Sepilok to Kinabatangan River

Green Crested Lizard at Sepilok Banana Cafe

 

IMG_3672

A short Video of the amazing Banana Cafe, Sepilok

Well our morning didn’t really go as planned, checkout was at 11 am which didn’t really give us enough time to do the pita walk and then have enough time for showers etc so we just walked the walkways and some paths again at the discovery centre. Actually it was very quiet there, we were even quite early but didn’t see much except for a few skinks and this beautiful Orangutan just having a little rest in a tree, we really didn’t want to disturb him so we were very quiet, took some quick photos and left him in peace.

Click or press image to view larger

A young Orangutan at Rest – Sepilok Rainforest

 

After checking out we stopped for a quick iced tea with lemon at the banana cafe, there was hardly anyone there and Anthony got some great photos of those elusive little flowerpeckers, they are so small and fast and always hiding. They have a bird feeder there and lots of flowering bushes so it’s a hotspot  for those types of birds.

 

 

It was a 2 hour drive to our new digs in Sukau which is right on the river. Anthony booked 4 nights here, but was always a bit unsure about this place and couldn’t find out anything about the river boat trips etc. Well all I can say is it’s just one big rip off tourist place, pay pay pay for rubbish really.This place is like a lodge I guess with timber walkways leading to cabins, which is what we were in first but honestly is was worse than the Hovel Central at Mount Kinabalu. A scrap of toweling for a towel, certainly no bath mat, no kettle or cups or glasses, another one of those wet showers, also the louvre windows wouldn’t close which made the aircon pretty hopeless. We didn’t know what to do, we were so disappointed yet again. Anthony found if we stayed one night we could cancel without having to pay for the other three nights, so hooray for that, we weren’t staying that long, also they had a spare deluxe room so we took that. It was more expensive but comfy bed proper shower, kettle etc so things did take a turn for the better.
IMG_3672
Kinabatangan River Video
Then we decided to take the afternoon boat trip for 2 hours which is what we came here for but Anthony was under the impression that the boat went all the time and would be cheap…….No No No not in this rip off place. We did the trip along with so many other boats just crazy…really not our cup of tea at all. We saw a few birds but we were just going flat stick up and down the river about 3 times, yes just up down up down at high speed and didn’t see a thing for the first hour. Because they had spotters on the shore looking for elephants and had spotted them up there, but by the time we got there they had gone so we went all the way down there and then back again. Some of us saw birds but they weren’t interested in us seeing anything but the elephants, here’s our Safari trip in  Kui Buri all over again.
Asian Elephant on banks of kinabatangan River
Asian Elephant on the banks of Kinabatangan River
Yes we did see the elephants but you can hear all the people in the background of my video, it’s not how we want to see wildlife. We will certainly stay away from any future boat trips.
They have a restaurant on the river here, for drinks there’s either water or coke and we had a very basic buffet dinner. I’ve been having Pina Colada’s the last few nights so have become rather spoilt.
So the problem now is that all the accommodation around Sepilok is booked out and we have nowhere that we want to go to…..We’re not staying here it’s a @$#& hole. We might be able to go back to Labuk where we stayed at that hotel then it’s only about 20 minutes drive to the Rainforest Discovery Centre.
I will keep you posted.
It was extremely hot today must have easy been around 38 degrees, they have a problem with power here so the power just went off and thank god it came back on again, I don’t think we could sleep without aircon. The power keeps surging, all the lights dim and the aircon is on 17 degrees but is only just keeping us cool.
Borneo is a real hit and miss affair, I guess if we ever come back we can sidestep all the pitfalls. We will be in better spirits when we get back to the jungle.
Bye, Steph and Anthony.

Khao Yai National Park

Y

F5714E4F-963A-440C-9A4A-3BA8F3BD4912

Wow, what a day, we got up early and got out to the Khao Yai National Park  nice and early around 7am. It was such a great feeling revisiting this park as we had spent 4 days here last year.

 

Click or press on image to view Larger

We already had a heads up as to the best places to see birds and where some of the fruiting trees are, though we are a month early this year and those particular trees aren’t fruiting just yet. But it didn’t matter as the best way to see birds is to just drive around slowly with your windows down and if you hear anything different or lots of bird chatter you just pull over a bit and put your hazard lights on and people here are very obliging and they go around you. Everyone does it here and it’s a great way to see birds as it’s more open on the roads than trying to spot them in the dense rainforest.

 


 


 


 


You get these bird storms here where all of a sudden a whole bunch of birds will just arrive and there would be maybe 6 or 8 different species of birds all hanging out together. It’s crazy and hard for Anthony to know where to point the camera because I’m so excited too and telling him what I am seeing through my binoculars so it gets a bit confusing. Of course males are the best colours so we try to focus on them( sorry girls). But this didn’t happen today but we probably weren’t in the right spot.

IMG_3672

The Sights and sounds of Khao Yai

It’s a fantastic park with so much variety, there’s waterfalls, rivers,  lakes, open grasslands too. Their wildlife list is incredible. Anyway the photos and video speak for themselves, we are really tired now and want to get up there just a little bit earlier as the sun was already pesky at 7 am, Enjoy.
Bye for now Steph and Anthony.

 

A visitor just outside our Digs tonight


Koh Samui, Thailand

Oriental Garden Lizard
Oriental Garden Lizard in the Hotels garden

Greetings from Koh Samui in Thailand.

The flights went well, we had a 2 hour stop in Singapore on the way so it all went quite quickly which is always good when flying . The landing here was a bit hairy, it was really windy and we flew around some really big black clouds.

The getting money out, SIM card for the phone and hire car all went smoothly and the hotel room is nice and clean. It was around 10 pm by the time we settled in and were really looking forward to today to check out all our favourite places.

The morning didn’t start too well, very blustery conditions and very dark ominous clouds which didn’t look good for our trip up the mountain.
Breakfast at the Coffee Club, Koh Samui Style
Retro Selfie at the Coffee Club, Koh Samui Style
We also forgot it was Sunday so going to our favourite breakfast haunt wasn’t going to happen as they were closed. We had plonked ourselves in Fisherman’s Village  to be close to cafes and shops etc, but hardly anything was open being Sunday  morning. So we ended up in a Coffee Club which was really good , a great setting there right on the beach. But they are also ridiculously expensive here but we didn’t have much choice this morning.
We drove up to the mountain and the weather deteriorated from there really, we were in the clouds and it started to rain. The road had also deteriorated since we were here last year, pothole central and very slow going. The Secret Buddha Garden was nice, I took a video but you really have to imagine it on a nice day.
IMG_3672
Short video clip of the Secret Buddha Garden
After that we drove to the Him Lad Waterfall  where we saw lots of different types of lizards and birds last year but today….Nothing. We did almost get to the waterfall, but it started raining quite heavy and it was a bit treacherous under foot with slippery rocks and tree roots, pretty impossible to get photos anyway even if some critters did appear so we turned back. Quite a boring day really but the weather did clear enough this afternoon to walk around the hotel grounds here and get a few photos.
Garden birds and a couple of other Critters of Koh Samui
So tomorrow we are off to Bangkok,,,the really big smoke. Hope the weather improves a bit.
Bye for now Cheers Steph and Anthony.