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Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary
September 17th 2012
Published: September 17th 2012
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Our initial plan after Koh Tao was to go to the perhentian islands, however the idea seemed too damn hard to organise transport connections to get there. Instead we found ourselves heading (on a rather plush night train) to a small island off Western Malaysia called Lankawi. A few years previously the prime minister of Malaysia tried to make the small paradise island as the new capital but unfortunately the motion was never passed. We had to agree with his thought process though because it is a beautiful island. We were staying a five minute walk from a 5km stretch of beach, which we had mostly to ourselves. A highlight for us was sitting in a Reggae bar having an excellent dinner whilst watching the sun go down behind a few of the 99 islands.

After Lankawi we had a brief stop in Kuala Lumpur before flying over to Sandakan in Borneo. We stayed in a very nice hotel, oddly named Hotel London, which was a relief after the hole we found ourselves in in KL. It also made up for the suprising dreariness of the town; obviously now a shell of its former self. Aparently it once had the highest density of millionaires in the world, however it is now famous for being home to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation centre.

We headed off for the bus station bright and early to arrive for the morning feeding however the bus obviously had its own agenda and we ended up sharing a taxi with a belgian couple. Nevertheless we made it on time and got to see two of the bizarre creatures swinging onto a platform to get the fruit left there. After the feeding we walked down the road to the Rainforest Discovery Centre and walked around trying, and failing to spot animals and insects of interest. They also had a brand new and rather impressive canopy walkway which took you through the forest 25m above the ground. It did not, however, do anything to improve our observational skills. We headed back to the Orangutan Centre for the afternoon feeding at 3pm and this time we were lucky enough to see a big mother-orangutan swinging towards the platform with her photogenic baby clinging on.

Last minute we managed to book ourselves on a 3 day, 2 night trip into the heart of the rainforest. Apparently Amy had had a bit of a lapse in her usual stringent organisation and failed to read the bit that said the camp we were to be staying in was very basic and our sleeping huts had no doors so any food, in fact anything that smelled remotely like something edible had to be put in a sealed tub to stop jungle rats from burrowing through our belongings to find the source. The trip was actually excellent and in total we went on 3 boat trips along the Kinabatangan River and 2 Jungle treks upon which we saw a huge array of flora and fauna from the Borneon Jungle including: Proboscis monkeys, macaques, crocodiles, Eagles, kingfishers, huge bats (flying foxes), beautiful coloured birds and many more. In the end we both had a fantastic time and apart from jumping at shadows and twigs on a night trek, and the walkway to the toilets being too small for a huntsman spider and Amy to be on, we headed back to civilisation unscathed.

The day we finished the Jungle experience we headed straight down to the fragrant Semporna with 4 other Jungle goers. As ever the first shower after living in a Jungle was indescribably refreshing. We booked ourselves to go on 3 dives the following day around a small island called Mabul. Overall the diving was a great success and by the third dive Jonny had relaxed enough (with goggles working) to enjoy seeing some huge green and hawksbill turtles, shoals of fish and fluorescent squid, a sea horse and a very rare "Flamboyant Cuttlefish" which apparently our Dive Master only got to see by his 1200th dive.

So to the final leg of the journey. Back to KL on the 18th and then down to Singapore.......


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