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Highlights from CheeseWeb’s Asian Adventure 2013

By alison - April 19, 2013 (Updated: November 18, 2014)

This entry is part 2 of 10 in the series CheeseWeb's Asian Adventure 2013.
Hong Kong and Sabah

Hong Kong and Sabah – Two very different locations, one incredible adventure

Just over a month ago, we announced our big plans for CheeseWeb’s Asian Adventure 2013. This Wednesday, we returned from that incredible journey. It’s going to take us some time to process all of our thoughts and experiences (not to mention our photos!), but today we want to share just a little taste of what we saw, did, ate and felt over those two amazing weeks.

After a loooong flight, we had one short but luxurious night in Hong Kong, where we cashed in our Priority Club points in return for a stay at the world famous InterContinental Hong Kong Hotel. While our room was incredible, it was the view from the bar that stole the show.

InterContinental Hong Kong Hotel

The bar at the InterContinental Hong Kong Hotel has one of the best skyline views in the city.

The next morning we were up early for our flight to Kota Kinabalu, or KK as the locals call it, in the province of Sabah in Malaysian Borneo. While we thoroughly enjoyed the laid back atmosphere of KK, (not to mention the great food!) what we really went to experience was the rainforests and jungles of Borneo.

One of our highlights was our trip to Sandakan to visit the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. We’ll have a full post on our day-trip soon, but for now, just look at one of the amazing creatures we were honoured to spend time with.

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

Visiting with the Orangutans in the rainforest of Borneo was a huge thrill!

Orangutans weren’t the only primates we spent time with in Sabah. We took a cruise down the Klias River where some of the local residents came out to greet us.

Proboscis Monkeys on the Klias River

We spotted many Proboscis Monkeys on the Klias River, like this mother and baby.
Long Tailed Macaques, Sabah, Malaysia

We also spotted a large group of curious Long Tailed Macaques.

We also took a spontaneous trip into UNESCO designated Kinabalu Park, where we were lucky enough to catch the world’s largest flower, the Rafflesia arnoldii, in bloom. These flowers are so protected, when one blooms, it is guarded 24/7 from poachers.

Rafflesia arnoldii

Rafflesia arnoldii is the world’s largest flower (and it smells like rotting meat!)

Our week in Kota Kinabalu flew by and, before we knew it, we were on a very early morning flight back to Hong Kong. Our trip wasn’t all play. Andrew had six days of course work ahead of him for his MBA, but we still had plenty of time to experience this incredible city, where East truly meets West.

East meets West in Hong Kong

East meets West in Hong Kong

As part of Andrew’s MBA program, there were several field trips, which I was able to tag along on. We took a day-trip to Shenzhen, China, where we visited a five storey shopping centre, filled with knock-off consumer goods; from bags, to watches, to electronics.

The Lo Wu Shopping Centre in Shenzen, China

“Missy, Missy, you want genuine copy bags?” The Lo Wu Shopping Centre in Shenzen, China

We also visited Macau, the Las Vegas of the East, where we took in a performance of the House of Dancing Water, at one of the giant casinos, called the City of Dreams, created by a former director of Cirque du Soleil.

The House of Dancing Water show at the City of Dreams casino, Macau

The House of Dancing Water show at the City of Dreams casino, Macau

For me, one of the most fascinating things about Hong Kong was the variety of markets. We visited markets for flowers, birds, clothes, food, jade, even goldfish.

Fresh fruit for sale at a Hong Kong market stall

Fresh fruit for sale at a Hong Kong market stall
Hong Kong Markets

You can find a market for everything in Hong Kong: clothes, birds, flowers, gold fish and the inevitable fake luxury goods.

During our stay in the city, we managed to accomplish most of the things we mentioned in our ‘Asian to do list post,’ including visiting the Ten Thousand Buddahs Monastery (after being waylaid by a fascinating cemetery – story to come soon).

The Ten Thousand Buddahs Monastery

Only a handful of the unique Buddahs at the Ten Thousand Buddahs Monastery

And, of course, it wouldn’t be a CheeseWeb adventure if we didn’t explore the region’s culinary offerings. We ate, and ate, and ate some more (to be able to report accurately to our dear readers, of course). We’ll share our Asian foodporn with you in a future post as well.

Food in Hong Kong

Yes, we ate all of these and much more (stay tuned for our Asian Foodporn post!)

We can’t wait to share more detail about our travels with you in upcoming posts. (But don’t worry; we still have lots of Belgian goodness coming up for you too!) Have you been to Hong Kong or Borneo? Tell us about your favourite memories in the comments below.

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Alison

Alison

Big Cheese at CheeseWeb
Alison Cornford-Matheson is a Canadian freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of Cheeseweb.eu. She is the author of The Foodie Guide to Brussels: Local Tips for Restaurants, Shops, Hotels, and Activities. Alison landed in Belgium in 2005 and, over the years, has become passionate about slow and sustainable travel, in Europe and beyond. She loves to discover hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She has visited 45 countries and is currently slow travelling through North America in an RV, with her husband, Andrew, and two well-travelled cats. You can also follow her work on Google+
Alison
Cheese + Goats = My personal heaven. We discover an oasis in the cheese desert. https://t.co/Os8U86UEiX - 19 hours ago

4 comments

  1. Comment by Mary @ A Productive Endeavor

    Mary @ A Productive Endeavor April 19, 2013 at 16:44

    Great pic of that orangutan! Ohhhh I am SO jealous!!!

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison

      Alison April 19, 2013 at 17:20

      Thanks Mary! It really was incredible to see them where they belong, in the rainforest.

  2. Comment by michelle

    michelle April 22, 2013 at 14:48

    Fabulous! Just a tip, based on that teaser food photo montage, I suggest you warn us when you publish the post about what you ate. We are all going to need a heads up to eat a big lunch first. And put a plastic shield over our keyboards.

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison

      Alison April 23, 2013 at 11:14

      Lol! I’m mentally composing an ode to soup dumplings! If only we hadn’t lost the food photos from Malaysia! Well, I guess we’ll just have to go back and re-create them all.

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