Salt was the main commodity consumed by the native tribes in their daily routine during the olden days. Besides its common application as a food condiment, it was widely used as a preservative for meat and fish and as salt-licks for the animals. Salt was also prominently featured in most of the natives’ religious rituals. During those days, however, this important commodity was only available from the coastal areas, namely Penampang, Papar and Tuaran. In the absence of roads, the natives from the remote villages of the Tambunan hinterlands had to trek the mountain ridge for days with full load of farm or forest harvests on their back to barter for salt at selected tamu grounds. The hardship endured and the perseverance shown by the native villagers remained as an inspiration to leisure trekkers who took to the field and personally experienced the same, long and treacherous foot trails. In their honour and for their historical significance, this web of dirt trails crisscrossing the Crocker Range was aptly named as the Salt Trails.

As part of the requirement in its research study, an IDS study team took the opportunity to have a firsthand experience of the 34km Tikolod-Inobong Salt Trail on 23 November 2010. Assisted by thirteen porters, two guides and a ranger, the 12-member study team decided on Tikolod, Tambunan to begin the journey. As advised by the ranger, starting the excursion from Tikolod will be much easier and less treacherous. On the contrary, this was not to be.

At 6:30am amidst a cold and misty morning, the study team assembled at the far end of Tikolod village waiting in turns for the weighing of backpacks and other loads. The portering charges were standard at RM50 per 10kg plus extra charges for excess loads. The heaviest load carried was 25kg. Armed with leech socks, walking stick, camera and water, the team walked the path at 7:45am.

The team moved slowly in three groups, crossing the Sabah Park’s border and headed towards the Malunggung Control Post. On the trail, there were many shallow streams to cross. Getting wet was basically the norm and for added safety, crossing the stream in socks and shoes was more comfortable considering many unseen sharp edges, splinters and water creatures.

Along the trail, the welcoming sway of the huge and tall bamboo trees caught the team’s attention. It was of no coincidence that Tambunan was also known as the Bamboo Valley with its ever-present abundance and having the most number of bamboo species in Sabah.

Huge and tall bamboo trees

The first destination was the Malunggung Control Post which was set up in 2004. Sited near a rocky stream, the open space looked inviting for campers and day trippers. Wild orchids and other rare plant species can be found in profusion around the vicinity. The area is also an ideal spot for bird watchers and a haven for avid nature photographers. Within range, one could find many ginger farms lining the foothills and this has provided a good experience for those who happened to be at this place during the harvesting season. Tikolod is one of the main producers of ginger in Tambunan.

After fifteen minutes rest, the team started the long trudge to Kionop which should take about a normal seven to eight hours’ walk. At least that was what the ranger had told the group and almost to the point of nagging, reminding the group that the next stop was getting nearer and must be reached before dark. The trail ascended progressively and began to get steeper at 790m asl peaking at 1258m asl. From this peak, it was a steep descent all the way down to the Ponobukan river.

Trekking up the steep ridge was energy sapping, manageable but with numerous stops for water and deep gasping for air. Reaching the peak was only a temporary relief for what belied forward was even worst and hellish. The steep descent was grossly unfair for tired legs and cramped muscles. And a daunting challenge for those with sprained knee and blistered foot. Turning back was out of the question and the team learned to withstand pain and grudged on pushing hard for the next rest hut. There were no benches along the trail and the team had to lean on trees or hold on to their walking sticks for cursory stops. At this point, the exhaustion was overwhelming, and there were hardly any opportunity to appreciate the natural surroundings. For the most part of the journey, it was like racing to next hut to rest the tired legs and backs.

Upon reaching the Ponobukon Post, the team rested and waited for the rest of the team to regroup. It was almost 6pm when all heads were accounted for to complete the last lap to Kionop. Dusk came early in the dense forest and dangers lurked as the team negotiated the narrow rocky path along the steep side of the riverbank. There were no railings and safety was of utmost concern. At this stretch, a pair of gloves would be handy to grab any roots or twigs for added balance. The team reached the Chapel in Kionop at about 7pm. Dinner was prepared and tents were set up inside the Chapel. It rained almost as soon as everybody had a clean change of clothes; a partial relief from the hot and humid weather. The team managed to get a wonderful, restful night.

On the second day, the walk continued heading towards Buayan, a journey that would take between four and five hours. The trail from Kionop to Buayan was easy over flatter terrains compared with the steep ridge of the previous day. The team trekked leisurely along the river and noted the crystal clear waters rushing over huge white and gray boulders. Rounded stones and pebbles lined the riverbanks providing a natural resting area for passersby. Other than the thought of occasional and sudden rush of flood as told by the guide, the only other anxiety to the team was the overwhelming presence of leeches along several stretches of the trail.

The team took the long trail to reach the Balairaya at Buayan when the river started to swell and the rushing waters were too dangerous for the ladies to cross over.

On the third day, the team continued the journey to Terian. The trail passed through patches of paddy fields and fishponds before climbing up the steep slopes into the thick forest. The physical fatigue over the past two days had slowly halted the team’s movement to a crawl. Drama began when one of the team members experienced breathing difficulty and another a sprained knee. These two were escorted and assisted by the other team members throughout the better half of the journey to Terian. The torrential downpours that afternoon, in a way, provided temporary comfort against the hot morning sun, but the rush of rain waters down the hill slopes made it even more strenuous to maintain balance on the soggy and slippery path. The team finally reached Terian at about four in the afternoon.

At Terian, as the team rested and settled their backpacks, the ranger informed that the Balairaya was in a deplorable state and suggested putting up at the Terian village homestay instead. The team obliged but was totally disappointed with the unkempt interior and poorly maintained wooden house. The toilets and bath, located outside the house, were poorly constructed and there were no effort at all to make the doorway more convenient for safety purposes. The warm night and persistent bites from unseen pests, most likely fleas and cockroaches, were tormenting. To top it up, the charges were RM55 per pax and an additional RM15 for food.

The next morning, everyone was up early and eager to start the last lap of the Salt Trail. With fewer loads, the team accepted the porters offer to carry most of the backpacks. And at eight that morning, the group lined the path to bid goodbye to two of the ‘injured’ members who were flown back to Kota Kinabalu by helicopter .

The final six-hour walk to the Inobong Substation was less demanding as the team enjoyed the ridge walk overlooking the scenic mountainous landscapes on one side and the coastal areas on the other. An encouraging number of birdcalls were heard within the area and the varieties of plant and insect species were a pleasure to observe. The trail was long but with less climb and with a wider solid path, suggesting a more frequent usage by the local villagers. At one stretch, rationing of drinking water was quite crucial as there was no water source and the rest huts were far apart. At midway and upon reaching the highest peak at Kibambangan, 2385ft asl, the air was pleasantly cooler and breezy. The only challenge encountered was the heavy downpours on the very steep slopes of a few hundred meters to the Inobong substation. Everyone was safely accounted for by about three in the afternoon. Looking back, the whole four days were an awesome experience, treacherous but adventurous nonetheless.

Cost of Maintenance of the Main Salt Trail

The cost of maintenance of the main Salt Trail involves clearing the 35km trail at least once a year. This will also include repairing the huts and putting up new ropes for river crossing and safety railings at steep slopes and turns. Sabah Parks may also need to train more guides and engage porters who can do multitasking, for example, able to build bamboo raft and do menial repair works on huts and benches.

From the study team’s experience, there is a need to build rest huts at standard intervals, say, one rest hut for every 3km and two sets of long bamboo benches at every 1km interval. Signages would do justice as an interpretative tool for leisure trekkers as these would provide information of what to expect within a certain area. Of major concern is the need to provide clean toilets and a place to sleep especially in Kionop, Buayan and Terian. Those wishing to engage in homestead services must be trained and constantly reminded on personal hygiene and household cleanliness.

From the team’s observation, many of the materials needed for building the rest huts, benches, toilets and lodging facilities can be provided at very low cost considering the ready availability of bamboo and wood from the forest. On the other hand, visitors must always be given the option to stay in a village homestay or to put up inside the Balairaya. The indicative cost of providing and maintaining the facilities for the Salt Trail ranges from RM2,000 to RM5,000 per rest hut depending on whether the materials are sourced from the forest or delivered from outside. The total investment cost will amount up to RM60,000 for ten new rest huts to be built along the trail and new rolls of heavy duty ropes for railings. The yearly maintenance can be budgeted at RM5,000 with manpower assistance from the village folks and the NGOs.

Steep ridge walk
Weighing station
Trail towards Kg. Terian

Trail Linkages within the Crocker Range

The road construction linking Penampang and Tambunan in the early 1960s had resulted in fewer people using the salt trail. With good roads, it is more convenient for the villagers to do their trade by motor vehicles. However, there are ten or more villages in Penampang and Tambunan that are inside the Crocker Range boundary that still remain inaccessible by road. Here, the villagers continue to use the trail, to go to the main road and eventually to town centres in Tambunan and Donggongon. Some will sell their farm produce and in turn buy daily essentials such as cooking oil, kerosene, sugar and salt.

Within the villages, there are many short and long trails that link with other villages and as access to paddy fields and orchards. There are trails for specific destinations and over the years these trails have become interconnected and formed a network of routes within the Crocker Range area.
In view of the many established trails and having similar historical and cultural significance, there is opportunity to promote them based on distance and attraction of the particular trails. Thus, a catchy phrase i.e. “The Great Walks of the Crocker Range” would be fitting as promotional slogan for the print media. This promotional exercise can be linked to the overall development of the CRP added with the theme concept of each substation. Table 1 provides a summary of the various foot trails found in the Crocker Range.

Apart from preserving their historical values, the trails would offer a great opportunity for visitors and trekkers to have firsthand experience in exploring the exotic richness of the indigenous flora and fauna found along the trails. The proposed Great Walks would also serve as an avenue for scientific excursion or studies for both local and international researchers.

The Salt Trail is surely not for the faint hearted; it demands both mental and physical fitness. This is also part of the reason for the less favourable number of visitors over the years. Besides, the poor facilities and lack of promotion, avid trekkers are more interested in short excursions of from three hours to one day. It is also noted that there is no excitement or any iconic attraction at midpoint i.e. Buayan to keep the trekkers interested and highly motivated. Although on few occasions the media had highlighted the plight of villagers from these areas, it had not created the interest that was hoped for. Thus, after having further discussions with Sabah Parks officials, some of the alternative shorter trails are proposed as in (Table 1) with the hope that they would appeal to both leisure and professional trekkers. – Anthony Kiob & Francis Luan

Malunggung Control Post
Crossing the suspension bridge at Kg. Buayan
Sabah Parks Control Post at Kg. Buayan

Garam merupakan komoditi utama digunakan oleh kaum asli dalam rutin harian pada masa dahulu. Selain digunakan se-bagai perasa makanan, ia secara luas digunakan sebagai pengawet daging dan ikan dan untuk menjerat haiwan. Garam juga digunakan di ke-banyakan upacara keagamaan orang asli. Ketika itu, bagaimanapun, komo-diti penting ini hanya ada di kawasan pantai, seperti Penampang, Papar dan Tuaran. Dengan tiadanya jalan raya, orang asli dari desa terpencil di pedalaman Tambunan perlu melalui banjaran berbukit berhari-hari dengan bebanan hasil hutan di belakang mereka ditukar dengan garam di tamu terpilih. Ketabahan orang asli dalam menahan keperitan melalui laluan ini menjadi inspirasi bagi penjelajah untuk merasa sendiri laluan jalanan kaki yang jauh dan berbahaya ini. Bagi memperingati kepentingan sejarahnya, rangkaian laluan bersilang Banjaran Crocker diberi nama Laluan Garam.

Bagi memenuhi keperluan kajian, penyelidik IDS telah menyusuri Laluan Garam sejauh 34km Tikolod-Inobong pada 23 November 2010. Dibantu oleh tiga belas porter, dua pemandu dan satu renjer, seramai 12 orang penyelidik semuanya telah memilih untuk ke Tikolod, Tambunan bagi memulakan perjalanan. Menurut renjer, perjalanan dari Tikolod lebih mudah dan kurang berbahaya. Namun, ia adalah sebaliknya.

Pada jam 6.30 pagi di tengah pagi yang dingin dan berkabus, penyelidik berkumpul di hujung kampung Tikolod sambil menunggu giliran menimbang beg galas dan barangan lain. Bayaran untuk mengangkat barang adalah RM50 bagi setiap 10kg dan bayaran tambahan dikenakan sekiranya berat berlebihan. Bebanan paling berat adalah 25kg. Dilengkapkan dengan stoking lintah, tongkat, kamera dan air, penyelidik memulakan perjalanan pada jam 7.45 pagi.

Kumpulan penyelidik bergerak perlahan dalam tiga kumpulan kecil, melintasi sempadan Taman Sabah dan menuju Tempat Kawalan Malunggung. Di laluan, terdapat banyak anak sungai cetek perlu diseberangi. Berada dalam keadaan basah adalah perkara biasa dan untuk keselamatan, menyeberangi anak sungai dengan stoking dan kasut amat perlu memandangkan terdapat banyak pinggiran tajam, serpihan dan haiwan air yang tersembunyi.

Sepanjang laluan, lenggokkan buluh tinggi dan besar menarik perhatian penyelidik. Bambu sinonim dengan Tambunan yang turut dikenali sebagai Lembah Bambu kerana bambu sentiasa tumbuh dengan banyak di daerah ini dan ia mempunyai spesies bambu yang terbanyak di Sabah.

Destinasi pertama adalah Tempat Kawalan Malunggung yang dibina pada tahun 2004. Dibina berdekatan sungai yang berbatu, tempat yang terbuka ini amat menarik untuk pelawat yang gemar berkhemah dan pelawat harian. Orkid liar dan spesis tumbuhan yang jarang ditemui banyak terdapat di sekitar kawasan ini. Ia juga tempat yang ideal untuk pemerhati burung dan syurga bagi jurugambar yang gemarkan alam semulajadi. Di persekitaran kaki bukitnya kelihatan barisan ladang halia dan ini memberikan pengalaman indah bagi mereka yang kebetulan berada di sini semasa musim menuai. Tikolod adalah salah satu pengeluar utama halia di Tambunan.

Selepas berehat selama lima belas minit, penyelidik mula meneruskan perjalanan ke Kionop yang biasanya mengambil masa tujuh hingga lapan jam perjalanan kaki. Begitulah yang dikhabarkan oleh renjer, yang turut memberitahu penyelidik tempat perhentian seterusnya tidak jauh lagi dan harus tiba ke destinasi tersebut sebelum gelap. Laluan semakin meninggi dan mula curam pada puncak 790m asl di ketinggian 1258m asl. Dari puncak ini, ia menjunam turun hingga ke sungai Ponobukan.

Berjalan di laluan tinggi yang curam sememangnya amat memenatkan, walau masih boleh dilakukan perlu berhenti beberapa kali untuk meminum air dan mengambil nafas. Tiba di puncak hanya memberi kelegaan sementara kerana yang menanti di hadapan lebih memeritkan. Menyusuri cerun yang curam menyeksa kaki yang letih dan otot yang kejang. Ia mencabar mereka yang lututnya terkehel dan kakinya terlepuh. Berpatah balik bukan satu pilihan yang bijak dan penyelidik terpaksa belajar menahan sakit dan ketidakselesaan serta amat terdorong untuk sampai ke pondok rehat seterusnya. Disebabkan tiadanya bangku di sepanjang laluan penyelidik terpaksa bersandar di pokok atau berpegang pada tongkat mereka ketika berhenti mengambil nafas. Akibat terlalu penat, para penyelidik tidak berkesempatan menikmati alam semulajadi di sekitar mereka. Perjalanan ke pondok rehat seterusnya bagaikan satu perlumbaan kerana masing-masing mahu segera sampai untuk merehatkan kaki dan belakang yang terlalu penat.

Apabila sampai di tempat persinggahan Ponobukon, penyelidik yang tiba lebih awal mengambil kesempatan berehat sambil menunggu rakan lain untuk berkumpul kembali. Hampir jam 6 petang barulah semuanya dapat berkumpul untuk melengkapkan pusingan akhir ke Kionop. Senja tiba awal dalam hutan tebal ini dan bahaya mengintai apabila penyelidik berdepan jalan yang sempit dan berbatu sepanjang tebing sungai yang curam. Ketiadaan selusur menyebabkan perjalanan agak membahayakan. Pada waktu begini, sarung tangan berguna untuk memegang akar atau ranting untuk keseimbangan. Para penyelidik tiba di gereja di Kionop pada pukul 7 malam. Makan malam telah disediakan dan khemah didirikan di dalam gereja. Hujan turun sebaik sahaja semua telah bertukar pakaian; agak melegakan setelah cuaca panas dan basah. Semua dapat berehat dan tidur lena pada malam itu.

Pada hari kedua, perjalanan diteruskan menuju Buayan, perjalanan mengambil masa antara empat ke lima jam. Laluan dari Kionop ke Buayan lebih mudah kerana berjalan di tanah rata berbanding dari hari sebelumnya. Penyelidik berjalan santai sepanjang sungai sambil memerhati air jernih mencurah ke atas batu besar berwarna putih dan kelabu. Batu bulat dan kelikir berderet di tebing sungai menyediakan kawasan rehat semulajadi bagi pejalan kaki. Sambil sesekali memikirkan tentang banjir yang mungkin datang secara tiba-tiba seperti yang diceritakan oleh pemandu, penyelidik turut risau melihat lintah yang banyak di sepanjang beberapa bahagian laluan.

Kumpulan penyelidik memilih untuk mengambil laluan yang lebih jauh untuk sampai ke Balairaya di Buayan apabila sungai mula pasang dan air terlalu deras serta membahayakan untuk wanita menyeberang.

Pada hari ketiga, kumpulan penyelidik meneruskan perjalanan ke Terian. Laluan melintasi sawah padi dan kolam ikan sebelum mendaki cerun curam ke hutan tebal. Keletihan fizikal setelah lebih dua hari berjalan menyebabkan ramai penyelidik semakin lemah hingga berjalan seolah-olah merangkak. Agak mencemaskan apabila salah seorang penyelidik mengalami masalah pernafasan dan seorang lagi terkehel lutut. Kedua-duanya diiring dan dibantu oleh rakan-rakan di sepanjang perjalanan ke Terian. Hujan lebat pada tengahari memberikan sedikit keselesaan selepas panas terik di pagi hari, namun hujan lebat di cerun bukit mengakibatkan lebih sukar mengekalkan keseimbangan di jalanan yang basah dan licin. Para penyelidik akhirnya sampai di Terian sekitar jam empat petang.

Di Terian, sebaik berehat dan menguruskan beg galas, renjer memaklumkan balairaya tidak diselenggara dan terabai lalu menyarankan menginap di rumah pelancongan desa Terian. Cadangan dipersetujui namun pasukan penyelidik agak kecewa dengan cara penyelenggaran rumah kayu tersebut. Tandas dan tempat mandi terletak di luar rumah, tidak dibina dengan baik dan tiada usaha langsung untuk membina pintu lebih sesuai untuk tujuan keselamatan. Cuaca malam yang panas serta gigitan berterusan serangga yang tidak kelihatan, kemungkinan besar pepijat atau lipas, menambahkan ketidakselesaan. Namun yang lebih mengecewakan adalah kadar bayaran yang dikenakan iaitu RM55 seorang dan bayaran tambahan RM15 untuk makanan.
Keesokan harinya, kesemua penyelidik bangun awal dan bersemangat untuk memulakan pusingan terakhir Laluan Garam. Dengan barangan yang hanya tinggal sedikit, para penyelidik menerima tawaran porter mengangkat kebanyakan beg galas. Pada jam lapan pagi, pasukan penyelidik mengucapkan selamat jalan kepada dua rakan yang cedera yang terpaksa diterbangkan dengan helikopter ke Kota Kinabalu.

Perjalanan enam jam terakhir ke sub-stesen Inobong agak kurang mencabar membolehkan pasukan penyelidik menikmati perjalanan menyaksikan lanskap pergunungan yang indah dari satu sudut sementara dari satu sudut lain dapat menikmati lanskap kawasan pantai. Kedengaran bunyian burung yang menghiburkan dikawasan tersebut serta pelbagai spesies tumbuhan dan serangga yang menyenangkan turut dapat dilihat. Walaupun perjalanan agak jauh namun kurang mendaki dan laluannya lebih luas, menandakan laluan ini kerap digunakan oleh penduduk tempatan. Ada ketikanya, catuan air minuman perlu dilakukan akibat ketiadaan sumber air dan pondok rehat yang jauh. Di pertengahan perjalanan dan apabila sampai ke puncak tertinggi Kibambangan, 2385 kaki asl, udara sejuk dan berangin. Cabaran yang dihadapi hanyalah hujan lebat di cerun curam yang letaknya hanya beberapa meter dari kawasan persinggahan Inobong. Semuanya dilaporkan berada dalam keadaan selamat di sekitar jam tiga petang. Mengimbas kembali perjalanan sepanjang empat hari ini, boleh disimpulkan ianya satu pengalaman yang mengagumkan, berbahaya serta mencabar.

Kos Penyelenggaraan untuk Laluan Garam Utama

Kos penyelenggaraan Laluan Garam utama melibatkan pembersihan laluan sepanjang 35km sekurang-kurangnya untuk tempoh sekali dalam setahun. Ini juga termasuk memperbaiki pondok dan meletak tali baru untuk menyeberang sungai dan selusur keselamatan pada cerun curam dan belokan. Taman-Taman Sabah juga perlu melatih lebih ramai pemandu dan porter yang dapat melaksanakan pelbagai tugas. Umpamanya, mampu membuat rakit buluh dan membaiki pondok dan bangku.

Berdasarkan pengalaman penyelidik, adalah perlu membina pondok rehat pada jarak yang tetap contohnya satu pondok rehat pada setiap 3km dan dua set bangku buluh yang panjang pada setiap jarak 1km. Papan tanda perlu disediakan sebagai makluman bagi memudahkan penjelajah mengenali kawasan tertentu. Apa yang lebih utama ialah menyediakan tandas bersih dan tempat untuk tidur terutamanya di Kionop, Buayan dan Terian. Mereka yang ingin terlibat dalam perkhidmatan rumah ladang perlu dilatih dan sering diingatkan tentang kebersihan peribadi dan kebersihan rumah.

Berdasarkan pemerhatian, bahan yang diperlukan untuk membina pondok rehat, bangku, tandas dan kemudahan penginapan boleh disediakan pada kos yang sangat rendah menggunakan buluh dan kayu dari hutan. Dari satu sudut, pengunjung perlu diberi pilihan untuk tinggal di rumah pelancongan desa atau tinggal di balairaya. Kos anggaran menyedia dan menyelenggara kemudahan bagi Laluan Garam antara RM2,000 ke RM5,000 bagi sebuah pondok rehat bergantung sama ada bahan diambil dari hutan atau dihantar dari luar. Jumlah keseluruhan pelaburan boleh mencecah sehingga RM60,000 bagi sepuluh buah pondok rehat baru di sepanjang laluan serta gulungan tali baru untuk selusur. Penye-lenggaraan tahunan diang-garkan sejumlah RM5,000 sekiranya dilaksanakan melalui kerjasama orang kampung dan NGO.

Jalan menghubungkan kawasan dalam Banjaran Crocker

Dengan terbinanya jalanraya menghubungkan Penampang dan Tambunan pada awal 1960-an mengakibatkan tidak lagi ramai menggunakan Laluan Garam. Wujudnya jalan yang baik, memudahkan penduduk menjalankan perniagaan dengan kenderaan bermotor. Namun, terdapat sepuluh buah atau lebih kampung di Penampang dan Tambunan berada dalam sempadan Banjaran Crocker yang masih tidak mempunyai jalanraya. Di sini, penduduk terus menggunakan laluan berkenaan untuk pergi ke jalanraya utama dan akhirnya ke pusat bandar di Tambunan dan Donggongon. Kebanyakan menjual produk pertanian mereka dan sebaliknya mendapatkan keperluan harian seperti minyak masak, minyak tanah, gula dan garam. Dalam kawasan kampung, terdapat banyak laluan singkat dan jauh menghubungkan kampung lain seperti jalan ke sawah padi dan dusun. Terdapat laluan untuk ke destinasi tertentu dan selama bertahun laluan ini telah saling terhubung serta membentuk rangkaian jalanan dalam kawasan Banjaran Crocker.

Memandangkan kebanyakan laluan ini mempunyai sejarah dan kepentingan budaya yang sama, ianya berpotensi untuk dipromosikan berdasarkan jarak dan tarikan laluan tertentu. Oleh itu, ungkapan menarik contohnya “Penjelajahan Mencabar Banjaran Crocker” amat sesuai digunakan sebagai slogan untuk promosi dalam media cetak. Usaha promosi ini boleh diselaraskan dengan keseluruhan pembangunan CRP ditambah dengan konsep tema setiap sub-stesen. Jadual 1 menyenaraikan secara ringkas beberapa laluan pejalan kaki di Banjaran Crocker.

Selain memelihara nilai sejarah, ia menawarkan peluang kepada pengunjung dan penjelajah menikmati secara langsung kekayaan eksotik flora dan fauna yang terdapat di sepanjang laluan. Cadangan penjelajahan mencabar turut boleh menjadi landasan kepada ekspedisi saintifik atau kajian bagi para penyelidik tempatan dan luar negara.

Apa yang pasti laluan garam tidak sesuai bagi mereka yang lemah semangat kerana ia memerlukan kecergasan mental dan fizikal. Ini turut menjadi penyebab kenapa laluan berkenaan kurang menerima pengunjung sejak sekian lama. Selain ketiadaan kemudahan dan kekurangan promosi, penjelajah lebih berminat menyusuri laluan pendek yang hanya memakan masa dari tiga jam ke sehari. Tambahan lagi tiada yang menyeronokkan atau tarikan ikonik di pertengahan perjalanan yakni di Buayan untuk memastikan penjelajah berminat dan bermotivasi tinggi. Walaupun beberapa media telah berkesempatan memberi sorotan tentang penderitaan penduduk kawasan ini, ia tidak mencetuskan minat seperti yang diharapkan. Selepas berbincang dengan pegawai Taman-Taman Sabah, beberapa cadangan alternatif laluan pendek di Jadual 1 dicadangkan yang diharap dapat menarik minat kedua-dua penjelajah profesional dan santai.

Orkid liar yang mengembang
Melintasi sungai berhampiran Buayan
Lereng bukit Kampung Terian

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