We made our way to Brunei by ferry boat after a brief stopover on the duty-free island of Pulau Labuan to stock up on some Vodka. There is no alcohol sold in the kingdom, so we had to plan ahead. The age of consent is 14, but one can never drink, maybe that makes sense after all. We made it to the capital, Bandar Seri Begawan and found out two of the top attractions in the city, as noted by the hotel and tour agent, was to visit the Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque and the mall. No kidding! We did both. The mosque was beautiful and worth the time we spent there looking around. The mall was, well it was a mall.
Getting to Miri (which is in Sarawak, Borneo Malaysia) involved taking three buses, a ferry (imagine your daddy’s boat), a bus, a border crossing and a final bus into town. After a brief rain soaked layover in this Shell Oil town we departed for Sibu.
We spent a couple of rainy days in Sibu enjoying the open markets and cheap food before taking a high speed ferry boat (think airplane without wings doing about 60kph) down to
Bako National Park
Kuching, our final stop in Borneo. We found a great hostel and started checking out the town. We had just made it a few blocks, when I jumped in the air and screamed like a 12 year old girl. A scorpion was on the sidewalk, poised to strike. Even though we were in the city, this was still Borneo. We made our way out to Bako National Park to spend a couple of days in the forest. We did some great trekking around the park, down to the beach, through three kinds of forests and around some of the other trails. Throughout our stay we encountered lizards, long tailed macaques, proboscis monkeys, silver leafed monkeys, palm squirrels, and bearded pigs. We ended up trekking about 10 kilometers the first day through some pretty treacherous routes. Only one little map reading error by Ruthie, something confusing about how many kilometers versus how many hours the trek should take (3.5 kilometers or 3.5 hours). We had a good time here, just had to open our door to catch the wildlife. We also had to keep everything closed up, because the monkeys were everywhere, can get into just about anything, and they like
to take whatever they get their hands on.
Our time on Borneo was over. This was one of those trips you never forget about. Even though we were totally surprised with the high-rises in the cities, it was the jungles, the forests, the mountains, the rivers and the seas that were just what you dream about…
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