Southasia adventure: Singapore and Borneo

After February wedding it is time for honeymoon. It was not easy pick up, but finally we have come with decision to go and see Southeast Asia. We tried to find place where we could besides exotic country climb some mountain. As we always try to climb the high peaks it was our almost only one option. Himalays were out of scope, because we could not get 3 weeks of vacation.

Plan is to fly to Singapore and then to Kota Kinabalu, Borneo. Hopefully we will be able to climb Kinabalu Mountain. It is highest peak of Malaysia. Then we will have time to discover jungle or see live. One week should be enough for Borneo, so for the second week we will move to Thailand. Mainly to Phi Phi and Koh Tao islands. Last trip will be to the Bangkog from where we will fly back home.

Friday, right after work, we go directly to Vienna airport. First flight is to Frankfurt and from here we have connecting flight to Singapore. It is very long flight, but most of the time we are sleeping. After the landing we are looking for first touch with this part of the world.

At the airport we bought two days pass for public transport (16 SGD per person), so we can get back easily tomorrow. It was not the easiest to get to our hotel, but we made it by metro, bus and bit of walking. In hotel we did not spend a lot of time. Of course, we are going to check Gardens by the bay and Marina bay hotel. I wanted to spend one night in this hotel, but it is bit expensive – 400 € per night.

Gardens by the bay was amazing experience for both of us. We are not a cities fans, but this place is great. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to do all the attractions, they are closed at 9 pm. However, we have saw probably the best one – light show. I have no clue if light show is scheduled every day, but it was really amazing. After the show we went for short walk around the bay and searched for couple of geocaches. Later we moved to China Town. Honestly, I was disappointed from this place. There is only one Chinese building. In one of the millions of Chinese restaurants we have dinner and went back to the hotel. It was almost around midnight.

Next day we went to Japanese and Chinese gardens to see a bit of nature. We simply don’t like cities. It is totally opposite direction from the airport, but still better then spending time in the concrete jungle. We had to take all of the luggage with us. After short walk we have to go back to the airport to catch our flight to Kota Kinabalu.

Finally landed. Both of us hoped, we would love this place much more. It is a small town comparing to Singapore. At the airport we rented a car (about 200€ for 9 days) and head to hotel. At that evening it didn’t make any sense to try to get somewhere else.

Besides that, I needed a time to get used to it to car. It was my very first time I am driving on other side of the road. I was really glad that road where not two ways streets, so it was impossible to get in wrong lane. My wife had lot of fun, because also wipers and blinkers are on the other side. Instead of blinker I always turned on wipers. Glad it was at car with automatic gearbox. If I had to change the gears manually and they would be also opposite direction, we would be still at the airport. ?

Next morning, we went for our first big adventure. It took us about two hours to get to Kinabalu national park around the Kinabalu mountain. Ascent to highest peak of Malaysia (4 095 m / 13 435 ft) is bit expensive – around 300 € per person. Price includes guide, one night in mountain hut, supper and breakfast. We didn’t want to spend that money so we went for a nice walk in the national park and had a good lunch. Rest of the day we have spent driving to Sandakhan city. It is hard to go faster than 80 kph / 50 mph.

Our main stop in Sandakhan is Sepilok, rescue center for Orangutans. We waked up early in the morning in order to be there for morning feeding of orangutan which is at 10 am. I am glad that entrance fee is not too much (30 MYR per person – about 6,5€) and on top of that it will be used for a good thing. During the feeding there were no orangutans. At least we have saw few orangutans in other parts of the rescue center. It was not the way how I have expected – it was similar like in the Zoo – monkeys behind the glass. On the way out, we got lucky and got close to couple of macaques. We took a lot of pictures of them. Next to Orangutan rescue center is similar center for Malaysian bears. All the bears were hiding during very hot day.

For the rest of the day, we were driving again to Kinabatang river. To be precise we were heading to Sukau village. Everyone in the village can give you ride on the river and show you beauty of the jungle.

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