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Karanahan: From paddy fields to tourism spot
Published on: Sunday, July 31, 2022
By: Anna Vivienne
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Mount Kinabalu in the morning.
VISITORS to Karanahan View, in Kg Tempasuk 1, Kota Belud, can see colourful field of photo booths, beautifully-landscaped lawn and the swimming pool. By the side, there is a pond with plenty of fish and several kayak and boats nearby in a hut, just ready for guests to push into the water and go for a good paddle.

There are flowers growing in abundance along the paths to the huts and chalets there. At one side, umbrellas hang on strings overhead, creating a pretty sight to the shade, and of course paused for visitors to capture photographs.

There are several buildings there, one of which is a one-storey restaurant, where they serve filling food, and traditional fare upon request. The ambience is cosy, with comfortable seats and breeze blowing in from the open space outside. The view is of the paddy fields and the villages far in the distance.

In the morning one can see Mount Kinabalu in the distance from Karanahan View. There are beautiful photographs of the majestic mountain captured from this site.

The proprietor Michael Asik shares that area used to be just paddy fields, tended to by he and his mother.

Michael

 It was just like any other fields where they would toil and sweat under the hot sun, ploughing the fields and making it conducive for planting. 

The mother and child would plant paddy seedlings in a row as fast as they could so the paddy would grow uniformly.

“I planted paddy very fast and had been commended for it,” Michael said, reminiscing the past.

Karanahan View.

Guests making paddy bund.

Sunset over Karanahan View.

He was very close to his mother, he shared, as his father had passed a while back. He went with his mother everywhere to tend the field and generally working the land with her. 

He went to school though and got gainfully employed as a civil servant. Sadly, his mother had since passed.

“The land was lying idle, so I got the idea of making a fish pond there. Initially I had no intention of making it accessible to the public, but it created a lot of interest, with people passing by, coming in and watching me feed fish,” he shares.

The electric car routes.


Traditional food.

Panjaram – a Kota Belud signature cake.

“Friends encouraged me to develop the place more, as it can be turned into an attraction, so they said. 

“So, I began to look into developing the land into something more appealing than it originally was. 

“We began to put up the meandering path, construct huts and the chalets. We have gazeboes and shades for picnics and the children who come to use the pool.

“We have chalets for those who wished to stay over. The people that come here are usually those who want to rest for a while away from their home or workplace environment. 

“We have welcomed international visitors in the past, before the pandemic, and hope to, again.”

Visitors to Karanahan View, which is opened from 6am to 10pm daily, will usually be welcomed by a group of youngsters in traditional Dusun costumes, and beating of the gongs. 

They will be ushered in for welcome drinks and rest before embarking on any of the activities.

“Those who wish to just play around in the swimming pool can do so, while others go on the paddle boat. They can choose the inflatable boat to if they are so inclined. The remote-controlled boat is also quite popular as well as the remote-controlled car. 

“Bicycles are also available for those who wish to go cycling. One of the best times to cycle is in the morning, when Mount Kinabalu can be clearly seen. Learning to fly a kite is also quite interesting, and one can crush up on one’s skills here.”

Bicycle ready for cyclist. 


The swimming pool.

 

“For those who wish to commemorate the occasion of their visits, they can borrow the traditional costume there for a mere RM25 and pose for as many photographs as they want. 

“There are many more activities here that can be of tremendous interest to guests such as paddy fields activities and fishing,” he enthuses.

The 1.5-acre land where Karanahan View stands is only part of a piece of land that Michael owns, and he will continue to expand his tourism site. He also runs a six-room homestay nearby. The rooms are clean and comfortable.

The houses are surrounded by a village’s natural environment, so guests can experience a real stay in the homes of a local.

Karanahan View is an example of the ingenuity of an innovative landowner who wishes to participate in the tourism industry, even when there’s no particular significant landmark nearby. 

He carves beauty off a paddy field, and maintains the fields around the site, to enhance its attraction. 

The fields will serve as a reminder to the people about their heritage and past livelihood, while the tourism spot present man-made wonders. 





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