Day 6 was just a normal day of travel travel and travel. First its a the packing, ready for a 7am pick up for a 9am flight to Koto Kinabalu (KK)- the next stop on our journey. I must confess to being a little jaded by all the packing and unpacking currently, but its no good getting frustrated as there is a lot more to follow. about 90 mins later we land and get transferred to the Shangri La Tanjung resort. This is more like it.. a tourist holiday hotel type of set up .. nice .. but not for long.
The highlights ..
Brits are very small in number only spotted about 10 so far.
However its full of new money Chinese and as its only about 4 hours flight time for them ...Auzzies.
All the Auzzies have at least 20 or more tattoos .. a sort of walking art collection of people in their late 30's who must have thought it was a great idea at the time.
No different from all new money countries (UK 30 years ago also), the majority of Chinese have little or no international culture .. I know how this sounds .. but its true. 30 years ago, Brits were slated in the world press for our drunken brawling and bad behaviour, noise and lack of appreciation of international travellers as we did everything we could to be loud and unreasonable .. 30 years on, we are a different nation of travellers who see a good time a little differently as we become more "cultured" and sensitive to our surroundings. You can see the same traits of 30 years ago in the new money Chinese.
For the Chinese and Koreans, a sun tan is seen as something for the lower classes.. if you work outside in manual jobs, you have dark skin. Everyone want to be seen as a professional worker working inside offices in high positions. As a consequence, this creates some VERY strange sights in the pool.. You can see at various points in time, objects bobbing around in the pool, fully clothed, with face scarf's, big hats held on by tied head bands, and wearing life jackets, full boating type life jackets. Not only do they NOT want a tan, but it appears they also can't swim.. YET here they are bobbing around in the pool, in 37 degree heat in the bright sun .. ???? we may have had strange habits abroad years ago .. but this is just .. well .. weird.
I decided to wear my most skimpy, thong like spedos as a sort of statement of rebellion. No pictures .. so don't panic...
Day 7 was back on the trail to Kinabulu Park - famous for its easy trail up a 4000 ft mountain and stunning scenery..
The a couple of hours outside of KK its another morning departure and up hill all the way into the park. The park is stunning for its various plants and well known locally for the 150 people per day who take the 2 day mountain walk to the top. The mountain is regarded as the resting place for souls of the dead and as such is protected as a heritage site by restricting numbers and registration of all who use it. However the thought of 150 people in either direction on a mountain trail failed to inspire, and we opted to tour the gardens and landscape around the park instead. I can get those sort of crowds in Oxford Circus any day of the week.
As with Costa Rica, Orchids were the main attraction in this type of park, and we were privileged to have about 50 pointed out to us .. along with 20+ varieties of the same family of edible berries, and 20+ of non-edible (that all looked the same to me ..), there was the dates that can be eaten, and the ones that wasps lay their eggs in that are not a good idea to eat... again I am sure there is a huge difference .. but I just could not spot it.. My point is simple .. if you are ever abandoned in the jungle with me .. best not to eat what I am eating !!! The highlight was a set of insect traps , that were some distant relative of the Venus fly trap, but had some very interesting shapes - Like this one - left. I am not sure but think they are meant to attract female insects ... ?? anyway something like that...
Another interesting fact about the mountain is it is the final destination for a world series of hill races, whose time from the previous year is posted on the notice board outside the meeting point. Another good reason then not to spend 2 days walking up this thing .. as there are boards of people who run it in a few hours... last years champions - fyi - were mostly Kenyans .. seems they like hills as well as marathons.
With some lunch .. the most expensive can of Tiger beer on the entire trip.. and its 2 hours back to the hotel for an hour of beach views before the sunset.