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Mud Volcano in Kalabakan (Sabah)

Kalabakan Mud Volcano

Just a few months ago, Sabah newspapers reported an emergence of a mud volcano near the road in Menumbok. People were a bit concern and thought it’s an omen for earthquake. Luckily nothing happened. However, the mud volcano that I’ll show you here is even bigger and more active.

parking car at roadside

This mud volcano is probably the most accessible one, as it’s just next to the road

Checking out the mud volcano

Checking out the mud volcano

This mud volcano is about 15.5 KM after the gate of Maliau Basin to the direction of Tawau City (GPS: 4.5478012, 117.0619419, see Location Map or Street View).

The location of the mud volcano

The location of the mud volcano

Since we couldn’t see this mud volcano from our car, it took us some times to spot it.

mud volcano in a drain a few Meters down

The mud volcano is in a drain a few Meters down

This mud volcano is about 6 Meters in diameter, with a mild surface upwelling of mud, water and natural gas bubbles.

The mud looks quite fresh

Silky mud burping and bubbling in mud volcano pool

Even though it is at the roadside, where hundreds of cars passing by every day, very few know about it because it is at the bottom of a drain.

Collecting mud from mud volcano

This mud volcano isn’t inside a private property, so anyone can collect mud from it.

Actually mud volcano is common in Sabah, for example, Pulau Tiga Island is created by mud volcano in 1897. Lapid, the largest mud volcano of Sabah is in Tabin Wildlife Reserve.

Scooping the mud

Volcanic mud contains hundreds of times more sodium, calcium and trace elements than normal soil.

There are even some mud volcano hills formed up to 2 miles in diameter and a few hundred feet high, and commonly reported in the Dent Peninsula area. Normally, mud volcano erupts quietly, but it can be violet sometimes. Like the eruption of a mud volcano on Pulau Tiga Island in 1941, the sound could be heard as far as 160 KM.

active mud volcano

This mud volcano is very active

We only stopped by this mud volcano for a few minutes, to collect its fresh mud, which is rich in minerals and great for skin care. We can apply this grey mud on our face as a facial mask.

Girl pointing at mud volcano

Hey! I want this!

In other countries, someone makes soap with such mud and able to sell for a good profit. And this mud volcano seems to have endless free supply of mud.

Ladies taking photo next to mud volcano

Good for Skin. Every woman wishes to have a Mud Volcano in their house

This super active mud volcano looks like erupting, but I think it’s only releasing gas like a “farting pool”. Mud volcano is formed when over-pressured natural gas escapes along cracks in the earth’s surface, carrying mud, water and rocks with it.

couple taking photo next to mud volcano

One for the album. This mud volcano would be gone in future.

We didn’t know about this mud volcano. It’s someone from Junction 41 told us about this place.

Junction 41

Junction 41 is a small station next to Kalabakan-Tawau road. There are many logging truck drivers stop here for a break.

Junction 41 in Kalabakan

Junction 41 in Kalabakan

After long hours of driving in remote and interior area, any sign of civilization is welcome by motorists, though Junction 41 is nothing more than a few building.

Mini market of Junction 41

Mini market of Junction 41 is open on 14th and 15th day of every month

On 14th and 15th day of every month, the locals hold small open-air market that sells various items such as electronic goods, food, fruit & veges, cloth and snacks.

logging truck driver

Many logging truck drivers stop at Junction 41 for a break

Fancy toilet sign at Junction 41

Fancy toilet sign at Junction 41

old fashion toilet at Junction 41

Hello! Long time no see. An old fashion toilet at Junction 41

Junction 41 has a Chinese restaurant built by Uncle Chew, a Malaysian from Johor Bahru. He was working as a contractor here many years ago, then he fell in love with this place and settle down here.

Chinese Restaurant at Junction 41 (Serve No Pork)

Chinese Restaurant at Junction 41 (Serve No Pork)

Uncle Chew is very interesting man who even tries to talk to wild elephants, and he believes they can understand him too. That’s him who told us there is a mud volcano about 250 Meters away from Junction 41.

Black and white cat at Junction 41

Cat at Junction 41. Don’t ask me why I post this.

I only stopped by his restaurant shortly to have fried noodle as lunch. Next time if you visit his shop, do talk to him, and he definitely has a lot of stories to share.

Photos taken in Kalabakan, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

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Loro Kecil Beach, little embayment of Kudat

Mussels are abundant on the rocks at the beach

If we have a choice of our childhood, most of us would want to grow up near to a beach, which is the favorite playground for children (and a dating place when they become adult). People who born in Kudat district are lucky, because Kudat has a lot of nice beaches, besides coconut and longhouse.

Loro Kecil Beach during low tide

The pocket beach of Loro Kecil during low tide

Sunset at Loro Kecil

Sunset at Loro Kecil

In Sabah cities such as Kota Kinabalu, houses with sea view can easily cost over RM1 million. It’s really a dream home because most middle-class people only can daydream about it.

Panoramic view of Loro Kecil Beach

Panoramic view of Loro Kecil Beach

Sometimes I envy those who live in seaside village, though their place is not as prosperous and developed as big city, at least they don’t need to work their ass off to live in a sea-view apartment.

Loro Kecil Beach

Loro Kecil has the potential to be a tourism destination

Loro Kecil Village is the place like this. Actually it’s not a tourist beach. A friendly local showed me Loro Kecil Beach when I was travelling around Kudat, as the beach is only 10 KM before the Tip of Borneo and 32 KM from Kudat town (GPS: 6.973331, 116.726774, see Location Map)

Loro Kecil cove surrounded by lush hill

Loro Kecil is a cove surrounded by lush hill

Rocky shore of Loro Kecil

Rocky shore of Loro Kecil

Look at the aerial map below and you can see that Loro Kecil Beach is adjacent to Bawang Jamal Beach and Kelambu Beach, and you can have “Beach Hopping” trip to visit them all until your skin get wrinkly after swimming.

Map: Beaches of Kudat Peninsular

Map: Beaches of Kudat Peninsular

Small boat resting on the beach

Small boat resting on the beach

Morever, these three beaches have distinctly different geological features, namely, Pocket Beach (Loro Kecil), Tombolo (Kelambu Beach) and Linear Beach (Bawang Jamal Beach).

Canoe on the beach

Canoe on the beach

The hashtags (keywords) that best describe Loro Kecil are #villagelife #beach #childhood #PocketBeach #beautiful #kudat #nature #beachlife and #sea.

Kampung Loro Kecil is a fishing village

Kampung Loro Kecil is a fishing village

According to a research titled The geological heritage values and potential geotourism development of the beaches in Northern Sabah, Malaysia written by Joanes Muda:

“Beaches such as the Tanjung Simpang Mengayau (Tip of Borneo), Kulambu (Kelambu), Loro Kecil, Torongkongan and Marasimsim Beach have research, educational and recreational values and therefore have high potential for geotourism.”

Remains of World War II warship at Loro Kecil Village

Remains of World War II Japanese warship at Loro Kecil Village

The villagers say there is a Japanese warship of World War II being sunk in the sea there. They can see the shipwreck during certain monsoon period.

Engines from a World War II warship

Engines from a World War II warship

Two engines were salvaged from the wreck and placed on the beach. Hope the history and relic of this ship are preserved, to turn this beach into an interesting destination. I wonder where I can find more information about this ship. Without any story, this WW2 remnant is only as good as scrap metal.

Inlet of Loro Kecil

Inlet of Loro Kecil

Scenic embayment of Loro Kecil

Scenic embayment

Technically Loro Kecil Beach is an Embayed or Pocket Beach. During high tide, the cove is filled with sea water.

Embayed beach of Loro Kecil

Embayed beach of Loro Kecil

Large area of intertidal sandflat is exposed during low tide, where you can see thousands of small holes dug by whelks. When I walked on the sandflat, I heard continuous pop sound everywhere, probably it was the noise of whelks retreating to their burrows.

Rocky Beach of Loro Kecil

Rocky Beach of Loro Kecil

The beach is between two rocky shores with many small caves. They told me there are another two bigger caves, about 10 feet long, behind the shores.

Caves at Loro Kecil Beach

Caves at Loro Kecil Beach

Whenever I visit a place that has cave, there is always a legend saying that it’s a treasure burial site. Anyway, only bats are found in these caves, the village folks say. I bet the children there like to play hide and seek inside caves.

treasure hunting site

Some says Loro Kecil is a treasure hunting site

Honeycomb rockface

Honeycomb rockface

At the beach is a small fishing village with a dozen of houses. Most of the residents are Rungus people. They are very friendly and don’t mind stranger like me exploring around.

Interesting rock formation

Interesting rock formation

Interesting rockface at the beach

Interesting rock wall at the beach

The rocks at the shore are like art of nature and fun to look at, as they are craved into different shapes and figures by sea and wind erosion.

Rockface with China map

Did you see a China map?

Villager collecting mussels

Villager collecting mussels

Then I saw an old woman was busy beating something on the rock with a small metal rod. I’m a busybody, so I checked her out. She was collecting the flesh of mussels, which are abundant on the rocks at the beach.

Flesh of mussels

Flesh of mussels

I have a feeling that this location will become a popular homestay in future. Currently the villagers may not aware that they are living at a very unique and interesting beach.

Photos taken in Kudat, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

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