Tag Archives: travel Sabah

Hiking Maragang Hill Kundasang

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Maragang Hill, Kundasang, Sabah (2232m). April 11, 2019.

If you are in Kundasang, I bet that you would love to have a closer view of the mountainous Crocker Range surrounding the area but like me, the thought of rigorous hours and days of hiking scared the hell out of you.

And … if you could not resist the temptation to climb the gigantic Mt Kinabalu, then you should try climbing the 2 km trail of Maragang Hill instead, located in Kg. Mesilou, Kundasang.

Spend a total of 4-5 hours of your morning (4 km in total) to check out the gorgeous peak of Mt Kinabalu and the 360-degree view of Crocker Range from an open platform on top of Maragang Hill (2232m).

But, bear in mind that there is a high chance that the view would be overcast or hidden by thick mists and clouds.  Unless you are lucky or the weather is super good or you are there very early in the morning.

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My trekking buddies at 9.30 am – km 1

Nelly, Nazz and I, the 3 travelings Sumandak* started our journey from Kota Kinabalu at 5.45 am. Reached Mevoc (Mesilou Volunteer Club) admin registration office at 9 am. After registration, we then quickly jump onto our 4WD transportation to the hiking starting point and managed to persuade the ‘pakcik’ driver to drive us to the very last driving point of the trail (we saved 500m of our hiking energy 😝).

The Hike to Maragang Hill

As always, I need to enlighten you that I am not so into hiking but I always love the feeling of being surrounded by nature. I grumbled to myself as I walk on my first 500m while chewing on my apple. As I ascended the trail, the air started to feel very humid and fresh. Traces of mists still hanging on the air among the mossy trees.

Due to the heavy rain last night, the ground is wet and muddy. The air appeared gloomy and mysterious. Very refreshing.

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Mossy tree trunk

The climbing trail is surprisingly bearable for me. Yes, some 45-degree angle slops along the trails make it difficult to climb especially after the rain. I take my time and enjoy the fresh oxygen from the trees.

We reached the peak at 10.30 a.m and sadly could not see anything as thick mists filled the void areas around the mountains, hiding the gem. Sad but nature always has its own agenda, very unpredictable. I swallowed my disappointment silently. But yeay! this is not too bad … I could do this again on my next visit, In Sha Allah.

Nature lovers, this place is a must if you are in this area. Highly recommended!

Maragang Hill hiking package

They have 2 types of trekking trails that you can choose from; the normal trail and the loop trail, each with different package prices. We chose the normal trail package, the same trail ascending and descending (4 km) and for the loop trail, the same trail going up but different trail down (4.3 km). Our package cost is as follows:

1. Conservation fee rm10.00 per person
2. Guide [ 1 – 5 ] fee is rm70.00 per group of 1-5 people
3. Transportation cost rm30 

Contact details for further queries and updates :

Mesilou Volunteer Club (MEVOC)
Jumaidi Lasim, Chairman

T: +60 14 678 7136
E: maraganghill160917@outlook.com
Facebook: Maragang HILL (@MaragangHill)

But the good news is … there are no leeches here. Ahhh … finally, I can explore around the bushes and the tree trunks, peacefully. Nonetheless, you always need to be well prepared when you are in a jungle. My to-do checklist for this trip includes:

  • A guide is a must for Maragang Hill hike
  • Wear good hiking shoes or hiking sandals or any shoes with a good grip would do too. I wore my Teva hiking sandal for this trip.
  • Start the hike very early in the morning (4 am) and be at the top of the hill for the first light (as early as 5.30 am) until 8.00am to increase your chances of seeing a clear landscape view
  • Well powered handphone.
  • Food. I brought an apple, 1 bar of Sneaker, some snacks and my water bottle.
  • A small towel.
  • My small camera and a GoPro (optional)
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Photo credit to my friend Tazza

Would I do this again?

Absolutely yes! I am curious about how does the best view of this place would look like and I need to check it out with my own eyes. What do I like about this place?

  • The gorgeous front-seat view of Mt Kinabalu peak, they said. I need to confirm this with my own eyes. 😝
  • The trail is bearable, not too difficult
  • Our encounter with MEVIC personnel was very pleasant. Our guide, Azwan is well experienced and very polite. For travelers, meeting up with a genuinely kind and polite person on our journey is always feels heartwarming.
  • My travel mate Nelly and Nazz are superb companions. Nothing would feel gruesome when you have a good companion.
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A pose after the hiking with Azwan, our guide

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The night after the hike, we slept like a baby 

Have you been to Maragang Hill?

If you have, please share with me your story or tips. I would love to repeat this trip again soon.

Thanks for dropping by.

Cheers

MM

PS —} *’Sumandak’ means young lady in ethnic Kadazan-Dusun dialect.

And we, 3 very curious Sumandaks (Nelly, Nazz and I) traveled together and explored some parts of Sabah in 12 days.  Traveling solo is cool, trust me … as I have tried traveling solo before. But traveling with curious and same minded traveler friends is way cooler. It is absolutely true that traveling can either strengthen or weaken a friendship.

A special way to deepen friendships as travel will remind you why you became friends with them in the first place, and how good it is to spend focused time together. I would share about places that we went to during our 12 days journey in Sabah and share them here, in my blog. In Sha Allah.


The jewel of Semporna Sabah

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keep your head up boys and survive the best way you could

For months I tried to find the excuse to re-visit my childhood hometown. Being born and raised during my teenage life in Tawau, Sabah, this place has a soft spot in my heart. I miss the food … I miss my old childhood friends and I miss talking in the Sabahan dialect too.

This time around, my excuse is … I am re-visiting islands around Semporna for the second time. Had a good deal return ticket from KL to Tawau and spent a few days hanging out in Tawau with my childhood friends while enjoying the weekends at the islands surrounding Semporna, hunting the light with some new friends.

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the sea gypsies of islands surrounding Semporna, Sabah

I miss the salty air and the beautiful endless open sky. As we were speeding off to Selakan Island from Semporna jetty, I can’t help reminiscing the old sweet years when I used to spend my weekend doing island hopping with my compact camera. Carefree years … when my camera was just so light and the years where I carried my flippers more than my camera.

I am feeling old … only old people reminiscing their old sweet memories.

My second visit to this beautiful place. The first time in 2015 when I was still fresh in this photography world, at that time everything looked new and exciting to me. Guess what … the second trip is as excited as before, I am born to do this … to wander around my surrounding and just fall deeper into my own world while doing … the THINKING, lol (so much to think about).

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gypsy girls swinging carefreely

Timbun Mata, Bodgaya, Maiga, Selakan, Gusungan, Ormadal and a lot more surrounding islands that we can explore. The setting of each island looks damn good during sunset and sunrise. And, I noticed something different this time around with my new travel mates … they play with the drones more than their cameras.

A new way of enjoying our beautiful surrounding which is aerial photography. Now everybody can fly … me? I think I would just stick to my paramotor addiction. Flying with a group of motivated adventurous paramotor pilots and enjoying the raw aerial view with my own eyes, self-satisfaction. I get to feel the fear of the unknown circumstances while flying … while the drone players fear that they would lose their drone signal and later would lose the drone.

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a girl drying fish at the beach in Maiga Island

What makes a place interesting?

For me … it’s the people that reside in the place that makes the place compelling. In here the sea gypsies people are well blended with their nature. Life is simple.

But for a thinker … you’ll get worried just by looking at the children paddling here and there aimlessly. I always believe that every child needs to go to school, at least to learn reading, writing, calculating and reading the Quran.

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Zainab and her lunch for today

By giving that basic skill to our children we fulfilled at least the very minimal responsibility as a parent to them. Giving them the skills will help them make a better choice in life. It is up to the parents though. I saw a few schools here in some islands. Maybe they just choose not to send their children to school.

Ahh well … enough worrying, at least they are happy with their choice of life. As I said earlier … it’s a simple life, no ruffles.

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sunrise in Maiga island

I always want to say this at the end of my writing … that I want to visit the same place again and again. 3 days 2 night is not enough … it was cloudy during the 3 days that we were there and on the second day, we were chased by the storm during sunset at Bodgaya Island. I think a week would be good.

The cloudy stormy sky is the best time to capture time-lapse as the clouds would move rapidly. Sharing my time-lapse video here for y’alls. Amazing moment captured using my small gopro6.

And last but not least, belanja a picture of me under the stormy cloud for my fan out there (perasan … lol am being cynical here) and for those people who are not so my fan, please underestimate me, that’ll be fun. Annyeong …

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Underestimate me please, that’ll be fun

 

Cheers

MM

ps: if life gave you lemon, make lemonade.


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