So mother-nature has her own way of showing off. It apparently is like a performance that she constantly keeps putting up – from dances in the sky with weather to rumbling acts of discovery with new species on an everyday basis. Math geniuses have lost the count of performances mother-nature has given us. Honestly, if she were a person – she would be the only one to beat Meryl Streep (my god this lady) for the most number of Academy nominations.
I feel sometimes mother-nature is like a stand-up comedian. She is reeling you in with a few stories, you have a big broad smile across your face – and suddenly when you visit the place she drops a punch line and you lose your mind. It’s a premeditated attack that leaves you breathless, speechless and applauding for more. And sometimes the best material surprises you in ways you least expected – Sabah (no I didn’t call out to my Sister Sabah). Though she is extremely proud her name lends to a country (How I wish I had one after me).
Who had ever thought that mother-nature would be the biggest inspiration to art with her brilliant strokes of rain-forests, animal species, coral reefs and mountain tops.
Sabah is like an artist’s palette. The colors pop out – calling and enticing you. It’s like when you saw a rainbow for the first time, you thought Barney the purple Dinosaur was going to appear or you were in a cartoon or god stole your colorful plans (I know, I had a weird imagination) whatever suits you. Who had ever thought that mother-nature would be the biggest inspiration to art with her brilliant strokes of rain-forests, animal species, coral reefs and mountain tops.
Introducing the Plot
If you have a constant need, urge, tick, passion or just a desire for an adventure – Sabah is the whole package. When you open a treasure chest, you are hypnotized by the light that reflects off the jewels (this is from my experience as a pirate along with jack sparrow) – that’s how stunned you would be with the beauty of this place. In the concrete jungle we live in today, to have a rainforest – protected and preserved is truly mesmerizing to say the least. Sabah being the second largest state in Malaysia has the busiest airport in the country after Kuala Lumpur International Airport (and why not, considering this place is a tourist haven).
Let’s be honest, all of us have dreamt of being an adventure sport enthusiast – at-least to have a conversation with your hombres (to actually feel like an Old Spice man). You really don’t have to only be an enthusiast, you could become one after a visit to Kinabalu Park. This park is Malaysia’s first World Heritage Site with an area larger than Singapore (so technically you might just be better than your hombres) and the best part is, one of the most sort-after trek on Mt. Kinabalu (highest mountain in Malaysia) is located in the park. Usually when I visit parks, it’s dissected into 4 parts – kids running aimlessly with parents behind them, pets gone crazy with freedom, couples basking in the sunlight and mature adults (men and women) apparently reading some form of literature; clearly this park will not let you stereotype it – It will leave you breathless (literally and figuratively).
When I was a kid, I was obsessed with the movie Duston Checks-In (Dunston, an orangutan befriends the son of a hotel concierge and turns the hotel topsy-turvy while teaching family values) – it was one of those classics that I would hold it up there with Baby’s Day Out. I wanted to be the boy with Duston. My fascination for primates only grew as I learnt more about them. So you can imagine my excitement when the visit to Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center grounded my dream. It is the largest Orangutan rehab center in the world – their mission; return orphaned back to the wild. They are one of the smartest of the primates and feeding them was an experience that humbled me – because I never thought I would meet Duston (look-alike) and his extended family let alone feed them.
From being a kid who loves primates to an adult who wants to just swim underwater, my bucket list is so in need of a few tick marks – coming to Sabah was written in my stars. Sipdan is the only oceanic island in Malaysia. It is densely surrounded by marine life (for a person who was fascinated by Blue Planet, this is the TV show come to life in front of your eyes). Just like in Finding Nemo, you are greeted by a wave of turtles constantly coming in from Selingan Island –park for the protection Green and Hawksbill turtles. I was freaking out and had tears in my eyes when I saw beauty so perfectly taken care of – Sabah really puts perspective into your head when it comes to Mother Nature.
Since there is diversity of animal species, there is for the people too. Walking around you will clearly notice that the history of this place starts with the people and they welcome curiosity with big open arms. Every community contributes to the culture and are evolved with time. During the day you are with the animals at the outskirts and during the night you are with the party animals in the city. You will be surprised to see how food, culture, modern civilization and development can be part of a place that is surrounded by peace, tranquility and protection of various wildlife. The pride that comes with every person in Sabah about their respect to mother-nature is truly inspiring. As a tourist you will want to experiment with everything that Sabah can offer – it will be the most satisfying in your life.
If there was one thing that would stand out in a trip like this, it would be absolutely nothing (don’t be shocked. It’s because everything stands out). Every single moment you spend here, you wish you were reliving the moment as it gets over. No amount of photos, videos or stories would comprehend the pleasure of visiting SABAH. You just have to be there.
There isn’t a perfect time to go, there isn’t a particular reason to go, nor an absolute rhyme to – there is only Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Sabah that defines everything about the place.