After our grueling hike on Mt Kinabalu a nice, long, lazy sleep-in is just what we needed to face the trip out to Sepilok. We both woke up with pretty sore legs. And as we mentioned the hike up to the lodge the couple of days before was very wet and very cold, which left me with a doozy of a head cold. So I pretty much felt like I had just been hit by a truck. Thankfully the sun was shining and the weather was warm which quickly lifted my spirits.
After breakfast, we checked out of our hostel, we hauled our packs up to the side of the road and waited there for the bus to Sepilok. Our Dutch hiking buddy boarded the first bus that came along, as he was making his way down to Sipidan for some diving. We exchanged information, and said our goodbyes, and off he went.
After another 15 minutes our bus pulled up and we grabbed two seats on the top of the multi-level bus. We settled into our rather cozy seats for the four hour ride. Lucky for us, on the large TV up front, where we were sitting, was playing Fast and Furious 5. Somehow I managed to miss this action-packed masterpiece in the theaters, as well as the previous 4, but it really is incredible how quickly you pick up the very well crafted plot line.
After Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, and Dwayne Johnson managed to pull off yet another flawless TFATF performance, we were only another hour and a half or so from our destination.
By 2:00pm we were dropped on the side of the highway, in the blazing sun, miles from anywhere. We had read there were taxis for hire at this drop off point, but yet there was not a one in sight. And so we began to walk, which wasn't the greatest of options as my sore legs from the hike had become increasingly sore from the cramped bus ride.
Thankfully, it wasn't three minutes before an old guy rolled up asking if we needed a ride. We gladly accepted and climbed in. A five minute car ride brought us to the Panakan Dii Hostel, set far back into a Borneo jungle. The hostel was simple, rustic, and beautiful. It is perched on the top of a large hill overlooking a massive jungle valley. It was epic.
We checked in and quickly dropped our bags and climbed into the hostel's shuttle van. The Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary, for which was what this town was known, was having its twice daily feeding in 45 minutes.
We arrived at the park and wandered through their exhibit which illustrated the great work they do to protect and nurture Orangutans that lose their natural habitat due mostly to the palm oil industry. We then grabbed a quick bite to eat, and then made our way over to watch the primates in their element.
They were so awesome. Orangutans, Macaques, and several small babies of both species. It was fantastic watching them interact, eat, and play. That was until the sky opened up and unleashed fury on us in the way of rain. Within seconds we were drenched and headed quickly for cover. We were pretty bummed that we only got to observe the Orangutans for 25 minutes, but ended our visit with a 30 minute video on the rehabilitation center and the work they do.
We were picked up promptly at closing time, 4pm, and went back to our hostel to check in, shower and relax. We took up a lounge chair at the best vista point overlooking the jungle valley and gazed at the lovely and unique site while listening to the symphony of jungle life that lay below us.
At sunset, we kept ourselves entertained as we so often do, with cards and beers, but at over 8 RM per can (almost $3) we only had a couple. We had dinner and organized our bus for the following day. Although, it seemed hard to believe (because of the very regular busses TO Sepilok) we were told there were only two busses back from Sepilok, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, which apparently takes much longer. So reluctantly we agreed to take the 9:00am bus which gave us less than 24 hours in the area, but there was nothing we could do.
In the morning, we rose with the sun and took a walk around the park that made up the gorgeous grounds of the hostel. We got back, showered, packed up, and joined the other tourists for breakfast. There was a bit of commotion in the dining area. Allegedly, one of the tourists had had money stolen from their room and were flippantly blaming various members of the hostel staff. The police were there to take a report and the lady and her partner were extremely unhappy. A bit of an overkill for an unaccounted €30, but that is just my opinion.
We tried to stay out of it, finished our breakfast, and hopped on the shuttle. It dropped us at the bus stop where we waited 30 minutes for our bus to KK. And, just like that we'd ticked another fantastic spot off our list.
Sepilok, we came for a good time certainly not a long time!