Archive for March, 2009

WWF To Organise 13-Day United States - Borneo Trip

Written by Jaxon S on Monday, March 9th, 2009 in Borneo Travel.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is organising a 13-day trip to Borneo from the United States in May.

The trip, planned for May 29 - June 13, covers Borneo’s premier nature and conservation sites in the state of Sabah, the northern part of the world’s third largest island.

The trip will start in Kota Kinabalu before going to Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary, Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, Gomanting Caves, Danum Valley, Mabul and Sipadan Islands and back to Kota Kinabalu before returning to the United States on June 13.

More information can be obtained from WWF travel page.

Mankind Has 100 Months To Save Planet Earth

Written by Jaxon S on Sunday, March 8th, 2009 in World Nature News.

prince-charlesPrince Charles is set to warn international community that mankind has a window of about 100 months or eight years to save Planet Earth before it plunges into irreparable damage.

He is expected to issue the warning in a keynote address in Rio de Janeiro, the said in a report.

He is expected to urge world unity to combat deforestation and that tackling deforestation in the 3.5 billion acres of rainforest on the planet is a key priority.

Watch out for his address on Thursday, March 12.

Saving Borneo’s Orangutan

Written by Jaxon S on Sunday, March 8th, 2009 in Uncategorized.

Biologist and forester in Indonesia, Willie Smits, shares his experience in restoring clearcut rainforest in Borneo’s Kalimantan in this video.

In the process, he restores the forest’s habitat, lowers the area’s temperature, saves the orang utan and empowers the local economy.

The full screen video can be viewed here.

[Update: According to Elsa, whom I assume has more information about the troupe than me, “Thumbuakar”, is coined by its choreographer back in 2005, meaning “growing roots”. “Akar” is of course “root”. I guess the words comes from the word “tumbuh akar” which mean “growing roots”)

Original entry, with some changes in the paragraph about Thumbuakar:

Singapore’s Night Safari has suspended the crowd pleaser, fire-eating tribal dance performance by a group called the Thumbuakar Tribe comprising dancers from Borneo.

The reason? Ten of the group’s members were suspected to be involved in drugs.

A notice at the Night Safari website says that the show has been suspended until further notice “due to unforeseen circumstances”.

In the meantime, what tribe?

According to Singapore’s The Electric New Paper, the Thumbuakar Tribe group was introduced four years ago to add a cultural dimension to the Night Safari experience.

“It is marketed as tribal dancers hailing from the rainforests of Borneo,” it added. Hmm… as far as I know, there are no fire-eating tribes in Borneo.

Anyone knows the meaning of Thumbuakar?

Well, it is actually seems to be the “Westernised and glamourised” spelling of the humble word “tombuakar”, which is also spelled as “tambuakar”, the name of Sabah’s very own swamp ghost.

Fire and ice

I guess, after eating fire, some of the ghosts decided that they needed “ice” to cool down.

According to newsreports, three members of the tribe who were returning from Malaysia’s southernmost city of Johor Baharu, were arrested in a routine check at the Woodland Checkpoints on Sunday.

Narcotics team found in them 50g of “Ice”, 50g of compressed cannabis and 10g of ketamine.

Their arrests led to the arrests of seven other members of the group as well as three Singaporeans.

Troupe leader Rudolph Mindot said he was disappointed with the incident. “This should not have happened. They have put my innocent colleagues through a very difficult time.”

There is still plenty of nature in Borneo notwithstanding reports of habitat loss due to logging and oil palm plantation.

A vast portion of the world’s second largest Island (well… third, if you count Australia as an island) will remain protected and covered in pristine jungle if the initiative to conserve the area known as the Heart of Borneo succeeds.

Cruise into the Heart of Borneo

This is where you will be if you choose to take the brand new six-star luxury river cruise on the Rajang River — Malaysia’s longest river — starting July this year.

The cruise is called “Into the Heart of Borneo”, based on the title of a book by Redmon O’Hanlon.

O’Hanlon will be among 60 passengers on the cruise’s maiden voyage using a replica of an American paddle steamer, which will set sail from the town of Sibu on July 9.

It will sail up to the Baleh River, a tributory to the Rajang River, which recently shot to worldwide fame following the release of two pictures, purportedly those of the Borneo giant snake, the 100-feet Nabau.

The pictures show a serpentine figure swimming in the river. The photos later turned out to be a hoax. Good thing… now we can cruise in peace.

RV Orient Pandaw

borneo-cruiseThe cruise, onboard the RV Orient Pandaw, is operated by Southeast Asia’s biggest cruise operator Irrawaddy Flotilla Company which has carved a name for itself in specialised river cruise excursion under its Pandaw cruise brand.

The New Straits Times newspaper quoted Sarawak Tourism Board chief executive officer Gracie Geikie as describing the cruise as the first of its kind in Malaysia.

The Rajang River (in red marking)

“There’ll be stops along the river to enable the passengers to go hiking and visit longhouses and towns,” she said.

Rajang River into the Heart of Borneo

There will also be a stopover at Kampung Rajang, near Tanjung Manis at the river mouth, for a visit to the songket factory.

Another stop is Sarikei to visit a pineapple farm, for which the town is famous. Passengers can also choose to shoot the Pelagus rapids, the New Straits Times said.

Up to Baleh and back

The cruise, however, will not cover the whole of 640km Rajang. According to the cruise operator, “The Rajang is navigable on a ship of Pandaw’s size for at least 250km until the Pelagus Rapids.”

After the Pelagus rapids, the cruise heads upstream Rajang’s main tributary, the Baleh River.

The area along river is populated by the Ibans who were headhunters until in the 1950s.

Borneo Giant Snake Myth Debunked, Original Picture Found

Written by Jaxon S on Sunday, March 1st, 2009 in Borneo Myth And Legend.

The Borneo giant snake Nabau claimed worldwide fame briefly the last two weeks and might have even been the most blogged mythical creature during the period, overthrowing the likes of Bigfoot and Loch Ness monster.


When pictures of the 100-feet shape-shifting Nabau appeared two weeks ago, it fuelled debate around the world whether the pictures were genuine. To many, the pictures were no more than the result of a lousy Photoshop job.

I had the feeling that many others had harboured the hope that the pictures were genuine.

It is now firmly established that the pictures are fake and the river where the snake was purportedly spotted is not even the Baleh River in Sarawak.

The river in the original picture, below, is Congo River in South Africa. Here are several pictures of the Congo Basin.


Having established the falseness of the first Nabau picture, we can now safely assume that the other picture, below, is also fake.


But then again… the Congo River picture could be the one that is fake. Someone may have photoshopped the picture and removed Nabau from the river to protect it from myth hunters!

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