Wednesday, 8 November 2017

TIPS FOR BUYING A HOUSE: After moving from New York City (NYC) to Borneo by Monica Smithers

Moving from NYC to Borneo is exciting and it's a big change of lifestyle

Moving from NYC to Borneo is an exciting change of lifestyle for anyone. Different culture, change of climate and living environment are the things to get used to over time. If you already made the decision to move to Borneo, you’ve probably been thinking about where to live there.

Considering that the cost of living in Malaysia is much lower than in the USA, many New Yorkers should be able to afford this kind of long-distance move. Before you hire trusted movers in NYC to relocate you, take a look at the following tips for buying a house in Borneo.

Make a budget plan
Before you plan on moving from NYC to Borneo, you should make a budget plan. The upside of relocation to Malaysia from New York is the cost of living, for sure. Considering its rich culture and vibrant people, Malaysia is getting more popular for tourists and expats every year.
Although you might have no problem with finances living in Borneo, you should make an estimate of the cost of living there. Living in Malaysia is not as expensive as living in the USA, but the culture shock and other daily necessities may surprise you.

Make sure you have a steady income

The upside of relocation to Malaysia from New York is the cost of living, for sure. Before you move from NYC to Borneo make sure to research the coast of living in Malaysia

If you are thinking about buying a house after moving from NYC to Borneo, you should have a steady monthly income. If you didn’t already find a job in Borneo, start looking for one. However, chances are you will have a job prior to your arrival in Malaysia, considering the distance of your move.  

After you made an estimate of your monthly income, research everything you can on the cost of living in Malaysia. Think about the basic necessities you and your family need on monthly basis. You will need to drive a car in Borneo. There are not so many traffic options as in New York City. Consider the cost of transportation and gas. Most importantly, check the distance from the house you want to buy to your job location.

Decide on what you need
Before buying a house in Borneo you should decide what are your needs.
·         Are you a single person with a 10-hour-a-day job, or you want to move with your family? If you have children, think about housing locations near bigger cities that have good educational programs. Finding a kindergarten or a good school is not easy to find, because they’re not on every corner. Consider looking for international education for your kids.
·         What will be the distance from your home to your job location? Not every home property in Borneo is located in the crowded city center areas. Many of the schools, cultural centers and offices take time to reach. Make sure you know the location of your house and all the surrounding amenities.
·         What housing type are you looking for? Whether you need a smaller or a bigger house to live in, chances are you will live in quite a big house. Many houses for sale in Borneo are pretty spacious and pretty affordable for a former NYC resident. Hire a real estate agent and make sure to tell him all about your needs.

Choose the location and neighborhood

Many of the schools, cultural centers and offices take time to reach. Make sure you know the distance to your new home

Living in Malaysia as a New Yorker can be challenging. Not only will you relocate on the other continent, but you will also discover a big culture shock. Besides unique natural beauties that Borneo island has to offer, there is plenty of modern cities that are evolving every year. No matter which location you choose to live in, be sure that you inform well about the surrounding area.

Moving to NYC to Borneo will bring many changes to your lifestyle. Looking for the neighborhood is quite different in Malaysia than in the USA. In Borneo, people live either in rural areas of the island or in bigger, crowded cities. It is highly recommendable to hire a real estate agent before you move from NYC to Borneo, so you have time to plan your move. If you have the chance, before buying a house in Borneo visit and explore the island. Finding out more about the culture you are about to move into will help you decide on your housing needs.

Most popular expat cities in Borneo

Kuala Lumpur is the most expat-populated city

Jesselton or nowadays known as Kota Kinabalu is one of the most popular places to live in Borneo for newcomers. This is a town that has British colonial history. In this town, you will find many people speaking English fluently. Most expats live in condo complexes in Jesselton, where they have most of the common amenities.

Outside Borneo but still within Malaysia are two beautiful cities known as George Town (Penang) and Kuala Lumpur. Here are the places for those who love urban concrete buildings and corporate lifestyle. These cities are far from the natural beauties of Borneo Island. Kuala Lumpur is the most expat-populated city and the price of buying a house in this city can be very high.

Get information about buying and other policies
If you plan on buying a house after moving from NYC to Borneo, you should get all the information about the real estate and be well informed about all the related paperwork. Malaysian culture and law are different from the USA’s in so many ways. Make sure you ask your realter everything you need to know about buying a house in Borneo. If you are not able to pay in cash, research the housing market and mortgage loan possibilities.

Consider a mortgage loan
It is a fact that around 90% of all Malaysians have to utilize a long-term mortgage to afford to buy a house. If your finances allow, consider hiring a lawyer to help you out with all the necessary paperwork. If you need to get a mortgage, think about the amount of time you plan to spend on Borneo. If you plan on moving from NYC to Borneo for the long-term, buying a house can be a smart investment!

Monica Smithers is an experienced copywriter at Movers Development with more than 500 published articles. Specialized in SEO, this creative writer helped dozens of companies position their articles at the top of the web search results. As an enthusiast and adventurer, Monica likes to explore the world , so reading articles she writes will be interesting to people with similar interests.

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Wednesday, 1 November 2017

TUARAN: The Crocodile Farm (Part 2)

Before I begin the story of crocodiles, visitors would be very impressed with the gold colored fish inside a pond at Taman Buaya (Crocodile Farm) in Tuaran, about 16 miles from the capital Jesselton (Kota Kinabalu). I believed they are the Japanese Carp. Packets of fish pallets are hanged around this pond and visitors could buy them at two ringgit per pack. These fish knows when you pick one and they get very excited while swimming towards you. Then they will splash around in wild frenzy.

The Tuaran Crocodile Farm is one of the largest in North Borneo (Sabah) boasting of having 1000 crocodiles on 7 acres of land. At this farm, most of the species displayed here are the Buaya Tembaga or better known as the notorious Saltwater Crocodile (crocodylus porosus). Its habitat is widespread throughout Southeast Asia and also Australia. The Australian called them "Salty". Saltwater Crocodile is unique because it lives in brackish water especially in mangrove swamps. Numerous documentary films had recorded these crocodiles swimming in the sea. There are very rare occasions in Borneo that these crocodiles had attacked and even eaten men, especially in the rivers of Sarawak.

Everyday, for about 15 minutes, crocodile trainers will display their courage by performing risky moves such as lying on the crocodile's back, kissing them and putting their hands inside the reptile's mouth! These performers assured us they are ever ready with contingency plans should the unexpected occurred; for indeed crocodiles are wild animal and their behaviors cannot be predicted. Watching them close together can be nerve-wracking!

 The crocodile pond looks peaceful and serene but suddenly the water exploded with action due to the violent splashing. It was feeding time which displayed the aggressiveness of the crocodiles as they muscled their ways to get close to the worker who fed them. Dead chicken were thrown into the pond and the crocodiles rushed to get to their foods. I noticed the smaller reptiles would avoid congregating with the bigger crocodiles as they battled it out for supremacy inside this enclosure.

This farm is also a mini zoo. It has rabbits, civet, otter, deer and ostrich. Except for the rabbits, all the other mammals look miserable and lonely. They are all alone without pairs or companions. The ostrich was so happy to see people as it tries to come close to them; as if requesting for attention. When they were no one around, the ostrich will stand still. The moment it sees people coming, it will come walking towards them!

For more information

The Crocodile Show
YouTube Video 1
YouTube Video 2

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Friday, 6 October 2017

THE EURASIANS by Don Peter: First Anniversary

Launching my book October 2016

This month is the first anniversary of my book, THE EURASIANS as this novel was first launched on October 5, 2016. The memories are both bitter-sweet; but mostly sweet. In 2006, when I first completed my manuscript on this title, I would never have thought that my novel would be successfully published and displayed by online retailers; but here it is on AMAZON, BARNES & NOBLE and others.
As I had always told people, there are two main themes for my novel. The first is the usual theme that is common among romance novel; the circle of life. We might fail initially, but as we persevered, success will come; whether in love, career or business. But the second theme is more important; the environmental theme. "I wanted to express what Sabah (North Borneo) is all about, how we have been blessed with an environment that is constantly under threat." That was what I said as reported in the STAR newspaper.
I have told WRSP Radio from USA, when they interviewed me that the best thing is to get published by the traditional publishers. However, every author knows that these publishers are overwhelmed by aspiring writers who wanted to get their attention. It takes an incredible amount of luck to be noticed by them. So I chose another path; the self-publishing road. Self-publishing isn’t easy either; because if I can get my work published, so can millions other authors who also struggles to get the attention of readers. But the beauty of self-publishing is that we can get our work publish; whether people buy our books or not, we worry later.
The most anxious moments within the one year for me were waiting for those reviews to come in. I really didn’t know what to expect. However, deep inside me, I believed my story is good; and thus the review would be positive. Finally, when I get those reviews, it was both joyful and sad because it was a MIXED REVIEW. Thank you very much to the reviewers.
I want to thank Partridge Publishing and Author Solutions for helping me successfully publish my novel notably Jazzie Reed, Mike Collins and Ronald Reese. I also want to thank The Sabah Society, including The Sabah Society Sandakan branch for helping me launch my book. Then there are those that gave me media coverage, and I am very grateful to them. They are Ruben Sario from Star newspaper, Shalina R from Borneo Post, Utusan Borneo (which is in Malay) and also Doug Huggins and Daniele from WRSP Radio. Not forgetting also WH Smith bookstore especially Nurul who tirelessly help to sell my novel. And finally, I also want to thank the Sabah State Library, Borneo Research Library, my family members, former schoolmates, friends including those from the social media and my book fans who had supported me by buying my books.

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Monday, 2 October 2017

KLIAS WETLAND: The Vanishing Frontier (Part 3)

Sunset over the horizon of the Klias Wetland
Our platform at dusk
By 6pm, the Klias Wetland is already dark. The boatman told us that we have to go back at the platform for dinner, and then, at 7pm, we will board the boat again; this time cruising in the dark! "The only light you will see will be the stars and the fireflies; IF the fireflies comes out. There is no guarantee we will see them because of the wet season; but so far sighting was never miss," the boatman tried to reassure us without promising.

A simple but splendid dinner was included in the tour package. The food was nice; kampong dishes with local fruits for dessert. I think most of us enjoyed the serving judging from the Japanese tourists laughing and giggling as they dined. However, everyone were anxious for the next outing. Will we see the fireflies?

I noticed there are a lot of abandoned and deteriorating boats and resort platforms along the river bank: it sure are eyesores. I was informed by one of the tour guides that this was due to the severe competition tour operators are facing. The newcomers don't bother about quality; they just want quantity. In the end, tour operators with passion and love for this industry also suffered because of these fly by night operators who slash prices just to get the business. The government should focus only on giving license to the few responsible operators and subsidize them for beautification and upgrading their premises. Besides, too many visitors also stressed the ecology of the wetland.

Sorry for digressing; but now back to the trip story. It was pitch dark only to be lighted by the sky. The funny thing was that there weren't many stars but we still can see the silhouette of the mangrove forests and the clouds above us. After thirty minutes or more cruising into the swarm, we still didn't see anything. We can see the boatman desperately trying to find any glimpse of the fireflies as he searched the banks with his spotlight. We saw many juvenile crocodiles as the light sparkled their emerging eyes slightly above the river!

We were about to give up when we suddenly saw the whole mangrove forests lighted up like a christmas trees! The whole banks on both side were lighted up and it was indeed a spectacular sight! Everybody tried in vain to take pictures; nothing came out. The boatman smiled at us. "The professional photographers with sophisticated cameras also tried to take pictures of these insects. Only a few of them succeeded," he told us. It was indeed a memorable moment!

The best picture in the dark but the fireflies behind her still eluded us




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Sunday, 24 September 2017

KLIAS WETLAND: Monkey Land (Part 2)

Proboscis monkeys are considered endangered

"That's because the government didn't stop the developers from clearing the wetlands" Maniam added. "To them, wetlands are wastelands. These areas are turned into real estate developments. How many local and endemic species, which might be unique and endangered, would be lost forever due to the damage they created" Frederick said. THE EURASIANS Chapter 49 Page 215

Klias Wetland is about 2 hours drive from the capital city center of North Borneo (Sabah), Jesselton (Kota Kinabalu). Besides the beautiful islands surrounding North Borneo and the majestic Mount Kinabalu, the Klias Wetland is another interesting place to visit. There are several other wetlands that is awesome, but here is the most famous one.

Another picture of the Long Nose Monkeys

My greatest worry was not having the opportunity to encounter with the Proboscis Monkeys. Sometime it is call the Long Nosed Monkey, because of its big nose. The Indonesian call them Monyet Belanda (Dutch Monkey) a remark they made to describe their Dutch colonizers. Some scientists believed the big nose is for attracting females or for intimidating rival males. Their habitat is usually along the rivers and mangrove swarms and they can only be found in Borneo. Proboscis are considered endangered species and for decades the Sabah (North Borneo) Wildlife Department had made tremendous efforts to protect them.

The Lutung
 I asked the boatman before we embark on the boat whether we will have the chance to see these monkeys. He took a deep breath, kept quiet for a few seconds; and said, "sometimes if we are lucky, we will see many of them. They usually avoids the hot sun and thus spent most of their time on the ground. If they are on the ground, it is very difficult to spot them.  In the bad days, we will only see a few of them but so far never no sighting at all."

Visitors hoping to catch a glimpse of the monkeys
But that day, indeed we were lucky. The hundreds of visitors including us managed to see monkeys in almost all the canopies of trees we past along both sides of the river bank. The boatman told me, possibly it was because of the cool weather that encouraged them to go out in large numbers. We were happy to see those monkeys jumping from branches to branches and trees to trees.

I saw another troop of monkeys and thought they were black Proboscis. The boatman corrected me and told me they were Silvered Leaf Monkey or Lutung. They were playing alongside the Proboscis. Later on I found out that, unlike the Proboscis which is only found in Borneo, Lutung could also be found not only on this island, but also in Sumatra as well as Malaya (West Malaysia). 

Crab-eating macaques
There were also many long tailed monkey or better known as crab-eating macaque foraging for their favorite food in the mangrove swamp. Of course their favorite food is the crab! These monkeys are common and can be found all over southeast Asia.


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