Friday, December 5, 2014

6 'Non-mainstream' Things To Do in Kota Kinabalu and Environ

Because what everyone is doing is so mainstream *wink*.

1. Chanteek Borneo Gallery

Never have I seen a greater passion, determination and commitment as Anne Antah, the founder of Chanteek Borneo Gallery. Despite having an IT degree up her sleeves, her hope to see more of our younger generation appreciate and love our culture, custom and heritage drove her to quit her job and nurture this dream of her - Chanteek Borneo Gallery, Sabah's first miniature gallery! 

This private-owned gallery features a collection of Barbie and Ken size like doll replicating the actual Sabah ethnic costumes. Currently the gallery houses about 300 dolls and all were carefully research by Anne herself, nothing escape her sharp eyes. I remembered during the interview, I asked her how long does she takes and where did she get all the information from, and her answer left us in awe. The first 10 ethnic costumes were rather easy, mainly from Kadazan, Dusun, Murut, Rungus, Bajau communities as the detail can easily be obtained from tourism and museum, Anne encounter difficulties with the rest but her determination supersede all obstacles.

To date, not only the gallery showcases all Sabah ethnic group with full detailing of materials and the placement of beads, lace and adornments to accessories like headgear, hairdo and jewelry, but she include weddings and various ceremonies costumes and some even come with miniature traditional houses. I respect her passion, determination and commitment.

Operating hours
Monday: Close
Tuesday - Saturday: 9:00am - 6:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am - 4:30pm
Public Holiday: 9:00am - 5:00pm

Entrance fee
Adult - RM15
Children - RM10
* Locals are entitled for RM5 rebate.

Chanteek Borneo Gallery
Kg. Lakang, Jln Telibong
89200, Tamparuli

Tel : +60 88-792 018
Email :

Getting There
Located 40minutes away from Kota Kinabalu. You may take a bus to Tamparuli, but do indicate to the driver where you would like to be dropped off. Apart from buses, you may take a taxi from city centre or rent a car which would be more convenient. 

2. Sabah Museum

Sabah Museum – The Heritage Village is situated within the Ethno Botanical Gardens in the Sabah Museum Complex showcasing several Sabah traditional houses and a Brunei house indicating the type, background as well as the ethnicity; Bajau House complete with a wedding dais, a Murut longhouse with a lansaran (trampoline), a Chinese farmhouse with earthen floor, a Bamboo House and a House of Skulls etc.

Overall the place is decent, clean and presentable but a little upgrading would be perfect. I think it is very educational and something that worth a visit to learn about local culture and heritage.

Operating hours
Open daily from 9.00 am to 5.00pm
Entrance fee
Malaysian Guests - RM2.00
Non-Malaysian Guests - RM15.00

Malaysians only:
Students in uniform - Free
Disabled Guests - Free
Senior Guests - Free
Taxi Drivers - Free

Sabah Museum
Jalan Muzium
88300 Kota Kinabalu

Tel : +60 88 – 253199/254852/253551
Email :

How to Get Here
Located at Jalan Kebajikan off Jalan Penampang, opposite the Secretariat Building and approximately 4 km from Kota Kinabalu City. From Kota Kinabalu City Centre, take bus #13 with fares RM1 (one way) or taxi at RM10 (one way).

3. Tanjung Aru Beach

I was fascinated with Tanjung Aru Beach hawker stalls (food court), restaurants, beach cafes with their deck chairs and all. Located near to Kota Kinabalu International Airport and nor far from the city centre, definitely a great place to wind down before taking the flight home. One can hang-out or just lepak here, you’ll see families taking a swim, playing by the sandy beach, strolling, or just enjoying yummy seafood while waiting for the sunset *smile*.

Little did I know the selections here were this great, in fact I was rather confuse of what to snack hence I settled for a drink, even that; I was spoiled for choice. 

I ended up with something yummy until I saw a lady buying this! OK, this is what I will be having the next time I am in Kota Kinabalu!

How to Get Here

From Kota Kinabalu City Centre, take the No 16 bus towards Tanjung Aru from the bus stations in front of City Hall or Wawasan Plaza and let the driver know of your destination. Bus fare is RM1.50. You can also go by taxi, at RM15 per taxi(up to four persons). 

4. Tagal Tinopikon Park

Tagal Tinopikon Park in Penampang is often missed out by many, one can take a package starting from RM78 for local or RM88 for foreigner covering a visit to fruit orchard (best during fuit season), a trip to agricultural farm, experiencing local lifestyle, rubber tapping, trekking to both Wasai and Temkokou Waterfall and etc (lunch is included of course *wink*). Visitor can also learn and try out the famous Sumazau dance with the locals.

What makes it great is the hanging bridge, the traditional meal by the Moyog River, cultural performance during lunch and the hammock (for you to laze after lunch).

Local – RM78, foreigner – RM88 (without transfer)

Local – RM 140, foreigner – RM160 (with transfer)

Tagal Tinopikon Park
c/o AJ Best Travel Sdn Bhd
Lot 7, 2nd Floor, Block SH9
Taman Suria Shop Apartment Ph 1B, Jalan Penampang
88300 Kota Kinabalu

Tel :  +6088 702878 
Email :

* AJ Best Sdn Bhd is the authorized operator of Tagal Tinopikon Park.

5. Rumah Terbalik (Upside Down House) 

The first of its kind in South East Asia and among the five upside-down structures in the world (3 are found in Europe and another in Japan) is located in Tamparuli, Sabah. Opened since 2012 is one of Sabah popular attractions, with interior local d├ęcor in upside down manner. It is said that one can only spend 15 mins in this house before getting disoriented and dizzy spells. 

Aside from the interior decor, the exterior is also placed in an upside down position. Yeah, this man is not that strong actually *cheeky*. No pictures are allowed inside the house, having said that, they have allocated an area outside that for photo opp (below).

Opening hours
Daily (including public holidays): 7:00am to 7:00pm

Entrance fee
MyKad holders: RM10.00
Others: RM18.00

Students/Children below 12 years: RM5.00
Children below 3 years: Free of charge
* Kindly note that indoor photography is prohibited.

Miles 21, Kampung Telibong
Jalan Tamparuli-Ranau

Tel : +60 88-260 263
Email :

Getting There

The house is located along Mile 21, Jalan Telibong, Tamparuli. The journey by road takes approximately 40 minutes. Taxis can take you from the city centre but be sure to make return arrangements as taxis on standby may not be readily available at this location.

6. Linangkit Cultural Village

If you enjoy learning some cultural, heritage and custom during your travel, pay a visit to Linangkit Cultural Village in Kampung Selupoh, Tuaran and get up close and personal with the Lotud people - one of the 32 diverse ethnic groups in Sabah. An hour drive from Kota Kinabalu will take you here to experience Lotud’s handicraft-making demonstrations, traditional food preparation demonstrations, traditional fish netting, tapioca plucking, cultural show, river cruise and firefly watching. Not only that, you will also get a chance to sample traditional Lotud delicacies during your visit.

From Wikipedia :

The Lotud are an indigenous ethnic group residing in Sabah, eastern Malaysia on the island of Borneo. They reside mainly in the Tuaran District to as far as Kampung Sukoli, Telipok in the West Coast Division of Sabah. They are a sub-ethnic group of the Dusunic group, now also known as Kadazandusun. The Dusunic language family is a branch under the Malayo-Polynesian group of Languages, which is a branch of the Austronesian stock of languages. 

All Linangkit Cultural Village pictures are courtesy of Sabah Tourism.

Opening hours
Daily : 9:00am to 6:00pm

Guided tour, try-on traditional costume, handicraft demonstrations, traditional food demonstration, traditional fish netting & tapioca plucking (Morning & Afternoon Arrival), cultural show (Afternoon & Night Arrival), river cruise & firefly watching (Night Arrival) and Traditional Lunch/Hi-Tea/Dinner.

Entrance fees
Senior (50 years and above) – RM20
Adult - RM25
Student - RM15
Children (6 to 12 years old) - RM10
Children below 6 years old - F.O.C

Senior (50 years and above) – RM35
Adult - RM40
Student - RM30
Children (6 to 12 years old) – RM20
Children below 6 years old - F.O.C
* Welcome drink, betel nut & cigarette tasting, activities, guided tour. - See more at:

Linangkit Cultural Village
Lotud, Kg. Selupoh,
89208 Tuaran
Tel : +6013-8803738

Email :


A Sabah Tourism Media Fam Trip in collaboration with Air Asia.

1 comment:

Thisomimie said...

Dalam semua kat atas tu..i'd only been to Sabah Muzium and Tanjung Aru...always thought running out things to do at i have a list..nice entry Lily...

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