Un­planned: white-water raft­ing in Bor­neo

Lonely Planet (UK) - - Contents - KAT NEL­SON Head of Mar­ket­ing, EMEA Lonely Planet @hikat

We saw so much un­ex­pected wildlife. This guy was one of my favourites: a dusky leaf mon­key with a lot of swag­ger. White-water raft­ing was fun but my friend did fall out... I had my eyes shut pretty much the whole time.

WHEN MY FRIENDS AND I de­cided at the high point of our Malaysian hol­i­day that it would be a great idea to go white-water raft­ing in Bor­neo, we for­got to con­sider how far away from the white wa­ters we were. We as­sumed it’d be a short coach trans­fer via the tour com­pany – not so. On the day, we found we were a five-hour jour­ney away, and the only route was via a num­ber of tiny sta­tions deep in the jun­gle. We had to change trains three times and each one seemed older, slower and more rick­ety than the last. On the way home, I ended up sit­ting in the door­way of the train. My legs dan­gled off the side as the car­riage clat­tered along, and I watched the scenery go by while I got splashed by ran­dom liq­uids from the en­gine! What might have been a bog-stan­dard jour­ney turned out to be one of our most ex­cit­ing ad­ven­tures, and we saw as­pects of the jun­gle that we never would have if we’d been stuck be­hind glass on an air-con­di­tioned bus.

This was the eco - lodge where we stayed on the Per­hen­tian Is­lands – cold show­ers and no air­con, but so beau­ti­ful.

We spent a few days on the stun­ning Per­hen­tian Is­lands and went div­ing and snorkelling. We saw tur­tles and reef sharks – I found my­self swim­ming next to quite a big one at one point.

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