Description: For a unique natural wellness and spa experience,
you have to pay Kampung Luanti in Ranau a visit for its fish
massaging session. The location is currently the only one that
provide a fish massage in Sabah, and perhaps in the whole of Borneo.
This location is a must-stop for those who just conquered the nearby
Mount Kinabalu. Soothe your aching joints or body with a natural
read right! A Fish Massage sounds odd but it's a unique experience
you might not be curious enough to try.
Fancy something more unique than your average spa? Then head on to
Kampung Luanti, Ranau for a fish massaging session at Moroli river
in the village!
Located in Kampung Luanti, Ranau, 131 kilometers from Kota Kinabalu
(2 hours and 40 minutes drive away); this fish massage ‘spa’ is
managed by the Kampung Luanti JKK and lead by Mr. Jeffrin Majangki.
In the Local KadazanDusun dialect, ‘tagal’ means ‘no fishing’, and
the main purpose of the ‘tagal’ is to preserve the environment as
well as the ecosystem to benefit the future generation. ‘Ikan Pelian’
or Malaysian Masheer comes from the family of Cyprinidae. These
fishes are specifically trained by the villagers to perform the
healing massage activities.
The fish massage is deemed to have a curative effect on those who
suffers from psoriasis. Come to Kampung Luanti for regular fish
massages and you will enjoy smoother and suppler skin - just like a
If the idea of fishes nibbling off your dead skin doesn’t thrill
you, try other activities such as jungle trekking and camping.
Should you intend to stay longer, Kampung Luanti is also equipped
with a homestay programme to make visitors feel at home every time.
The picturesque river view where
fish massage will be "performed"
The "Pelian" fish or more commonly
in Sabah as "Kelah" fish
Mr. Jeffrin (foreground) showing
a full body massage is done
SOURCE: Sabah Tourism
NOTE: Photos Copyright to e-borneo.com
Kampung Luanti is by the main KK-Ranau-Kundasang road just after the junction
to Sabah Tea Garden.
You can try out either a feet massage (up to your knee) or a full body massage
(just submerge yourself in the river). The trick to the fishes coming to
"massage" you lies in the "fishmeal" (or feed pallets) that you need to hold
close to you body underneath the water. However sometimes, the fish will
"massage" you regardless of whether you are holding any fishmeal or not.
You should not shout or make loud noise when a group of fish are massaging (or
nibbling) you so as not to disturb and unsettle them. This may not be an easy
task when the first tingling sensation of the fish nibbles are almost all over
your body. But you just need to relax and enjoy the natural massage.
If you forgot to bring your own swim wear, you can always rent some shorts or
clothing for the dip at the river.
The only minus at Kampung Luanti is a lack of good bathing facility (one has to
shower in the open at present). But overall as at September 2011, most of its
public facilities have improved compared to our first review in 2008, although
some looks pretty worn out.
First Published on
Travel Borneo Blog
on 02 November 2008