SARAWAK SABAH SELF DRIVE TOUR – TEAM B REPORT

INTRODUCTION
This report covers Team B journey starting from 9th Jun 2018 to 24th Jun 2018, a period of 16 days. The team consists of the following MACVA members and wives:

a. Lt Kol Lim Ah Bah RMAF (Rtd)-Team B Leader / Acct Holder.
b. Lt Kol Khoo Goh Keat RMAF (Rtd) – Photographer / Route Planner.
c. Mej Lee Man Tat ARMY (Rtd) – Lodging Planner.
d. Sgt Yee Sin Choy RMAF (Rtd) – Team B Driver /Route Planner.
e. Sgt Winson Tan Wee Pang RMAF (Rtd) – Team Member.
f. Hoong Yee Wan (Mrs Lim AB) – First Aidb.
g. Yeo Chiew Liang, Mary (Mrs Khoo GK) - Team Member.
h. Goh Siew Kuan (Mrs Lee MT) - Team Member.
i. Christine Phoon (Mrs Yee SC) - Team Member.

TEAM B JOURNEY
Most of the team members arrived in Tawau airport from KL on 9th June 2018. The team hired a van to move from the airport to Semporna to meet up with Team ‘A’ to take over the official van so as to continue with the ‘ SSS Tour’ from Sabah to Sarawak (Kuching). Team ‘A’ gave a handing-over briefing to Team ‘B’, and handed over the official van for ‘SSS Tour’. The brief covered their experiences, precautions to take, and the poor health of a Team B member who had arrived earlier than the rest of Team’ B’. That night, Team ‘A’ cooked a delicious sea-food dinner for both teams to enjoy before Team ‘A’ departed to KL via Tawau airport the next day.

The next day, Team B, with the help of local friends in Semporna, went for boating , snorkelling, and touring of nearby islands and a sea gypsy ‘kampong ayer’. However, one team member could not join those sea activities because of his poor health. From Semporna, Team B travelled by road to Kota Kinabatangan / Sukau via Kunak and Lahad Datu. The team stayed at ‘Sukau Backpackers’ BnB’, and went on boat ride for bird watching, Orang Utan, and crocodile viewing along the Kinabatangan River which locals claimed that Admiral Cheng Ho sailed that river.

However, just as the team was ready to leave the BnB, one Team Member became very ill due to diabetic problem and had to be carried by 3 strong young men from his room over a long distance to the van. His condition was so serious that he had to be admitted to the nearest district hospital medical check up and treatment. The district hospital decided that he must be admitted for further check-up and treatment. Team B informed MACVA and his daughter about his condition, and advised that the family to talk further to the hospital.

Thus from then on, Team B had to continue with the SSS Tour without the sick member, especially when the team was at the very early stage of the SSS Tour which would soon cover long, lonely and rough stretches of roads due to construction of the Pan-Borneo Expressway. Also, the Team had to stay in lodges/ hotels which have steep steps or long distances to the van (eg at the backpackers’ BnB in Sukau, and the steep steps to the rooms on the 1st Floor in a hotel in Sandakan (no lift)).

Team B then proceeded to Sandakan where Maj Lee and wife joined the Team. From then on, Team B proceeded to various locations in Sabah and Sarawak (for details, please see attached pictures of the tour). Significant places of interest and activities visited / witnessed by the team were as follows:

a. Kundasang slopes and Mt Kinabalu on 12 Jun.
b. Tip of Borneo where South China Sea and Sulu Sea meet at the cape /tip on 13 Jun.
c. Visiting Rungus Longhouse, south of Kudat on 14 Jun.
d. Kota Kinabalu city and surrounding areas on 14 Jun to 16 Jun.
e. The experiences of crossing many border checkpoints from Sabah (Sindumin) on 16 Jun to Sarawak (Lawas) to Brunei (Eastern part), to Sarawak (Limbang), to Brunei Proper, to Sarawak (Miri)on 18 Jun.
f. The Niah Caves (on the way from Miri to Bintulu) on 18 Jun.
g. The Dayak Gawai Festival in Kuching on 22 Jun.
h. The night scene of Kuching ‘Riverside’ on 22 Jun.
i. Meeting MACVA members in KK (Dinner) on 15 Jun, and Kuching (breakfast on 23 Jun), and viewing TUDM Kuching with MACVA (Kuching Members) on 23 Jun.
j. Visit to Santubong Beach and Peak on 24 Jun.

JOURNEY IN PICTURES
10 Jun 18
Visited islands off Semporna and night stay at Sukau Backpackers BnB.

Pic 8 - Team B start from Semporna. Pic 1 - Semporna Ocean Tourism Centre. Pic 2- Ready to go t o Islands.
Pic 3 - An island off Semporna-snorkelling. Pic 4 - Kampung Ayer, near Semporna town. Pic 5 - A Sea-Gypsie Floating Village.
Pic 6 - Jetty at an island. Pic 7 - Seafood Dinner in Semporna. Pic 13 - Enroute to Backpackers BnB Lodge.

Pic 14 - Backpackers BnB Lodge. Pic 9 - Bulatan from Semporna to Tawau. Pic 11 - Seaviewfrom Kunak town.
Pic 10 - Kunak Lobster Symbol at bulatan. Pic 12 - Lahad Datu town centre. Pic 15 - Lake off Kinabatangan River.
Pic 16 - Kinabatangan River, sailed by Adm Cheng Ho. Pic 17 - A jetty along Kinabatangan River. Pic 18 - At Sandakan Hotel(11 Jun).
Pic19 - Sim Sim Seafood Restaurant. Pic 20 - a Kampung Ayer house in Sim-Sim. Pic 21 - A seaview Restaurant at low tide.

12 Jun 18
Visited cattle farm at top of Kundasang slopes, had dinner in Ranau town and night stay at Kinabalu Valley Homestay (on hillside).

Pic 22 - Sepilok Orang Utan Centre Sandakan. Pic 23 - Tean at Sepilok Orang Utan Centre. Pic 24 - River along WW2 Death March from Sandakan.
Pic 25 - Ranau Town Death March Ended. Pic 26 - Kundasang slopes along Mt Kinabalu. Pic 27 - Kundasang slopes and valley.
Pic 28 – Cattle Farm, at top of Kundasang , Mt Kinabalu behind (12 Jun). Pic 29- Breakfast in hillside lodge at Kudasang slopes/valleys (13 Jun). Pic 30 - Group photo facing hillside lodge.

13 Jun 18
Travelled from Kundasang hillside Lodge to Kudat and night stay at Kudat Hotel.

Pic 31 - Mt Kinabalu view from Park HQ. Pic 32 - Mt KInabalu enroute to Kota Belud. Pic 33 - Kota Belud welcome arch.
Pic 34 - Kota Belud town. Pic 35 - Kota Belud roadside stall. Pic 36 - Enrote Tip of Borneo.
Pic 37 - Simppang Mengayau Chalet. Pic 38 - Team at Tip of Borneo. Pic 39 - Standing at Tip of Borneo.
Pic 40 - Rock beyond Tip of Borneo. Pic 41 - Kudat line fishing. Pic 42 - Kudat Esplanade.

14 Jun 18
Travelled from Kudat to Kota Kinabalu via Kota Marudi, Tuaran and night stay at M. S. Homestay.

Pic 43 - Rungus Longhouse,Kudat. Pic 44 - Team 'B' at Rungus Longhouse,Kudat. Pic 45 - The inside of a Rungus Longhouse,Kudat.
Pic 46- Removing Van tyres for check at Kota Marudi. Pic 47 - Mt KInabalu view enroute to Tuaran. Pic 48 - 'Tuaran Mee'started from 1952.
Pic 49 - Arrival at Tuaran town. Pic 50 - Tuaran-river. Pic 51 - Tuaran-fish symbol at bulatan.

15 Jun 18
Visited Kota Kinabalu City Centre.

Pic 51 - Group photo at breakfast. Pic 52 - Guard Post - Dalit Bay Resort. Pic 53 - A big lake.
Pic 54 - Our Land Eco Farm-Lake. Pic 56 - Refreshment at road stall. Pic 57 - Likas Tower.
Pic 57 - KK Town Centre-Shopping. Pic 58 - At Tanjung Aru Beach. Pic 59 - Tanjung Aru Beach view.
Pic 60 - Dinner with KK MACVs (15 Jun). Pic 61 - Dinner with KK MACVs (15 Jun). Pic 62 - Dinner with KK MACVs (15 Jun).

16 Jun 18
Travelled from Kota Kinabalu to Lawas in Sarawak via Papar, Beaufort, Sipitang and Lawas (night stay at Borneo Hotel).

Pic 63 - Papar town. Pic 64 - Beaufort road stalls. Pic 65 - Beaufort town centre.
Pic 66 - Sipitang-boats to Labuan. Pic 67 - Sipitang-Godness of Mercy statue. Pic 68 - Sipitang-Esplanade.
Pic 69 - Lawas- a hotel. Pic 70 - Lawas-supermarket. Pic 71 - Lawas-Seladang statue.

17 Jun 18
Travelled from Lawas to Brunei, visits Muara, Bandar Seri Bengawan (BSB), Mosque, river esplanade to view Kampong Ayer and night stay at Qing Yun Resthouse.

Pic 72 - Enroute to Brunei. Pic 73 - At Limbang River. Pic 74 - Limbang River House.
Pic 75 - Brunei Check Point. Pic 76 - Qing Yun Resthouse. Pic 77 - Muara Harbour.
Pic 78 - River esplanade. Pic 79 - Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque. Pic 80 - Mosque walkway to the river.
Pic 81 - Kampung Ayer, BSB. Pic 82 - Tutong river, Tutong. Pic 83 - A Chinese School, Tutong.

18 Jun 18
Visitsed Seria (Brunei) and travelled to Miri (Sarawak) (night stay at Lixion Homestay).

Pic 84 - Enroute to Seria. Pic 85 - Seria Oil Drill. Pic 86 - Seria Oil Well Historical Site.
Pic 87 - NAAFI, BF Broadcasting Service. Pic 88 - Enroute to Kuala Belait. Pic 89 - Sg Tujoh Control Post.
Pic 90 - Miri Oil Well. Pic 91 - Miri Town. Pic 92 - Lixion Homestay Miri.

19 Jun 18
Visits Niah Caves and travelled to Bintulu (nigh stay at 900 Inn).

Pic 93 - Breakfast in Miri. Pic 94 - Niah Cliffs. Pic 95 - Niah National Park.
Pic 96 - At Niah Nationa Park. Pic 97 - Niah Nationa Park-river jetty. Pic 98 - Enroute to Bintulu-Batang Suai river.
Pic 99 - Arrival at Bintulu. Pic 100 - Bintulu beach. Pic 101 - Bintulu beach-evening.

20 Jun 18
Travelled from Bintulu to Sibu (night stay at Qu Lin Resident).

Pic 102 - 192 Km to Sibu. Pic 103 - Highway construction-road widening. Pic 104 - Highway construction-slope works.
Pic 105 - Highway construction-laying pipes. Pic 106 - A longhouse in Mukah. Pic 107 - Chinese Temple in Selangau.
Pic 108 - 15th Inf Bde Hq, Sibu. Pic 109 - RASCOM Camp, Sibu. Pi 110 - Batu 10 Camp, Sibu.

21 Jun 18
Travelled from Sibu to Seri Aman (visited Melanau Kampung and night stay at Seri Simanggang Hotel).

Pic 111 - In Sibu Town. Pic 112 - St Teresa Church in Sibu. Pic 113 - Chinese Temple in Sibu.
Pic 114 - Breakfast in Sibu. Pic 115 -Express boat in Batang Rajang. Pic 116 - Batang Rajang.
Pic 117 - Betong RnR. Pic 118 - Seri Alam River Espanade. Pic 119 - Seri Alam River Espanade.
Pic 120 - Seri Aman 2 Doves. Pic 121 - Seriaa Town Hotlink.. Pic 122 - Dewan Serian.

22 Jun 18
Proceed to Kuching, vists Gawai Dayak Parade and night scenes.

Pic 123 - Gawai Dayak Festival Cat statues. Pic 124 - Festival Parade Dayak Youth. Pic 125 - Festival Parade Dayak Men.
Pic 126 - Festival Parade Dayak Ladies. Pic 127 - Festival Parade Ranger Veterans. Pic 128 - Team with festival participants.
Pic 129 - Kuching Riverfront Nite. Pic 130 - Kuching Riverfront Nite. Pic 131 - Kuching Riverfront Gawai Bazaar.

23 Jun 18
Visited Kuching and Santubong.

Pic 132 - With Kuching MACVs. Pic 133 - Breakfast with MACVA men. Pic 134 - Breakfast with MACVA ladies.
Pic 135 - At TUDM Kuching with MACVA banner. Pic 136 - TLDM Kuching. Pic 137 - Kuching City.
Pic 138 - Santubong Hills. Pic 139 - Group photo-Santubong. Pic 140 - Group phoyo-Santubong.

24 Jun 18
Departs for KLIA.

Pic 141 - Kuching Airport and vehicle return. Pic 142 - Bro Yee Sin Choy (who drove all the way from Semporna to Kuching) with rep of van rental company.

CONCLUSION
In conclusion, appreciation and thanks should go to all members of Team B for their contribution, cooperation and assistance to make the trip a memorable one. Special thanks to Lt Col (Rtd) Khoo GK for the tireless effort to be the photographer for the whole Team B Tour, including compilation of the photos. Not to forget our capable driver, Bro Yee Sin Choy, for the safe handling of the vehicle for the whole journey which was very tough and strenuous. Thanks also to Maj Lee for the lodging / hotel arrangements for the whole trip. Also thanks to all the wives who helped the team in one way or another.

Reported Daily by:-
Lt Col Lim Ah Bah RMAF (Rtd)
Team A Lerder

Recorded for MACVA Archives.
Maj Wong Kwai Yinn (Rtd)

25 Sep 19