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TRAVEL WATCH: SEPTEMBER 6, 1999 VOL. 154 NO. 9

Detour

By JULIE GAW

    ALSO IN TIME
Take A Hike (But Don't Get Lost) in Hong Kong
The city's not all a concrete jungle. Nearly half the land in Hong Kong has been placed in a total of 21 protected country parks

Summer's over--all the more reason to head out to the great outdoors. And it doesn't get much greater than in Sabah, where adventure races are sweeping through Malaysia's top sports destination this month. Mount Kinabalu is the site of much of the action, with the Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon, Sept. 25-26, hot on the heels of the World Mountain Running Trophy competition Sept. 19. This marks the debut of the runners' event in Asia, with the fleet of foot competing in a world-class event previously limited to continental Europe. The Climbathon is touting itself as "the toughest race in the world," challenging participants to speed to the top of the 4,095-m summit and back in under 4 1/2 hours, a 20-km circuit usually completed by trekking tourists over a couple of days. The trail ranges from the dampness of the lowland rainforest to the chill of the treeless granite peak. Information for both events can be found online at www.jaring.my/sabah.

Whether you're competing or cheering at either marathon, the new Magellan Sutera Hotel in Kota Kinabalu promises to be a great spot to recoup and unwind. Situated in Sutera Harbour, Malaysia's first "integrated lifestyle resort" (with golf course, marina, bowling alley, cinema and other leisure treats on offer), the hotel is having its "soft opening" and some hard bargains this month. The Magellan's "Corporate Discovery" package offers deluxe rooms from $60, including airport transfers, buffet breakfast, laundry service and a nine-hole game of golf. The "At Leisure" deal offers a two-night stay for a total of $118, single or double occupancy, throwing in another round of golf or a one-hour massage for one person. The only catch: both special promotions are available only to residents of Malaysia, Singapore or Brunei. For reservations, call 60-88-312222 or fax 60-88-312020.

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