Friday, March 5, 2010

From the Bornean Jungle

One would have expected me to be more of a prolific blogger recently, considering I spent a month in one of my most favorite countries on earth, Taiwan, and am now traveling in Malaysian Borneo. I know, I know. I never fail to surprise!

We arrived in Kota Kinabalu in the Malaysian state of Sabah a little while ago and spent our first few days here enjoying the local food scene and relaxing. Alexander was recovering from some sort of cold and we considered it better to stay put until he was better. KK turned out to be a teeny bit dull, but pleasant nonetheless. The night market kept us coming back for incredible food at rock bottom prices and refreshing shaved-ice desserts, while the local ‘kedai kopi’ spots were good for a cup of local style coffee and great breakfasts or lunches.

We also hung out on one of the nearby islands for a day, enjoying the beach, clear waters and lots of tropical fish swimming by just off the beach. The island we went was Pula Mamukan and if we ever come this way again I would consider paying a bit more and spending a few days relaxing there, or at one of the others.

Currently we are kicking back in the Borneon jungle in the area of Sepilok, home to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center. We decided to stay at Paganakan Dii, a relatively new B&B place in the area. It’s located on a bit of a hill with views of the surrounding jungle growth and palm oil plantations.

We opted to stay in one of the private rooms instead of the longhouse style dorms. Our room as at the far end of the property and our window has a fine view of a plantation and distant hills. There are large sliding doors on either end of the room, one side that opens onto an immediate view of the jungle. While I am typing here a small brown squirrel jumped from the trees outside onto our balcony and scurried around. Earlier today, after our return from the rehabilitation center, a brightly colored snake was waiting for us on our front porch and later sailed into the bathroom (non-poisonous, luckily I found out from the guy who removed it).

The room has a comfortable double bed with crisp white linen and a mosquito net over the bed. A welcome change after the backpackers place we stayed at in KK, which was fine and great by backpacker standards, but backpacker nonetheless. Our bathroom is slightly open air, with a partial open view into the jungle. A bamboo ladder serves as towel rail and a remodeled wok as basin. Apparently lot of salvaged wood was used to in building the rooms.

The place is so lovely and the staff so friendly that we decided to stay three nights and spend our second full day here just relaxing and enjoying the environment.

Underneath the dorm rooms are rattan hammocks and swings and there is an open air viewing deck, I will be spending most of my day tomorrow in either one of these spots, attempting to read Far from the Madding Crowd, while enjoying the sounds of the jungle.

* Most of the images above were by Alexander


ChichaJo said...

Sounds like a lovely place...I am enjoying it vicariously through you (and Alexander and his great photos) :)

zlamushka said...

wow, I lvoe the place. looks so comfy :-)

My first time here and loving it. The pictres surely speak for themselves. Nice job :-)

Erin said...

So. Incredibly. Jealous.

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