Roughin' it in the Jungles of Borneo!

Trip Start Apr 09, 2010
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Trip End May 25, 2010


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Saturday, April 17, 2010

We flew from KK to Sandakan (east Borneo) and started our two day jungle safari!  The tour company overall was by far THE BEST and most organized tour either of us had been on.  They coordianted airport pick-ups, guide exchanges, boat rides, cold towels at each stopping point, amazingly delicious buffet meals and were FULL of useful historical information about Borneo and the Sabah Jungle regions/wildlife.

Day 1: We headed to the Sepilok Oranguntan rehabiliation center where there were over 50 Apes going through the 5 stages of rehabilitation to be released back into the wild. Sepilok is the largest rehabilitation center in the world and Orangutans are most populous on the Island of Borneo!  These apes share are over 96% of the same DNA as human beings and are considered our closest reletives.  The centre rescues Orangutans that had illegally been taken as pets or had been orphaned in the wild.  Next, we hopped on a boat and went deep into the Kinabatangan River to Abai Lodge where we were greeted with a cold face towel, a cold bottle of water and a delicious buffet meal waiting for us to devour!

We met a lot of interesting people on the tour from both the UK and the US, all living and working in SE Asia.  Pretty amazing that in 3 days in a 'reletively' remote place like Borneo, we managed to meet so many people that were living abroad - and it was great to hear about all their experiences in SE Asia!  After getting acquainted with our tour mates, we start our river Safari and managed to see a 5ft Crocodile, a snake, several types of monkey's including the Proboscis Monkey, only found in Borneo! 

We spent the night at the Kinabatangan Riverside Lodge and again retired early after a BIG delicious buffet dinner and were ready for our last day in the Jungle - coming tomorrow.

Day 2: We hopped on a bus early in the morning and were taken to the Gomantong Caves where tiny birds named swiftlets build the VERY expensive Bird's Nest to make the Chinese delicacy - Birds Nest Soup!  The nests are essentially made of the swiftlet's spit and people spend hundreds of dollars weekly to drink the soup as it's believed to have youth enhancing and health benefits.  We were fortunate to be there during the month of harvesting which only happens 3 times a year.  Locals are perched on rickety little bamboo ladders over 100 metres in the air gathering these "precious" birds nests.

The caves were FILLED with bat and bird droppings along with a slew of cockroaches along the hand railings and the boardwalks!  We had to make our way along a slippery boardwalk throughout the cave, avoiding the cockroaches and dodging the droppings from above!  We survived without any slippage (or rather landing face first in bat droppings). Next we headed onwards to the largest Buddhist temple in Sabah.  We were again fed a scrumptious buffet meal at the beautiful Sandakan Hotel before flying back to KK for the last 2 days in Borneo!
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Comments

Jaime on

Thank you for sharing your trip!! You should consider journalism - interesting read! Can't wait to see and hear about your next adventure...

Dan on

That sounds awesome... not so much about the cockroaches but the tour sounds like it was well worth the trip!! Cold towels must have been nice... plus the buffet (Jeff) hahaha j/k soup sounds interesting... I wonder what it tastes like.. I doubt I would enjoy it ^^

Lindsay on

Wow, that jungle trip sounds amazing! For world travellers like you guys to say that it was the most organized tour you've been on, that's saying something!

You've made me a little worried about the jet lag though, I won't have a couple of days to catch-up!

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