Our Borneo Holiday
Starting off with a few days in Singapore, we are looking forward to exploring Borneo, our first visit and super excited

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Borneo, a giant, rugged island in Southeast Asia’s Malay Archipelago, is shared by the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak, Indonesian Kalimantan and the tiny nation of Brunei. It’s known for its beaches and ancient, biodiverse rainforest, home to wildlife including orangutans and clouded leopards. In Sabah is 4,095m-tall Mount Kinabalu, the island’s highest peak, and, offshore, the famed dive site Sipadan Island.
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Singapore, an island city-state off southern Malaysia, is a global financial center with a tropical climate and multicultural population. Its colonial core centers on the Padang, a cricket field since the 1830s and now flanked by grand buildings such as City Hall, with its 18 Corinthian columns. In Singapore's circa-1820 Chinatown stands the red-and-gold Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, said to house one of Buddha's teeth.

Let the holiday begin - 3 days in Singapore

The Holiday Inn Express in Clarke Quay was the perfect start to our holiday. With a cool rooftop pool, and a good breakfast included, it was clean, staff were friendly and location was perfect
I am not a lover of Zoo's in general, but having done the night safari once before, the girls were keen to visit. I have to say, if I had to go to a zoo, then Singapore Zoo is worth a visit. The Singapore Zoo, formerly known as the Singapore Zoological Gardens or Mandai Zoo and now commonly known locally as the Singapore Zoo, occupies 28 hectares (69 acres) on the margins of Upper Seletar Reservoir within Singapore's heavily forested central catchment area. The zoo was built at a cost of $9 million granted by the government of Singapore and opened on 27 June 1973. It is operated by Wildlife Reserves Singapore, who also manage the neighbouring Night Safari, River Safari and the Jurong Bird Park. There are about 315 species of animal in the zoo, of which some 16 percent are considered to be threatened species. The zoo attracts 1.7 million visitors each year. From the beginning, Singapore Zoo followed the modern trend of displaying animals in naturalistic, 'open' exhibits.
Well when we say a visit to Sentosa Island, I think this was really all the girls had in mind - "Welcome to Battlestar Galactica". Sentosa Island, also known as Sentosa, is an island located at the Central Region, Singapore. It was once used as a British military base and a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp. In 1972, the island was renamed Sentosa and was planned to be a popular tourist destination. It is now home to a popular resort that receives more than twenty million visitors per year. Attractions include a 2 km (1.2 mi) long sheltered beach, Fort Siloso, two golf courses, the Merlion, 14 hotels, and the Resorts World Sentosa, which features the Universal Studios Singapore theme park and one of Singapore's two casinos. The name Sentosa translates as "peace and tranquility" in Malay, which was in turn derived from the Sanskrit term Santosha, meaning "contentment, satisfaction". Sentosa was formerly known as Pulau Blakang Mati which in Malay means the "Island of Death Behind".
"The best way to get onto Sentosa Island, even if Caroline is not a lover of Cable Car rides". The Singapore Cable Car is a gondola lift providing an aerial link from Mount Faber (Faber Peak Singapore) on the main island of Singapore to the resort island of Sentosa across the Keppel Harbour. Opened on 15 February 1974, it was the first aerial ropeway system in the world to span a harbour. However, it is not the first aerial ropeway system to span the sea. For instance, Awashima Kaijō Ropeway in Japan, built in 1964, goes over a short strait to an island. Although referred to by its operators as a cable car, the listed system is in fact a monocable gondola lift and not an aerial tramway. A round-trip ticket currently costs SGD 33 for adults and SGD 22 for children. The Singapore government came up with the idea of a cable car to Sentosa from Mount Faber in 1968.
Raffles Hotel was where we went for our honeymoon, so there was no way we were coming back to Singapore without a visit for afternoon tea and a "Singapore Sling" or two. Raffles Hotel is a colonial-style luxury hotel in Singapore. It was established by Armenian hoteliers, the Sarkies Brothers, in 1887. The hotel was named after British statesman Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore. It is the flagship property of Raffles Hotels & Resorts, and is managed by AccorHotels after Accor acquired FRHI Hotels & Resorts. The hotel is owned by Qatar-based, government-owned Katara Hospitality. The hotel commenced Phase 3 of a three-phase restoration programme on 13 December 2017. The Raffles Hotel reopened in August 2019 following the completion of the renovation.
If it's good enough for the Dutch, then it's good enough for me. Legend has it, that Prof. Pieter van Stein Callenfels, regularly downed 10 Singapore Slings in a single sitting. So armed with this knowledge, or challenge, I decided to give it a go. Things were looking good all the way to Singapore Sling #8. However after I reached the 9th Singapore Slings, we were going to retire to the Library for the last one - unfortunately, only residents allowed, so my 10th Singapore Sling eluded me. Apparently, it wasn't only the Singapore Sling that Pieter enjoyed as he regularly consumed vast quantities of beer and gin to help wash down the slings, which to Pieter, were a mere appetizer.
  • If you enjoy the famous Singapore Sling, then don't forget to buy a set of Singapore Sling glasses and of course, the famous Singapore Sling mixer - just add pineapple juice and you can enjoy at home
Kota Kinabalu is the capital of Malaysia’s Sabah state in the northern part of the island of Borneo. Often referred to as KK, it’s a coastal city partly surrounded by rainforest. It's known for its bustling markets, modern boardwalk, beaches and waterfront Kota Kinabalu City Mosque. It is also a gateway to Kinabalu National Park, the home of 4,095m-high Mount Kinabalu.
What an amazing little hole in the wall restaurant. Just the perfect place to enjoy the hospitality, incredible food and drinks, and a few games of cards with the girls
  • An absolute must if you are in Kota Kinabalu - the best Goulash I've had, and the chocolate and beef stew was to die for

Next Stop Borneo & Kota Kinabalu

Reading up on this hotel makes it sound amazing, Golf Resort and SPA, beautiful beach on the ocean, but in all honesty, it's a little tired and resting on its laurels. However, we were there in 2015 so it might have had a facelift. Staff were super helpful and if it hadn't rained non stop from when we arrived until we left, then it might have faired better for us.

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