This is a guest blog from Erin's sister Aubrey (an expat living in Seoul) about her recent travels to Borneo: Instagram AubreyR0
Borneo is the third--largest island in the world and the largest island in Asia. It's known for unparalleled SCUBA diving. We couldn't wait to leave dry land and Seoul's humidity behind and spend as much time as possible in the depths.
We left Seoul at 7pm and arrived in Kota Kinabalu around midnight. We booked the closest hotel to the airport because the next morning we hopped the 9am flight to Tawau. We could have bussed it but the flight time was 45 minutes and cost only $18. Even though it's rainy season in this area, we've been crossing our fingers that the weather would cooperate so we could pack as much diving in as possible.
From Tawau we took a one hour bus ride to Semporna. We grabbed our bags from the bus and hopped straight onto a boat to Bohey Dulang for an epic hike. After the hike we spent the night in Bohey Dulang before taking the early morning boat to Mabul island.
On Mabul island we chose an inexpensive but cool looking place called Bilabong Scuba for two nights. We planned to do 6 dives in total. The first 3 were at Sipidan, which is known to be one of the best diving spots in the world. Then we planned on exploring Tankul Abdul Rahman park - a collection of nearby islands. Even though we were told all the diving excursions are booked, we planned to show up in the morning to see if anything opened up. The dives were relaxing, adventurous and beautiful all at once. We love to act silly under the water as well as deeply relax as if we are floating off into space. Each time we encountered sharks, I thought to myself, "I must follow that sweet majestic beast."
After the diving, we hopped the first morning flight on Malaysian air from Semporna to Kota Kinabalu. Without any structured itinerary, we enjoyed wandering around the city. The temperature was strikingly hot but thankfully there was a bit of cloud cover. Although we didn't have a guide, we ended up venturing on our own mini food tour. We walked from stall to stall in different markets eating the dishes that stood out to us and drinking at the ones that serve beer. Typically, it's difficult to find alcohol in Borneo because of the Muslim culture.
Saturday morning we woke up and hiked around mount Kinabalu park to pass the time before our red-eye flight home.
We flew out of Kota Kinabalu Saturday night at midnight and arrived back to Seoul Sunday at 5am with only a day to recover for the workweek.
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