We caught our ride to Nature Lodge Kinabatangan where we stayed for 2 nights and met up with Sandra again along the way. Not long after arriving, we headed out for an afternoon cruise on the river. They mentioned that the Borneon Pygmy Elephants were in the area, so we might be able to see them.

During our trip, we saw a Monitor Lizard and some Long Tailed Macaques, then the boat's motor died... In the end, half of our group went in one boat, Joe, Sandra, Lana (another German girl we met) and I went in a smaller boat. Our guide heard there was a sighting of the elephants, so we headed back down river to see them.

It was so fun! We got to get out of the boat and went up on a porch of a nearby building to watch the elephants. There were at least 20 or 30. They were everywhere!

The next morning, we woke up before 6am and went on a morning cruise. We ended up seeing 4 orangutans and a wild boar! We were scheduled to go on a walk in the afternoon, but because of the elephants, the guides decided it was too dangerous. They have babies, so they can be aggressive. Joe and I ended up kayaking up the river a little ways and went into a smaller creek to see if we could find anything fun. We found where the elephants crossed the stream. There were foot prints all over and poop floating. We even heard one trumpet, but it was a little ways away.

Before dinner, we did our second later afternoon river cruise. Unfortunately, we didn't get too far before it started pouring.... We did end up seeing a troop of Proboscis Monkeys, which was pretty neat. We kept going, hoping the rain would let up (most tropical rains are heavy, but short), but it didn't... We finally turned around and headed back, since we couldn't see anything anyway. We were totally and completely drenched. It was crazy. Unfortunately the rain also brought out the mosquitoes.

Tomorrow morning we have one more river cruise, then we'll be heading to Kota Kinabalu tomorrow.


Joe and I in front of the elephants.


Baby elephants!!


Joe and I totally and completely drenched.

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Monkeesyyyyss!!!! My one and only goal for this trip has been achieved! Monkeys in the wild. And wow. wow.

We went to the Orangutan rehabilitation sanctuary, where they help orphaned orangutans make it back out into the wild. The center is not fenced or anything, a pathway just wanders into the jungle to feeding platforms that they use to continue feeding newly released orangutans. We arrived prior to the morning feeding time, were waiting patiently... Suddenly a far-off treetop in the dense jungle ruffles and shakes. Then a closer one, and closer... Saw some orange fur!... Using some huge ropes hung up suddenly a mother orangutan with a baby on her stomach comes swinging over us towards the platform. She is joined by 3 others. (One who fell off the ropes and disappeared into underbrush for a bit... got a little worried it was injured as it was silent). Slowly it climbed a tree back up 30' into the air and dropped back onto the rope.) The rangers fed the orangutans papaya, bananas and sugarcane. After a few minutes, dozens of Pig-tail and Long-tail(?) Macaque Monkeys started moving towards the platform. Much smaller but trying to get some of the food. Sneaky little guys. The rangers shooed them away until the orangutans had had enough to eat and swung back out deeper into the forest. After the smaller monkeys cleaned the left overs up, several came over to the viewing platform to show off. One was a pair with 4 youngsters. .. All sitting and hanging out on the railing we had just been leaning on... All pretty intense.

After lunch we walked to a nearby rainforest center where they had a massive canopy walk and towers that let you look out from 80 feet in the air. We didn't see much for wildlife as we didn't give it much time, but it was a great proper jungle experience.

Later that day we went back and watched another feeding where a big male orangutan came up to the viewing platform and walked on by everyone after striking a pose. The ranger was a little worried and told everyone to back up and give him room.

Cool. Borneo is one of the best remaining places on earth to see monkeys.. So we are lucky we ventured over. Tomorrow we head to a 3 day river-wildlife tour thing-a-ma-jig.. Which is supposed to be most excellent.


Here's a compilation of monkey videos. :D

The one coming in has a baby clinging to her. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Pig-tail Macaques grooming. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

(Long-tail Macaques grooming. Click on photo to enlarge.)

Second feeding time. The female away from the platform has a baby on her stomach. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

The male striking a pose. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

The male walking by. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

A purty butterfly that kept landing on Joe's hand. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

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Whoops... Miranda pressed the wrong button... 
The 24th we spent exploring the Singapore Science museum. Very well constructed, and waaay too much content. We were there all day, and just skimmed most stuff. Highlights included a Gaseous exhibit where you could see real live radiation particle trails/traces, a huge shark exhibit, and a frequency thingy that Joe will have to fix since I don't remember what it was.

Then we had a great day yesterday the 25th. Went to the Jurong Bird Park in Singapore. World's Largest Bird Park. Amazingly well-constructed and well-cared for birds. Some of the enclosures were so large you forgot you were inside. The African bird sanctuary is the largest bird-dome in the world. Miranda saw dozens of birds she had never seen before in any similar zoo's, etc. We watched a couple of bird shows as well and left after the entire day disappeared into wandering the park.

Tired and ready for bed we decided to fly to Borneo in 24 hours, from Kuala Lumpur. This would give us plenty of time to catch a bus there, etc. At 9pm I asked Miranda to buy the plane tickets. While she clicked on the proper link in Kayak.com, AirAsia switched the flight time without her ever noticing. She ended up buying the nonrefundable $300 ticket for 7am the next morning. After running around seeing if we could change it, we decided we just would have time if we caught the last 10pm bus from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur... We rushed struggling to get the bus-ticket changed to 10pm and hopping on just as it was scheduled to leave. NICE BUS! Lazy-boy style chairs. We arrived in Kuala Lumpur at 3am.

Unfortunately, we had to take a taxi to the airport which was 40 miles a way! ($65) Worked our way through that slow airport and onto a 3 hr plane ride to the Malaysian town of Sandakan on the Island of Borneo. Here we took a taxi to town, and flopped on the bed of the first hostel we noticed. (They had private rooms with ensuite and free wifi for $20, so no dilemma there...) Now... Do we nap the day away or go see some sights... Supposedly there are WILD ORANG UTANGS here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (This is why we flew quick) Among other adventures to be had here. Compared to Singapore's cleanliness and perfect infrastructure, everything is a little rougher, and far less english, but we are still managing pretty easily. Looks like it will be a good adventure here.

Off to find lunch!


Nifty birds in the African Aviary. Can't remember what they're called now.

Scarlet Ibis

Purty Lories.

[ 2 comments ] ( 10 views )
Well, we got to the airport with some help from Emma and Ben, the couple we stayed with for a couple nights in Perth. The flight was a little late. Which, considering how much flying we've done this trip and that was our first late flight, that's pretty good. Anyway, we left the ground at around 10:15pm and landed in Singapore at 3:30am. We each might have slept about an hour on the plane, but probably not. We tried dozing at the airport. That didn't work either. We finally took the train into Little India, found a vegetarian Indian place and had breakfast. It was something totally new. Joe had to ask them what type of thing they would have for breakfast that wasn't spicy. Haha. They were very friendly.

We found the place we planned to stay at, but check-in time wasn't until 1, so we just paid for the room and dropped off our bags, then headed out again. We decided to go look around the Art Science Museum. It's a neat building, with "The Helix" leading to it, which is a very neat, and large, foot bridge. Next to that is a huge mall and the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. This building looks like it has a boat on it! We paid the $20 each to go up and take a look. The view was amazing. There's even a pool that makes it look like the hotel guests are swimming on the edge of the building.

Anyway, we didn't end up actually going into the Art Science Museum because it was a bit pricey and we weren't really sure what to expect. Also, by that time, the two of us were so tired and both had monster headaches, that we didn't think we would be able to appreciate it anyway. We got back to Little India found some lunch, then headed back to the hostel. We napped a little and are otherwise vegging before heading to bed early.

Tomorrow will be the better test on how we can handle the heat, since we hopefully won't be super tired.


The building in the center is the Art Science Museum, then you can see the Sky Park and hotel. The 'mall' is between the two and The Helix is to the left of the mall under the hotel.

View from the Sky Park. They're working on a new crazy building. We have no idea what it is. The area they're working on is huge though. Also, all those ships out in the water? They're all huge freighters. Not small boats.

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On our way to Asia 
We've been enjoying our time south of Perth staying with Baila and her husband Frank. We went for a couple canoe paddles. One around the island they live on. Well, they only had one kayak paddle, so Joe did all the paddling while I sat and looked for birds. It was gorgeous out though. Unfortunately, I didn't really get any good photos. Most of our time spent here was working. We got a lot caught up.

Today we are heading back into Perth and then to the airport for a 9:30pm flight to Singapore. The flight lands after 2am, so that should be interesting... Also, it's apparently 90 and humid there. Yep...


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