A colourful view of Kota Kinabalu the capital of Sabah. We often try to stay at the central Hyatt Regency because it's close to good natural history bookshops and you have wonderful close views of swifts and martins as they swoop past your balcony.
If there are flowering plants near the hotels or resorts, you can often get wonderful birds like this male Olive-backed Sunbird.
You can sometimes find bats roosting, such as this cute Blossom Bat (Macroglossus minimus) hanging under one of the resort's garden palms.
On a clear day, the huge outline of Mount Kinabalu can be seen from the city of Kota Kinabalu.
To get to the the cool air of Mt Kinabalu is always a delight after spending any time in the hot humid tropical lowlands. It's one of the places we always go to when in Sabah, as there are lots of trails at the base of the mountain to explore.
The second time we were at Mt Kinabalu we decided we would climb up to at least the Laban Rata resthouse not that far from the summit, well about another 3 hours. Unlike most people going to the top, we birded around the resthouse, trying to get the Mountain Blackbird and Kinabalu Friendly Warbler. We got the Blackbird, but not the unfriendly Warbler. My wife liz always regreted that we didn't go to the summit, so last Christmas she made it to the top.
We did get to see some interesting species of Pitcher Plants growing near the trail.
On the trail up, Mountain Ground Squirrels would run around looking for food scraps at some of the shelters.
It was good to have a nice warm room for the night at the Laban Rata resthouse, seeing that it had rained heavily with a cold wind all the way up. What we didn't know at the time, that we would have rain all the way down the next day as well!
We also made a trip out to one of Borneo's great wildlife areas, the Kinabatangan River.
Of course, one of the animals you must see in Borneo is the Proboscis Monkey. This male was one of many Proboscis we saw when travelling by boat down a small tributary of the Kinabatangan. He loves his figs!
Long-tailed Macaques may be a fairly common monkey in Sabah, but they still a lovely animal to see, especially their interesting facial expressions.
Next we travelled eastwards across Sabah to Sandakan.
Liz had read books by Agnes Keith about her life during World War II in Sandakan, so a visit to the English Tearooms near her house was a must.
We just managed to finish our tea before the severe afternoon storms hit. You can see the darkening sky in the picture. Moments later a strong wind with torrential rain overturned most of the tables smashing crockery and glasses.