Monday, November 17, 2014

C'est La Vie - Borneo

Borneo is an island I’ve never ventured to till now despite its reputation as a mecca for wildlife.

Not that it was difficult to get to given where I live, but I guess the opportunity never really presented itself before, and I always had other trips that were arguably easier to plan out.

And in some ways it was perhaps a good thing that I only got to go now, after finally getting a half-decent macro kit that allowed me to make the most out of the wildlife (whereas previously some of the following shots would have been impossible to take).

This trip was part of my third year in the degree, as a tropical ecology field course.

Despite serious apprehensions that mostly came from my experience with another British trip organiser (Operation Wallacea), this trip has managed to turn out decidedly better in every aspect while still costing me less money than the OpWall trip. So in short, it was pretty great.

We started out in Kota Kinabalu, the main city in Sabah where everyone flew in to from various parts of the world (mostly UK, but Joy and I flew in from Singapore where she was visiting before).

We stayed a night at a hotel that was way too fancy (causing Joy to sing Iggy Azalea’s Fancy non-stop for the whole trip), and found this market that made me want to live there forever.

A flight from KK and a 2.5 hours drive later, we arrived at Danum Valley.

The trees were absolutely enormous, and despite hailing from the same region (i.e. Southeast Asia), I have never seen a forest with trees this large before.

And indeed as I would later realise, the forests of Danum Valley were the best I’ve seen so far.

As with elsewhere in SE Asia, the forests are dominated with trees of the Dipterocarpaceae family.

These trees are unique in that they can grow to incredible heights, much taller than those in rainforests in other parts of the world.

Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: C'est La Vie - Borneo