Happy new year, everybody. And welcome to 2016. What happened to 2015? One second I was a fully employed, shivering and middling-aged member of Canadian society, and the next, I’m a casually employed, sweating Malaysian restaurant reviewer with a sugar momma. Life is weird, but fun.
We’ve been traveling a bunch over the last few weeks alongside our first long-stay visitors to Malaysia – Trina’s parents. So far, so good – no hospital visits, plenty of sun and a healthy dose of terrible puns from Sir Randall.
Oh, and we climbed Mt. Kinabalu and managed to keep all of our clothes on. Thanks to us, Canadians are now welcome back on the mountain. You’re welcome.
Here are a few pics from our travels…
We started our Christmas in Langkawi – a duty-free island just a 1-hour flight from Kuala Lumpur. Nice beaches and hiking.
We opted for a budget guesthouse, which prided itself on the services it didn’t provide – such as clean towels, sheets and toilet paper. The air was free though. Not bad.
Langkawi has some great, big beaches.
All the Malaysians flock to the beach at sunset. They are very sun safe and often wear all of their clothes in the drink.
We also did some hiking on Langkawi. Tough climbs and lots of swearing – but no other tourists in sight.
The hiking was worth it though getting this view.
This was at the top of a 4,200-step hike.
Here’s a look at Langkawi as we flew away.
After getting back from Langkawi, Randy and Bev joined us in KL and we quickly took a flight to the rain forests of Borneo.
Putting Trina’s parents up at a fancy beach hotel, we headed to Mt. Kinabalu for a hike to the top and a visit to the famous Jungle Jack. Jack’s hostel (and home) are a series of spruced up shipping containers. He prides himself on offering the cheapest hiking packages at Mt. Kinabalu. Highly recommended!
Here’s our container. We had the Mountain View Suite.
These ‘no nude’ signs were up all over the mountain thanks to the group of young folks who got arrested in June for posting nude photos at the top. Not cool. Especially since an earthquake followed a couple days later. This might be the only place where Canadians are treated with a bit of caution these days.
Here’s Trina on day 1 looking fresh and spry.
Here’s our guide Aslan. Cool dude. He’s hiked the mountain everyday for 35 days and he smokes a pack a day.
Here’s where we slept after day 1. A very nice place with a view of the summit. It looks so close.
Getting above the clouds is fantastic.
Amazing views on the way to the top.
After starting our Day 2 climb at 3 a.m. we reached the 4,029 metre summit at about 5:30 a.m. First time we needed coats, toques and mitts in Malaysia. It felt good. (No idea why you’d want to get naked up here? It was right around 0.)
Not much vegetation above the tree line.
It was pretty steep going down. Some spots looked like they just dropped into oblivion.
You don’t want to slip here.
Great views with the some coming up.
Only opening to the public again on December 1, you could still see many signs of the earthquake. That big white patch used to be thousands of pounds of rock.
One step and you’re walking on the cloud bed.
After getting down the hill safely, we took a flight across Borneo to check out the orangutan sanctuary in Sepilok. I definitely saw the resemblance.
These two teenagers loved to wrastle each other.
This guy was quick to grab his favourite bananas.
There was also a sun bear sanctuary right across the street from the orangutans. Here’s Mary the sun bear enjoying some corn.
Borneo sun bears are the smallest bear in the world. Still wouldn’t mess with Mary though.
We also took a riverboat cruise where we saw all sorts of monkeys and birds – and we almost saw a crocodile.
These silver leaf monkeys are settling in for the night.
This crocodile wasn’t in the wild – it was at our hotel.
I think this baby monkey just bust its neck.
These monkeys love beans.
This great horned-bill was checking out the monkey action.
The proboscis monkey is definitely the weirdest of all monkeys. Great schnoz.
Here’s the gang having some eats.
Here’s the big guy on campus. Biggest nose, belly and a constant erection.
Kicking ass and spotting monkeys.
Can you spot the primate?
Having a chat over a drink and a bean.
After our animal watching, we spent a day on Mandakan Beach near Kota Kinabalu. Feels just like a warm bath.