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Top 15 Must Try Foods in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Sabah is a true melting pot of cultures and races and that is reflected by the plethora of delicious food that can only be experienced here. The natives of Borneo have welcomed people of all races for more than a century to their beautiful land and this has given birth to cuisines unseen (and we think you have never tasted!) in any other parts of the world. Taste the local cuisines prepared by the natives of Borneo, namely the 5 major ethnic communities – Kadazan Dusuns, Muruts, Lundayeh, Rungus and Bajau. Their diet rich with produces of nature, filled with leafy greens, wild meats, edible flowers and medicinal herbs sourced from the forest and sea. The naturally good nature of the locals has made other races feel welcomed and in return, Sabah can now boast of its multicultural community and immense selection of authentic local and fusion food! Here is our list of top 15 must try foods in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

Hinava, Tuhau and Bambangan

Becoming increasingly easy to find in the city of Kota Kinabalu, these traditional dishes are some of the best of native food. Probably the most popular of all the Native’s traditional dishes and normally served as a side dish. Hinava is saliva-inducing dish that is made of fresh slices of fish, marinated with onion, lime juice, birds-eye chilli, bitter gourd, and ginger. Tuhau may be a wild ginger but when prepared correctly, it can be eaten as a condiment or on its own with just steaming hot white rice. Unlike its’ very popular cousin, Bambangan is a sour jungle mango that is dearly loved by locals and easily found in wet markets.

Sinalau Bakas

Touted as the must-have “pusas” (beer time snack), Sinalau Bakas literally means Smoked Wild Boar. Usually located  at the roadside along the winding roads towards Kinabalu Park, Kundasang. Take a break from your long drive up towards the majestic Mount Kinabalu and sample this local favourite snack. Squeeze some zesty lime on the wild meat for some extra flavor!

Tuaran Mee

Yellow noodles are boiled and then fried with your choice of topping. For something truly special, try the Beef Lihing Tuaran Mee. Chunks of beef marinated in Lihing ( local sweet rice wine) and fried with vegetables, and egg. Typically eaten in the morning before a fun day out at Tamparuli or a daytrip to Kundasang.

Fish Noodles

Depending on your preference, there are countless types of fish noodles available all around Sabah. For those who love something savoury for breakfast, try looking for a fish noodle shop that serves a clear fish broth cooked with preserved vegetables. Opt for Laksa if you like a bit of spice from chilli oil and creamy coconut milk in your meal. One may also settle for the typical local breakfast of Kon Lou Mee (dry tossed noodles in soy sauce) and a bowl of fish slices, prawns, and dumplings.

Kuih Cincin and Kuih Pinjaram

Quirky looking but oh-so-good! These teatime snacks are the childhood favourites of almost all locals. Kuih Cincin looks like an oversized flower and is made of rice flour, red palms and sugar, while Kuih Pinjaram is a teatime staple made of coconut milk, sugar and rice flour that looks like a fried UFO.

Ambuyat and Pinasakan Sada

Derived from the trunk of the Sage Palm, this starchy delicacy is eaten with prongs, or chopsticks! Twirling the gooey substance around the prongs, it is then dipped into Pinasakan which is a Kadazandusun stew made of the Basung fish broiled with Tumeric, Takab Akob (wild fruit) and Bambangan.

Sliced Pork Noodles

Better known locally as “Sang Nyuk Mian”, thinly sliced pork is blanched and served in a bowl of noodles, topped with scallions, deep fried shallots and lard. Most shops now serve it with a variety of stuffed tofu and meatballs.

Grilled Fresh Seafood

Be spoilt for choice when it comes to fresh seafood! There are countless seafood restaurants in Sabah but we like to go where the locals go! Take a walk along the Waterfront Kota Kinabalu towards the Handicraft/Fish Market during sunset and enjoy choosing your choice of seafood at the Seaside Night Market. Prepare to face a friendly crowd of vendors and please take care of your belongings!

Tawau Egg Noodles

Originating from Tawau, a plate of crispy fried meehoon is encased in a delicious egg pancake, stir fried pork,lobster balls, and fish balls are then added to the noodles and topped with gravy. Something truly different and very satisfying!

UFO Tarts

Made famous in Sandakan city, it is known in Mandarin as “cow dung tart”. This tart’s shape is similar to a UFO, a thin round slice of cake at the bottom is topped with custard and outlined with fresh honeyed cream or meringue. A sweet treat that leaves many travellers trying to bring it back home….and fail, as it has to be eaten fresh to retain its flavour.

Beef Soup Noodles

Arguably the most heartwarming of all dishes in this list. A great bowl of beef soup noodles should be served piping hot with its broth thick, fragrant, piled high with assorted cuts of beef. This dish is normally eaten for breakfast or lunch, and has many different types of noodle and broths to choose from.

Bah Kut Teh

A dark broth of herbs and marinated meat that is greatly sought after by locals and travellers alike. In the good old days, this dish was consumed in the morning before farmers went to work early in the morning. Now, it is mostly enjoyed during dinner and has a Halal version consisting of chicken, instead of pork. Bah Kut Teh is exceptionally enjoyable during cold and wet weathers as the medicinal properties of the soup will warm the body quickly.

Coconut Pudding

In the Borneo humidity and heat, an ice cold Coconut Pudding is a welcomed relief. Pandan coconuts are normally used for their fragrance and sweet coconut juice. Usually paired with Satays(grilled skewered meats) and Lukan (saltwater shellfish) to complete a quick meal during a roadtrip towards Kudat, Pitas and Kota Marudu(the east coast of Sabah).

Tenom Porkrolls

Famous for producing amazing coffee, this little town also has locals craving for their juicy porkrolls encased in thin sheets of egg. Made fresh at dawn everyday, it is sold out before noon at the town market.

Pineapple Buns

Order a Pineapple Custard Bun a.k.a “Polo Pau” at a famed family-owned Keng Wan Hing coffeeshop at Gaya Street, Kota Kinabalu. Easily spotted as a long line starts forming before lunchtime and the smell of freshly baked buns permeate the air!

Of course, there is a lot more delicious foods in Sabah but these are our top picks for now! Email us at info@DownbelowAdventures.com or contact us at +60128661935 to enjoy a worry-free holiday filled with the best of what Sabah has to offer! Here’s a quick way to discover all the beautiful sights and smells of Kota Kinabalu, check out our Best of Kota Kinabalu day trip program. You can also book online too!

Top 15 Must Try Foods in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah2019-07-04T16:11:32+08:00

Best Child Friendly Holidays Sabah

Travelling as a family can be greatly rewarding. You will gain unforgettable memories that you can treasure for life. Many worldwide travel destinations offer wonderful life experiences that can strengthen bonds and enrich a family. Such destination is here in the land of adventures, Sabah Malaysia Borneo. With a variety of unique and wholesome activities to do, Sabah is a place that is ideal for both adults and children to explore. Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures is your trusted Borneo specialist to customise your family itinerary. Our lodge and day trips are perfect for family holidays and we are dedicated to ensuring the best child friendly holidays Sabah.

Accommodation For The Whole Family

When travelling, it is essential to choose the best place to stay for you and your family. With all options available you can be overwhelmed with information, making it hard to decide. Fortunately, we have just the accommodation you need conveniently located here in the centre of Kota Kinabalu City, Sabah, yet away from the noise.

Best Child Friendly Holidays Sabah

The Family Room at Downbelow Eco Lodge

Our Downbelow Eco Lodge offer rooms with facilities and amenities to suit all ages including the little ones. With affordable rates and no hidden charges, our online booking feature also provide ease for you to choose and confirm your room instantly within minutes.

The types of room you can opt for at our lodge are the Family Room (Gaya Room) and the Family En-Suite Room (Sipadan Room). Both air-conditioned rooms are specially designed with a great layout that will comfortably fit you and your children and provide a peaceful sleep before and after your adventures in Sabah. All our mattresses are 100% latex and natural, which is best for health of the whole family and means that bed bugs which can often be found in tropical accommodation can’t exist here at the Downbelow Eco Lodge.

Best Child Friendly Holidays Sabah

A Comfortable And Spacious Communal Area Where Kids Can Play And Rest

We have a spacious and cosy communal room where kids can spend their time playing, reading, drawing, resting, watching cartoons and other activities. We have also provided in the Downbelow Eco Lodge a travel cot that in-house guests can freely use.

More features of our lodge includes free access to high-speed wifi internet and usage of the coffee/tea amenities. As for safety, our security surveillance operates 24 hours a day on all communal areas, ensuring the protection of you and your family at all times. Our staff live at the lodge and the the complex has 24 hour patrolled security for everyone’s safe keeping – not that Kota Kinabalu is an un-safe place but its always re-assuring that safety is a priority.

Day Trips Tailored To Children

We offer many enjoyable, comprehensive and value for money day trip programs that are great for kids here in Kota Kinabalu. Only a few minutes away from Downbelow Eco Lodge, you can experience ocean fun with your family at our Downbelow PADI 5 Star CDC Dive Centres in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park.

Best Child Friendly Holidays Sabah

Snorkelling Is The Easiest And Most Popular Way To Explore The Ocean For Kids

See tropical marine life and colourful soft corals in our Snorkel Safari program. It is most suitable for children because this activity is easy, safe and fun at the same time. A professional PADI Instructor will first conduct an orientation at the pool or at the bay to practice important skills before heading out on our boat. We will teach you the basics of mask clearing, kicking techniques and snorkel use through shallow water instruction. After that, you are ready to swim and snorkel in TARP in search of “Nemo” and other fishes!

Best Child Friendly Holidays Sabah

Children Can Learn About and Experience Scuba Diving at Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures

If the little ones show interest in scuba diving and wish to try it themselves, our PADI Bubblemaker for Kids activity is perfect for them. This program introduces kids to scuba diving in a highly supervised, fun and relaxed manner. As part of this program, and under the guidance of a PADI professional, children divers learn basic safety concepts, put on equipment and swim around underwater in a closely supervised environment at our own private pool area. Once kids are comfortable with the scuba equipment and master the basic skills, the instructor will then bring them to experience their first Open Water dive (max 2m/6ft depth) at the shallow house reef area at the front bay. You and your family will enjoy beautiful island surrounding or just hangout by the pool to relax during the quick breaks in between sessions.

Another option to enjoy scuba diving is the PADI Discover Scuba Diving program. It is a perfect holiday activity for non-divers who wish to go scuba diving and children can participate in it too. In this program, you can go through a knowledge briefing, learn basic scuba skills and go on an open water scuba dive to our ‘house reef’ together with the kids. It will be a very special moment when you experience the underwater world as a family.

Best Child Friendly Holidays Sabah

See Stunning Mountain Views In The Kinabalu Park Day Trip

For a private and relaxing day exploring Sabah’s amazing nature with children, we have the Kinabalu Park Day Trip program. The drive to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Kinabalu Park from Downbelow Eco Lodge is approximately 2 hours and the journey itself will be enjoyable for the whole family. Enjoy the scenic route and catch glimpses of Malaysia’s tallest mountain, the majestic Mt Kinabalu along the way. Once there, spot rare and endemic species of flora and fauna when you stroll by rivers and mountain trails and learn about plants in the park at the Botanical Garden. After that you will visit the Poring Hot Springs where the kids can visit butterfly gardens, have fun at the canopy walkway and get a chance to see the world’s largest flower, Rafflesia.

Best Child Friendly Holidays Sabah

Join In On The Traditional Sabah Dance During The Cultural Extravaganza

Kota Kinabalu city itself has many interesting attractions. Our private and tailored Best of Kota Kinabalu Tour program takes you and your family to the best places to visit in the city and learn about the local people of Sabah at a cultural villages. Among the attractions you will visit are Signal Hill Lookout, Sabah Museum and Handicraft Market. At the cultural village, you and the family will explore five different ethnic homes of Sabah. The children will participate in fun activities such as blowpipe-making, henna-making, bamboo cooking, and try out the traditional bamboo trampoline. There will also be an exciting cultural show featuring traditional dances of multiple ethnic groups of Sabah that will entertain the kids.

We have a variety of day trip programs in Sabah and the above are only some of them. To see all of our day trip programs, visit our webpage here!

Contact Us

If you are planning to travel to Sabah Malaysia Borneo with your family soon, we would be delighted to tailor and customise a program just for you. Our knowledgable and friendly Travel Centre team can assist you with your enquiries about our child-friendly trips, contact them at +60128661935 or email at info@DownbelowAdventures.com today!

Best Child Friendly Holidays Sabah2019-03-23T10:46:01+08:00

Effortless Travel In Borneo

In many ways technological advancement has changed the way we travel, making for hassle free and effortless booking options. In other words technology has totally revolutionised the tourism industry. Nowadays there are many online travel agents that allow you to book and plan your holiday at the click of a button. However with an overflow of feeds from different social media platforms, beautiful images and so many “must do’s” we are flooded with too much information and too many choices which can lead to a difficult decision process.

Research has shown that more than 70% of travellers now plan their trip on the internet, while only 13% still use high street travel agencies to prepare their itinerary.

While online travel agents offer the convenience of planning and booking your holiday via the world wide web, more effort and time will usually be necessary to research for a specialized attraction and very often in the online world you will meet sites giving you information with no proof of reliable sources. In Sabah for example there are plenty of niche attractions that do not get the recognition they deserve and may never be found just by hours of searching on the internet.

At Downbelow Adventures (aka Adventures in Borneo) we have recognised the need to filter the overwhelming amount of options presented to our clients.

With 20 years of credential, at Downbelow Adventures we pride ourselves as your Borneo Adventure Specialist. Our packages are tailor made by people who are passionate & highly experienced in the art of travelling. Our objective is for you to enjoy the best of Borneo and take away an experience of a lifetime – effortlessly. Whether you are looking for a budget friendly holiday package or a high end luxurious escape, our team of experts will create a personalised itinerary to best suit your interest and wish list maximising your time in country and saving you money. In other words, effortless travel in Borneo!

We also offer our clients the simplicity of online bookings with instant confirmation and payment with no booking & credit card fees. Online bookings still enjoy our full customer service with a dedicated travel consultant for tailored itinerary making a seamless and even more effortless travel in Borneo experience.

So get in touch with us today, tell us your travel dates, number of people traveling, your budget and your interests and we will present to you a tailored suggested itinerary. Alternatively visit our website where a selected number of tailored packages are available online.

Effortless Travel In Borneo2019-04-19T15:07:59+08:00

Danum Valley

The deep forest of Danum Valley in Sabah offers some of the most breathtaking rainforest sceneries in the world. The prominent mountain ranges that zig zag its way across Borneo makes for amazing and beautiful valleys. As the dawn is breaking a sea of cloud delicately covers the rainforest, the tallest trees appear to be supporting the cloud with its branches. The cool breeze brushes your skin. The valley echos the swish swoosh of the Rhinoceros Hornbill in flight. A scene that could come from the next addition of The Jungle Books, but in truth this is just some of the daily scene in Danum Valley.

Danum Valley - Rainforest View

Danum Valley – Rainforest View

Danum Valley has a tropical rainforest climate, which means that it is warm and humid year round. The relative humidity is rarely below 80%, mist are often so pregnant with water that they burst down as big droplets from high canopies. The tree canopies are so dense that sunlight rarely reaches the forest floor but what is stunning is the different type of biodiversity and even ecosystem in each layers of the same rainforest. The thick foliage also means that the forest is often darker and would make spotting wildlife difficult, or rare.

More often than not, one would need the guidance of a seasoned naturalist to look for the variety of animals found in Danum Valley. They have an elevated sensitivity to movements, sounds and even smells in the humid tropical rainforest, in fact hiring a private guide is always highly recommended when travelling to this part Borneo.

Private Guide at Danum Valley

Private Guide at Danum Valley

The great thing about the rainforest of Danum Valley is that it’s got different sight to offer during different times throughout the year. With an area that spans only 438 square kilometres, Danum Valley has an impressive attribute. Half a square kilometre of forest can sustain well over a thousand tree species, and as a pristine unlogged forest the wildlife is abound by ancient trees up to or more than 80 meters in height.

Danum Valley Conservation Area

Danum Valley Conservation Area

Being a rainforest, Danum Valley does receive constant rainfall year round. Typically it is the wettest between the months of October to February which means the fauna will be less active during these time of the year. Not so for the six and eight legged creatures that crawl along the forest floor. Insects and arachnid flourishes in the dark and cool rainforest.

As the climate gets warmer, the rainforest suddenly changes into a garden when trees starts flowering. One might be surprised to see flowers growing from tall sky reaching trees. The flowers are dainty and not flashing in colors, but simply white and sometimes dotted with colored spots making a stark contrast from the green of the forest. The breeze carries a faint floral smell, and sometimes also bring the flower to the ground – creating a regal white carpet fit for jungle royalties. Moth and butterflies will also be making an appearance, making the fairytale scene even more magical.

After a while, the flowers will finish falling and fruits start to grow. Fruiting season is definitely the merriest. Orang Utan and other apes can be sighted on fruiting trees at this time. Fruiting trees are nicely scattered in the rainforest, which means food is in abundance to all the different species of wildlife in Danum Valley. Fruiting season may come mid year and last until July or August. This period is notoriously assumed as best time for wildlife sightings including mammals and birds.

Later in the year around September through December is peak migration time for the migratory birds, and you might also find the endemic species starting to nest around this time of year. As the forest welcomes the new year, chicks would have hatched and Danum Valley blesses us with new life again.

Pygmy elephant migrating pattern in Danum Valley is not consistent, but the river flowing through the valley does guarantee the elephant population. This is different to Kinabatangan and Sukau where sightings are more often. It would be unfair to not mention the wild cats of Borneo when talking about Danum Valley, several including the very elusive clouded leopard can be encountered here. In recent years, sightings of mother and cub have been recorded at different times throughout the year marking a promising continuation of this species.

Danum Valley is like an opal, magnificent and rare. Housing a myriad of life, many still undiscovered. The attributes of the valley knows no threshold and will never cease to surprise us. Lodgings in Danum Valley have adopted a sustainable approach in operations and maintaining the chalets and rooms, and have been a key player in the ecotourism industry. Guest staying there will be able to see first hand and experience the green practices that have been implemented in order to preserve all the wonders of nature at Danum Valley. This among others are all efforts and actions to make sure that the forest remains pristine, as how nature should be – timeless.

Danum Valley - Canopy Walkway

Danum Valley – Canopy Walkway

There really isn’t one perfect time to visit Danum Valley, because any time is perfect. Though you may need to book your stay in advance as there is a limit to daily arrivals at the lodges. Options are available and at Downbelow Adventures we take booking up to a year in advance, whether you prefer a more basic expedition style trip or a more luxurious and tailored itinerary.

If you are interested and wish to know more about our Danum Valley programs, get in touch with our friendly and knowledgable Travel Centre team at +6012 866 1935 or via email at info@DownbelowAdventures.com. To book our Danum Valley programs and other wildlife adventures online, click here.

Danum Valley2019-02-07T11:58:11+08:00

Borneo Big Five

Lying astride the equator, Borneo – the third largest island in the world is mostly covered by tropical rainforest. Mountain ranges and long navigable rivers flows across the island with hot and humid climate year round, makes Borneo a haven for a multitude of unique and endemic flora and fauna. The Borneo Big Five consist of Borneo’s most novel and exceptional wildlife. 

Sabah, Malaysian Borneo is home to some of the most iconic wildlife in the island. The Borneo Big Five are Orang Utan, Proboscis Monkey, Pygmy Elephant, Rhinoceros Hornbill and Estuarine Crocodile. A visit to Sabah would definitely be incomplete without a visit to some of the hotspots for the Borneo Big Five encounters!

Orang Utan

Borneo Big Five

Bornean Orang Utan (Pongo Pygmaeus Morio)

Number one on the list is the Orang Utan. Orang Utan needs no introduction, they are extremely intelligent and distinctively different from other great apes. Orang Utan has a bright orange-reddish fur and likes to be solitary. A female can care for its offspring for up to 6 years. Deforestation caused the Orang Utans to be critically endangered, hopefully all the efforts from the authorities and NGOs in the country can put a stop to the species’ decline. Wild Orang Utan can still be safely encountered in several eco-lodges in Sabah including Borneo Rainforest Lodge, Danum Valley.

Proboscis Monkey

Borneo Big Five

Proboscis Monkey (Nasalis Larvatus)

Proboscis Monkey is one of the most unique animal in the world, the male have a huge pendulous nose and large pot belly. Highly arboreal, their long tails help them to maneuver long jump from tree to tree. The Proboscis Monkey is so unique to Sabah, that they have become a mascot to represent Sabah. Its pot belly is thanks to its chambered stomach, which is useful to digest young leaves and unripe fruits that are inedible to other mammals. The Proboscis Monkeys are also excellent swimmers, so don’t be surprised if you see these natural acrobats crossing the rivers next time you go on a cruise to the Kinabatangan Rivers.

Pygmy Elephant

Borneo Big Five

Elephas Maximus Borneensis

Pygmy elephant is the largest mammal in Borneo and also the smallest in elephant species. Their ears are proportioned larger compared to its head, making them the most adorable looking elephant in the world yet least understood among its bigger cousin. The pygmy elephant of Borneo is a high conservation priority, in fact most studies about this species are quite recent making them a very enigmatic creature of the forest. Nevertheless they are facing the same threat as many wildlife across the globe – illegal poaching due to more human encounters caused by their shrinking habitat. Now, a sustainable forest management could be the only answer to keeping the long time survival of the species.

Rhinoceros Hornbill

Borneo Big Five

Buceros rhinoceros

Next on the Borneo Big Five is the magnificent rhinoceros hornbill. The Dayak people or native people of Borneo revere this great bird as the supreme worldly bird. With wingspan reaching 1- 1.2 metre, and it’s very prominent large orange bill and casque one could hardly dispute its reign as the national bird for Malaysia and state bird for Sarawak. Motive of this bird is also common in traditional arts and handicrafts. The rhinoceros hornbill or Kenyalang is monogamous and mate for life, and usually comes back to the same tree for nesting. Though many have known that the female will stay sealed in a dark hole in a tree until the chicks hatch, many Dayaks also believe that if something happens to a female during nesting the male can die of heartbreak. Till now, the rhinoceros hornbill is still regarded as a symbol of good fortune and good omen to Bornean. Malaysia’s largest natural aviary located in Tabin Wildlife Reserve is the best place to encounter this great bird.

Estuarine Crocodile

Borneo Big Five

Estuarine Crocodile (Crocodylus Porosus)

Once as endangered species, the estuarine crocodiles have made a full come back in Sabah. They are the largest crocodile to inhabit river estuaries including mangrove remote beaches. These living fossils are considered deadly, and are widely known to showcase their predator skills right after hatching. A common saying in Malay that translate as “ Don’t take a calm river for granted, as you don’t know the crocodile that lives in it”. They are a powerful predator and can kill their prey very swiftly with a strong force.

Seeing the Borneo Big Five should be high on your list when visiting Borneo, grab the opportunity to encounter all five amazing wildlife in our Wildlife Adventure Program. Easy online booking available, but if you are looking for a bespoke travel experience our professional tour consultant will help you to tailor a personalized package that suits your preference and interest.

To get in touch with our our Travel Centre team, contact us at +6012 866 1935 or email us at info@DownbelowAdventures.com. Book our wildlife programs here.

Borneo Big Five2019-01-17T12:39:08+08:00

Health & Safety Standards for Adventure Activities

We are thrilled to share the exciting news that Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures Sdn Bhd have been selected by the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) as a Commercial MoD Approved Centre (ComMAC) for the delivery of scuba diving and adventure training services to their personnel. There are only 10 such centres globally and only 3 located outside of the Europe. We are the only centre in South East Asia to receive this certification for our Health & Safety Standards for Adventure Activities.

For us to achieve this high-level of authorisation, two Adventure Training Officers by order of the Defence Safety Authority (DSA) and answerable to the Secretary of State must fly out to our location for a 3 day Audit of our Health & Safety Standards and Procedures annually. In addition we must conduct quarterly air purification checks by qualified personnel and our compressed air must meet the BS EN12021:2014 standard each time. Additionally our compressed air must be tested annually at an ISO17025 approved lab (USA) or UKAS lab in the UK.

What does this mean for you?

Whether you use our company for diving or non diving related activities and services, you can rest assured that we have the Health & Safety Standards and Procedures in place to conduct adventurous activities which have been scrutinised and assessed by qualified inspectors. The following areas of our business were audited. We have attached a copy of our current certificate.

Assessment & Evidence

The audit purpose is to provide evidence for compliance with current regulations. Evidence will be collected through interviews, examination of documents and observation of activities under the following sections.

Section 1 – Management (Does the contractor have a suitably qualifies and experienced management team)

Section 2 – Diving Safety Management System (DSMS) Records (Does the DSMS reflect all activities undertaken by the diving contractor?)

Section 3 – Documentation (Is all relevant documentation held and up to date?)

Section 4 – Health and Safety (Do all components of the H&S system comply with current regulation?)

Section 5 – Diving Equipment (is the equipment maintained IAW the PMS and recorded in the equipment logs by qualified maintainer?)

Section 6 – Breathing Air Charging Arrangements (Is the maintenance carried out in accordance with the PMS and is all maintenance and used correctly recorded?)
Portable Air Purity Tester (FACT AIR 2235 or Equivalent)
Portable Compressors & Fixed Air Charging System

Section 7 – Diving boats (is the maintenance carried out in accordance with the PMS and is all maintenance and usage correctly recorded?)

Section 8 – Ancillary Equipment (is the maintenance conducted IAW the manufacturer’s instructions / PMS and is all maintenance and usage recorded?)
Under Water Swim Suit (UWSS) Drysuit.
Depth Gauges / Computers
Medical equipment set
VHF Radios

Section 9 – Diving Project (Practical) to be completed by the DST (AT)

Section 10 – Diving Team Qualifications and Currency (Are the divers suitably qualified and experienced to conduct their role safely?)

More information on our safety procedures can be found on our dedicated website.

Health & Safety Standards for Adventure Activities2018-12-08T07:44:11+08:00

How To Plan Your Mt. Kinabalu Trip

If you are planning a short trip over the weekend or just needed a getaway from the daily hustle and bustle of life, head over to Sabah, Malaysian Borneo and climb Mount Kinabalu –  the highest peak in Malaysia. This is your guide on how to plan your Mt. Kinabalu trip in four simple steps. 

Step 1 – Book Online On Our Website.

Get guaranteed climbing permit plus no credit card fee and bank fee when you book online with us. Get more discount if you are planning to climb Mount Kinabalu as a group. Book now to get special promotion on selected dates!

While you’re at it, book your stay in Kota Kinabalu at our very own Downbelow Adventure Lodge. Dormitories and private or en-suite rooms are available from MYR35.00 per person. Our expedition style lodging is located at KK Times Square rightly adjacent to the Imago Shopping Mall with over 300 stores and food and beverage outlets.

Step 2 – Book A Flight To Kota Kinabalu.

If you are staying in the Asia Pacific, chances are  you can easily book a direct flight to Kota Kinabalu. The Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) has opened its new terminal building in 2008 and it has now become Malaysia’s second busiest airport. Not coincidentally is Airasia – world’s best low cost airline making KKIA one of its most important hubs. KKIA’s strategic location makes it a popular transit for flights to the Asia Pacific regions.

How To Plan Your Mt. Kinabalu Trip

How To Plan Your Mt. Kinabalu Trip

Step 3 – Getting Ready.

You are now almost ready to climb the mountain.

Packing the right gear is essential, sturdy shoes with a proper grip is recommended especially for the ascent to the summit. For the first part of the climb, light clothing is sufficient. Bring a refillable water bottle so you can refill drinking water at the restaurant in Laban Rata Resthouse. Also pack basic toiletries and a small towel and warm clothing for sleeping at the base. Packing light is advised, you can layer the sleeping clothes with a jacket and windbreaker for the ascend to summit. Apart from that, bring a pair of extra socks, waterproof glove and a beanie or balaclava to keep your ears and face warm for the early morning climb.

Hiking poles and headlights are available for rent when you climb with us. Check out some cool gears and outdoor essentials you can purchase at our Dive Shop

Mount Kinabalu is accessible even to novice climbers but a good level of fitness does make the hike more enjoyable! A good leg muscle strength is required before you embark on climbing any mountain, so some trainings and exercises to condition those muscle before your climb is a smart move.

Step 4 – Climbing The Mountain!

Your mountain guide will be meeting you at the park headquarters before you start the hike. He will brief you about the do’s and don’ts at Mount Kinabalu. The best tip follow is to always listen and stay close to your mountain guide. At Downbelow Adventures we have our own seasoned mountain guides to accompany your hike and they are not just any guides, these mountain people are moulded and emerged from straight from the foots of Mt. Kinabalu.

Last but not least, read our blog post on The Mystical Aki Nabalu to know more about this majestic mountain.

How To Plan Your Mt. Kinabalu Trip2018-05-12T20:42:00+08:00

Exploring Tabin Wildlife Reserve

At Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures, holidays are part of the job for the team! Being familiarised with our packages and having their own experience participating in them is very important. So when our Travel Consultant, Phylicia goes on a wildlife safari, we were thrilled to hear about it. After winning an awesome lucky draw prize during our Staff Annual Dinner last year, Phylicia geared up and had an amazing adventure exploring Tabin Wildlife Reserve.

Exploring Tabin Wildlife Reserve

Upon arriving at Tabin Wildlife Resort, Phylicia received a warm welcome and enjoyed the Pandan and Ginger drink that was served. Her guide Alister gave a short briefing of the activities that she will do, followed by showing her around the resort.

Exploring Tabin Wildlife Reserve

White Crowned Hornbill

During trekking, night walks and at the observation tower, Phylicia was able to see a variety of interesting wildlife. Among the rare species she saw was a Clouded Leopard at one of the tracks at night, a White Crowned Hornbill, Brown Wood Owl, Black Flying Squirrel, Red Flying Squirrel, Borneon Gibbons, Orangutan and Crested Serpent Eagle. And in exploring Tabin Wildlife Reserve, she even saw a 106 year old Mengaris Tree.

Exploring Tabin Wildlife Reserve

Buttress roots of tree that can help lost trekkers

An interesting information told by Alister is that among the lowland dipterocarp forest covering the reserve is a tree that can help people in the unlikely event they became lost. The tree can be spotted by its prominent buttress roots. By hitting the tree with a stone, it will emit a sound loud enough to be heard in a wide radius within the reserve. It is a known signal of distress and a rescue team will come if the sound is heard. Nature truly is amazing!

Exploring Tabin Wildlife Reserve

Exploring Tabin Wildlife Reserve

To rest in between jungle trekking, Phylicia was brought to Lipad Waterfall where guests usually take a refreshing dip before going ahead with the next activity. She also visited the mud volcanoes and enjoyed a foot soak made with local herbs to ease the soreness from all the wildlife spotting.

Phylicia is happy to be able to see the beauty of Sabah, Borneo while exploring Tabin Wildlife Reserve and we are glad she now has a first-hand experience of our highly recommended program to wildlife lovers. Contact our Travel Centre team to know more about Tabin or visit our page, come and book with us today!

Exploring Tabin Wildlife Reserve2018-07-13T22:12:00+08:00

Borneo Clouded Leopard

The Borneo Clouded Leopard is one of the most sought after encounters for wildlife enthusiasts visiting Sabah, Borneo. Some people travel to Sabah specifically in search of this rare and beautiful big cat. Some will stay for two weeks or more in pursuit of a sighting. The Borneo Clouded Leopard has been top of my wish-list for more than 10 years and this weekend i was “baptised” and blessed with my first encounter – and what an encounter it was !

I had taken my Mum on safari to Danum Valley for a 3D/2N adventure. Mum love’s birds so i thought a quiet and relaxed morning “birding” would be perfect. In particular we were searching for the six species of Pitta birds found in Danum Valley. After about one hour of “calling” the birds and seeing 4 of the 6 species we got the radio call from another ranger that a Borneo Clouded Leopard had been spotted at the Canopy Walkway. We ran as fast as our legs could take us, it was the fastest 500m sprint i had done in hiking boots, we then skidded down the slopes of the jungle forest to a large decayed log. Inside the log was one of the most beautiful creatures i had ever seen. At first we could only see the striking clouded pattern of fur that resembles the lowland jungle forest, then we saw his huge tail, perfectly evolved for climbing trees. After some manoeuvring, a few scratches and a number of leech removals and with quiet and precise instructions from my guide i was peering at the Leopard from one end of the rotten tree, i had a great view. After a few minutes he crawled out from the log and walked away, we followed as he disappeared into the 130 million year old dense primary rainforest.

He left behind his kill, a Lesser Mouse Dear. So the researcher and guide set up a camera trap in the hope to get an image of him when he returned. Indeed he came back about one hour later and the camera captured the most amazing set of images of the Leopard with his kill.

 

Borneo Clouded Leopard

Borneo Clouded Leopard

The Borneo Clouded Leopard is a wild cat occurring only in Borneo & Sumatra. Scientists discovered it as a new species and different from the Clouded Leopard found in other parts of Asia in 2007. They believe the Borneo population likely diverged from the mainland population some 1.4 million years ago. Its very difficult to know how many individuals still exist in the wild since they are so secretive and live in dense lowland forests. The most recent research suggests between 5,000 – 11,000 still live in the whole of Borneo. Certainly we were very fortunate to have this encounter and i’m so thankful to Azmil, my guide, to Eddy Boy Jon the researcher who provided me with his amazing picture and to Calixtus Laudi who gave me the images taken by the camera trap later that afternoon.

Borneo Clouded Leopards are rare and the only place to see them in the wild is in the jungle, your guide plays a big role in your wildlife encounters and we believe in working with some of the best guides in the field. So if you want us to arrange your jungle safari get in touch with Downbelow Adventures. 

Borneo Clouded Leopard2018-02-03T00:58:16+08:00

Easter Weekend Sunset Cruise Promo

Have a little jaunt at the South China Sea in our Easter Weekend Sunset Cruise Promo aboard the luxurious and beautiful catamaran – Amazing Love! For 3-hours, be awed by glorious panoramic sunsets of Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park (TARP) as you sail around its five famous tropical islands. Experience first class hospitality service as you savour refreshments topped with free flow of alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks. Your enjoyment and safety will be thoroughly ensured by the dedicated and professional crew of Amazing Love.

Easter Weekend Sunset Cruise Promo

For a maximum of 12 persons, come and enjoy all the above for only MYR 600 nett per person on 14 April 2017 in our Easter Weekend Sunset Cruise Promo! Hurry and call our Travel Centre for enquiries and bookings today at +6 012 866 1935 or email us at info@DownbelowAdventures.com. An ocean adventure awaits you, grab this opportunity today!

Easter Weekend Sunset Cruise Promo2018-02-03T00:58:16+08:00