Published: Friday September 14, 2012 MYT 9:08:00 PM
Updated: Friday September 14, 2012 MYT 10:58:35 PM
William, Kate arrive in Sabah to traditional welcome
KOTA KINABALU: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, arrived here Friday and were greeted by a traditional welcome of the rhythmic beating of tonggungak or bamboo percussion instruments.
The special aircraft carrying the royal couple touched down at 7.50pm at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport.
Adding colour to their welcome were some 20 youths dressed in traditional costumes of Sabah's indigenous communities, each holding a bunga manggar.
Scores of people waited anxiously outside the fenced area of the airport to get a glimpse of the royal couple despite a brief downpour.
The couple were later driven to the Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Beach Resort where they were treated to a reception hosted by the Sabah state government.
The couple will fly via helicopter to Danum Valley in Sabah's east coast on Saturday where they will walk in one of the world's oldest rainforest dating back some 130 million years.
They will attend a briefing by scientists who have been carrying a variety of programmes at the 438 sq km conservation area that is about twice the size of Penang island.
Among the ongoing research are studies on the hydrological and geomorphological aspects of Danum, climate monitoring as well as those related to forest dynamics.
Many of the research programmes dating back to 1984 are being carried out under the Royal Society's South East Asia Rainforest Research Programme (SEARRP).
The couple will also be crossing Danum's famed canopy walkway.
Malaysia is the royal couple's second destination after Singapore on their nine-day tour of the Far East as representatives of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in conjunction with the celebration to mark the 60-year reign of the Queen of England.