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Kinabatangan river cruise

Kinabatangan river cruise

One of the most popular destinations in Sabah is the Kinabatangan River. This river has a length of 560 kilometers and stretches through half of Eastern Sabah. Alongside the riverbanks there is an abundance of wildlife. During a river cruise you will have a chance to spot the rare orangutan, the pygmy elephant, proboscis monkeys and saltwater crocodiles. During night cruises you might spot the leopard cat, numerous sleeping birds, wild boars, snakes and many crocodiles.

Sepilok Orangutan sanctuary

Sepilok Orangutan sanctuary

Sepilok rehabilitation centre is one of the biggest and most well known orangutan sanctuaries in Malaysia. The sanctuary is located nearby Sandakan; the total site is over 43 square kilometer in size. Around 75 orangutans roam free within the forest reserve. During their rehabilitation the animals rely heavy on the help of the people that work at the centre; and also on the donations from tourists. Tourist can snap precious pictures during daily feeding time.

A 4095 meter tall mountain

A 4095 meter tall mountain

Mount Kinabalu is the tallest mountain in Malaysia and the 20th tallest in the World. Mainly because of the biological diversity the mountain is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Climbing the mountain is not an easy feat for the untrained; though it will absolutely be one of the best experiences ever. Watching the sun rise in the early morning will definitely make you forget all the hardships you had to endure during the hike up.

Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park

Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park

TAR Marine Park is the perfect place to enjoy scuba diving, snorkeling and light jungle treks. The marine park is made up of five small islands: Gaya, Manukan, Sapi, Sulug and Mamutik. The best beaches and probably also the best corals can be found around Gaya island; the biggest of the five islands. The marine park is only a 20 minute boat trip away from the city of Kota Kinabalu.

Mulu National Park

Mulu National Park

Mulu National Park is the biggest national park in Sarawak. The park is best known for the amazing caves. The Sarawak Chamber is the world's biggest cave chamber. It is said that 40 Boeing 747 aircraft's fit in the cave. Clearwater cave is the world's longest cave with a length of over 110 kilometers. The caves aren't the only highlights at Mulu NP. The amazing pinnacles at Mount Api are absolutely stunning to witness. A visit to Mulu NP will bring your holiday in Malaysia to new heights!

A Weekend with Satusuku Surf

Located in Cherating, an hour’s drive away from the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur, (avid surf fans: do take note!) you can drive up to Cherating in Kuantan, which is a small surf beach. Head on down to Kampung Cherating Lama in Kuantan by bus or car and you can find yourself in the perfect weekend retreat. During non-monsoon season it’s filled with locals and expats and when the waves hits big time, it’s when you’ll see loads of surfers riding the sea like they’re used to, an annual surf competition is held on the beach in Kampung Cherating Lama.

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If you’ve always wanted to learn how to ride a wave, Satusuku Surf is school owned by Tunku Khairil and also a convenient surf store with the most friendly and amazing staff willing to help out your every need. During surf-season, Severin from Switzerland manages Satusuku Surf and being an avid surfer himself and having undeniably a good selection of chill house music (we like to call ‘Sevtech’), is another reason to drop by Satusuku Surf, as it’s such a cool environment to be in.

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Classes are very affordable, accommodation is no problem as you can find rooms as cheap as RM100/night including Wi-Fi, own bathroom and aircon in Desa Rehat, which is a hotel near Satusuku Surf. There are also several other hostels and budget hotels to check out around that area that will accommodate cheap budgets, that little village also has a convenience store that opens till midnight with all the main necessities you’d need.

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The town where Satusuku Surf is located, is also known for its miniscule nightlife scene in a bar called Little Bali where tourists and locals gather round at night to partake in the drinking and karaoke singing and drunk-dancing. Also located in that little village are several restaurants which provide the best local home-cooked foods, including a restaurant and bar named ‘Don’t Tell Mama’ which provide a good selection of western foods too.

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If you have the dire need to stay in a more upper-class vibe, Club Med Hotel is found on the other side of the surf-point break of the beach although I’d rather recommend the area where Satusuku Surf is. Everyone in the village is acquainted with each other so it’s pretty safe and easy to get around with even though the locals cannot master the English language, be assured to know you’re not in any danger.

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Food and beverage is relatively cheap around this area and worth their rate, seafood is fresh and there is a small Chinese restaurant located on the beach in Cherating serving the best flavors of seafood and other local dishes. Be sure to try the crab, prawns, chicken curries and tom yam soups!

During the sunny season, you’ll be able to enjoy the beach, the waves, the friendly vibes and swarm of surfers coming from Indonesia and other areas of South East Asia. If you have a need to check out Pahang city, it’s only a 30-minute drive from Kampung Cherating Lama, there’s a big mall (the only mall) there with a cinema kept quite up-to-date and loads of boutique stores to tickle your fancy.

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There are also other activities to take part in, such as beach volleyball, kayaking where the surfers are, and just enjoying quite a nice beach, it being only an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur. You can enjoy Cherating as a family holiday, a friendly group road-trip or even solo, I’d definitely recommend Cherating to visit during a weekend if you want to take a short and cheap retreat from the city life and strife!

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About the author

Amanda Chini was born in Kuala Lumpur, lived in Mexico for 12 years, is culturally diverse and a third-cultured kid who’s been to Greece, Spain, England, Ireland, LA, NY, San Antonio, Colorado, Mexico, Aruba, Tenerife, Singapore and plans to travel to many more! Amanda is fluent in both English and Spanish, and her interests include photography, reading, writing and good food.

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