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Kota Kinabalu

19th June 2011

Escape Travel’s Melissa Graham travels to Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia in search of orang-utans. Melissa visits the orang-utan rehabilitation centre at the Shangri-La Rasa Risa Resort and then goes to the Kundasang War Museum. After some shopping, Melissa drops in to the Kampung Luanti for a local treat.

Orangutan, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Orangutan, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

I had heard how wonderful the Orangutans in Malaysia were and I knew I had to go and see them for myself. Kota Kinabalu is the capital of Sabah, north west of Borneo Island, looking over the South China Sea. I was lucky enough to fly with Royal Brunei to Brunei in Business Class and experience flat beds and amazing service. When we arrived in Brunei and changed planes to Kota Kinabalu, I was so excited as all I wanted to see were the orang-utans, not realising just how much more Kota Kinabalu had to offer.

We got off the flight and headed straight to the Shangri-La Rasa Ria to see this amazing property on the beach. This resort is great for both families and couples. This resort has beautiful gardens, huts by the water, a golf course for champions, with fantastic service by beautiful people. The orangutan rehabilitation centre is situated on the Shangri-la Rasa Ria resort grounds. They seem almost human; their muscles on their arms and legs are unbelievable. They feed and drink like little people.

We visited the Kundasang War Museum. It is filled with amazing stories of brave prisoners of war in World War II. In 1945 the Japanese decided to walk four hundred and fifty five of the fittest prisoners to Jesselton (Kota Kinabalu). At the end of May, there was a second march from Sandakan and in mid-June a third which comprised of only seventy five men. The stories of survival and death, along with the photos and names of the men, bring honour to their memory.

We went shopping at the markets; it’s a great way to experience the culture and to support the locals. We bought bags, shoes, clothes, and souvenirs. The Kampung Luanti gives you an opportunity to put your feet in the water for a ‘fish massage’; they nibble the dead skin off your feet to make them so soft. With beautiful sandy beaches, stunning resorts and superb service, Kota Kinabalu is a great place to spend you next getaway.

Looking for more information about travelling to Malaysia? Contact [email]text=Melissa Graham[/email], an Assistant Manager with Escape Travel based in Browns Plains, Queensland who can be reached at 1300 839 850 or by [email]text=email[/email].