Just last week, I was given the opportunity to travel & explore Sabah on a 3Day 2Night adventure trip; courtesy of well known Travel Specialist, Mayflower Holidays and tourism management pioneers Discovery Tours Sabah.Thanks so much!

I chose a good friend of mine, Jacquelyn as my guest for this trip πŸ™‚

We camwhored along the way
Yup, 3 hours was a loooooong flight indeed

We chartered Malaysia Airlines (MAS) to get to our destination. Operation window seat – full force ahead!

Compulsory camwhore photo

Courtesy of MAS, we had an in-board meal as well. Now, that’s a really heavy breakfast! I chose the Nasi Lemak with *drools* Ferrero Rocher


As I am very anal in getting a window seat whenever I fly, thank goodness I managed to get one! All for the love of photography yo! πŸ™‚ I too, had requested a window seat for all my previous trips on a plane just for the sake of shooting

En Route to Sandakan

So now, Imma share my travelogue of the sights and sounds I’ve observed and experience in Sabah on my 1st day here!

Shot whilst waiting for my luggage
Sandakan Airport is really old skool huh?
πŸ™‚ classic

Whilst on the long 2hour journey to the Sukau Village, my tour guide Gary Solacito shared that ‘Sukau’ was derived from the Chinese word ‘gau su’ which means ‘tall trees’.

I was given an itinerary for the 3 day tour

He also put us to suspense by telling us to expect d unexpected during our lodge in the Sukau Village. When he said that, my eyes widened in fear. Could ‘unexpected’ possibly have a hidden meaning to it?

*deep breath*
I’m ready!
Lush palm oil plantation farms were abundant
from the airport to Sukau
The cave system

The 1st place he took us to was the Gomantong Cave aka Gua Gomantong. But before that, Gary brought us gurls to endure a long walk and jungle trekking in order to reach the cave.


We crossed bridges, stepped on puddles and climbed steps after steps

But never fear!
Adventure is our game

Needless to say, I stopped after every few minutes when there was something that caught my eye. And LOL thanks Jac, for snapping this candid of me!


When I looked up, I saw Orangutan nests atop those trees and macaques swinging from branch to branch. Fallen nature captivates me. Somet
hing like this :

It’s bent at 90 degrees yo!

I climbed one of the trees and I noticed that moss were widespread all over most tree barks. Hmm.. it’s expected as the rainforest is usually damp and full of moisture – perfect for growth of all species of flora.

Here’s how it looks from way up here!

When we finally reached the vicinity of the cave, I was enthralled by how serene and peaceful the villages lived their lives within their 4 walls of a wooden longhouse.


Furniture was made from bamboo!
I know how to build them too, thanks to the
training during my Girl Guides camping days πŸ™‚

Gary also showed us the raw birds nest collected by the villages from the Gomantong Cave. This is the edible version – obviously after doing the necessary rinsing and cooking of course πŸ™‚

Pretty cool eh?
Ya can’t get more original than this
The ones I know of prior to this excurtion are only the chilled
bottled ones sold here in the departmental stores

*deep breath*

Aight, it’s time to take a giant leap into the wonders of the pitch black cave! Darn. I think I forgot to lug my torchlight along. Let’s hope Gary brought his πŸ™‚




Dare you enter?

I was told not to leave my mouth open if I were to look up towards the ceilings of the cave. My gut feelings told me that if I were to leave it open by accident, there would be a rather nasty and vile taste of nature’s excretions.

Droppings from your friends
Yes they are all asleep during the day. Nocturnal!

My mouth was tightly shut when I shot this mind you


Very narrow walkway

Once I got inside, it was indeed dark as midnight. Thank goodness the sunlight shone in from outside helped me navigate my way through!


Otherwise, I would have to depend on the wooden barricade… which was colonized by :

these. T___T

No thank you. No thank you. No thank you. No thank you. No thank you. No thank you. No thank you. No thank you. No thank you. No thank you. No thank you. No thank you. No thank you. No thank you. No thank you. No thank you. No thank you. No thank you. No thank you.


If you’re wondering WHY there are so many roaches, it’s because the picture above illustrates it all. Don’t know what Guano is? Why, it’s faeces of a bat. Or for the lack of a better word – BAT SHIT.

Looks like sand right?
But it’s not. It’s SHIT.

Try collecting the SHIT of you and your friends and keeping it in your roo
m. In due time, your entire sanctuary will be infested not by furry friends but rather these :


I dare say it was the longest walk I’ve ever taken along the bridges of the cave because with each and every step you make, you’re bound to hear an audible SQUISH of a hundred cockroaches below the soles of your shoe.

Long way to go!

But hey, no worries! It was all for the sake of experience. Now, I don’t get to explore caves filled with bat dung, birds nest, roaches and bats every other day right? And neither would you.

*looks at mom*

Civilization spotted! I had the chance to make friends with a caveman the caretaker of the cave too.

See the roaches on the barricade!! πŸ™

And I went into his little hut where his humble bed
and other day-to-day utensils lay

When we more or less had enough of roaming about the Gomantong Cave, Gary showed us the way out. Yes I managed to keep my head straight while walking upon the bed of roaches.


The cave expedition was over and the 1st thing that greeted me as I exited the dark cavern is captured in the above photograph. The kampung scene that reminded me of Lat comics πŸ™‚

natures path
We made our way back on the trail before we
adjourned to our place of accommodation

After another long journey, our ride halted to a stop in front of this wooden house.

I was told that this was where the villagers shopped for groceries
Pretty fly! πŸ™‚ I bought my junk food from there too

From where we stopped, Gary led the way and we walked into a very shady area with lotsa cabins on stilts! I reckon we were getting nearer and nearer to where we were going to reside for the weekend

And I was right!

Our hosts for the weekend was Discovery Tours River Lodge, located in the Sukau Village of Sabah. What I really fancied was that the Kinabatangan River, the longest river in Sabah, was directly beside it.

I liked that this lodge was a very eco-friendly one and there was definitely no need for air conditioning! πŸ™‚ By logic, what is the need for air-conditioning if one’s intention was to come out and embrace nature?

The scenic view from my cabin!

The rooms was really cosy and perfect to fit the both of us (and maybe more if we had packed our friends in our luggage!) It was fully equipped with beds with clean sheets, a bedside table, a dressing table, mirrors, an attached bathroom with a water-heater available yay!

We were delighted to find insect repellants in the drawers too.
Now, that will come in handy!


After the hotelier put our luggages and other belongings down for us inside our room, we made our way to the lobby which double functions as a dining and rest area too!

Our ‘kampung-style’ home made lunch dishes
The Odobo chicken is very popular among the locals

Speaking of the lobby area, we hung out there very often with the friendly staff, like Cesar the Manager, M the Chef, Gary and our various Boat Captains and either watched TV or played cards with them before bedtime every night.

Anyway, our boat ride arrived just after lunch;
signaling that it was time for our day river cruise!

As safety precautions, our captain and Gary insisted that life jackets had to be worn at all times. Take a lesson everyone! πŸ™‚

I agreed, despite the fact that the thick spongy life jacket
made me look at least 20pounds heavier πŸ™

We were preparing for take off along the 560km long Kinabatangan River! The vast river awaits us πŸ™‚ I was told that we were going to spot wildlife there too, if we were lucky!

Shot whilst everyone was busy preparing

If you remember well or have followed me on Twitter, you would’ve already read live updates of this escapade

Soon after, the speedboat roared the start of our journey and we set off in high hopes of witnessing wildlife for the 1st time not in zoos nor encyclopedias – but in their natural habitat.

We entered the Menanggul Creek, one of the most
popular creeks amongst a myriad of others
branching out from the Kinabatangan River

When there were no animals in sight, we felt a little dejected and began to entertain ourselves instead. Hmmm…


Though the weather was mercilessly scorching, we showed no signs of restlessness nor fatigue. But ooops, I think I forgot the sun block though. Blimey! πŸ™

Full speed ahead!

Yeah, my cap almost flew off due to the
insane knots of the strong wind

Gary shared that this Menanggol river connects villages from main Kinabatangan River and that it was well-known for Orangutan nests, crickets, hornbills, proboscis monkeys and ficcus.

Come out, wherever you are!

Suddenly, the captain of the boat stopped and pointed at a rather ordinary tree branch. I raised my eyebrows wondering what could be so outstanding of something so common. Until I looked closer.


Let’s go nearer.
I hope it won’t bite

Its eyes were somewhat comical, as though
perturbed by our sheer fascination towards it

Next up was the Wagler’s Pit Viper. It is extremely venomous so be cautious!


We were in luck as we caught sight of 2 animals for the day! Hey this ain’t a zoo nor a conservatory – animals won’t sit and wait at display windows for you to take pictures of them. In the wild, ya gotta hunt and search hard for them! πŸ™‚

Man made bridge for the Orangutans!

When I probed further, Gary told me that this bridge was made to increase chances of survival for the orangutans as it aids them to conveniently move from one side of the river to the other to locate food.

The bridge was made possible with the efforts of the
Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Project!


Come evening, we headed back to our lodge for their complimentary dinner. M cooked up some of his signature dishes for us! πŸ™‚ Yeah don’t ask me why his name is just ‘M’. My guess is that his given name is prolly a mile long so he just shortened it to ‘M’.

was fab! The local food here is just scrumptious
A change from city food πŸ™‚

Hmm.. since we didn’t have much luck in the afternoon, we decided to cruise Kinabatangan River again in search for nocturnal animals instead


When Jac and I looked towards the sky, it was nothing short of a breathtaking sight. In all honesty, this was the starriest night I have seen in my entire life.

In the city, every night was a usual dark sky with specks of stars inconsistantly distributed but the skies here in Borneo was completely engulfed with shiny bright stars. I don’t have a photo of the sky but yeah, you totally have to come to Borneo and witness it yourself!


Our voyage along the Menanggol Creak was a very cooling one, due to the night breeze. I was amazed at the ability of the 2 young captains whose very trained eyes spotted various nocturnal animals from a mile away. We spotted a few civets, lotsa buffy fish owls and a regal 3 metre long reticulated python and more!

As the photo above, I only shot the Blue Eared Kingfisher because I couldn’t resist the temptation to whip out my camera to shoot. You know what they say about taking pictures in the jungle at NIGHT do you? πŸ™ *superstitious jess alert*

For the spirit of the tiger in you!
We sure do need that if we wanna go hunting
in the jungle again tomorrow

Our 1st night ended with much merry making while watching a documentary of Proboscis Monkeys in Borneo

Catch more adventures of the 2nd and 3rd day of my Sabah holiday and discoveries coming up soon! πŸ™‚ More photos and videos awaits you!