Borneo – sun sea and orangutans

Borneo – Sun Sea and Orangutans

When my wife and I were deciding where to go on our honeymoon, we knew one thing, we wanted to go to Penang in Malaysia, to celebrate with relatives out there, but we knew we wanted to then move on to somewhere else after that, the only thing was where?

The Caribbean or Africa was a no go as the price to fly half way around the world and then back round again would have been monumental. Also the weather was a bit of a problem too. We tied the knot in early September, which ruled out the Maldives, Tahiti and Bali due to monsoon and rainy seasons.

We had been to Thailand the year before so decided we wanted to try somewhere else. We eventually chose to stay in Malaysia, but more precisely, Sabah in Borneo.

Well known for beautiful beaches and tiny islands great for diving, Sabah is also well known for orangutans, and has a world famous orangutan rehabilitation reserve at Sepilok, a short flight from our hotel at Kota Kinabalu.

However, we discovered that the hotel we chose had a nature reserve within the hotel grounds that was affiliated with Sepilok, and took in baby orphaned Orangutans, preparing them for their next stage at Sepilok before eventually being released back into the wild.

The Shangri-La Rasa Ria resort is situated on Pantai Dalit Beach, a beautiful stretch of beach that is sheltered and exclusive to the resort. The hotel was fantastic, and deciding to treat ourselves to a stay in the Ocean Wing, the exclusive wing with its own private pool, breakfast and luxury rooms with sea views and giant soak tub on the balcony, was well worth the extra money.

The hotel had a great choice of restaurants, and deciding to go half-board was a good option. Half-board entitles you to breakfast and dinner at the Coffee Terrace restaurant, or 100RM (about 17 quid) per person towards a meal in one of the other restaurants. This allowance pretty much covered the full cost of a meal in the other restaurants, except for the gourmet Coast restaurant which really is fijne dining at its best.

The culinary highlights for us were dinner at Naan and Tepi Laut ‘Makan Street’.

Naan was, funnily enough, and Indian restaurant and this award winning restaurant served some of the best Indian food I have ever had, food which went perfectly with the Malaysian local brew, Tiger Beer!

Tepi Laut ‘Makan Street’ was a typical Malaysian style food court, offering all the tastes that make Malaysian cuisine so special, with dishes from China, India,  Sri Lanka and Indonesia. Each station offered something different, and the vegetable station featured baskets of uncooked Chinese vegetables and sauces where people could put what they wanted on a plate with the sauces of their choice. The chef would then quickly stir fry these while you wait.

Our favourite was the kangkong belacan, what is basically ung choi fried in garlic and sambal (a fiery hot shrimp paste) with some red chillies – very hot but very tasty.

The real highlight for us was the orangutans. Each day, guests can make a donation to the reserve and trek a short way into the jungle to a pair of viewing platforms to watch the baby orangutans feed. The experience is quite simply amazing.

They are extremely cute and very agile. Some shy, others mischievous it is fantastic to watch their playful antics. We went twice to see them, the first time I filled my camera’s memory card of around 500 photos well before the hour came to an end and was frantically having to delete bad shots in order to take more.

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Опубликовано 17 Jun 2008 в 11:31 am. Рубрика: B. Вы можете следить за ответами к этой записи через RSS.
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