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Along the way ,as the rain pored down ,we spotted a Waglers Pit Viper .The snake was well camouflaged and we were lucky to see it at all. It was wrapped around a branch ,eye level to us.
It is reported to be extremely venomous. Their venom is a strong hemotoxin, and is fatal to humans. It is an anti-social snake most often alone.
Even though it was close enough to touch we gave it the respect it deserved and kept our distance.
Written May 16, 2011
The Sepilok Orang-Utan Rehabilitation centre houses injured or orphaned Orang-Utans, caring for them and nursing them back to health before they can be released into the forest. Many are orphaned babies that cannot survive in the forest alone.
The center is literally next door to our hotel so after breakfast we walked over and watched the video, even though we had seen it already in the Nature Reserve in Kota Kinabalu.
Once the reserve opened we took the short hike along a raised wooden walkway to the feeding platform.
The playful and entertaining Long Tail Macaw Monkeys greeted us at the feeding platform. There were at least 80 of them swinging about and I must say they put on quite an opening act. We were careful to hold on tour belongings however as these little guys are notorious thieves!!
I had heard Sepilok is often quite crowded but there were only about 20 of us on the large platform. There is an advantage to the rain after all.
Finally the “stars” showed up, but only two .I was hoping for more but I understand, with wild animals you never know. The Orang-Utan is one of the most endangered of Malaysian wildlife species. Found only in Borneo and Sumatra, the Orang-Utans’ survival is constantly threatened by forest fires, felling of trees, poaching and illegal hunting. The Orangutans are fascinating to watch with their all too human expressions and crazy red hair!! They are skillful acrobats and maneuver around the ropes, trees, and vines effortlessly. We watched until they climbed higher and higher and were eventually swallowed by the jungle.
The ticket to Sepilok is 70RM including a 10Rm camera fee. The ticket is good for the whole day so we left kn
Written May 16, 2011
We visited here during the monsoon .
The rain started in early evening and it added to our atmosphere as we enjoyed a cold beer at the Banana Cafe before dinner .
That night however the rain came down with a fury. It was the loudest and heaviest I’ve ever experienced. A part way through the night we began to wonder if we would be washed away.
Thankfully it eased to a normal stream just before morning and we drifted to sleep to its steady beat.
Morning dawned cloudy but the jungle let us know all was well by a cheery chorus from its many birds.
Written May 15, 2011
As soon as we arrived we arranged to go here to see the 4:30 feeding. This is a private sanctuary owned by a palm oil plantation owner.There are about 300 monkeys in the sanctuary and we were thrilled to see at least 70 of them. Wow what an experience , we really got to see them up close and personal. We spent over an hour here watching the monkeys interacting with each other and taking hundreds of pictures.
Honestly I think I was as much in awe of these as I was with the orangutans.They are quite a spectical with their huge noses and their pot bellies. The big nose is thought to be used to attract females and is a characteristic of the males, reaching up to 7 inches in length. They are one of the world’s most unusal animals.
There are two large family groups here, along with a group of bachelors. Each group kept to themselves and dined separately
The proboscis monkey is unique to Borneo and a protected species. They live mostly in the mangrove forests and are in danger of extinction. Its total population has decreased by more than 50% in the 36–40 years to 2008 due to ongoing deforestation and hunting.
The proboscus have a very complicated digestive system .Food must ferment ( which is why they have pot bellies) They cannot survive captivity. Deforestation is their biggest threat.
We were so fortunate to see them..The cost for the taxi ,and the entrance was $100.00 for the two of us .This included the driver waiting. It was so worth it for this once in a life time viewing.
Updated May 6, 2011
Address: Near Sandakan
Orang Utan is an endangered species of ape. It shared 96.4% of human genes. It was estimated that only about 15000 of them survied in the wild. Most of them live in the treetops of the Malaysian and Indonesian Rainforests. You'll appreciate the effort of the staff there helping this lovely animal learn their survival skills and put them back in the wild
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: WDT 200, 90009, Sandakan, Sabah
Phone: 089 531180
This is a large and very busy wet market in a double story building Sandakan city centre.
This Market has everything!
We were with a guide, so wandered around with him, having a look, asking questions, and getting to sample some of the unusual fruits (to us)
There was a huge selection of all types of Meats and Seafoods. In the Fish section, even though I didn't want to buy, the people were so friendly and wanted to have their photo's taking holding their "prize" fish!
On the2nd floor of the building, it is clothing and accessories, shoes, bags and Crafts for sale.
A great market to go and have a look at!
Updated Mar 30, 2011
Address: Sandakan city
The Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre was established in 1964. Its main purpose was to rehabilitate orphaned orang-utans whose habitat was disrupted by logging, deforestation and poaching. Included are orang-utans that were rescued or confiscated from unlicensed owners. The orang-utans are trained to adapt to the jungle environment so that they could be eventually released to the wild. This is done by providing the animals with monotonous food, to encourage them to forage in the jungle on their own.
Located about 25 kilometres to the west of Sandakan, the centre is within the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve, which covers an area of 5529 hectares. I had wanted to come here ever since I saw a programme about it, a few years ago on TV and had looked forward to getting here throughout my 6 weeks in Malaysia and it was virtually the last place I visited in the country. We turned up with the crowds for the 10 am feeding frenzy and watched in amazement as the orang-utans lazily made their way right past us with one particular chap doing multiple head-over-heel rolls along the boardwalk to the feeding platform. We then watched in amusement as the ever mischievous macaques stole whatever food they could from underneath the platform, right in front of the orang-utans! As well as seeing these wonderful creatures, you can also visit a Visitors Centre and Shop. For more photos and some video clips, visit my Sepilok page below:
Open: 9am-12pm & 2-4pm daily. Feeding times are at 10am & 3pm.
Admission: RM30 for foreigner plus RM10 for cameras/camcorders.
Written Sep 2, 2010
Masjid Jamek Sandakan is a mosque in the centre of Sandakan just along the road from the museum. It was originally built in the 1890's as a place of worship for the Indian Muslims in Sandakan. Muslims sought refuge here during the Second World War, and it even acted as a hiding place for a few Europeans.
Updated Sep 2, 2010
Address: Lebuh Empat
Agnes Keith House was once the home of the famous American writer Agnes Newton Keith and is located on the hill overlooking Sandakan with the Sulu Sea behind it. Agnes Keith came to live in Sabah with her husband in the 1930's. While she was in Sabah, Keith wrote several novels, the most famous of which was Land Below the Wind, written in 1939.
Agnes Keith's house was destroyed during the Second World War. During that time, Agnes Keith endured imprisonment under the Japanese, while at the same time trying to raise her young son. This is documented in the house.
In 1946, following the war, the government rebuilt it on the same foundations. The Keiths continued to stay in the house, as Mr Keith worked for the government as the conservator of forests. Their son, George, was born in the house. After the Keiths left Sabah in 1952, the house continued to be known as the Agnes Keith House. It fell into disrepair by the 1990's, but was eventually restored and conserved as a heritage building, providing visitors a glimpse of life during the British administration of North Borneo. There is also an English Tea House within the compound - a departure from Agnes Keith's attempt to make her home more American and less British.
Admission: RM15 when bought with the ticket to the Sabah Museum in Kota Kinabalu but it has to be on the same day which is just impossible and silly. I got quite annoyed about this and complained at the tourist information office which is next to the Sandakan Heritage Museum.
Written Sep 2, 2010
This museum wasn't mentioned in my copy of Lonely Planet but was opened on 5th December 2003 to document the history of Sandakan. Sandakan had a head start over other cities in Asia in terms of development - it was the capital of British North Borneo from 1884 until the end of the Second World War. In 1923, it was installed with an automatic telephone exchange, and this was even before Hong Kong and Shanghai got theirs.
The Sandakan Heritage Museum is housed inside Wisma Warisan, which was a British government building during colonial times. The office of the British Resident was located on the first floor of the building, while on the ground floor, there was a post office where the Tourist Information Centre is located today. The museum is fairly small and simple and includes some black and white photos of various city scenes from the past, pictures of North Borneo stamps, and the British Residents desk.
Written Sep 2, 2010
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