Responsible Tourism - MESCOT’s Do’s & Don’tsKinabatangan, Sabah, Malaysian BorneoOne of our main hopes is that the cultural experience enjoyed by visitors, and our families today, will remain the same for future visitors, and our children alike.In the face of all the impacts on our culture from the outside world, we do hope that by working together with visitors, on this simple, self imposed, “code of conduct”, that we can maintain as much as possible of our local traditions and customs, for our future generations.Acceptance of these qualities is not only a way of making friends easily, and learning more during your stay, but is very much appreciated, and very highly respected... Here below are some suggested tips to ensure that visitors know the very basics of what they should do to fit in and enjoy their stay in either the homestay, eco-camp and the community of their host.
Act Appropriately:•Eating is done with the right hand. •Right hand is used to accept money (change), pass things, when shaking-hands, and waving.•Sitting with legs outstretched in-front is highly inappropriate (good to practice sitting cross-legged before coming to the village).•Batu Puteh Village and Miso Walai Homestays are dry (no-alcohol); it is considered highly inappropriate to suggest (or bring) alcoholic beverages. •Shoes should never be worn in a house (and rarely even on the veranda). Best leave shoes untied, to ease taking them on-and-off before entering houses.
Dress Appropriately:•T-shirt is a minimum and all clothing should as minimum cover knees and shoulders.•Skirts that expose the legs while sitting are not appropriate, especially not easy given that most sitting is on the floor.•Long Bermuda shorts are considered acceptable.•Local dress (traditional costume) is favourable and can be worn by visitors if offered•Sarong (wrap around cloth) while bathing is a unique experience and a must.•Walking to-and-from, and while, bathing should be done clothed or in a sarong (short wrap-around or towels are not acceptable)
•Always greet the head of the homestay and tell them if you are going out at all (and before leaving). Handshake is held in high regard so greetings are most appropriate with a handshake (also in farewell).•Sweets should never be given to children, and medicine should never be given to people who claim to be ill.•Money (tips) is not appropriate and gift-giving is not encouraged as it causes inequality, it can embarrass the receiver.•Inappropriate to discuss religion, politics, and controversial world affairs (just ignore politely)•Visitors should never enter a mosque.