stayed in the Holiday Inn Damai Beach resort, which is a fine hotel
indeed at a superb location but a bit too massive for our liking (are we
spoiled gits?). Fortunately we stayed in a beautiful chalet in the
garden and not in one of the rooms in the wing buildings.
first day in Kuching we arranged a trip to Semenggoh, the Orang Otan
rehabilitation center just 60 km away. The trip was great and we arrived
just in time for the morning feeding session. Orang Utans, stubborn as
they are this time decided not to show up at the feeding platform in the
forest but came much closer to the park entrance. That was a hike for
nothing…. Well, luckily we saw 5 Orang Utans, a mature female, mother
and child (which were so funny, the mother assisted the child grabbing
food from the platform and then ate together higher up in the tree).
Also we were very lucky to see a mature male, which does not show up at
the camp very often. All after all a very good trip.
requested to be dropped at the Sunday market in Kuching where we
wandered around for some time to enjoy the local food: vegetables, fish
and chicken. Markets are always a lively place to visit and offer good
photo opportunities. From the market we headed on further to Kuching and
enjoyed a bit of city life over there. Kuching is a nice mixture
between Chinese and Malay and the waterfront by the river is absolutely
beautiful. We had a small bite in a local restaurant, visited some more
shopping centers and then headed back to the hotel.
Monday, when most of you were suffering from Monday Blues, the both of
us visited the cultural village. It’s a really well arranged park with 7
different houses from the different ethnic groups in Borneo. All very
interesting, in each house were storytellers who explained about the
local way of living and demonstrated handcrafts. Also a dance show was
part of the treat and that one was surprisingly well done while each
ethnic group had its turn to demonstrate ritual and festive dances. A
very good experience.
wandered around a bit more and once back in the hotel spent the
afternoon sunbathing at the Cliff pool, one of the two large pools of
the hotel. A couple of beers (cocktails were unfortunately not served at
the cliff terrace), a book, some music, and lots, lots of sun, what
else does one need for a relaxing afternoon…. We skipped dinner as we
did not feel hungry at all but went to bed early (20.15 !!!) as we had
an early rise the next morning. It is amazing how tiring doing
absolutely nothing can be 😉
morning, 6.00, wakeup call… We took out time to pack for the day and
enjoyed a lush breakfast. Had some problems with ‘Borneo belly’ but
fortunately that settled soon. At 8.00 we were picked up by a minivan
and together with a Danish couple living in Beijing were brought to the
entrance of the Bako National park. From there it was a 45-minute boat
ride to the park HQ. In the river mouth we saw a saltwater crocodile,
just over 1 meter long but with small sharp teeth, as he was proudly
showing. Nasty little creature!!
arrival at park HQ we were very lucky to see a troop of Proboscis
monkeys who were feeding on the tree leaves in the mangrove forest.
Proboscis monkeys are extremely funny looking with their big noses. It
was really hilarious to watch as they jump from tree to tree.
our guide, was an expert on all the flora and fauna in the area. He had
a lot to tell about each different specimen in the area which made our
morning hike an extremely interesting experience. It was amazing how
quickly the vegetation changed during our 1 1/2 hour hike.
big surprise was at the end of the hike though. From high over the
cliff tops we had a stunning view over an idyllic and pristine little
beach. It looked amazing and extremely inviting. We descended to the
beach and it did not take long before we were wading in the warm water
of the South China Sea. WOW, WOW, WOW, our own private beach, no one
around, just us…. Absolutely fantastic. It was a shame that we only
had one hour over here as we could have easily spend the rest of the day
the boat arrived to pick us up and bring us back to park HQ. Due the
low tide we had to wade through the water to reach the boat but that was
all part of the experience. At park HQ we had a simple but lovely lunch
after which we took off for our afternoon hike. This was just a short
one but we saw some silver leaf monkeys and a small, bright green
colored and lethal snake. One bite could easily kill an adult so I was
very happy to have a strong zoom lens with me so there was no need to
come close to this green little devil. Mid afternoon we the boat back to
the park entrance. This was a very choppy but fun experience. We were
constantly jumping over the waves of the incoming tide, this to the joy
of all of us.
Back in the hotel we spent some time at the pool, zipping Damai Island Tea’s, as one does after a day in the jungle. It had been a stunning day. A small bite in the ‘treez’ restaurant and then the bed was waiting for us, the final night in Borneo.
Continue the journey to our last stop, Kuala Lumpur