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Upon arrival of Sipadan Water Village Resort, we were welcomed by the resort crews with local music and song plus a cold face towel. Sipadan Water Village is a resort on stilts, constructed with Bajau (local tribe) architectural design. I would say, this is the most luxurious diving accommodation I have ever had…
Each bungalow is constructed in a “L” shaped bedroom (accommodate a double bed and sitting area), an attached bathroom and a huge balcony that links from the sitting area and the bathroom.
Sipadan Water Village Resort doesn’t have air condition. Unfortunately during our stay, the air at night was still. The room temperature was high. The balcony quickly became my brother PC’s favorite sleeping spot at night…
This morning’s weather is changable. We had bright sunshine early in the morning, then thunder storm came, and then, the rain stopped, sun came back up…
While travelling on speedboat from Singamata to Pulau Mabul, we passed by these villages which built along the Southeast Coast of Sabah… They brought back my childhood memories of people who live by the sea…
Anxious + anticipated, I am looking forward to the trip to Sipadan, one of the most exciting dive site in Southeast Asia. I was ‘dry’ more than 3 years, since 2006, the last time I was in blue waters of Tioman.
Checking through my dive gears, which had been nicely packed deep in the storage. My BCD is punctured, the rubber of the mask has stiffen, time to upgrade the gears.
Eugene Sim, the Padi course director and also our life saver, is always the first person we think about when it comes to diving. He recommended me to ‘wings’ style BCD rather than my previous ‘jacket’ style, as I can never fit properly with the jacket. Wings BCD has greater customization to my body size. With new BCD, it adds an layer of anxiety to my rusty diving skills – I need to readjust my buoyancy control underwater.
This is a short 4 days 3 nights trip. Out of the blue, my brother PC (who doesn’t even swim) arranges this trip with a big group of friends (with families and kids). First, we take an Air Asia flight from Kota Kinabalu to Tawau, and then overland to Semporna, the closest port to Mabul island. After lunch, we set sail (on speedboat) to Singamata, there we stay for the first night.
Singamata is not even an island. It’s a water chalet built on a large coral reef 10 minutes boat ride away from Semporna. This chalet provides simple but clean accommodation and some diving/snorkeling activities.
It serves a warm up session for us – city folks – before we dive. Kids and families are having real fun snorkeling in this confined water, 10 meters deep, in the mid of ocean.
Since there is nothing much to do besides swimming and I am not a big fan of it, as well as I didn’t bring a single book, refreshing camera skill is my time passer… capturing natural phenomena…
I believe many people know Sabah as a nature wonderland. Located in North Borneo, East Malaysia, Sabah offers various natural sites, with unique floral and fauna. However, many travelers visit Malaysia are missing out Sabah as she is out of the beaten track, and costly. Thanks for Air Asia which help reduces travel cost.
Being a Sabahan, my trip home is always a hassle as the flight from Singapore tends to be a lot more expansive than via Johor Bahru’s Senai airport. It is only 2.5 hours flight, however, going via Senai airport, I used to order a taxi (from JB, cost S$60), he picks me up from my apartment in Singapore and send me to Senai airport. If my flight departs at 6.30pm, the cab would pick me up at 1.30pm to avoid traffic jam. The whole journey took me up to 9 hours. Once I was waiting at Senai airport from 9am till 8pm, supposed to board an Air Asia plane at 12.30pm but it was delayed for 8 hours. The record was nearly 20 hours journey home.
Recently Air Asia started flying from Changi airport, now I have a direct flight from Singapore. Going home becomes a happy occasion since then. I have been taking Air Asia since it first started. Back then it was a pain in the ass as flight delay was very common. Pleasantly surprise nowadays it has improved its services, including its on flight menu. If you choose to eat on the plane, take Nasi Lemak!!! For vegetarian, I am quite please with its vegetarian Nasi Beriani.
To date, flights offer trips to Sabah are Silk air, Malaysian airline (MAS), Jetstar and finally now Air Asia. Tiger airway will join the list soon.
So far, Air Asia is my first pick of the budget airline in Asia…
While we were still in Long Pasia last July, Nooh, our forest trekking guide and the ‘King of Forest’ was constantly mentioning about a hidden lake someway in the forest. For years he was trying to find it. “How do you know there is a lake?” I asked. People saw the lake from the plane… a long time ago 3 villagers found the lake but it disappear for 4 generations. He answered. “Nowadays there are devices called GPS can help to track the location of the lake.” I suggested. Nooh against the idea of using modern devices. As a MAN (human) he should find it himself using his bare instinct and knowledge of the forest. Wow! I respect that.
Colleen’s recent email brought us great news!!! They finally found the lake!! It is now called, ‘Senipung Lake’.
‘I drink the water of the Senipung Lake, fresh and smelless, clear and no fish. Next time I will bath in the lake ;P’ She wrote on her email. Yaaaaaaa! I can’t wait to visit the place!!! Ultimately, I am still a Sabahan and I am proud of the new finding. Thanks Colleen for contributing photos of Senipung Lake.
(See other Long Pasia related posts on category: Malaysia – Sabah – Long Pasia)
This morning, out of boredom Alex and I decided to indulge ourselves in the expansive Internet Cafe in Pokhara. Guess what! Colleen’s email sends us back to Long Pasia in my hometown Sabah. It was a pleasant surprise!!! While seeking Colleen’s approval, we decided to post it on our blog!!!
Yesterday, have a good chat with Nooh Dawa in KK. He told me about his traininig for the Raleigh International Group ( around 14-30 persons in different group). They learn trekking in the jungle Long Pasia-Kalimantan, building camp, fire making, everything about “how to survive in the jungle” most of them were foreigner age 17-25 student.
The group leader, a foreigner from England shown to Nooh about an article about Long Pasia and Nooh’s story together with Nooh’s photo which was printed from the internet. The leader just wanted to confirm if the photo was NOOH……… guess what?? the moment Nooh shown me the article, I was so happy when seeing the title “LIVE IN TIME, LIVE IN SPACE !” Nooh is wellknown and people came to see him in Long Pasia through your website.
Nooh told them you guy was the first group from Bukit Rimau to Maga Waterfall ( your photo in the website leh !! the one clear with leaches socks ). And I & Felicia was the second group trekking from Bukit Rimau to Maga Waterfall. I drink the water of the Senipung Lake, fresh and smelless, clear and no fish. Next time I will bath in the lake ;P
Nooh is very happy and warmest regards from him to you and he is waiting for you to be backed again to Long Pasia, this time the hidden lake calling…………123
Thank v v v much my dear friend, write more about Long Pasia.
English/Englisch… I am deeply impressed to learn how much one person can make a difference.
The man I am talking about and I had the pleasure to meet is Nooh Dawa 53 years old from Long Pasia. Jing and I went from the 6th to 11th July to Long Pasia a hidden village on the border between Sarawak and Sabah. We wanted to experience the untouched rainforest and be as close as possible with nature. That we were able to see the beauty of the forest we have to thank this man who dedicated his life for now 27 years to protect this piece of heaven on earth.
1979 the logging in Sabah went deeper and higher into the mountains in search for the hunderts of years old oak trees. This is were Nooh’s storey begins. He told us that he always felt close to nature and he liked to trek days to the woods. On one of these trips he visited a cave and he saw a snake, a serpent. At night he in his dream the spitit or power of the woods appeared in form of a person and asked him to protect this area.
Most of us would wake up the next morning and put the dream aside us pure illusion. Here the people think different. Nooh follow the call and protect this little piece of land. It is a fight along a thin line in dependancy to the Malysian Goverment but for now 4 years with support from WWF. At the moment there seams safe but Nooh is still around. When he is gone I guess the forest will be gone too.
To meet Nooh was inspiring and maked me understand that we should not underestimate our power. Once we are doing something with all our heart we will make a difference.
German/Deutsch… Ich habe erfahren wieviel eine Person veraendern kann und bin zu tiefst beeindruckt.
Die Person ueber die ich sprechen moechte und das Vergnuegen hatte zu treffen ist Nooh Dawa 53 Jahre alt von Long Pasia. Jing und ich resiten vom 6. zum 11. July nach Long Pasia einem versteckten Dorf an der Grenze zwichen Sarawak und Sabah. Wir wollten der Natur so nahe wie moeglich kommen und den unberuehrten Regenwalt Sabah’s erleben. Das wir die Schoenheit des Waldes sehen konnten haben wir diesem Mann zu verdanken der sein Leben seit 27 Jahren dem Schutz dieses Stuecken Himmel auf Erden widmet.
1979 kroch die Abholzung immer tiefer und hoeher in die Bergregionen Sabah’s auf der Suche nach den Jahrhunder alten Eichenbaeumen. Dies ist die Zeit in der Nooh’s Geschichte seinen Anfang nimmt. Er erzaehlte uns, dass er schon immer der Natur sehr nahe war und es liebte tagelang durch die Waelder zu wandern. Auf einem dieser Trip’s besuchte er eine Hoehle in der er ein Schlange sah, was eine spirituelle Bedeutung hat als Symbol fuer Gott. In der kommenden Nacht hatte er einen Traum in dem ihm der Geist oder Kraft des Waldes erschien in Gestalt eines Menschen und ihm auftrug dieses Gebiet zu beschuetzten.
Die meisten von uns wuerden am naechsten Morgen aufwachen und diese Traum als Illusion beiseite schieben. Hier denken die Menschen anders. Nooh ist dem Ruf gefolgt und hat dieses Land beschuetzt. Dies ist ein Drahtseilakt in Abhaengigkeit von der Gnade der Malaisischen Regierung aber seit 4 Jahren wird er in diesem Kampf von WWF unterstuetzt. Im moment scheint Frieden eingekehrt zu sein aber der Schein truegt. Solange Nooh hier ist wird der Wald weiterleben aber ich denke sowie er fort ist werden die Baeume auch verschwinden.
Nooh zu treffen war inspirierend und hat mir klar gemacht das wir unsere Kraft nicht unterschaetzten sollten. Wenn wir etwas mit all unserem Herzen tun werden wir einen Unterschied machen in dieser Welt.
I came to understand why it calls, ‘Mega Fall’. True enough, the water fall occurs in between miles of huge rock formation, creating several small falls as well as some better ones.
Unfortunately we didn’t spend long enough time here as we were heading back to the village shortly after breakfast…
The road back to the village was mainly walking along the old logging trail…
This morning we had a quick breakfast, packed up and started walking shortly after sunrise. Nooh expressed concern if we would made it to Mega Fall. On our itinerary sheet, it supposed to take us 5 hours. But, yesterday schedule was written 3 hours ended up 7.5 hours. Today it might take us 10 hours getting to Mega Fall… This thought made me chill. ‘Don’t think too much, just walk!’ I told myself.
Walking through the woods felt cooling. Stepping onto the slippery soft ground which filled with falling tropical leaves lighten our load. Crossing rivers, occasionally took a stop and refreshing ourselves with the red water. In fact, ‘Long Pasia’ in Lundayeh langauge stands for ‘The Red River’ in English. Therefore, the river water here appears in dark red. Sometimes, Nooh led us through paths which were overgrown by tree branches and leaves. This answered my initial question why he brought along a big Barang knife. He practically cutting down branches which stood on our way, or instantly building temporary bridges while crossing rivers. He curved several walking trail for us.
However, after 2 hours hiked, my leg started to hurt. Obviously the old ache from trekking on Himalayas (2002) hasn´t been completely healed. It was still a long day ahead, I forced myself to keep up with the speed with my peers. Luckily Nooh made frequent stops to make sure we were alright…
The highlight of today’s trail was the giant pitcher plant. I’d never seen such a huge species and all gathered around one area. We spent sometime taking photographs as well as video. We missed another highlight – wild orchid. The blooming seasons start only in August, one month later…
When the day was ending, sun was setting, we were dragging our bodies moving onto hard rocks formation when we were closer to Mega Fall. By this time my leg was severely in pain, every step caused severe pain from my right knee and I started to limb. Nooh sent the porter rushing to our camp tonight to prepare food, and he walked closely with us and maintained ‘walk and stop’ on every 45 min-1 hour. When we finally arrived to the campside by the river, the surrounding was so dark that we can hardly see anything besides the sound of water rushing through the river. We were rewarded by our favorite ‘Soup tomato’, some stir fried veggie and rice of course…