A Travellerspoint blog

March 2017

Sydney (25-29/3/2017)

Overnight flight from KL to Sydney (8 hours), with AirAsia X, arriving mid-morning – quite comfortable for a budget flight. We were staying with long time friends (and their two daughters) in Gray’s Point, a very attractive suburb south of Sydney adjoining the Royal National Park. A very action packed stay it was too!The first afternoon we went on a good walk through the woods of the Royal National Park from the ridge down to the park headquarters on the Hacking River at Audley where, mercifully, there was a cafe where we could recharge for the return walk back up the hill! It is a great area for our friends to have on their door step and a great start for us to get us into Australia mode ... great woodland scenery and views on the way and lots of noisy cockatoos, kookaburras and other birdlife by the cafe.

The following morning we headed off in our friends’ car for a two day excursion to the Northern Beaches area of Sydney, and we were joined by their two daughters. After the area had experienced 23 days in a row with rain we were fortunate to have lovely sunny weather for both days! Firstly, we stopped off at the lovely beach area at Balmoral. This area is within the Sydney Harbour area and so the water is calm and good for swimming (but still protected by nets to keep the sharks away!). Next stop was the ocean beach at Manly where we shared delicious fish platters for lunch at the Honolulu Grill (across the road from the beach at North Skyne).

Then we headed up towards our destination for the overnight stay, up north at Pittwater YHA, a remote hostel in the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. The only access is by boat from Church Point, which stops off at various jetties to pick up and drop off locals who live in houses built in idyllic surroundings by the waterside. Finally, we arrived at a final jetty and walked 20 minutes up a track with our provisions for the night to the hostel and were greeted by a (wild) rock wallaby! The hostel is in a lovely spot and very well looked after by the friendly people running it. Of course there are dorms, but we had double rooms with shared facilities. The six of us had a very congenial evening, along with three others staying there – barbecue, salad, beer, wine, etc ... First time we had actually stayed in a youth hostel!

Next morning, we hired kayaks and spent a couple of hours out on Pittwater. Beautiful scenery, landed on empty beach, spotted small stingray, lots of ugly large jellyfish and a poisonous red bellied black snake whilst making our way back up to the hostel on our return. Great fun although we had some aches and pains to show for our efforts!

Then it was time to head off, taking the boat back to Church Point, where we picked up sandwiches for lunch from the pub/shop and ate them by the water. Then off over to beautiful Palm Beach over by the ocean for a walk by the ocean beach and then a walk by a sheltered beach and a climb up the path to the lighthouse at Barrenjoey, where there was a superb 360° view ... and that was our last stop before the drive back to the south. Superb trip, beautiful scenery and sights, delightful company ... lots of thanks to our friends for organising, doing the driving, ... On the last day, after lunch, we went into central Sydney with our friends on the train: off at Circular Quay – the hub for all the Sydney ferries and point for access to the Opera House, great views of Sydney Harbour bridge. Had a very enjoyable long walk: Opera House, the Rocks, the wharfs, the recently established Barangaroo Reserve and finally through Darling Harbour up to the Town Hall to get the train back.

We said our goodbyes the following morning as our friends left for work, and had the morning to leisurely get ourselves ready for the afternoon flight to Brisbane. Had an amazing visit from a ‘friendly’ Kookaburra who eventually perched very close to us on the balcony above the back garden – close enough for me to take a “selfie” with it!!

A wonderful few days ... thanks to our hosts.

Palm Beach from Barrejoey Lighthouse

Palm Beach from Barrejoey Lighthouse


Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House


Royal National Park Walk - along the ridge

Royal National Park Walk - along the ridge


Royal National Park Walk

Royal National Park Walk


Royal National Park Walk - viewpoint

Royal National Park Walk - viewpoint


Royal National Park Walk - view from ridge

Royal National Park Walk - view from ridge


Royal National Park Walk

Royal National Park Walk


Royal National Park Walk - Cockatoos in trees

Royal National Park Walk - Cockatoos in trees


RN Park - Audley - Sulphur Crested Cockatoos

RN Park - Audley - Sulphur Crested Cockatoos


Royal National Park - Audley

Royal National Park - Audley


Royal National Park - Audley

Royal National Park - Audley


RN Park - Audley - Purple Swamp Hen

RN Park - Audley - Purple Swamp Hen


RN Park - Audley - Kookaburras

RN Park - Audley - Kookaburras


RN Park - Cockatoo, Noisy Minah bird and friends

RN Park - Cockatoo, Noisy Minah bird and friends


Royal National Park Walk - climbing back up to ridge

Royal National Park Walk - climbing back up to ridge


Balmoral Beach

Balmoral Beach


Balmoral Beach

Balmoral Beach


Balmoral

Balmoral


Balmoral

Balmoral


Manly Beach

Manly Beach


Manly Beach

Manly Beach


Manly Beach

Manly Beach


Manly Beach

Manly Beach


Church Point - Boat transport

Church Point - Boat transport


Church Point - Boat transport

Church Point - Boat transport


Church Point - Boat Quay

Church Point - Boat Quay


Boat trip to YHA Pittwater

Boat trip to YHA Pittwater


Boat trip to YHA Pittwater

Boat trip to YHA Pittwater


Boat trip to YHA Pittwater

Boat trip to YHA Pittwater


Pittwater YHA - Wild Rock Wallaby to greet us!

Pittwater YHA - Wild Rock Wallaby to greet us!


Pittwater YHA - Wild Rock Wallaby to greet us

Pittwater YHA - Wild Rock Wallaby to greet us


Pittwater YHA - Evening meal

Pittwater YHA - Evening meal


Pittwater YHA - Round the fire

Pittwater YHA - Round the fire


Early morning view from Pittwater YHA

Early morning view from Pittwater YHA


Early morning view from Pittwater YHA

Early morning view from Pittwater YHA


Pittwater YHA

Pittwater YHA


Pittwater YHA - Breakfast time

Pittwater YHA - Breakfast time


Pittwater view

Pittwater view


Pittwater YHA - Brush Turkey

Pittwater YHA - Brush Turkey


Noisy Minah

Noisy Minah


Black Currawong

Black Currawong


Pittwater Kayak Trip

Pittwater Kayak Trip


Pittwater YHA - trail in national park

Pittwater YHA - trail in national park


Pittwater Kayak Trip

Pittwater Kayak Trip


Pittwater Kayak Trip

Pittwater Kayak Trip


Pittwater Kayak Trip

Pittwater Kayak Trip


Pittwater Kayak Trip

Pittwater Kayak Trip


Pittwater Kayak Trip

Pittwater Kayak Trip


Pittwater Kayak Trip

Pittwater Kayak Trip


Pittwater Kayak Trip

Pittwater Kayak Trip


Pittwater Kayak Trip

Pittwater Kayak Trip


Pittwater Kayak Trip

Pittwater Kayak Trip


Pittwater Kayak Trip

Pittwater Kayak Trip


Pittwater Kayak Trip

Pittwater Kayak Trip


Pittwater YHA from the water

Pittwater YHA from the water


Pittwater Kayak Trip

Pittwater Kayak Trip


Pittwater Kayak Trip

Pittwater Kayak Trip


Pittwater Kayak Trip

Pittwater Kayak Trip


Lunch stop at Church Point

Lunch stop at Church Point


Palm Beach

Palm Beach


Palm Beach

Palm Beach


Palm Beach Norfolk Palms

Palm Beach Norfolk Palms


Palm Beach

Palm Beach


Barrenjoey Lighthouse

Barrenjoey Lighthouse


View from Barrenjoey lighthouse

View from Barrenjoey lighthouse


Sydney Opera House and Bridge

Sydney Opera House and Bridge


Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House

Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House


Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House


Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House


Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House


Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House


Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge


Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge


Ferry and Bridge

Ferry and Bridge


Circular Quay

Circular Quay


Performers at Circular Quay

Performers at Circular Quay


Ferries st Circular Quay

Ferries st Circular Quay


Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge


The Rocks

The Rocks


The Rocks - Street   Harbour Bridge

The Rocks - Street + Harbour Bridge


Wharfs area

Wharfs area


Harbour Bridge from the Rocks

Harbour Bridge from the Rocks


Lindsey and friendly Kookaburra in J&T's garden

Lindsey and friendly Kookaburra in J&T's garden


Alan's selfie with friendly Kookaburra at T&J's

Alan's selfie with friendly Kookaburra at T&J's

Posted by Lindseyalan73 17:00 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Kuala Lumpur 2 (22-24/3/2017)

Just two nights in KL this second time around - we landed late in the afternoon, and were rapidly at our guest house in Bukit Bintang via the KL Ekspres (which does the 50+ kms from KLIA2 airport into KL Sentral in 33 minutes!) and then the monorail.

So, we just had one day for sightseeing. The one major sight we thought we should visit was the Batu caves - fairly easy to get to on a commuter train half an hour out from KL Sentral. So, we headed there the following morning ... The photos make it look reasonably interesting but, although in an exceptional location, it really is a tacky mess of a place and the substantial rubbish left by the devotees and visitors only adds to the disappointing impression that one is left with. We did not hang around and returned to KL to have a wander round Chinatown and the Central Market (handicrafts centre).

Plane for Sydney was not until 2335 the following day - so most of the day was killing time at the guest house and around the Bukit Bintang area (too hot and humid to do much else!).

The last couple of photos are the view from the Nagasari restaurant, near to our guest house (good curries and Tiger Beer). It is the outside of the "No room for Rockstars" nightspot - we did not go inside but they had a roof garden lit up at night-times. See if you can guess who the 10 celebrities are! We think we finally got them all on our last day! - although the second in from the left is a bit if a question mark! (marks on the scalp perhaps give it away). The last photo gives a better view of the lady behind the tree! + (Just a quick recommendation for the KL Ekspres (airport to city fast train). A return ticket is cheaper (valid one month) and paying by credit card at a self service machine gives considerable further reduction (110RM for two singles -> 100RM for a return -> 80 RM for a return paid with Mastercard!))

Orange Peckoe GH (on corner), Bukit Bintang

Orange Peckoe GH (on corner), Bukit Bintang


Batu Caves -  Hanuman (monkey god) statue

Batu Caves - Hanuman (monkey god) statue


Batu Caves scene on arrival

Batu Caves scene on arrival


Batu Caves - Lord Subramaniam statue and 272 steps

Batu Caves - Lord Subramaniam statue and 272 steps


Batu Caves - entrance

Batu Caves - entrance


Batu Caves - detail on cave walls

Batu Caves - detail on cave walls


Batu Caves - detail on cave walls 2

Batu Caves - detail on cave walls 2


Batu Caves - interior

Batu Caves - interior


Batu Caves - Subramaniam Swamy Temple

Batu Caves - Subramaniam Swamy Temple


Subramaniam Swamy Temple detail (statue of Rama)

Subramaniam Swamy Temple detail (statue of Rama)


Batu Caves - view of KL from steps

Batu Caves - view of KL from steps


Batu Caves - view descending steps

Batu Caves - view descending steps


Batu Caves - monkey by steps (one of many!)

Batu Caves - monkey by steps (one of many!)


Batu Caves - "Selfie" on steps with monkey!

Batu Caves - "Selfie" on steps with monkey!


Old China Tea House

Old China Tea House


Old China TH - iced coffee and iced lemon tea

Old China TH - iced coffee and iced lemon tea


Chinatown by Petaling Street entrance

Chinatown by Petaling Street entrance


Petaling Street

Petaling Street


Kuala Lumpur  - Chinatown shop houses

Kuala Lumpur - Chinatown shop houses


"No Room for Rockstars" - who are they?!

"No Room for Rockstars" - who are they?!


"No Room for Rockstars" - who are they?!

"No Room for Rockstars" - who are they?!

Posted by Lindseyalan73 17:00 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

Sandakan 2 (20-22/3/2017)

Caught the minibus from Sepilok at 1245 for the half hour trip to Sandakan, arriving at the minibus stand directly opposite the hotel NAK – booked in, and went into town. Found a self service laundromat and caught up on the clothes washing. We just had the two nights in Sandakan, hanging out before the flight to Kuala Lumpur. The one place to visit this time was the Sandakan Memorial Park, which marks the site of a World War 2 prisoner of war camp where 2700 allied forces prisoners were sent in 1942 to start work building an airstrip. They were kept in appalling conditions and 300 had already died by early 1945, when the decision was made to relocate them to Ranau (260 kms away) – the so call “Death Marches”. In the end only 6 prisoners survived – and only because they escaped (2 during the marches, the other 4 escaped from Ranau). All the rest either died on the marches or perished after they arrived in Ranau. Truly horrible. The park is a pleasant and tranquil place to walk around, with just a few scattered remnants from the original camp, a building with informative and graphic descriptions of the events and a memorial stone.

On the whole, we did not find Sandakan a particularly appealing place. The waterfront is quite a pleasant spot for a beer, although the restaurants we used there for our evening meal were a bit of a disappointment. There is a good place for roti and other Malaysian dishes (Restoran Habeeb) around the corner from our hotel which we used for a lunchtime snack and we did find beautifully ripe and tasty yellow mangos on sale from street sellers in front of the big store behind the waterfront – they were delicious ... and one choice for the ‘included’ hotel breakfast, taken at the attractive restaurant next door to our hotel, was croissant(!!) with butter and kaya (coconut jam) - and excellent croissants they were too! So, we did survive our last couple of days in Sabah quite OK!

NAK Hotel!

NAK Hotel!


NAK Hotel reception

NAK Hotel reception


Breakfast - next door to NAK Hotel

Breakfast - next door to NAK Hotel


Breakfast - Croissant(!!) and kaya jam

Breakfast - Croissant(!!) and kaya jam


Sandakan Memorial Park - Small lake

Sandakan Memorial Park - Small lake


Sandakan Memorial Park - Lotus on small lake

Sandakan Memorial Park - Lotus on small lake


Sandakan Memorial Park - terrapin and lotus

Sandakan Memorial Park - terrapin and lotus


Sandakan Memorial Park - terrapin and lotus 2

Sandakan Memorial Park - terrapin and lotus 2


Sandakan Memorial Park

Sandakan Memorial Park


Sandakan Memorial Park

Sandakan Memorial Park


Sandakan Memorial Park

Sandakan Memorial Park


Sandakan Memorial Park

Sandakan Memorial Park


Shop

Shop


Street corner

Street corner


Shop

Shop


Restoran Habeeb - making Rotis

Restoran Habeeb - making Rotis


Waterfront restaurant

Waterfront restaurant


Fishing Boat off Waterfont

Fishing Boat off Waterfont


Waterfront - sundown

Waterfront - sundown

Posted by Lindseyalan73 17:00 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

Sepilok (17/3 -20/3/2017)

After a final breakfast at our Kinabatangan lodge, the gong went to tell us it was time for our 0830 departure and we loaded our packs and ourselves onto the boat for the last time and it took us across the river to where the same bus that brought us from Sandakan was waiting to take us (and others leaving that morning) to various drop off points through to Sandakan. We were dropped off at Nature Lodge Sepilok (also run by Nasalis Larvatus tours), which we had booked around the same time we had booked our Kinabatangan package.

The 7 spacious cabins and dorm only opened last year and are very comfortable, and there is a good included breakfast at the attached restaurant. One curious feature is that the bathroom area is open to the exterior – not so privacy is compromised, but there is a roof area which is open and greenery below. (Not easy to explain – perhaps the photo below gives an idea).

Sepilok is a quiet and peaceful place with a few accommodation options (with attached restaurants) and nothing else but three major attractions within walking distance of each other&agrave;: <ul><li>Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre</li><li>Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre</li><li>Rainforest Discovery Centre</li></ul>They all turned out to be excellent and we extended our original 2 night booking to 3 nights to give ourselves time to really enjoy them.

We visited the Rainforest Discovery Centre first &#8211; the afternoon on our day of arrival. The entrance was just close to our lodge. The centre comprises quite a large area of forest with multiple trails that one could spend a few days discovering. The highlight is probably the series of walkways through the forest canopy &#8211; which give beautiful views of the forest and was very tranquil when we were there with the place practically to ourselves and just the exotic calls of the birds for company. We then found a suspension bridge across part of the lake taking us to a different path back to the exit, but as we started on this trail there was loud crashing in the trees ahead of us &#8211; a large orang-utan! &#8211; so we retraced our steps and went back to the exit the other way! We went again on the morning of our departure and discovered some other trails. Apparently over 250 species of bird have been spotted there &#8211; we heard lots but did not see many in the park itself &#8211; not the best time of day. However, they have planted beautiful flowering shrubs (don’t know the name) in the car park area outside and they attract the beautiful (see photos) Scarlet Sunbird, which we did get a good view of. This really was a lovely spot &#8211; and most visitors to Sepilok miss it!

The Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre was set up in 1964 to help rehabilitate orang-utans which had been orphaned or displaced and actually covers 43 sq kms of lowland rainforest. It is linked with adjacent rainforest covering 6000 hectares right down to Sandakan Bay. The animals are allowed to roam freely but they are not wild as they were at Kinabatangan. This forest offers a natural home to the orang-utans, who slowly become less dependent on their twice-daily feeding at the centre and eventually return voluntarily to the wild. The centre is open 1000-1200 and 1400-1600 with feeding times at 1100 and 1500. Most visitors come on a tour coinciding with feeding time, and have only half an hour to see the orang-utans and a similarly short time for the sun bears. However, we spent practically all the opening hours on our second day observing these delightful animals and their antics. Whilst we were there we had something to observe practically all the time ... squirrels coming onto the feeding platform, before the apes arrived, as “support” act and while making our way to the feeding platform in the afternoon we were accompanied for a time by two adolescent orang-utans walking along the rail by our side! At the feeding platform itself, there were orang-utans present practically all the time we were there and we certainly saw more than 10 altogether, with 7 visible at the same time for one period in the afternoon. Superb!

The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre was set up 3 years ago in forest adjacent to the Orang-utan Rehabilitation centre. They primarily handle captured bears which were being used as pets &#8211; again aiming to rehabilitate them so that they can be released back into the wild. The Bornean Sun Bears are about half the size of Malayan Sun Bears and look quite “cuddly”! Could be Winnie the Pooh! They are kept in two large enclosures and are observed from elevated walkways, We arrived at around 0900 and stayed until midday. Most of the time, apart from the last half hour when the masses arrived, there were few people around and we had a lovely time watching the bears. Early on we saw several bears climbing up the trees to a considerable height (can be up to 40 metres) and they certainly end up in interesting postures laid across the branches sleeping soundly. Again, lovely!

The final &#8216;delight’ (or &#8216;delights’ to be precise) to make up each day, were afternoon and evening visits for a beer to the more upmarket Sepilok Nature Resort (their bottled Tiger beer is well priced), which has chalets and restaurant set by a lake in lush, beautifully kept, surroundings. Lovely spot for a drink. As if we had not seen enough Orang-utans in Borneo, our last spotting was one being &#8216;escorted from the premises’ at the Resort - walking along past us holding the hand of one of the rangers from the Rehabilitation Centre!!! &#8211; it had been found on one of the chalet roofs at the Resort ...

And that was the end of our wonderful Sabah wildlife experience &#8211; never a dull moment.....

Rainforest Discovery Centre

Rainforest Discovery Centre


Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilition Centre

Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilition Centre


Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre

Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre


Our cabin in Sepilok

Our cabin in Sepilok


Nature Lodge Sepilok

Nature Lodge Sepilok


Our cabin

Our cabin


Our cabin - bedroom

Our cabin - bedroom


Our cabin - 'exterior' bathroom

Our cabin - 'exterior' bathroom


View from our cabin

View from our cabin


Rainforest Discovery Centre

Rainforest Discovery Centre


Aerial walkway

Aerial walkway


Warnings!

Warnings!


aerial walkway

aerial walkway


forest from aerial walkway

forest from aerial walkway


forest from aerial walkway

forest from aerial walkway


tower on aerial walkway

tower on aerial walkway


forest and walkway from tower

forest and walkway from tower


forest from aerial walkway

forest from aerial walkway


forest from aerial walkway

forest from aerial walkway


forest from aerial walkway

forest from aerial walkway


end of aerial walkway!

end of aerial walkway!


RDC - lake

RDC - lake


RDC - suspension bridge over lake

RDC - suspension bridge over lake


RDC - Pitta trail

RDC - Pitta trail


RDC - Pitta Trail

RDC - Pitta Trail


RDC - Flora

RDC - Flora


RDC - Flora

RDC - Flora


RDC - Lake

RDC - Lake


RDC - Water plants on lake and monitor lizard

RDC - Water plants on lake and monitor lizard


Lotus flower?

Lotus flower?


Near RDC entrance

Near RDC entrance


Lovely flowers in RDC car park - what are they?!

Lovely flowers in RDC car park - what are they?!


Lovely flowers in RDC car park - what are they?!

Lovely flowers in RDC car park - what are they?!


Crimson Sunbird

Crimson Sunbird


Crimson Sunbird

Crimson Sunbird


Crimson Sunbird

Crimson Sunbird


Sepilog Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre (SORC)

Sepilog Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre (SORC)


SORC- Squirrel checks out feeding platform

SORC- Squirrel checks out feeding platform


SORC - feeding platform and surroundings

SORC - feeding platform and surroundings


SORC - Orang-utans arriving

SORC - Orang-utans arriving


SORC - Orang-utan hanging around

SORC - Orang-utan hanging around


SORC - Orang-utan arriving

SORC - Orang-utan arriving


SORC - show off!

SORC - show off!


SORC

SORC


SORC - mother and baby

SORC - mother and baby


SORC - mother and baby

SORC - mother and baby


SORC

SORC


SORC

SORC


SORC - What a poser!

SORC - What a poser!


SORC

SORC


SORC - just hanging around!

SORC - just hanging around!


SORC

SORC


SORC

SORC


SORC - family gathering!

SORC - family gathering!


SORC - family gathering!

SORC - family gathering!


SORC - family gathering!

SORC - family gathering!


SORC - casual encounter!

SORC - casual encounter!


Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC)

Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC)


BSBCC - viewing walkway and habitat

BSBCC - viewing walkway and habitat


BSBCC - Habitat - spot the sun bear?

BSBCC - Habitat - spot the sun bear?


BSBCC

BSBCC


BSBCC - very good climbers

BSBCC - very good climbers


BSBCC

BSBCC


BSBCC

BSBCC


BSBCC - just resting!

BSBCC - just resting!


BSBCC - sun bear with macaques passing

BSBCC - sun bear with macaques passing


BSBCC - sun bear resting in a tree

BSBCC - sun bear resting in a tree


BSBCC - sun bear resting in a tree - position 1

BSBCC - sun bear resting in a tree - position 1


BSBCC - sun bear resting in a tree - position 2

BSBCC - sun bear resting in a tree - position 2


BSBCC - sun bear resting in a tree - position 3

BSBCC - sun bear resting in a tree - position 3


BSBCC - sun bear resting in a tree - position 4

BSBCC - sun bear resting in a tree - position 4


BSBCC - sun bear resting in a tree - position 5 !

BSBCC - sun bear resting in a tree - position 5 !


Wild orchids in trees on Sepilok road

Wild orchids in trees on Sepilok road


Beautiful blossoms at Nature Resort Sepilok

Beautiful blossoms at Nature Resort Sepilok


Afternoon beer at Nature Resort Sepilok

Afternoon beer at Nature Resort Sepilok

Posted by Lindseyalan73 17:00 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

Kinabatangan River (15-17/3/2017)

The Kinabatangan river is Sabah’s longest river and the lower reaches (which form the largest flood plain in Malaysia) have been declared a wildlife sanctuary. This has kept the area largely free of development and it offers very good opportunities for seeing wildlife, What is left of the forested areas is secondary forest (the original forest has been logged many times over the centuries and the strip of forest on either side of the river is often not more than a kilometre wide and then it’s all oil palms!) However, this concentrates the wildlife into the area by the river and improves the chances of seeing it. There are a number of wildlife lodges near the settlements of Sukau and Billit. We chose a 3 day / 2 night package at Nature Lodge Kitabatangan near Billit. It is full board and includes 4 boat trips (1400-1600, 0600-0730, 1600-1800, 0600-0730), a three hour forest walk (0900-1200) and optional extra night walks (2000-2130). We had a “deluxe” cabin for a total of around 260 euros for the full package for the two of us. It was a good deal - the cabins were spacious and comfortable, the food was good, everything was well organised and the guides were excellent at spotting the wildlife. Extras, like wellies hire (essential for the walks, where the mud was sometimes so deep it nearly came over the tops of the boots!) and beer (merited!), were very reasonably priced. We were picked up from Sandakan around lunchtime and arrived at the lodge about three hours later and were out in the boats for our first 2 hour outing at 1600 ... The lodge was about at full capacity and we had over 30 staying who were split into 3 groups with a guide each who drove the boats and lead the walks. We saw orang-utans and lots of monkeys (proboscis, silver leaf langurs and long tailed macaques) and birds on the boat trips (see photos) and these were definitely the highlight. The walks were more for the experience (of tramping through thick mud a lot of the time!) than for seeing much in the way of wildlife (although we did see a lovely pair of bright blue Malaysian flycatchers asleep together on the night walk) &#8211; but enjoyable all the same). We had a very mixed group - English, Australian, French and Belgian - and we spent a couple of sociable evenings with the English-speakers. The lodge and all the logistics were run by Nasalis Larvatus tours whom we would certainly recommend - and we very much enjoyed the whole experience.

Orang-utan enjoying Asian fig

Orang-utan enjoying Asian fig


Lodge pontoon

Lodge pontoon


Meeting area

Meeting area


Our cabin on left

Our cabin on left


Restaurant area

Restaurant area


Pontoon

Pontoon


On the river

On the river


Orang-utan (female) and figs

Orang-utan (female) and figs


Orang-utan (female) and figs

Orang-utan (female) and figs


Monitor Lizard

Monitor Lizard


Oriental Pied Hornbill

Oriental Pied Hornbill


Oriental Pied Hornbill

Oriental Pied Hornbill


Proboscis Monkey

Proboscis Monkey


Proboscis Monkey

Proboscis Monkey


Proboscis monkey in the air!

Proboscis monkey in the air!


Strange light as the sun goes down

Strange light as the sun goes down


Sun setting on river

Sun setting on river


The return

The return


The return

The return


Restaurant area

Restaurant area


Early morning on the river

Early morning on the river


On the river

On the river


On the river

On the river


Sun comes up on the river

Sun comes up on the river


Rhinoceros Hornbill

Rhinoceros Hornbill


Oriental Pied Hornbill

Oriental Pied Hornbill


Stork-billed Kingfisher amidst foliage

Stork-billed Kingfisher amidst foliage


Stork-billed Kingfisher

Stork-billed Kingfisher


White-bellied Sea Eagle

White-bellied Sea Eagle


White-bellied Sea Eagle in flight

White-bellied Sea Eagle in flight


Egrets in flight

Egrets in flight


Walk party!

Walk party!


Walk

Walk


Foliage

Foliage


Large millipede and muddy welly!

Large millipede and muddy welly!


Walk

Walk


Walk

Walk


Walk

Walk


Walk

Walk


Walk ... in mud!

Walk ... in mud!


Walk

Walk


River by our lodge

River by our lodge


On the river

On the river


Orang-utan (male)

Orang-utan (male)


Orang-utan (male)

Orang-utan (male)


Orang-utan (female in nearby tree)

Orang-utan (female in nearby tree)


Proboscis Monkey - Mother and child

Proboscis Monkey - Mother and child


Proboscis Monkeys

Proboscis Monkeys


Proboscis Monkey

Proboscis Monkey


Tributary

Tributary


Egret in flight 1

Egret in flight 1


Egret in flight 2

Egret in flight 2


Long tailed Macaque

Long tailed Macaque


Long tailed Macaque

Long tailed Macaque


Woodpecker - last sighting before dark

Woodpecker - last sighting before dark


Woodpecker in flight

Woodpecker in flight


Last morning - wet!

Last morning - wet!

Posted by Lindseyalan73 17:00 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)