Blogs from Sabah, Malaysia, Asia


Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Ranau April 2nd 2015

The rape of the rainforest Do you buy cheap biscuits or Doritos products from Tesco and processed food? The chances are that you are contributing to the demise of the rainforest and it's creatures! Sadly there is no primary rainforest left in Borneo - apart from an area in Temburong National Park in Brunei which we plan to visit later. Oil palm plantations Since 1970 much primary and secondary rainforest in Sabah, Sarawak and Kalimantan has been cleared for oil palm production which is the world's most productive food crop producing up to 10 times more oil per hectare than sunflower seed, soybean or rapeseed. 85% of the world' s palm oil is grown in Malaysia and Indonesia and it's rapid expansion has devastated natural habitats and reduced bio diversity. This says it all According to ... read more
Bunches of oil palm fruit
Secondary planting on terraces.
Massive logs awaiting uplift by purchaser

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Ranau March 31st 2015

Jungle Adventure Our real adventure begins. It is organised by a tour company which specialises in adventures off the beaten track. Carole is good at researching interesting places off the tourist trail. We read the Lonely Planet for advice. Sun cream, mozzie repellent, leech socks, a set of wet clothes which never dry properly, a set of dry clothes stored in poly bags and waterproof bags to keep our cameras, iPods and iPads dry. A 10am pick up at a local cafe in Poring. We meet our guide Michael (from Edinburgh!) and Alson, his Malaysian brother in law, our driver. We head for the supermarket for our choice of food for 3 days. Mainly veggie meals as it is difficult to keep meat although we did eat chicken on the first evening and oats, coconut milk, ... read more
Rainforest sunrise
Bottom saver.
Pangolin, flying lemur, slow loris & tarsier

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Mount Kinabalu March 23rd 2015

Mount Kinabalu Park Visitors are coming to the flat in Kota Kinabalu from Hong Kong so we plan a trip away. A quick tidy round and we leave by taxi for the bus to Mount Kinabalu Park. The minibus is already full so Carole and I sit in the Wee Lee Coffee House and wait for the bus organiser to fetch us when the next minibus is ready to leave. Breakfast of 2 fried eggs, toast and coconut jam - never quite sure when the next meal will be! Off we go - a full bus with luggage and extra parcels for delivery. A new route into the mountains with very slow traffic up the steep hills. We are tipped out at the Park entrance which is in the middle of nowhere. No where yet to ... read more
Sunrise through the mist
Mount Kinabalu
Mighty rainforest tree

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Kudat March 8th 2015

Journey to the Tip Of Borneo! No bus from Tuaran to Kota Belud. A kind lady takes us to a share taxi going part way and we pay more for the rest of the journey. It is hot when we arrive. No onward journey until the next day to Kudat at the far north of Borneo. We stay at the Travel Lodge which has seen better days and more sweeping brushes. Not much in Kota Belud but we enjoy an iced coconut milk shake - very refreshing. A posh bus from Kota Belud to Kudat with air con and toilets. Very comfortable. The landscape opens up. Just a few paddy fields with flying fabric streamers to deter the birds - otherwise secondary forest and then miles of oil palm plantations. A big sign "Victory Estate Plantation". ... read more
Tip of Borneo sunset
Delicious sword fish steaks
Rungus longhouse

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Kota Kinabalu February 28th 2015

Time to move on and start our adventures. Carole is keen to see an orang utan - not easy in the wild so we arrange to visit Shrangri La Rasa Ria Resort where there is a rehabilitation project. We leave the flat early - taxi £6 (10 minutes) into Kota Kinabalu to the bus station. No point in starting off the journey dripping with exhaustion. Buses going in different directions from the city start at different bus stations - so it is important to suss out just where you need to go to get the bus of your choice. We thought we knew - but fortunately our taxi driver put us right and took us to the exact spot. Each bus has the names of the places it drives between painted clearly on the side. They ... read more
One of the dragons in the den
Dragon's  head

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah February 21st 2015

We arrived in Kota Kinabalu, which is the capital of Sabah ( the Malaysian part of Borneo) and met up with the Sabah footie team (some of them Mike knew - El Hadj Diouf who looked like a typical footballer with diamond earring and LV bag!). We met the group we would be travelling with for the next two weeks, half of them being health care professionals and a token doctor, so we were sorted for drugs for the rest of the trip. Aldrin, our guide, started talking about our trip to Mount Kinabalu whose summit is at 4,095 metres and is apparently one of the worst for getting altitude sickness after Everest. Now - I knew we were walking up a mountain but we had NO idea it was the largest in South East Asia ... read more

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Kota Kinabalu February 13th 2015

VIDA'S BORNEO BLOG 2 The text for Blog 1 was done on iPad Pages and I could not cut and paste onto this travel blog. It is available on email. I sussed out the airport bus and surprised Carole at arrivals. I went early to find out more about car hire and local air transport for our later travels. It involved eating at KFC which is not to be recommended. I picked up my chicken leg and gnawed away but then noticed all the locals were picking off little bits of chicken with their fingers and eating it very delicately. (The locals don't as a rule use cutlery but eat with chop sticks or their fingers.) It is very easy to make a cultural faux pas. The estimated arrival time of Carole's Royal Brunei flight was ... read more
Walking route into Kota Kinabalu
City Mosque

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Kota Kinabalu February 6th 2015

VIDA'S BORNEO BLOG - February to April 2015 I have now reviewed Blog 1 and added photos from the trip which highlight the wonderfully varied nature of my experiences in Borneo! Our adventure took us from the far northern tip of Borneo in Sabah, south through Brunei to Kuching in the far west of Sarawak. After wonderful long term travelling trips through India, Kenya, Central America, South America, Morocco, Thailand and SW USA I am excited to be off again to explore Borneo, the third largest island after Australia and Greenland. It doesn't look that big on the map as it sits on the equator and is not stretched out as is land nearer to the poles when we view it on the usual Mercator projection. This trip has come about because my long term ... read more
New friends
Local coffee with condensed milk at the bottom.
Rainforest canopies

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary January 18th 2015

We have only been to Brunei in transit so many times, we have passed through the airport and wondered. Well wonder no more, myself, I was very disappointed. For me it reminded me of Darwin from the eighties, lots of public buildings and the suburbs set out with similar house projects homes. Yes their is the affluent, but also a lot of poor people. We took a tour of the river to find that over 22,000 people actually live on the river. They dwell in stilt homes and have shops and schools. We had the most lovely fella show us around. He himself was born and still lives on the river with his family of 6 children.The most amazing mosques and palaces and very Muslim. We were told that that of the 500,000 people in Brunei ... read more

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary January 17th 2015

Tot: 0.245s; Tpl: 0.013s; cc: 9; qc: 76; dbt: 0.1219s; 1; m:apollo w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 6.5mb