To my dearest friends, family and fellow culture cravers,
Last Wednesday I arrived in Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah in Borneo, Malaysia. Borneo is somewhere I have been so so excited to visit since booking this trip and so far, it has absolutely lived up to its ‘wild’ reputation.
When I arrived I was suffering from a bout of the flu so my first day was spent taking it easy, stocking up on drugs and getting my bearings in the city.
KK was a cool city, which was made all the more cooler by its incredible fresh fish food night market. Every night alongside the waterfront, KK came alive with the delicious smell of barbecued fish, fragrant seafood soups and spiced fish curries, I was in my element (although slightly annoyed by my lack of appetite, stupid flu).
After a few days recoup, I jumped on a bus to Sandakan. Most commonly visited due to its close location to Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary, I couldn’t wait to get up close and personal with these fascinating monkeys.
The Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary is home to orphaned orangutans, which are bought to the centre to be cared for before being integrated back into the wild. They live in ‘semi-wild’ conditions where they are in the jungle and can come and go as they please but, are fed and looked after by staff on occasions.
I arrived at the sanctuary just in time for feeding time. The staff at the centre feed the monkeys limited fruit twice a day. However, it is entirely up to the orangutans whether they swing their way through the jungle to the feeding platform or not. Luckily for me, they must have been rather peckish the day I visited…
Just doing his stretches…
I admired the orangutans as they swung playfully in the trees and on the ropes, stuffing bananas and other fruits into their mouths…
After Sandakan I made my way to Sukau, an area situated on the sleepy Kinabatangan River.
For 2 nights I played Dora the Explorer and camped on Maria’s (a local lady’s) river bank.
Here, I enjoyed six boat trips and a jungle trek spotting wildlife led by her very knowledgeable brother. It was one of the best experiences I’ve had since I started this travelling trip and one, which I could go on about for hours (and will do in a separate blog post).
We enjoyed sunrise cruises sipping coffee and seeking out lively monkeys and graceful (yet terrifying) crocodiles, afternoon boat trips admiring pygmy elephants and nonchalant orangutans swinging in the trees and night cruises spotting colourful kingfisher birds and elegant owls – all in the picturesque, tranquil surroundings of the river.
I have spent the past couple of days in Semporna, an area, which is world-famous for its fantastic snorkelling and diving. I spent one day snorkelling its crystal clear waters off of Mabul island before heading back towards Kota Kinabalu to hike my way through the area’s exceptional National Park.
Until next week…