Saturday, January 02, 2016

Star of Sorts: A Relaxing Christmas in Borneo


The best thing about moving to Honky for me is travel.  I’m so lucky to have had the opportunity to visit so many places since our arrival: Taiwan, Seoul, Mumbai and Kerala in India, Siem Reap in Cambodia, Chiang Mai in Thailand (again!), Beijing and finally Australia.  As you can see from the gaps in the blog –  I’ve got quite some way to go in documenting all these trips!

So let me start with the most recent whilst it’s fresh in my mind – Borneo. Christmas is normally spent in throws of icy UK winters, gorging on food left, right and centre; and in the company of my favourite people – the Malatesta clan!

This year we thought we’d change gears and head somewhere hot just the two of us.  And so because in typical Stars and Joe fashion we’d left it too late to book our preferred destination – Bali – we settled for Borneo.  Flights were about one sixth of the price if you wanted to go direct, and so we thought we’d save a bit of cash and take on part of Malaysia.

Borneo is no doubt, beautiful – lush green jungle, sandy beaches and crystal waters.  I have to say though that we probably didn’t make the most of everything that is on offer.  We had very good intentions of traveling to Sipidan, Sepilok and climbing the famous Mt Kinabalu over our two week stay…  Instead we made an executive decision (after a lot of typical uming and ahhing from me) to just stay, in one spot and totally relax (note we also came back to HK a week early).

The umming and ahhing stems from my inability to actually sit back relax and do nothing.  I’m basically incapable of relaxing and sort of feel under pressure to do as much exploring as possible in a new country.  Pressure from who I have no idea.  But I actually managed to do it (it has to be noted there were a few wobbles and I had to be brought around by Joe’s maximum chill ethos) and really enjoyed it!

We stayed Shangri-La Rasa Ria resort about 45 minutes outside the main town of Kota Kinabalu. This was the first time I’d ever stayed in a big beach resort like this and can certainly see the attraction – everything you could want is there!  Restaurants, pools, spas, golf, beach, activities galore and more.

That isn’t to say we were sitting ducks, although the sand flies and mozzies seemed to think so.  We managed to get out on a couple of day trips – a river cruise to spot some of the local wildlife which included monkeys, giant lizards and fireflies and a boat trip to a little island called Sapa to do a bit of snorkeling.

Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: Star of Sorts: A Relaxing Christmas in Borneo
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