Hello, Borneo!

12:42 PM

I know, I know. I apologize for being MIA these past couple of months. So what have I been up to? Well, for one thing, I got really soaked while exploring the forests of Borneo.

It was Friday morning and found myself in uptown Manila. This girl still wanted to show up for the first half of Spanish class. Did I learn anything that morning? Un poquito. Then took the metro to the Philtranco Pasay terminal.

The bus crawled for two hours from Pasay to SM Megamall and found ourselves in front of Robinsons Galleria at 2:00 pm. With every passenger showing signs of distress, the conductor had to call the air asia check-in counter to advise them that there were still F-O-U-R passengers in transit. Our almost-empty bus got to Clark airport barely an hour before our 4:30pm flight. My friends didn’t know if they would hug me or strangle me. 

Finally flew out to Malaysia's other big island and found ourselves landing on one of the most scenic strip of tarmac - in between the mountain and the coast. Outside the porthole, the sun was disappearing into the sea.  Xplorer backpackers was our home for the next couple of days and after settling in, we wolfed down our hole-in-the-wall supper then footed it to the central market along the waterfront. 

Kota Kinabalu Central Market at night
Old Town white coffee = free WiFi

Next day, we hopped on a speedboat and headed to Manukan Island. Spent the day soaking up the rays and some snorkeling. On the way back, the boat suddenly stalled right in the middle of the bay. Thank goodness, the skipper was able to bring it back to life. Had fresh hearty seafood spread for supper and capped the night with coffee and free Wi-Fi at old town. 

Our street in Chinatown
Nice architecture can be found in our neighborhood.
That's one huge fish!
Good morning at the waterfront.
Took a speedboat from Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal. 
Take heed!
Muslim women still all covered-up on the beach. Fascinating.
Building sandcastles.
After a day on the beach, got all dressed-up for the market!
Supper time at Kota Kinabalu Central Market
Bahaya = Babala (?)

Early the next morning, we strapped on our bags for Kinabalu Park and were over-charged for the mini-van ride. Refusing to give in to the old geezer, we high-tailed to the other side of town and took the bus. 

Sunday is market day along Gaya St., Chinatown

Time to buy some Sabah snake grass?
Manggaaaaaaa! But it doesn't look anything from home. hmmmm.
Childhood memories in a bag and being sold in Borneo!


High five!




Waiting for a cab across the Atkinson tower clock. 


The 1 KM hike to the lodge starts from the highway.
Explored Kinabalu Park in the rain (and shine), met new people, and made a new friend in the form of the sweet cuddly nameless cat of the hostel.
Mt. Kinabalu hidden under the fog.
it's not exactly bubbling, is it?
Lost in the forests of Borneo.
Hamming it with Frederick from Sweden.
One of our buggies at the lodge.
Good morning! Brrrr.
Tried again the next day but Mt. Kinabalu still refused to show her summit. Boo.
Sunset along the waterfront.

Headed down to the city for one more night of shopping, Chinese food, and free Wi-Fi. Visited the Sabah Museum in the morning before cabbing it to the airport to catch our early afternoon flight.
Breakfast with a view.
Kota Kinabalu in the morning.


Morning starts with feeding the pigeons.
Maintenance day at the Sabah Museum.

Crossing a rope bridge was a bit tricky.
 It was another classic tampeeps holiday - friendly locals, old geezers, and the essential Wi-Fi. (Ramil, this was only my second holiday with you. the first was the trip to bali and that was ages ago! :P) First-time backpackers Abe and Ida assured us that they had a good time. (Ooows?) Even if you're just being nice, it was a blast traveling with you!

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