Sunday, August 25, 2013

So that was Sabah!

This was our last holiday period before the end of our (first) Fellows Project, and we had travelled over most of Malaysia - but not Sabah.

At exactly the same time as we were booking fares and accommodation in Kota Kinabalu, we heard from an Australian friend of more than 20 years that she could be there during that time.

So it was going to be a good time.

Our hotel - The Klagan (not a pretty name!) - is beyond those trees - nice and central, so we could walk to the shops, markets, seashore etc.

The city of Kota Kinabalu is way more upmarket than Kuala Terengganu - they have pavements, and the drains are mostly covered, and there are even several huge shopping centres.

From our hotel window we had a lovely view of the sea, and the islands, fishing boats and island taxi-boats zipping back and forth, and the foreshore where the markets were held.

And if we twisted a little further to the right we could see (through the very dirty glass) the distant Mount Kinabalu - on the days when the weather was fine.

Unfortunately our planned trip to the National Park at the foot of the mountain fell through - it turned out to be awful weather that day, so maybe it was just as well.

It was the Hari Raya (end of Ramadhan) holiday period and school holidays, so things were fairly jumping with markets and celebrations of all kinds.

Our taxi driver told us that on the previous day he'd had a day off and returned to his home village where he had attended ten (10) 'Open House' celebrations (eating events).

Monkeys and Fireflies

Borneo is famous for its wildlife, and so we booked a bus-trip out to the 'wilds' to see the Proboscis monkeys, as well as the fireflies putting on a display.

First there was rather a lo-o-ong bus trip.

Except of course we had to stop at a chocolate factory for everyone to get out and buy lots of chocolates.

Here is a cocoa tree that was growing outside the factory. Actually I'm not at all sure that it was a factory, really just a sales room - but our Chinese fellow-travellers sure bought up big.

So eventually we got to a river village with a jetty.

We were all loaded into boats and went a few minutes down the river. (I think this is the first time I saw the kid in the green shirt sit still since we left KK!)

They took us to this restaurant and gave us a snack - it had been a long time since the chocolate shop (and some of us hadn't eaten anything there!), and much longer since breakfast.

Then we were loaded into boats to go and look for the proboscis monkeys who would hopefully be out in the trees feeding now that the sun was getting low.

Everyone was very excited as we headed off up the river.

Our guide had told us to keep our eyes peeled as these are wild monkeys and you just have to find them in their natural habitat.

Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: So that was Sabah!