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Published: June 16th 2017
Many palm oil plantations on the edge of Kuala Lumpur.
Geo: 5.84117, 118.113
I had a great, normal night's sleep last night – jetlag is gone! We got up early, packed our bags and then went to the bank to get more cash for our trip. The bank was only a block away. Then it was breakfast time and we ate at the cafe next to the hotel.
At 10am we were in front of the hotel looking for our taxi. He found us and we were off. This driver was better than yesterday's, as he didn't tailgate. It took an hour to get to the airport and cost the same as yesterday's journey of 120 Ringgit. We quickly found the crowded Air Asia desks. The lines were massive and we soon realised that they were moving too slowly. We had already checked in on-line like everyone else. There were about ten desks for bag drop-off and one for ticket purchases.
We were now starting to panic. I left Rach in the drop-off line and went to speak to the ticket sales lady who had no-one in her line. I explained to her that we have checked in online and our flight was soon taking off. She was happy for us to
02 Out the Window
The view out of my window.
drop off our luggage with her – what a relief! She also told us to go straight to the gate and don't stop, so we did! It was a long way to the gate, I wished we had more time to browse the shops at the airport, but making this flight was more important. In the end the flight was slightly delayed and there were no shops what-so-ever near our gate.
In the end it was only delayed by about half an hour and we took off at 12:30pm. We were some of the few westerners on this flight, everyone else appeared to be locals. During the flight I had a little nap and enjoyed the view out of the window. I saw many palm oil plantations and a large river – the Kinabatangan. The flight was just under three hours. Sandakan airport was tiny! The only plane here was ours. It took just a few minutes to go through immigration. There was a bit of a system here to get a taxi. We had to pre-pay at the booth and then take our receipt to one of the taxis. It was only 30 Ringgit.
This taxi journey was short,
We were now flying over Borneo.
only fifteen minutes, but it seemed so much longer. His driving was terrible, very jerky and making us car sick. I was so impressed with the location of our hotel, right in the middle of the small town and on the waterfront. At check-in the staff upgraded us to a room with a sea view. This hotel is also the tallest building in town. We took our suitcases to our room and then went for a walk through town. While we waited for the lift, I looked out the large window which had a view of the town. There were many high rise apartment blocks and a few fishing boats.
It was quite a small town and there didn't seem to be many westerners here and due to that we attracted a lot of attention. It was our bare shoulders, untied hair and visible lower legs that caused the excitement. There were even people who took photos of us! We walked around looking for somewhere to have lunch. There was a McDonald's near our hotel but we wanted to be a bit more adventurous than that. We found a nice cafe near our hotel and had a mix of cuisines
We were now flying over Borneo.
– Asian and potato wedges. Even while we were in the cafe eating our lunch we still stood out and local boys and men would point at us and take photos. It was now getting annoying. Next we had a quick stop at a 7/11 for supplies - we needed bottled water and snacks for our day out tomorrow.
We were over this town, so we went back to the hotel for a late afternoon swim and sundowners by the pool. We put our towels on a pool lounger and jumped in the pool. The water temperature was perfect and so was the view. The pool looked over the bay and town. I really enjoyed being in the pool – this made it feel like a holiday.
We then lay on our loungers, had a few cold drinks and read. Later on in the afternoon we enjoyed the beautiful view of the sun setting over Sandakan. The colours in the sky were amazing.
Once the sun had set, we went back to our room and got ready for dinner. On the way to the hotel bar, we stopped at the desk and organised a taxi for tomorrow morning. The hotel bar
05 View From the Hotel
A view of town from the window near the lift.
was disappointing as it was very quiet. We sat out on the deck. From here we could see where everyone else in town was. The restaurants along the water seemed to be full of people.
With our drinks we ordered some food. Tonight was an early night for us, as we had a busy day ahead of us tomorrow.
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