Sunday, July 30, 2017

A big bike adventure to Tip of Borneo


ON a misty June 24 morning ahead of the Raya holidays, nine riders from the Free and Furious Bikers’ group in Sibu set out on the quest to reach the much talked about Tip of Borneo within two days.

They are experienced big bikers — some with nine years of cross-country riding under their belts while the most junior among them have been biking with the group for two years.

Led by two skilled expedition managers, Michael Ting and Dr Grammen Low, the group revved along the Bintulu-Miri-Brunei-Limbang-Lawas route with its spectacular landscape before reaching the beautiful western coast of Sabah.

For the bikers, it was a dream ride out in open country. Sibu, being more than 80 miles from the sea, is generally viewed as landlocked. Many of its residents, especially among the younger generation, have dreams to venture out and see the world!

A senior teacher known as Mr Hii told thesundaypost, “It’s no big surprise that a group of motorcycle enthusiasts have come together to form the Free and Furious Bikers of Sibu. Young people are usually adventurous. They like to explore and see things for themselves. For them, nine-to-five jobs can be routine and sometimes, even boring.”

Apart from the two leaders, the bikers were Cheng Hua Ping, Danny Wong and his wife Onna Yii, Ling Tiing Tchin, Robert Kang, Ting Ming Sheng, and Wong Kiung Kui.

Before the outing, they had their bikes thoroughly checked — brakes, lights, oil and fluid levels, tyre pressure and hydraulics — to make sure everything was in order. They also looked into important matters like passports, bike ownership documentation and accommodation arrangements as well as route-planning to avoid travelling on the same road twice while in Sabah.

First Day

The group started early on June 24, riding north out of Sibu on a cheerful note.

Onna Yii, the only woman in the expedition, said even though it was raining most of the first day, the group was in high spirits. To her, “eating, laughing and even riding at night is a memorable experience”. She finds big biking “a kind of fulfilment” and she enjoyed herself throughout the ride.

The group detoured to Bintulu for breakfast, then pushed on to Miri. They had a high-tea rojak break in Limbang before riding on to Kota Kinabalu in the dark and rain. In between, they stopped only for short breaks and small meals.

The long 900km ride had apparently worked up an appetite in the riders. Not surprisingly, they found the seafood in the Sabah capital extra tasty.

Second Day

On June 25, the riders continued their journey in equatorial rain. Undaunted, they pressed on to their final destination, the Tip of Borneo, arriving there in three and half hours from Kota Kinabalu despite the shower.

While many know about this northernmost part of Borneo Island, not many have actually reached it by land or sea. Numerous ships had floundered at this point too. A lighthouse there serves as an ominous reminder that the surrounding seas had been notorious for shipwrecks.

In the past, mystery shrouded this far-lung seaboard of the Land Below the Wind where legends abound. Today, with better roads and publicity, more people have ventured to the Tip, located in the Kudat District.  It is at this awesome promontory, also known as Tanjung Simpang Mengayau?or lingering junction, that the South China Sea meets the Sulu Sea flowing from the east.

Like most first-time visitors, the bikers were mesmerised by the stunning sunset. All the aches and pains from the long ride were soon forgotten as the group spared little time snapping pictures of the setting sun, the beautiful Pantai Kalampunian (the long stretch of beach ending at Tanjung Simpang Mengayau), the bronze Globe and the Rocky Outcrop that forms the famous Tip of Borneo.

“We saw the radiant sunset and the beautiful and changing colours of twilight. What an unforgettable sight! As we stood at this northernmost tip of Borneo, we felt lifted in body and soul. We have travelled over 1,190km from Sibu in the heart of Sarawak to enjoy this wonderful moment. I am speechless,” one of the riders said.

Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: A big bike adventure to Tip of Borneo
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Limbang, Lawas — A great tourism draw


LIMBANG: The natural heritage of Limbang and Lawas has the potential to be combined into a top tourism draw if promoted together with Brunei and Sabah.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said even humble mangroves could be attractive tourism products along with the rich cultural heritage, local delicacies and other products indigenous to Lawas and Limbang districts.

“We have the beautiful mountains and beauty of our nature, rivers, mangroves, and the Bay of Brunei, which is the best package for tourism,” he said when launching Pesta Limbang yesterday on behalf of Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg.

“This unique diversity is our strength and despite our location far in the north of Sarawak, we have great nature, culture, unique delicacies and strategic location in BIMP-EAGA (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines- East Asean Growth Area), bordering Brunei, Indonesia and Sabah.”

He said the state government has already carried out several infrastructure development initiatives here for tourism.

Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: Limbang, Lawas — A great tourism draw
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Saturday, July 29, 2017

‘What About Kuching 2017’ promises action-packed events


KUCHING: What About Kuching (WAK) 2017 is promising an action-packed programme from Sept 30 to Oct 29 with the aim to ‘Celebrate Arts, Culture and Lifestyle’.

WAK 2017 will encompass every genre from visual to performing arts, traditional to contemporary arts, and static exhibitions to active outdoor pursuits.

To date, over 20 components have already been committed by various groups.

The first will be the Kuching Waterfront Jazz Festival 2017 on Sept 29-30 at The Waterfront, Grand Margherita Hotel.

The sold-out Asia-Link Sketchwalk: Kuching 2017 on Oct 5-8 is expecting around 250 delegates from Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Vietnam and India.

The Borneo International Beads Conference 2017 will take place from Oct 13-15 at the Old Courthouse, while the Sarawak Adventure Challenge – The Lost Mines will take adventure seekers through a scenic 55km route via mountain biking, trail running, and caving through the rainforests, rivers and caves that surround Bau.

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Friday, July 28, 2017

Travel Mood: Discover the best time to visit Borneo to see Orangutans with our travel experts advice


Borneo, the largest island in Asia, has more than dense rainforests, native tribes and spectacular natural beauty.

The island is full of life and is home to some of the most magnificent animal species in the world.

For many visitors to Borneo, their most outstanding moment is glimpsing a wild orangutan swinging through the jungle canopy.

Our Travelmood travel expert Sarah was lucky enough to visit this mesmerising destination.

Here, she shares the best time to visit Borneo to see orangutans.


Visit Borneo during dry season

Located off the eastern coast of Malaysia, Borneo experiences a tropical climate, high humidity, sunshine and some rainfall throughout the year.

The wetter months in Borneo tend to be between November and February, when the Northeast Monsoon hits.

The milder months, known as the dry season fall between March and October.

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Borneo Cultural Festival organisers commended for showcasing Sarawak


SIBU: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas has commended organisers of the Borneo Cultural Festival (BCF) in showcasing Sarawak as a cultural melting pot to attract tourists.

Uggah, who is also Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development said that BCF is an event for the locals and the tourists to witness Sarawak as the cultural melting pot of Malaysia through games and events showcasing various cultural regalia and local food.

“Through this effort, the colourful cultures will not perish or remain submerged in the midst of the globalisation craze.

“The increasing number of visitors to the BCF is a clear sign that the festival has realised its objectives,” he said at the closing of Borneo Dayak Cultural Festival (BDCF) held in conjunction with the BCF here on Wednesday.

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