Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), also commonly referred to as marine reserve areas or marine managed areas, exist worldwide having been established since the 1960s on tropical and temperate reefs. Despite the different names or types, their main purpose is to protect a sea area or zone from any human-caused disturbances such as over-harvesting of marine animals, use of destructive fishing practices or tourism development. They can also be zoned for specific uses, such as tourism (snorkelling, diving, etc.), scientific research, and conservation. All in all, MPAs act as a management tool for fisheries and the conservation of biodiversity.

Scientific research has affirmed the effectiveness of MPAs in:
improving ecological diversity
protecting coral reefs (which are an important habitat for most marine animals, especially juveniles)

MPAs are managed by the Federal government (Department of Marine Parks Malaysia or DMPM), State governments (Sabah and Sarawak government), and private companies in Malaysia.

The areas that are protected have proven to benefit marine biodiversity, helping to recover fish populations affected by overfishing. The establishment of protected areas is increasing around the world. Indeed, one of the strategic plans of the Convention on Biological Diversity is the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, which state that at least 10 percent of coastal and marine areas should be conserved effectively and equitably managed by 2020. Malaysia currently has 1.4 percent of MPAs; more must be done to meet international targets and standards.

At yesterday's press conference for the "Citarasa Sabah Food Festival 2014", the second biggest event to promote Malaysia to the world, in line with the "Visit Malaysia 2014", fellow media and bloggers were present to get to know more about this event, that will be taking place at KK Times Square on the 18th till the 20th April!

Many activities are in store, not only for the adults, but also for the little toddlers. Apart from the esteemed representative from the organizing team, also present, is the internationally known local celebrity chef, Chef Johan. He told the media that he'll be doing a cooking demonstration that you've never seen and tasted before.

As many as 5,000 visitors per day are expected during the three days period and they're aiming mainly on the tourists. Because of that, there will be a shuttle bus available for the public routing from Suria Sabah to KK Times Square with 4 to 5 trips a day, making it easier for everyone to go to the event site.

Also available are the local 'kampung' delicacies such as the sea worm and the sago worm. For the brave heart with stomach of steel, you might wanna come down and have a bite.

There is no excuse for not going to the fair because it will open at 11am and closes only at 9pm! And as if that's not enough, there will also be something for everyone. From the Exotic Food 101, to the Malay Delicacy Boulevard, the St. Vegetarian Sections, Everything Durian Mini Expo, Le Hawker Food Street, the Bartending Competition, starlight cinema and last stop, Kiddies Utopia. So, spending the whole day at the site won't be a waste of time.

This will be the gluttony indulgence at its grandest. For more information, do visit the websites for Visit Malaysia Year 2014 and KK Food Festival.

Suria Sabah is going to be having a Spring/Summer Fashion Show week from the 18th to 20th of April. There will be a lot of cool activities in store for you guys from fashion to music with a lot of amazing prizes to be won.

There will be fashion show, make-over contest, kiddy catwalk competition, dancing performance, DJ performance and many other more!

If you have a little toddles that has an eye for fashion, do let them join in the 'Kiddy's Catwalk Competition'. Please read the poster below for more information on how to enter your kids into the catwalk competition that will take place on the 16th until 19th April.

If you guys want to be eligible to join in the chance to win a lucky draw, then observe the poster below carefully to make sure you could win awesome prizes. The lucky draw period will be a one moth span (from 4th April till 4th May 2014). So, don't miss your chance and head to Suria Sabah today!

In conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2014, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia (MOTEC) will be collaborating with Kota Kinabalu Food Festival 2014 (KKFF'14) to organize "Citarasa Sabah", the biggest food festival in Sabah. Expect three days full of varied seafood, exotic local foods, unforgettable dining experience, cultural show, cooking competition and more during the grand opening on the 18th of April 2014 at KK Times Square and the event will carry on until the 20th of April. But, the Citarasa Sabah won't just stop there. With multiple participating hotels all around Sabah, they will continue serving local scrumptious delicacies for lunch and dinners throughout the whole month.

The fanfare-like food festival will be, in Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun's own words, "the second biggest event for Sabah in line with the Visit Malaysia Year 2014". Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun will also be there to officiate the event.

Citarasa Sabah will be officially opened on the 18th April 2014 from 5 to 7pm while the food bazaar will go on everyday from the 18th to 20th of April from as early as 11am until 9pm in the evening, and this all is happening at KK Times Square.

If you need more information regarding the Citarasa Sabah food festival, do visit their website at KKFoodFest

The Earth Hour is closing in and Hyatt Regency Kinabalu will be organizing, together with the Cycling Organization of Kota Kinabalu, the Earth Hour mass cycling.

The approximately 16km route will be guided by safety marshals and it will be starting at Hyatt Regency itself, in the heart of the city. Cyclist will be gathering at the Shenanigan's terrace, where the mass cycling will be officially flagged off at 8.30pm, the designated global Earth Hour Movement's point off.

The cyclist will be cycling through the serene sea-side of Jalan Tun Fuad, also known as Tanjung Lipat and then they'll be continuing on and pass by the Menara Tun Fuad Stephens and lastly reaching the Kingfisher roundabout, before heading back to the starting point. 

This mass cycling event is a way for Hyatt Regency to show how much they do care about the environment, to send out a message and to educate the public on the importance of sustaining our environment's balance. 

Hyatt Regency Kinabalu, will be dimming their unnecessary lightings in and out of their hotel building in support for the Eart Hour movement.

General public and anyone interested in joining the cause, are very much welcome to partake.  

Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu will be celebrating Earth Hour together with the world on 29 March 2014 and the 5-star resort hotel also has planned a variety of activities throughout the day commemorate the event.

Following their 3R motto; reduce, reuse and recycle, they will kick off Earth Hour with a collaborative beach clean-up at Mamutik Island with volunteers from Sabah Parks, Raleigh International, Borneo Divers and a handful of resort guests. On the same morning, the official mascot, Jaga the clownfish, will be introduced to help raise awareness towards marine conservation.

The resort hotel’s staff also recycled cooking oil and turned them into 1,441 tea candles, all of which will be lit during Earth Hour to illuminate the resort’s seven restaurant and bars.

Guests are also invited to participate by opting not to change their bed sheets or towels for the day and the resort hotel will also be switching off all non-essential lights in most of back-of-the-house areas and dimming lights in public areas, restaurants and the hotel exterior.

“Energy conservation, environmental protection and the reduction of waste emissions are fundamental elements of our corporate social responsibility.  We are committed to making a big difference, embracing the world to live more sustainably,” said Craig Powell, general manager of Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu. 

The Sabah State Museum and Heritage Village is filled with priceless historical value that would show you how the indigenous people in Sabah once live their life. Built in 1985, the museum complex now, is where the British North Borneo Governor's Istana were once standing tall and strong. 

The museum has been divided into several different parts, namely the Main Building, Science and Education Center, Heritage Village, Sabah Art Gallery and the Museum of Islamic Civilization. Visitors may see various galleries of ceramics and ethnography among many others. So, make sure to not miss any parts of the museum.

By visiting the museum, you can witness with your own eyes the beauty of the traditional weapons and costumes that the indigenous once wore, and still are wearing 'till today. Visitor can even enter and experience the different types of traditional houses of the indigenous group of Sabah in the Heritage Village on the Museum grounds, and join in the cultural activities held there.

But, be reminded that picture taking inside of the main museum building is strongly prohibited by the museum authorities.

Getting There
Take the No.13A bus towards Penampang or Donggongon from bus station in front of the Marina Court, just beside the Promenade Hotel. Do inform your stop to the driver or bus conductor (if there's any). After being dropped off a the bus stop nearby the museum, you will then have to walk up to the main building. Bus fare is RM1.00 while taxi fare is approximately RM15.00

Opening Hours
From 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Daily

Admission fees 
Locals - RM2.00 
Foreigners - RM15.00 

Addtional Information 
Tel : 6 088-253199, 6 088-263551 
Fax : 6 088 240230 
Website : 
Email :

Tun Mustapha Gallery was officiated in 2006, to commemorate the services of Sabah's reputable political figure who goes by the same name. Tun was a visionary leader and a key figure in Sabah's independence. He was also a freedom fighter during World War II, a nationalist activist, a leader who inspired many and the first Chief Minister of Sabah - these are only some of his success and excellence.

This beautiful gallery is located at the premises where the State Assembly was from 1980 to 1995, and it captures Tun Mustapha's life and struggles. It presents a glimpse of the successes and tribulations of life with a detailed description accompanying each image displayed. The gallery also exhibits many personal artifacts  that belonged to Tun Mustapha, including medals, awards and custom apparel. His old golf hat is also exhibited there. According to the story, his wife threw the hat out of their home during a heated argument. The hat was found by the driver and kept them all these years before he became a resident of this gallery.

Tun Mustapha was not only a great fan of golf but also a talented musician. His violin collection can be seen here. One story says that he was spared for being murdered by one of the Japanese army after listening to his violin croon two Japanese songs during the Second World War. 

The gallery also has a gift shop that sells high-quality craft items, which are inspired by traditional ethnic motifs of various ethnic groups in Sabah.

Opening hours:
8.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m., Monday to Saturday
Closed on Sundays (*Except during school holidays)

Admission fees:
Students: RM1.50
College and Higher Learning Institutions students: RM3.00
Government Officials/ NGO: RM3.50
Mykad Holders (Adults): RM5.00
Foreign Visitors: RM15.00

Contact information
Mohd Iizham bin Datuk Hj Majin (Manager of Tun Mustapha Gallery)
Tel: 088-326683
H/P No: 012-8305354
Fax: 088-438026

Le Meridien is famous for their signature coffee and they’re constantly coming up with new brews every quarter of the year. This year’s first quarter, they've introduced their new signatures, the Neve Fondete, Cappuccino Viennese and Dolce Fondete. Sounds fancy? Wait until you try them yourselves! And try it before 31st March, because they’re going to introduce a new batch of coffees starting April.

Yesterday, their master barista Sharif Azlan and his team of coffee extraordinaire demonstrated their coffee-making skills in front of the local food bloggers and the media lots. It’s smooth, it’s silky and it’s sweet with a hint of bitterness made from only the finest, premium-quality coffee. The java-making demonstration was made to make sure that the guests understood the flavor and texture which is in that cuppa joe.

But who’s Sharif Azlan? He’s the brew master, which was professionally trained with top notch skills and a whole lotta innovative thinking. He obtained his skills whilst seeking for knowledge at the UNIVERSITÀ DEL CAFFÈ, Illy.

Photos by Helsley Mostajap

So, head down now to the Le Meridien Hotel, and experience the joy in every cuppa joe, while it last.

The Handicraft Market is a great place to get cheaper handicrafts, handmade by the local (well, most of it). This hot spot (which is also known as the Philippine Market by the locals) is a great place to go to if you're looking for souvenirs to bring back as gifts or to simply impress your friends back home.

With so many choices to choose from, you can find good quality sarong and shirts with the famous Mount Kinabalu on it, to accessories such as hand bags, necklaces, bracelets, brooches and even earrings. And for those who have a craving for wooden craft work, the market gives an endless variety of such beautifully hand crafted exotic wooden mask or figurines to a simple wooden picture frame.

You will never know what treasure you might unravel when you visit here. A great piece of advice, never be afraid to give bargaining a try. You may find yourself getting what you what for a very great price, and be sure to keep you valuables close.

Getting There
The Handicraft Market is located along the same stretch as the Waterfront in Kota Kinabalu City. It is a 5 to 10 minute walk from the city centre.

Opening Hours
From 7:30 a.m to 7.30 p.m. daily

Jesselton Point Waterfront is one of the must go area when visiting Kota Kinabalu City. Formerly known as KK Ferry Terminal, it is now one of the city's main attraction. With breath taking sunset view while you're enjoying your light snack with your significant other or with your friends, it's imperative to make your way here at least once while you're in the city. But the excitement doesn't end once the sun sets on the water, because this place will be a place to hang out under the moonlight and stars.

Located north of the city, the amazing scenic area has a strong historical feel to it. Jesselton Point is the main boat terminal for anyone who wish visit any of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park and Gaya Island. But, other than being the boat terminal, Jesselton Point is also a place of good eateries, water activity and for sports too! One of the popular place to eat there is the authentic Indonesian cuisine at the Nasi Padang Ibu restaurant. If you're a more sweet tooth-kinda person, or you just want to cool down after a whole day under the sun, then the delicious gelato at the Dream Cones is a must try.

We mentioned water activity, and by that we mean fishing. Have a relaxing day near the port, sinking your bait in the deep water while sipping on those beer, waiting for a fish to bite. All you need to do is pay a RM10 entry fee to be able to fish at the port. But, the fishing gears won't be provided. So, you need to bring your own rod and bait.

If you want a more laid back activity, why not just take an evening stroll at the port with your loved one and watch as the sun sets while the cooling Sabahan breeze gently brushes your skin.

In the future, Jesselton Point Waterfront will plan an expansion to accommodate more activities on the port, either recreational purposes or commercial. But worry not, it's beauty will be preserved, if not enhanced.

Time Schedule
Jesselton Point Waterfront is open daily from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Ferry and boat terminal Operates daily from 6 a.m .to 6 p.m.

Terminal Fee
For passanger heading to Labuan F.T and Tunku Abdul Rahman Park is;
RM 7.20 send (Adults)
RM 3.60 (Children under age of 12)

For More Information
088-240709 (8am - 5pm),
088-231050 (fax)
Launch of the programme
Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa (Kota Kinabalu) recently launched a food and beverage loyalty programme known as the STAR Treats. Although the programme focuses on promoting the dining privileges at the resort's seven dining establishments with entitlements in participating Shangri-La properties in Malaysia, additional membership benefits  include priority invitation to special events, annual birthday and anniversary surprises, valet parking as well as complimentary dining vouchers redeemable at Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu. 

Membership is available in two tiers; standard (MYR388.00++) and premium (MYR588.00++) and is renewable every 24 months.

“STAR Treats is our way of thanking the local community for their valuable support and patronage with us for more than 30 years.  It is a rewarding dining programme for our customers and they will enjoy better value when dining in our premises.  Although there is a membership fee, the returns are immediate as members will receive dining vouchers equivalent to the cost of the membership fee,” says Craig Powell, general manager of Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu.

Find out more about Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu’s STAR Treats food and beverage loyalty programme by calling the restaurant marketing manager at (60 88) 327 868 or e-mail  

Craig Powell, officiating the launch of the loyalty programme

STAR Treats

What to do on Sundays, in Kota Kinabalu Central Business District? Sunday market! Originally named Bond Street, the now known as Gaya Street is the place for businesses for well over a hundred year. Well, of course you won't see shops made from bamboo or atap roof anymore, but here's where family business that has been passed down from generations of family thrived.

Now, every Sunday the famous Sunday Market will be opened along the stretch of Gaya Street from 6am till 1pm. We said 6am, but stall owners usually starts setting up their stall at 4 - 5am. These stalls are usually identified by giant umbrellas with table-full of displayed items. 6am might seem too early, but you need to be early to avoid the sun's stinging ray. Traffic along Gaya Street will be closed off to make sure your toes are safe from being ran over by a passing car.

There's no limit of what you can find at the Sunday market; shoes, local veges, yummy street foods, local fruits, plants, decorative items, arts, crafts and even pets! And, haggling is a must. But, make sure to wear comfy footwear or you might need to sit halfway through Gaya Street. To really enjoy the Sunday Market, you need to slowly stroll down the road and take your time on each stall, buy light food and munch on it while you're walking under the huge trees to the sound of birds chirping and people haggling. But, do come early as it'll get pretty crowded as the sun gets higher.

Getting There:
A short stroll from anywhere around the city or take the City Bus route C from the bus stop in front of the Promenade Hotel. The bus fair would be RM1 but make sure you inform your bus driver of your destination.

Do you guys know that, the Island of Borneo has approximately 10% of the world's orchid!? The Orchid De Villa, which was established in 1995, has been conserving and commercializing orchid planting over 50 hybrid species of orchids, which is displayed within their Hybrid Garden and 300 other species of Borneo wild orchid including the rarest of the rare, covering over 12 acres.

Just recently, The Orchid De Villa has started the Borneo Orchid Discovery Tour, where the visitor can partake in a tour which will allow them to explore the villa for approximate 2 to 3 hour long. The tour also includes various activities, complimentary homemade snack, mineral water and cold towel along with complementary gift for all. Visitor are also be entitled to get 10% percent discount on hybrid orchid purchases.

Within the villa, visitor would be given a tour through the orchid farm first, which covers one thirds of the area, learning the results of crossing various species. Visitor will will then pass though a fishing pond and visitors can join in the fish feeding lesson. Next up, visitors will then pay a visit to the cacti garden, cottages and other amenities here.

Operating Hour:
Monday -Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
(Special arrangement for Sunday visits)

Malaysian (Adults) - RM50.00/person
Malaysian (Children) - RM25.00/person

Non-Malaysian (Adult) - RM80.00/person
Non-Malaysian (Children) - RM40.00/person

Off Jalan Kiansom Km 6
Kg. Kawakaan/Kitobu, Inanam Sabah
P O Box 21724, 88775 Luyang Kota Kinabalu Sabah

Contact Information:
Tel: +6088 380611, +6088 380612
Fax: +6088 435596
Copyright © 2013 Discover Kota Kinabalu