May 26, 2017 - Beautiful Malaka
Our first destination in Malaysia took us to Malaka which to be honest we didn't know a great deal about prior to our arrival. It's a small city by the sea which has rich maritime and colonial heritage. The city itself had influence from the British, Dutch as well as the Portuguese as they all held influence here over the last 500 years. Rather bizarrely the city now has a new breed of influence, namely that of the crazy trishaws which are kitted out with everything from Pokémon to Spiderman. They tour the city with slightly embarrassed...Jump to full entry
Apr 3, 2017 - Elephants
Yesterday we finally got to see the elephants. It was a hassle to get there but it was worth it. We could have done the tour for 220RM/person, instead, we figured out how to get there and payed for everything around 210RM/2 people. Let me tell you how we got there. From China town where we are we got to Hang Tuah station by foot,which took us about 20 minutes. From there we took the green MRL to Titiwangsa (5.80RM/person), about 40 mins long and then we walked to Perkeliling bus station which is about a 5 mins walk. Bus cost 10.50RM...Jump to full entry
Apr 1, 2017 - Kuala Lumpur
Here we are,in the stormy Kuala Lumpur. Arrived by ferry 2 days ago. The trip was one of the worst bus trip. Supposedly it was a sleeping bus. Well,I couldn't sleep for that 8 hours we travelled during the night. I was absolutely dead by the time we got here and we actually got off the wrong side of the city. The bus stopped right where we are staying but as we didn't know that that time, we got off the last stop which was about an hour away from where we are now. We wanted to take a taxi but even the taxi drivers said it's too...Jump to full entry
Mar 29, 2017 - Secrets of the mangrove forest
Today we went for a magical tour into the mangrove forest.Our guide, Bedro was a great guy and his knowledge about his surroundings are amazing. I wish I knew half of what he knows.We were a group of 17 plus the guide and the boat driver. We went with one of those 'speed' boats but the very traditional looking one. As we went through the river, Bedro told us stories about monkeys, the mangrove how it groves, kites and eagles and all sort. First we went to a fish farm which they built for non divers to see what's in the ocean. They...Jump to full entry
Mar 28, 2017 - The last 4 days
I am very sorry that I left you without reading for such a long time but we spent 3 days on the most beautiful island I've been on and internet wasn't exactly good. Where was I last time? Yes, we went island hopping. I'm not sure if I mentioned but we wanted to stay on Phi Phi island but we thought it's too expansive. Well,I think we made the right decision. Don't get me wrong, Phi Phi is beautiful but it's too big which means hundreds of tourists...and the part where wouldn't be too many, it is the one which is extremely expensive...Jump to full entry
Mar 26, 2017 - The complete chill....
Returning back to the hotel in Kota Kinabalu we had a pretty chore based afternoon – laundry….birthday gift for Hannah….and a coffee from the amazing coffee place we had found before we left on the tour. Sarah and I then headed back to the hotel as we were hosting ‘pre dinner’ drink in our hotel room. Sarah had bought a bottle of bubbles from duty free with her and, as it was Hannah’s birthday the next day, it felt like a very appropriate time to drink them! The team arrived at about 6.30 / 45pm, we enjoyed some bubbles, rum cocktails...Jump to full entry
Mar 20, 2017 - Orang Utans and Sunbears....
We had a quick turnaround in the city before jumping on the bus and head over to Sepilok, the final destination before we were going to head back to Kota Kinabalu to end out tour. The journey over to the town was less than an hour and we were dropped straight at the Orang Utan rehabilitation centre where we spent a few hours watching the orang utans wandering down the boardwalks, being fed, busing their young and generally playing on the ropes / hammocks etc set up for them. There was definitely one ‘master’ (or possibly bully) who liked to...Jump to full entry
Mar 19, 2017 - Turtles and armed guards...
We had to catch a boat at 9am the morning we headed to turtle island so the group met at 7.30am to head in search of a bit of breakfast. As I mentioned before, Sandakan itself really had very little of any interest but we manage to find a buffet breakfast near the seafront that did the job. We had packed another overnight bag for the island so after breakfast we checked our luggage into the hotel and headed 15mins up the road to the pier. The boat journey was probably one of the more ‘exciting’ I’ve been on in my life – the driver was...Jump to full entry
Mar 18, 2017 - A leech on your stomach?
We were up quite early after our second night at Poring Hot Springs. Today we had the longest journey of our tour – a 5hour drive from the poring hot springs to a little place called Kampung Bilit on the Kinabatangan River where we were going to spent a night in a jungle lodge. After probably our worst meal of the tour so far – breakfast in one of the local cafes which was pretty nasty but not the end of the world, we set off. The drive itself was pretty uneventful, the driving is noticeably calmer and safer than the other countries I’ve...Jump to full entry
Mar 17, 2017 - Waterfalls, canopy walks and hot springs....
The journey to our next destination was just an hour but the majority of us slept throughout – passed rice fields and mango trees, headphones in and we were there before we knew it. Next stop…. Pouring hot springs. We arrived at the hot springs at about 4.30pm, the accommodation was stated in the itinerary as a ‘hostel’ so we were all prepped for bunk beds and shared rooms. We arrived in quite a different story – a lovely little house with a huge communal area and adjacent and large comfy seats – the bedrooms were then off in corridors to...Jump to full entry
Mar 15, 2017 - Summit at sunrise....Mount Kinabalu
Monday was the day we were heading to the base of our walk up Mount Kinabalu. We woke early and had fried noodles, fried rice and egg with our host family for dinner – Asian breakfasts are definitely something I haven’t managed to quite get my head / stomach around while I’ve been away but – obviously – if offered it by a kind homestay family you don’t say no! We got ourselves up and packed, said goodbye to our family and headed on our way. First top today was a view point of Mount Kinabalu – it’s a pretty imposing mountain but always (as...Jump to full entry
Mar 13, 2017 - Home - Borneo style!
The next few journal entries are likely to be slightly shorter as I’m trying to write one for each location I’m going to and given we’re on a tour and going to be moving quite a lot over the next week or so I’ll have a few places to write about! After sorting our bags at the hotel to allow us to leave a few bits we didn’t need for the trip behind and packing the rest, we grabbed a quick breakfast in the morning with Hannah and the met the rest of the group ready to go at about 8.45am. Today we were heading to a village of the local Dunsun...Jump to full entry