Sunday, 9 June 2013

Monkey Business at Klias

“Uarghhhhhh” It’s going to be a lazy start today, I said to myself. I had such a good night’s sleep that waking up at 6am like I normally did seemed like a gargantuan task, more so when you were at Tempurung Seaside Lodge. I have no complaint about the non-airconditioned room as the sea breeze worked just fine. The 11 room of somewhat ‘boutique’ lodge is located at Kuala Penyu near Beaufort, about 45 minutes bus ride from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. It is perched on top of a hillside overlooking the beautiful South China Sea. We had a chance to witness the spectacular sunset from the lodge’s large common balcony the evening before. The whole media team (me included) had looked forward to this relaxing retreat after our grueling Sungai Padas white water rafting programme the day before.

Tempurung Seaside Lodge - a cosy hillside retreat by the beach.
Spectacular sunset from the common balcony of Tempurung Seaside Lodge
My blogger friend, David, trying to capture the beautiful sunset moment.
View of a section of the lodge that housed the dining/games room.
Tempurung Seaside Lodge has to be commended for its good food and courteous staff. Guests are welcomed to use the facilities at the games room which consist of a pool and snooker table, darts and a guests lounge with satellite TV (they don’t have TVs in the individual rooms). The fine, white sandy private beach is very welcoming to the guests. Some of us went for a beach stroll after our scrumptious breakfast while the rest chose to either take a dip at the beach or simply laze themselves on the beach chairs.

Its just you and the nature...
A young couple having a morning stroll along the beach.

We saw a couple of fishermen at a distant and watched them row back to the shore. I rushed towards one of them to take some photos as he approached the northernmost part of the beach. Apparently it was not a very good day for the poor fisherman as the day’s catch was so meagre. “It’s part and parcel of being a fisherman. Last week it was bountiful. These few days were not so good, but it’s more than enough for Merah” said the fisherman, throwing a fish to a cat, which had been waiting patiently for the fisherman to return for its regular meal. Merah had earlier mingled with us at the beach. Such a spoiled cat! We ended our short one-night stay at Tempurung Seaside Lodge at 3pm after a hearty lunch. I really wouldn’t mind spending another night at the lovely lodge. It’s simply a perfect place for total relaxation.

Merah being spoiled by a media friend.
A lone fisherman rowing back to the shore.
The day's meagre catch.
Our next destination was the Klias river for our monkey watch. We reached the the Klias jetty cum floating restaurant at around 4pm. There were about 40 or so visitors already waiting for their turn to board their respective boats. Easily half of them were foreigners. We were served with tea and some local delicacies while waiting for our turn. In no time we were already on one of the boats, cruising the Klias river, with mangrove trees lining on both sides of the river. There were these delicious looking apple-like fruits that were in abundance which, I was later told, were poisonous. The juice of the ‘berembang’ or mangrove apples is being used as poison for the blowpipe darts.

River cruising is big business in Klias.
Klias river at dusk.
A group of proboscis monkeys displaying their acts.
There were other wildlife animals to be seen like the monitor lizards, macaque monkey, silver-haired monkey and the ‘spotlight’ of the cruise which was the proboscis monkey. Also known as the ‘Dutch Monkey’ among locals, the proboscis monkeys are only found exclusively in the Borneo with a large numbers found in Sabah. Seeing the eccentric monkey with their natural behaviour in the mangroves is truly a wonderful experience.

The river cruise business seemed to be thriving in Klias, judging from the number of jetties and boats of different shapes and sizes plying the river, ferrying with them hundreds of visitors daily.The Klias river cruise will not be complete if visitors don’t observe the display of lights by the fireflies after dusk. The species of fireflies here emit yellowish lights and responded actively to flashes of lights from the boatmen. It was so enchanting. Too bad I couldn’t capture them in photographs. My wish is that this beautiful eco-system will be well preserved despite the rapid physical developments for the sake of our future generations.

For more information on Tempurung Seaside Lodge and other interesting places in Sabah, please visit:

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