Now here’s a combination we love… Food and Travel. Today on TraveLinkSites we got to interview the fellow foodie Mica, of the awesome blog KayPachaTravels. Her site is filled with adventure and quite a fair amount of food. We love it.
1. Could you briefly introduce yourself, your site and your experience travelling in Borneo?
My name is Mica and I run an adventure travel blog called KayPachaTravels. My site is about adventure travel, expat living in places like Peru & Australia, with recipes from all over the world. I used to work as a Chef so I love learning local recipes as much as I love photographing insects and nature. I traveled to Malaysia Borneo for 3 1/2 weeks with my boyfriend and we loved it.
2. What made you choose this country and what were your first impressions?
I’ve always been intrigued with the mysteries of wildlife that existed only in rainforests in Borneo and I am a big nature/outdoorsy person so I convinced my boyfriend that the diving opportunities alone would be worth it. We weren’t too impressed when we arrived to Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, but as soon as we hit the night markets and spotted tons of fresh seafood, we decided it was going to be alright.
3. How much money can someone travel around Malaysia Borneo for? What are the greatest expenses? What things are relatively cheap?
Malaysia Borneo is not as cheap as traveling the mainland. Transportation costs are going to be your biggest expense, especially traveling between Sabah and Sarawak. Overland transportation is limited so you are forced to fly around quite a bit, especially to visit places like Mulu National Park. Things like water are cheap. Food and lodging can be cheap depending on what you’re looking for. We stayed inside Mulu National park in one of the bungalows that ran for about $80 a night, and we stayed in Kota Kinabalu in a hotel for $30. Depends on how comfortable you want to be. If you want cheap, you can find it!
4. What is the local cuisine like? Did you find yourself trying new things or pining for the familiars of home?
We had loads of Nasi Goreng, which is rice with cucumber roasted peanuts, a hard boiled egg, and sardines. Not my favorite, but you can get rice and some kind of curry chicken which I love, minus the sardines, anywhere. We also stayed in Miri at a homestay and the owner made beef rendang, which is a spicy slow cooked stewed meat usually prepared on special occasions. Delicious. Fruits like the mangosteen are sweet and satisfy my fruit/sweet cravings all the time. With a bag of mangosteens and such a vast array of dishes I didn’t even try, I never longed for food from home. Well, maybe some fried sweet plantains!
5. What cultural activities and events would you suggest everyone seeing or taking part in while travelling in Malaysia Borneo and why?
If you can, don’t miss the Rainforest World Music Festival in Sarawak. Held in July, this music festival brings together world musicians and indigenous musicians. I heard accommodations are more expensive for the 3 day festival so book ahead. Diving or snorkeling in Sipadan and Mabul should be mandatory! Although diving Sipadan can get expensive, you can always dive Mabul and maybe do 1 dive to Sipadan. Keep in mind there is a maximum number of people allowed to dive/snorkel Sipadan daily so if you’re on a schedule it’s best to book ahead with your dive company. If not there will always be spots that open up while you’re in Semporna (which is where you’ll stay and depart from to head to Mabul & Sipadan). Of course you can’t forget the cave explorations of Sarawak- Mulu National Park is not to be missed if you’re into adventure caving.
6. What is your favourite thing about travelling this country? What is your least favourite thing?
My favorite thing about traveling Malaysia Borneo are the endless activities. In Sabah, you can go diving, visit orangutans at the Orangutan Rehabilitation Center, visit jungles tucked away, and in Sarawak you have so many caves to explore! You could spend 2-3 months slowly traveling around. My Christmas present to myself was to go diving with reef sharks in Sipadan- not a lot can top that.
Least favorite thing is the fact that you really have to travel by plane to get between Sabah & Sarawak. Reducing your carbon footprint is hard here since there is a serious lack of overland transportation between the two states.
7. What things do you focus on most when you blog about this country? Why do you choose these things?7
Since my blog is about adventure travel I focus on writing about our cave explorations and I have yet to write about our week of diving in Sipadan and Mabul. So many dive pictures to go through!
8. What’s one thing you can’t travel around Malaysia Borneo without?
A phone with internet. Some parts of Malaysia Borneo do not even get cell phone reception let alone have internet, so if you’ve got a phone with a data plan and need to make a call or check your email you’re all set.
9. What kind of response have you had to your blogs about Malaysia Borneo? What post had the most interest?
I have had a positive response to the nature photography shots while walking to the Paku Waterfall in Mulu, and also my Niah Cave nature photography post. I still have at least half a dozen posts coming up so lots to look forward to!
10. If you could think of one thing you wished someone told you before you started travelling in Malaysia Borneo what would it be?
Since we had traveled through mainland Malaysia we assumed that Malaysia Borneo would be relatively cheap, and the truth is if you want to go diving and see as much as possible you will spend more than you think on flights and diving sessions. Just to hike to Mount Kinabalu they were asking about $300 pp! I didn’t mind though, the price we paid to explore Borneo was so worth it and I can’t wait to be able to go back to Mabul & Sipadan and dive again soon.
Thanks Mica…Now please, someone send us a Beef Rendang!! And a ticket to Borneo…
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