Sandakan Fish Market
This is a great photo opportunity. The sights, sounds and not to mention smell of this busy market make it an interesting place to visit. If you are staying in any self catering accommodation then this is a great place to get fresh fish. As with all fish markets its not for the squimish ! You have been warned.
- Budget Travel
Chinese Temple - Sandakan
The Chinese temple is situated on a hill overlooking Sandakan. The temple is ornately decorated and is a lovely place to quietly contemplate life the universe and everything. As its on a hill facing the sea the air is refreshing. It offers good views over Sandakan and the surrounding coastline.
An interesting decorative feature is the use of the Swastika's on the doors and gates. It is differen to the German WW2 emblem and is an ancient chinese representation of the 4 elements of earth, wind, fire and water.
- Arts and Culture
Snorkeling Tunku Abdul Rahman Park
One of the most relaxing things we did in Borneo was island hopping and snorkelling just off Kota Kinabalu. There are 5 islands in Tunku Abdul Rahman Park and we caught a boat from one to another stopped lay on the beach and went snorkelling. There are so many fish and they are very friendly including nemo. You only have to swim about 10 metres off shore.
seeing the islands
i visited Manukan and Manutik Islands while staying in Borneo, they were totally amazing. i booked the trip for my hotel which cost me about £16! which included our transfers to KK to the harbour, our jetty ride to both islands, snorkling gear, beach mat and a bar-b-que lunch on the 2nd island which was yummy!
- Jungle and Rain Forest
- Water Sports
- Diving and Snorkeling
Observe Orang-utans In The Wild At Sepilok
To visit the wild men of Borneo, fly into Sandakan, Borneo. Sepilok Rehabilitation Center is about a 20 minute drive from the center of town. The Center is a place for rescued orang-utans. Due to logging and deforestation in Borneo, the orangs are sometimes left with no place to go. Sometimes the babies get separated from their mothers and they are brought to the center to be taught how to survive on their own.
The babies are taught how to look for food, what is dangerous in the jungles, and how to swing from the trees. The training is taught is 3 phases. When they graduate from the program, they are set free on their own.
For those orangs that are more dependent on the center, bananas are placed on platforms for them at certain times of the day. You can visit the platforms at these times and if you are lucky, you might catch a glimpse of one coming for a free meal.
- Jungle and Rain Forest
After a month of travelling round the country staying in very remote places it was nice to stay in a city and a hotel. Kuching is a happening city with nice restarants, strongly recommend JUNK, museums, markets and beaches. Reflexology
Mulu National Park
There are 2 ways to gettig to Mulu. The first way is by river, from Miri. This is exremely long and involved 2 ferry boats duration of about 8 hrs. Stopping in a town to change ferries. The second way is by flight. Its world famous for the caves and the pinnacles. I was most impressed by the fantastic rock formations in Lang cave, much smaller than most caves in the area. Beer cave is near by and weather permitting the bats will come out at sunset. its also famous for the rock formations such as Abraham Lincolns face and the garden of eden. This was our last day in Mulu, as it was wet, the majority of the group decided to stay in the hotel as they were fed up of 3 days of being soaked. I felt that they missed out on some of the most impressive sites in Mulu.
Flight from Mulu to Miri
WE climbed the Pinnacles, yes they wer impressive but I dont think it was worth the hike. An extremely steep hike took us 41/2hrs up, longer down. Dangerous particurly when it rains which itwas doing, very slippy. ladders and ropes near the top. Use extreme caution. Howver if you really want to see the Pinnacles in our their glory without much effort I would recommend the flight from Mulu to Miri in the small aircraft to be bought locally. Its not really a scenic flight but if everyone all bored are tourist they will fly via the pinnacles. note only 16 passengers!
Another unique wildlife of Borneo is the probosous monkey, the male has very large noises. Infact the bigger the noise the more wives he attracts. Unfortunately if you do see these animals in the wild they are often too far away to appreciate them. The monkeys like to live in the jungle next to salt rivers from the sea, unfortunately much of their natural habitat has been destroyed due to the palm plantatations. Nowadays one of the best places for seeing the monkeys is at the Proboscous monkey sanctuary, where they have two families of monkeys totalling about 50 monkeys. you will also get to see a very informative video. this was an extra on our tour and well worth the money.
One reason to go to Borneo is to see some of the fast amounts of jungle. From the air it seems to go on forever. On foot you need guides and in reality you can't get very far. We had our first glimpse of the jungle when we stayed with the river people at the MESCOT homestays.They took us on a camping trip over night to the jungle camps. Inreturn we helped them plant trees in an area of forest that had recently had a fire. we were taken on a night walk. unfortunately we didnt see much wild life, just a few frogs and insects. OF course leeches!!
One more reason for visiting Borneo in particular Sabah is for turtle Island. Here you can relax by day, sunbathing and snorkelling. At night the turtles come and lay their eggs. The Island is protected, only a certain number of tourists can stay in any one night. You are not allowed on the beaches alone at night. However there is a turtle watch. When the first turtle comes and lays her eggs, all the tourists are called out to watch her. A turtle usually lays about 60 t0 70 eggs. The Island is all about conversation, so once the turtle has layed here eggs they are dug up and put into a nursery. The tourist also get to release that days hatchlings back into the sea. you get to hold a baby turtle. the tourists are only allowed to see when turtle lay their eggs for low impact tourism. this may involve alot of waiting around as they can not garantee what time the first turtle will arrive at night.
Another big reasons for going to Borneo is to see the wild life in particular the Orangutans. Although it would be great to see them absolutely in the wild this would be extremely rare. Best to go to the one of the rehabilation centres. The biggest one being sepilok. They feed the animals here with bananas at set times of day. The orangutans live in the jungle but they know when feeding time is. They only feed them bananas so they get bored of them and eventually they are able to find their ownfood and dont return to the centre.
If you go to Borneo you have to climb the highest mountain in Malaysia. I was fairly scared about climbing the mountain as I had seen pictures of people pulling themselves up with ropes. The reality is;
2 day hike. Overnight you stay in the Laban Rata resthouse which is 11,000 ft or 3,300 m.
Basically have the whole day to hike up to this point, some people do it in 3 hrs. We took it easy, taking lots of photographs and breaks and it took off 5 hrs. There are rest stops with water and toilets throughout the climb. Best to take it easyonce you are at the camp not much to do, and things are expensive. Take lots of snacks.
The second day is by far the toughest, wake up at 3am. Climb to the summit, which is a further 2.7 KM, aim is to be there by sunrise 6AM. The altitude will get to you so you will be slow. there are ropes but the majority of them are to make sure you stay on the path/right direction rather than actually pulling. some you dohave to pull on but are fairly easy. Then back down to the camp for a second breakfast followed by the whole day walking down. Knees really ached at the end of the day. We got down about 2.30
- Hiking and Walking
It was a short flight and then a short bus ride - but to see one of the most endangered species was amazing - truly blessed to get so close outside a zoo
- National/State Park
- Jungle and Rain Forest