We arrived into Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia on Friday morning passing several small islands just off the coast.
Gaya Island had several upmarket resorts as well as a village built on stilts over the water.
It was hot and extremely humid.
We were met at the wharf entrance by Melina, the daughter of Hajah Halimah who runs a cooking school from her restaurant called D'Soka in a village outside of Kota Kinabalu.
Melina first took us through the local market where we bought a selection of traditional ingredients including wild fern (puck pakis) which grows in the forest and then onto the seafood market where we bought fresh blue swimmer crabs at the equivalent of $A3 per kilo, prawns and tuna.
Melina then drove us to her village to meet Hajah and begin the cooking class.
We helped prepare Chicken Liku and Kerabu Pakis, a warm salad made with the wild fern tips.
We then sat down to enjoy a feast which also included a tuna and okra curry, eggplant sambal, prawns and the crab cooked in a butter/milk sauce and beef with dark sweet soy sauce.
This was followed by a coconut milk and ice cream dessert and coffee with traditional sweets.
It was all delicious and we could have stayed for hours chatting but we had an appointment with the Orangutans.
Melina kindly drove us the 40 mins north to the beautiful Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort where they have a nature reserve.
Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: Insignia2015: The Island of Borneo.