Three months before we set off on our trip we stumbled across an Air Asia ‘flash sale’.
For around £200 return we could all fly from KL to Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo; knowing we could be in KL at the right time we decided it was too good an opportunity to miss.
After snapping up the cheap fares we then thought very little about it until last month when we started researching the options for our time in Borneo.
At that stage it’s fair to say I started to doubt our earlier ‘let’s just book it’ attitude when faced with stories of long over-land journeys, trekking through rain forest infested with mutant insects and various tropical diseases, and staying in the most basic of back packer accommodation.
But today marks the end of our two weeks here and I can wholeheartedly say it has been a wonderful experience which I wouldn’t hesitate to repeat.
Our first few days were spent in the regional capital, Kota Kinabalu.
Tourists are usually drawn here for the diving opportunities in Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park.
For us it was more a case of that’s where the cheap flight came in to, but still, we decided it would be rather rude not to take a little boat out to a white sand beach and have a dip in the warm waters of the South China Sea.
The boats are much like taxis; we selected the two islands we wanted to visit and then were dropped off and picked up at an agreed time.
We also hired a couple of sets of snorkelling equipment in the hope that we could persuade the children to give it a go.
We spent a morning on the island of Manukan.
As we disembarked at the jetty we could immediately see shoals of fish in the water below.
Seeing how close to the shore the coral reef is gave the children the confidence to tackle the snorkelling.
Harriet in particular, took to it like- well, a fish to water, and spent an hour marvelling at the thousands of brightly coloured Nemo-like fish.
Even 3 year old Josie was able to stand knee deep and have silvery fish dart between her feet much to her delight.
We would be very limited in the luggage we could take on with us from KK (as everyone calls it).
The intention was to take one pull-along case and two small backpacks with enough clothes for a run of two lots of five days (we would have a chance to do washing half way in Sandakan).
We did however need to make space in our bags for Halloween goodies.
Luckily KK has some great shopping malls so we were able to find some face paint and sweets to take on with us so the occasion could still be marked.
We were able to leave all the rest of our luggage in the hotel in KK where it would be securely stored for the ten days we were away.
Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: 5traveltheworld: Borneo: Part 1.