Borneo was not even on our itinerary on the trip but after recommendation and research we decieded to head there after Bali. We chose Kota Kinabalu to fly into and decided we would explore from there. We wanted to see Sandikan and visit orangutans in the wild but we decided the kids needed a break from fast travel and stayed in KK for our entire 10 days on Borneo. This happened last year when we slowed down our travel the last two months staying in each place for no less than 10 days to 2 weeks. We also were happy to have a kitchen and a proper refrigerator and freezer for the first time in months. We cooked our own food for most of the time while in Borneo.
After relaxing the first two days in KK and getting lots of school done we decided to explore. The city is wedged along the coast stretching along the coast with mountains and jungle as you go inland. Except for any buildings that were brand new construction, all the building were of the 1940’s-50 era because the city was heavy bombed by the Japanese during WWII. It has a nice waterfront although there was whiff of sewer at certain points evidently they still dump their sewage water into the bay.
On our second day in KK we visited the local mosque, we were able to tour the inside and take pictures but Maddy had to wear a veil to cover her head in accordance with Muslim tradition. Made for some funny pictures, the kids wanted to try it too.
The next days after that I scheduled my hiking trip to Mt. Kinabalu so Maddy finished school during the day and a half that I was gone. They went to a fancy hotel pool to go swimming with some water slides.
Maddy and the kids rented a car and came up the next day and toured the botanical garden and museum before I lumbered down the trail. We proceeded to the hot springs located in the park, which was kind of a dud, it had a few hot pools bath tubs and a cold pool but the larger pool was closed. It had begun to rain so we left after a hour. It took us 3 hours to get down off the mountain in a raging rain storm. Maddy drove the whole way down and did a great job driving, it was a pretty white knuckle ride.
The next day I woke up really sore, but not that sore I said to my self, except I kept getting more sore for like two days!!!! The down hills on anything were the worst, just a slightly down hill driveway I was screaming in pain. After lots of relaxing and a mostly chill day with the kids we took our rental car to the Lok Kawi animal wildlife sanctuary where we saw some of the worlds most endangered primates. The Borneo Orangutans!!!! The park had many other animals including birds, bears and other primates including the Proboscis Monkeys and the Mountain Baboon, which looked a lot like a very small Big Foot from America. We loved it, all the animals were incredible and although we didn’t see the Orangutans in their natural environment they were still really cool.
That night we went to the incomparable Hard Rock Café – Kota Kinabalu… who knew there were 188 HR café’s still operating in the world.
Our last day in KK we spent on one of the nearby islands, that were highly rated. We went to Pulau Mamutik and played in the gentle waves and laid on the beach. The Philippines and Maddy’s birthday await.