The wonderful paradise of the sea turtles in Malaysia, Kuala Penyu.
In Bahasamalayu, Kuala means “ the waterfront of the sea”, where water flows into the sea. Penyu means turtle. The name accurately depicts the geographic location and the most important features of this town. From the Kota Kinabalu capital of Sabah state, also known as KK, on a two-hour road through the green forest cover, through many bridges across the river, steep hills, visitors will set foot in the remote village, away from the noisy big city.
Waiting for the turtle to be born
The town of Kuala Penyu, the turtles’ waterfront, leans along the coastline and extends towards the forest. The kumpungs (villages) are often separated by hills, river or a forest. Kumpung Menumpang is where I came and decided to stay.
Elizabeth Miasin and Ferdinand Kimlin – her husband has a low roof house on the beach with long green coconut palms. In addition to building Christian works, they set aside many rooms in the house to welcome volunteers around the world. Many young people from many continents support the volunteer works in the town.
The day I travel to Malaysia to visit Kuala Penyu is also the time the mother turtle Hawksbill goes ashore to lay eggs. The nature reserve in Borneo has sent people to monitor, zone the nests and protect them. Two eggs nestled in front of Elizabeth’s porch hatched three months later with more than 200 healthy children. Tortoise hatch events are such an important day for the whole town. According to the calendar, on this night, the adults and children in the village dragged to the beach and waited for midnight to watch each little creature turn up from the sand. The turtle season is also the season the sharks draw near the shore at night so they are kept by the villagers until the morning and then dropped back to the sea. They let the children in the village carry their own baby turtles to the sand, this is the way to educate children’s love toward nature by the most practical action. The number of sea turtles in the wild is not much due to the climate change, the polluted ocean or waste and the illegal fishings, so the efforts of the local people here are to maintain the marine ecosystem as well as the faith of people.
As a blessing to the heart, the heaven gave Kuala Penyu the beautiful sunshine season. The coastline is 80km far away, and the shoreline is not far away, so the shoreline in Kuala Penyu is very calm.Sources of marine food include anchovies, rays, herring and many crabs. In the late spring and early spring, fishermen only need to throw the net near the shore, each batcha always contains some of the small anchovies. In April, the clear sky, the surface of the sea is as calm as the reflection of the giant mirror. This season, just by strolling on the sea, you can see the “parade” of many sea animals swimming to the shore like sam, rays, crabs, cunts, jellyfish … Fresh coconut is free if you want to climb the tree and pick it your self. Approximately 30 minutes away from the town by canyon is the beautiful Pulau Tiga Island. The red color of the sunrise or sunset here is enough to make tourists do not want to go out. The island is a part of the Tiga Conservation Area, home to rich flora and fauna: the Hornbill birds, the giant water-lance-like crocodile, and numerous Hermit shellfish-borrowing snails on the beach. At night the snails climb up the tree to sleep
Cultural and colorful religious festivals
Bang Sabah in particular or Malaysia, in general, is a country of religious harmony. Muslims, Christians, and Buddhists all live in the same area, participate in community activities or festivals. The Tamu market starts every Monday afternoon and lasts until the end of the next day to sell all necessities to Muslims such as seafood, fresh vegetables from the local. Especially the delicious red durian Sabah that only this area can grow.
The mangroves and the Klias River flow around the terrain, feeding the Sago plant with its resins into a white powder that forms the traditional dish of Borneo Island residents. The first week of July is the Sago festival called Pesta Rumbia. Local people dressed in traditional costumes, display sago products, enjoy food and dance around the fire.
Kuala Penyu is nourished by the kindness of nature so the life of the people here is very peaceful. An ideal hideaway for those who want to hide, to find the balance for the tired soul. Guests do not need much preparation. They can just come here to enjoy harmony with nature and people.
Things to note when traveling to Malaysia
From Kuala Lumpur (KL) to Kota Kinabalu (KK) you should buy Air Asia’s cheap daily flights. Visa in Malaysia is free for 30 days. When arrives different states, the customs department will stamp the passport.
Arrive Kuala Penyu by bus from KK to Beaufort town. From Beaufort, take a taxi, minibus or ask someone for a ride to get to Kuala Penyu town center for 50 minutes.
The dry season starts from January to April. The temperature is very high and there is no cold season, just avoid storms from August to October. You can enjoy the most beautiful sunset from February to June.
Hope you enjoy your trip to Malaysia!
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