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Orangutans and Orchids

April 7, 2010

We arrived at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center around 9:30am and waited as the wooden observation deck filled up with tourists. Later that morning, the orphaned orangutans who currently call the center home as they are reintroduced to the wild and weened off human contact, would be served a modest meal of milk and bananas. […]

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Borneo: Welcome to the Jungle

April 3, 2010

Whether you’re looking for a trek into steamy rainforests to see orang utans or a relaxing boat ride to spot the beautiful hornbill or oriental darter, you’ll find it in Borneo’s interior around the Kinabatangan River. But, if you hope for a “rocking” experience led by a group of local Malays, consider Uncle Tan’s Jungle […]

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Party at Uncle Chang’s

April 2, 2010

We spent a Saturday night at Uncle Chang’s, when the quiet little wooden resort hosts a full blown party with a live band, a local kid dancing for endless entertainment, and Uncle Chang himself handing out pints of whiskey and cans of coke like candy. And though I was a little hard on Uncle Chang’s […]

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Diving. Sipadan.

March 30, 2010

There were five sea turtles in view when Nate grabbed my fin frantically to show me that there was another just grazing my head, its belly skimming over my floating wisps of hair. The fish were so colorful and plentiful we didn’t know where to look as we descended to 35 meters down a 600-meter […]

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Teddy’s Banana Farm

March 25, 2010

We spent the better part of two weeks staying at Sea Dive Resort in Coron Town. The waterfront restaurant of the resort is sort of the “it” place to be in town, and as such we met quite a few people in our time there. One morning we met an American couple: Judith and Teddy. […]

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Island Walking

March 12, 2010

Another day trip we took from Borongan was to Divinubo, a nearby island that we could actually walk to during low tide. This little journey took us through a post-apocalyptic landscape or a “sunken” moonscape as we began to say. The ground was an interesting combination of volcanic rock and dead reef, equally hard, sharp, […]

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Upstream from Borongan

March 9, 2010

One of the day trips we ventured on while staying in Borongan involved hiring a fishing boat to take us out on the Suribao River to explore a quiet village and a seemingly untouched waterfall. A 15-minute tricycle ride brought us to a small pier where we hired an older man to take us in […]

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Pirate’s Cove

March 8, 2010

Nine hours overland from Padre Burgos (3 hours of which were impossibly bumpy), we finally arrived in Borongan, a little visited town on the Pacific coast in Eastern Samar. We were welcomed to Pirate’s Cove Beach and Surf Resort by the owner, Pete, an American surfer who’s been there for over 20 years. Lonely Planet […]

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South Sea Nomads

March 2, 2010

There’s not a whole lot going on in the town of Padre Burgos. Hugging the tip of Sogod Bay, the town is home to about 8,000 people, loads of children who say “HI!” repeatedly as westerns walk by, the slowest internet connection still in existence today, and four dive shops. Over the past four months […]

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Whale Sharking

February 19, 2010

What brought us to Padre Burgos in the first place was the promise of whale sharks in Sogod Bay this time of year. From February through April whale sharks follow their food — plankton — into the warm waters of the bay and the dive shops around here make a killing charging upwards of $70 […]

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