elephants, and 11000 orangutans.

Just a personal reminder, if we don’t help them to secure the forest, the endangered species will extinct soon. I remembered when I did my thesis about Orang Utan and Proboscis Monkey, you will be shocked how the numbers of both primates gone lesser and lesser.

Well, after sometime, suddenly Axel appears. It is the Borneo Short Tail Python and this is my first time placing a python around my neck. I didn’t see it coming thou, suddenly they just placed it on my neck. Wow.


By the way, I have decided to upload a picture and do you know why there is a thorn at its tail? I will not tell the answer yet but you need to find out from The Green Connection during your visit!

Other than fishes, there are actually more that you can see in The Green Connection. You can visit my Facebook anytime you want for more pictures.

After the outdoor tours, we came to the hall where there will be a showcase of fish feeding. I was so excited when I saw one of the staff were diving and fed the fishes, sea turtles, stingrays, and shark, because I am a diver too. So, I asked Mr. Eric whether is there any packages for tourists to dive in The Green Connection, and he said yes! As for the price, it’s below RM200, if I am not mistaken. But you can call them anytime to their office for clarifications.

As the talk goes along, Mr. Eric started to ask the ambassadors and finalists to pledge for “Say No to Shark Fins” campaign. For me, this is not my first time pledging and it is a good campaign and awareness for the public and tourists. To tell the truth, there is no nutrition from eating shark fins but it contains mercury and it’s bad for health when you eat it most of the time. Human who killed the sharks should feel ashamed when you see the displayed pictures that can be seen on the walls. It’s really sad to see from 50 sharks, and left 1 shark in the future, or none. Do you want to see such wonderful creatures to extinct in the future and there will be no chances for the future generations to know about sharks? Well, I do not want this to happen as I have witness a baby white shark during Project Aware, it was a magic. Miracle! Trust me. There are harmless, unless you harmed them.

We had some tea time after the pledge and we had some photo sessions in a group. Funny moments when we are taking pictures because we need to wait for the turtles or fishes or stingray be in the pictures as well as they swims.

The last point for us before we said thank you to Mr. Eric is where we can see starfish, some corals and crabs. I just knew that the Crown of Thorns is dangerous as they will kill the corals.

So, this is it. I hope you will visit in The Green Connection and do share with us for your experience there. Thank you The Green Connection for hosting us and thank you Mr. Eric for teaching us, and guiding us along the tour.

Here is the contact!
Mr. Eric Yu, Acting Head of Education at Aquatica Aquarium & Discovery Centre Sdn Bhd
Kompleks Badan Sukarela
 Lorong Bunga Matahari 2
Batu 2, Jalan Tuaran, Likas
88450 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, MALAYSIA
Mobile: +6016 823 3850

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Sabah Tea Garden Cottage, Long House & Camp Ground

Hello again, readers! :)

A little bit about our accommodation during our visit to Sabah Tea Garden. As mentioned in the previous post, we stayed at the cottages. It is a beautifully decorated cottage, homey and warm. Just the kind of feeling you would want your visitors to feel when they step inside. I got the privilege to share a cottage with Chloe and Queenie,  in cottage number 2. 

Before you enter the cottage, it has a small gate with the name of the cottage. Ours was facing the lush scenery of Nalapak.

The cottage consisted of one bedroom, which had a Queen and Single size bed to accommodate 3 persons. It even has a small living room, LCD TV with Astro Channels, dressing table with mirror, private bathroom (with heater), closet and air-conditioning unit.

Overall, the cottage is very comfortable to stay in. I especially love the pillows, oh-so-fluffy! Wish I could sleep in all day.

Aside from the cottage, the Long House and Camping Ground is also available. For more information, click on these links Sabah Tea Long House, Camping Ground and Cottage.

Sabah Tea Garden

Hello hello readers! I hope everyone has had a pleasant March so far. I know I have :)


Yes, Sabah Tea Garden!!!! *majestic sound effects*

We were invited for a 2 days 1 night stay from the 3rd to 4th of March, and were hosted by Melidin and Tenny of the Sabah Tea management. Our journey to Ranau began at 8am, as there was already a schedule prepared for us from the management which involved various activities. The highlight of our activity on Saturday was the shooting that the NTV7 crew were going to do. We were informed that NTV7 is shooting a new television show, Tea Tracker, and we were asked to be part of it as visitors to Sabah Tea to showcase what activities are available for prospective visitors.

To keep myself distracted, I was camwhoring (I know, vain! can't help it) for the first 30 minutes of the journey while everyone else was chitchatting. 30 minutes? Really, Precious? *yes, you may roll your eyes at me. you are most welcomed to do so*

Actually, I got Queenie to join me, so that I won't look like a loner. LOL
Mukrim decided to join us girls for a snap ;)

The journey to Ranau took us 2 hours plus. By the time we got to Sabah Tea Garden, we were just in time for lunch! Oh, how everyone was starving! Despite the hunger, we still managed to snap photos of the restaurant, etc before settling for our lunch. The lunch set consisted of 3 dishes, veggie, black pepper beef and sweet and sour fish. Super yummy! (yes, we were that hungry.) As soon as we finished, we were given our room keys to drop off our bags before heading to the multipurpose hall for the activities.

Initially I refused to participate in the games, but I couldn't stay away. This was where the fun started, with our first activity, which was Batik printing. We were provided with a cloth that has a picture waxed onto it and were given the necessary tools to colour it to our liking. Everyone was able to unleash their creative side into their Batik prints.

Yes, I was right behind when James took this photo. :p
My first time, not too shabby ey? teehee
Can't recall who's artwork this is.

We then proceeded with the Sukaneka Games (various sports related activities). Before that, Tenny divided us into two groups with 5 person in each. The first game was 'Si Buta Mencari Selipar', followed by a 5 in 1 game, namely; 'Makan Oren', 'Tiup Tepung', 'Kupas Bawang Putih', 'Tiup Belon' and lastly, 'Ekor Monyet'. * translations can be found at the bottom of page, above contact details. It was really hilarious seeing everyone play these games, it got everybody acting like little kids, even Jennety, Beron and Mariam. ;D

Si Buta Mencari Selipar

The opposing team.

My team. B)

Tenny explaining the ground rules of the game.

Overall, everyone enjoyed the games session. I hadn't expect it to be that tiring, but it was. We retreated to our own rooms soon after to get ready for dinner and the next shooting scene, in the Long House. NTV7 began shooting around 7.30pm and it included the dancing scenes, whereby Adrian Jalaludin (the host) participated in the 'Sumazau' and 'Magunatip' dance. During the 'Sumazau', a few of us were asked to join as well. The shoot then ended with the 'Magunatip' and off to dinner. We then had karaoke session, where I literally sang my heart out (I'm really a great bathroom singer). ;p

The next morning, we were suppose to catch the sun rise, but alas, it was raining heavily. We skipped to breakfast and the tea factory tour right after, where Melidin guided us in the process of tea-making and what makes a good tea. We ended our session with group photos, and I must say, by the end of it all, I was really exhausted. You don't realize it until after you've left the place. The hosts were really hospitable, and I'm grateful to have been given such a chance to experience Sabah Tea Garden with them. Thank you! :)

Miscellaneous photos:

Adrian trying out the 'Magunatip' dance.

Malay words translations:
'Makan Oren' - Orange Eating Competition
'Tiup Tepung' - Blowing Powder or Flour
'Kupas Bawang Putih' - Peel the garlic
'Tiup Belon' - Blow Balloons
'Ekor Monyet' - Monkey's Tail
'Si Buta Mencari Selipar' - The blind looking for his/her slippers (blindfolded in this case)

TEA GARDEN (Visitor Check-In & Restaurant)
Address               : Km17, Jalan Ranau/Sandakan, Kg. Nalapak, 89309 Ranau, Sabah, Malaysia.
Tel: (6088) 879220

SABAH TEA SDN. BHD. (Inquiries & Reservation)
Address 1: Lot 83, Lorong Mega, Off Jalan Kilang, Sedco Industrial Estate, 88450 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.
Address 2: P. O. Box 14479,88851 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.
Tel: (6088) 440882
Fax: (6088) 423448

Friday, 16 March 2012

Flying Fox with Zip Borneo (Asia Ability)

The ambassadors/finalists, after arriving in Kiulu.

Saturday, 11th February 2012.

After arriving in Kiulu, we started out our day trip with the Flying Fox activity, which was hosted by Zip Borneo (Asia Ability). Initially, I found the idea of hanging in the air a daunting task, but then again, it's not like its my first time. (wow, I sound so confident)

Or so I thought.

Before Alex, our guide, briefed us, we actually went around the site and had a look at the activity ground. When I saw a really, REALLY tall tower, I knew in my heart I wanted to be the first one to go. Mainly because I was scared, and wanted the adrenaline rush. (all the while having thoughts of how it would be super awesome if I could just fly and stay afloat in the air, childish but yes, it just seems so cool to fly!) ;)

Marissa & I fooling around.

The extremely tall tower I was talking about *cringe*

Then we gathered at point 1, as Alex calls it, where she began the safety procedure briefing. Apparently there was such a thing as size for the safety gear, because earlier on, we were joking with Adrian of District 21 paintball, that the safety gears are a one-size fits all type. It proved to be a wrong theory. There are sizes for those who are slightly bigger than average, as well as for children. So remember, do ask for sizes if you are unsure :)

Can't recall what were laughing about, hmm *thinking*

Alex! :)

Demonstrating how to wear the safety gears, etc

Of course after briefing was done, we geared up and took turns to go on the tower. I was among the first to go, feeling all giddy and nervous while climbing up the flight of stairs. The walk was a mini workout, I got so dizzy by the time we reached the top. Initially I wanted to be  the first one to go, but decided otherwise due to my nervousness. LOL! The view from up top was scenic, unless you're afraid of heights, like me. I remembered saying I will not look down, and James was telling me, "you're already up here, of course you should look at everything, including down". Oh my, so I did, thinking I'd get past the nervousness. How very wrong of me. *cringe*

We were again briefed by the guide at station two (tower), and had our safety gear clipped on to the hanging ropes for safety while waiting for our turns. They're super nice, 'cause they actually let me calm myself and assured me it was 100% safe, etc. (obviously Precious, otherwise you wouldn't have been allowed to go, har har har). James was the first to go, and then myself. 

James: I'm ready!

Ah, you see, that's him. Bet he had a huge smile plastered on his face.

and finally, yours truly. Very poised even though I was dangling in the air.

The feeling of being in the air was totally different, yes, I had my safety nets (I know, it is gears, but you get what I mean right) and my feet were clutching onto my sandals tight. We were warned about the possibilities of our sandals etc slipping off, so uhm, yeah. 

Closer shot of yours truly. ;)

The 3rd station.

While gliding through the air towards the third station, across the river, there are already 4 staff members ready to catch you upon your arrival. When you get to the third station, you'll stop abruptly while still hanging in the air (we were warned about this earlier, so I wasn't surprised. duh Precious)  before the staffs help you down and transfer you to the other cable to prepare you for the trip back to the fourth and final station. I was still pretty much excited, because I was going for the second glide back to safety. :D

The final station!

The arrival at the final station is pretty much the same as the third one, except that this time we're on ground. Far less intimidating. *huge smile*

Last photo with the team!!! Super nice people!

Thank you Zip Borneo (Asia Ability) for hosting us, I really enjoyed the 15 minutes experience of flying. Hopefully next time we'll get to do more! :)

P/S: Zip Borneo provides other activities as well, kindly visit their website for more information.
For enquiries:

Tel: +60 1380 88075

Thursday, 1 March 2012

District 21, Paintball baby!

So I posted about our trip for rafting awhile back, right? Hope you guys enjoyed that, 'cause now its time for paintball!! ;)

Mmhm, you read that right, paintball. The minute you utter the word "PAINTBALL", the image that first comes to mind is a big field, you in a bodysuit holding your marker, (note: Paintball guns are also called 'Markers'), hiding behind your bunker, getting ready for battle....... so you feel really cool now 'cause you have a gun, with your mask on. "I look so cool, imma snap a photo of me & post this right now"

Then suddenly it hit you that paintball will actually make you bruise, and you're going all, "OMG, I'M GOING TO BRUISE! BIRU LA SA NE KANA TIMBAK! NOOOO!!!", in your head. Yes, this scenario was playing in my head over and over until the day actually presented itself and we were left with no choice but to participate in the game.

Precious, before gearing up. See that big smile?

Well let me tell you now, and clarify this myth about paintball (is it a myth? maybe I'm exaggerating), it will hurt only if you don't play by the rules. By rules, there are a few; do not shoot in a close range, never remove your mask at all times when you're on the field, and always pay attention to the directions during briefing. Kapish? I thought so.

Briefing from Adrian Boon, one half of the twosome that hosted us for Paintball. They even assisted us while gearing up. They're really friendly, so don't be shy :)

All geared up and ready for the battlefield!

After briefing and gearing up, we divided ourselves into two groups, each with 6 members. I was all set and ready to go, even though in my head I knew I'd get blue black (note: I didn't bruise at all). As soon as we stepped onto the field, this was what came to mind; me behind my bunker, shooting and then rolling on the ground killing people (I mean marking them) and ducking for cover after shooting them.... *insert Star Wars battle song here* sounds epic, huh. Well, at least in my head it was. 

Ready? Set. GO!

Bet you couldn't spot me, teehee. Pictures above were of the first round, and I'll be a good sport and say that we lost. Soon as I got behind my bunker, I'd been trying helplessly to kill at the same time hiding myself. I was surprised when I looked behind, I was the only one on my team still alive. LOL. So dramatic. We could only do two rounds as we had to finish on time, to go for rafting. So the second round then commenced, this time, I was in a different team.

I'll admit, I got really excited for the second round. I don't know why exactly, but I was so hyped up and it felt like I was really going into war. Most would think that a game would last more than 30 minutes or so, but no. Sorry to burst your bubbles, as much as we imagine it would be really long like in the movies, in reality, its not. In fact, it can even finish in less than 10 minutes; depending on the players ability to shoot and kill of course. :p

The other team.

Last man standing on, yes, you got it right, the 'other' team :p

this is my team :D

The smell of sweet victory, that's me right there. (can you hear me laugh now?)

The second match was really fast, I didn't even realize it was down to the 3 of us, as we were playing 4x4. It got so exciting that at one point, I kind of forgot to look before I shoot. "How in the world?", but yeah, I did. So I was shooting aimlessly for 10 seconds, and then I saw my target, the one person left on the opposing team. Yes I went all out and did my military-ish moves that I had in mind (sort of), I was moving as fast as I could to the front, trying to hide myself as well. Sweet victory was ours, as yours truly had the opportunity of shooting down the opponent. Hurrah!!!

With a big smile (though its not visible, 'cause I had the mask on), arms in the air, I was really waving it like I didn't care. All the while, this song was playing in my head, "This is how we do it".

To the winning team, good job I say. District 21 really had us all excited like little kids getting a new toy. I had wished we had more time to play, but alas, we had a schedule to follow. The next time you feel like destressing yourself, I suggest paintball with friends. It really helps release all your emotions (for me it did), worked wonders. :)

Last photo before we went off.
Andrew Koh, the other half of District 21's duo, standing beside James on the far left.

Once again, huge thanks to District 21 for hosting our paintball session. It was a good one, I will definitely come back. That's for sure. :)

Oh before I forget, I know most would think that when playing paintball, if the paint got onto your clothes, its not washable. Well.. think again. IT IS! District 21 uses "Field Protected paintball designed with field friendly properties that breaks on target and suited for most weather conditions. Environmentally friendly EcoFillTM combined with a paintball formulated for rugged play, foliage penetration, and rental markers these paintball certainly lend themselves to a great day of play at the paintball park." 

So no worries, if you got paint all over you, its washable and best of all.. its environmentally friendly! Cheers! :)

For enquiries:

Pusat Pelancongan,
Kampung Pukak, Kiulu, Tamparuli
Hotline: +60 016-8202316
Fax:+6 088-231316


Andrew Koh
Operation - Managing Director
Mobile: +6 014-3539102

Adrian Boon
Finance - Managing Director
Mobile: +6 019-8118790