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Selingan Turtle Island is approx 15min boat ride from Sandakan. The accomodation on the island is basic, most of the rooms are in dorm like accomodations ie you share with everyone. The day that I arrived, there was no electricity and no water. At this stage it was that hot, that I was dying for a shower and aircon. The only slight relief that I got was from going for a swim, however the water wasnt that clear and couldnt see much whilst snorkeling. I spent most of the afternoon sitting on the balcony with the rest of the guests drinking beer and telling travelling stories, basically making good of a bad situation.
The food on the island was relatively good, basic but appetising. It is a good idea to take a book or perhaps a deck of cards as the time between dinner and when the turtles arrive on the beach can be a couple of hours. We were lucky as there were enough of us to have a few games of Charades.
The highlight of course was watching the mother turtles lay their eggs, and then have the opportunity to hold a baby turtle in my hand before releasing it to the sea. These little buggers are quite strong, but like being petted on the head, seems to calm them down
Written Aug 12, 2004
Sungai (river in English) Kinabatangan, the longest river in Sabah. If you are a nature lover who are keen on seeing wildlife, make sure you book on this trip. If you are lucky you get to see wild elephants cross the rivers. I am quite lucky though because I got the opportunity to see wild crocodiles sun bathing near the shore and monkeys (inclusive of the endangered proboscis monkey) and hornbills. If you are a city people, you should check out the floating toilet used by the residents along the river. Ever heard about catching fish using just the plastic bottles? This is how the local people or known as "orang sungai" do fishing.
Written Mar 17, 2003
It's so enjoyable to be on this boat ride ust to clear your mind and hear nature sounds instead of rushing fro point A to B catching your connections. Just sit still and enojoy the breeze as you spot exotic birds and treat your aural senses to a first!
Bring Binos and a hat/cap.
And your camera :)
Written Jun 6, 2006
During a visit to the State of Sabah you should of course visit all the major attraction that the state has to offer. But isn't it also great to visit areas where hardly any tourist goes to? If you like that idea you should go to the great little village of Kampung Pimping. It's a part of the bigger community of Membakut, between Kota Kinabalu and Beaufort.
What are the biggest attractions in Kampung Pimping? What do you think about a small suspension bridge over the river, a completely quiet beach, a private concert with traditional instruments, or traditionally prepared food? Kampung Pimping might not be in any travel guides, but it's really worth the effort of driving there!
For more information about Kampung Pimping, check out my Pimp my Kampung-page.
Written May 7, 2006
besides doing the touristy thing and watching the orang utans, do spend some time listening to the conservation efforts by the UK NGO that is directly putting in lots for the reserve and rehabilitation of wild orang utans who have been caught, kept as pets etc...
There are video shows at the Sepilok National Park Centre and there are staff there to talk to, if you'd like to be involved or contribute in any way.
Written Jun 6, 2006
En route to Mt Kinabalu we came to a village where there is the first suspension bridge built in Borneo, it was built by the British army
It doesnt seem to have had much maintenance since it was built but we walked across it striding over the gaps in the boards
Written Sep 7, 2003
If you want to see how the people in the countryside of Sabah get their fresh fish, you should go to the little town of Papar. This town is located at about 20 minutes driving towards the west from Kota Kinabalu.
If you enter the town you can't miss a big, concrete, blue building. This is the Fish Market (Pasar Ikan). If you can stand the enormous smell inside the hall you will see an enormous amount of fish, in all colours, sizes and shapes. All the salesmen are willing to show you their biggest fish for the picture.
And just outside the hall, you will see the fisherman carrying their freshly caught fish into the market. Right from the river into the market. You wouldn't tell it from the smell, but it's really fresh!
Written May 7, 2006
Your journey is not complete if you leave the state of Sabah without conquering Mount Kinabalu, highest peak of both Malaysia and South East Asia. Together with venturers from Scotland and England, I had conquered the peak on 9th Dec, 2002. All the climbers have to stay one night at Laban Rata before they proceed to the peak on the following morning around 2-3am.
Although the trail is pretty easy, but you still require certain stamina to get to the top. Be aware that you may not be able to reach the top due to altitude sickness. MAKE SURE you bring enough warm clothing!
Written Mar 17, 2003
The MESCOT homestays are in Kampung Batiu Puteh. This is an approx 5 hrs drive from Poring hot springs. This is another oppertunity to staywith local people. Their house basically have no furniture, although most have TVs! They are known as river people. When you stay with a local family you will be invited to take a shower. Out of respectyou should not refuse, plus its so humid you probrablywill want to butyoushould use their traditional way. Women should wear a sown up sarong, men may just wear shorts. You should have 2 sarongs, one for bathing/showering and one for drying. In some of the houses they have bathrooms, over houses they have buckets by the river,
While staying at the homestay we were also invited to a party were we were given traditional clothes to wear. So much food, the sweets are really sweet. You are expected to use your hand to eat and sit on the floor. itcanbe messy.
Written Dec 23, 2004
From Sandakan we too a boat up the Kinabatangan River on the look out for wildlife. We didn't know how lucky we would be! Despite their relative rarity, we saw 6 wild orangutans, including one baby and the big male shown in the picture. He was really close to the riverbank, and as we got closer, he got down from the tree and walked in to the forest. Our guide told us that this was a very unusual thing to see and we were very lucky. Now I know where the bigfoot legends came from!
By the end of our three hour trip we started to wonder whether the orangutans were actually endangered at all! We also saw quite a few proboscis monkeys; better sightings were to follow.
Our final destination was the Kinabatangan Riverside lodge. (See accommodation tips).
Updated Mar 24, 2007
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