Saturday, 4 March 2017
SANDAKAN: Along the way!
Sandakan is about 330 km from Jesselton (Kota Kinabalu), and it takes about 6 hours to travel there from the North Borneo (Sabah) capital. It was early in the morning, and just about 600 feet above see level, we saw the jungle covered with mist and it was so beautiful. The weather was indeed comfortable and cool. How I wish this scenery (like the above picture) could be experience all the time and all the places all over Borneo.
At Nabalu Town (Pekan Nabalu), we stopped to see the majestic Mount Kinabalu towering. It used to be green because it was once covered with forest; but now it looks white; maybe due to the exposed granite; because the vegetation had been wiped out by the earthquake in 2015. Nevertheless it still look beautiful.
At Nalapak, we stopped over at the LUANTI FISH SPA. We saw more visitors coming here compared to 2015 when we first visited this place. The cooperative which runs the spa had to limit each group only 10 minutes to be around the river because many more tourists were arriving by the hours.
This place is considered halfway between Jesselton and Sandakan. I couldn't remember the name of this place, but 25 years ago, this place used to be covered with thick jungle. Unfortunately, now the forest had been cleared giving way to palm oil. But not only here; all along the road before reaching Sandakan, tall straight trees which was common and abundant are now all gone; except for a few clusters of forest reserves. That too, who knows how long will it last.
Traveling by vehicle was fun as we saw different scenery; going deeper and deeper into the heart of North Borneo. I had not traveled by car to Sandakan for quite some time and the views were breathtaking but equally disappointing. I am really sad because not much efforts were made by the government to maintain the jungle which in turn created stressful situations for the wild animals as their wilderness shrank year by year.
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