Where is the Uncle? – Sabah Trip#8

February 10, 2016 at 9:54 pm | Posted in itchy backside | Leave a comment
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Upon reaching Sandakan, we took a cab (RM40.00) to our accommodation for the night. Tisu Boy read about this Uncle Tan Wildlife Adventure from Lonely Planet, which looked quite reputable and interesting. They offer wildlife tour where we could spot various endemic primates and many other flora and faunas. We would be staying at their campsite during the 3D2N tour, but for tonight, we would be putting up at their Operation Base at Sepilok.

We reached the Operation Base around 6plus in the evening, and already the whole premises was so dark, save for the office and the canteen areas. The accommodation for the night was not included in the tour package, and you could always choose to stay in the town and meet at the Base for their pickup the next afternoon but we thought it was probably easier and more convenient to stay with them here. The rate for an air-conditioned room with attached bathroom was RM110, only slightly cheaper than our accommodation at Mersilau. But the condition of the room was really, really basic.

There was only one bed in the entire room. No chair, no table…and no heater for shower!

Luckily, dinner was included, otherwise it would be so troublesome to call a cab to go town to eat and come back. It was already pitch dark outside the Base, which was further in from the main road and surrounded by trees. There was only minimum dim lighting leading the way to where we were staying, which was a separate building from the office. Food was basic “buffet” style with only two or three dishes to choose from…LOL! Seemed like there were only Itchyfingers and another very quiet Caucasian guy staying here…Was expecting the place to have full of visitors since it was mentioned in Lonely Planet?

We were a bit tired so after dinner, we returned to our room to prepare to shower and retire for the night. But soon it started to rain quite heavily and then the power went off!!!! The generator was restarted after a while but it lasted not too long before there was another blackout again! Actually it was quite scary cos we were the only ones staying in this block and the whole place was pitch black and silent except for the calls of insects!

“Alamak! Who switched off the lights! #$%&*”

Luckily we haven’t started to shower! Imagine halfway shampooing your hair and the lights went off! And luckily we didn’t try to save a few dollars and stay in the dormitory without attached bathroom…I would definitely freaked out alone in the dark with foams all over!!!!

Tisu Boy got impatient after waiting so long for the guy to restart the generator and went ahead to shower with his torchlight. Good thing for me that the lights came back after he finished bathing. But it was cold to shower without hot water….so took a real quick one! We also decided to turn off the air-con in case the generator got overloaded again…

The next morning we got up early cos there was free transport to send us to the nearby Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre.

Tisu Boy helping himself to the breakfast “buffet”….

Simple brekky….

Cute idea using the woks as washing basins...

While eating and waiting for the transport, we were more than happy to have the company of the resident kitties….


“I am your Father….”

Mummy feeding kittens!!! How cute! But mummy looked so skinny….I dun suppose they were fed proper cat food?

Sigh…eating leftover rice….

So cute!

Only now then we could take a proper look at where we stayed…

Our chalet

The common corridor to the different kinds of rooms and the shared toilets

There were many fruit trees around….

Unripe mangosteen tree just next to the wash basin area

Unripe rambutans near our room….

Plenty of durian trees outside our room! 

Crepe Ginger

Black-headed Munia

We were wondering why was the tour operator called “Uncle Tan”. Who is this Uncle Tan and where is the Uncle? There was only this younger guy named Leo at the Base, with some ladies at the kitchen. Only after chatting with him that we realised that Uncle Tan was the founder of the tour company but unfortunately he had passed away in 2002. The business is now passed down to his son based in Australia. He returns regularly every few months to oversee the business, but the daily operation is mostly run by his team of experienced and loyal staff.

There were many photos of the wildlife that were spotted by previous tours led by Uncle Tan’s staff. Hopefully we would be lucky enough to spot some interesting animals or birds…

Shuttle bus service to town

Wonder if we have time to visit this?

We booked for the 3D2N package. This price was for 2014….oops…very late blog post again….Now, it is RM498.20, inclusive of 6% GST and RM10 conservation levy

Seriously, we didn’t really research a lot about what to expect, except that it was recommended by Lonely Planet…But sometimes, it is better not to know too much lest the expectation would be higher and when things don’t turn out as expected, the disappointment would be bigger too…hahah…

But we certainly heard a lot and watched tv shows about this Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre! Really excited to finally be able to visit!  Look out for the next post on our experience! :p

Also see related posts:
Wild Sabah – Sabah Trip#7
The Lost Gardens – Sabah Trip#6
A Close Shave – Sabah Trip#5
Boring Hot Spring – Sabah Trip#4
A Slow Slow Cllimb – Sabah Trip#3
A Different Garden – Sabah Trip#2
So Near Yet So Far – Sabah Trip#1


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