So the first night I was there I got an overnight bus to Sandakan, straight past the mountain. Mt Kinabalu is the highest in SE Asia. Anyway, from Sandakan I went to Sepilok, which is a world famous orangutan sanctuary.....it would be hard to read any tourist literature about Sabah without reading about Sepilok. They have specific feeding times where the orangutans come out of the forest to get some free food. From here, I went further inland to spend a couple of nights in a 'jungle camp' called Uncle Tan's. It was very remote, in a protected area of forest, on the Kinabatangan River, famous for its wildlife. Alas, I had some nice pictures of some of the creatures .......crocs, probiscous monkeys, wild pigs, monitor lizards, tree frogs, scorpions, spiders, eagles, kingfishers, hornbills........
Anyway, moving on, I left for Semporna, which is an absolute hole of a place, but the gateway to Pulau Sipadan.
You can see above the small jetty, and the change in colour of the sea....that is where the sea bed has a drop off of 2000 meters. Along that ridge is another dive site called Barracuda Point, probably the most famous site on Sipadan. It lived up to all expectations. There were so many turtles swimming around, schools of barracudas (in thousands), also giant barracuda, big-eyed trevally, white and black tipped reef sharks, grey reef sharks (no whale sharks....although one was sighted that week)....etc etc....you get the idea.
My little story from Sipadan is slipping on a wooden jetty that had been uncovered by the falling tide (before my first dive) and slicing my feet open in 3 differant places on the awaiting baranacles encrusted on the step. Nobody was around, so I was just lying there in pain! Once we got back to land, I went to get my big bag of medicine from my backpack, and then realised that it was still in a small wooden box in the middle of the jungle where it had originally been put to make sure little critters wouldn't be able to get at the sweet smelling tablets. Easy to forget. So once again I was reduced to a hobble for about a week.
After 3 days and 7 dives, I flew back from Tawau to Kota Kinabalu. From there I travelled to Labuan and onto Brunei for one night.
Brunei deosn't have much of a repuatation for tourism and rightly so. It has some quirky things which may interest some people. It is a huge welfare state with everything paid for by oil money. The Sultan has the biggest residential palace in the world, a six star hotel was built there, and a huge theme park which is always totally deserted (Brueni has a population of about 76,000). I was extremly bored there!
So I was back on the boat to Labuan and transfer onto KK as quickly as possible, a journey which had a lot of people on the boat puking into their handbags. It was rough!