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  • Day35

    Shangri La Kota Kinabalu

    February 22, 2018 in Malaysia ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    We are now on the N coast of Borneo having arrived here via KL airport. The trip had two legs each of about two hours and we were informed by Malaysian Airways that for flights under three hours, there is no booze on board. Guess we are now in a serious Muslim country!

    As we arrived at our hotel after dark we did not appreciate the size of the hotel until the next day, although we did consider dropping breadcrumbs along the way when the porter was showing us to our room! It’s huge some 500rooms and it caters for families. This being Chinese New Year it means that it’s full of Chinese families in particular. Unfortunately Chinese children seem to be extremely poorly behaved. There are multiple bars and places to eat - it’s a bit like Butlins Holiday Camp of old.

    The good news is that It’s located in a great spot, just opposite several offshore islands, that have good snorkelling and diving sites. The other good news is that there are several pools on the property, one being strictly reserved for adults and I am very happy to say that the lifeguards strictly enforce this rule. If a child as much as dared dip a toe in the adult pool, a shrill whistle was heard and the children were ushered away.

    We did suffer a bit of culture shock after all the more sedate hotels we haven staying in. As we descended a flight of steps to the morning breakfast buffet room, we were greeted first by someone dressed up as a tiger, wearing big red Ronald MacDonald type shoes, (possibly a dog as it is the year of the Golden Dog), whose role it was to get all the kids excited. The buffet was huge, catering for western foods, Chinese foods, Malaysian food and Korean food. It was surrounded by hordes of adults and children grabbing their food. There were many signs saying don’t take too much food as it will be wasted, but it was “kid heaven” - one little boy had fried rice, dim sum, fried egg and a chocolate coated donut in the middle of his plate - yum! The next day we learned that this particular area is referred to ‘the war zone’ by the hotel staff - the next day we ate outside in relative peace and quiet.

    The hotel fulfilled its purpose of giving us a day to relax before journeying deeper into the rain forest. We made the most of this by enjoying a pleasant day by the pool.

    We are now off to the rain forests to see the orangutans, sun bears and various monkeys and do some bird watching. The highlight for Brian will be to see Anne cringing when we go at dusk to watch millions of bats and raptors fly out of a cave!
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