Tuesday, August 17, 2010


What an eventful and busy few weeks! After my sister's Chinese wedding reception in Kuala Lumpur, we packed our bags and boarded a flight to Sabah, located on the island of Borneo, Malaysia. We had a rather large entourage consisting of 10 and spanning 3 generations! It has been a good while since I last travelled in a large group, but it was very fun.

Shangri-La Tanjung Aru was beyond lovely. Upon arrival, we were greeted with the strong resonant boom of a gong at the entrance to the resort. Sipping on our welcome drink of chilled lemongrass tea in the dark wood and amber-lit lobby, we enjoyed the gentle lulling of the gamelan musician. Fell in love with Shangri-La from this moment on! It's the little things that make a lasting impression: having a bowl of fruit in your room every morning and pink and white shells as delicate little soapdishes. My future home will have shells as soapdishes. :)

Visiting a cultural village deep in the Sabahan forest made me see things very differently. Such richness and variety in culture. And all in my very own Malaysia! These were all things I learnt in textbooks growing up, but seeing things in person is something else. I felt so bland and boring culture-wise, being raised in the city of Kuala Lumpur instead of some obscure tribe of Borneo. The village itself was lush and green, with babbling waterfalls and creeks and slightly rickety bamboo homes. In that idyllic setting, I found myself wondering if I could live such a simple life. It would be nice to get away from the concrete jungle of Chicago and lose myself in all that greenery and fresh fruit (haha), but the answer is probably no. I'd have to work a little harder on my blowpipe skills, for one. Oh, and I would miss sushi, Anthropologie, and um... the ability to Google.

Meet my friend, Masa. Masa is an orangutan and she was my favourite in the sanctuary. She would look right into your eyes if you called her name, and such warm and kind eyes she had! The tigers are clearly in love; the one in the foreground is obviously me and the one displaying his masculinity/trying to get me to leave him alone is Paul, my boyfriend.

I cannot wait to go back to Sabah or anywhere else in Borneo. It did not feel like I was in Malaysia (it felt more like Indonesia) and it was agreed upon by all that Sabahans are much friendlier than KLites! Also, the seafood. Mmmm, sweet sweet seafood. Till next time, Borneo!

No comments:

Post a Comment