June 2009 Archives


One of the loveliest houses in Labuan, a beach villa that is fully furnished, well-kept, with swimming pool and lush surrounding tropical gardens.

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Labuan island, the "Jersey" of Malaysia, Malaysia's offshore financial centre, is also known as the "Garden Island of Borneo". A quiet, peaceful island with parks, gardens, beautiful stretches of white sand beaches, an international airport, first world facilities, Labuan is also a duty free port so wines, spirits and beers are plentiful and cheap..


The villa is perfect for executives working in Labuan or holidaymakers, the Labuan beach villa house comes complete with swimming pool and lush, landscaped, tropical garden.

Gardener and maid service can be arranged for short-term or long-term contracts.

For more information please email info@discoverborneo.com

See Labuanhouse4rent




All bedrooms have varnished hardwood floors, fitted wardrobes and double beds. The two main bedrooms have french windows that open onto the swimming pool patio.

A spacious living room with high ceilings and tasteful tropical furnishings leads to a split-level library/personal office area.

Swimming pool faces the sea, just 30 metres from the beach. The house is located on the west coast of Labuan island, facing the South China Sea, which some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world.

Labuan beach villa is a fully furnished house for rent in Labuan, Malaysia. Perfect for executives working in Labuan or holidaymakers, the house comes complete with swimming pool and lush, landscaped, tropical garden.

Gardener and maid service can be arranged for short-term or long-term contracts.

For more information please email info@discoverborneo.com

See Labuanhouse4rent

The Borneo Rainforest World Music Festival, now in its 12th year, is coming up next month and I plan to go with my lovely wife and some friends. Oh rapturous joy I am looking forwards to it indeed!!


Unfortunately, two of our mates have pulled out and would like to sell their tickets. So if anyone out there is looking for tickets we got 2 here: they cost MYR 250 each (3 day pass).

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This year's Rainforest World Music Festival takes place at the Sarawak Cultural Village
in Kuching, from July 10 to 12, 2009.

The Borneo Rainforest World Music Festival is a unique festival indeed, and it brings together some world renowned musicians from... well... all around the world... including indigenous musicians from the beautiful island of Borneo...

Each day, throughout the afternoon there will be informative workshops, ethno-musical lectures, jamming sessions and mini concerts, followed by evening performances on the main stage.

The festival site also sets up a variety of food and drink stalls, an arts and crafts area as well as a counter for festival memorabilia, Sarawak souvenirs and CDs by the performing artists, all this contributing to a fun filled, wholesome festival experience. A World Music Festival plus a country fair atmosphere in the midst of lush greenery.

The Rainforest World Music Festival, a not-to-be-missed occasion, guarantees a smashing time in the heart of the Borneo Jungle!

Traditional Malay Wedding


We have been to a great deal of weddings here in Sabah, in the past few years, and for one reason or another never had taken photos. This time we wanted to make sure we came away with more than just memories..

First a little bit about Sabah and Malaysian weddings -

Malaysia is so multicultural you might find yourself encountering really diverse types of wedding ceremonies: here in Sabah alone there are some 30 different ethnic groups including Malays, Chinese, Kadazans, Dusuns, Muruts, Rungus, Bajaos, Suluks, and each has their own traditional styles of wedding.

The following Malay- Muslim one is just one of the many types. A Malay wedding ceremony spreads over two days, beginning with the akad nikah ceremony. The groom signs the marriage contract and agrees to provide the bride with a mas kahwin (dowry). After that, their hands are dyed with henna during the berinai besar ceremony. The bride's hair is also trimmed or her eyebrows shaped by a beautician known as the mak andam.

The second day, the groom is accompanied by friends, relatives, musicians and bunga manggar (palm blossom) carriers to the bride's house where they are usually greeted with the sprinkling of yellow rice and scented water.

Sometimes, the pencak silat or the traditional Malay Martial Art is performed. To add gaiety to the joyful affair, the groom and his party are required to overcome humorous obstacles before being allowed to go in.

On the way to the wedding we drove over the bridge over the Mengkabong, it was a clear day with totally amazing views of Mount Kinabalu.


Here we are outside the groom's house in a kampung in the Tuaran area, greeted by friends and relatives.


Everyone eats outdoors where a wide range of dishes are spread out on tables. I made my way straight for the buffet dug right in!


In the Malay-style wedding, the bride and Groom are like the "king and queen" for one day. Don't they look fabulous?! The Keris (traditional Malay knife) by his side is quite real so don't be making eyes at the bride!


There are also of course many 'modern-western' style weddings these days and - being a natural, tropical, multicultural, and gastronomical paradise - Sabah is also an excellent place for you to have your own wedding or honeymoon at one of our many internationally renowned 5 star beach hotels.

A game for the "flat bellies"??
Your Discover Borneo correspondent reports from the field of play at the annual Kaamatan rugby 7's tournament

I love 15-a-side rugby. Why? Because it's a game for all "shapes and sizes"... And, after a few years of enjoying the fantastic Malaysian gastronomical lifestyle, and the sedentary life of the office jockey, I have also become all kinds of shapes (mainly round) and sizes (mainly extra-large).

Despite my lack of fitness, earlier this year my passion for rugby was re-ignited, as it is every year, by the start of the RBS 6 Nations tournament. And every year, around about the same time, I think about playing rugby again (I haven't played since a one-off game in 2001). And every year I never do. Except this year, following a chance encounter with some members of the KK Sharks on a speed boat trip between Menumbok and Labuan.

So I joined the club side in Kota Kinabalu - Sharks Rugby Football Club. And I'm back playing rugby again. Since my first game in February, until now, my fitness has slowly been improving. So when our lovely rugby club secretary, Lena, asked me if I could make up the numbers and join in the upcoming Kaamatan (Harvest Festival) 7's tournament I thought "yeah sure, why not?".

Big mistake y'all !!!

7-a-side rugby and 15-a-side rugby are 2 different beasts.

Your resident DiscoverBorneo blogger, several decades after having last played the 7-a-side version of the game, was pulp within just minutes of the first kick off.

With only less than half of the number of team mates, on the same size pitch, 7-a-side rugby is meant for the fast and the fit. And as one of my friends warned me beforehand: "the flat-bellies are going to get you". And get me they did.

Luckily my team has some exceptional players who proceeded to play some excellent 7's rugby and go on to win the tournament in style.

So anyway, I would like to say congratulations to all my team. It was really a lot of fun being there and just taking part in the games.

My next ambition in life: to become a "flat-belly".

Here are some photos from the Kaamatan 7's tournament (held at La Salle school, Tanjung Aru, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia!)



KK Sharks players warming up

A young "shark", maybe only 55 odd kg in weight: see the dorsal fin is still a little small.. teeth are quite well developed however..


After the rugby a little tapai to celebrate the Kaamatan. Tapai is Kadazandusun rice wine - which is stored in a Chinese-style clay Jar which is called a "Tajau".







Kota Kinabalu: Sabah is now among the world's best attractions in terms of the super yacht marine tourism sector.

This segment of the tourism industry benefits not only tourism players in Sabah, but other industries and the economy as well, said State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun.

He said the Federal and State governments work closely with private sector companies specialising in this field to move towards improving infrastructure and enhancing areas requiring attention to further promote this sector in Sabah.

"Marine tourism is massive worldwide and Sabah, with its unparalleled diversity, holds the key for it being one of the most suited destinations for this lifestyle holiday in Asia," said Sabah Tourism Chairman, Tengku Datuk Dr Zainal Adlin.

"Indeed our super yacht visits over the past few years are growing exponentially to prove this and it now seems commonplace to see at least one or two of them berthed at Sutera at any one time," he said.

Touchdown Holidays Sdn Bhd, luxury yacht handlers and Sabah agents for Asia Pacific Super Yachts, alone had already received visits this year from six super/mega yachts ranging in size of up to a whopping 300 feet valued at hundred of millions of US dollars.

(Daily Express)

Continue reading Sabah making gains in yacht tourism

TUARAN: It was sunny on the morning of May 31, that marked Sabah's Kadazandusun community's celebration of their harvest festival or 'Pesta Kaamatan'.

An octogenarian was sitting leisurely at the stairway of her wooden house in Kampung Mantob, Kiulu while listening attentively to a Kadazandusun song entitled 'Tadau Kaamatan' over Radio Vfm Kota Kinabalu.

The woman, Mundahoi Sompong, who is now 83 years old, was a distance away from the KDCA building in Penampang, the heart of this year's Pesta Kaamatan celebration.

For more than two decades, age had forced this woman to skip witnessing events in the celebration that included its highlight, the Unduk Ngadau (beauty pageant).

(The Borneo Post)

Continue reading Tadau Kaamatan: Symbol of unity for all Malaysians

Nevio (centre) tries out the kulintangan while Claudine (right) decides to beat on a traditional drum when they dropped in at the Kota Belud House during the festival.

KOTA KINABALU: A couple from the grand duchy of Luxembourg in Europe arrived in Sabah for the first time recently and was impressed not only by the natural wonders of the state but the Kaamatan festival which unites the many ethnic groups in celebration.

"We are happy to be here not only because we have the chance to visit many beautiful places like Mount Kinabalu and the orang utan sanctuary in Sepilok but also to have met friendly people.

"The Kaamatan festival is a truly exciting event. You should be proud to have this kind of celebration which brings together all the ethnic groups in the state in a joyful atmosphere," said Nevio Salciccia.

He commended the state government in its effort to preserve the cultural heritage of the people.

Nevio and his wife Claudine came to know of Sabah through the social networking website, Facebook.

Their decided to take time off from their busy schedules to meet their new friend Mama Anne who is the caretaker of the Bukit Harapan charity home in Inanam.

(New Sabah Times)

Continue reading Facebook brings couple to visit Sabah

Appey being flanked by Pearl and Joanne

KOTA KINABALU: The south-western Papar district shot to prominence in the closing moments of the state-level Kaamatan or Harvest Festival celebrations when a district lass bagged this year's Harvest Queen title.

Appey Rowenna Januin, 18, who won the district-level pageant on Sunday said: "I'm just so glad that the Unduk Ngadau title has returned to Papar after a 42-year absence."

The Kadazandusun lass took home prizes totalling RM39,000 including a RM25,000 scholarship from the Asia Tourism Institute, return air tickets to Hong Kong and RM3,500 in cash.

She attributed her victory to luck, saying that many of the 41 contestants were more experienced.

The second place went to Pearl Dianne Petrus, a 20-year-old Kota Kinabalu Politeknik engineering diploma student representing Kota Kinabalu.

In third spot was Joanne Kimberley J. Majalap, 19, a student from Penampang.

(The Star Online)

Continue reading Papar lass crowned Unduk Ngadau Harvest Queen

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