So after Singapore it was a side shuffle back over to Malaysia, in particular Malaysian Borneo.
We landed in Kota Kinabalu (KK). This is the largest city in, and gateway to, Sabah, Borneo.
There’s no beaches worth talking about (we found out the hard way too!), but as a harbour city it was chock-full of boats headed to the nearby islands.
The harbour is called Jesselton Point and it’s from here that we had to make our first major choice, which of the 3 (out of 5 existing) islands in Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park we should head to. On our first day we chose Manukan Island.
The waters here were very clear and as we went paddling near the white sandy beach schools of fish swam by our feet.
Sadly you cannot stay past 4pm – 4.30 pm on the islands unless you splurge on a bungalow there. If only we had been on holiday…
That night we managed to find a great Chinese Muslim Noodle restaurant only 3 door down from the hostel that served some of the best food for cheap cheap. The owner and head chef makes the noodles by hand in front of the restaurant. We ended up eating here most nights and made friends with another frequent diner, Alex from France, who shared information on the Kota Kinatangan River Cruises and we passed on Chinese information to him as Hong Kong was his next destination.
The next morning we did a bit of planning before heading to another of the islands for the day. This one was called Sapi and was larger than the last one. Another lazy day at the beach ensued and the only events of note were a little sunburn on John’s Irish skin and overhearing a Welsh man (with a Valleys-esque accent) explain the plot to Total Recall while beached on the surf.
Back at the guesthouse we bumped into an old friend, Lindsey, who we had met all those months ago on the torturous bus journey from Vang Veing to Luang Prabang in Laos. She was having a bit of a dilemma about where to go next, she kept flip flopping between ideas. We tried to help her but having done little ore research in Borneo we couldn’t add too much.
The next morning we jumped on the bus to Sepilok and it’s Orangutan Sanctuary