A Day in Kota Kinabalu

We took the bus from Medan Selera to Kota Kinabalu (took about 5 hours) which was pretty painless. You get water on the bus, which is comparable to a nice greyhound bus, as well as entertainment (random malaysian movies playing on a large screen at the front of the bus). The bus also stops at a place for lunch at the middle of the journey, where you can get all kinds of snacks (prawn crackers!). In Kota Kinabalu, we stayed at the Hotel Shangri-La (not to be confused with the Shangri-La chain, which is way pricier than this hotel), which was close to the markets downtown and provided a clean and large room for only $50/night. We ate at Twin Sky Seafood (in the Sedco Complex) for dinner where you choose the seafood you want and your host can recommend a way of preparation.¬†We had a very delicious meal of steamed fish and lots of local vegetables. The aftermath of the meal is shown below. The next morning for breakfast, we went to a cafe that I can’t remember the name of (but it was about a block and a half north of Yuit Cheong and they have a bao holder in front) and consumed many tasty pork baos and kaya baos. They also made a very good hot tea with milk and sugar and were super friendly.

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Every Animal Ever Along the Kinabatangan River

SO MUCH WILDLIFE! We stayed at the Nature Lodge Kinabatangan, which took care of everything including pickup in Sepilok and dropoff as well arranging for tickets to Kota Kinabalu. The Nature Lodge is run sort of like a summer camp; a loud bell is used to signify meals and activities. You can also rent most things that you need from them. Our itinerary on the Kinabatangan river basically consisted of doing everything possible to spot some wildlife.

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Orangutans in Sepilok

After a terrible tout situation in Lombok (don’t let anyone touch your luggage! and walk away from the port toward the town to find a legitimate taxi stand) and a surprise international airport fee (you have to pay $10 to leave Indonesia) at Lombok airport, we finally arrived in Sandakan where we saw orangutans!

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