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 Local

Tea break at breathtaking Sabah Tea Garden

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BRAND NEW … Masidi (3rd left), Goh (2nd left) and Ismail (far left) displaying the new 5-in-1 package with representatives from Chanteek Borneo Gallery, Fish Tagal, Kg Luanti, War Memorial Kundasang, Rumah Terbalik.

30th August, 2016

BY MOHD IZHAM B. HASHIM

RANAU: The final piece to Sabah Tea’s RM1 million makeover was complete with the launching of its all-new restaurant on Saturday by Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Datuk Masidi Manjun.

“Giving priority to eco-tourism initiatives on natural attractions and promoting unique local products is proving to be highly rewarding ventures that promise stronger profits for the long-term, while conserving the environment,” he said.

Masidi, in his address, commended the reopening of the restaurant and tea house highlighting Sabah Tea Garden soaring tea fields, nestled at 2,480 hectares of lush rainforest, possessed some of the district’s most prized natural and historical attractions has to offer for tourists.

“Sabah Tea Garden is a refuge to some of the best natural attractions in Ranau and has everything it takes to emerge big winners in the eco-tourism industry,” he said.

Being the one and only certified organic tea in Malaysia, Sabah Tea Garden offers visitors a unique experience and Sabah’s authentic agro-tourism destination.

The newly redesigned Tea Shop and English-style Sabah Tea restaurant offers visitors stunning views of its tea plantation facing the iconic Mt Kinabalu, serving up brand new menu, including in-house specialty green-tea ice-cream, waffles, scones and pancakes made fresh from the finest, home-grown tea leaves and spread of Borneo-inspired cuisine.

Apart from nature-adventure tours, the Sabah Tea Garden is also refuge to the historical Quailey’s Hill Memorial which was built to commemorate Australian Prisoners of War (POW), who were killed by Japanese soldiers during the Second World War in 1945.

Stressing the importance of preserving Sabah’s prized natural attraction, Masidi said the resort owners should focus on preserving the plantation’s pristine jungles, develop its ecotourism potential instead of opening land for oil palm plantation.

“Although palm oil plantation is a cash crop but it’s not going to entice tourists from coming to the resort – I hope there won’t be any more expansion of palm oil plantations here,” he said, adding more priority needs to be given to preserve the surrounding jungles, forests to tap into its ecotourism potential.

“It makes more sense for Sabah Tea to develop the ecotourism potential of the jungles, forests and natural attractions right here at the resort, for instance – an eco-friendly chalet in the middle of the jungle or activities for tourists to indulge in the spread of tropical fruits from a nearby orchard,” he said.

According to Masidi, tourists crave unique, natural and local experiences and local they have never tried before, which they can bring back to their countries.

“You could introduce a whole range of products grown right here at Sabah Tea, notably Malaysia’s king of fruits, the durian which is a craze among Chinese tourists, fetching premium prices of RM20-RM30 per kg,” he said.

Furthermore, he said he also recently discussed with Sabah Tea General Manager, Ismail Kong Abdullah in finding options to rehabilitate Sabah Tea Garden’s own architectural gems – a old mosque with a unique design unlike anything found in the country.

Masidi also signed and launched a new 5-in-1 tour-package offer, partnering between Sabah Tea Resort, Chanteek Borneo Gallery, Fish Tagal, Kg Luanti, War Memorial Kundasang, Rumah Terbalik, accompanied by Sabah Tea Executive Director, Goh Mung Chwee.

The 5-in-1 package offers visitors an affordable tour of visiting all five destinations at RM39 per adult.

Among those who witnessed the reopening of the restaurant include Minister of Information Technology and Resource Development, Datuk Siringan Gubat, Datuk Dr Joachim Gunsalam, Assistant Minister of Local Government and Housing, Tourism Malaysia State Director Tuan Sani Sham Ahmad.

   
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