Back in time for tea

Travelling the world, hopefully with a cuppa in hand

Back to the delights of night markets in KK

The Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin mosque, Brunei

We finally arrived in Kota Kinabalu (called KK for short) at about 7pm last night. We were slightly delayed in setting off due to heavy rainfall in KK but I’m glad we waited it out rather than fly through it. All our flights were fine, the food was healthier than usual inflight fare, there was a decent selection of films and the stops helped keep us interested and provided an opportunity for us to revive ourselves. The stop-over in Dubai was a good chance to stretch our legs and look at all the goods on offer in the transit lounge. We had about an hour and a half and we were able to browse all the expensive goods on offer in the transit lounge;  nice pens, jewelry, whiskies, electronic goods and rich Dubai men to buy them all.

Not your usual forecourt

We landed in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, at about 9am yesterday morning and headed straight out to explore. The place is called BSB for short and in our spare six hours we visited the riverside food market, had a stroll along the waterfront, took a watertaxi ride past the houses, schools, fire station and even petrol station all on stilts out in the water. Petrol here is only 20p a litre! Everyone gets about by taxi boat which zoom about in all directions. After our boat trip we stopped by the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin mosque but were only able to peek through the doors as it’s closed to non-muslims during the month of Ramadam. Later on in the afternoon we looked around the Royal Regalia museum with photos, objects used in royal processions and also all the gifts and souvenirs the Sultan gets given by other countries  – quite an array of stuff, not all of it tasteful. We were surprised to learn how closely linked Brunei and Britain were; Brunei only became fully independent from the UK in 1984. The Sultan  actually studied at the Sandhurst military academy and has the honorary rank of general in the British Army. We were starting to droop by the time we’d finished the museum due to tiredness and the heat so we returned to the airport to wait for our final flight.

Fish, fish, glorious fish

In Kota Kinabalu our hotel is right by the night market so after arriving we just dropped our stuff, sprayed ourselves with DEET and then went straight out for some tasty food. We took a look at the fish stalls first – amazing whole fish with spots, stripes, orange ones, blue ones, ugly ones and spiky ones. For food we got a noodle soup dish which turned out to include tripe, liver and kidney but actually didn’t taste that bad, quite nice really once we’d added some lime juice, chili sauce and soy sauce. Then we had some barbecued squid with tasty fried rice (probably containing a health dose of MSG).

It feels great to be back in Asia even if it’s really hot here. When we landed yesterday evening the temperature was 29 degrees C and it must reach the high thirties during the day. Going outside is like stepping into a warm and steamy shower room. I’m afraid that we’ve been extremely lazy today; we got up for breakfast but then had another lie down and ended up sleeping until 2pm! We can blame it on jetlag. We managed to sort out a hiking package for Mount Kinabalu for Friday and Saturday and after that we are going to visit the orang utans in Sepilok and tropical rainforest at Kinabatangan valley. It’s doubtful that there will be any internet connection so it’ll be about a week before we can share our experiences and photos with you. Hopefully they’ll be worth waiting for and we’ll be able to tell you of some amazing times.

Posted by Jon on Thursday, August 18th, 2011 at 03:52 in Authored by Jon and Authored by Lou and Borneo and Food and Weather.

6 comments

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  • Donnabella

    Hi Lou and Jon, well what did it do today? It rained and rained and rained! Who has my waterproof trousers?  A certain little person who’s a long way away hiking and seeing organutans. I’m hoping its not going to rain tomorrow. 
    Fred and Ginger are settling in and it looks like Mum, Dad and I have got a holiday sorted!  Tell you all about it when its not so late.  Claire’s hen party this weekend so I really need to get some good sleep tonight. lots of love Donna xxxx

    • Hi Don Don,
      sorry about the trousers although they did some in handy on our night trek through the jungle. We saw a few sleeping birds, lots of frogs and some lanern bugs. They’ll be returned to you soon (but they might need a wash as the jungle was muddy, sorry!) 🙂
      Lots of love, Lou xxx

  • Mam and Dad

    Brightish, sunnyish, wettish, here, 12 to 21 degrees, sounds like you’re making best possible use of your time, no wonder you had a late start after going back to bed, by now you should be off on the trail again.
    Will be interested to see how your photography goes. We’re well, lots of gardening, mam says hi, and lots of love as ever…

    • Hi Mum and Dad, the binoculars and lenses you lent us came in extremely useful at the orang utan sanctuary and also while in the jungle. You’d have loved the river safaris – wild orang utans, gibbons and loads of birds to see – but Mum wouldn’t have liked the camp, on the first night we saw a snake sneaking into one of the huts to avoid the torrential rain! Lots of love, Jon and Lou xxx

  • Asif & Yan

    Hey guys, well we finally have managed to read all of your blog which
    took us a while but was more then worth it – it was good bedtime
    reading! We have taken notes and so much of what you did is on our
    agenda also. We look forward to sharing our stories with you and hope to
    stay in touch. So much to see, so little time! Really hope the move
    back to reality has been fruitful and that you are not missing the road too
    much. All the best.    Asif & Yan.   xx

  • Asif & Yan

    Hey guys, well we finally have managed to read all of your blog which
    took us a while but was more then worth it – it was good bedtime
    reading! We have taken notes and so much of what you did is on our
    agenda also. We look forward to sharing our stories with you and hope to
    stay in touch. So much to see, so little time! Really hope the move
    back to reality has been fruitful and that you are not missing the road too
    much. All the best.    Asif & Yan.   xx