Sunday, 8 May 2016

KINABALU: Trip to Luanti Fish Spa

I once operated a spa before. Those who ever dealt with this business will know how nightmarish was it to manage the human resources department. But for fish spa; it's cool men! Having common carps as your staffs definitely are dreams of a lifetime! Not only employing them are free, they also accept peanuts! In fact better; fish feeds! In Malay it is called dedak.

The fish here are known as the Ikan Pelian or Malaysian Mahshee (cyprinidae) which is a family of freshwater fish also called the carp family. They are stomachless as well toothless and they consume their food by sucking. Putting your foot down into the river does make one nervous and as the fish scrambled around your foot, the feeling is ticklish! For the first ten seconds you feel like giving up and you want to rush out from the water, but if we are patient and we let the fish do their job, soon our fear and nervousness will disappear. A lady next to us screamed on top of her voice but fortunately she endured the "suffering" and reaped the pleasure. After that, she refused to go out letting the fish feeds the psoriasis on her feet.

The operator told me this spa is operated by the Luanti village cooperative. Once the fish were almost extinct and the government encouraged them to practiced Tagal which mean "no fishing" in the Dusun language in the late 1990's. Within 15 years the population of the fish exploded and it is no longer considered endangered. Now there are thousands of them in this river. Kampung Luanti is located in Nalapak, Ranau about two hours and thirty minutes drive from Jesselton (Kota Kinabalu). It is also not far from the Kinabalu National Park. Coming here is indeed a great experience.

The first English romance-thriller novel from Borneo

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