April 20th, 2016 - Day 18 - Docked at Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

We woke up docked at the pier in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.   

We we had breakfast at the Terrace Cafe.   

Our tour is to Majestic Kinabalu Park. We met at 8:00 AM in the Insignia Lounge and exchanged our tickets for Bus #1.  Our guide is David from China.

Things we learned from our guide:

If you go into a coffee shop in town you would find 15 different nationalities.

Some houses are built on stilts so wild life won't get into the house as well as storage for cars and other things.  We saw clothes lines under the house.

No one honks their horns when driving as they think it is rude.  They are patient people.

Women now work in stores but it use to be the men.  The men would never bring the money home as they would go out drinking.  The women said that the men work in the fields and they will mind the store so the money comes home.

The average monthly salary is $900 but he said the cost of living is low.

They are rich in oil and gas and gas is very cheap.

National cars made in Malaysia are Proton & Perodua.

600 spieces of birds

49 spieces of birds in Kinabalu Park

6000 spieces of trees

1200 spieces of orchids

3 seasons

Hot

Hotter

Hottest

The main road to park was built in the 1980's. Our drive took 2 hours but it use to take 3 days on the muddy road.

Found in the jungle a cure for AIDS from the tree bark.

They get a special oil from a tree that sold for $1500 an ounce and it's very expensive.  They sell this oil to Chanel to put in their perfumes.

Pineapple is very sweet because the water runs off.

60 churches in Sula of all religions, Catholic, Islam, Mormans, 7th Day Adventist and more.

Christianity was prevalent and brought in by Spaniards.  In the 1980's the government said if you convert to Islam we will give you some land and help with education.  So they converted but some still observe their natural roots. 

Only 90 permits are given out  per day for people to do the climb to Mt Kinabalu.  When they get to the entrance they must show their permit, a lodging  reservation and have a guide or they will be be able to get in the gate.

Mount Kinabalu is a prominent mountain on the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. It is located in the East Malaysian state of Sabah and is protected as Kinabalu Park, a World Heritage Site.

After an hour and  45 minutes drive we stopped at Nabalu Market.  There was a panoramic view of Mount Kinabalu where we had time to take pictures. We walked around the market stores where they were selling T-shirts and other souvenirs.  Jim found a T-shirt for himself and one for Thatcher.  Pat found some pens for Thatcher to give to his classmates when Bubba & Papa get home.

It took another 20 minutes to get to Mount Kinabulu. We toured the Sulu Sulu Nature Trail which is home to lots of flora and fauna.  It has 1200 species of Orchids but we maybe saw 3 different kinds.  The first one we saw was the pinpoint orchid which is the smallest orchid in the world and I don't think Pat was able to even get a picture of it as it was so small.  I don't think we were in the correct season to see blooming orchids.  Our guide, David, pointed out different trees and different plants and showed us a curly stem tree.  It was interesting to walk through the jungle.  They have carved out a path of stairs with rocks and wood.  They have king cobras, flying snakes, pit vipers which are some of the deadliest snakes in the world.  Jim looked high and low to find a snake but he never found one.  We did see the empty shell of a cicada on a tree trunk.

The hike led us out to the top of the street and we walked to Liwagu Restaurant where we enjoyed a local buffet.  We were able to sit outside and enjoy the jungle view.  We were there about an hour and sat with a couple, from York, England, who we enjoyed talking with.

After lunch we took a hike through the Mountain Garden to view it's collection of rare plants.  We saw native orchids and unique Pitcher plants.

We went back to the bus for our 2 Hour drive back to the pier.  After about 15 minutes we stopped along the side of the road to take a picture of Mount Kinabalu. One of the people we know, Steve, fell into a cement rain drain while getting off the bus.  It was a bad fall.  Steve said the only thing that broke was a filter on his big camera.  But I bet he will be hurting tomorrow.

We got back on the ship and it was time for High Tea.  We went for a scone with clotted cream with jam.  Pat had green tea and Jim had orange pekoe tea.  We had a lovely view out the front of the ship.

We had dinner in the Grand Dining Room.

Pat had Heirloom Tomato Carpaccio and Sicilian Tomato Basil Press with Cream of Buffalo Mozzarella for her appetizer.  Pat's salad was Boston Lettuce with Crumbled Gorgonzola and Sweet Pecans in Raspberry Vinaigrette.  For her main course Pat had Capellini alla Emilio: Angel Hair Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes, Artichokes and Buffalo Mozzarella.

Jim had Chesapeake Bay Crab Cake with Vegetable Slaw and Roasted Tomato Cream Sauce for his appetizer.  Jim's salad was Boston Lettuce with Crumbled Gorgonzola and Sweet Pecans in Raspberry Vinaigrette.  For his main course he had Local Grouper Fish with lemon sauce,  rice pilaf and mashed potatoes.

We came back to the room so that we could call home.  We had to wait until Kent woke up.  We got to talk to Thatcher just as he woke up.  That always makes our day to hear his voice. 

Goodnight Kota Kinabalu!