Thursday, 23 February 2017

MIRI: The second largest city in Sarawak

Miri is the second largest city in Sarawak with a population of 230,000 people. It was founded in 1910 when the Royal Dutch Shell discovered oil in this area. It is located in the northeast of Sarawak just right next to Brunei in the north. I find the city very symmetrical and  a bit clean; just like Jesselton, except for the cleanliness.To me, Miri is much cleaner maybe due to the fact that they don't experienced massive influx of illegal immigrants.

The main economic revenue for Miri and Sarawak is petroleum, followed by timber and also tourism. Since 2014, the Malaysian currency had been depreciating and lately it was RM4.30 to USD1 and RM3.00 to B$1 and since then thousands of Bruneien had been flocking to Miri every week. That is why their shopping malls are also impressive (like the pictures above). Every month, the Bruneien will find the things in Miri getting cheaper and cheaper as the Malaysian currency depreciated without any end in sight. For Malaysian, especially for people like us from North Borneo; well! it is just like cities and towns around Malaysian Borneo.

Miri is the gateway to the famous Gunung Mulu National Park but it is very far away. A taxi driver told me, "why do you want to visit Miri? There is nothing much to see here." He told me he brings his family to Jesselton (Kota Kinabalu) every year because North Borneo (Sabah) to him is a sightseeing paradise. "The best place I can take you is the Luak Esplanade (picture above). The Hawaiian Beach used to be beautiful, but the sandy beach are now covered with scrapped metals and hardened cement!" So sad! What a nice name for a beach. At the Luak Esplanade, it was a trip worth it; because of the wide beach and wonderful sunset!

The first romance-thriller from North Borneo!

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Paragliding in Borneo (Part 2)

I felt that early February 2017 was the best time for paragliding. The temperature was cool; cold to some as it was 18 degree celcius. The wind speed was slightly strong, and despite the temperature being cold, there were numerous strong thermal waves boiling upward to help push the gliders higher. Example like the picture above. This is the highest point of the hill; the Paragliding Take Off Base, Kokol Hill near Jesselton (Kota Kinabalu) at approximately 2800 feet above sea level. But yet the glider managed to fly two hundred feet above us with ease.

FLYING WILL SET YOU FREE! See Jesselton from the sky. My cousin, one of the paragliding pilot, Chris Lammert can also arrange to fly late in the evening to watch the sunset disappear over the horizon. I have flown three times with Chris and it was a wonderful experience.

Contact CRIS LAMMERT at +60138645606

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Wednesday, 8 February 2017


Mount Kinabalu view from Paragliding Takeoff Base, Kokol Hill
Hello everyone! Sorry I had not blog for a long time. It was the early year and festival syndrome that I believe affected many people. We had Christmas at the end of December together with New Year Celebration, then everyone would be busy sending their kids to school by the first week of January and then came the Chinese New Year. So many people became dizzy with excitement because of all these. Anywhere.....

The view of the mountain (the picture above) was fantastically clear. It would be easy to conclude that this day, on February 8, 2017 would be a hot and sunny day. Many expected I would be sweating profusely. Wrong! It was very cold; cool to some. My cousin, Chris Lammert, the paragliding tandem pilot checked on his gadget and it shows the temperature was 18 degree celsius!

Watching the paragliders flying away with cold wind blowing into our faces
 According to the North Borneo (Sabah) Meteorological Department, it is a normal phenomena for February to be cold because of the east monsoon and this will continue until the month of March. In Mount Kinabalu, I was informed that pool of water became frozen as the temperature dropped to zero degree celsius! Some places in the interior of North Borneo such as Keningau experienced temperature as low as 11 degree celsius! Wow! That is cold.

In the afternoon, I rushed down to Jesselton (Kota Kinabalu) to play golf at Sabah Golf and Country Club (SGCC). I thought it was going to be hot and humid. I was wrong. It was cool and pleasant. It was more relaxing if we happened to be under the shade. How I wish we could experience this sort of weather all year round. I think the Meteorological Department was wrong when they said we will be experiencing this coolness every February. I don't remember last February (2016) being cool. Nor was the year before. But I do remember it was very cold when we played football back in February 1977. If that is so, it is unfortunate it has to happen once in every 40 years!

 A first English romance-thriller from Borneo!