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Mount Kinabalu

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.

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.

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.

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!

Gerard’s Place Cameron Highlands

Gerards Place Cameron Highlands 1

A few weeks ago we visited Cameron Highlands. We make a habit out of staying at a different place every time we visit the place, this time we decided to stay at Gerard’s Place, a cozy and affordable guesthouse just outside of Tanah Rata. We already stayed at 8Mentigi once, also owned by the same people as Gerard’s Place. The popular Fathers Guesthouse is also part of the same group of owners, though this guesthouse is currently closed for various reasons (though they are intended to open soon).

As we were familiar in Tanah Rata it didn’t take that long to find the road that leads up to the guesthouse. If you are arriving by car from the Tapah exit (when coming from KL) then you need to take a right turn just before entering Tanah Rata, one of the main villages in Cameron Highlands. When you drove over the modern highway to Cameron Highlands (exit Simpang Pulai near Ipoh); you first need to drive through Tanah Rata and just when you exit the village, take a left turn. From there on you follow the road upwards as the guesthouse is located on a hill.

The guesthouse is actually located within a residential area, part of a few blocks of houses and opposite the Heritage Hotel. The actual house numbers are: Carnation Block C 9, C 10 & C 17 in Greenhill Resort. This already gives the guesthouse a pleasant feeling, you feel like you have arrived at home. The living room also gives that impression, there are a few beautiful pictures, a big screen television with cable tv, a shared fridge, a kitchen and an area with a pc that you can use to check the internet. As Cameron Highlands is a highland resort, it is usually not warmer than 24 degrees. There are no aircon’s, you have no use for them anyway. There is a small patio and a patch of green where you can site outside. At night you can actually spot fireflies right in front of the patio.

One of the great aspects of all three guesthouses, Gerard’s Place, Fathers Guesthouse and 8Mentigi, is that the same owners also operate the local tour agency Cameron Secrets. Besides the standard tours, they also offer very nice Eco-tours and adventure tours (like jungle treks and exploration tours). Standard tours typically last half a day, or a whole day and contains a visit to almost all highlights in the area. Besides tours, Cameron Secrets also offers transport to either Perhentian Island, Taman Negara (both via Gua Musang) and to Penang. If you book a tour with Cameron Secrets you will be picked up at the given time in front of the guesthouse.

Rooms are quite nice at Gerard’s Place. Some have a shared bathroom; others have a bathroom within the room. Showers worked great, though we found it a bit difficult to get out from under it, because of the cold temperatures outside. The bed slept great. Breakfast is very basic, but just enough to last you until lunch time. You can always bring you own stuff and keep it in the shared fridge or you can walk to Tanah Rata town in 5 minutes to enjoy a very nice breakfast at Rosedale Bistro.

Gerard’s Place offers free wifi. There are also quite a few nice magazines (mostly travel) for you to read. Some guests left their books behind for the next guests. From the guesthouse it is a 5 minute walk to the center of Tanah Rata. Because of the colder climate it is actually very pleasant to walk around in Cameron Highlands, a 5 minute walk in Kuala Lumpur would probably be a different experience because of the heat.

We paid between RM70 and RM100 for our rooms. During peak season and public holidays (like Chinese New Year) there is a surcharge. You can make reservations directly via their website (well, sort of as they do not have an official website yet). The best way is to call them, but you can also contact them by email.

 
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