Monday, July 27, 2009

Kids' Day Out in Sabah

Travelling with your tots? Sabah is one of the best family destinations, with plenty to see and do for children of all ages. Here are some recommendations to keep them busy:

Lok Kawi Wildlife Park

All parents know that you just can’t go wrong with a day at the zoo! The Lok Kawi Wildlife Park is a half-hour drive from the city of Kota Kinabalu. The journey there is an adventure itself as it takes you through winding roads and past kampung-style houses. The Wildlife Park houses some of the most exotic and beautiful animals found in this part of the world. Must-see exhibits include the playful Orang Utan, charming Borneo Pygmy Elephants and the playful otters! The Aviary is also a favourite where you can be part of feeding time. Don’t miss the Animal Shows at the main stage at 11:15 am and 3:30 pm (except on Fridays and during rainy weather) where you can get up close with pythons and enjoy the antics of the Park’s many feathered friends. There is a special section dedicated for children which includes a petting zoo and an elephant ride. Open daily from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. Entrance fees apply.

A day out at the beaches and islands

Sabah is blessed with beaches aplenty, and this makes for a wonderful playground for kids of all ages. If you are staying at top resorts such as Nexus Karambunai and Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort in Tuaran, then you are in luck as some of the most beautiful beaches are right at your doorstep! Nearer to the city, visit Tanjung Aru Beach or take a boat ride to the nearby islands of Tunku Abdul Rahman Park. Mamutik, Manukan and Sapi are popular picks for families. Kids will love the soft sand, shallow waters and myriad of children-friendly water-sports. Older children will enjoy the thrill of tandem parasailing while those aged 8 and above can explore the underwater world through Seawalking at Sapi island. Take a walk along the seabed without getting single strand of hair wet! At the end of the day, nothing beats a day of fun in the sun.

Up close with the monkeys at Labuk Bay

If you happen to be on the east coast, take some time to visit the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary in Sandakan. During an oil palm plantation development survey back in 1994, the owner discovered something more valuable than the commercial gain of palm oil - he found proboscis monkeys living in the wild. Fascinated, he took the time to study these intriguing creatures and instead of purchasing the 400-plus acres for oil palm development, he turned it into a sanctuary for the proboscis monkeys. Today, you can get up close with these fascinating creatures, particularly during feeding time. It is an amazing experience to see these usually elusive monkeys 'parading' themselves in front of a human audience! While at Labuk Bay, you might also encounter the cheeky Silver Langur and Oriental Pied Hornbill.

Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort's Nature Interpretation Centre

Let your kids get in touch with nature at the fascinating Nature Interpretation Centre in Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort, Tuaran. Home to a myriad of wildlife, little ones will love exploring the 'wilderness' to discover a furry creature or two! Guided nature walks are available and you can even watch the rangers prepare for feeding time at the animal food preparation kitchen. You can opt to be a Ranger for A Day and learn more about the habits, food preference and temperament of the various animals found here. The newly launched canopy walkway gives you a breathtaking view of the surrounding greenery and a friendly Orang Utan or two might even drop by to say hello! The highlight of the visit is Orang Utan feeding time at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. For more information, contact the resort at 088-792888.

Of Headhunters and more at the Mari Mari Cultural Village

Ever wonder what it's like to live among the Murut headhunters? Curious to see how the Dusun people cook their food? An interactive experience at the Mari Mari Cultural Village will give you a better insight into the many cultures of Sabah. A guided tour brings you through various traditional houses, where you can see the 'natives' go about their daily life. Along the way, there's plenty of fun stuff to do, including a hands-on experience of bamboo-cooking and a blowpipe session with Murut warriors. Before you leave, you can even get a henna tattoo by the Murut headhunters. Sample delicious cakes and cookies and, at the end of your journey, sit down and enjoy a wonderful feast of local cuisine. Tours are conducted at 9:00 am, 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm.

Source: Sabah Tourism Newsletter

NOTE: All Photos Copyright to Sabah Tourism

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