The journey to Sandakan in eastern Borneo proved that Malaysia is full of nature as there is nothing but jungle and palm trees for 6 hours! Sandakan however wasn't impressive and after asking the driver to drop me at a cheap place to stay, I found myself in an alleyway being led up some stairs past chinese families eating dinner and shown to a room that barely had walls let alone a room. I decided to find somewhere nicer to stay which I eventually did and sat up watching the Euros with a scottish guy. Sandakan hadn't impressed me with it's cockroachs and rats everywhere and the next day didn't improve as there was nothing to do! I basically wandered around looking for the non-existent sights before sitting in the hostel reading and using the internet. I booked up my jungle tour but unfortunately had to spend another day in Sandakan before I could get to the jungle! Luckily the next morning whilst I was having breakfast, the two girls Lizzie and Lucy who I met at Mount Kinabalu walked in and we decided to spend the day at the posh Sabah hotel and use their swimming pool and sauna. Joined by an american guy Greg, the 4 of us chilled all day and came back feeling very much relaxed and watched a movie back at the hostel.
The next day we all set off for the Orangutan Sanctuary at Sepilok. It was great because it was set in the jungle and the wild Orangutans would come and get bananas and milk from the feeding platfrom and the tons of tourists got to get really close up. They were amazing to watch and it was cool to be able to see them in one of the few sanctuarys in the world. From here Greg and I were picked up and taken to the Kinabatangan River where we would get speed boat to our jungle camp inaccessable by road and stay there for 2 nights. We basically spent two days either trekking through the jungle or out on the river trying to spot wildlife which there was plenty of! By the end of the tour we were so sick of monkeys that they became boring, and we had to be careful of them as they would easily rip through our rucksacks to get to the food which happened in a few cases! We were out on the river our first night and it was amazing to be out on the calm water with the clear sky above and the moonlight to guide us through the jungle. We managed to see lots of birdlife and monkeys as well as a tarantula and a snake. The following morning we caught climpses of monkeys and even a crocodile that shot out of the water and on the mud bank in seconds. Our trek through the jungle was awesome and we were looking for the smaller stuff - millipedes, spiders, scorpions etc but we also saw a civic cat lounging in the trees above which was cool. That evening we witnessed the flying foxes which are the biggest bats in the world. They came out right on cue at 6.10 and flew across the river to feed. There were hundreds all with the perfect bat shape which got most of us singing the batman theme tune. On our last day on the way back to civilisation we managed to see a wild Orangtan lazing in the trees. It really topped off an awesome trip and it seemed so surreal to be so deep in the jungle. I've only ever seen that kind of stuff on TV so it was weird to be living there for a few days! So much wildlife to see out there and we only saw a small part of it all.
Have updated with more photos. Next stop...diving at Sipidan island.