We flew from Jakarta to Kuala Lumpur in the peninsular part of Malaysia. After getting used the the "coolish" cloudy skies of Indonesia it took some getting used to the sun. My tan from Australia seems to be taking good care of me and I find I'm not even tanning much more and just takin my usual precautions to cover with my sarong and stay out of the sun. It's always nice to get your hit of vitamin D.
We spent a few days in KL, walking around, eating good Indian food, visiting the shops in Little China and Little India, visiting the eleven story shopping mall with an amusement park inside and going to the Batu caves. I'd say the last part was my highlight. The caves are a Hindu place of worship and have a giant gold statue at the entrance before you walk up a gajillion stairs, all the while trying to not get attacked by the macaques who have been lovingly dubbed "the mafia of the jungle". They're real a$$holes! Anywho, cave was impressive and I'm really happy I went.
Next it was off to Sepmorna in Borneo Malaysia for some world class diving in
tje Semporna Archipelago. We wanted to dive at the island of Sepidan (you can see lots of sharks here), but there was a four week waiting list and we're not that organized. We ended up doing 3 dives in a day from Sempmorna and another 6 in two days from the island of Mabul where we stayed overnight between the last two days. It really was beautiful diving and I wish I had a camera to show all the wonderful things we saw, but alas I don't. What made the biggest impression were the huge turtles that were about 1.5-2m in length, and the school of 1000+ jackfish that was swimming around us. Incredible!
After that we did a 3 day 2 night excursion in the jungle along the Kalimantan river. This was filled with boat rides along the river to find animals in the trees, and treks (day and night) through the jungle to do the same. All in all we saw an orangutan and some gibbons from far away, a ton o macaques (they're much cuter from afar when you're not afraid they're going to attack you...little a$$holes!), some monitor lizards (from the komodo dragon family), toads,
spiders, and kingfishers. The kingfishers were very shy while awake but if you found some sleeping ones at night you could go right up and take pictures, so long as you didn't move the branch.
After that we spent a night in Sepilok to go to the orangutan sanctuary. Here they rehabilitate injured or orphaned orangutan until they are fit to join the wild again. There are a series of platforms within the park where the orangutans can come for food if they'd like, or else go deeper into the jungle and live on their own. Because of this, you're not guaranteed to see any orangutans at all but we were able to see one with her baby. So nice, in complete contrast to the little a$$hole macaques that were walking along the boardwalk to the feeding platform with us. This time there was actually a dominant male that was growling and ready to attack until some man showed him who's boss. Dang monkeys!
After that we were on to Kota Kinabalu. This is the biggest city in Malaysian Borneo but not too much goes on here. We spent two nights here and did some planning for the
next week and got our laundry done. Unfortunately the water they used to wash our clothes smells worse than what we were washing out, but what can ya do? At least the mud is off I guess. On a better note KK has a night market where you can get fresh fish cooked up for you for cheap. We had some delicious fried squid and butter tiger prawns. Yum! Then it was off to Labuan Island via the ferry where we stopped on our way to Brunei. Again, not too much here either but we had some more delicious sea food and did some more planning for Brunei. After one night we were back on the ferry to Bandar Seri Begawan.
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