When visiting Sapi Island be aware that the wild monkeys come out at about 1pm and they ravage through peoples bags that are left on the tables.and other belongings quite indiscriminately. If you are not careful they will rip everything out of your bags and take off with items. When I was there, there were some very upset people who had their belongings strewn everywhere.One lost their mobile phone and no calling of the phone helped in locating it in the jungle.
This state is said to be the most region at Malaria risk in the whole of Malaysia so it is important to take the necessary precautions. In this case prevention is the only option, you really don't want to get Malaria!
Check with your doctor for appropriate tablets, don't forget to tell him/her the exact region where you shall be going, the tablet requirements here are different from let's say, South America.
I took Lariam based tablets - they were the only option I had (one of the disadvantages of living in a very small country). Lariam has had plenty of negative publicity due to side effects almost as atrocious as the malaria itself ... as they seem to affect the mind (e.g. depression, hallucinations etc ... almost all imaginable terrible side effects in fact!) They did not affect me, but apparently suffering from some sort of side effect or another is quite common - speak to your doctor if in doubt!
Insect repellent especially for the tropics is another must ... normal insect repellent won't do!
The abundance of mosquitos depends on the season, I did not find a lot of mosquitos in September ... i got bitten on just 4 days out of 1 month despite the precautions I took. Hopefully these will not result in any malaria!
Wearing long sleeves is recommended in areas where mosquitos are very bad ... but this may be too uncomfortable because of the heat. I could not stand strappy tops let alone long sleeves!!! I opted for extra insect repellant instead ... this is not good advice though!
Im not being prejudice but just to be careful... I was advised by my friend in Sabah to be carefully when walking around town. To keep the money in safe place.. lots of Phillipines immigrant walking around the town and sitting at the road side.. but I never feel scared or maybe Im having too much fun..
If you trek in lowland jungle, it seems inevitable that you’ll encounter leeches. These heat-seeking creatures can “flick” themselves off leaves or ground to land mostly on the foot to knee region. The cure is to get gaiters that are impervious to the blood suckers. Even hiking boots and long socks are no preventive. One fellow trekker ended up bleeding out from a leech bite for about a half hour after its anticoagulant had taken effect.
These are basically harmless encounters. After drinking their fill, the critters go away, but it is eerie to see them waving like tentacles toward your blood. And the tiger leeches (like the one pictured here) have bites that actually hurt. They can also crawl to surprising places. I had one on my belly and my friend had one that crawled up from long pants cuff to knee…
While I was in a hut in Manukan island (which was comparatively expensive considering I had paid one third of the amount to stay in a suite in a 4 star hotel in KK) I once left my money in the hut and went for a walk. The money was divided in 2 wallets and each well hidden at the bottom of rucksacks.
That night I went to sleep and was looking for my mobile to use it as an alarm the day after. I had left the mobile in a drawer near the bed. It was gone ... I got a sick feeling and went to check on the wallets - all the money (some $800) was gone as well!
So please NEVER LEAVE ANYTHING VALUABLE IN YOUR ROOMS! LEAVE THEM IN A SAFE IF THE HOTEL IS REPUTABLE OR ELSE TAKE THEM WITH YOU.
Humidity is very high, forget the old saying that only horses sweat, gentlemen perspire and ladies glow.............you SWEAT !
drink lots of water [ Tiger beer is NOT an acceptable substitute !] and take rehydration suppliment to maintain your electrolyte balance..........
wear loose, light cotton clothing and rest during the hottest part of the day
There are a lot of Macaque monkeys around on the trails so watch out for all of your belongings. Keep everything out of reach of these guys. They can grab your valuables and be off with them in a flash.
One morning when we were staying at Gayana Resort, we could see contents of a womens purse thrown all along the beach.The tissues were torn in shreads.
We also saw them drinking from a box of juice.
Beware of leeches ! they sit in wait for your nice fresh blood !!!
the tiger leeches od the Danum valley are particularly clever, they sit in wait then hurl themselves at you when you pass, then make a bee - line for those warm , hidden places !
they fall off when squirted with mosquito repellent or touched with a cigarette, and you are given a certificate to thank you for your blood donation
This 50 pounds of muscles, fangs and fur threatens hikers on the path is Sepilok's Orangutan sanctuary. I don't know what's the best way to deal with this, but I stood my ground and made noise as I waved a stick at him. He eventually left.
When out and about for the day to these Island National Parks make sure that you have plenty of fresh bottled drinking water with you at all times.. The days can be extremely hot here and do not underestimate the heat in the sun I saw some british tourists here that were incredibly sunburnt. Dehydration can creep up on you so make sure that you replace all lost body fluids as often as possible...drink lots of water ..
Beware when purchasing bottled water here to check the "caps" to see that seal has NOT been broken and that the bottle has been re-filled with tap water...It happened to me and I suffered for three days..
Whilst we were in Sandakan we were lucky enough to see snakes. One in particular was sleeping on the hand rail of a boardwalk. I spotted it just in time. Although this one pictured is a harmless python they can give a painful bite. A few days later we saw another at the entrance to a restaurant. A local told us that this one was deadly. After that I made sure to check handrails!
Okay, I have to admit it, I am a real sweet-tooth. So with me to Sabah, I brought this big can of "Liquorice Animals". They tasted great, hahaha, and I was amazed that I was able I hadn't all of them by now. But this afternoon, getting back to the lodge at Sukau, I felt I just HAD to have a "Liquorice Animal".
I remember clearly from that morning that I had one precious candy left in the can. Yummy! That last "Liquorice Animal" was going to taste sooo good! So without looking (as I always do) I put my had in the can..... But oops...... what is that????
In the corner of my eye I saw there were TWO objects in the can, and in a reflex I removed my hand again. That's not right! I was sure I had only one animal candy left!!!!
I bend over to look in the can to take a better look at what I saw. Hahaha, and started to laugh without end! :-))) Oh yes, there were two animals in the can, but only one of them was made of liquorice! LOL :-))
This little lizard was looking up at me. Hahaha, I think both of us were glad that I noticed him just in time, LOL.
Orangutans, just like us, are prone to diseases such as malaria. Don't take things into their area that might hurt them. Water bottles spread all sorts of germs, insecticides are hazardous, and constant ringing of mobiles stressful. Although the orangutans keep their distance macaques don't. These feisty monkeys will think nothing of running of with you bag.
When we arrived in Sabah we took a taxi to a bus station then on again to another bus station, that would take us to the National Park. When we arrived at the bus station I suddenly found myself surrounded be about 10 men all yelling, as they pulled at me, "Where you want to go lady!". I was scared and unsure what to do. I ignored them hoping if I said nothing they would leave me alone. As this is happening my husband who was in front of me is getting further away. I started to yell out "Don't leave me!" when all of a suddenly that exactly what he did! He takes off running! Two minutes later he was back at my side, with a firm grip, explaining to me that one of the men had stolen our luggage from the bus to put in another bus. His bus was going the totally opposite way to where we wanted to go but this did not deter him. We eventually found the right bus and sat down in our seats only to be rudely told we had read our tickets wrong. We were shown to the back of the bus. Once we settled in I took another look at the tickets. We had in fact been sitting in the correct seats according to the ticket. Just happy to be left alone we didn't argue. It was once the bus started to head off it became clear why we were moved. Two of the annoying men sat themselves in our seats. Just above their heads was a movie playing. The volume was just loud enough so they could hear it. I didn't really want to watch the movie as I was happy looking out the window but it still annoyed the crap out of me anyway!!
The macaques at Sepilok can be very aggressive. We watched from afar as these smart cookies tried the zips on peoples bags when their backs were turned. I also saw a very tiny baby climb from his mothers back to hit out at a tourist. He was so small the tourist didn't even notice. The little one defiantly had a case of monkey see monkey do.
One day after watching the orangutans we started to make our way along the boardwalk. The macaques were lying in wait. It was a little scary as they hissed and bared teeth at us.
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