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.