Poring Travel Blog› entry 31 of 44 › view all entries
We caught a local mini bus from Kota Kinabalu where we spent the night after arriving back late from Danum Valley. The mini bus crammed as many people in as possible and took us to a town called Ranau, where we then had to get a taxi to Poring hot springs.
Poring is one of Borneo’s world heritage sites and has earnt this status as it is a patch of rainforest in the Mt Kinabalu park area, however on the site are a few natural sulphur springs, hence the name Poring hot springs.
Upon our arrival into Poring we were shocked at how busy it was. There were tourists (mainly local) pouring into the park, it was just like the last day of the January sales at home: manic with screaming children everywhere. We went to check into the hostel at the park only to find that the price had increased by about 200% since the lonely planet was published a couple of years ago. After getting over the shell shock of the price Ben left me looking around the extortionate park shop whilst he took a walk down the road to try and find a cheaper alternative.
That evening we ventured into the park after the children had been packed off to bed and most of the adults had vanished, probably into deep sleep too. We walked up to the parks first waterfall which was absolutely beautiful and felt quite cut off from the built up mayhem that was the bottom of the park.
The next day we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit a newly flowering rafflesia. Ben was quite looking forward to seeing this flowery giant of Borneo but I sighed and thought it was going to be completely dull. When we arrived I was actually pleasantly surprised and had to take back my grumbles about paying to go and see a flower. It was actually a really impressive and unique, I have never seen a flower quite as large or odd looking. I was however quite upset that there was a bonfire set up just next to the flower to discuise the smell, I somehow felt that I hadn’t had the whole Raflesia experience as the smell of rotting flesh never even brushed my nostrils, not even for a second. After out visit with the flower was over we headed back into the park and went to see their Tropical Gardens.
By the time our tour of the park was over it was night again and time for another frog hunt, this time I left Ben to it and he took me back to the motel before setting off. He arrived home at around 11 after another very successful evening of looking for amphibians. The next morning it was time for us to leave Poring. Sadly we didn’t have a chance to actually go for a dip in the pools as when we actually built up the motivation it was completely rammed and we didn’t fancy joining some children in a little bath as it would have felt quite strange and would have probably included bathing in piss so we left the hot springs without experiencing the main attraction. We were however very content with our trip and it was probably the most successful frog hunt Ben has had which was fantastic. Therefore in contrary to those people who have been to Poring and claimed it to be Boring Poring, I would say that Poring is great and is actually quite beautiful if you actually take the time and energy to explore it.
We got a taxi from Poring back to Ranau and had quite an odd experience whilst in the taxi. As well as us, there was another tourist in the taxi who first appeared to be like any other tourist but for some reason he kept glancing at his legs. With horror Ben realized he had leeches on his legs and feet. Ben thought that maybe he hadn’t realized so said to the man that he had leeches on his legs to which he replied “Yes”. It was so odd, and we couldn’t work out why anybody would sit in a taxi, legs bleeding, leeches gorging and just act like everything was normal. Luckily he wasn’t in the taxi for long and as soon as he got out the taxi man asked us if we noticed the leeches to which we all burst out with laughter and then talked about how odd it was. That was the end of our trip to Poring, next stop Mt. Kinabalu!