KOTA KINABALU: For years, local astronomy buffs have known that Borneo’s northernmost tip of Tanjung Simpang Mengayau is among the best places in the country for stargazing.
The isolated part that is far from populated areas faces no problem of light pollution and has an almost clear sky all year round.
Such conditions make Tanjung Simpang Mengayau ideal for astrophotography enthusiasts as well.
It also makes Sabah an attractive place for stargazers and astrophotographers, said Tourism Malaysia Sabah director Awang Ahmad Zaki Abu Bakar.
He said Tanjung Simpang Mengayau could be promoted as a “One Million Stars” spot where visitors could spend the night under a million stars.
“Sabah can be one of the best locations to observe the stars. After all, the costs involved are minimum,” he said after a recent joint programme between Tourism Malaysia and a group of local amateur astronomers, Sabah Stargazers, to witness meteor showers at Tanjung Simpang Mengayau.
He said astro-tourism would also encourage more locals to take up astronomy related hobbies.
“Witnessing meteor showers or seeing the Milky Way and countless constellations is a breathtaking experience,” he said.
Sabah Stargazers president Dr Esmar Abdul Hamid said there was a growing interest in astronomy related activities in Sabah.
He noted that more than 500 people had turned up at Tanjung Simpang Mengayau on Aug 14 to witness the meteor showers.