Tag Archives: environment

Tempurong Golden Beach Resort

Kids playing with sand

When school holiday approaches, parents would think hard where to bring their children for some quality family time. Guess what, there were two places that I really hated my parents sent me to when I was a kid. First is tuition class. What The Fish, the children are deprived of break time they desire. It’s a child abuse!

Children running on the beach

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Let your children play.

The second place is relative’s house. Usually it ends up like the adults mingling and having a great time among themselves, but leaving me bored to death (unless my favorite cousin is around).

Tempurong Beach in the morning

Strolling on Tempurong Beach

Awesome parents will put some thoughts on making their children enjoy hanging out with them, which is important for bonding. Among some popular choices for family vacation are “Jalan-Jalan” (walk around) trip to Kundasang highland, islands off Kota Kinabalu City (KK) or staying in beach resort.

Tempurong Golden Beach Resort

There are a lot of options for a wonderful family trip in other locations. Just for sharing. If you want the trip packed with fun activities in nature, you may consider going south to Kuala Penyu.

Tempurong Golden Beach Resort in Kuala Penyu

Tempurong Golden Beach Resort in Kuala Penyu

Tempurong Golden Beach Resort is located at Tempurong Beach (or Pantai Tempurung) about 15 Kilometres away from Kuala Penyu town. It targets at family groups which want to unwind themselves with leisure stay and having some activities.

Seaside chalet of Tempurong Golden Beach Resort

Seaside chalet of Tempurong Golden Beach Resort

Besides accommodation, they offer outdoor activities package for family and company too.

Tempurong Golden Beach Resort

Big coconut shell statue at Tempurong Golden Beach Resort

Tempurung means Coconut Shell in Malay. About 200 years ago, the villagers found a coconut shell engraved with holy verses of the Al-Quran on the beach, so they renamed this village from Tanah Merah to Tempurung.

Watermelon near the chalet

Watermelon in front of the seaside chalet

Just look at the photos of Tempurong Golden Beach Resort I post here and you shall get a good idea what you can do there.

Double Bed Room of Tempurong Golden Beach Resort

Seaview Bedroom (2 queen size bed)

Family Room of Tempurong Golden Beach Resort

Riverside Bedroom (1 queen size, 1 double decker)

The resort has 15 basic rooms with air-conditioning and attached bathroom cum toilet. Their highlight is the nature-based activities such as fishing and island survivor program.

Beach of Tempurong Golden Beach Resort

Beach of Tempurong Golden Beach Resort

A study conducted by two PhDs found that exposing children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) to “green outdoor activities” reduces symptoms significantly.

Tempurong Beach is a few Kilometers long

Tempurong Beach is a few Kilometers long

The white sandy beach is just next to the resort. Tempurung Beach is not a touristy beach so it is not crowded, your family can have the whole beach most of the time.

Activity hall near the beach

Activity hall near the beach

The visitors can use the activity hall next to the beach for gathering and group activities.

Volley Ball field near the beach

Volley Ball field near the beach

Volley ball is one of the great past time activities.

Hammocks at the beach side

Hammocks at the beach side

Or you can choose to take a nap in hammock. The wind was quite strong at Tempurung Beach during my visit. I didn’t really feel warm.

Camp fire at Tempurong Beach

You can have camp fire at night here

Camp fire at the beach can bring back a lot of memories. This place is far away from city and free of pollution, so you can see starry sky at night. The resort can prepare BBQ or steamboat dinner for you upon request.

Tempurong Beach of Kuala Penyu

Tempurong Beach of Kuala Penyu

Your children will enjoy a stroll on the beach and run like wild horse. The resort can bring you out to the sea for snorkeling and fishing.

Seine Fishing at the shore

Seine Fishing at the shore

In the morning, you would find local fishermen catching fishes in the sea. They are very friendly and won’t mind you joining them or busybody with their caught.

Fishermen at Tempurong Beach

Fishermen at Tempurong Beach

Though Tempurung Beach is big, only a dozen houses are built along it. It’s a peaceful and underpopulated village.

We human are biological being, and our body system is linked to nature. Biophilia hypothesis says humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life. That’s why we are always happy when we are in the wild.

Strolling on Tempurong Beach

Human is part of Nature, and Nature is part of Human.

However, nowadays kids are isolated from nature because both parents and teachers think outdoor is full of hostile things for kids, like UV, bacteria, bees… Many shcools have strict policy of not allowing students to get near the water in school trips.

Tempurong Beach

Tempurong Beach. The dark things on the beach are seaweeds washed to the shore

Therefore, our society has cultivated “strawberry generations” which are overprotected and overly dependent on technology. If you put a kid in the wild, they won’t know how to get around and will cry for mommy very soon. It’s just not right if human is uncomfortable with nature.

Batu Luang Beach

Batu Luang Beach

The beautiful Batu Luang Beach is only 1 KM away from the resort. It has one of the best sunset view in Sabah.

Small river at Small bridge of Tempurong Golden Beach Resort

Small river at Tempurong Golden Beach Resort

There is a small river next to Tempurong Golden Beach Resort. It’s connected to the sea during high tide, and you can see lot of fishes.

Small bridge of Tempurong Golden Beach Resort

Small bridge of Tempurong Golden Beach Resort

Mangrove river near the resort

Mangrove river near the resort

The river is part of a mangrove teeming with fishes, shellfish and shrimps.

Fishing and rowing boat

Fishing and rowing boat

You can do fishing and rowing boat in this river. Kids love this because they never have a chance to do this in city. At first they would be a bit worry sitting in the wobbly boat, but soon they will enjoy the experience.

Hunting for mud lobster at night

Hunting for mud lobster at night

At night you can have a little adventure at the riverside to see what comes up in the dark. Have you ever seen a Mud Lobster before?

Trying out traditional food

Trying out traditional food

Don’t let your mom cook. The resort can prepare special meals such as traditional food and steamboat for your family.

Dining area of Tempurong Golden Beach Resort

Dining area of Tempurong Golden Beach Resort

I have tried some of their nice food during my stay, for example, tom yam steamboat, sago (Ambuyat), seafood buffet. They also have a small shop to sell cold soda drink and beer.

Island Survivor

We are getting smarter living in city but become stupider in the wild. It’s highly probable that people can die of hunger in the wild, even if there are plenty of edible things around them. You can take part in Island Survivor program of the resort. An instructor will bring your family for a taste of adventure in a wood area near the resort.

Learning about survival

Learning about survival

Some of the skills taught in the survival program includes using knife, setting trap, making shelter and starting a fire.

Outdoor survival course

Outdoor survival course

The course caters to the comfort level of your family and company. It’s designed to be relaxing, so everyone from kid to adult will find it comfortable and enjoyable.

Setting up trap

Setting up trap to catch bird and small animals

If you want it more stimulating or challenging, of course you can discuss with your instructor beforehand, to make the experience more thrilling. Company could organize team building and competition for their staffs too.

Starting a fire

Starting a fire

Some may think outdoor survival skill is unnecessary, until one day they find themselves a victim of earthquake and flood (touch wood!), and don’t know what to do. Like it or not, natural disaster does happen unexpectedly, so there is no harm to equip ourselves with some survival knowledge and that may save our lives one day.

Survival course in forest

Building a shelter in forest

During survival challenge, it’s the best time to observe the strength and personality of your mates. A big guy with six-pack abs in your office can turn into a wuss, and a clerk may show better leadership than her boss in pressing environment. For survival, mental strength is matter more than muscle.

Education tour at Rumbia Information Center

Education tour around Kuala Penyu

At the resort, you also can arrange education or group tour to nearby destinations such as Rumbia / Sago Information Center, Pulau Tiga Island and Kilas Wetland.

Download Brochure of Tempurong Golden Beach Resort

↓ Download the Brochure

The following is the contact of Tempurong Golden Beach Resort if you need more info:
E-mail: borneonaturetour@gmail.com
Tel: +60 16-831 3163
Facebook: TempurongGoldenBeachResort
GPS: 5.531031, 115.536236 (see Location Map or Street View)

Photos taken in Kuala Penyu, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

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Sabah Tea Garden, the Organic Tea Farm of Borneo

Sabah Tea Garden

Walk into any coffee shop in Sabah, and you would quickly learn that Chinese Teh Ping (Iced Chinese Tea), Teh-C Ping (Iced Milk Tea), Lemon Teh (Lemon Tea), Teh Tarik (Pulled Tea) are commonly ordered beverages among locals.

tea leaf

Sabah Tea

Our friends from Peninsular Malaysia are always surprised to find that Sabahans are fond of tea break and high tea too. Besides asking our friends to go Yamcha (drink tea), Sabahans would say “Let’s go High-Tea” too. Tea drinking is definitely part of our culture, and it fits well into our laid-back lifestyle.

Sabah Tea Plantation during sunrise

Sabah Tea Plantation during sunrise

“Tea drinkers take a break; coffee drinkers need a break.”

Not only that, Sabah also has its own local tea brand named Sabah Tea, which has established since 1978. Sabah Tea Garden is the only organic tea farm in Borneo. The tea leaves from its 2,480 hectare plantation are 100% pesticide free.

Variety of Sabah Tea products

Variety of Sabah Tea products

Anyway, you don’t need to be a tea lover to enjoy a trip to Sabah Tea Garden. Located 692 Metres above sea level, the cooling highland of Sabah Tea is an ideal place to escape the hot weather of cities.

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Sabah Tea Garden is the largest commercial tea plantation in Borneo, and now they produce eight flavors of tea, namely, cinnamon, ginger, geranium, pandan, tongkat ali, lemongrass, and misai kucing (cat’s whiskers). I tried their Pandan-flavor Pulled Tea (Teh Tarik Pandan) and I really love its rich flavor, a must-try!

Fresh tea leaves

Fresh tea leaves

Sabah Tea Garden has one of the most beautiful plantations in Sabah. Just take a morning walk during sunrise time around Sabah Tea, you will see the breath-taking view of misty rainforest around the lush tea plantation with majestic Mt. Kinabalu as the backdrop.

Sabah Tea plantation under Mt. Kinabalu

Sabah Tea plantation under Mt. Kinabalu

However, Sabah Tea Garden is more than a tea plantation with scenic view. They have successfully turned Sabah Tea into a recreational and educational site, which is friendly for family and student groups. Whether they have a day trip or overnight stay at Sabah Tea, there are so many things visitors can do there.

Tea processing in factory

Tea processing in factory

If you only plan for a short educational visit, you can pay a small fee to join one of the following day tour at Tea Factory. Note the best time to visit is between 8am-12pm (Mon-Sat) and Tea factory tour is not available on major Public Holidays:

  • RM7 (≈US$1.75): 30-min Factory Tour for Primary School students
  • RM14 (≈US$3.50): 45-min Guided Tour of the Tea Factory
  • RM17.50 – RM42 (≈US$4.38 – 10.50): 1.5-hour factory tour with tea tasting (with Sandwiches, Tea Bites, or Set Lunch)
Visiting Sabah Tea Factory

Visiting Sabah Tea Factory

Accommodations

For an “anti-oxidizing” trip by fresh air and tea, I would recommend you to spend a night or two at Sabah Tea. They have two types of accommodations:

  1. Longhouse: 25 rooms (triple sharing), can fit 75 people at a time. 14 shower rooms, 6 toilets.
  2. English Cottages (4 units): total of 16 rooms (1 queen bed + 1 twin bed), can host 48 people. Air-conditioning, Hot Shower and TV available
Longhouse accommodation of Sabah Tea

Longhouse accommodation of Sabah Tea

Cottage of Sabah Tea

Cottage of Sabah Tea

The cottages at Sabah Tea Garden are named after colorful personalities in Sabah’s colonial past. The cottage where I stayed was named after Lofty Hodges, an Australian hero who rescued the survivors of Death March during World War II.

Bedroom of Sabah Tea Cottage

Bedroom of Sabah Tea Cottage

Living Room of Sabah Tea Cottage

Living Room of Sabah Tea Cottage

Sabah Tea put some good efforts to create a farmstay experience. They have flowers and herbs, colorful ornaments, fish pond and Bunny Villa (rabbits) in the plantation, all these small and big things make this place fun to explore.

Coloured Tree of Sabah Tea

Coloured Tree showcases the United Colours of Sabah which underlines the social fabric of the local communities.

Hornbill made of used tyre

Hornbill made of used tyre

Feeding rabbits of Sabah Tea

Feeding rabbits of Sabah Tea. Each rabbit has a nickname such as Tennie, Ah Beng, Bala and Puteri.

Tea Adventure

Tea drinking has over 3,000 years of history, so it’s good to know more about this most consumed beverage next to water. Sabah Tea Garden offers “The Journey of the Tea” tour for visitors who want to learn how tea is processed.

Harvesting tea leaves

Harvesting tea leaves

Collecting tea leaves with Wakid container

Collecting tea leaves with Wakid basket

Participants of Tea Adventure will have a chance to harvest, process and sample the tea from their 1,000 acres tea plantation. They will provide you native hat and wakid (basket), then brief you the right way to pluck the tea leaves and buds. Did you know an experienced tea picker can collect about 32 Kg of tea in a day, which is enough to make 14,000 cups of tea!

Tea harvesting at Sabah Tea

Tea harvesting at Sabah Tea

After harvesting the tea leaves for an hour of fun, you can leave your freshly collected leaves dry and wither. Then you will use them to make Oolong and Green Tea the old-fashioned way later.

Fun with tea harvesting

Fun with tea harvesting

Oolong Tea is semi-fermented and Green Tea is unfermented, and their processing steps are different.

Drying the tea leaves

Drying the tea leaves

For Oolong, the tea leaves are left oxidized before they are roasted in wok, while Green Tea is cooked in steamer.

Black and Green Tea

Oolong and Green Tea

The end result is Green Tea will have milder taste and more astringent than Oolong Tea, which is in light brown color, with richer and stronger flavor. The participants will sample both tea and learn the difference.

Making tea balls

Making tea balls

Tea ball

Tea ball

Their staffs are very keen to share their tea knowledge. They also conduct tea talk for you to gain a better understanding of tea culture. Who knows your appreciation and enjoyment on drinking tea will go up next level.

Tea laboratory of Sabah Tea

Tea laboratory of Sabah Tea

Bad and good tea

Can you tell which tea is of better quality? (The one at the right has too much coloring, bad..)

Tea sampling

Tea sampling

Other Activities

I was also impressed by a full array of activities at Sabah Tea Garden available from day to night.

Misty forest near Sabah Tea

Misty forest near Sabah Tea

The forest, hill and river adjacent to Sabah Tea are in clean and pristine condition, and we can enjoy many types of nature based activities. For example, you can hike to the hill, trek in rainforest, swim in the river (if you can stand the cold!), mountain biking and even camp around.

Group photo after the visit to Sabah Tea

Group photo after taking part in Tea Adventure Programme

If you love wildlife, Sabah Tea Garden is a good site for bird-watching and night walk for spotting insects too.

Fun game after dinner

Fun game after dinner

Sabah Tea Garden is also able to organize team building, game challenges, obstacle course and various group activities for corporate retreats (for a minimum of 15 people).

“Tea” Cuisines

Tea can be used in food too. You can try such dishes at Sabah Tea, like their chicken soup cooked with vegetables and young tea leaves, and one-of-a-kind dessert, Tea pancake with honey.

Sabah Tea Chicken Soup

Sabah Tea Chicken Soup

Sabah Tea Pancakes

Sabah Tea Pancakes

Others local dishes are also available at Sabah Tea, just to list some, Fish with Bambangan (this Fruit only found in Sabah), Tuhau Beef (Sabah’s Wild Ginger Beef), Sabah Tea Black Pepper Lamb, Butter Prawns and Soy Sauce Free Range Chicken.

Restaurant of Sabah Tea

Restaurant and Gift Shop of Sabah Tea

Local cuisines at Sabah Tea

Local cuisines at Sabah Tea

Yes, the food are delicious.

Sabah Legend Tour

Kadazandusun is the largest indigenous group of Sabah. Their legend says Nunuk Ragang is where Kadazandusun people originated, and everything begins with a father and his 3 sons, who later split and migrated to different parts of Sabah and formed three main tribes (namely, Rungus, Kadazan, Dusun).

Tour about Sabah culture and legend

Tour about Sabah culture and legend

At Sabah Tea, the story-telling starts in their Rungus longhouse. Ruby, their staff showed us the traditional clothes, baskets, handicrafts, farming tools, hat, mats, beads and musical instrument displayed in the hallway, to introduce the interesting culture of each tribe.

Pool next to Sabah Tea longhouse

Pond next to Sabah Tea longhouse

Below is the contact of Sabah Tea Garden:
Address (see Location Map): KM 18, Jalan Ranau / Sandakan, Kampung Nalapak, Ranau (2.5-hours Drive from Kota Kinabalu City)
E-mail: info@sabahtea.net
Tel: +60 88-440882 (KK Office), +60 88-879220 (Sabah Tea Site)
Opening Hours: 8am to 4:30pm (best to visit before noon)
Website: www.sabahtea.com.my
Facebook: SabahTea
Fax: +60 88-440886

You may check out my photo album for more photos of Sabah Tea.

Beautiful pool of Sabah Tea

Beautiful pond of Sabah Tea

Photos taken in Ranau, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

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