EKO PELANCONGAN TOMODU PARADISE was opened on 1 May 2018, offering a riverine activities and lodging experience for visitors.
The development of the touristic site was a blessing in disguise as long ago it was a dumping ground by the shameless communities.
Tonnes of rubbish could be seen dumped behind the century trees as the culprits bid to hide it from the public view.
Fed up with the despicable act, the owner decided to fence-up the place and took the courage to turn it into a tourism site.
And today the place is attracting scores of visitors mainly local tourists and a handful of foreign holidaymakers from France and Germany.
“We managed to turn around this place into something that is beneficial for us as we have tirelessly cleaned up and beautified the place to welcome visitors,” its owner, Junie Niah said (pic)
The acreage totalling 11-acre is her family land inherited from their forebearers.
“About 3-acre was cleared and developed into the recreation centre for visitors to enjoy and relax,” said the 45-year-old school teacher at SMK Paris, Kinabatangan.
She added that during the normal days the site is managed by her husband and she will only be around during the school term holidays.
“We are offering a place for the people to relax, swimming, camping, lodging, river view of Wariou River, barbecue and fun activities including karaoke session at the open hall,” Junie said.
They also have the bamboo rafts for the visitors to experience the traditional way to getting across to the other side of the river.
According to her, part of the Wariou River is also under the tagal system (prohibiting fishing activity for a period of time) to increase the population of the marine resources in the river.
Breeding inside the river is the pelian fish (mahseer fish) and overtime we have managed to tame the fish and slowly we will train them to do feet spa like other rural ecotourism sites, she said.
In the meantime, the villagers still continue to harvest the fish and last one was carried out on March 2019.
“The harvesting day are decided by the villagers tagal committee which is usually start from 8am to 12pm. On average each villager could catch about 5 kilos,” she noted.
Visitors can book any of the 13 traditional style lodges and resting huts as well as the campsite for those who wants to experience the outdoor environment.
“We have six traditional chalets style lodges and we are building another two now to be equipped with air-conditioned and attached toilets. This was done upon request and feedback from the visitors.
“At the moment all the lodges are using fans and the common toilets outside of the structures,” she said, adding that they also provide portable gas and stove for those who want to do cooking.
At the moment, the operator has installed their own water tank to supply water to the visitors while waiting for the government to provide the treated running water.
They are also waiting for the government to provide the power to the site for the convenient of the visitors who overnight there.
“Now we are using our own power supply,” said Junie who is learning the ropes from other established operators.
She said that they are planning to introduce the fish spa either in the river or build a pool.
The recreation centre located in Kampung Tambulion was inhabited by the tembadau which is also known as banteng during the olden days.
“The villagers here hunted the wild cattle long time ago, but nowadays we don’t see them here anymore,” Junie said.
The site of the recreation centre is also near to the army paradise camp and located nine kilometres away from Kota Belud town.
“The name Tomodu Paradise is coined from the tembadau and the paradise camp,” she explained.