Sunday, 23 March 2008

Sabah Wrap

• Much more organized, more ‘finished’ than Thailand – more modern buildings, more infrastructure, more car accidents.
• Most places have a satellite dish.
• Very few street vendors
• No scooters
• Tropical storms – very heavy, start very quickly
• Hyatt Regency too smothering – people wanting to ‘help you’ at every turn.
• Lots of Germans at Hyatt Regency.
• Surprised to find UK style powerpoints.
• All the restaurants near Hyatt Regency were overpriced. Very hard to get Malaysian food – lots of Western restaurants plus fast food chains.
• Coffee & tea facilities in Hyatt Regency!! But leaving too early to use them. Rats!
• No mobile/cell phone signal in the Mount Kinabalu National Park. How uncivilized.
• Large stinky flower – Rafflesia sp.
• Pin-head orchid. (Yes, it is tiny).
• Visit to Poring Hot springs – guide’s accent made it sound like ‘boiling hot springs’.
• Miles and miles of palm oil plantations.
• Lots of road slippages, areas where the roads had disappeared down the hillside.
• Gomantong Caves – where they harvest bird’s nests for bird’s nest soup. Everything in the cave is covered in bird and bat droppings, including walkways and hand rails. Funny reddish cockroach critters feeding on all the guano.
• Kinabantangan River cruise – Macacque monkeys and Proboscis monkeys. Sundry birds and butterflies. Dodgey engine on the boat – no way we would ever sneak up on the animals.
• Riverside cabins – with mosquito nets.
• Didn’t see any pigmy elephants but saw where they had been.
• Borer eating our bedside lamp.
• Visited ghost resort next door. Too prone to flooding to survive. But growing beautiful gardenias. No wonder they don’t grow well at home.
• Most lodges require you to remove shoes before entering.
• Watched a Green Turtle lay 95 eggs, oblivious to the 52 people clustered around her.
• Great fun watching orang utans being fed; natural comedians. Had to compete with ‘pirate’ Macaque monkeys who raided the feeding table at times.
• Everyday is an early start – before 7am.
• You know you are in a different world when road kill includes crocodiles.
• Like Thailand, many of the women in ads are ‘western’.
• If Pepsi seems to have cornered the cola franchise, the catholic church seems to have the (visible) share of religion here but there are some beautiful mosques.
• Could see the Philippines from Turtle Island.
• Most travel companies refer to Borneo rather than Sabah or Malaysia. Sounds more exotic, I suspect.
• Happiness, and a certain amount of amazement, when you arrive at a far flung airport and find a guy standing in the arrivals lounge with a piece of paper with your name on it.


  1. 'Borer eating our bedside lamp' had to be one of the oddest - then there was a picture to illustrate!

  2. At least Poring Hot springs – guide’s accent made it sound like ‘boiling hot springs’ and NOT Boring hot springs.

    Your holiday sounds so fun! Keep up the holiday posts, enjoy reading them!


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