Blogs from Kinabatangan, Sabah, Malaysia, Asia


Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Kinabatangan February 19th 2014

Having dropped off Amana at her departure terminal(who incidentally passed backpacker bootcamp with honors) we boarded a plane to Kota Kinabalu (kk). We were starving at the airport and having seen the amazing food on offer outside our departure terminal we thought we may be getting a culinary treat (i.e mc Donald's) once we had checked in-no such luck, we made do with a packet of crisps and a snack on the plane. Kk is the main city in Borneo and we were flying here for two reasons 1) to spend some time with my mum and dad (caz and col) who very nicely had decided to come and see us whilst we were away and also 2) to go and meet/see some oraguatans. After a reasonable wait at immigration (not sure why we needed another ... read more
Its a hard life for an Orangutan
Good skills - Yoga and banana eating combined
Baby Orangutan at the rehabilitation centre

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Kinabatangan February 12th 2014

While traipsing through ankle high mud fighting leeches in the Bornean rainforest we turned to each other and laughed "We're traipsing through ankle high mud fighting leeches in the Bornean rainforest!" Just the name of this island evokes images of adventure and exploration. Matt's book of choice for this trip was Alfred Russel Wallace's The Malay Archipelago in which he writes about his collecting trips to the islands that now make up New Guinea, Malaysia and Indonesia. He spent a lot of time observing and collecting the orangutans of Borneo. As has become part of our ritual before a safari we listed our hopes to one another: I wanted to see orangutans and pygmy elephants while Matt was keen on proboscis monkeys. Matt's friend Shane had been on a safari on the ... read more
Kinabalu River
Proboscis Monkey

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Kinabatangan January 6th 2014

After starting my holiday vacation out with a few days in Melbourne (see "The Great Ocean Road" for background), I fly to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia (on the island of Borneo) to meet up with Nimarta, who is already there and has been there for a few days now. We are staying with one of her friends from college, Alex, who happens to live right by the airport so it's quite convenient. They meet me at the airport and I hop in his truck, because everyone in Malaysia drives a pickup truck. It's about 10:00 at night, so it's late, but not to worry. Restaurants in Malaysia are open all night. We roll into a little seafood joint and it's packed with people eating dinner, or whatever you call a 10:00 meal. Nimarta had caught a fish ... read more

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Kinabatangan July 5th 2013

The trip route from the last write-up: BALI: Ubud > Balanagan Beach > Ulu Watu > MALAYSIA: Kuala Lumpur > Kota Bharu > Perhentian Islands > Kuala Lumpur > BORNEO: Sandakan > Kinabatangan River > Sepilok > MALAYSIA: Kuala Lumpur So a lot has happened since the last blog. We have traveled quite a bit and seen some pretty insane stuff that we wont soon forget. From Ubud, which is an amazing little artsy town in the Bali jungle, surrounded by rice fields and temples, we went in search of beach and ended up in the surfer cove of Balangan beach, which turned out to be amazing! Spent time drinking beers on the beach watching surfers ride hollow tubes and double overheads, insane waves that would no doubt slaughter us if we tried to surf there. ... read more
Pygmy Elephant Swimming
Jetty at Perhentian Besar
closeup probiscus

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Kinabatangan May 3rd 2013

It was a couple more hours by bus and share taxi in a bit of a large U-turn, before I arrived at Kampong Sukau. And this really was a kampong (village). I mean, I've been in some small towns in the course of my travels, but you could almost count the number of huts here, and of course, just one (narrow) road running through the place. There are a few lodges/ B&Bs here for tourists like me, but in the main town area, there was one restaurant (which was empty), a school, and two provision shops. Remarkably, there's an internet cafe too though, jam-packed with school-kids playing LAN games. Can you blame them? So why was I here? Situated along the River Kinabatangan, Sukau is one of the natural places from which to explore the wildlife ... read more
Borneo Birds in Flight
Kampong Sukau
Sungei Kinabatangan

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Kinabatangan August 3rd 2012

From Siem Reap we flew to Borneo (via KL again!) for two weeks. We arrived in Kota Kinabalu (or KK for short) in the evening and spent two nights there before going to Mount Kinabalu. There are a few islands scattered off the coast of KK, only a short boat ride from the jetty, with great beaches and snorkelling. We spent the first day there, having craved the beach for a while. The snorkelling was a little disappointing, with hardly any coral, and only a few parrot fish, but the beach was nice and the islands are so small it was nice to be on a little piece of paradise - although full of locals enjoying their weekend. We did find a reasonable snorkelling patch later in the day, so decided to come back and search ... read more

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Kinabatangan July 17th 2012

Kota Kinabalu & Sepilok & Sukau & Sandakan The flight to Kota Kinabalu was nice and smooth and we were really amazed by standards offered by Air Asia. We were more or less expecting Ryaner kind of experience so that was a nice surprise. As it was late in the evening we had no other choice but take a taxi to the centre (30 RMB/10$) and as usual we embarked on a hostel search. We finally settled for less nice but more affordable Sunset Lodge (40RMB/13$ for basic room with shared bathroom). We were so tired that we just did a quick stop at the food market and went to bed. We did not want to stay long in KK ... read more
escaping KK
exclusive photos just for us
can you spot Gosia?

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Kinabatangan July 1st 2012

To get to the Nature Lodge in Bilit on the Sungai (river) Kinabatangan we had to get a taxi at 6am from Kota Kinabalu to ensure we got to the bus station early enough to get tickets for the 7am bus to Tawau. An American guy, Colin sat near us and was quick to ask if we were going to the Lodge too. We figured the 3 English girls that got on were also heading there. The journey took 5 hrs 30 and we had a spectacular view of Mt Kinabalu. As we weaved our way up to the National Park's entrance gates the view into the distance was exactly how you'd expect Borneo to look - layers upon layers of mountainous ridges covered in thick jungle. The hour and a half we spent going over ... read more
Photo 11
Photo 12
Photo 20

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Kinabatangan February 22nd 2012

A fair portion of our time in any foreign land is spent seeking out experiences that can’t be enjoyed back home. Strange food and drink; different cultures; warm water for swimming and diving; ancient temples and monuments; bizarre vegetation and not least, animals that are either rare, or scare. Scientists and wildlife photographers dedicate their lives to various different creatures. We turn up in the jungle for a few days and hope to see as many as possible before going home for a proper shower. So it was at Uncle Tan Wildlife Adventure on the Kinabatangan River in eastern Sabah. We spent two nights and three days at Uncle Tan’s jungle camp, taking part in eerie boat trips long after sunset, and bleary-eyed ones soon after sunrise; night-time walks with flashlights and mosquitoes, and daytime treks ... read more
Orang-utan mother and child
Juvenile estuarine crocodile
Orang-utan mother and child

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Kinabatangan January 15th 2012

We checked out of the Cottage Guest House around 10am and drove a short distance to the Kinabangtangan War Memorial Gardens. These gardens were established sometime around the 1950’s which is pretty amazing. Over time they had been left but in recent years they have been done up and upon walking in through the gates I was immediately filled with a sense of peace and calmness. The gardens are set out in tiers. The Australian Garden is on the ground floor, the English in the middle and the Malaysian on the top. Once we had watched (and cried) our way through a half hour Australian made and produced documentary in the gorgeous glass viewing room, we were free to wander the gardens. My favourite part is that the Malaysian garden is open roofed and you look ... read more
Mr. Sheep
View from room
Good morning sunshine

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