Malaysia
Tanjung Aru

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    • Day 56

      Transition in Kota Kinabalu

      July 27, 2022 in Malaysia ⋅ 🌧 81 °F

      Our last days in Malaysia have been spent catching up on sleep and work emails. We have also started the mental task of reorienting ourselves to life back in Hawaii. It will be an adjustment to return to our school and work routines after being on the go for 8 weeks.

      Our hearts and minds are filled with an astonishing array of sights, scents, sounds, tastes and love for all of the people, animals, and places we visited. We are so grateful for the experiences we’ve had and the insights we’ve gained. We are inspired to do more for our planet and to advance health and equity for the many poor and oppressed around the world. The interconnectedness of people and place, as well as the environmental fragility of the planet, were distressingly evident as we circumnavigated the globe.

      Yesterday, there was a tremendous storm in the afternoon with lightening and thunder. It was the most rain we’ve seen ever. The deluge lasted about an hour and then passed. The grounds were a foot deep in water as we walked back
      to our room. This morning not a puddle remained. The trees and plants had soaked it all up. 🌴🌺🎋🌳🌸

      These are photos from around the hotel and a video of the rain. ⛈💕
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    • Day 11

      Kota Kinabalu (2) and recap

      April 16 in Malaysia ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

      After the early starts and sticky rainforest and bouncy, hard boat seats it was great to arrive back in KK, still sticky, of course, but looking forward to a few days of idleness.

      We stayed on the waterfront, with the islands of the Turku Abdul Raman Marine Park just offshore, and the most incredible sunsets, although it took a few days before we got out of the bar in time to see one.

      With Grab (the Malaysian Uber) cheap and efficient, it was a simple matter to venture downtown for shopping or dinner.

      After we had been here for three days, we got news of the eruption of Mt Ruang, a volcano on an island to the east of Sabah. Winds sent the ash our way, causing flights from KK to Kuala Lumpur to be cancelled. The hotel filled up as people had to extend their stays; some people were advised that the next available flight for re-booking was not for a week.

      As it turned out, we weren’t affected, and all too soon we were heading for home, with some great memories in tow.

      With an amazing and unique set of wild animals, and beautiful places and settings from which to see them, culture and history ranging from head hunters through to the Second World War, and mostly very friendly and helpful people, Sabah proved to be a great destination. Plus it’s reasonably cheap!

      Of course, the trip wouldn’t have been anywhere as good without Steve and Kim, travel companions par excellence! Great experiences are always better when shared with good friends and loved ones!
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    • Day 12–18

      R & R at the Shangrila

      April 17 in Malaysia ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

      We had 5 full days of kicking back at this excellent resort. Membership of the "Horizon Club" gave us child free a la carte breakfasts and 3 hours of free beverages with snacks each afternoon. Sakina is the best barmaid we have ever experienced. Our livers may have suffered though.Read more

    • Day 84

      Kota Kinabalu

      February 6, 2023 in Malaysia

      9 a.m. - I did the same as the day before. Wrote some penguins stuff.

      10:30 a.m. - Then we went for breakfast and we did laundry afterwards.

      12 p.m. - Afterwards Lea and I went back to the bus station to pick up our stuff we forgot on Mabul. We got everything perfect in a small package back in a good condition. I was so happy that all worked out and it wasn’t even expensive.

      1 p.m. - When we arrived back in the hostel Syah did a kind of card reading with me. I had to thought about a person and the he read the cards kind of. I had no clue. In the end it turned out that my sister and I do have a very good connection. Syah is talking a lot the hole day also a lot of trash so I don’t know exactly if he just did something or if it was a proper on.

      3 p.m. - We went to Tanjung Aru beach. I played some football with local kids
      which is always fun and just chilled at the beach. Later we had a heartbreaking goodbye because Lea got a flight to the Philippines. Afterwards we watched a beautiful sunset before we went back to the hostel.

      7:30 p.m. - We went out for dinner to the food market where we were last time. Eli and I got again some good seafood and fish. And my dessert was a dragon fruit. I already know that I will miss all the exotic fruits and their taste back home. Afterwards we played again “Settler’s of Catan” and had another heartbreaking goodbye with Femke because she was leaving the next day earlier than Eli and I.

      P.S.: If someone told me before that I will travel with a group of five for a month I would have said never but it came like this and we grew together like a family. I am glad for that but unfortunately that chapter ends and a new one begins.
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    • Day 35

      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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    • Day 2,380

      Snorkeling

      June 4, 2022 in Malaysia ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

      I wake early as today Michael and I are heading out to one of the islands just of Kota kinabalu. I amazed at the beauty that Malaysia can bring you from Rainforest to beautiful beaches within 30 minutes. We walk to Jesselton Jetty where within minutes of buying a ticket £35 £7 we are boarding a speedboat to Manukan island. Michael's kindly lent me one of his snorkeling kits so there's no need to hire one and when we arrive a 20rm £4 visitors tax is charged. We find a shaded spot on the quieter side of the beach before heading into the water to do some snorkeling. The water is the clearest I've seen in Malaysia so far and there's lots of different fish although they are all like a transparent colour even in they're different shapes and sizes. After 45 minutes in the water I feel like I've been stung on my back and after getting out there's commotion in the water with people shouting Jellyfish. A guy in a rescue canoe comes paddling along trying to catch it but to no avail. After 10 minutes everyone returns to the water but Michael suggests we should wait a while to see if they come out again and when they don't we go for another snorkel. We cross to the other side of the beach to grab lunch and then head into the water here as its much quieter now. There are optional of doing 1,2,3or 4 islands so people are leaving and arriving all through the day. Once again we have a snorkel and as my go pro is broken I've bought one of the little plastic bags to put my phone in but what I don't realise is the whole time I'm filming the camera has turned around and I'm filming myself rather than the fish. Even still I love it. At 3pm we board the boat back to kk and grab a coffee at the ferry side restaurant where its full of young footballers . There is a 5 aside pitch inside and and after watching for 10 mins book a grab to our next adventure........Read more

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    Tanjung Aru

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