Places of Interest
Tamu - Weekly, from Monday afternoon to midday Tuesday.
The tamu (farmers’ market) is a weekly affair where sellers and buyers meet. Things sold range from local cakes, fruit, vegetables, sea food, clothes, shoes, bags, gadgets, trinkets, potted plants etc.
Rumbia Information Centre (Sago Information Centre)
This Centre houses a beautiful exhibition hall with pictorial demonstrations of the various uses of the sago tree. Handicraft in the form of baskets and woven mats made out of the sago leaf’s outer bark are also exhibited. Outside the hall is a working contraption of a sago extractor which the staff may demonstrate.
Also within the grounds are sago plants which grow in the wet areas, and which can be viewed at close quarters from the walkways that have been built around them. Those who have never been on a hanging bridge may want to try walking on the short one they have there.
Also on the grounds are stalls offering food and handicraft for sale.
The opening hours on week days are from 8am – 12 noon, 2pm – 4.30pm. Saturday : 8am – 12.30pm. (Closed on Sundays).
Klias Wetlands – daily cruises
Kuala Penyu town is 20 minutes away from the Klias River, where a number of tour companies have set up operating centres for cruises along the Klias river. These are usually held in the evenings, and paying customers go on a boat cruise in anticipation of seeing fireflies, the proboscis, macaques, silver tails (monkeys) and other small wild life. The peat swamp and river also houses small reptiles and wildlife. Birds like eagles, hornbills, kingfishers and egrets are frequently seen.
Most cruises start between 3 pm – 4.30pm and end around 7 – 7.30pm, with tea and supper included in the package. A number of tour companies offer packages from Kota Kinabalu to both Klias and Garama, but some people do go independently to join the Klias river cruise as it is only 20 minutes from Kuala Penyu town.
Garama Wetlands - daily cruises
Further away (24km from Beaufort town) ia the Garama wetlands which is similar to the Klias wetlands in terms of what can be viewed. It is said that the river is narrower than Klias and that makes it easier to spot the wildlife, and a lot of water buffaloes can be seen cooling off in the water.
Pulau Tiga Marine Park (Tiga Island)
Kuala Penyu acts as a gateway to the Pulau Tiga National Park (Tiga Island) where thePulau Tiga Resort operates. The operator has its own boat service, running from a jetty at the Kuala Penyu town for guests. There is no other public or private boat shuttle in operation, although it is possible to hire private boats.
The park covers an area of 158 km. The island was formed during a volcanic eruption in 1897 as a result of an earthquake in Mindanao, Philippines. (Source: Wikipedia). While the area had long been declared protected forest reserve (since 1933), it was only made part of the Sabah Parks Reserve in 1978.
Pulau Tiga earned its second name ‘Survivor Island’ after the TV series which was shot there during its first season.
Pulau Tiga is home to monkeys (mainly macaques), monitor lizards and other small wildlife as well as many varieties of birds. Volcanic activity is on-going. The main attraction for some people is the mud baths which are said to be therapeutic, but there are also several nature trials of different lengths for those who enjoy nature walks.
As the name suggests (Pulau – Island, Tiga – Three), it is made up of three islands. Pulau Tiga is the main island, while Pulau Kalampunian Besar (Sandspit Island) is a large sandbar (1 km). Scuba divers and snorklers who have been there rave about the white sand, pristine waters and great divespot.
Pulau Kalampunain Damit is a rocky place, but also has some vegetation growing, where very poisonous sea snakes, mainly the banded sea krait and the yellow ringed snake, gather to sleep, mate and lay eggs among the rocks.
Sitompok Lake is a gazetted forest reserve and encompasses 586 hectares. It is largely overlooked as a great place to explore. It is the natural habitat for feeding, breeding and spawning of sedentary and migratory species of birds and a variety of marine fish and crustaceans.
It is the lifeline and source of food (fish, prawns, crabs) for many people living around the lake where several river tributaries run, namely, the rivers of Periok-periok, Ilanum, Sungai Labuan, Manggis, Kemanisan, Nalitang, Purun, Kinantungan, Bundu and Agis-Agis.
It is possible to hire a boat for a day trip from private boat owners, starting from the town jetty. Boats may range from 4 to 10 pasenger capacity. Most people hire boats for fishing, but there are some naturalists who are interested in seeing the wildlife there. Residents along the river have reported sightings of groups of probosicis monkeys from time to time.