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e-Newsletter: Back Issues




1. Borneo Editorial: 'U.S. Travel Warning'
2. Is Borneo Safe to Visit?
3. Comments on October's Editorial
4. What's New: 'MasRaya e-cards' & more
5. Borneo Tours Spotlight: 'Danum "The Lost World" Valley'
6. Destination of the Month: 'Klias Nature Christmas Lights'
7. Borneo Events for December
8. Regional Hotels Promotion
9. General Travel Tips
10. Tell Your Friends About Us


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1. BORNEO EDITORIAL: U.S. Travel Warning


Dear Valued Subscribers,

The recent U.S. travel advisory warning of "continuing concern about the possible heightened risks to American citizens and American interests in Malaysia, especially in the state of Sabah", had been greeted with derision and sarcasm here, given its seemingly peacefulness and stability. While the world's only superpower has the prerogative to alert its own citizens of any threat arising, it should also note that their little statement could cause much confusion and fear in this part of the woods. Many Malaysians felt that the U.S. should at least have the courtesy to inform the Malaysian government beforehand so that the government could prepare in advance a quick responsive economic measure. The U.S. must know that such statement could severely hamper investment, trade, and visitors not only in Malaysia, but also in the trade-dependent Asian region, and could easily spark another 'terror' contagion crisis not much different from the currency crisis of 1997.

More importantly, if the Malaysian government had been consulted earlier, they could address their own countrymen in their own reassuring words, either simultaneously or shortly after the U.S. warning. That should calm us down somewhat instead of being in a state of uncertainty as even our own government does not know of such 'threats'. Yes, sure, the FBI and CIA would not want to divulge their secrets, but we are living here, not the Americans. Shouldn't we have the rights to be informed of some of the facts and information of these terrorist risks too? Afterall, it is not as if Malaysia do not have a strong cooperation with the U.S. to counter terrorism. The country had agreed to set up an U.S.-Malaysia Regional Anti-Terrorism Centre, eliminated extremist groups well before the 911 incident, and allowed the FBI to interrogate an Internal Security Act (ISA) detainee who is suspected to have connections with Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person to have been put on trial in the U.S. over the 911 attacks. Only a week ago, the Malaysian authorities successfully thwarted a group of terrorists plan to carry out attacks on key installations in Singapore, including the U.S. Embassy.

One person who wrote to us had this to say: "Maybe the U.S. did not realise that their little action can also be regarded as a TERROR warning because it strikes fear to investors and tourists, as well as the general peace-loving and multi-ethnic Malaysians." Another person put it this way: "Maybe, a more diplomatic way is for the U.S. to warn its own citizens not to travel abroad at all, instead of telling them where not to travel to". But a feedback from a 13-year old girl from Borneo more or less summed it all up: "Whatever the argument, the undisputed winner is once again 'terror'".

Feel free to share your feelings on this editorial, or any other related subject, by emailing us at newsletter@e-borneo.com.


2. IS BORNEO SAFE TO VISIT? - Ask The Forumers


If you intend to visit Borneo but is worry about the risk, do feel free to ask our forumers on the actual situation at our Travel Forum Board. Mind you, the board is dominated by Borneons from Sabah and they are usually at the 'Government & Politics' board. We feel that theirs are the most unbiased comments you will get, because they are real Borneons, working and living in Borneo, with no vested interest on whether you do make your trip here or not. They will give you 'their piece of mind' if they have to. So, be warned. However, their opinions should be the most accurate of the present local condition, and do feel free to pose a question or two at the forum. A few visitors from abroad already benefited the forum and had sent favourable feedback to us. Please visit the Travel Forum Board at the URL below:

URL: http://www.e-borneo.com/cgi-bin/wsmbb/wsmbb.cgi?SB+DGWAXOXZOB/DYVOZBVPNH+config




If you missed out last month's editorial on "Mt. Kinabalu not the highest in South East Asia", simply go to our archive at http://www.e-borneo.com/newsletter/  

We received many responses supporting the view that Mt. Kinabalu is technically the tallest peak inside the South East Asia region. We should leave this issue to the so-called mountain experts to trash it out. Firstly, on the left hand corner, we have David Lim, the leader of the 1st Singapore Mt Everest Expedition, who inspired that piece of editorial. His kind reply as follows:

"What an interesting debate. Hkakabo Razi:If you
consider Burma/Myanmar to be politically and
geographically as part of SE Asia, then it is
irrelevant if that 5881m peak forms peaks in the
easternmost end of the Himalayan chain - it *is*
the highest in SE Asia. The Carstenz Pyramid
( 5010m in many maps ) is more ambiguous simply
because its location on the island of Papua New
Guinea is really somewhere between SE Asia and
Australia. Politically ( only ) it is part of
Indonesia. Highest or not, Kinabalu is a
fascinating mountain and needs no records to
make it a worthwhile climbers objective."

On the right hand corner, we have Ho Kin Wong, the Project Chairman for reheighting of Mt. Kinabalu in 1997. His comments (courtesy of our regular forumer and columnist, Joshua Kong) as follows:

"Now, regarding the old argument that Mt. Kinabalu
might not be the highest in S.E Asia. The term "S.E.
Asia" refers to a geographical region, rather than
the definition of national boundaries. Therefore,
one may be excused for being confused by the fact
that although Puncak Jaya (located in Irian Jaya)
is found in Indonesia, it is geographically located
in Australisia, outside S.E. Asia. Similarly, Mt.
Hkakabo Razi of Myanmar sits among the mountain
ranges of the Himalayas, outside of S.E. Asia, and
should accordingly be regarded as such. At one time,
Malaysia was a part of the British Empire, but we
were never a part of Europe where Britain is located.
See the point?"

Let you decide on that one. As for the laymen like most of us, ahh, Mt. Kinabalu will always be the highest point in Borneo. Period!




MasRaya Electronic Cards

The Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Christmas twin celebration is upon us soon. Please don't forget to sent your friends, relatives and love ones a special Borneo favoured 'MasRaya' Electronic Greeting Cards. It is easy to create and sent with a click of your mouse, and best of all, it does not cost you a sen. Show someone that you care and remember during this festive season:

URL: http://www.e-borneo.com/card.shtml

Minor Makeup at Main Page
As informed on the last issue, the free email (i.e., username@e-borneo.every1.net) login/signup page had been shifted from the main page to http://www.e-borneo.com/services/email.shtml and in its place is currently testimonials from you, our invaluable visitors/subscribers/customers. Your feedback can be found at the page below:

URL: http://www.e-borneo.com/comments.shtml

Unbeatable European Vacations
Looking for a vacation in Europe? Although we would had love you to explore Borneo, if you can't for the time being or Borneo is simply too far away, here's some hot deals for European vacations. Also for Borneons who are particular interested to taste Europe. Besides that, check out the hotels offer by country that can meet your budget and expectation. However, we still insist that you do experience Borneo first?

URL: http://www.e-borneo.com/travel/europe/

Harry Potter Store
With the double festive celebration in December, and also with the release of the 2nd Harry Potter movie here, we have build a simple Harry Potter Store site for those searching for gifts for their children or loved ones. Its easy for you to find the type of items you may want from books to toys, and from CDs to DVDs.

URL: http://www.e-borneo.com/shop/harrypotter/




Danum "The Lost World" Valley
Explore Borneo rainforest at Danum Valley, 83km drive from Lahad Datu (about 2 hrs flight from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia) on the edge of 438 sq. km of undisturbed lowland rainforest. Stay at the Borneo Rainforest Lodge, home to the full range of Sabah's lowland fauna, including the rare Sumatran Rhinoceros, Elephants, Clouded Leopards, and Orang Utans. So far some 275 species of birds have been recorded in the area. Explore nature trail, nearby river and view some of the nocturnal animals. For more tour information and itinerary, please visit the links below:

URL: http://www.e-borneo.com/travel/tours/eb-ld01.shtml   (2D/1N Tour)

URL: http://www.e-borneo.com/travel/tours/eb-ld02.shtml   (3D/2N Tour)




Klias 'Nature Christmas Lights', Sabah, Malaysia
Klias is about 112km from Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah. The Klias River Cruise tour is an exciting tour to witness Nature's X'mas Lights - the Fireflies, as well as to search for the illusive Proboscis Monkeys. Give yourself and your family a treat this Christmas season to a catch a sight that is getting rarer in a developing Borneo. For more information, please visit the link below:

URL: http://www.e-borneo.com/travel/tours/eb-kk19.shtml




Borneo's Events
6 - 7 December 2002
After a whole month of fasting, the Muslim community in Malaysia celebrates ‘Hari Raya’ with joyous family gatherings and open houses. Join in the merry making and taste the delicious traditional Malay favourites like Rendang and Ketupat.


25 December 2002
In Malaysia, Christmas is a merry occasion enjoyed by Christians and non-Christians alike. This religious holiday starts with midnight and morning mass/service at churches and the rejoicing can be heard all around town with a melodious caroling and exuberant wishes of "Merry Christmas"!


Sabah's Events

1 December 2002
This annual lighting ceremony at Sutera Harbour Resort is conducted to welcome the festive season and launching of the charity month for the resort. Various activities will be organized throughout the month to raise funds for a good cause.
(Organiser: Sutera Harbour Resort; Tel: 6-088-318888 ; Email: jamesloo@suterah.po.my  )


December 2002
Re-enactments of traditional Kadazan weddings are held every week-end this month. The weddings starts with the arrival of the bride by boat. She is being brought to the house of their future husband, where the couples is wed by the village elders. The union is sanctioned by the high-priestess.
(Organiser: Monsopiad Cultural Village; E-mail: mcv@tm.net.my ; URL: http://www.monsopiad.org/  )


December 2002
The last shopping carnival of the year, it is your final chance to bargain for those goods as the participating outlets goes on sale with massive discounts.
(Organiser: Sabah Tourism Promotion Corporation / Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board / Sri Pelancongan Sabah Sdn Bhd; Tel: 6-088-212121/232121 ; Email: info@sabahtourism.com )


14 December 2002
An evening to celebrate the fellowship of the festive season. At least 200 carolers from different groups and churches in the city will join guests, families and friends amidst a fanfare of food, music and family entertainment. Proceeds form sale will be contributed to charity.
(Organiser: Sutera Harbour Resort & Spa ; Tel: 6-088-318888 ; Email: jamesloo@suterah.po.my )


Sarawak's Events

2nd December 2002
Not for the faint hearted, this event is one of the most popular of the many raft safaris held throughout Sarawak, partly because the course is within easy reach of Kuching City. Backed by the clear pristine waters, local and international rafters can look forward to enjoy the scenic 50 kilometers course that starts at Babel Bridge on Sungei Pedid and finishes at Wind Cave.
(Organiser: Ministry of Social Development & Urbanisation, Sarawak ; Tel: 6-082-440441/446359 )


2nd - 8th December 2002
With 27 distinct ethnic groups each with their own unique culture and arts, Sarawak is justly famed for its local handicrafts. From the much-prized hand-woven pua kumbu blankets to woodcarving, beadwork, baskets, pottery and everyday items turned into art works by local craftsmen, these handicrafts are on sale at exhibition in Kuching. You can also learn how the handicrafts are produced as craftsmen and women give demonstrations of their skill.
(Organiser:Sarawak Craft Council; Tel: 6- 082-319309 ; URL: www.sarawakhandicraft.com   )


Borneo Cup International Motorcross Championship - Bau
21st - 22nd December 2002
An annual event where local and visiting enthusiasts of motorcross racers gather to pit their skills and guts in conquering the demanding Krokong dirt track and rugged course. The shattering roar of the competing racers will set the pulse of even the onlookers themselves. The locals and their visiting competitors will have more than just a hard time conquering the rough and undulating track much as the intensity of the race gets, there is still the friendly hospitality of the local Bidayuh people to welcome visitors.
(Organiser:JKKK Krokong, Bau; Tel: 6-082-763022 )




Teluk Dalam Resort, Pangkor Island, Perak, Malaysia
Free Night Special Offer!
(Offer valid from Jan. 01, 2003 to Mar. 31, 2003)

- Stay 4 nights, pay 3 nights.
- Stay 5 or 6 nights, pay 4 nights.
- Stay 7 or 8 nights, pay 5 nights.
- Stay 9, 10 or 11 nights, pay 6 nights.
- Stay 12 or more nights, pay half.
On room basis only (excluding breakfast).

URL: http://www.e-borneo.com/travel/ph/teluk_dalam_resort_pangkor.shtml

Panwaburi Resort, Phuket Island, Thailand
Free Night Special Offer!
(Offer valid from 01 Nov, 2002 - 20 Dec, 2002)

*Staying 5 consecutive nights on Half Board basis, receive 2 free nights on room with ABF.

plus...Special Benefit:
- Welcome flower leis upon arrival
- Welcome herbal drink & cool tower upon arrival
- Complimentary fruits & flowers in room
- Complimentary coffee & tea in room
- Personalized Thai Pajamas embroidered with guest name in Thai language (Name and correct - spelling received 3 days prior to arrival)
- Seasonal fruit stalls for guest's greater enjoyment of Thai fruit in walkways
- Free shuttled boat to Coral Island, one trip daily
- Guests are invited to offer aims to Buddhist monk
- Polite and smiling staff eagerly rendering efficient services

URL: http://www.e-borneo.com/travel/ph/panwaburi_resort_phuket.shtml




Borneo Lifestyle
The removal of footwear is something of a must when entering somebody's house and occasionally business premises. It is an act of disrespect if you choose not to. The simple rule is if you see a gathering of shoes at a door step, then it's time to take yours off before entering.

<< ----------------------------------------------------------
<< Courtesy of PlanetHoliday
<< Asia's premier Hotel Reservation site since 1997,
<< offering discounts of up to 75% off the regular
<< rates at hotels throughout Asia!
<< URL: http://www.e-borneo.com/travel/ph/
<< ----------------------------------------------------------




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May all of you have a fruitful and peaceful month of December ahead, and to our Muslim readers, 'Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri', and to our Christian readers, 'Merry Christmas'. Looking forward to continue serving you in 2003.

Warmest Regards,

The e-borneo.com e-Team,


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