Kota Kinabalu, Sepilok, Kinabatangan, Lahad Datu
Our journey from Labuan Bajo to Kota Kinabalu, although a relatively short distance as the crow flies, would take 3 flights (via Bali and KL) and a full day of travelling. This meant that we arrived to Kota Kinabalu (KK) tired. With a rucksack full of laundry, some trip admin to do and some Spanish studying to catch up on we were never going to see much of KK in the couple of days that we were there.
However, what we did get to enjoy in KK was the food. It was so good to be back on Malay food. We had both enjoyed Indonesian food, but in my humble opinion it just can’t compete with Malay cooking. We were particularly glad to have roti back on the menu and wasted no time in visiting a local roti joint in the basement of Centrepoint shopping centre.
I ate roti Cobra, which was a plate of chopped up roti, vegetables, chicken curry and a fried egg. It was every bit as delicious as it sounds. Kim was straight back on the tried and tested Murtabak.
KK also served as a good base for a day trip to Kinabalu Park in the foothills of Mt Kinabalu and the Poring Hot Springs. We hired a car for the day and got our first taste of the Bornean countryside. The drive offered plenty of views of the peak and our first glimpse of the palm oil plantations that cover so much of Borneo.
There was a notable drop in temperature when we reached Kinabalu Park, due to the altitude, so much so that for the first time on the trip I put a jumper on! We spent a wonderful couple of hours hiking round some of the many trails that criss-cross the park. We didn’t see much wildlife and we got bitten by quite a few leeches, but we both thoroughly enjoyed our first experience of the Bornean jungle.
After a tasty lunch in Ranau (roti again!), we drove on to Poring Hot Springs for a bath in the natural spring water. Whilst the spring water may have been natural, there was nothing natural about the pools themselves. Each pool was essentially a bathtub, where one could run themselves a bath.
The water pressure left a lot to be desired and it took us quite a while to get something we could actually sit in properly. Still, it was nice to have a bath after so many days of cold showers and it was a great spot for people watching so all in all it was a nice day trip.
From KK, we took a comfortable 7 hour bus ride to Sepilok for a night at Uncle Tan’s Ops Centre/ B&B before our Kinabatangan tour with the same company the next day.
Before our tour started, we had an opportunity to visit the Orangutan and Sun Bear Conservation Centres, conveniently located down the road from where we were staying.
Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: Kim and Joe's Travels: Borneo – Sabah Part 1.