I never thought I'd make it here...
February 18, 2020
We left Bali on February 9th to head for Kuching, Borneo, Malaysia.
The flight was sketchy, and there was definitely a lot of tension while traveling because of the new coronavirus. (In fact, we missed a 2-week quarantine by ONE day because we flew through Singapore for 45 mins 😅😭). But we arrived in Borneo, somewhere I’ve always wanted to see, but I didn’t think was possible to! Here we are though!
It is SO much more developed here than I had expected. Roads, malls, and all, but it’s also super run down from how harsh the weather and nature here are. We’re staying in Kuching, in a beautiful area called the waterfront. We have a million-dollar view outside of our massive Airbnb of the river lined with colorful houses and unique buildings. The city is colorful, people are friendly, the food is even better than Bali’s and among the cheapest we’ve had! A meal out for two with drinks (water) is only about $4 at the average place!
We haven’t made it out to a lot of nature yet, out of fears of not being able to get a ride back, but we did make it to Bako National Park this weekend! I felt like I was working for National Geographic or something as we hopped on a rickety boat to make it out to the park, which is only accessible by about a 30-40 min boat ride. We started down a river lined with colorful fishing houses, passed a large mangrove forest, and then went out to open, murky brown ocean with the dramatic landscape of the park just beside us. It was just one of those surreal moments.
I’d be lying if I said that it wasn’t a little physically and mentally trying though. We ended up getting lost for several hours on a mis-marked trail, we got chased by a troop of macaque monkeys, the heat and humidity were brutal, we were constantly trying to avoid venomous snakes and creepy crawlies (like ants literally the size of my thumb), I fell in between some janky stairs and nearly broke my leg, we missed our check-in for our bungalow and thought we were going to be stuck outside for the night, and we got caught in a torrential downpour that soaked straight through our weatherproof gear…
Seriously… I will never forget being soaked to the core, finally stumbling upon an small cave to assess the situation, and opening up the plastic cover on our bag to have a gallon of water spill out onto my feet. Definitely a moment of shock and panic knowing the camera was inside. Luckily we were able to cover it well enough that it miraculously didn’t soak through like everything else we owned!
BUT we also just had the most amazing time. We got to see butterflies the size of birds. We saw some of the strangest (and maybe the biggest) spiders on this planet. We were surrounded by endangered proboscis monkeys high up in the canopy – they’re only found in Borneo! We ran into a juvenile pit viper and lots of bearded pigs. We found that the water there is all deep red in color, stained by the fallen foliage. There were so many different environments to explore, all just filled with unique flora and fauna. It’s any nature lovers dream!
I could ramble on and on, but I’ll stop here so I don’t overload you with too many updates.