🎶🎵In The Jungle, The Mighty Jungle, The Lion 🦁Sleeps Tonight🎵🎶

Sabah, part of Borneo, Malaysia: to the jungle with my sister and her boyfriend.

Yes, my first real holiday in 3 years. No laptop, no work for 1 week 😊
And that was… weird. I felt naked, travelling without a laptop. I took my tablet but only touched it while unpacking and packing at the security line 🙈.

Usually, when I am in airports, I open my laptop, work a bit or start writing my journal or a blog. This time, I only had my phone, which is good for social media posts. And to annoy people via WhatsApp 😉.

My holiday started with a delay in Da Nang; this made me miss my connecting flight (I should have known better … flying with Air Asia😜). I needed to book a new ticket from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu. This one-way ticket was almost as expensive as my return ticket Da Nang – Kota Kinabalu 😳. But it was the only option to get there on the same day. More or less; I arrived around 2.00 am at the accommodation.

And what a nice surprise: the room was chilled! In Vietnam, I have my own sweat lodge🥵. Saves a lot of money instead of going to a real one; I only have to turn off the AC and my fan and tadaah: the sweat starts. Every morning I wake up, drenched, although the fan is running (and ruining my sleep so I have to turn it off, as well a the AC).

I hear you asking this question: Why did you meet your sister and her boyfriend in Borneo? They were there to finalize their 6-months world trip. And so I took the chance to meet them before they flew back to Europe. It is almost ‘around the corner’ from Da Nang.

We took it easy. We spent 1 full day in Kota Kinabalu, a nice little city on the northwest side of Sabah, located on the beach. The next day we flew to Sandakan and took a taxi (in Malay: teksi) to Sukau, to the jungle.

The weather was nice, we had barely any rain during our stay, although the forecast predicted thunderstorms and rain.

In Sukau, we took 3 river cruises and 1 jungle trail to the cave. We saw a lot of monkeys (in Dutch we say: aapjes kijken 🐵😉), birds (we saw the hornbill and the Angry Birds birds), a little snake, a King Fisher and some more animals. The night cruise was great: so many stars, and stillness, only jungle sounds and fresh air.

These things are not in my ‘home city’  Da Nang.  I realized suddenly how polluted and unhealthy Da Nang is: it is a real concrete jungle. The sounds I hear are horns and motorbikes, yelling people and kids. And the stars I see are street lanterns or the lights of vehicles. No nice smell; the air quality is bad. Maybe it’s time to search for a healthier place (which I am doing within a couple of days from now 😊, perhaps you can guess where I am going to 😇).

In Sukau, there was no wifi, and mobile internet didn’t work all the time; only then I realized how much time I spent online (or wasted!). This short digital detox was nice.

On Monday, we split up: I went directly to Sandakan; Marleen and Claudio did another river cruise to see the Pigmy elephants and went to another cave. They saw the elephants from a distance! It is exceptional because often the elephants aren’t there.  

The next day we went to my buddies: the Orangutans🦧🦧! And also went to the Sun Bears🐻, the smallest bears in the world. The orangutans, as well as the bears, are harboured in the sanctuaries in Sepilok. They were brought there when they were young, without or split from their mother and often (heavily) traumatized. Only a few go back to the wild.

Twice a day, the orangutans are being fed. Guess they didn’t want to have any breakfast, only the macaques came around. The second time, we saw a lot of orangutans, including a huge male, he was a wild one! Amazing!

We have seen a lot of longtail and shorttail macaques. This type of monkey is active and aggressive. Orangutans are chilled, relaxed and quiet. And as hairy as my arms 🦧😜.

We had local food on the local night market and live music in the evening. They even played English songs for us. Claudio and I were enjoying it, we even danced! We were filmed by many locals; now we are famous in Sandakan 😉.

Then, the moment to say goodbye – not the best part of me🥹. I went back to Da Nang the next day, in the early morning, they were enjoying their last days in Semporna and flying back nowadays.

I am really grateful that I could create the option to travel to see my sister and her boyfriend! I often see them once a year, maybe this year we will see each other twice a year. I can already say: Mission completed ✅👍!

Luckily I made it to Da Nang without any issues. I had 3 flights with tight connections, and I started with a delay on the first flight. Fortunately, the delay was only a few minutes and the immigration line during the transit was short. So I made it to my connected flight. The last one was delayed for 25 minutes but I couldn’t care because that was to my final destination. Sorry for the people who missed their connection🙌.

Once on my way home, I felt that it was nice to be back: the structured chaos, the beach, the concrete jungle… for 1 day only😳. My heat rash returned within 24 hours.

Therefore, changes in directions and destinations are coming up! On to the next adventure💫🤿🌴.

With love 💜 & light✨,

P.S.: I got a refund for my delayed flight! Thank you, Air Asia🙏!
P.P.S.: Spent that money already on another flight with Air Asia😝