I visited Borneo with my parents as the first part of our main family holiday in the Summer of 2000. We had an amazing time...I went scuba diving in the South China Sea, I got my rear end really badly sunburned on my first day (Mum and Dad had flown out with another couple from Bothwell they're friends with, and spent 2 nights in Singapore and had been in Borneo a night before I arrived - I was doing the exploration part of my Duke of Edinburgh's Gold Award in the Scottish Cairngorms so had to fly out on my own to meet them. When I arrived it was late at night but I was jet lagged so stayed up all night watching TV and reading. Next day I was dead beat and fell asleep lying on my front in the sun...let’s just say I had to put calamine lotion on my tush, where there was a perfect outline of my bikini bottoms!) Mum and Dad went on a train trip and ate traditional Tiffin, and we went to see the orangs too.
I actually went more than once and have lots and lots of photos!
At the Nature Reserve at Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort...how cute! The guides brought bottles of milk from the hotel for the babies.
All went well until one of the afternoons I went up to see the Orangs (which are mostly orphans or animals which have been rescued from the pet trade and are there to be rehabilitated) and one of the baby orangs was ambling down the path towards us...he lost his footing and came tumbling head over heels down the sloped foot path, only stopping when he grabbed onto my ankle, and in his fright, sank his teeth into my calf!! I'll admit I got a real fright and he only dented the skin, but did take the heads off a couple of mosquito bites so the reserve staff took me to their base hut and cleaned it up and painted purple anti-septic on them (the stain lasted 3 days, despite some serious scrubbing)!
In saying that, I had an amazing time, and got up close with some of the little critters (and the bigger ones too), saw them interacting 'off the beaten path' when they stole our guide's backpack (there were only two of us with her, so we were able to sit and watch them as long as we wanted until it got dark and the mozzies started coming out), and it was amazing watching them trying to figure out what to do with it, they tried to climb into it and shook everything else out from inside it!
I'd highly recommend Borneo.
..we saw the very sanitised side of things, but there's the Sepilok Orang-utan Centre which I think is much wilder! We stayed at the Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru (where I went diving and burned my butt) and Shangri-La's Rasa Ria (where the Orangs were). The staff at the hotel bar at Rasa Ria told me there were locals living in the hills above the hotel who occasionally came down the hill and robbed people because they were annoyed their land had been built on but I think that was just them teasing us...I think!
I think this is Paul, the Oragutan I sponsored for a year.