After our epic drive across Borneo we arrived in Sandakan and found a hotel called The Mayfair. After we settled in I asked the owner if there was a cinema near by, because we wanted to see The Avengers. His answer was brilliant; "No, but there's one in your room!" and boy, was he right! The room itself was clean and basic; double bed, air-con, bathroom with a decent shower. The winning feature though, was the TV. We had a big flat screen and the owner had a collection of literally thousands of DVDs for us to borrow, free of charge! We didn't get to see the Avengers, but with so much choice we didn't really mind!
Our new hitch-hiker friends, Alexandria and Stuart, stayed in the same place and after we'd freshened up we went out for a little birthday dinner on the waterfront. It was a delicious delight.
The next day the four of us decided to take the car to Kinabatangan River, which was two hours or so away, and once there we hired a boat to take us on a cruise to see some jungle life. The bad thing about the way we did it was that our boatman didn't really know much about what we were looking at and hardly spoke English, whereas if we had gone with one of the expensive tour options, we would have been given much more information. Luckily though, there were some official tour boats just ahead of us so we followed them and got to see some brilliant things! At one point we stopped the boat right under a snake that was sleeping in a tree, and a bit later we saw a big monitor lizard on a branch. Unfortunately we couldn't get any good snaps of them as they were so well camouflaged, but below are a few of our favourite monkey photos...
|We saw lots more of those big nosed proboscis|
monkeys like the ones in Brunei, but this time
we were much closer and got some great pics!
|We saw so many monkeys of various kinds.|
|This cute little fellow was very curious and got |
really close so he could have a better look at us.
|A different type of monkey!|
|A father, mother and child picking fleas off each other's backs.|
|Taken from http://www.cringel.com/node/463|
|It's amazing how long their arms are!|
|They even stand like people.|
|What a big grin!|
|A little cheeky monkey came to join their meal.|
|This one is the same age as James!|
And just as beautiful!
Generally the town of Sandakan is a bit naff, with little to do. However it is definitely worth visiting, as it makes a great base to visit these fantastic places from. Plus, if you stay at The Mayfair, you'll have plenty of entertainment to fill the hours between your adventures!
Costs (per person)
Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan Hitch-hiking = Free!
Mayfair Hotel per Double AC Room = 45 RM (£9, $13.50)
Boat hire in Kinabatangan River = 120 RM (£24, $36)
Private Van to Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary = 10 RM (£2, $3)
Taxi Back from Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary = 40 RM (£8, $12)
Airport Taxi = 20 RM (£4, $6)