There is a reason why we are not writing so often in the past months: our wedding. We are preparing everything and it takes so much time that we cannot find the moment to write in the blog. And the wedding has something associated which is the perfect gift for a traveling couple like us: the honeymoon. It’s been a long time since we decided to spend our honeymoon in Borneo but we have not written about it yet. We will depart in four weeks to the 3rd biggest and the wildest island in the world.
We will depart from Barcelona to Kuala Lumpur with a short stop in Doha. In Kuala Lumpur we will sleep one night and depart the following day early in the morning to Kota Kinabalu (Borneo). After this long travel we will be tired and have chosen the Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa. Remember that this is a honemoon! 😀
We will relax in this fantastic hotel during one day waiting for our next flight the following day to Gunung Mulu National Park. This park is only reachable by 3-4 day foot walk through the jungle or by a small plane. Once there we will stay 4 nights in the only resort inside the borders of the national park. We have planned plenty of activities there, but the main attractions are related with the caves and rock formations.
One of the treks that we will do is the Garden of Eden walk. After walking for 2 hours through the Deer Cave we will leave the cave through a different hole, steping into a closed valley that cannot be reached in any different way. Pure nature not touched by humans. Here we will watch also thousands of giant bats leaving the cave during the sunset, an amazing performance just seen on the TV and films like Indiana Jones.
Mulu is a World Heritage Site since November 2000. Its biological and geological heritage is so unique and so well preserved that the decision was easy for UNESCO. To be able to qualify as a World Heritage site, the place needs to meet one of the following four criteria:
- Be an outstanding example of the world’ geological history (Caves and cave deposits).
- Be and outstanding representative example of on-going evolutionary processes (current research programmes).
- Be of exceptional beauty!
- Contain significant natural habitat for in-situ conservation of biological diversity and the protection of threatened species (wide range of cave and forest habitats).
Mulu meets the four of them! Adventure and incredible landscapes await us here.
After 4 days here we will go to the east coast of Sabah were a boat will await us in the early morning. We will travel by boat to one small island called Turtle Island. It is so small that you can walk all around the island in 5 minutes. Its waters are full of turtles and every day they put their eggs in the sand of this paradise. We will sleep in Turtle Island one night, something really difficult to do, as less than 60 people can visit the island every day.
After one night and one day in this remote island between Borneo and Philippines we will go back to Borneo and visit Sepilok Orangutan Centre, a place where scienctific and conservation works are done to preserve this endangered species. We want to know more about orangutans and the risks that are making them to die.
From Sepilok we will go to Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, a place located among rivers, that we will reach after sailing up the stream, from the Kinabatangan river mouth to the Sukau Rainforest Lodge. This lodge is considered one of the 55 best unique lodges of the world. Here the list: www.nationalgeographiclodges.com
After staying two nights in this fantastic lodge and discovering all the flora and fauna around Kinabatangan River we will drive towards the Danum Valley in the mountains, Sabah inland. The region of Danum mountains is forbidden to the people without special permit. There are only two lodges in this huge area and one scientific base. Lonely Planet describes the Danum Valley Conservation Area like something out of children’s story book. Here we will find orangutans, tarsiers, sambar deer, bearded pigs, flying squirrels, king cobras, prosboscis monkeys, pygmy elephants, leopards, etc.
It is an almost impenetrable arboreal fortress. Trees are 70m high, it is recognise as one of the most complex ecosystems on Earth and scientists discover new species of flora and fauna every week! We will stay two nights in the Kawag lodge from where we will do trails, swim under waterfalls and relax.
From Danum Valley we will drive towards the south. Semporna will be our next stop. This is the paradise for divers and although we are not divers, we will enjoy its white sands, turquoise waters and small island landscapes in the Celebes Sea. Our first stop will be the Dragon Inn Floating Hotel in Semporna, where we expect to have a great dinner meal.
After sleeping for the first time in an overwater villa, next day we will do a 1-day trip to Bohey Duland island. In this trip we will meet the gipsy sea people that live in the small islands between Borneo and Philippines, we will swim while snorkeling in the turquoise waters and we will climb to the top of Bohey Dulang. Hope that the views are as astonishing as the photos.
Our day will end in a small island called Mabul where we will stay two nights in Mabul Water Bungalows Resort without any activity planned, just relax. The island is almost as small as Turtle Island. There are some palm trees, two resorts with overwater villas and few people permanently living. White sand, turquoise waters, coral reefs and colourful marine life. What else do we need for our honeymoon?
From Mabul island we will depart to Borneo inland again. This time Maliau Basin is our next destination. Maliau Basin was completely unknown for humans till the early 1980’s! The area has been recently opened to a limited number of adventurous travellers. Maliau Basin tells the same story it did milleniums ago and its nickname explains everything about it: “Sabah’s Lost World”. It is one of the world’s great reserves of biodiversity.
After two nights sleeping in the Maliau Basin Conservation Area, trekking all around and discovering magnificent waterfalls in the middle of the untouched rainforest, we will go back to Kota Kinabalu for our return flight…
Will our honeymoon be more adventurous, unique and spectacular than our Namibia travel? Will see!
Note: In our blog we always use our own photos except when we write about our future destination, obviously. In this case we inform the link at the foot of every photo from we have picked them up.