Sabah and Sarawak are 2 famous destinations for nature and wildlife tourism. The untouched ecosystems at some of the places make them popular among nature lovers. Even though there are many documentaries about Borneo, where most of them focusing mainly on the nature, there are some of the international programs that was shot in Sabah & Sarawak that were a bit different from these documentaries, but also promoting Borneo to their own countries.
Here are some of the variety shows where the cast had visited Borneo, especially Sabah, and promoting the state in the most fun way possible.
1) Survivor: Borneo (US)
Every Malaysians born before 1990 should know this program. It was the first season of the famous Survivor series, broadcasted in 2000. The show was also broadcasted in Malaysia. The show was filmed and premiered in 2000, hosted by Jeff Probst, 39 days of gameplay with 16 competitors. The sixteen contestants were initially separated into two tribes, named Tagi and Pagong, which later merged into one tribe, Rattana when only ten players remained. The main concept of the show was to show the surviving skills of each contestants in which sixteen people would be stuck on an island. Ten main cameras were set on the island that would film the castaways every day and every three days, a Tribal Council would be held in which one castaway would be voted off the island. The last castaway to be on the island would win $1 million.
Survivor: Borneo finale received the highest ratings of any Survivor episode to date with an average of 51.7 million viewers.
2) Survivor: Pulau Tiga (UK)
Survivor: Pulau Tiga is the first season of the British ITV reality game show Survivor. It was referred to as Survivor: Pulau Tiga so that it will not be confused with the first season of US version, Survivor: Borneo, which had been set at the same island. The show premiered on 21 May 2001, which consisted of 40 days of gameplay with 16 castaways competing for a grand prize of £1,000,000. The sixteen contestants were initially separated into two tribes, named Helang and Ular, meaning Eagle and Snake in Malaysian, respectively. The ten remaining players later merged into one tribe, named Sekutu which means “together”. However, the series was not as successful with UK viewers, compared to the US version of the series.
3) The Amazing Race 4 & 24 (All-Stars) (US)
The Amazing Race is a reality competition show in US in which eleven teams of two races around the world. The race is generally split into twelve legs, with each leg requiring teams to deduce clues, navigate themselves in foreign areas, interact with locals, perform physical and mental challenges, and vie for airplane, boat, taxi, and other public transportation options on a limited budget provided by the show.
In the The Amazing Race 4, the contestants flown to Malaysia during Leg 8 to Leg 10. In Leg 8, they visited Monsopiad Cultural Village in Penampang; where the teams had to give a traditional good luck blessing, then to Manukan Island by the marked boat that they had chosen. During Leg 9, one team went to Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary where they had to feed two pieces of durian to an orangutan at a feeding station deep in the forest. Then, at Poring Hot Springs in Ranau, teams had to cross a series of tree bridges over 100 feet (30 m) above the ground to reach the next clue. Some went to Trushidup Palm Oil Plantation to carry out the missions, and some climbed the intricate limestone rocks at Gomantong Caves near Sandakan.
On Leg 3 in the 24th season, the teams went to Kota Kinabalu from Guangzhou. The missions were carried out in Inanam. In the Roadblock, one team member had to rappel down Kiansom Waterfall from the safety line on the tree tops about 10 stories in height and had to collect their next clue on the way down.
The teams need to choose between “River Delivery” and “Run Through the Jungle” as the Detour options, but before proceeding with the Detour, each team need to build a bamboo raft. They need to use it to travel down river to their Detour locations. In River Delivery, teams had to pick up and carry several goods down the river on their raft to Kampung Tombung and deliver them to the village elder. In Run Through the Jungle, each member had to successfully knock over one fake bird target using a blowgun, guided by a Murut hunting guide. After completing the Detour, the teams will have to continue down river using their rafts where they will receive their next clue from a local river guide.