The wild side of Sabah

After a rather urban eleven days in Kota Kinabalu, it was high time to go and explore Sabah’s praised wildlife. Sightings of monkeys, snakes, sun bears, crocodiles, pygmy elephants, birds galore and of course a chance to meet the old man of the forest were all possible here. Which ones would we get to see? Continue reading

Our tropical Christmas in Kota Kinabalu

Whenever I imagined a tropical Christmas, I had this – oh so romantic – vision of celebrating on a white, sandy beach under palm trees with our toes dipped into the salty sea water. Reality though was somewhat different. The fact that we celebrated in Kota Kinabalu (KK) – in hot and humid conditions – was pretty much the only tropical element to our Christmas festivities. But tropical or not, our Christmas turned out to be lovely. Far from the norm, but lovely: Continue reading

The low-point at the tip of Borneo

I really struggle to write this blog post. And there is one simple reason for it: Ironically, I reached a real low-point at the tip of Borneo. To be honest with you, we probably all did. Continue reading

Clean and green Kuala Lumpur

Arriving at Kuala Lumpur (KL) airport, early Sunday morning of the 10th of December, we had no idea what to expect from this metropolis. Yes, of course, we had done our research and read about things to do and see, but I am talking more about the atmosphere of this cosmopolitan city. Chaotic or organised? Dirty or clean? Manic or quiet? Dull or exciting? Continue reading

Sri Lanka: Wonder of Asia?

“Wonder of Asia” is the slogan the Sri Lankan Tourist board is using to promote the country – and we are still wondering… Five weeks spent in the country, we left with very mixed feelings about what we experienced. We met lovely people, saw beautiful places and ate tasty food, but still, we did not fall in love with the place. We wonder why. Continue reading

Sri Lanka through our kids’ eyes

The girls were very happy that the last post with their pictures (Oman through our kids’ eyes) went down so well. No wonder that they were excited to choose a selection of their Sri Lankan pictures with daddy today. And here’s the result of it. Continue reading

Our ups and downs in the Sri Lankan hill country

After having successfully extended our visas in Colombo we boarded the train to Kandy the following morning. Our main goal for the next 10 days in the Sri Lankan hill country was to go and find the beautiful tea plantation scenery. What we got mostly, was rain. Heavy rain with strong winds. In fact we were feeling the force of cyclone Ockhi! Power was down and the train couldn’t run. Add to that some disappointing accommodation and a bout of car sickness. Yes, we have to admit, we lived through some “downs”. But they just made the “ups” even better. Continue reading

The visa extension nightmare?

Back home, when we put our travel itinerary on paper, of course we had visas in mind, but obviously not enough. For Sri Lanka, you get a 30 day tourist visa, when entering the country with an ETA (Electronic Travel Authorisation). But somehow, we ignored that fact and planned to stay for FIVE weeks. Accordingly, we booked the flights. Later realising what we had done, we were faced with two options: Change our flights or apply for a visa extension when in Sri Lanka. Seeing that a change of flights would have resulted in a higher cost than the visa extension and latter meant an extra unique experience, we went for it and booked two nights in Colombo, in a homestay close to the immigration office. Continue reading

Spoilt rotten

Imagine this: Getting up in the morning to the sound of the waves. Sipping on a tropical fruit juice while watching the surfers waiting for their moment to shine. Being served a delicious breakfast. Jumping into the refreshing pool and sunbathing for a bit before lunch awaits you. Having a walk on the sandy beach then going for an excursion in the tuk-tuk… That’s what we call “spoilt rotten” – that’s how we felt living in Matara. Continue reading