Susan and I were invited by friends to tour Eastern Malaysia (also known as Borneo) and enjoy the regional cuisines and cultures of Sarawak and Sabah. We were quick to join the adventure as this is a part of the world that we have not travelled, nor were likely to visit without local knowledge and language support. We flew into Kuching, Malaysia from Singapore and spent 3-nights eating local seafood and exploring the regional Laksa variations. From Kuching we drove to Sibu, Bintulu and Miri spending a night in each before flying over Brunei to Kota Kinabalu where we spent four nights before heading to Kuala Lumpur.
We travelled between cities on what we would consider unimproved roads, which were under construction across the entire country. Ferries took us across rivers too wide to build a bridge over. Between each overnight city we learned of the local flora, fauna, customs and peoples of the area. Each lunch was in a roadside area where we were served the local dishes, noodles or rice with fish, chicken or seafood. In the evening we would visit the local markets and seafood halls where we would select and barter for the freshest live seafood and fish which would be wonderfully prepared and brought to a large round table where we would eat and drink until we could eat no more. Truly some of the freshest and best seafood anywhere in the world.
We also visited the islands Palau Sapi, Manukan and Sulug off Kota Kinabalu for swimming, beach combing and lunch. We also cruised by Kampong Gaya, the floating Philippine settlements on Gaya Island. These floating villages are in bays along the Southeastern point of the island and are complete with markets, schools and mosques.
This trip will be one we never forget and remembered for the fantastic cuisine, the jungle countryside, beautiful sunsets over the South China Sea, the warm and generous indigenous people; the Iban, Sabahans, Chinese and Malay people as well as the new friends met and old friends we travelled with along the way. Truly a once in a life-time adventure.
All images were taken with Fuji X100s with 23mm f2.0 lens in RAW format or Samsung Galaxy S8 in RAW format; processed in Adobe Lightroom 8.3