Invasion of the Palm Trees

Trip Start Jul 27, 2004
Trip End Dec 13, 2006

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Flag of Malaysia  ,
Saturday, February 4, 2006

After leaving Sipadan and the Whale Shark behind we headed to a town inland called Sandakan. The most noticeable thing about Sabah is the lack of jungle.. mostly you just see mile upon mile of Palm tree plantations which have replaced the natural forest for production of palm oil. We stayed a couple of nights here enjoying the local food & also visited an Orang-Utan sanctuary nearby at Sepilok. The Orang-Utans are VERY cute and in the process of being re-introduced to living wild in a small patch of remaining jungle, but are still very used to humans - which is just as well as it is really touristy here. We haven't seen as many Westerners in one place since we left Australia !! At a little pond across the road we also saw a big monitor lizard so it was a good day for seeing the wildlife. The day after we took a 6hour bus to Kota Kinabalu the provincial capital (lots more Palm Tree plantations to see along the way) and we are staying here for a few days in the comfortable Kinabalu Hostel. Although the bedroom is basic the hostel has a gorgeous chinese-style lounge, comfy sofas, cable tv and free internet. Add in some friendly staff, daily newspapers and magazines and free tea and coffee (the usual hostel attractions) and it all adds up to a place you can easily spend a few days doing nothing.. which was exactly what we did! Martin & Annie joined us on our 2nd day and we had a night out visiting the fairground and drinking lots of beer and margueritas before saying goodbye. After 2 great months travelling together they have now headed towards Thailand whilst we took 2 free flights (thanks very much Air Asia!) to Manila in the Phillipines.
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