Tag Archives: Kota Kinabalu

Indoor Climbing in Sabah

Indoor rock climbing

Why is bungee jump thrilling? Because our bodies alarm us that our life is in danger (but you know you are safe). This fight-or-flight response triggers the flood of adrenaline, endorphin, and dopamine, which excite us and awaken the warrior inside us.

climbing in SICC

Climbing can take you to places no others can reach

I want to look like one of those awesome rock climbing dudes who always appear in motivational posters, so I tried my first indoor climbing at Sabah Indoor Climbing Centre (SICC), the best indoor climbing gym in Sabah since 1 Sep 2010.

Sabah Indoor Climbing Centre (SICC)

Sabah Indoor Climbing Centre (SICC). This place becomes busy every late afternoon.

indoor climbing gym

Climbing is a sport for everyone

At first I hesitated, the tall and vertical climbing walls look like unconquerable cliffs. Nearly overpowered by fear, I started to imagine that I was failing and falling.

climber team

The gang who tries climbing the first time

No, I don’t want to give up without trying. It’s perfectly safe anyway. Because of fear, I had given up so many things in life. I don’t want to be a loser who hides in comfort zone, at least for today.

descending from rock wall

Descending from wall climbing

“Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will.”

The staffs at SICC are very friendly. They assure me that rock climbing is a fun and safe activity. Well, I think my skill in climbing mango trees during childhood would help lol.

Briefing before the climb

Briefing before the climb

The preparation is fast and simple, I don’t really need to do much. They helped me strapped to harness and rope, something to prevent me from falling to the ground, in case I lose my balance or grip. After a short briefing and my belayer in place, I’m good to go.

No turning back

“Brave people also fear, but they go ahead anyway.”

My heart pumped rapidly. I walked to the giant wall and looked up. I knew once I made my first move, the only way was up and there was no turning back.

Guidance by SICC Instructor

Guidance by SICC Instructor

Anyway, my first wall is the easiest one, and I have little difficulty to complete the climb. They advised me to use more of my legs than my hands, and don’t try not to be a cliff hanger.

17 walls in SICC

SICC has 17 walls that offer different challenges (fun) and design

Climbers on belay

Climbers on belay are safe from falling

“The brain is the most important muscle in climbing.” – Wolfgang Güllich

Strength alone doesn’t determine your success. Besides right techniques, climbers need to plan their route. The rock holds are in different shapes and sizes. My favorite ones are those big ones that are easy to grip. Inevitably I have to use the small ones when they are the only option.

climbers on belay

Climbers need to plan the route to move up

When climbing the second wall, I used too much upper body strength and my hands began to shake. At some points I was kind of stuck and didn’t know where to go. Luckily the belayer guided me where to land my next step.


I feel adrenaline flows through my body while trying to keep up with the increasing challenge. Hesitation is bad, so I have to keep climbing up.

man trying wall climbing

Climbing is a great physical exercise

I fought my way up with the gravity. When I was tired, I could request the belayer to hold me in hanging position for a short break. FYI, the rope is to prevent you from falling. You are not supposed to use it as a climbing aid.

Do not touch the rope

No… you are not supposed to touch the rope

The moment I tapped the top label, it was like a small victory to me. The second wall is harder due to its irregular wall surface.

girl reaching the top of rock wall

“Look! Mom. I reach the top!”

Then I got down for a rest before attempting the third wall. Though I was tired, I felt so relax. Rock climbing increases levels of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter in the body that reduces stress.

girl hanging around

Feel free to hang around

According to an article published by British Journal of Sports Medicine, the cardio and energy consumed in climbing is similar to running at a pace between 5 and 7 minutes per Kilometre (That’s fast!).

girl in climbing

Climbing can be a sport or hobby

Climbing wall for children

Climbing wall for children

When I sat and looked around, I noticed many pretty climbers. I wonder if it’s climbing that makes them look beautiful. To me, Lara Croft with fit physique definitely looks far more attractive than weak Snow White with fair skin.

girl almost reaches the top

Almost there…

busy climbers in SICC

“From a mental standpoint, climbing is an amazing teacher, instilling focus, balance, determination and a whole … host of valuable life skills.” – Cedar Wright

A one-hour climbing session can burn over 700 calories, and it uses lots of muscle groups in the upper and lower body. If you climb often enough, you will build very nice muscle tone. Doubt?
Just look at the instructors of SICC.


Thank you Beverly for being my belayer. Nice ass by the way

Ok, the third wall is even more challenging with mild level of overhang. Now I realize two things: 1) it’s no easy task to be a Spiderman lol, and 2) our fingers can do more amazing things than swiping the screen of smartphone. Climbing really tests our strength, endurance, agility, and balance.

hanging on rock wall

“Climbing isn’t about hanging on, it’s about letting go”

It is not a race, so I just kept calm and moved up inch by inch. Sometimes it’s nerve wracking when I had to reach far to make a bold move that could cause me losing balance. I knew I was in good hands, but I still disliked the idea of falling.

girl hanging at rock wall

Don’t look down!

My hands were shivering more and more. The staff tried to encourage me to push the envelope. Whenever I thought I was exhausted, I still managed to squeeze a bit of power from my energy reserve.

climbing with friends

It’s more fun to climb with friends

Finally, I couldn’t hang on anymore. My hands slipped and I fell. The rope stopped my fall. I tried to get back to where I fell and carried on, but my hands were like jello. White flag raised.

me trying wall climbing

It’s me trying wall climbing

Descending after the climb

Descending after the climb

Depend on how you take it, rock climbing can be a skill, sport or passion (or all three) for you. You can enjoy the exhilarating moment without doing extreme sports, speeding, drugs or other dangerous things that can break your bones. Warning: it can be addictive.

fearless female climber

If a person is fearless, he/she is unstoppable.

Next day my arms and legs were so sore that I could barely lift my toothbrush. I welcome this though. Rock Climbing is one of the best whole body workouts available. If I climb regularly, I can become as strong as a ninja.

Practice climbing techniques at small wall

Practice climbing techniques at small wall

I saw some parents went climbing with their kids too. I’m sure this sport can help the kids to learn to be independent thereby building up their confidence and self-esteem. Growth requires a bit of struggle sometimes right. FYI, SICC has “Little Monkeys Class” for kids aged 6 to 13.

kid tries indoor climbing

Children of 6 years and above can try indoor climbing

girl climbing the wall

Climbing helps children to face their fears in a safe environment.

The fee of One-day pass fee for SICC is RM22 For adults and RM20 for 17 years & below. (Climbing Shoes for Rent: RM6, or bring your own). They offer special rate to students, group and senior citizens. If you become an avid climber, you can consider all-you-can-climb buffet package that costs RM150 per month (full climbing gear included, except climbing shoes).

kid climbing in SICC

Indoor climbing is safe for kids too

SICC is located next to jogging track of Likas Sport complex, Kota Kinabalu City (Sabah, Malaysia). Its GPS Coordinates is 5.979028, 116.091671 (see Map).

Harness and climbing shoes

Harness and climbing shoes for rent

Below is more information of SICC if you want to know more:
Website: www.sicc.com.my
Facebook: climbsabah
Instagram: @sabahindoorclimbingcentre
Tel: +60 19-8837341
E-mail: info@ropeskills.com.my
Opening Hours: Tue-Fri: 4pm-9pm, Sat-Sun, Public Holidays: 12pm-9pm, Mon (closed)
(You can walk in during opening hours, no advance booking is required)

girl climber

Climbing empowers and builds self-esteem in kids of all ages

Photos taken in Kota Kinabalu City, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

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5 Reasons Why Sunset Cruise is Fun in Sabah

sunset cruise

Sunset is the most beautiful view of nature, and feeling rich and romantic are the two best life experience. Isn’t that exciting if we can enjoy all these at once in sunset cruise?

10 years ago, people didn’t get it why they need to go to open sea to watch sunset. Now sunset cruise is on the bucket list of many because of the following five reasons. I use a lot of photos of North Borneo Cruises here because they offer the best experience.

1. World-Class Sunset

Not all sunsets are the same. We had been taking our beautiful sunset for granted, until 3 years ago, a foreign writer featured Kota Kinabalu City (KK), capital of Sabah as one of the great places to watch sunset in a popular website.

Fire cloud of Sabah sunset

Fire cloud of Sabah sunset

Sabah is famous for its vibrant “Fire Cloud” sunset, a phenomena when the sinking sun photoshops the sky and cloud with intense red, yellow, orange, pink, and purple colors.

sunset cruise

“Sunsets are proof that no matter what happens, every day can end beautifully.” ― Kristen Butler

During magic hour, you would see hundreds of people congregate at our beaches to watch sunset and take photos. And now you can find “sunset bar” in many resorts and hotels of Sabah.

Beautiful sunset at Kota Kinabalu Marine Park

Beautiful sunset at Kota Kinabalu Islands Park

Tourists enjoying the sunset view

Tourists enjoying the sunset view on North Borneo Cruises

Actually beach and hilltop are only the second best location to watch sunset. The Best Viewpoint for Sunset is in open sea, it’s like getting a front seat for a spectacular stage show.

Sunset in open sea

Sunset with panoramic ocean views

2. Feeling Rich

Most of us would never make enough money to buy a yacht, but I’m sure we all want to know how it feels to ride on a luxurious yacht. No doubt you will feel super rich on the 92-feet yacht of North Borneo Cruises.

Sunset cruise by North Borneo Cruises

Sunset cruise by North Borneo Cruises. Note it has 3 decks

With a maximum capacity of 100 people, North Borneo Cruises can host fairly big private function such as wedding, birthday, party and corporate dinner.

Guests enjoying the moment onboard

Guests enjoying the moment onboard

Your staffs will love you if you throw a company party on-board. This is far more fun and creative than a formal dinner in hotel.

“Sunsets are just little glimpses of the Golden streets of Heaven…”

VIP Room of North Borneo Cruises

VIP Room of North Borneo Cruises

Want more upper-class feel? VIP Deck boasts a private room equipped with a Karaoke audio and visual sound system best suited for birthday parties and business meetings of up to 30 people. The interior is decorated with motif of Borneo’s indigenous tribe.

Spacious and comfortable lower deck area of North Borneo Cruises

Spacious and comfortable lower deck area of North Borneo Cruises

The crews of North Borneo Cruises are friendly and treat us like a VIP. On this big yacht, we don’t need to fight for space with throngs of noisy tourists.

excited on a 92-feet big yacht

It’s hard not to get excited on a yacht

3. It is Romantic

Lovely sunset moment is best shared with your special someone. According to the “Love’s To-Do List”, watching sunset together is the most romantic thing couples do, followed by candlelit dinner.

Happy time on different boats (left: Sea Tango, right: North Borneo Cruises)

Happy sunset time on different boats (left: Sea Tango, right: North Borneo Cruises)

“The first stab of love is like a sunset, a blaze of color — oranges, pearly pinks, vibrant purples…” ― Anna Godbersen, The Luxe

Boarding to North Borneo Cruises

Boarding to North Borneo Cruises

You would tend to mimic “Titanic pose” of Rose and Jack. That might be a bit tacky lol.

rainy day

Though it was a rainy day, it’s still an enjoyable trip

Big yacht is great because it can remain stable in choppy sea, you don’t want your loved one gets seasick and vomit right.

sunset of Kota Kinabalu City

Not all sunsets are the same

Got idea for your next Valentine’s Day or Anniversary? You are welcome. 😉

4. Multi-sensory Enjoyment

Sunset cruise is more than just watching sunset. The tour operator has perfected it by making it a multi-senses experience.

Sabah sunset

“Sunset is the opening music of the night.” ― Mehmet Murat ildan

During the cruise, you will have sunset for your eyes, food for your mouth, and music for your ears.

food and music onboard

Sunset for your Eyes, Food for your Stomach, and Music for your Ears

Having dinner onboard

Another meaning of sunset is – it is about dinner time lol.

International dinner buffet served onboard

Sumptuous international dinner buffet served onboard

There is live band performance in North Borneo Cruises. Guests are very encouraged to join group dance for fun.

Party onboard

Party onboard with Bamboo Orchestra

If sunset cruise is only about watching sunset, a rainy day can ruin the whole experience, so it’s good that they have other activities on-board.

Group dancing in the yacht

Group dancing in the yacht

5. Sightseeing without Walking

Another bonus of sunset cruise is – you don’t need to walk to see the beauty of KK City.

Cruising around the islands before sunset

Cruising around the islands before sunset

You can admire the panoramic view of KK City from Sabah Port at the left to Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) at the right. Most landmark building such as Tun Mustapha Tower is in the view. In good day, you even can see Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain of Malaysia.

sea view of Kota Kinabalu City

You can see Kota Kinabalu City from the sea

The yacht will cruise around the most popular tropical island park of Sabah, i.e. Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, which consists of five islands.

sunset cruise in Sabah

“It is almost impossible to watch a sunset and not dream.” ― Bern Williams

Water village on Gaya Island is probably something unique to foreign tourists, they find it interesting that houses, mosque and school are built on the stilt platform on the sea.

sunset in Sabah

Sabah has one of the best sunset views in the world

At the end of the cruise, you would see the mesmerizing city light of KK on the way back, to mark a great ending of the tour.

Sunset Cruise along coastal area of Kota Kinabalu City

Sunset Cruise along coastal area of Kota Kinabalu City

How to Join

The sunset cruise of North Borneo Cruises (NBC) starts at 4:50pm and ends around 7pm. Personally I recommend NBC because it’s the best.

Sunset Cruise promotion by North Borneo Cruises

Sunset Cruise special rate promotion by North Borneo Cruises

Below is the contact for booking a sunset cruise with NBC:
Website: NorthBorneoCruises.com
Facebook: northborneocruises
Booking: AmazingBorneo.com
E-mail: info@northborneocruises.com
Tel: +60 18-6662009 / +60 16-5242009

Photos taken in Kota Kinabalu City, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

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