Getting high and hot at Poring Hot Springs

After checking out from the Zen Gardens we had a short drive to Poring Hot Springs. Our first activity was a canopy walk. To reach it we had a short walk through the rainforest. Some of the trees were extremely tall.

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At the entry to the canopy walk we had to pay a fee for photography, like in India. There were a number of sections to travel across. At the end of each section there was a small platform surrounding the tree to which the cables were attached.

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The views down were excellent. Sadly we didn’t see any wildlife.

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We were certainly high up off the ground but you only had to look up and you could see the trees going considerably higher.

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At the end of the walk we could see others coming across the last section. The cables and support sections underneath could be seen. It was really like a horizontal ladder with a thick plank to walk on, supported by the cables.

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Once we left the canopy walk we followed a path through the rainforest towards the Kipungit waterfall. As we walked we happened upon a marvellous spider’s web.

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We reached the falls after about twenty minutes.

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It was a much shorter walk than we had expected. Our guide, Adam, said we could take a dip in the pool at the bottom of the falls. Even though we were quite hot and perspiring the water was a bit too refreshing for that. We did however take a paddle in the pool to cool off our feet a bit.

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On the return walk we came upon our first wildlife, a small squirrel which darted about making it hard to take it in a fully focused photo.

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By the time we came back to the pools we were ready to have a quick soak and relax. Here we are soaking in a well shaded pool.

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By the time we had relaxed in the pool it was lunchtime. So we were driven to a nearby restaurant for another yummy banquet lunch. After lunch Adam suggested it was possible to see a flowering Rafflesia, the world’s largest flower. It was in a private garden.

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From there we drove to nearby Luanti to see the fish at the Moroli River. Adam explained they were like vacuum cleaners and could suck on your feet to remove the fine layers of dead skin. This explanation had us thinking of the fish we have seen in tanks in windows in some Asian cities but no, when we saw them in the river we had a big surprise. The fish were huge. Karen wasn’t prepared for this but with Adam’s encouragement I removed my shoes and bravely stepped in. What I didn’t realise was that I should stand near the larger black fish, but being a bit reticent I just stood near the smaller pale ones. Unfortunately they don’t suck, they bite! However when I ventured in further the black ones didn’t seem interested in me.

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However they certainly were keen to be fed some of the fish food Adam supplied me! They slurped the fish food out of my hand very quickly. Excellent vacuum power.

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As time was moving on we soon made our way back to our vehicle for the long three hour drive to Sandakan. Along the way we saw lots of palm oil plantations and trucks! Apparently nearly 40% of Sabah is palm plantations. Palm oil is their number one source of income. We were pleased to hear that the area for palm plantations is now capped and when trees come to the end of their lives new ones are planted in the same area. No new clearing of rainforest is allowed.

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We eventually arrived in Sandakan late in the afternoon. At the hotel we farewelled our guide and driver as we would be going to Turtle Island the next day with a new guide. Our room at the Sheraton Four Points had an excellent view over the town and the bay.

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We had experienced a very busy and varied day with lots of activities. We chatted and reflected as we ate dinner in the hotel restaurant. After that we had a quick walk around the surrounding area before heading to bed for a well earned rest. We would be up early the next day for our another adventure.

 

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