Blogs from Tawau, Sabah, Malaysia, Asia


Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Tawau July 26th 2018

TAWAU BORNEO I stayed at City Garden Hotel in Tawau. I have been to Borneo three times, once in 2013 and again in 2014, but I never spent any time in Tawau. During the first trip I had some diver’s ear problems that caused me to miss my reservation to climb Mount Kota Kinabalu, but only temporarily. My hiking guide was a fourteen year old boy who could do the climb twice in one day. I am sure he was fed up with this slow old lady. I did a couple of other tours and then went to Semporna to dive at Sipadan, one of the top ten dive sites in the world. The second time I took a taxi straight to Semporna and dived with several dive shops so I could dive more than once ... read more

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Tawau » Lahad Datu April 10th 2017

Geo: 5.01965, 117.746Breakfast was at 7am, and considering some of our other starts, this was not too bad. A quick piece of watermelon, a cup of tea and a chat with a couple from Norwich, we were loaded into the boat to go down to Abai Village lodge for our village visit and to plant another tree, as we did in Brazil. We were shown to our cabin by our guide known as bones (Erdy). Pretty much identical to the last lodge we stayed in, although there was air con of you fancied paying £20 for the night. We didn't!! Such cheap skates!! After a nap, we met the other 9 people in our group and went to plant our tree. It was a type of umbrella tree, each given their own ID number, etched into ... read more
By the river
Proboscis monkey

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Tawau » Lahad Datu April 9th 2017

Geo: 5.01965, 117.746Sorry peeps, zooms on phones not good enough for wild orangutan shots!!Due to yesterday's disappointment of not seeing any ginger fuzzy apes and the fact we were being picked up at 10.30 to leave, we headed out to do a tree top canopy walk at 6.30am! Early!! James' cold was in full force last night, so sleep did not really happen for too long anyway!! We joined another group who were a little more unstable on their feet to head up the the canopy walk in the truck (was too early for that much up hill!!) we both took a stick with us incase we went off piste... boy did we go off piste later on!!The canopy walk consisted of 3 long bridges that stretched over the valley. It was high and I loved ... read more
Down by the river
James sarong

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Tawau » Lahad Datu April 8th 2017

Geo: 5.01965, 117.746Breakfast was at 7am so we could make a good start on our trek up to the lookout point before it got too hot. Breakfast was extensive, fruits, cereal, toast, omelettes and cooked both western and Malaysian. There were pancakes with bacon and syrup.... I/we could not resist.The trek took us up, very up. We saw a mock viper snake on the path. Abt a foot long and actually spotted by Emily, not our guide!! Our guide actually nearly stood on it!! And yes it was poisonous!!! Oh good!! We followed a termite colony moving house, a steady stream of them, all in a line for around 400m. Up trees, backdown trees, across roots and leaves and branches!!! It was incredible for bugs and so many millions of them. The first bit we stopped ... read more
The bridge (love the leach socks!!)
Home sweet home

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Tawau » Lahad Datu April 7th 2017

Geo: 5.01965, 117.746The arrivals hall at the airport was hilarious, a room, a few seats and a low slung table as the luggage collection point and actually a surprisingly clean toilet (although you did have to put your hand in the cistern to flush it! Although there were a total of 10 bags coming off the plane, mine was one of the last to make it onto the shelf..... I think I must be jinxed!!We were met by a driver who escorted us to the rainforest lodge office. We signed our lives away in a very posh waiting room and the we were off on our 2hr 30min 4x4 journey up to the lodge, 20mins on Tarmac the rest in forestry roads. It was a tad bumpy to say the least. But on the way we ... read more
The plane
Our free water bottles
Our free water bottles

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Tawau February 17th 2013

Sabah likes to advertise itself as some kind of real life Eden, a nature paradise full of wild and fantastic creatures. And to reinforce that image you have the Lonely Planet, which has this to say about Sabah: ‘Malaysia’s state of Sabah proves that there is a God, and we’re pretty sure that he’s some sort of mad scientist. Sabah was his giant test-tube, the product of a harebrained hypothesis. You see, on the seventh day, God wasn’t taking his infamous rest, he was pondering the following: ‘What would happen if I took an island, covered it with impenetrable jungle, tossed in an ark’s worth of animals, and turned up the temperature to a sweltering 40˚C? The result? A tropical Eden with prancing mega-fauna and plenty of fruit-bearing trees. This ‘land below the wind’, as it ... read more
Kinabatangan River
Kinabatangan River
Kinabatangan River

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Tawau June 18th 2012

Amazingly, I have completed 3 surveys of each of my study streams, which means I have already completed more than 3 weeks of data collection. While my first week in camp was largely rained out and I spent more forced days in camp and in town getting supplies than I would have liked, the past two weeks have been a whirlwind of field work. This is my second year at this field camp, and I quite enjoy the camaraderie of the group of scientists that are here. The exact composition seems to change constantly, but for the majority of my time so far, there have been about 10-12 of us in camp. Myself and my new field assistant Josh are the only Americans, the rest being largely British. There are two of us post-docs here at ... read more

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Tawau June 9th 2012

We’ve arrived at our field camp, and are getting settled nicely. The camp hasn’t changed much from last year, but there’s a whole new group of folks that I’ve been getting to know. When I was here last September, there were only about 3 teams here (mine, a small mammal duo, and two people working on stream invertebrates). This year, there are about 10-12 projects going on, covering bats, leeches, small mammals, mosquitoes, dragonflies, herbivory, and a few others. I’m realizing that this is the only field site I’ve worked with such an array of projects—most of my past work has been in places where mine was the only project, or other scientists passed through for only short periods of time. I wasn’t sure whether I’d like big group living in the field, but it is ... read more

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Tawau August 6th 2009

Words cant express the satisfaction of this riders when they took the long ride every effort of calculation of fuel and food was taken in to consideration. few fell of there bikes due to overconfidence of handling there machine. It took us a total of 9 hours to make it to Maliau basin camp sight. The guys was hip and excited to explore the unknown freedom of riding through the rainforest of north borneo. There was some funny moments during the ride, we had shan who thought he had puled out the bike stan and got off and ended up on his back with the bike. Another zuki who thought the surface of the down hill was not slippery mad a bad decision negotiating a curved rolled over with the bike. Than there's the over confidence ... read more
Camp site
Dirt road to maliau basin

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Tawau June 21st 2009

June 22nd Today we're heading to Tawau, a town two and a half hours west of Semporna. After breakfast we packed the last of our things and walked to the mini-bus station. These buses only leave when full so we were prepared to wait a while. We didn't sit for more than 5mins before we left, even though there was only three other passengers on board. We drove around the block and picked up another three people. Then we stopped again near the mini-bus station and sat in the boiling vehicle for 10mins while we waited for more people to join our little gang. The bus filled slowly but surely and before we were totally boiled we left again, this time with a full load of passengers. We were excited to be moving on again. The ... read more
Hotel entrance
Tawau Hospital
Pathology waiting room

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