Sunday, 27 November 2016

Paragliding in Borneo: From Kokol Hill (Part 1)

It had been a long time since I last saw my cousin, Christopher Lammert gliding down the The Forgotten Hill  and floating above the cloud overlooking Jesselton (Kota Kinabalu). This time Chris told me; everything is different. Before he used to have the orange paragliding wing which is big and cumbersome; and it is very old. However, Chris kept it, nicely and neatly tucked at his house because that big piece of fiber had done him too much favor to be disposed. He had too much memory with his old friend; the old orange wing flying together at Kokol Hill.

This time his white new wing is not only much more smaller, but sleeker and lighter; which make it easy for the pilot like Chris to handle. Before, the orange wing would not be able to take off unless it is a perfect weather condition. For example now; the weather is so cool and comfortable because the cloud is hovering  slightly below us. With his old gliding wing, Chris will not be able to take off because cool air mean less pressure. With newer technology, this white wing do not see any problem with that sort of situation.

With his old orange wing, Chris will not dare jump with such a low hanging cloud
This time his client was a Dane named Alan. Chris told me Alan had a sleepless night and he didn't take his lunch properly because he was thinking of the frightening experience he is going to face; paragliding for the first time! I noticed he was taking a deep breath all the time. I asked him, "you are Dane right?" "Ya!" Was his reply. "Then you should not be afraid because you are a Viking warrior!" I told him. "But not on air!" He replied stammering. Both of us laugh and somehow it comforted him a little.

Chris (in orange) explaining to Alan (in blue) the flight part
Alan shouting with fear
And became overjoyed watching the beautiful scenery from above

Contact Chris Lammert at +6013-8645606

The first English romance-thriller from Borneo
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Saturday, 19 November 2016

NASI LEMAK served at Villa Ku Boutique Homestay

Villa Ku Boutique Homestay is a cute 11 room motel on top of the Kokol Hill. It is so cozy inside especially after being chilled by the afternoon mist surrounding this resort. The view outside is even breathtaking. According to the owner, Madam Bona, people coming here enjoyed the outside view overlooking the Kionsom Valley because every hour, the panoramic views kept changing.

What I enjoyed most about this place or Kokol Hill; we have the opportunity to experience "floating in the clouds" and yet this place is not far away. It is only 45 minutes drive from the city center of Jesselton (Kota Kinabalu). But the best thing about here is; having hot chocolate and nasi lemak when you are feeling cold.

Madam Bona's special dish is her Nasi Lemak. Nasi lemak is a fragrant rice dish cooked with coconut milk and pandan (Pandanus amaryllifolius) leave. It is common in the Malay archipelago (Malaysia, Indonesia, Southern parts of Philippines and Thailand and Brunei). Madam Bona told me that she was fascinated with nasi lemak ever since she was a small. She traveled around North Borneo and even went as far as West Malaysia so that she could find the best recipe. Finally she found one, and now she could serve nasi lemak in a cool terrain. Her rice is special local rice which made her dish tasty.

In the late 1980's, I saw a newspaper article in the sports column quoting the North Borneo football coach (I believe an English coach) saying; the problem with the local footballers is their dietary habits. It is so unhealthy because the players do not have enough nutrients in their body. They eat nasi lemak! To think back about it; I thing he is very wrong. Nasi lemak is packed with proteins; ikan bilis, groundnuts, eggs are full of nutrients. To me, the people of the archipelago did the right thing to have nasi lemak for breakfast.

So if you need a place to relax, enjoying the views and having nasi lemak, VILLA KU BOUTIQUE HOMESTAY AND CAFE is the right place to go. For booking, the resort can be contacted at:

TEL NO: 011-12214708
WEBSITE: Villa Ku Boutique Homestay

The first English romance-thriller from Borneo

Thursday, 10 November 2016


WH Smith at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA)

The Museum Shop at the Sabah Museum

My romance-thriller novel, THE EURASIANS is now available in two of these bookstores; WH SMITH at the KKIA and also at the  THE MUSEUM SHOP at the North Borneo (Sabah) Museum. These bookstores also sells other interesting collection of Borneo books pen by local authors, mostly dealing with non-fiction issues such as history, culture and nature. It is worth spending time here. While WH Smith offer a place to seat, relax and have a light snack, Museum Shop also sell varieties of local and imported handicrafts.

The first English romance-thriller from Borneo

Friday, 4 November 2016

KOKOL IN HEAVEN: A View to Kill (Time that is!)

The most wonderful place to see the view of Jesselton (Kota Kinabalu) is from a resort call Kokol Haven, located at The Forgotten Hill.This building have 11 big rooms suitable for families who decide to travel up the hill, enjoying the cool night and morning wind and at the same time walk into the primary forest nearby. Up at this resort the view is breathtaking! Almost all the important islands near the city such as Gaya, Mamutik, Sulug and Sepanggar could be seen clearly from up here. Sometime we can even see Pulau Tiga, a national park designated island near Kuala Penyu.

I asked one of the staffs here; what is their special dishes? She told me Tuaran Mee. Well, this noodle is indeed famous in North Borneo (Sabah) and leaving the island without tasting this food is a wasted opportunity. However, the Kokol Haven restaurant also served western cuisines, Chinese meals and Malay delicacy; typical of many Borneo restaurants.

In the day time, if it doesn't rain, we could see the concrete jungles mushrooming all over Jesselton. Early in the morning, before 8am, the weather is so comforting as the cool wind blow into your face. Sitting at this resort, as we watch below; time really slowed down. But the coming of night is more interesting. The ray of sunset really inspire you. It is so beautiful and spectacular. Once again, the coolness creep in as it had disappeared during the mid-morning. Watching colorful sunset; as the cool wind kept pounding on you, is really a wonderful experience.

A twenty minutes walk up the hill from the resort, we will reach the peak of Kokol Hill; the paragliders paradise! Early in the morning and occasionally right into the afternoon, the peak is covered with thick cloud. Here the height is 2800 feet above sea level. See also The Forgotten Hill Part Two.

What's unique about Kokol Haven is the distant. It only takes 45 minutes from the city center to reach this resort. We can be enjoying swimming at one of the islands, and almost immediately we can decide to tell ourselves or the tour guide that "I want to go to Kokol Haven now!"  No problem!


The first English romance-thriller from Borneo