All posts tagged: Travel

Islanders yearn for development

[Above picture taken by NSTP/Khairull Azry Bidin] NOTE: Article written during the Sandakan parliamentary by-election coverage ****** A JETTY with a rundown bridge that connects the docking platform and the shore of Kampung Pulau Berhala greets visitors as they arrive at the small forested island near the Sandakan city centre. One can see wooden beams protruding from the eroded cemented walkway. With cracks everywhere, it appears to be a matter of time before the bridge gives way, endangering visitors and locals alike. “Slowly, one at a time,” said one villager as a group of media practitioners treaded carefully on the rickety bridge. Along the walkway are wooden stilt structures used to hold small boats and unfinished houses. According to Kampung Pulau Berhala chief Junior Jikirin, the 100-metre long cemented walkway was built five years ago during the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration, with no maintenance work carried out since. This, he said, is the only jetty for the villagers. There is also another jetty, but it connects to the Joint Task Force base on the far …

The young porter of Mount Kinabalu

[Above picture] Mount Kinabalu porters taking a break after completing the 6km trek from Timpohon gate – the starting point of the climb – to the Panalaban base camp. – Pix by NSTP/Khairull Azry Bidin NOTE: From April 1-2, I climbed Mount Kinabalu and had the chance to talk to some of the most inspiring individuals, the mountain porters. Here’s what I learned. ****** STANDING at only 160cm and weighing 52kg, one would be forgiven for doubting Jvy Mius’ ability as a porter, carrying heavy loads up Mount Kinabalu. However, the sight of his lithe frame springing from one rock to another as he treks his way up to the Panalaban base camp of Malaysia’s highest mountain is a marvel to behold. Depending on the weight of the load, the 22-year-old Dusun lad from Kampung Waang in the highland district of Ranau can reach the base camp, located 3,272m above sea level, in under two hours. “That is if I am carrying light objects. If the loads are heavy, then I will reach the camp …

How to get through airport security efficiently

The airport. You either hate it or love it. I love the airport. What I do not like about it is going through security and customs check. The process can be horrendous and exhausting, to say the least. Especially, when you are in an airport with high passenger traffic. It is here, at the security/customs check, that you get to see passengers’ demeanor. I’ve seen passengers getting all panicky for fear of missing flights because of the long queues (this includes family members getting on each other’s nerves and couples arguing); passengers being asked to redo body check many times because they forget to remove something; passengers being held up because of suspicious items in their luggage, and the list goes on. It can be stressful. However, all these can be avoided if you come prepared and follow the dos and don’ts. So, here’s what you should do in order to get through airport security smooth and fast. 1. Go to security checkpoint early This is a no-brainer. If you happen to be at one …

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 …

How to plan a trip, save money and travel

New year, new you, new goals…and I’m quite sure one of the goals is to go travel? Like many, I try to make it a point to travel (near or far) at least once a year. If I could do it more, even better. But there is also that one common obstacle keeping us from achieving our travel goal. That is money! for sure. If you hear yourself saying “Oh, it’s expensive!”, “I’ve no money”, or if you are just afraid to see a reduction in your saving accounts…stop. Clear your head, reset your goal, reset your priority. In everything we do, there will always be that one or two expensive item(s) we are going to spend on, so might as well spend that money on travelling. Also, if you can afford to buy expensive coffee, expensive food, and new handphones…you have the money. Remember, the goal is to travel and to travel, is to just do it. If you put travelling as one of your top priorities, everything that has to do with planning a trip …