For those of a certain age Sandakan evokes emotional memories. However, leaving that aside for the purposes of this blog, provides a jump off point and an insight on the changing dynamic within an area of northern Borneo that is a fiercely independent state (Sabah) striving to come to terms with the modern world. Historically and more recently its economy revolves around  the harvesting of copious quantities of rare forest timber. Latterly the growing and prodigious tourism opportunities beckon. The infrastructure for this is still developing.

Hornbill

Hornbill

Proboscis monkey

Proboscis monkey

Troop of Proboscis monkeys.

Troop of Proboscis monkeys.

Date Palm fruits.

Date Palm fruits.

There are numerous opportunities to see Proboscis Monkeys,Forest Rhino, Sea Turtles, ( Hawks bill, Greenback and Leather back), prolific bird life of the forest including Sea Eagle, Hornbill, Kingfisher, etc. The profundity of more rarely viewed species include King Cobra and Clouded Leopard. Wild life proliferates everywhere. Plants and flowers of such colour and vibrancy that staggers the eye.

Y’know it’s hard to imagine that such a short time ago, one was in a metropolitan environment filled with the podium pumping, testosterone fueled machinations of the political ‘Zeitgeist’ (ergo will we go to war with Syria or not) devoid of any of the tastes, smells, and steady drumbeat of the “natural” cycle of life.

Hoping to travel up to the very northern tip of Borneo Sabah, to a place call Kudat which has a tribe of people that live in “Long houses” for a homestay. Then, provided that one can negotiate a good price out to Pulau Banggi island one of the remote islands to the north in the Sulu sea.

Water buffalo.

Water buffalo.

Scramble The babies are released just shy of the surf so that their location will still be imprinted somewhere deep in their developing navigation memory so they may return to the same spot many years later.

Scramble
The babies are released just shy of the surf so that their location will still be imprinted somewhere deep in their developing navigation memory so they may return to the same spot many years later.

Still thinking of those little Turtles scampering down the beach in the bright moonlight headed out to sea, and who knows what?

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