Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Borneo Adventure - guest starring Mags

[Katherine]:  To my delight I got to escape Korea for 2 whole weeks by jaunting it up in Malaysia - to my great surprise my poor mum, Mags agreed to be dragged along with me so she could finally appreciate the delights of Asia (not Korea). We decided to spend 8 days getting to know the monkeys in Borneo and then 4 days in Kuala Lumpur, where we would meet up with Greg and play with baby elephants - cute!!

After a long flight from Korea for me, and an even longer 17 hour flight from the UK for Mags, we arrived at KL airport. on the Sunday. I had gone to the cheapo Air Asia terminal and Mags had flown to the nice one and my flight got in 5 hours before hers so I got to know the couches at the airport, which were surprisingly comfy - take note Heathrow!! We were soon on our way back to the crappy low cost terminal and on to Kuching in Borneo!! Mags was v hardcore and didn't actually die on the plane, I remember my first long haul flight and it was a massive disaster!!

After lots of flying and a loooong taxi drive, we arrived at the first centre of our 3 centre holiday (yes we are that posh!), the Damai Beach resort. It was in the middle of nowhere, about 40 minutes from Kuching, but it was perfect for us as we just wanted time to relax, unwind and get over jetlag! It also had a great pool and was right at the edge of the rainforest and so we got the authentic Borneo experience! We settled into the hotel and Mags was shocked to learn that my lifestyle of starvation in Korea had led me to be unable to consume a full meal - sad times! This was definitely rectified later in the holiday.


The next day we just had a day of sunbathing, which was meant to lull us into the holiday spirit and chill us out, unfortunately I didn't realise that the sun was powerful enough to come through the clouds, so it led to us getting 3rd degree burns - my skin was a canvas of pain for the rest of the holiday! On the plus side, we got to eat a club sandwich, which was the best thing ever! We also drank real wine which is lovely when you've lived on 'Korea house wine' for a year!


On the Tuesday, we ventured into the rainforest, to the Sarawak Cultural Village. It was very interesting and we learned about the millions of tribes that make up the ethnic population of Sarawak Borneo. It was really nice to learn that different religions and ethnicities can live together peacefully - shame they can't manage it in riot torn Oldham! Other fun highlights of the day included Mags using a blow pipe to hit a target with an arrow (I failed miserably), and us making some tunes with an authentic xylophone. Low points of the day included some Koreans sitting in front of us and making total nuisances of themselves! They are so annoying!

failing miserably at using a blow pipe!

On Wednesday we went on a river cruise on the Sarawak River, we saw a giant crocodile, which we thought was fake until it jumped in the river and terrified us. We also saw loads of monkeys and tiny glimpses of Irwaddy dolphins. The end of the tour was the best bit, we saw fireflies which are these bugs that just flicker like Christmas tree lights. It was really magical and peaceful, although the dark boat did freak us out at the end! The biggest bonus of it was that we didn't get bitten at all, which is a damn miracle for pasty asses from the UK in the middle of a rainforest river at night - go caution!

Scary Crocodile!

It was a shame Greg didn't come with us as the hotel contained something he would have truly loved - a cat feeding station! As the word Kuching (nearest place to Damai) means 'Cat' they are all fond of cats here, so left out special bowls of food for them to nibble on, it was kind of weird to have cats wandering around and a bit skanky, but amusing all the same - especially when a guy in the pool hit one of them with a frisbee by mistake!! (I didn't laugh, honest!)

Cat feeding station!!

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