Saturday, November 08, 2014

Wrapping Up Borneo and Why It’s Southeast Asia’s Hidden Gem


Day 1 in Borneo brought pleasant surprises and a strong feeling of, “why don’t more people visit this place?”

Day 2 in Borneo brought us up close and personal with baby orangutans and resort life.

Day 3 in Borneo was spent exploring secluded beaches and being terrified by giant lizards that desperately wanted to eat us.

Day 4 in Borneo offered us a chance to do a quick local hike and take it slow before sadly saying goodbye to Malaysia.

Signal Hill Observatory Platform

We had to be at the airport by 3:30 PM that afternoon to catch a flight to Bali, so we thought it would be best to stay in KK until then. We had read about a quick hike up to the Signal Hill Observatory Tower and figured this would be the perfect time to do that.

So we wrapped up breakfast at the North Borneo Cabin and headed out. Google Maps, as it often is in SE Asia, wasn’t completely accurate (although we found it to be much more accurate in Malaysia and Indonesia than in Thailand and Laos). We were given this as our walking route. 19 minutes, very doable.

Turns out though, in spite of selecting the walking man, this was the driving route. Hikers can take a much more direct route, one that would have only taken about 5 minutes from our hostel.

To hike to the Signal Hill Observatory, follow this route instead. When you get to that corner, keep going straight into the parking lot (towards the green area on the map) and you’ll see a sign post and some stairs.

Borneo is way more developed than you thought, right? The video that we watched at the Rasa Ria Orangutan Sanctuary mentioned that Kota Kinabalu is one of the fastest developing cities in all of Malaysia, so I suppose it’s not fair to say all of Borneo is this developed.

Also, do yourself a favor and don’t eat at the restaurant at the lookout. Alexis got a chicken sandwich that tasted to her, and looked to me, like the most disgusting thing ever. It was a crappy frozen chicken patty smothered in way too much ketchup and mayonnaise. Just a mushy, disgusting mess.

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