One of the most popular tourists’ destination in Borneo is Mt. Kinabalu. Of course it depends on how good you are though, after climbing the highest mountain in South East Asia, you are going to be exhorted by all means. What would you do after climbing Mt. Kinabalu before your flight back to your own country then? Would you take a boat to a resort island, or take a tour to go to see orang utan and rafflesia? If so, Lonely Planet can offer you good selected information. Here, I am going to enhance the options of your travel plans after climbing Mt. Kinabalu by introducing you a relaxed stay and some activities that are not in Lonely Planet book. It is based on my experience that was supported by many of the local residents, who I think are going to welcome you with lots of fun and smiles as well.
- Locate yourself at a small town near the beach.
- Take a day tour to see proboscis monkeys.
- Communicate with the local.
Locate yourself at a small town along the beach
The reason why you think about going to an island is probably that the accommodations and the cleanness of the beach are pretty much guaranteed especially if you follow what the guesthouse fellows and travel guidebooks tell you. However, what if you knew a place where is cheaper and has a clean beach near Mt. Kinabalu?
The town is called Kuala Penyu (“Kuala” means harbor and “Penyu”, sea turtle). It is two hours driving from Kota Kinabalu. Ask a hotel or guesthouse reception for a minivan to come pick you up at your hotel, and bring you off at the home-stay in Kuala Penyu. It should be easy and cost around $10 per person.
There, you can swim anytime a day, take a fresh coconut from the tree, go down to a town by a rental scooter to provide yourself what you need and to jalan-jalan (wander around) a big market, called tamu, opened every Tuesday.
Take a day tour to see proboscis monkeys
You must be very tired from climbing Mt. Kinabalu, so why not taking a jungle river cruise tour which includes dinner for $30 as I remember. The place is called Kota Kilas Wetland, Beaufort Sabah, which is 30 mins drive from your home-stay. You are going to be on the boat with around 20 other people and enjoy the scenery and chill wind at the evening and proboscis monkeys that you can often find at the distance. They provide you a binoculars for around $10. After the monkeys, you will stay in the boat and they will take you to see the firefly at night.
Communicate with the local
Appreciate what you learn from them, and don’t ever forget to have fun with them. It will be your precious memory in Malaysia. The locals devote a lot of their time in its community service, so if you are interested in, you can ask them to help. You will be appreciated and be able to have a cultural experience. If you ask, you can experience fishing using nets and catching octopi. You can learn traditional dance and a beautiful song of Kinabalu. You can teach the kids basic English and have fun. You can learn awesome Malay food with lots of fresh fish. The food I had there was not even comparable to the food at restaurants. It is amazingly tasty thanks to the sheaf, Elizabeth.
<The home-stay information>
We met them though an organization called Workaway. You can contact them through the website if you have an account. The host ref number: 189871356334.
The family we stayed with was building 5 guesthouses around their house. By the time you are going to Kinabalu, they might be running the business already. Please contact them by email or phone. Email: Freliz_5568@yahoo.com Hand phone: 0135427494 or 0138695092
Thank you for reading. (Written by Mia)