Blogs from Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia, Asia


Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sandakan September 23rd 2013

Monday 23rd Up early and managed to catch the 8.30 bus to Ranau along the road from Mount Kinabalu towards Sandakan. We find an hotel and leave our things and try and get a shared mini bus up to the sulphur hot springs at Poring. There's no one to share with and we don't want to wait until enough people turn up to fill the bus, so we hire the whole bus for our selves for 30 ringgits. (£6). Poring is a small place and really only important because of the hot springs built by the Japanese during the war. We take a walk around and see the Botanical Gardens, not very impressive. It would help if they actually finished it ! We then have another canopy walk 25 m above ground with good views over ... read more
Proboscis monkey
Another Proboscis monkey

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sandakan August 27th 2013

Borneo Sabah Sandaken Leaving Geelong and the rain drizzles down like the Aussie dollar and the wind blusters on like the election campaign. The Tulla terminal corrals us into impatient queues until the Air Asia midnight flight departs at 1am. On the road once more. Waiting in airports! Four hours to kill in Kuala Limpur where the local time is two hours behind my circadian rhythm. The iPad tries to iron time flat with diversions. The Starbucks coffee is its usual awful self, but at least I can get a wifi signal. Brightly coloured hi jabs float about us and AirAsia charges 20ringit to issue our boarding passes and I know I am back in Malaysia. Eventually we board out onward flight. Sandakan is unusually hot at 36 degrees and humid. As I load my case ... read more

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sandakan April 28th 2013

Angekommen in Kota Kinabalu, der „Hauptstadt“ Borneos, geht es auch schon bald weiter nach Sandakan, an der Ostküste. Das Städtchen an sich ist überhaupt nicht zu empfehlen...wir kommen spät abends an und es sieht erst mal nach totalem Ghetto aus...die ganzen Strassen sind mit Rolläden verbarrikadiert, es stapelt sich der Müll überall auf den Strassen (ein Anblick, den wir leider zu oft sehen hier auf Borneo) und überhaupt kommt man sich etwas unsicher vor. Wir nehmen also unser erstes Chicken Curry ein. Ich erwähne dies hier nur, weil wir in der darauffolgender Woche NUR Chicken Curry hatten und das will nicht heissen, dass es besonders gut war, denn in manchen KLUMPEN, welche uns als Chicken verkauft wurden, konnte man selbst mit der Lupe vor lauter Knochen und Knorpel kein Fleisch finden...aber was willst du machen?!? Es ... read more
Eingang zum Orangutan Center

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sandakan February 11th 2013

Just arrived in Kota Kinabalu, which on the surface looks far more developed than Sandakan. Had a really good trip yesterday evening. Faezal, the concierge supervisor doubles up as a freelance tour guide. For a fraction of the organised trips price we ventured over to Tanjung Aru island with our very own boatman. Down the river, laced with mangroves on either side we saw proboscis monkeys, monitor lizards and several varieties of kingfisher. Following this the very heavy rain set in and we stopped at the boatman's house, built himself from mangrove trees. He shares the very big house on the river with four generations of family and his wife had prepared high tea, which consisted of sweet black tea and salted shrimp balls. Their hospitality was amazing.The lightening struck and the rain poured down. Intermittently ... read more
Tanjung Aru
Another species of kingfisher
"The White House" of Tanjung Aru

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sandakan February 9th 2013

Just back from Selingan turtle island. A truly wonderful experience. Seeing really is believing. After setting out early morning yesterday we arrived at Selingan island, the second largest of a cluster of three turtle islands, only 8 hectares in total, protected for the sole purpose of conservation and preservation of turtles in the area. The accommodation and food were pretty basic, but lets face it we weren't expecting 5 star accommodation. In fact, the only thing we were all interested in was seeing a turtle or two. Anything else was a bonus. The place is littered with monitor lizards hoping for a light snack of turtle, but the turtles/eggs are well protected in the hatchery until time of release (Approx 60 days) until they reach the surface. In amongst a Saga group of holiday makers and ... read more
Ants nest
Turtle measurements


Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sandakan February 7th 2013

Waiting, we are always waiting for something when we travel. We wait for buses, trains, planes and boats, we wait at airports, trains stations, bus terminals and boat docks, we wait for our food, we wait to check in to our hotel, we wait for our friends or fellow travel mates, we wait at a stall, we wait at a bank, we wait for a drink, we wait at the supermarket counter, at the travel agent, we wait for our visa’s and then at the borders, in short, half the time we travel we spend waiting. Waiting is what brings balance to our travelling, because as we all know, life is about checks and balances, ups and downs, yin and yang. I have been doing a lot of waiting lately. In this particular case I have ... read more
Kota Kinabalu
Kota Kinabalu
Kota Kinabalu

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sandakan February 6th 2013

I have smiled so much in the last three days that my cheeks are aching. Tonight I sampled some more of the local cuisine - mainly seafood! On recommendation I visited Sim Sim floating seafood restaurant, surrounded by houses on stilts - the left restaurant. At the restaurant entrance I was met with so many boxes, each with fresh seafood, it seemed as though it might be impossible to choose. It was very simple - just look and pick what you fancy. I opted for white clams with ginger and spring onion and Kloap Sotong ( roughly translated as squid in soya sauce and chilli) - turned out to be the speciality of the house. It was some of the freshest seafood I have tasted in a very long time. Following my meal I met the ... read more
Fresh fish on offer
Squid with chilli and soya sauce
Giant white clams with ginger and spring onion

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sandakan February 3rd 2013

The good news is my case finally arrived, so I do not have to wear my jeans for four weeks! Sandakan is a captivating town with its very own charm, people and delicious foodstuffs. They cannot do enough to help. Travelling alone in this respect can be advantageous, osmosing (is that a word) all the help and advice given. Formerly the capital of Sabah, it embraces so much culture with a predominant Chinese influence. It is truly a bustling town with merchandise spilling out into the streets, interrupted by restaurants and hawkers stalls galore. My morning started with breakfast at Sandakan central market, known as tamu (on sundays) in Sandakan - where locals crowd to savour Malay or Chinese food. Plenty of bargain clothes, trinkets, exotic foods and most of all the largest and most amazing ... read more
Sandakan central market
Kueh Teow with deep fried pork
Oodles of dried shrimp

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sandakan February 2nd 2013

After 17 hours of flights I finally arrive in Sandakan, albeit without my case following me! Just one of life's little challenges. The good news is it has been found and with the kind help of airport staff and concierge will hopefully arrive in the morning. Not letting a small thing like luggage stand in the way - I have headed out into the warm air, lovely sea breeze and treating myself to a drink and some Malaysian seafood before heading to rest my weary body.... read more

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sandakan January 27th 2013

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Orang-utans at Sepilok
Orang-utans at Sepilok
Orang-utans at Sepilok

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