Listen in English:

Listen in Cantonese:

Listen in Mandarin:


How did this story make you feel?

Please choose one

This is how other readers felt

Plus 6938 others

Share this story:

Internet safety:

Share your work

The Dragon of Kinabalu

The Dragon of Kinabalu
Find out more
about the contributors

The Dragon of Kinabalu

A Chinese Story by Lisa Conway

Towards the end of the fourteenth century, China had begun to trade with many surrounding countries. Large fleets of ships set sail and brought back treasures from all over the globe.

Laden with gifts from the Ming Emperor, the Chinese made a powerful and favourable impression upon the rulers of surrounding countries.

Between 1405 and 1431, Admiral Cheng Ho made several voyages between China and the Indian Ocean. It was during one such voyage that Cheng Ho visited Borneo and learned of the fierce dragon that lived on top of a high mountain. The dragon was said to be the guardian of a very precious pink pearl.

When he returned to China, Cheng Ho told the Emperor about the Dragon of Kinabalu and the precious pink pearl.  It was said that the dragon was very clever, and that many people had tried to steal the pearl but none had succeeded.  The mountain itself was very high, and the dragon lived right at the top way above the clouds.

The Emperor met with all of his courtiers to discuss how they might solve the problem of obtaining the pink pearl. They studied all of the information supplied by Admiral Cheng Ho and eventually a fleet of more than 10 ships set sail on the dangerous quest.

On board one of the ships were the Emperor’s two sons, Wee Ping and his younger brother Wee San. The brothers waved goodbye to their homeland and made for Borneo.

When the ships finally anchored off the coast of Sabah, the soldiers headed for shore using smaller boats.

They looked splendid in their uniforms of reddish-brown baggy trousers, brown boots and dark green shirts with frilly collars.  Around their waists they wore bright green sashes, and each carried a heavy metal spear and wore a protective metal hat with a large brim.

There were also foot soldiers with bows and arrows who wore special armour to protect the upper part of their body.  All of the soldiers marched up the long, winding road to the summit of Mount Kinabalu on their quest to steal the pink pearl from the dragon.

From his lair atop the mountain, the dragon watched as the soldiers made their way towards him. ‘What a strange sight,’ he thought. ‘These men think that they can simply march up the mountain and take my precious pink pearl!’

Just as the soldiers marched over the final crest towards the summit of the mountain, the dragon drew in a very deep breath. The soldiers could not believe their eyes when the creature appeared before them. It had a huge purple and blue and green body, huge red and black eyes, and deep maroon talons as long as swords!

Before the soldiers knew what was happening, a great wall of fire shot out from the dragon’s mouth and threatened to burn them all! They turned immediately and ran back down the mountainside, not wanting to be consumed by the flames.

The following day, Wee Ping and Wee San decided to accompany the soldiers to the top of the mountain, but the same thing happened once again: the fierce dragon appeared from out of nowhere, breathing a wall of fire that forced the soldiers back towards the small boats waiting in the harbour below.

Upon seeing the soldiers retreat is such haste, the dragon sat comfortably in his lair on top of the mountain and smiled to himself.

That evening, Wee Ping and Wee San tried to think of a way to outwit the dragon. ‘Surely’, thought Wee San, ‘there must be a time when the dragon leaves his mountaintop home in search of food?’

Wee San spent a very long time observing the surrounding countryside, and the following day he decided to climb a nearby mountain to see if he might get a better look at the dragon.

After climbing for some time, Wee San found himself walking through misty clouds that whirled about him.  Eventually the clouds parted and he could see a large group of trees at the summit. The trees were very old with thick trunks and good sturdy branches. Their leaves protected Wee San from being seen by the Dragon who was sitting in his lair on top of Mount Kinabalu.  The Dragon was looking below to see if any soldiers dared to approach his lair and try to steal his pearl.

After many hours, the dragon seemed to get restless. He got up from his vantage point and stretched his powerful legs. When he was satisfied there was no one around, he strolled away in search of food, leaving the pink pearl unguarded.

Wee San looked at the position of the sun in the sky so that he might be able to tell how long the dragon was away from his lair.  He hoped that it would be enough time for the soldiers to march up the mountain the following day and steal the precious pearl while the dragon was searching for food once more.

This idea was quashed very quickly, when suddenly the dragon appeared on the opposite mountaintop.

‘He could not have been away from his lair for more that a couple of hours,’ thought Wee San.

Disappointed, he climbed down from his position in the tree and made his way back to the soldiers in the harbour. But he decided to return the following day to check if the dragon always went in search of food at the same time.

Wee San climbed the same mountain for the next two days, always hiding in the trees so that he might spy on the dragon.  In this way he learned that the dragon did indeed go in search of food at the same time, and that he was always away from his lair for a few hours each time. But this information did not bring any solace to Wee San who knew that his soldiers could not climb Mount Kinabalu in just a few hours.

At that moment, a leaf from a nearby branch floated past Wee San and was carried on a gentle breeze towards the dragon sitting on top of Mount Kinabalu. This gave Wee San an idea, and so the young prince hurried back down the mountainside to talk to the kite-makers who lived in the village below.

He asked them to make a very large kite with sails and a small platform at its base. He also instructed the kite makers to attach a long rope so that the kite might be guided from the ground once launched.   

The following day, Wee San and a small group of soldiers climbed the mountain towards the trees above, there they hid themselves and spied on the dragon atop Mount Kinabalu. 

As soon as the dragon left his lair in search of food, Wee San stepped aboard the small platform fixed to the kite and the soldiers launched him into the air above.

The gentle winds carried Wee San and the kite towards the dragon’s lair on top of the neighbouring mountain, while the soldiers, far below, helped to guide the kite with the rope.

Wee San was soon floating above the dragon’s lair. When he was close enough, he reached down and took the pink pearl, replacing it with a pink Chinese lantern in the hopes of fooling the fierce dragon.

The soldiers pulled on the rope and the kite sailed back across the skies towards the safety of the trees. 

As soon as he landed back on the mountaintop, Wee San and his soldiers returned to the boats in the harbour. Together with his older brother Wee Ping, they rowed out to their great ships and set sail for home.

The fleet was not far from shore when they heard the most terrible, thundering roar!

The dragon had not been fooled by the Chinese lantern and was crashing down the mountainside towards the sea.  He was very angry; his eyes flared red and his long talons sliced through the trees at his feet.  His teeth flashed in his huge mouth; his scales flashed in the sunlight all blues and angry purples.  The dragon wanted to burn the ships and sink them to the bottom of the sea.

The fleet of ships were some distance from the shore but the dragon leapt into the water in pursuit.

Wee San was ready for such an attack and ordered his soldiers to load the ship’s cannon. A single shot was fired towards the dragon just as he reared up from the waves, ready to unleash his deadly flames upon the fleet of ships.

The dragon saw the round, fiery object coming towards him and mistook it for his precious pink pearl. He thought the soldiers had relented and were returning what they had stolen from him, so he opened his mouth to catch it.

The dragon caught the red-hot cannonball in his mouth and was killed immediately, sinking below the waves to the bottom of the ocean without a trace.  The soldiers cheered for Wee San who had saved them all and obtained for the emperor the precious pink pearl.

During the voyage back to China, Wee Ping grew jealous of his younger brother’s victory.  Although he did not show it, he did not like how the soldiers admired his brother, or how they talked of his bravery and cunning. It was during these long nights hiding in his cabin, Wee Ping decided he would like to keep the pearl for himself and not share the victory with his brave younger brother. Wee Ping knew that his father would be unlikely to let him have the pearl once he heard about his brother’s bravery and cunning, so he hatched a plan to claim the victory for himself. 

Eventually the fleet arrived back home and Wee Ping and Wee San visited their father in order to present him with the precious pink pearl.

Just as Wee San was about to offer his father the pearl, Wee Ping stepped forward and claimed that it was he who had the idea to build a kite, and that it was he who had outwitted and killed the fierce dragon.

Wee San was very disappointed in his older brother, but he did not reveal the truth to his father as he did not wish to cause any trouble for the emperor.  Instead, he returned to his ship in the harbour and set sail during the north-east monsoon.

Wee San allowed his ship to follow the winds because he did not care where they took him.  So once again the winds returned Wee San’s ship to the island where it came to rest at the mouth of the river Brunei.

When the Sultan learned of Wee San’s arrival, he sent his brother to welcome him. Gifts were exchanged, as was the custom of the time, and Wee San was made to feel very much at home.

Wee San became great friends with the Sultan and eventually asked permission to marry his daughter. The Sultan quickly consented because he had grown to love and respect Wee San.

The wedding day was a great celebration with much music and feasting.

Over the years, the Sultan became more and more aware of his son-in-law’s wisdom and courage. He felt that he could trust him with the future of the country and so he decided that when he died, Wee San - The Slayer of the Dragon of Kinabalu - would become the next Sultan of Brunei.

Wee San was honest in all of his dealings, and this honesty brought him happiness and respect. But his brother, Wee Ping, only brought sadness upon himself because of his lies and deceit.

The Dragon of Kinabalu
Find out more
about the contributors

The Dragon of Kinabalu

A Chinese Story by Lisa Conway



在十四世紀末期, 中國已經開始和鄰近國家進行貿易. 龐大的航行艦隊出海遠航, 並從世界各地帶回來珍貴的寶物. 由於船上載滿了明朝皇帝送給各個國家的禮物, 使她們都對中國留下了良好而深刻的印象.


在 1405 至 1431 年間, 當時的海軍總司令鄭和曾經數次來往中國與印度洋. 有一次, 他途徑婆羅洲, 聽聞有一條巨龍住在當地的高山上, 守護着一顆非常罕見的粉紅珍珠.


當鄭和回到中國後, 他把京那巴魯山的巨龍和On the way珍珠的事告訴皇帝. 聽說巨龍很聰明, 加上京那巴魯山十分高, 而巨龍又住在遠高於雲層的山頂上, 這令很多嘗試偷珍珠的人都不成功.


於是, 皇帝召集所有大臣們相議如何奪取那顆粉紅珍珠. 他們仔細研究鄭和提供的線索後, 最後決定派出一支由十多隻船組成的艦隊, 展開這次危險的旅程. 皇帝亦派出他的兩位兒子 – 王平和王善參與這次航行, 兩位王子揮手告別故鄉以後, 上船出發尋寶之旅.


當船抵達沙巴後, 船上的士兵放下小艇, 划艇上岸.  他們穿著寬鬆的紅啡色長褲, 深啡色的靴子, 暗綠色有褶領的上衣; 腰間還系著綠色的腰帶.  此外, 他們肩上掛著一支用重金做成的長矛, 頭上帶著堅固的頭盔.  至於步兵則穿著特別的盔甲, 配備弓和箭.  他們穿着軍服, 看起來十分威風凜凜.  為了奪取珍珠, 所有士兵沿著又長又曲折的小路, 往京那巴魯山山頂去.


這時候, 巨龍在它的巢穴裏看到這一切, 它心想: “真是奇怪, 這些人以為他們這麼容易就能上山拿我寶貴的珍珠嗎?”


正當士兵們快要走到山峰時, 巨龍突然出現並深呼吸一口氣, 士兵們簡直沒法相信他們眼前的景象: 巨龍有着一雙紅黑色的大眼睛, 身體由紫, 藍, 綠三種顏色組成, 而紅色的爪則好像劍一樣鋒利!


士兵們還沒回過神來, 巨龍便張口噴火, 像是要把士兵燒成灰燼!  他們立即轉身跑下山, 找地方避開火焰.


第二天, 王平和王善決定跟隨士兵一起前往山峰, 但是同樣的事情又發生了: 那條憤怒的巨龍突然出現, 噴出一道火牆, 逼使士兵退回到停泊在港口的小艇內.  見到士兵那麼匆忙地撤退後, 巨龍舒舒服服的坐回巢中, 得意的笑了.


那天晚上, 王平和王善努力的嘗試找出制服巨龍的方法.  王善心想:”巨龍應該會每天離開它的巢找食物吧?”


於是, 王善花了很長時間觀察周圍的地形, 第二天他就決定登上一座附近的山, 近距離觀察巨龍.  登山途中, 王善發現自己被迷濛的雲層包圍, 後來雲層散了後, 他看見山頂上居然有一大片森林!  那些老樹木樹幹很粗, 樹枝也很堅固, 而樹葉則長的很茂盛, 剛好可以將王善隱藏起來, 令京那巴魯山上的巨龍看不到他.  這時候, 巨龍正在望向山下, 看看是否有士兵想偷它的珍珠.


過了幾個小時, 巨龍開始覺得不耐煩了.  它站起來舒展筋骨, 在確定周圍沒有人想偷它的珍珠後, 它便出去覓食了.


王善看了看太陽在天上的位置, 藉此計算巨龍離巢的時間.  他希望第二天巨龍離巢時, 士兵會有足夠的時間走上山頂偷取珍珠.  但是, 這個想法很快就被打消了, 因為巨龍過了一會就回到山頂的巢穴.  王善心想: “它絕不會離巢超過數個小時呢!”  王善失望的走下山, 回到港口的兵營.  不過, 他決定第二天再回去看看巨龍是否在同一段時間出外覓食.


接下來的兩天裏, 王善繼續爬上附近的山頂, 隱藏在樹林裏監視巨龍.  他漸漸知道巨龍每天都在同一時間出去覓食, 一去就是數個小時.  可是這一項發現並沒有使王善覺得特別興奮, 因為他的士兵並不能在數個小時內爬上京那巴魯山.


這時候, 一片樹葉在王善的頭上飄過, 然後隨著微風飄往京那巴魯山去.  王善靈機一觸, 想出一個好主意來.  他趕快奔下山, 尋找村莊裏會做風箏的人.  王善請他們做一隻巨型的風箏, 風箏上要有帆, 底部還要有一個小平台.  王善又請他們為風箏綁上一條長長的繩子, 等風箏飛上天后, 地上的人可以拉著繩控制風箏.


第二天, 王善帶著一小隊士兵走往山上的樹林, 他們把自己隱藏在樹林裏, 以方便監視巨龍.  當巨龍離開它的巢穴去覓食時, 王善立即踏進風箏, 然後士兵們便把風箏放上天空.  王善和風箏隨著微風飄往京那巴魯山上巨龍的巢穴處, 而士兵們則控制着風箏.


不久後, 王善終於來到巨龍巢穴的上方, 他彎下身體, 拿起那顆粉紅珍珠, 再放下一個粉紅色的中國燈籠, 希望矇騙巨龍.  接著, 士兵們用力收回繩子, 風箏便飛過天空, 降落在樹林裏.  當王善安全降落後, 他帶領著士兵飛快地回到停泊在港口的小艇上, 會合他的哥哥王平, 一起划艇回到軍艦上, 啟程回航.


過了不久, 士兵們聽到一聲非常恐怖, 像雷聲一樣的咆哮!  巨龍並沒用被那個紅色燈籠矇騙, 一路下山追到海上來.  它非常憤怒, 兩眼同紅, 又長又尖的爪子把沿途的樹木切開; 它張開口露出顯眼的牙齒, 身上的鱗片在日光的反射下呈現出藍紫色.  巨龍生氣的想把軍船燒了, 把他們都葬在海底.  雖然軍隊已遠離岸邊, 但巨龍仍然跳進水中追趕他們.


王善已經準備好迎接巨龍的攻擊, 他立即命令士兵發射大砲, 這時候, 巨龍從水中飛上來, 準備向軍艦噴火! 當它看見大砲射出又圓又亮的東西時, 以為那就是它那顆粉紅色的珍珠.  它認為士兵們終於心虛, 現在要把珍珠還給它, 於是它張開口要接珍珠.


巨龍接到的當然是又熱又致命的砲彈了! 它立即跌進海裏, 毫無蹤影.  船上的士兵全體為王善歡呼, 因為他不僅就救了他們的生命, 還成功奪了珍珠.


在回中國的路程上, 王平見人人都誇讚王善勇敢和機智, 便開始妒忌他弟弟, 但他並沒有表現出來.  一個晚上, 王平躲在自己的船艙裏, 決定獨占珍珠並奪取弟弟偷粉紅珍珠的功勞.  王平知道一旦父親得知弟弟的機智和勇敢, 一定不會讓自己獨占珍珠的, 所以他暗自想了一個計謀.


軍艦返回中國後, 王平和王善帶着珍珠入宮晉見他們的父皇.  王善正要呈上珍珠時, 王平立即上前稱是他想出奪取珍珠的辦法和擊敗巨龍的. 


王善對他的哥哥感到非常失望, 但他並沒有告訴他父皇真相, 因為他不想為父皇帶來任何麻煩.  相反, 他回到停在海港的船上再次起航.  他任由船隻隨風前進, 因為他不在乎去甚麼地方.  微風再一次把船帶到婆羅洲, 停泊在汶萊.


當國王聽到王善的到訪, 他派自己的弟弟去迎接他.  根據一貫的習俗, 他們交換禮物, 而國王對王善很好, 使他覺得很像回到家裏一樣.


王善和汶萊的國王成為了好朋友, 當他向國王提出迎娶公主後, 國王很快就答應, 因為他很喜歡並敬佩王善.  他們舉辦了一場非常盛大的婚禮, 有很多歌舞表演和美酒佳肴, 舉國慶祝!


之後, 國王越來越欣賞王善的機智和勇敢, 他覺得他能把國家交給王善打理.  於是國王決定在他去世以後, 王善將會成為新的國王.


王善在任何事上都很誠實, 這份誠實為他帶來快樂和尊重; 但是他哥哥王平的滿口謊言, 只為他帶來一個不開心的生活.

The Dragon of Kinabalu
Find out more
about the contributors

The Dragon of Kinabalu

A Chinese Story by Lisa Conway





On the way于是,明皇帝召集大臣们商议夺取宝珠的办法。 在仔细地研究了郑和提供的线索之后,皇帝派遣了一支舰队去探寻龙珠。皇帝的两个儿子,黄平和黄善也参加了这次远航。两位王子向祖国挥手告别后,便起航前往婆罗洲。

当船抵达沙巴洲后,士兵们便划着小船上了岸。 他们身穿制服,看上去是那么光彩照人:墨绿色的上衣,压褶的衣领,褐色的灯笼裤,棕色的皮靴。每人的腰上均系着鲜绿色的腰带,肩上挂着长矛,头戴坚实的头盔。 步兵们均配备弓箭,身穿盔甲。






第二天,黄善花了很长的时间观察村落周边的地形,他决定登上附近的另一座山,看看是否能更好地观察巨龙。攀登途中,黄善起初发现自己总是被迷雾围困,当云雾散开后,他才发现原来山顶上有一大片树林。 这些老树的树干很粗壮而且枝干也很结实,繁茂的树叶恰好可以将自己隐藏起来。这样,住在京那巴鲁山上的巨龙就看不到他了。此刻,巨龙仍在观察山下是否有士兵想上山盗取宝珠。数小时以后,巨龙也变得不耐烦了。它起身舒展筋骨,确定四周无人后便出去觅食了,而那颗粉色的龙珠也失去了看守。黄善看了看太阳在天上的位置,计算了一下巨龙离巢的时间。他多么希望明天趁巨龙离巢觅食的时候,士兵们能有足够的时间上山盗取龙珠。但这个念头很快就被打消了,因为巨龙不一会儿就回到山顶的巢穴。黄善寻思着:“它离巢的时间才不到几个小时。”失望之余,他只得下山回到港口。但是,他决定明天继续观察巨龙是否总是在当天同一时间觅食。









黄善刚正不阿的品行给他带来欢乐与尊敬, 而哥哥黄平的谎言和欺瞒最终只能造成伤痛。

Other Cantonese and Mandarin Stories

The Farmer and the Cow

The Farmer and the Cow

Language: English/Cantonese/Mandarin  Origin: China

Once upon a time, there was a farmer called Ah Niu.  Ah Niu was not a rich farmer but he was very happy...

Enjoy this story in: English Cantonese Mandarin

The Island of the Sun

The Island of the Sun

Language: English/Cantonese/Mandarin  Origin: China

There was once a farmer who had two sons. The older son was selfish and greedy, while the younger son was kind and generous...

Enjoy this story in: English Cantonese Mandarin

The Lady Who Lives On The Moon

The Lady Who Lives On The Moon

Language: English/Cantonese/Mandarin  Origin: China

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful warrior called Chang’e who was married to a brave and strong archer named Houyi...

Enjoy this story in: English Cantonese Mandarin

Li and Gao

Li and Gao

Language: English/Cantonese/Mandarin  Origin: China

Li was a foolish neighbour. But one day, in the gambling house, Li won three hundred yuan...

Enjoy this story in: English Cantonese Mandarin

See more: 1 2

View All

Your World

Please send us stories, pictures, poems and responses. We’ll display your work in our World Stories Gallery. Enter our national writing and art competitions. Win certificates and prizes.