One of the best things about visiting Borneo, apart from the amazing nature and wildlife of course, has to be the fact that it’s surprisingly cheap. Even tours are relatively inexpensive compared to many other popular tourist spots we’ve visited on our travels in Asia, making it easy to travel in Borneo on a budget.
As the capital of Malaysian Borneo, this is a larger city than Sandakan but still nothing to write home about. Whilst it looks a little scruffy on first appearance, we ended up feeling safer than expected and one of the real highlights here is the fantastic fresh seafood that you can find in most restaurants.
Arriving in the small city of Sandakan early evening we grabbed a taxi to our hostel and got checked in, ready to plan the next couple of days. We stayed at the Sandakan Sea View Backpacker Hostel and while there are a few hostels on this road I’d wholeheartedly recommend this one.
Money and time… wouldn’t we all love it if we had more of both. Sadly though, after ten months travelling we have only a few weeks until we need to think about heading home and our bank account has definitely seen better days. We’re not letting this hold us back too much though and our recent Borneo itinerary been a massive highlight of our trip.
It’s Friday so I’m writing about food again, and this time it’s one of our favourite foodie day trips – our cooking class in Malaysian. Malaysian food is amazing and Penang is popularly known as the foodie capital of the country, so after spending 3 days there, we were super excited for our cooking class. Discovering that they were pretty pricey, we decided to do our cooking class in Kuala Lumpur as there were a number of cookery schools just outside the city that looked great and didn’t charge as much as other areas.
Penang Island has to be one of the coolest, most laid back places we’ve visited and totally not what we expected from Malaysia. Whether you’re looking for urban creature comforts like wine bars and posh restaurants, art and culture or beautiful beaches and wildlife you’re sure to find just what you’re looking for in this little island as there are just so many amazing things to do in Penang. A short hop from KL by plane (£30 return Air Asia with baggage), or a 4-5 hour journey by bus or train, it’s even cheap and easy to get to.
The coffee addiction that I picked up in Vietnam and that Rob has nurtured for basically a lifetime continues. We went to Malaysia on a whim after seeing flights for £20 each and decided we’d spend a week relaxing and working, in a desperate attempt to earn some more money before visiting Japan.
We were forecast heavy thunderstorms, grey skies and almost constant rain, but when we arrived we actually found most days provided us with at least a few hours of beautiful sunshine.
Before we dive on into this itinerary post a quick disclaimer that one week in Malaysia definitely isn’t long enough to see everything that this amazing country has to offer. If like us though, you’ve found some cheap flights and decided to have an extended stop over, you can definitely see plenty of incredible places in a week. Kuala Lumpur is one of the biggest transport hubs in South East Asia and hosts Air Asia HQ meaning there are tons of cheap flights into the city from many different countries.