A philosopher once asked, “Are we human because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them because we are human?” Pointless, really… “Do the stars gaze back?” Now, that’s a question.
– Neil Gaiman, Stardust
There’s just something about gazing at the stars at night. Especially when the sky is pitch black and all you can see are the glittering stars, it’s almost like the stars are staring right back at you.
Stargazing allows you to reconnect with nature and is said to be a good stress reliever as you gaze calmly upon the clearest sky and be hypnotized by the constellations landscape. This outing has become quite trendy recently and Astro-tourism is definitely picking up in Sabah.
Bless with places with the clearest sky. To date there are more than 50 public places where one can enjoy stargazing activity. Travel 360 degrees around Sabah from West to the East and discover places that can offer a picturesque mystical view of the skyline at night time.
Pitch black places with low levels of light pollution and non-excessive artificial lights are the best places to be. This also means visiting the rural areas known for community-based tourism, will likely provide a chance to enjoy this activity. For stargazer junkies, nothing like spending a night or two under the blanket of stars!
Camping has always been the go-to activity to accompany this excitement, but one can also enjoy a comfortable night at a homestay or at a lodge to experience this. Stay up and by the darkness, stars are revealed.
According to Sabah Stargazers, among the popular districts to do stargazing are Kota Belud, Kundasang, Tawau, Kudat and Lahad Datu. The Astro-tourism activities are not just limited to watching stars but also include admiring eclipses and meteor showers events.
Either you are an avid stargazer or not, one shouldn’t miss out on Sabah’s stargazing skyline. Visitors can request more information from their local ground handler or connect with a local stargazing group for the best tips.
Tips to stay safe when stargazing
1. Be sure to inform the relevant security officers of your location and activities so that they can patrol the area and keep an eye out for you as you might be carrying expensive equipment.
2. The recommended locations are open to the public. But there are many other good locations for stargazing in Sabah. Before you go to these other locations, make sure you obtain permission from the relevant parties to enter those locations, and do not trespass on any private property.
3. Go in a group, not alone. You can join the stargazing events there if you wish.
4. To prevent neck ache caused by looking upwards for a prolonged period of time, you might want to lie on the ground to stargaze.