Sarawak Sabah Self Drive Tour – Team A Journey
12 Jun 18
On 24 May 18 morning, Team A which comprises of 8 MACVs and spouses departed from KLIA2 and arrived safely at Kuching International Airport at 11.00 am. The Team then received the transport for their adventure trip; a white Toyota Hiace Van from the waiting transport agent. After satisfying themselves with a thorough check of the vehicle, they proceed to a City Tour of Kuching; meet up with local comrades and night stop in Kuching.
From 24 May to 9 Jun 18, they embarked on a 17D16N Sarawak Sabah Self Drive Tour (SSST). They drove from Kuching to Tawau and visited bases, scenic sights and meet up with comrades along the way while promoting MACVA and signing up new MACVS. At the end of their trip at Tawau, they passed on the Toyota Hiace to Team B whom flew in from KLIA2 on 8 Jun 18 and begin their adventure trip from Tawau back to Kuching. Team A comprises of:-
Capt Chaw Meng RMAF (Rtd),
Capt Yap Keing Chen RMAF (Rtd),
WO 1 David Cheng Gim Leng RMAF (Rtd),
WO 2 Phung Yoon Min RMAF (Rtd),
F/Sgt Lye Yew Seng RMAF (Rtd),
Sgt (W) Lim Leh Choo RMAF (Rtd),
Yap Chiew Yong (Mrs Chaw) and
Lai Foo Nyok (Mrs David)
This pictorial report using 133 pictures record's their journey throughout the Self Drive Tour in East Malaysia.
25 May 18
The team visited TUDM Kuching and Sarawak Cultural Village at Santubong. They enjoyed the evening scenic view of Riverside Kuching after dinner with new MACVs and night stop in Kuching.
The visit to RMAF Kuching was enjoyable as well as unforgettable. The entire Team was invited for a Real Simulator Session of joy flight. Chaw Meng take on as pilot, Yap Keing Chen as co-pilot, Phung Yoon Min as Flight Engineer and all other team members as passengers. The Team took off at Kuching Runway 25; made a smooth take off and then stabilized at 1500 ft. Due to unforeseen circumstances, our pilot had to make a turn back for landing. The whole joy ride was about 6 minutes. All of us were delighted with this marvelous experience and thank you so much to the Flight Simulator Instructor who took a picture with us.
Dinner fellowships with comrades in Kuching restaurant where 3 new MACVs sign up.
26 May 18
The Team visited some local scenes recommended by local comrades. They proceeded to Sri Aman in the afternoon and visited Fort Alice. The Team night stop in Sri Aman.
27 May 18
The Team travelled to Batang Ai National Park in Lubok Antu which is situated 250 km east of Kuching for scenic lake views. The Team got side track and lost their way as WAZE cannot function in most of the locations. Luckily they were guided back to Batang Ai by a helpful local resident. After Batang Ai, they proceeded to Sibu for a City Tour in the afternoon and meet up with comrades. The Team night stop in Sibu.
28 May 18
The Team push off early on a 300 Km drive to Niah National Park . It was raining heavily and they break for lunch at Bintulu. They arrived late noon passed 6.15 pm at at Niah Village. The Team night stop at nearby hotel.
29 May 18
The Team visited Niah Caves. After visiting Caves, they have dinner at nearby Niah town before moving on to Miri for comrades gathering and visited the City night view. The Team night stop in Miri.
30 May 18
The Team moved to Muara Ferry Terminal in Brunei and took a 2 hours High Speed ferry to Labuan early morning. In the afternoon they visited TUDM Labuan and had a comrades gathering dinner in the evening where 3 new MACVs sign up. The Team night stop in Labuan.
Team Leader Chaw Meng TQ Message to CO RMAF Labuan.
“Dear Dato’, Thank you very much for hosting us for the base visit. Your XO Kol Azhari received and conducted the tour. Everyone we met on the visit treated us with warmth and respect. We let the most senior in service F/Sgt Lye to present a memento to the base. At the end of the visit, 14 Skn Major Asmah hosted us to tea break despite being in the fasting month. The treatment we received certainly made us feel proud to have served the King and Country. Best regards from all of us”.
Team Tour Guide Phung Yoon Min Message.
“Good morning comrades, Team A is proud to announce that we had just completed half of our journey of East Malaysia; about 1360 Km after 8 days and 7 nights. We are now in Labuan and later about 11.30 am will take another ferry to proceed to Keningau in Sabah. So far all of us are quite happy on this journey especially in visiting our previous serving bases, met old comrades and tasting of foods. Umpurau, soon hock, tiger prawns, kerapu and etc. Hopefully the next half of the journey will give us more exciting and surprising views”.
Comrades gathering dinner in the evening at Labuan where 3 new MACVs sign up.
31 May 18
The Team visited Labuan Surrender Point in the morning. Later they took a Ferry to Keningau in Sabah. They visited Crocker Range Park at Keningau in the afternoon and proceeded to Tambunan. The Team night stop in Tambunan.
1 Jun 18
The Team travelled to Kota Kinabalu to meet up with comrades and had lunch. After lunch they proceeded to Kota Belud and night stop.
2 Jun 18
The Team travelled to Kudat and along the way visited Honey Bee Farm. Later they proceeded to Tip of Borneo and to Kundasang for Mount Kinabalu scenic view. The Team night stop at Kundasang.
Note: From Kuching to Tip of Borneo was 2030 Km (Nose of the Dog). Highlands travelled from Keningau to Kundasang was about 620 Km. Total distance from Kuching till Lahat Datu was 2830 Km. The total fuel consumption so far was about RM520. Many areas have problem with WAZE.
3 Jun 18
The Team travelled to Ranau visiting the Hotspring and Hanging Rope Bridge and back to Kundasang for night stop.
4 Jun 18
In the morning the Team travelled to Ranau for Breakfast and visited the Crocodiles Farm and Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. They had lunch at Ranau Moonlight Restaurant owned by Mr Teo, a Johorian. He kindly included our visits into his Facebook. The Team night stop at Sandakan.
5 Jun 18
The Team travelled to Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary and visited Gua Gomantong enroute. They proceeded to Lahat Datu for night stop.
6 Jun 18
After Lahat Datu City Visit, the Team moved on to Human Rekreasi Madai Waterfall. They had lunch at Kunak before proceeding to Semporna for night stop.
7 Jun 18
The Team visited KD Sri Semporna at 8.30 am and was received by the Base XO Lt Cmdr Faizal RMN. Lt Cmdr Aswad RMN took over and gave the Team a briefing and a fantastic tour of the base. Many thanks to MACV First Adm Datuk Kay RMN (Rtd) for the visit arrangements. After the visit, they proceeded to Tawau for dinner and pickup Team B Guide Winston Tan at Tawau Airport. The Team night stop at Semporna.
8 Jun 18
The Team visited some small islands around Semporna. 6 members from Team B arrived at Tawau Airport at 3.00 pm today to join with Winston Tan who arrived yesterday. Unfortunately, Lee Man Tat and wife missed their Flight in KLIA2 and all other flight was fully booked until 12 Jun 18. They will join Team B on 11 Jun 18 at Sandakan Airport instead. Team B will begin their drive from Tawau to Kuching from 8 Jun 18 to 26 Jun 18; another 17D16N. Team A will be flying back to KLIA 2 tomorrow at 8.40 pm.
Message from Phung Yoon Min
“Good morning Bro, I’m proud to announce the SSST Team A finally completed the approximate 3330 Km journey from Kuching to Tawau. All of us are healthy and happy throughout the journey. Last night we invited Team B to attend our self-prepared dinner with 2 Kg Kerapu fish; 2 Kg Sea craps; 1 Kg Big prawns plus several dishes. The van was handover in good condition. Hopefully they will smoothly carry out their journey. A debrief was carried out by us to highlight some important points on the trip. Lastly we hope to catch up with our comrades in West Malaysia after a long trip. TQ and have a pleasant day”.
9 Jun 18
The Team proceeded to Tawau Airport by Taxi for departure to KLIA2 at 8.40 pm.
Message from Phung Yoon Min.
“Our last destination photo at Tawau Airport before returning to KL. All looks a bit tired but with smiling faces. I am proud to announce that we had completed and accomplished this successful ‘mission impossible trip’ with all senior comrades”.
10 June 18
Message from Phung Yoon Min.
“We landed safety at KLIA2 this morning at 0.01 am and I reached home at 2.15 am. Hopefully all members were at home now and have a good sleep. Have a pleasant Sunday. TQ.”
Team Leader Chaw Meng TQ Message.
"Dear Team Members,
My wife and I would like to express our sincere gratitude to all of you for the enjoyable journey from Kuching to Semporna. The sightseeing and adventurous activities were all done in good spirit. The visit to the airbases have brought back fond memories and not forgetting the visit to Semporna PASKAL forward naval base where we were well received. The Navy specially treated us to a live firing. Every serving soldier needs to go for prior training before firing a live bullet. The ladies were invited but they graciously declined. The men took this rare opportunity and fired 20 rounds in assault rifle and 20 rounds in pistol. Mr Phung is the top shooter and even shot down the smallest plate at 30 meter range followed by Mr Cheng in assault rifle.
The roads in East Malaysia generally need upgrading but we are save in the hand of Bro Yap, a helicopter pilot who spent 20 years flying in this remote jungle and being entertained by his many exciting accounts with the many different tribes. Not forgetting the many delicious local food especially both the river fish and sea food. Sister Christine is our tour guide who provides many off-track outings. Bro Cheng kept a detail account and being a successful investor managed to have a tidy balance at the end despite being harassed constantly for good food. My heartfelt thanks to our strategic and tactical planner Bro Chia for his well thought planning. We all have a very good adventure. Thanks to Mr Phung."
MACVA is very pleased that its members are embarking on such activities which promote strong comradeship among Veterans and healthy families relationship. It also strengthens the comradeship between MACVs and Serving personnel of the Malaysian Armed Forces. MACVs are an adventurous lot and demonstrates that we are still able to go out on a long field trip. Well done to the Team for embarking on this journey and 'a feather in the cap' for MACVs. MACVA would like to extend its sincere gratitude to Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) and Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) for kindly accomodating our members MACVs during their visits while on their adventure trip to Sarawak and Sabah.
Reported Daily by:-
WO 1 Mike Teoh RMAF (Rtd)
Maj Wong Kwai Yinn (Rtd)
12 Jun 18