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Just back from Sabah, Borneo -- Trip report!!!


May 18th, 2011, 08:29 AM
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Just back from Sabah, Borneo -- Trip report!!!

Hello, Everyone!

We just returned from a MAGICAL two-week trip to Sabah two weeks ago! THANK YOU TO SO MANY OF YOU WHO OFFERED ADVICE AND HELPED ME PLAN THIS TRIP!!!

... We took over 2500 pictures, and although I have been trying to get back to "life", I have managed to do a quick sort of the photos, yank what I think are some of the better ones, throw them up online, and create a blog with a VERY lengthy trip report and photos for your viewing pleasure!

I really wanted to get this trip report "out there", because I know fro experience how helpful they are for anyone planning a trip! Please keep in mind that a) I'm not computer savvy at all, and b) I do plan to go back and "pretty up" the blog a bit, correct grammatical errors, add tidbits that I may have forgotten . . . and I will add some video when we manage to get that off of our camera and online . . . Also, this blog post is REALLY long, but I've put the major sections in large font with green lettering, so feel free to scroll down and read the sections you care about. I really tried to create "jumps" in the post, but I just couldn't make it work. I didn't create multiple pages, because I want this blog to be more of a "trip diary" -- one trip per blog post. This makes it hard to read because the posts are long, but easier than flipping back and forth between pages!

I hope you enjoy!!

jrn is offline  
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May 18th, 2011, 11:14 AM
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Thank you for a wonderful report! I'm glad you found the BRL to be as special as we did. BTW, you got some great orangutan photos.
Kathie is offline  
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May 18th, 2011, 12:27 PM
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Great report with wonderful photos.
Yes, I know........getting back to ''life'', is well......not too easy !!

Just start planning the next trip !
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May 18th, 2011, 12:46 PM
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I'm glad you both enjoyed reading!!

Leigh, I already have! ;-)

... Our next one is a "freebie" because my husband accumulated an insane number of air/hotel/train/credit card points when he started a new job a year and a half ago and had to travel a TON for the first year. We'll probably never have this opportunity again! But, our plan is to go to Kauai next April, since we could do the whole thing using points (hard to redeem points at the Borneo Rainforest Lodge, for example!). In fact tonight at midnight we will be 331 days out, and tickets open up... So I'm planning to call United at 12:01! Wish me luck!
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May 18th, 2011, 07:03 PM
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What a GREAT report. Now for a question that only a spoiled New Yorker might ask. But first let me qualify it by saying we have traveled extensively through Thailand, Indonesia, Brazil's Amazon and Melanesia where the temperatures reached 98-101 with humidity as high as 80% with the sun shining brightly.We went into rain forests on 8-12 hour day trips to sights and remote villages. But we planned it in such a way that we came back to a sleeping room that had Air Conditioning though the rest of the hotel/lodge may be open-air. That said, how uncomfortable were the nights sleeping after Kuta. We so much want to make much of the trip you took but are concerned about the 9PM-6AM sleep time. Can you share your thoughts on that point. I am aware from extensive business travel in Europe that A/C is ot as prevalent as it is in the US butfrom our teenage years all we know is A/C.
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May 18th, 2011, 07:33 PM
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Actually, the only places we stayed that had AC once we left KK were the Lankayan and Sepilok lodges. The Borneo Rainforest Lodge and Kinabatangan lodges did not . . . At least, I don't THINK the BRL -- to be honest, I'm not 100% sure, because I didn't even look! That said, all of us slept totally comfortably. The fans were always directly overhead and we were perfectly cool! In fact, I think we always ended the night with the covers pulled up!

I actually don't like AC and was very annoyed that the fan in our Lankayan room didn't work because without it, it WAS too hot. But I didn't visit a remote island to shut all of the windows and listen to the AC at night! So, we sweated it out there -- but really it was no problem anywhere else!
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May 20th, 2011, 05:35 PM
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Your kids a amazing!! Great report but really amazed your kids did it all.
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May 20th, 2011, 08:16 PM
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What a fantastic family trip! If your youngest daughter wants to live in Malaysia after some rough spots like her early fall and then car sickness, she is a trooper. They both are!

Your insect pix are as good as the primates. Real diversity.

The deforestation maps you included are very useful. The monkey ropes as corridor is both funny and terribly sad.

Other than taxis to the airports was your land or water transport provided by the accommodations?

Is there a reason you chose April or May for your travel dates?

Anything you would change in this trip?

Were there any hopeful and positive signs for Malaysia's natural habitats and the creatures that dwell there?

If you plan on seeing all the primates, what are your bonobo plans?
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May 21st, 2011, 05:57 PM
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Thanks for the wonderful report and pictures.
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May 22nd, 2011, 12:24 PM
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Jrn - Thanks so much for the link to your blog. Having just returned from a month in Borneo where we stayed at some of the same places, it was lovely to relive it. I want you to know how lucky you were. We were there just before you and it absolutely poured, I mean deluge, just about every day for two hours or more, and the trails were very muddy and the wildlife was hiding out, too, though we saw a lot. It was still wonderful and I would do it again, but you were very fortunate and I am glad you got to see so many things.
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May 23rd, 2011, 03:27 PM
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Hi there -- Sorry for not checking in for a couple of days . . .

susncrg -- I'm so glad that you guys also had a great trip -- a month, wow!! I'm sorry to hear about the rain that you had, though, and am glad to hear that at least it didn't last all day every day. I know that we were really fortunate with the weather, and I was so thankful. If it makes you feel any better, our good karma ran out for our return trip home, which took 48 hours and involved an emergency landing and subsequent LONG wait in Manila!

atravelynn -- Let me try to answer all of your questions!

Aside from the taxis to the airports, all other transfers were, indeed, taken care of by the lodges we were visiting. As was food, and just about everything else. We spent very little during our time in Borneo, having paid for just about everything in advance.

Honestly, we chose April simply because it worked for us. The summer months are hard for us because we have family commitments, and my husband needs to spread out his vacation time. The kids have February and April vacations, and since February is still the rainy season, typically, in Borneo, we opted for April.

It's hard to know for sure how hopeful we can be . . . Everywhere we went, the lodges and centers did what they could to educate their visitors -- but the reality is that as population and standard of living increases, demand for resources will as well. So, unless we find some alternatives, I just don't know . . . The "corridors" of life that I mentioned seems like a very sad alternative, and I'm not sure that long-term, is a realistic solution.

We haven't decided what to do about the Bonobo chimps -- we're sort of debating whether or not to count them separately from the chimpanzees we've seen. We could, also, distinguish between lowland and mountain gorillas, as well as Bornean and Sumatran organgutans! Our next primary adventure will be to find gorillas, which we plan to do when the girls are a little older, as from what we've heard, the hiking in and out to find them is intense -- so probably 6 years from now, when they're 14 and 12.

Sorry, I've got to run! My oldest needs help with her homework.

Take care!
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Jun 17th, 2011, 07:25 AM
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Great report and really wonderful photographs. Thanks.
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Jun 18th, 2011, 08:51 PM
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Have only skimmed, looking forward to reading your report. Fantastic photos!!!! Orangutans are my favorite and it's my dream to see them.
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Mar 15th, 2012, 07:01 PM
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Great trip report! I will be in Malaysia in May. Looking for a similar trip (shorther however). I am also looking to see as much as possible wild life. Did you use a tour company to organize your trip/guide? I am trying to find someone that is organizing either personalized tour or at least, not too much "tourist attraction"
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Mar 16th, 2012, 07:04 PM
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Fantastic report. Is the a way to send you a PM as I have so many questions??? We have couple families that have done some extreme wildlife trips ( Africa, Costa Rica and Alaska) and we are looking at going to Borneo area in July. Thanks and thnks for sharing.
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Jul 1st, 2015, 08:16 PM
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Thanks for your sharing report. You really wrote very well. This could be useful when I visit Borneo next time. Thank you!
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