We finally conquered the only state we had not visited in Malaysia. From 15-19 May 2006 we completed our visit to all the thirteen states with a visit to The Land Below the Wind.
The trip started fairly eventfully with our flights being delayed. But since we were on holiday, we didn't really care :-) However, this meant we arrived later than expected and so our first day was simply sampling Sabah fare for dinner.
On our second day, we toured Kota Kinabalu City on foot. We visited the Filipino Market, the dry and wet markets, and a shopping complex (to look for souvenirs). We also stopped at the Sabah Tourism Office for information. Then we made our way up to Signal Hill via a short cut for a panoramic view of the city and nearby islands.
[Filipino Market: More of a handicraft centre now]
[Shark Fin: Available among many other types of dried seafood]
[Signal Hill: Panoramic view of the east-end of Kota Kinabalu City]
On the way down, we checked the time at Atkinson Clock Tower, and decided it was time for lunch. So we headed to a food court to sample more local cuisine.
[Seaweed Tempatations: Fancy some tampai-ampai?]
After lunch, we attended to some monkey business. We embarked on a guided tour which took us on a two-hour, fairly rough ride southwest to an area called Klias. After tea we boarded a boat that took us on a river safari (Sungai Teratak) in a mangrove. Task: spot the nose-y proboscis monkeys.
The first ruffle of the leaves... all in the boat craned their necks to see...a silver-haired langour (this is a rare creature as well - so it's a reward). The second ruffle of leaves...more craning of necks...several long-tailed macaques... *disappointment* The third ruffle...ah....we are third time lucky...it's the proboscis!!!! But oh...so far away... how to see that nose??!!! Advice for future proboscis monkey watchers: bring a pair of binoculars or a telephoto lens on your camera! Anyway, we did see some potbellies...
[Proboscis Monkey: Not all have the unique long nose... juveniles and females have short or pointed ones]
Moving on, dusk came. The egrets came home for the night. They actually make quite a spectacular sight roosting on the trees...like cotton in the tree.
[Birds of a feather, sleep together]
After a sumptuous dinner of seafood and pucuk paku *yum, yum :-P*, we headed back to the river to experience Christmas in May. We were not disappointed as the fire flies blinked their best for us. Then it was time to say goodbye to our wetland friends...
We were back at the hotel at around 2230hrs.