Throughout a backpacking journey within the Philippines a number of years in the past I couldn’t resist shortly hopping over to Pulau Tiga, the small island off the coast of Borneo the place they filmed season one among “Survivor.” Once I left “Survivor Island” I wanted I had extra time to truly discover Sabah Malaysia past my fast detour. Because of Singapore Airways and Tourism Malaysia I acquired my want!
Together with three unimaginable journey journalists, Rachel Rudwall, Meghan Younger and Kristen Kellogg. I spent every week touring to and exploring Sabah Malaysia. Situated within the northern a part of Borneo, Sabah is likely one of the 13 states of Malaysia. With tropical rainforests, rolling mountains and turquoise waters this distant nation is a haven for wildlife fanatics and outside adventurers. Listed here are 10 Methods to Uncover Sabah Malaysia:
WHAT TO DO
- 1 1. BORNEAN SUN BEAR CONSERVATION CENTRE
- 2 2. SEPILOK ORANGUTAN REHABILITATION CENTRE
- 3 three. BORNEO ECO TOURS WILDLIFE RIVER CRUISES
- 4 four. SIMUD HITAM GOMANTONG CAVE
- 5 5. KOTA KINABALU FILIPINO MARKET
- 6 6. ISLAND HOPPING
- 7 7. SINGAPORE AIRLINES
- 8 eight. STICKY RICE TRAVEL
- 9 9. SUKAU RAINFOREST LODGE
- 10 10. HILTON KOTA KINABALU
1. BORNEAN SUN BEAR CONSERVATION CENTRE
Have you ever ever heard of a solar bear?! Earlier than touring to Sabah Malaysia I by no means knew these cuties existed! They’re the world’s smallest bear and may solely be present in Southeast Asia. The most effective spot to satisfy and study all about them is the Bornean Solar Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) in Sepilok.
The centre was based by Dr. Wong Siew Te in 2008. Throughout his research as a wildlife biologist, Dr. Wong researched captive solar bears and located them dwelling in horrible circumstances with out correct care. This sparked his mission to create a rescue and rehabilitation centre, which right now is is house to 42 bears dwelling in a big pure setting and being given correct care to allow them to ultimately be returned to the wild. Spending time observing solar bears is a deal with! Watching them climb timber, discover napping spots on branches excessive above the bottom and meander across the forest is a particular expertise that may solely be carried out in Sabah Malaysia. Some enjoyable details I loved studying embrace:
- Solar bears get their identify from the patches on their chest that resemble a rising or setting solar. No patches are the identical.
- They’ve extraordinarily lengthy tongues (20 – 25cm) which are good for extracting honey from beehives and for this are nicknamed “honey bears.”
- They sometimes are 120 – 150cm in size and weigh 20 – 70kg.
- The three largest threats to their inhabitants are habitat loss, business searching and pet commerce.
2. SEPILOK ORANGUTAN REHABILITATION CENTRE
Based in 1964, the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre sits on 43 sq. kilometers of protected land with the mission of returning orphaned, injured and displaced orangutans again into the wild. It’s truly situated subsequent to the BSBCC so you possibly can conveniently see orangutans and solar bears in the identical go to! The centre is residence to just about 80 orangutans the place it supplies medical care and wildlife expertise coaching.
Journey Tip: The easiest way to maximise your probabilities of seeing them throughout a go to is by attending a 10am or 3pm feeding or by way of statement home windows on the nursery.
When child orangutans are admitted to the centre they’re given a full well being examination and quarantined till they’re deemed appropriate for entry into the “nursery.” Right here they study important jungle expertise corresponding to climbing, discovering meals and nest constructing. Within the wild, orangutans would sometimes study these expertise from their moms for as much as six years. The centre pairs up youthful orangutans with older ones as a mom substitute to assist them develop the talents. Because the orangutans achieve mandatory expertise they then transfer to the “outside nursery” the place they’re much less depending on help. The final stage is complete independence which results in integration again into the wild inhabitants.
three. BORNEO ECO TOURS WILDLIFE RIVER CRUISES
Palms down my favourite solution to uncover Sabah Malaysia is thru wildlife eco excursions on the Kinabatangan River. Throughout our two night time keep within the jungle, we launched into 4 river cruises, together with one at night time! Every cruise lasts for roughly three hours the place an skilled information navigates a small boat by means of the jungle with one objective – observing wildlife in its pure habitat. All I can say: mission completed!
We noticed TONS of animals together with proboscis monkeys, orangutans, crocodiles, and rhinoceros hornbills that are four of the “Borneo Huge 5.” We we sadly didn’t see was the pygmy elephant, however we tried our greatest! We additionally managed to see macaques, snakes, snake birds, civets and “flying squirrel” bats. Boating alongside the river is unimaginable peaceable when you let the guides use their spectacular expertise to identify animals so that you can merely watch within the wild.
four. SIMUD HITAM GOMANTONG CAVE
The Simud Hitam Gomantong Cave was initially not on our itinerary for touring Sabah Malaysia, however as soon as we heard about it we shortly up to date our plans to make the pit cease. Situated somewhat over 100km from Sandakan city within the Kinabatangan District, the Gomantong Cave is considered one of at the very least 19 caves within the limestone hills of the world. The caves are house to quite a lot of wildlife together with bats, cockroaches and most significantly swiftlets birds whose nests are harvested and used for chook’s nest soup. Earlier than this little tour, I by no means knew edible hen nests was a factor, not to mention a delicacy! A couple of ideas for the getting into:
- Arrive when it opens at 9am. We principally had the cave to ourselves for the primary 45 minutes.
- Put together to get your footwear soiled, it’s a cave! The pathway is roofed in filth and chook feces.
- Hold your fingers crossed for clear skies. It’s an imposing sight watching the sunshine peek by means of.
5. KOTA KINABALU FILIPINO MARKET
You possibly can’t go to Sabah Malaysia with out getting misplaced within the native markets. The Filipino Market in Kota Kinabalu will stimulate your whole senses. See smiling locals work together with one another as they commerce providers and decide up groceries for the day. Odor the aromas of freshly caught and cooked fish and meats. Contact and take residence produce as when you have been gathering it proper from the supply. Style the enjoyment of a do-it-yourself peanut pancake dessert often known as apam balik. And most significantly, pay attention. Take heed to the music that’s the retailers calling costs, the waves crashing, knives chopping, grills scorching and voices buzzing. If you wish to eat like an area, you possibly can’t get extra native than this!
6. ISLAND HOPPING
Situated off the coast of Sabah is a set of small islands that give guests the chance to clock in some seashore time. We spent a day island hopping and most of our day at Pulau Manukan. The islands are a highly regarded attraction for vacationers so be ready to share the sand with different vacationers. After jungle and metropolis life, the islands can provide the probability to channel your internal scales…
HOW TO GET THERE
7. SINGAPORE AIRLINES
This was my first time flying Singapore Airways enterprise class… let’s simply say I don’t understand how I’m going to fly financial system once more! All the things you hear about Singapore Airways’ superior worldwide flight expertise is completely true! From the second I stepped foot on each flight, I used to be impressed.
For starters, the flight attendants knew my identify and approached me by identify each time we interacted. I used to be shocked! Was there a reputation card on my seat, nope! I requested how all of them knew our names they usually advised me they’ve a visitor listing, memorize names after which match them to faces for the flights. That small private contact alone made me really feel a robust connection to the employees.
Now let’s speak concerning the seats… leg room for days! I’ve by no means sat on a aircraft the place I principally felt like I used to be sitting at residence. My reclining chair, that became a full on mattress, offered probably the most bodily snug flight expertise of my life and I’ve been on a whole lot of flights on lots of airways.
What made the flight much more fulfilling was the extensive choice of leisure choices. On the various flights we had from LAX to South Korea to Singapore to Kota Kinabalu and again, I managed to observe your complete season of “The Handmaid’s Story,” three current films and take heed to music.
Final however not least, Singapore Airline presents effective eating. I indulged in champagne from the second I sat down and loved each meal. With out hesitation, SIA lives as much as it’s slogan as “A Nice Method to Fly!”
eight. STICKY RICE TRAVEL
When you’re on the lookout for a tour firm to host your go to to Sabah Malaysia or assist with adventures, I extremely advocate Sticky Rice Journey. This firm dealt with most our journey logistics and had the most effective guides! Each worker handled us with respect and was extremely welcoming. They took a vested concerned with ensuring we have been all the time cared for and brought care of. Ask for Dean in Kota Kinabalu and for Jeffrey in Sandakan. You’ll depart Sabah with shared reminiscences, laughs and friendships with them.
WHERE TO STAY
9. SUKAU RAINFOREST LODGE
Named as considered one of Nationwide Geographic “Distinctive Lodges of the World,” Sukau Rainforest Lodge presents distant refinement. Situated on the Kinabatangan River in the midst of the rainforest, the resort is constructed on stilts utilizing native hardwood. The complete property is related by a system of picket walkways with inexperienced and eco pleasant development designs. Staying right here provides a homey but luxurious base for wildlife river cruises. Strolling to my room for the primary time I used to be truly greeted by an orangutan chilling excessive above the timber. Getting into my precise room itself felt like opening the door to the the fantasy suite on the “The Bachelor.” I felt spoiled. Falling asleep to the sounds of the jungle was music to my ears.
10. HILTON KOTA KINABALU
For our time in Kota Kinabalu we loved staying on the new Hilton. A number of highlights embrace its proximity to the airport and metropolis centre, the excessive caliber of service from the extraordinarily pleasant employees, the elegant decor and vibes of the widespread areas and rooms, the fashionable facilities and know-how within the rooms and naturally, my favourite, the rooftop swimming pool.
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