Valentine's day in Malaysia

2020 was the year when travel went amiss from our lives but I am grateful that I did have some great trips in the initial months of January and February. One such trip was to Kota Kinabalu in Sabah and the memories from this thrilling trip exhilarate me even today. It was a 5 days trip full of laughter and smiles in the company of like-minded travellers. We were all invited for the PATA meet (11th -15th February). And now that Valentine’s day is just round the corner, I am especially reminded of the day spent around Kiulu River. I had saved the story and the pictures for this year. Read to know more about my experience of river rafting on Valentine’s day in Sabah.

14th February 2020 – It was a day of adventure and thrill, made up of rafting in the river, jumping in the water, getting drenched, facing the rapids, having sour arm muscles, enjoying the scenic countryside views and feeling loved in the lap of nature. Interestingly, the name of the owner of the rafting center (adventure company) was Mr. Valentine. So everyone had a great valentines day in the supervision of Mr. Valentine. Isn’t it a great co-incidence?

River rafting in Sabah
With my friends from India- Divya, Dipanshu and Nikita
River rafting in Sabah
The bumpy riverbeds were fun. Look at our happy faces!

Thrilling Day by the side of Kiulu River

Who said Valentines day has to be all mushy and lovey-dovey, it can also be about doing things that make you alive, about going to a new place and about indulging in new experiences. Nothing beats the experience of going for a thrill in a new, offbeat place. I was definitely missing my loved ones back home but I was also happy to be celebrating it doing what I love most- travelling and picking new experiences.

When it comes to wildlife, nature and adventure, there is lots to do in Sabah. You can read more about my experience here but as far as river rafting goes, one has to go near Kiulu river. Located 40 KM from Kota Kinabalu city, Kiulu is the much loved, clean river of Sabah. Whenever people are looking forward to mild adventure, they know where to head to. The water level is not very high here and grade of rapids is just 1 or 2. It is a green and serene place for the perfect outdoor kind of day.

Have you done river rafting in Kiulu river?
All set for Rive rafting on Kiulu river
Kiulu river
After the first break

River rafting on Valentine’s day

I remember it was a beautiful sunny day and our instructor declared that the river was calm and mild too. This was not my first river rafting experience but like always, I had some butterflies in my stomach. And when I looked at the enthusiastic people and the picturesque beauty all around me, I felt inspired. Our instructor told us about the safety measures, geared us in the right equipment and explained us about the rapids along the way. He prepared us for the worst but for the most of the 7 kilometers stretch, there was hardly much. In fact, this is the best place to get introduced with rafting. There is nothing to be scared of. We made groups of 4 and hopped on our rafts.

On the way, the views of the trees, rubber estates, orchards, paddy fields, villages was endearing. The journey involved 1 ½ – 2 hours of rafting before reaching the ending point where delicious lunch was served by the riverbank. It was appetizing and they did have vegetarian options.

This was not my first experience of river rafting. I have done it in Arunachal in India and Punakha in Bhutan.

Kiulu river in Sabah is beautiful
Rafting down Kiulu River, passing through many countryside sites and scenes
Valentine's day with Nature
Valentines day with Nature!

Why should one go for it?

Look at our happy pictures and do you still need reasons!

Kiulu River is a great river for beginners.

It is a great way to spend some time with nature.

It is the right opportunity to do river rafting if you have not done before.

Sabah is pristine and pure and this is one of the way to indulge in its serenity.

One of the best reasons is to give back to the locals of Kiulu through Community Development Contribution.

Hope you enjoyed this virtual trip with me. Wishing for many such happy trips for all of us.

Written by

Manjulika Pramod

An engineer who loves to be called a blogger more!
Traveler, short-story writer, voracious reader, foodie is the better me!
Reading, eating, traveling, exploring, observing and blogging are the beautiful highs of my life.