Posts

Showing posts from May, 2018

Jakarta & Bandung

Image
Yay, we were off to a new country but first we had a day of traveling and airports to look forward to. Starting with a midday flight from Tawau to Kular Lumpar, then 4 hours wait, then an evening flight to Indonesia.  We decided to start our travels in Jakarta, as it’s got major transport links to everywhere and we hadn’t decided where in Indonesia we wanted to go. Just to add to the general travelling complications, Ramadan had started a few days earlier and as Indonesia is over 80% Muslim we didn't know how this would impact us. In fact, so far it hasn’t affected us that much but traffic was greatly increased around 5pm as everyone rushed home to break their fast. We also had to remind ourselves to not drink water openly on the street or smoke in case we caused offense. Most restaurants are open all day but everyone eats and drinks inside away from general view, some smoking areas are closed and alcohol is not served until evening or is served in teapots or coffee cups.
Back to…

24 Week Update

Well that’s another 8 weeks gone since the 2nd recap, they do seem to be flying in! 
So, we’re now 24 weeks in and roughly half way through our adventure, so time for another one. We’ve spent the whole last 8 weeks in Malaysia (apart from the 3 days we were in Singapore) and this is where we have been –

Langkawi Georgetown Ipoh Cameron Highlands Kuala Lumpur Tioman Island Singapore Melaka Kuching Miri Kota Kinabula Sandakan Turtle Island Kinabatangan River Semporna Tawau
We spent a bit longer here than we really expected or planned too, but it’s such an amazing place and with so much to see and do, we wanted to stay a bit longer and it does help that they issue a 90-day visa too.
But we both feel it’s time to move on, and we’re on route to Jakarta for 4 days as our first stop in Indonesia. Looking forward to different cultures, food and experiences whilst there, along with some awesome beaches, snorkelling, volcanoes and dragons!
x

Semporna & Tawau

Image
We got on board and the bus was nearly full, so initially we had separate seats, but it was a comfy air-con coach, so not all bad. I paid the 45 MYR each for the 3 hour journey, and after a few more locals and tourists got on, off we went down towards Semporna. We had one quick toilet stop and a few hours later we arrived, and with a 5 min walk to find our hostel (after having to message them to ask), we got checked in and shown our room.
With only staying here a couple of nights, we booked cheap so we had a shared bathroom. We also had no window and the bed was pretty much on the floor. But what was more surprising was that the place was full of workmen and it was clearly going through a refurbishment, as certain bits were all new. However, there was walls half built, we had to step over someone welding to go into the ‘Living Room’ which was nice. But the people who ran the place were lovely, so we just put up with it for the 2 nights.

Once we got settled, we headed out for food. Se…

Sepilok & Kinabatangan

Image
The next destination of our time on Borneo was one that we had spent a bit of time researching into, as our hunt to see wild orangutan continued. Sadie had picked this location, as its reputed for being one of the best places to see them in the whole of the Borneo/Sumatra area. As she mentioned in the previous blog, we got it booked whilst in Sandakan.
The area is called Kinabatangan River, and is around a 2-hour drive south of Sandakan, however the tour company can pick us up either at your hotel or at Sepilok, so we opted for the latter as we wanted to see what it was like.
Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre was set up by an Englishwoman called Barbara Harrison and opened in 1964 and is like Semenggoh that we visited whilst in Kuching, however the major difference is that this place still operates as a centre and has a nursery area which opened in 2014, and allows the public to view the nursery and watch the babies learn to be outside. So, although the babies and juveniles are…

Kota Kinabalu & Sandakan

Image
Kota Kinabalu is a busy town and as it’s the leap frog place for a lot of snorkelling / jungle / trekking adventures and has a fair few touristy eateries and bars. The hostel we were staying at was called Lavender Lodge and it’s an easy walk to the water front, shopping malls and Jessleton point, which is where all the boats depart from. We had a clean and large double room with attached bathroom (we’ve not actually braved a shared bathroom this trip yet) and they did a simple coffee, toast and fruit breakfast each morning. It gets a bit boring by the 3rd day!
The first afternoon we headed out to explore and ended up at the waterfront. Prices here are a bit inflated compared to inland, but beer, wine and decent pub grub is on offer at nearly every bar. We stopped at Shamrock Irish bar and as soon as I saw snakebite n black on the menu I kinda had to have one. We watched the sun setting out to sea and watched the fishing boats coming and going and then became aware of the dark clouds …

Kuching & Miri

Image
Melaka marked the end of our amazing time on the Malaysian Peninsula, and we were now heading over the South China Sea to East Malaysia, on the Island of Borneo, where we were set to explore the states of Sarawak and Sabah.

This involved an early morning rise and taxi to the bus station, to catch the 8am bus to Kuala Lumpur airport. The 2-hour bus journey was uneventful, and we got to the airport with a few hours to kill. We had what was probably the worst breakfast of the trip from KFC, so with only ourselves to blame. I had also managed to pick up a sore throat over the past couple of days, so poor Sadie had to listen to me moaning and even tried to convince me to be quiet to help my throat… as if ha-ha!
It was a short flight over to our next destination of Kuching, which is the state capital of Sarawak and is famous for its love of cats, cat statues, weird government buildings and it's colonial history.


Deciding to stay here for 5 nights, we got a taxi from the airport to our…