Friday, 1 June 2012

Day 331- Land Below The Winds, Sabah

South China Sea fronting Kota Kinabalu, 4/5/2012

Sabah, one half of East Malaysia, was also known as North Borneo before 1963. For a short while there between 1963-1965, Sabahans and Singaporeans were in fact one when North Borneo, Malaya, Sarawak and Singapore formed the Federation of Malaysia. In 1965 however, Singapore was expelled from the Federation. Although Sabah and Sarawak remained part of Malaysia, they formed East Malaysia such that when West Malaysians, like FaiZ, travel to either of these states, they need to bring their passports and get them stamped just like any other foreigners. Sabah in fact remained a disputed territory between Philippines and Malaysia. At one time, Indonesia too laid claim on the beautiful Sipadan Island.

Fishing Boat, KK 4/5/2012

Land below the Winds is a name given to Sabah because it is located just below the typhoon belt and thus enjoys a climatic calm similar to Singapore. Unlike my country however, the beauty of Sabah lies in her wilderness. 50 percent of her land is still swathed in tropical rainforests estimated over 125 million years old. Nature has allowed the unfettered development of plenty of wildlife, unique plants and countless insects found only in North Borneo, making it one of the world's most desired destination for naturalists, conservationists, scientists and researchers.

Island hopping at the Tuanku Abd Rahman marine park, 4/5/2012

Thanks to conservation efforts, the marine life of Sabah too thrives beautifully and Sipadan has been voted many times over as the world's top dive spot.

Fishes spotted in super clear water near a speedboat at the jetty, Manukan Island, 4/5/2012

Even just snorkelling in shallow waters near one of the islands at Tuanku Abdul Rahman marine park was like swimming in a marine fish tank.It is no wonder that Professor David Bellamy once described Sabah as the world's greatest natural theme parks.  

 Proboscis Monkey listed as endangered, Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, 5/5/2012

Mount Kinabaluin particular is one of  the most biodiverse center on the planet making Sabah a true treasure island of conservation. Will you believe that up to today, new species are still being discovered in Borneo? In 2006, 52 species were found and just last year, 3 extinct raintree species and evidence of the nearly extinct Sumatran rhinos were discovered in the dense jungle of Sabah.

The near extinct Singaporeans in a tram at Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, 5/5/2012

As we were in Sabah only for 2 days before the Borneo International Marathon, we could not climb the mountain nor dive at Sipadan or do anything which might affect our run. We therefore decided to do an abridged visit to the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park because I really, really wanted to see a proboscis monkey.

Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, 5/5/2012

I have adopted the proboscis monkey as my favourite monkey. It takes its name from its huge pendulous nose which some find  most peculiar and ugly, the same feature I thought absolutely lovable.  This is also the monkey that was used in the finisher's medal of BIM 2012. Christine, it was not a man with a tail!

Borneo Orangutan, the Official State Animal of Sabah

Lok Kawi Wildlife Park may not be world class when it comes to maintenance but it definitely houses more endangered animals than I have ever seen in any other zoos. Like this Borneo Orangutan which  is also the state animal of Sabah. The specie is listed as endangered in the IUCN Red list of Mammals. 

 Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, 5/5/2012

The smooth-coated otters listed as vulnerable in the IUCN Red list.

Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, 5/5/2012

The smallest elephants in the world, pygmy elephants listed as endangered.

Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, 5/5/2012

The majestic and gorgeous Malayan Tiger, endangered.

Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, 5/5/2012

Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, 5/5/2012

Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, 5/5/2012

There were quite a few other near extinct creatures that I didn't see, like the Sumatran Rhinoceros, the very elusive western tarsier and the cute to death black footed ferret.

Sabah should definitely be on a nature lover's bucket list. 

And before I leave you, let me show you some more pictures of the must do in Sabah.

Taken during a short run along Kota Kinabalu waterway

Sabahan's Vegetables

Sabahan's love for seafood

More food, food , food

Need I say more?


The Old Maid said...

Gosh! I wanted to start from something else but I just LOVE the names of these ice creams!!!!!!LOL!

I love sooo many photos you posted dearest Sam: the first one is soo nostalgic; then there is a photo full of colour and movement - those fishes in super clear water; you(beautiful as usual:)) in that tram; and this clouded leopard - love his lazy pose.;D

Thank you Dearie for sharing your fabulous trip!!! Almost as I was there too!:)
Hugs and kisses from all of us.:)

Sans! said...

This post was really for you, Ewalina. As I always said, vacation pictures can be boring.

But I do love those animals and I am so proud of how Sabah is making very conscientious efforts at conservation. I really want to go back there soon. Trying to convince my family to go there for snorkeling and maybe climb Mt Kinabalu and then persuade the boys to run the BIM again in 2013. This time we will stay on after the run and go diving in Sipadan :).

The zoo however can really be better kept. But I agree with you, the ice creams are the best :). Too bad when I ran in the morning, the small ice cream stall was closed. I would buy "Bad Hair Day" :) and "Broke Up with Boyfriend" :)for the chocolate of course :).

And about pictures of me, of course I only choose the good ones! I am censoring all those of me running. Yuks yuks yuks! :)

Ok, 1am..time for bed :):)Goodnight, Ewalina :)

Ascension said...

Hola Sans
Sabah debe ser un sitio fabuloso para disfrutar de paisajes naturales y fantasticos animales.
Me encantan las fotografias, gracias por compartir, de otra manera nunca habria visto cosas tan bonitas.
Tu adoptado es el mono narigudo, a mi me gusta mas el oragutan de Borneo, con esa carita de bueno y ese pelo de ese color tan genial.
De la comida no hablamos, que tengo que correr y comer poco para perder peso jejejeje
Me alegro de que hayas disfrutado de esas mini vacaciones.
besitos ascension

Dark Squirrel Victoria said...

Gorgeous pictures Sans, I love that it is a wildlife park and not a zoo. My favorite was the elephant and the otters :)

The food looked so good :) and the ice cream names gave me a giggle.


Kikka said...

Wow, love all the animals :)
Wonderful pictures, beautiful scenerys!
Ice cream seems to be very global in the way of helping, but you sure have found the best Advertisement! What names... Love them..they saved my day!

rosanna said...

I jon the choir!! wonderful witty icecreams names! guess what I'd chose ?;o))
I didn't know about Sabah apart from the Queen of Sabah out of the Bible but now I want to see more of it. Let me go and google.
Hugs Rosanna
PS I'll buy my tickets on Monday :o))))

Maria Ireland said...

Wow fantastic pictures. It is wonderful to know that someone is trying to save some of our planet. The icecream sign is fantastic and so funny lol. I will have a bad hair day please :D
Hugs Maria

malu2 said...

Fantasticas fotos, siempre te lo digo,me haces ir de vacaciones cuando veo tu blog,jejeje.Hoy he aprendido muchas cosas de tu país.
Besos de las Malu´s.

BiWuBär said...

As Ewa I was about to say something like
- Stunning Post
- So interesting and thank you for the historical background which is not that familiar for us Europeans
- Gorgeous pics from the zoo, I can truly understand why you had to have a look at that nosey ape
- That fish-photo was absolutely impressive

... yes, something in that style I wanted to say... but then came that icecream-pic. What a burner!!! You only have to have clever ideas... ;O)

Thanks for taking me along with you on this exciting trip.


Eva - tatalamaru said...

Ala que de cosas bonitas. Es una pasada, vaya mini vacaciones. Me encantan las fotos , se ve que lo has pasado genial. Un beso

Daydreamer said...

Dear Sans! I learn SO Much from following you around the world in your Blog! Especially that Ice Cream is a Universal Remedy for whatever went Wrong!!!! :):) Even though I am odd in that I only Want ice cream when it is VERY HOT out.... which is NOT often around here....I still would Have to have some of those ice creams for the name alone!
Seriously.... this sounds like a Magical place... and your photos give a glimpse of it's beauties! I can understand why you would want to go back for a Nature Visit... Sipadan Island sounds just Amazing!
As for the Wild Life.... I have heard of the Proboscis Monkey.... but your pictures are the first that I've seen that make him look cute! (Sort of.... well, almost! LOL!)

Norma Soulet (AZArtist) said...

Hi Sans,
I am back!
Wow love all your photos ! I especially like the one of the fishes. :)
When I read "Adult Ice-Cream Names" my mind went elsewhere! LOL
When I read the names they were ok not what I thought they were going to be! LOL

Rosamargarita said...

Que viaje tan exótico y especial.
Algunas fotos me han recordado a los personales del "Libro de la Selva" de Rudyard Kipling, con plátanos incluídos!
Muchos besos

Sans! said...

Darling, Ascensión, el orangután es un mamífero muy inteligentes. Creo que los monos en la película "El planeta de los simios" son muy reales. Me encantan los monos narigudos, porque la gente piensa que son feos, pero si tengo que elegir uno basado en el cerebro, el orangután es. ¿Sabe usted que los orangutanes en Borneo saben cómo hacer que los paraguas de las hojas cuando se piensa que va a llover? Es imposible no amar a ellos :).


Sans! said...

Hehe Victoria, I thought you were the one who commented about the medallion in my last post. I just traced back and saw that it was Christine of CWPoppets :).

Lok Kawi Wildlife Park is not quite a safari. There are still cages and the park needs funding badly because the upkeep is nowhere near the ones in Singapore. But I was excited nonetheless. Still if I have more time, I definitely want to visit the sanctuaries to see the animals in as natural a habitat as possible.

Sans! said...

Kikka, that ice cream ad is precious right ? :) I love the Sabahans' sense of humour :). I also ran past a restaurant called "Big Mouth Seafood Restaurant" hahaha!

Sans! said...

Roooooooooooooooooooooooooo! I have to shout this: I CANNOT WAIT FOR YOU TO BUY THE TICKETS!!!!!! How is it that we are still so excited ..hehehe :).

Singapore is really a wonderful place to live in because we are so close to so many natural wonders of the world :). FaiZ and Justin wanted to move to Sabah but not me. Hardly any book stores in KK :)

Sans! said...

Maria Ireland :), will you believe that it was playing mindless facebook game that educated me about endangered animals? :):)

This game called "My Zoo" is about setting up a zoo and growing it as big as you can with as comprehensive a conservation programme as possible. That's how I knew about these IUCN listed animals :).

Sabah is truly the last hope for some of these endangered species.

Sans! said...

María Luisa gracias :). Espero que hayan disfrutado las vacaciones conmigo :). Ahora que usted es una abuela de nuevo, no será tan fácil de tener tiempo libre ¿no?

Sans! said...

LOL Birgit :):) don't you just love that sun bear too? So funny I just remembered how often I have been likened to a bear because a) I hibernate a lot and disappear and b) because I am quite clumsy ..LOL.

You girls are so sweet to praise me for the pictures. Just the other day, my own brother said to someone I always pick weird subject matters to photograph ..LOL

Sans! said...

Eva Tata :) :) seguí recibiendo las traducciones de todos mis comentarios de españoles que dicen que he ido en un "mini" vacaciones. LOL! Me encanta que aunque creo que quería decir unas breves vacaciones? un beso :)Undo edits

Sans! said...

Oh Bets, I have to tell you this, do you know that orangutans are sometimes called the daydreamers of the primates? This is an excerpt from this lovely write up about orang utans I found on the net:

Daydreamers: Orangutans have been called "the loners and the daydreamers of the great apes". Unlike most of the other great apes like chimps, gorillas and bonobos that live in groups and interact often while looking for food, playing or socializing, orangutans are very solitary animals, living, eating and traveling alone. Highly intelligent, it seems that these apes have become very reflective and inward since they are only in the company of themselves.

It's been said that they have a more internal approach to tasks. They have been observed to sit in a tree canopy for hours, and then suddenly go over to a batch of fruit that it discovered simply by sitting still, whereas other apes for the same task would go from tree to tree in search.

:):) I just love that about them :)

Sans! said...

Norma S, that was exactly what made me stop running :"Adult ice creams!" . I actually did a double take and then I saw the names of the ice cream. Adult ice cream because "Cat Died" must be too traumatic for children and kids, what do they know about bad hair day? Everyday is bad hair for them :).

Sans! said...

jajajajaja :) RosaM, que ni siquiera ver la conexión entre los monos y las bananas hasta que lo trajo para arriba!

carmen said...

como siempre imágenes bellas...gracias...

CWPoppets said...

For me the "bad hair day" and the " fight with mom", please!
See! I knew the guy in the medaillon had a tail ... lol. Have never seen a monkey with a nose. Maybe I should make this little guy sitting so relaxed on the warm rock.
What a great trip with your friends.
Have a lovely weekend.

Ana Anselmo said...

I love icecreams....and those names are just great!
(Did you heard that our President was visitng Singapure a week ago?)

Craftland said...

What a great trip. Thank you brought us a piece.
Hugs from Craftland

Daydreamer said...

Hee Hee... How Sweet!
(That Does sound like me...!) Loctlit

Amy said...

When I was a little girl, Borneo was the farthest away place I could imagine, the place most different from my home. And a great mystery, too. If there wasn't much about it in my World Book Encyclopedia, then that was all I knew. And now that I get to see your experiences there, it's better than pictures in a book! What a beautiful place, what you get to see, Sans! The leopard, though, looks a lot like my cat Oliver...

Amazing animals, plants, images, adult ice cream...

Eliana said...

Thanks for sharing your adventure. The photos are really wonderful. ;)

Drora's minimundo said...

A wonderful, very exotic trip with beautiful photos to share. You just have to look at the ice cream ad and your life gets brighter.
Thank you for a lovely post.
Hugs, Drora

Eva said...

Last year when I planned our trip to Singapore my main goal in malysia was Borneo Island because I love the amazing biodiversity that you can find there. And I wanted to see Oraguntan to Sipadan island...finally we decided for several reason that not but through your post I have dreamt again ☺

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