Cosmopolitan (UK) - - Play -

It might not be the most gap-yah thing to do, but take a tip from us: get a guide. Bor­neo Eco-tours pro­vided us with Melvin, our khaki-clad ninja of a chap­er­one (the man car­ried a Swiss army knife in his boot, for God’s sake). He came with the fol­low­ing: an end­less ar­ray of lo­cal knowl­edge, huge um­brel­las for the trop­i­cal show­ers and an air-con­di­tioned bus that dou­bled as a move­able nap spot for when jet lag hit. Get up early and make a stop at the Mari Mari Cul­tural Vil­lage – you get to see recre­ations of the types of houses in­dige­nous Bor­neo tribes lived in and taste the food they ate. You might even get a henna tat­too… if you don’t pull your arm out of the way quick enough. Kota Kin­a­balu takes its name from Mount Kin­a­balu. If you’ve got the time you can climb it in three days. Or, do as we did, and get your guide to take you to a view­ing plat­form that’s hand­ily next to the Pekan Na­balu sou­venir mar­ket. Take your self­ies with the moun­tain as your back­drop, then head to the Por­ing Hot Springs and Na­ture Re­serve. The hot spring el­e­ment is ac­tu­ally pretty dis­ap­point­ing (imag­ine half-full ’80s jacuzzis that smell of sul­phur and un­washed tourist), but the canopy walk is daz­zling. You’ll feel like In­di­ana Jones, An­neka Rice and Mowgli from The Jungle Book all rolled into one as you nav­i­gate the rope bridges at the top of the an­cient trees. Plus, op­por­tu­ni­ties for do­ing the I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! face are lim­it­less. That night, bed down at the Shangri-La’s other re­sort, Rasa Ria. Make sure you book an Ocean Wing room and ask for the ‘bath­tub ex­pe­ri­ence.’ You’ll come back from a hard day’s tree-climb­ing to a per­fectly drawn bath on the bal­cony (see right), strewn with rose petals. Soak up, scoff as much curry as you can at their

out­stand­ing In­dian restau­rant, Naan (the black dal. Oh, the black dal), and re­tire. Af­ter all, this is ad­ven­ture-lite. All the messy stuff in the day, with a fives­tar bed to sleep in at night.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.