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Asia » Malaysia » Sabah
February 27th 2007
Published: February 27th 2007EDIT THIS ENTRY

Hello again! It's our last night on Borneo - tommorrow we head back to KL, to finish seeing Malaysia - so I thought I'd waste some valuable sleeping time bragging about what we've been up to.

Last entry we were heading off to Mulu National Park, back in Sarawak. That was actually quite cool - I was half expecting it to be a bit crap, in all honesty, but it wasn't - as it is still the rainly season (just about) there aren't too many tourists over here yet, which makes everything that little bit more relaxed.

Anyway, Mulu is home to masses of caves, most of which seem to be linked, although they havn't explored even half of them yet, apparently. There is one vast one, called Deer Cave, which is the 'biggest limestone cave maw in the world'. It was huge. And also completely stuffed with bats, and bat poo. Every night, 2-3 million bats stream out of the caves to go and hunt insects - the result of which is a 20 minute long spewing of bats from the openings in the rock as we sat below and watched them all leave. Well impressed.

The rest of the park is open to various walks and stuff, some of which is set out for tourists via walkways, and some of it is more trekking through the jungle stuff. Saw a tonnes of crazy insects and plants (including a pitcher plant, which is sort of like a venus flytrap - they allegedly only eat incects, but we found one with a dead bat in it), and got caught in many a rain storm. Once again, rain forest living up to its name. Joy.

After Mulu, we left Sarawak for Sabah, and the town of Semporna, down on the south east corner of Sabah. We went here to do some snorkling - can't do proper diving until we all do a PADI course later on in the trip.

Anyway, snorkling was amazing - the first day was great because I had never done anything like it before - went to an island which may or may not have been called Matuban (none of us can quite remember) saw a few big fish, loads of little ones, a ray, starfish etc etc. Then, the second day we headed to Sipidan. This is a pretty big deal - it's supposed to be one of the finest places in Asia, if not the world, to do reef diving. Obviously we were only snorkling again, but still, it was unreal! Dropped right into a school of about 1000 jackfish (each of which are about a foot long), and saw a white tip shark after about a minute. Also saw a whole host of massive unidentified fish, more white tips, and some grey reef sharks too; barraccudas (which look evil by the way - long thin things, massive pointy teeth) and at least 12 huge turtles. Completley knackered after the two days however - first real swimming exercise in ... ever, actually. Also, Sipidan island itself was great - a proper paradise island - white sands, blue waters, rainforest. And seriously strong sun - burnt again, I'm afraid - my skin sucks - I had SPF 40 on, reapplied every hour too. Have now bought SPF60, which I'm pretty sure is just white paint...

The following morning, we went to Sepilok, to visit a rehabilitation centre for Orangutans. Saw a whole bunch of them swinging about in trees on the edge of the reserve, and saw them fed bananas (thats right people - monkeys really DO eat bananas) before yet another rainstorm hit, drenching us and the ginger swingers - they finished their lunch and promptly buggered off into the forest, so we went to dry off and have some lunch too. Then we got a bus to Sandakan, where our flight leaves from tommorrow morning, to return to KL.

Only missed one major thing in Sabah - to climb Mt Kinibulu, but I'll just have to come back - ran out of time this time, sadly. Oh well, more mountins await elsewhere, I'm sure.


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