Green Connection In Kota Kinabalu

The Green Connection is a fun place to visit, especially for the kids. You could easily spend 2 hours there and your kids still would not want to leave. I will tell you why in a moment.

I brought my kids to the Green Connection in Likas on Sunday. Located about 2km outside of Kota Kinabalu city, it is only minutes away. Getting there is quick, although it helps if you are familiar with the area. But I am told that most taxi drivers know where it is. If you need to take a taxi, it should cost between RM10 to RM15 from the city.

Prior to the visit, my princess got all excited when I told her we would be visiting the sharks over the weekend, and we will probably see some snakes as well. Being a kid, her imagination got all fired up and she was excited at the thought of seeing real sharks. I guess up to now, her only experience with sharks was through the television program “Word World”.

The Green Connection Kota Kinabalu

The Green Connection Kota Kinabalu

The Visitor’s Experience
The Green Connection offers a different experience to visitors, and it starts from the first interaction with the people working there. It is a relief to speak to people who know what the place is about, who are well trained and passionate about what they are doing. You can see it in the way they interact with the visitors, and how they are the ones who would start the conversation.

Walk through the main entrance, over a little wooden bridge and you will see the ticket booth. Our visit for 2 adults, 1 child and 1 toddler cost less RM50, much lower than I had expected. Local visitors will find the fees to be affordable. They don’t really issue tickets, they just ring up on the cash register and give you the receipt.

Here’s a thought, how about printing colorful tickets of animals and their information on the ticket itself? It will help spread the word about the Green Connection.

The Limestone Cave Entrance

The Limestone Cave Entrance and an apprehensive princess

Now that we have arrived, my princess started to get nervous at the thought of snakes and sharks. And since the place is landscaped to look like we are in the rainforest, she started to get really nervous. I had to carry her past the entrance into the park. Once we were in, she started taking photos with her digital camera. She has just turned 4 years old, and since she was 3, she started using my digital camera. What a kid!

The Adventure Begins
You walk through the limestone cave and into a tropical rainforest. There is the sound of cascading waterfall to your right, and sure enough there is a miniature waterfall. You even have to step across rocks and streams that run across the footpath. Look around and you will see large aquariums set amidst the dense vegetation.

Borneo Short-tail Python

Borneo Short-tail Python

Not all the tanks contain fish. We are in the rainforest zone, and if you look closer, you can see a Borneo Short-tail Python. Look again, and close by, you will see a Reticulated Python, which can grow to some 10m or 30 feet in length. The Reticulated Python is a good swimmer, and is found everywhere in Borneo. It seeks out new habitats and thus come face to face with humans. It feeds on small mammals. The Borneo Short-tail Python, on the other hand grows to about 1.6m or 5 feet in length, found mostly in lowland areas, rainforest and palm oil estates. Most snakes are shy and sedentary reptiles.

The River Zone
Moving along, we come to the river zone, where the main display is the terrapins of Borneo. In other words, turtles. Personally, I like turtles, I just think that they look so wise. Seriously, pick one up and look into it’s eyes. Most of the terrapins of Borneo are either on the endangered or vulnerable list. There are also fish tanks along this zone, containing what I presume to be fishes found in our rivers.

Endangered Borneo Terrapin

Borneo Terrapin

By now, my princess and company has gone on ahead, as I was taking photographs and notes of the park. Not surprising, I heard my princess shouting for me. She came running around the bend, saying there was a snake loose somewhere. It turns out that the handlers were doing something with the snakes, I guess. No cause for alarm, we were after all in a animal park and there were plenty of staff around.

The Coral Reef Zone
As far as I know, this is the first of its kind in Sabah. A huge display of a living coral reefs, and display of saltwater fishes. Coral reefs are home to a wide variety of marine life, they serve as breeding grounds, and food for the underwater ecosystem. They are also serve as coastal protection, reducing the impact of waves and storms on our coast line. While preserving our coral reefs has been going on for some years now, it is still an ongoing battle. It takes years for a devastated stretch of coral reef to regrow.

The biggest Stingray I have ever seen

The biggest Stingray I have ever seen

I suggest you pay a visit to the Green Connection. If you can see what the amazing marine world is like, and understand how easy it is to lose it all, then you will understand the concern we have.

A rare Guitar Shark

A rare Guitar Shark

The People Behind The Green Connection
The Green Connection in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah is headed by Professor Steve Oakley. He is the founder, director, the marine biologist, architect and engineer of the project, and I read somewhere, a hippie at heart. He is accompanied by his wife, who although I spoke to, I never did get her name. I would not be surprised if she is also a marine biologist, her knowledge of marine life is extensive.

The group of enthusiastic people working there, well trained and knowledgeable, and I really should go back there and interview them. You can help by being a corporate sponsor, a volunteer, or by blogging about this place.

The Green Connection was conceived, designed and built incorporating many green building principles. You can see that a lot of thought and effort has gone into the design of this place.

Getting There
Located 2km outside of Kota Kinabalu city, the Green Connection is easily accessible and transportation will not be a problem. You can get there by taxi, public bus or by a tour agency. By bus or taxi, it will take only 10 minutes to reach The Green Connection Aquarium.

If you are taking a taxi-cab, it should cost no more that RM 10 to RM 15 per cab.
If you want to take the bus, make sure the route is Jalan Tuaran (Tuaran Road). It should cost only RM 1.00 per person.

Here is a map provided by The Green Connection.

map to green connection aquarium

Click Here for hotels in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, July 8th, 2010 at 3:31 am and is filed under Featured, Places. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “Green Connection In Kota Kinabalu”

  1. Prof Steve Oakley Says:

    Nice article
    My wife Kathy is not a formal Marine Biologist, more enthusiastic amateur. In the same way that many of us have learnt a lot after our formal schooling ended. Kathy is a Senior Level Science Teacher.
    Hope your little girl had a good time


  2. adrian Says:

    My little princess had a blast in the Discovery zone. She wants to go back there again. Ask her if she wants to go out, she says “the aquarium” every single time.

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