Friday, January 27, 2017

A short trip to Kota Kinabula, Sabah

Part one of our little two week vacation -

Yes, we just arrived in Hong Kong, but our arrival was less than 12 hours before we really began our trip. Onto KK!

We made the long journey through another myriad of airport terminals and security check points before arriving at Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah, Malaysia. The second we stepped out of the airport, the warm wave of sweltering heat body slammed into body. Whew, humidity.

Our first full day in KK was really just sitting in a tour bus for forever long (roughly 2 hours) to get to their famous "Wildlife River Cruise" in Beaufort. I have many opinions about this but here's what you get: upon arrival you are greeted by locals relaxing in groups and selling fruits by the roadside, kids playing volleyball on pavement, and a gorgeous river quietly moving along in the horizon.

The homes and businesses are all standing along the Klias River, the tours are brought onto little boats to travel from one structure to the other. Just a quick 5-7 minute boat ride brings you to the main building where you will receive little snacks and drinks.

After your snack, you are brought back onto the boat and the tour begins to navigate around the river in search for the native proboscis monkeys lounging around the trees. Along the way you can enjoy the ever shifting skyline as the sun's rays dance along the softly flowing river. It's serene and soothing for the most part, minus the loud boat motors.

As the dusk approaches, you are greeted with a beautiful sunset to finish off the day and head back to the same structure to have a little buffet dinner.

Malaysia, being by the sea, offers a large array of seafood varieties. Everything is fresh and delicious...and affordable for us Americans. Seafood, eat food. That's my seafood joke...dumb...

After dinner you head back to the boat and start the firefly tour. I have no photos since there really isn't a way to capture the beauty of dainty fireflies circling your boat in the dark, but here's the visual: 

As you quietly drift towards the edges of the boundary of trees, the guide softly drums a dimly lit green flashlight to attract the fireflies. After a few moments, the fireflies begin to react  with little flickers of light and gently dance around the boats. Leaning forward, you will find nature's version of flickering Christmas lights dancing against a sea of dazzling stars that fill the nights sky. The combination of flickering lights and falling stars are amplified as their reflections perform the same dance from the river's gentle flow. 

As my sister, Olivia said, "It looks like the stars have fallen to the trees."

My other sister, Odona's assessment was: "The fireflies aren't coming to find a mate, they are just finding a dance partner."

Both amazing.

First tour day in Malaysia done and in the books. My overall assessment was that the unique moments were certainly winners. I'm not sure if I have a river cruise and firefly tour in my area, so those were memorable.

The actual tour group we joined sucked, the tour guides sucked, the people we were on the tour with sucked. I'm a Debby Downer sometimes. Here's my lesson learned (and this will repeat with my other Malaysia blogs) when you are finding a tour to join please research what types of reviews they receive. Consider what type of people you'll be touring with. I can't get any more specific without being mean so I'll leave it at that.

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