A Travellerspoint blog

KK to Mt Kinabalu

sunny 26 °C
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Was picked up from my hotel (the Hyatt in KK) and taken to Kinabalu Park by two really nice people, one called wilbur and one called veronica. Veronica is from Hong Kong and used to live in Caversham! It's a small world!

Stopped off at a small town on the way where the local dusian people (one of the native bornean indiginous groups) were having their weekly market. Absolutely fascinating - selling everything from spices to fruit, tobacco to dusian uniforms (black suits with gold sparkly bits sown onto them). There was even a witch doctor there!

After the market we stopped in a small café for some traditional malaysian noodles - they were delicious. The specific type of noodles served were special to the town - you won't find them anywhere else.

Next stop was at a place called Pekan Nabalu. They sell all kinds of local handicrafts here - I bought a really nice photo album and some beads for a little over £3.

Finally arrived at Kinabalu Park at about midday. Booked in and was shown to my accommodation, a dorm style hostel called Grace Hostel. Seems fine, I've put my net up already tho as I reckon I'll need it later!

Took a walk down the Silau Silau trail - not far, but still reasonably arduous. Saw tonnes of orchids even at this low level - slipper orchids included. Apparently there are countless more along the summit trail.

Also went to the Kinabalu Mountain Garden. Here they have planted quite a percentage of the mountain's native species so you can see them in a small area. Saw Nepenthes Kinabaluensis, the mountain's native pitcher plant, found nowhere else in the world. It's a natural cross between Rajah and Villosa - pretty big traps with a ribbed edge.

Pretty tired after that, long day already, so got some supplies and am now back at the hostel. Just started absolutely hammering it down - sheets of rain but as with most tropical storms, doubt it'll last long! Quite a lot cooler here actually because of the altitude - upper twenties at a guess.

Looking forward to the climb tomorrow (even though my body may not be!!!) :)

Posted by cde3879 16:57 Archived in Malaysia Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Heading to the mountain....

sunny 31 °C
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So here I am eating breakfast after a fantastic first night in Borneo. Met up with some really nice backpackers at the airport and had some dinner at a café called Fat Kee in Kota Kinabalu city. Took me 2 hours to find it but got there in the end!

When I got to the Hyatt last night they had run out of normal rooms so I was upgraded to a superior king suite! Bigger than my house - absolutely insane! But slept well after getting to bed at 3am!

Off to Mt Kinabalu in ten minutes!! Can't believe it :) Going to go brush my teeth before the pickup, next update from the mountain itself :)

Posted by cde3879 10:02 Archived in Malaysia Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

On my way to Borneo...

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I'm sat in Bangkok airport waiting for my flight to start boarding. Checked in ok, got turned away from immigration though cos I forgot to fill in my departure card - doh! Just a tad embarrassing :)

Got a taxi here from Sukhumvit Rd, cost less than 200 baht - £3.50! I've been here for a day and a half and in total I've spent less than £20. And I haven't exactly been slumming it either!

Over the worst of the jetlag - slept well last night as expected! So much going on here there's no time to be tired! Had to get the mozzie net out last night as even tho the room was very nice, the critters were about. Did the job!

There's quite a few westerners on my flight, a few on their own too, so that'll be good to have people to have a beer with.

Anyway going now, next update in Borneo.

Sawasdee ka!

Posted by cde3879 14:10 Archived in Thailand Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

The Crazy City!

sunny 34 °C
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Had a couple of hours kip to keep me going till the evening then headed off on the skytrain to Bangkok's famous shopping centre, Mah Boon Krong (MBK).

The skytrain is great - the station is about 3 mins walk from my hotel and the trains are excellent. Air conditioned to the max too - could quite easily spend a day on them purely for that fact!

Got to MBK and was well and truly gobsmacked. It is ENORMOUS. There is an entire floor devoted to mobile phones, another entire floor devoted to household stuff - anything you can imagine is there. Legitimacy is questionable but hey this is Thailand!

After getting totally lost on a few occasions, picked up some sandals and headed back to the hotel. So time for a Singha and bed - another long day tomorrow.

Asia - can't believe it!

Posted by cde3879 00:44 Archived in Thailand Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

First experiences

sunny 34 °C
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So after a not too bad 11 hour flight, I landed in bangkok. Immigration only took 3 minutes to get through and the same for my bag, so was out really fast.

The first thing you notice about BKK is the wall of heat as you leave the terminal building. That, along with the smell quite literally takes your breath away.

Got on the airport bus (the A2) to Khao San Rd because my check in wasn't for another six hours or so. Only cost 100 baht - about £1.30 - for a one hour journey.

Arrived at KSR about 7.45am and wandered up and down it a few times. Nothing special, very overrated but that's probably cos I was there early before anyone was up. Had an omlette in a café on the KSR - very civilised! Then decided to try and find wat pho.

This is where the fun begins. First of all, I had someone come up to me and ask where I was going. "what pho" says I. "hey, what pho closed today, opens at 1 come back later mister. Advice for you, you can get to standing buddha very cheap, only 40 baht for whole round trip!" And sure as eggs, just as he says the best way to get there is by tuktuk, one suddenly appears. I've got to give it to them, these guys are good, well orchestrated and you need to be completely on the ball to avoid being ferried off to jewellry shops left right and centre.

So anyway this must have happened about a dozen times to me already. Here's a tip - speak a sentence of thai at them. I said to one of the guys, in thai, that I understood a little bit of thai and he was of like a flash.

After all that I did manage to eventually see wat pho and the reclining buddha - it's absolutely bloody massive! That took the time to about half 12 so then got a cab back to my hotel where I am now lying on the enormous bed having been up for 25hrs now. Don't feel tired surprisingly, i'm sure that'll change in a short while though...

Posted by cde3879 14:55 Archived in Thailand Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

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