Borneo Highlands

I was appointed as liaison officer for a few high ranking officers from the Economic Planning Unit (EPU), the Prime Minister's Department this Sunday (16 Oct 2005). Borneo Heights happened to be on the visiting list and even though it was Sunday, duty calls. Its reflective of what we have to be prepared for in the Civil Service - ever ready to serve anytime, anywhere - contrary to some people who thinks we are available only on Mondays - Fridays.

With the knowledge that EPU is the main agency (Big Brother) which will be making recommendations to allocate funding for the State Government in the upcoming Ninth Malaysia Plan - I was briefed on the importance of explaining to them our State's needs. I had our Department's three four-wheel drives (Land Cruisers) and one Proton Perdana at my disposal and it was important to distribute the vehicles to the VIPs according to thier administrative ranks. My colleague in arms were briefed on 'who was who and who would accompany who' in each vehicle. The EPU group was headed by Datuk Dr. Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah, the Deputy Director General (Macro), accompanied by En. Himmat Singh, the Director for Natural Resource and Environment Section, EPU.

Our group departed for Borneo Heights at 11 a.m in the morning. Our estimated arrival time was about 12.00 noon - and I was pretty hungry then as I had not taken my breakfast earlier on. And since it was the Puasa Month of Ramadan I would not want to be caught munching food in the vehicle with my VIP guests at the back.
The road to Borneo Heights had a lovely scenery and we saw a couple of nice clean villages along the way Approaching Borneo Heights entrance, the Stop By Cafe (nice name) can be seen on your right. However as I had mentioned it was Puasa Month, I could not test out the food..The entrance from the front view looks very impressive - with some Japanese words there - which i believe is to cater for our Japanese tourists. We arrived at the entrance and do note that if your vehicles are not powerful enough to go up, try to use the Borneo Highlands transport. It is preferred that you have a good four wheel drive vehicle in order to climb the steep hills. At the entrance you will have to register with the guards at the entrance who will record your entry and inform the management of your arrival. The scenery you will see when you approach Borneo Heights area.

A Summary of Borneo Heights can be seen 'written' on the stone book.

If you cannot see the wordings its says:

Covers 2071 Hectares (5115.37 acres)
Located 1000 m above sea level in Penrissen Range
Part of Sarawak - Kalimantan Border 3281 ft at sea level
Second largest rainforest in the world
Launched by Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad in July 15 2000
50 KM from Kuching
Temperature - 18 degree Celsius to 28 degree Celsius
World's oldest Rainforest (1.5 million years)
Phase 1 Development
- 18 hole Golf Course
- Hornbill Golf and Jungle Club with Club Rooms, Jungle Spa, AR Cafe etc
- Chalets and Bungalow Lots
- BH Flower Garden
- Horticulture Nursery
- Organic Farm
- Silver Hair Court
- Initiative of Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew

I believe the stone book may have been prepared later, as the Prime Minister at that time of launching was not yet given the 'Tun' title.

The front and back view of the Club house - i got the picture of the back because we somehow got lost in our earlier arrival. Be very alert for the road signs when you are there if driving up alone.

The reception counter area and is very conducive and comfortable - whether its for the arriving guests checking in or those who are waiting to check out. The staff are extremely friendly and accomodating.

The lift to the various levels - G for ground floor, Jungle Spa, Red, White (Main Lobby) Blue, Gold. It also means that the various facilities and rooms at each level at at certain standards.

Rooms Review

The rooms vary from the normal rooms to suites ranging from RM280 - RM700. However for an up to date rate you will have to contact the Borneo Highlands Resort - Clubhouse (082 - 790800).
Here is an example of a common room - you have to know what you are asking for so that you will not be surprised. The reason I am saying this is the room is fitted with a toilet and basin for washing but no attached bathroom. Mind you that the only thing seperating the room and the toilet bowl is a curtain - less than 3 feet away! So if you are not used to it, you may think twice unless you are checking in alone - or just on a day trip playing golf and you don't need to bath coz there is a special bath area for golfers, then I guess you would not mind.

Of course there is an alternative to the previous room I mentioned - you want an attached bathroom and toilet with a better seperating material (wood) so you won;t hear all the noises in the toilet - with a steeper price of course (above RM300) I was told - it can fit in a couple.... hmmmm.... or a family of 3 quite nicely.

The best part if of course the Suite - which could be around RM600 ++ ... I can only say this, very niceeee.... the photos say it for me, and well the bathrooms and toilets are a bit more enclosed in a bigger area. You have the money, its a luxury you cannot afford to miss. The most attractive thing that comes in my mind was the furnitures and decorations.

Surrounding Areas

The pool - waterfall-like environment looks very enchanting and inviting.
The pool from above.

The restaurant is another place to hang out - if you are thinking of having you meal there. But be prepared for a long wait for your food - it may take about 15 - 20 minutes to wait for a simple fried mee hoon.

Entrance to the Spa - inclusive of Spa, Sauna, Jacuzzi, Massage Chairs, Massage Room, Theatres (karaokes and movies) - drinking corner..... ahhh... the life of a golfer.
Massage room
Private massage area/treatment
Lockers to keep those golf glubs
Golfer's Shower

Jacuzzis - man that looks inviting!

Theatre (Movies/Karaokes)

Outside the Clubhouse area, you may think that its only a playground for golfers. Interestingly there is more than that. You can use the Highland's transport to bring you around the resort: especially to the Kalimantan - Sarawak Border.

The Sarawak - Kalimantan Border: (from left to right Dr. Aminuddin, En. Himmat Singh and Datuk Wan posing on the border. Jump to the other side of the fence you will be in Kalimantan. I don't know if you need a passport just jump over that fence

Bordestone - if you have not seen one this is an example. I was told that the Mapping Department will work together with their Indonesian conterparts to determine the Border Stone position to mark which side is Kalimantan and which side is Malaysia - Sarawak. The 'IND' indicates Indonesian side of the border and 'SWAK MAL' indicates the Sarawak side. The criteria for determining the border is that it is to be the highest point on the highland - in the case of Borneo Highlands that is.

Borneo Highlands Flower Garden - I think the ladies will love this part of the Highlands. The area may turn into a flower producing area for Sarawak one day - who knows, so if you wish to see how good the flowers grow here - come and visit the place.
Overall it was a very nice trip - we spent about 3 hours at the place before going back to Kuching. We could have landed ourselves in the Jacuzzis or Sauna/Steam Room but there was a welcoming dinner (Majlis Berbuka Puasa) to prepare for that night for the EPU and the Sabah Government delegates (who would be joining us in the evening). If any of you plan to go to Borneo Highlands one day, take it from me, you should spend at least one day if you are going with your family. The kids will enjoy the pool. It may seem like a golfers' paradise - and indeed it is, but you can share that paradise with them. Just learn a few golfer's term (bogey, birdie, putt etc), what the names of the golf clubs are (e.g nine iron), wear a T-Shirt with Tiger Woods picture - or Michele Wei (now this is one golfer i really like) and you can share the jacuzzi and sauna with a few golfers and feel that you are just one of the boys there. If that does not work, pretend to be a golfer from some foreign land and bring a hockey stick with you.