It is nearly 9 p.m., and Vikki and I again find ourselves in an outdoor restaurant and bar. Only tonight, rather than a resort in the Klias Wetlands, we are at the Pulau Tiga Resort
on the island of Pulau Tiga. Pulau Tiga is more commonly referred to today as Survivor Island, as this was the small tropical island where the first season of the U.S. hit reality television show Survivor
took place. The entire island is part of Pulau Tiga National Park
, which comprises this and two smaller islands in the vicinity. Other than the Pulau Tiga Resort
, state park lodging and a now defunct second private resort, there are no other stores, restaurants, bars or lodgings on the island. The island of Pulau Tiga is a very peaceful place to relax for a day or two, and as it lies some 12 kilometers off of the coast and is only accessible by private boat, it has a very secluded feel to it. The resort feels equally low key; no partying or loud guests here, if today has been any indication.
We began our day with another boat tour of the Klias Wetlands at 6:20 a.m. this morning. Today the hordes of our fellow tourists who had viewed the Proboscis monkeys
yesterday afternoon along with us were noticeably absent, and there was no noise other than the engine of our boat. We had the chance to view several of these fabled Dutchmen of Borneo at fairly close range, but the thickness of the jungle did not provide a conducive environment for photographing these odd-looking primates.
After breakfast, the resort’s owner Mr. Hall drove us to the small coastal town of Kuala Penyu, from where we caught the 10 a.m. boat from the Pulau Tiga Resort
for the 12 kilometer journey out to Pulau Tiga and the resort.
This afternoon Vikki and I hiked along several of the numerous trails on the island. While I never watched the television show Survivor
, I can easily understand why this island appealed to the producers: it is covered by fairly thick jungle, has mud volcanoes (mud puddles heated by hot springs which result in hot muddy pools), is literally crawling with large insects, lizards and rodents and is hot and humid. Absent modern conveniences and uninhabited, what better place could there be to test the mettle of a batch of westerners plopped down on the island with a group of strangers for some television entertainment?
We leave Pulau Tiga Resort
tomorrow afternoon for KK
, as we are heading early in the morning the day after tomorrow to Kinabalu National Park
to climb Mt Kinabalu
. Before we trade the sandy beach here for the mountains, however, i’m looking forward to a few hours on the beach tomorrow in the morning and early afternoon.