Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Intrepid tour of Borneo - part 1

The first few days of our tour. We are travelling with a great bunch of Aussies, one German and one Kiwi. Two are in camera clubs and there has been lots of comparing notes. Quite a few are teachers or ex-teachers. Lots of fun.

Day 1 Kota Kinabalu

An intriguing city between the Borneo jungle and the South China Sea, Kota Kinabalu has a charm that can only be found in a frontier town.

Day 2 Mt Kinabalu

Featuring beautiful nature trails and diverse flora and fauna, Kinabalu National Park encompasses the lowland tropical forest surrounding the imposing peak of Mt Kinabalu.

Day 3 Poring Hot Springs

Warm sulphur water is piped into several open-air Japanese-style baths at Poring Hot Springs, which are said to have curative properties for the skin.

Day 4 Kinabatangan River

A small village near the mouth of the Kinabtangan River, Sukau is surrounded by protected forest reserves which contain some of Borneo's highest concentrations of wildlife.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Intrepid tour of Borneo - part 2

We had a thoroughly enjoyable trip with terrific people and a wonderful tour guide. We could not have asked for any more.

Day 5 Sandakan

The busy city of Sandakan has a strong Cantonese influence which is evident in the lively harbourside market, the many Chinese temples and the local cuisine. Well, we visited the temples and tasted the local cuisine. We also dodged the holes in the local footpaths, stepped around the rats and tried not to notice the rubbish.

Day 6 Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary

Set in lush tropical rainforest, the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre was established to prepare domesticated or orphaned orangutans to return to the wild. What a very special place to visit! We also visited the Proboscis monkeys - what characters they are!

Days 7-8 Manukan Island

One of the larger islands in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine National Park, Manukan Island is beautiful place to explore, snorkel with tropical fish or simply kick back and relax. And that's exactly what we did. The reef and fish were very special. It is such a pity that the place is so littered with rubbish. The Malay just don't seem to get the whole 'put the rubbish in the bin' concept.

Days 9-10 Kota Kinabalu

Sabah's historic capital. The end of our trip. Rather sad! We had time to wander around and explore a little before heading to the airport. After following our tour guide's instructions for ten days and not having to think about anything other than not leaving our belongings on the bus, we were not quite in the right head space. We discovered that we were a day too early!! We managed to get tickets on a flight that evening- and payed to travel business class - that was a first!