All posts filed under: Malaysia

Being a tourist in Sandakan

My weekend was well spent, playing tourist with mom and my six-year-old nephew. We went on a short city break to the east coast district of Sandakan, for an overnight stay. A night is a very short break indeed. But enough to explore the different sights of Sabah, and indulge ourselves with nature and wildlife, which Sandakan is known for. I often fly to the east coast for work purpose. But having to visit Sandakan as a tourist, I am slowly learning to love this quaint district. Our stay in Sandakan was great. If only it was not raining. We stayed at Nak Hotel, just a five-minute walk to the waterfront and the Habour Mall – Sandakan’s only biggest and grand shopping mall. The mall. Nothing much to browse or be excited about, except for the Popular bookstore and the Mc Donald (which my nephew was pretty much amazed.) It drizzled when we landed Sandakan Airport at 9.50am. We picked our rental car and headed to the Bornean Sunbear Conservation Centre (BSCC) – the only …

Inait: Song of the Spirits

May, in Sabah, is the month of Kaamatan (Harvest Festival). In 2013, my colleagues and I did an assignment on Magavau ceremony. We travelled to Penampang district and spoke to a bobohizan apprentice (whom, I was recently told, has become a full time Kadazandusun high priest). I did the interview. The write-up is done by my senior colleague Siti Nurbaiyah Nadzmi. **originally published in Life & Times , 26 May 2013

Revisit Sandakan

Yesterday, I flew to Sandakan – the second largest and developed town in Sabah, after Kota Kinabalu. I was flown here with my two colleagues to cover a kidnapping incident, which occurred at Sandakan’s well-known seafood eatery, Ocean King Seafood Restaurant. While in Sandakan, we took the opportunity to revisit Puu Jih Shih Temple – one of the finer Chinese temples in Sabah, according to Lonely Planet. We went there so my colleague, who is a photographer, could take an overall view of the restaurant overlooking the sea. It was a beautiful view.

A visit to Mengalum

After an hour of bumpy boat ride, I finally reached Mengalum Island. Two weeks ago, a friend from a Chinese newspaper company texted me about a planned media trip to Mengalum and whether I wanted in. I said yes and told my boss I needed two days off on May 4 and 5. I couldn’t say no to Mengalum because I needed to go there, because I had not been there. And because I needed to get away from the busy city and life. ### The island was beautiful. I had a dive, a swim, a walk in the bushes, great food, and drinks. I went on an island safari ride and saw the sun set and many more. So much stories to tell but for the time being, this is just a short update. I am now back to reality.

Rungus women keep tradition alive

Away from urbanisation, the Rungus community in Kampung Bavanggazo, near Tinangol in the Kudat district, lead a simple lifestyle where the women rely on handicraft as a source of income. These women, mostly aged above 40, are known as the makers of inavol, which is a dying tradition. Monuraging Monzipal, 60, said inavol is a traditional woven sash with geometric motifs worn crosswise across the chest. It is also famous as a gift for tourists. She said it was normally worn by the Rungus men together with their traditional costume during rituals. “However, inavol-making is slowly dying out because the younger generation is not keen on learning the skill.