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.
Since we couldn’t see this mud volcano from our car, it took us some times to spot it.
This mud volcano is about 6 Meters in diameter, with a mild surface upwelling of mud, water and natural gas bubbles.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We didn’t know about this mud volcano. It’s someone from Junction 41 told us about this place.
Junction 41 is a small station next to Kalabakan-Tawau road. There are many logging truck drivers stop here for a break.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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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.
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.
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 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)
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.
The hashtags (keywords) that best describe Loro Kecil are #villagelife #beach #childhood #PocketBeach #beautiful #kudat #nature #beachlife and #sea.
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.”
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.
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.
Technically Loro Kecil Beach is an Embayed or Pocket Beach. During high tide, the cove is filled with sea water.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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