malaysia {pt. 2}

monday: we packed up early and took about an hour boat ride to turtle island. so these huge mama turtles come up on shore at night and lay their eggs. problem is, there are huge lizards (that i liked to call comodo dragons, because they were just huge!) and birds and such that dig up the turtle eggs and eat them. these people have built a big lodge and live there now to help the turtles not become extinct. they go out and wait all night for however many turtles come up on shore (there were 13 the night we were there!!), remove all the eggs literally as the mama is laying them (she doesn't know they're removing them from the hole where she's laying them), and relocate them to a safe, fenced-in area on the island so they have a chance to hatch and make it to the ocean before the lizards can get to them. so they've since built smaller housing lodges that they open up to guests/tourists so people can see this cool stuff. the thing is, you never know when/how many turtles will come on shore, so it's just a waiting game from like 9pm-5am. and if it's stormy at all, they probably won't come because they don't like the light from the lightening. so we spent the day on the beautiful beach and snorkeled. it was so nice. there weren't tons of people and the fish and coral were sweet! then we had dinner and started the waiting game for the turtles. in the meantime, my youngest nephews, Liam and Eli, fell asleep on the (very) hard wood floor (we later woke them up so they didn't miss the turtles). i think i dozed in and out a bit too. finally around 1130pm we got the "turtle time" call and headed out. you have to be super quiet and aren't allowed any extra lights because it'll scare the turtles. that means no flashes on cameras. so that made getting any good pictures hard, but i got a couple. after we watched the mama lay her eggs and we relocated those eggs and re-buried them, we got a basket full of new tiny baby turtles that had hatched in the last day or so and got to take them out on the beach and set them free to the ocean! seriously, one of the coolest things i've seen. finally we went to bed.

he slept like a baby on the boat rides.
and yes, his crocs are on the wrong feet :)

our tiny digs for the night

the trees were huge!

snorkeling buddies

our beach post for the day. seriously beautiful.

this has got to be one of my favorites from the whole trip

this is how he spent most his day
(in case you're wondering, thats lots of sunscreen all over his face)

and this is how they spent most their day

sleepy boys waiting for the turtles. that floor was hard!

{these next pictures of the turtle stuff are not great - they wouldn't allow flash so it's the best i could do}

the turtle laid like 64 eggs or something ridiculous like that

the babies!!

setting the babies free!

tuesday: we packed up and got back on the boat for the hour ride back to Sandakan. we immediately got in a van and drove to see orangutans! it's a part of the natural jungle area they have enclosed and house these apes. we got to see them during an eating time, so a bunch came out of the trees everywhere and munched on bananas and other fruit while a bunch of people sat and gawked and took pictures. pretty cool.

from there we got back in the van and drove about 2 hours to the middle of the jungle. once we got out of the car, we took a short boat ride to our new digs for the night. there was a big lodge and separate little cabins for each family. so Jae and i in one, and my sister and her fam in the one next to us. the jungle is way cool, but people - BUGS. there were giant red ants that seemed to live on the step right outside our door. i was a little paranoid all day/night. but we survived. we spent the day hanging out, relaxing a bit, eating, and then had a river trip. we saw lots of monkeys, a few cool birds, and lots of places where elephants had recently been. sadly, we saw no elephants though. boo! Jae was on the constant look-out for crocodiles, but we didn't see any of those either. after the river trip, we came back, had dinner, and crashed for the night.

view from our deck

Blue Kingfisher bird - so pretty

our cabin. we had monkeys on our roof and all around that night & the next morning!

wednesday: we got up extra early wednesday morning to go on another river trip. after that, we had breakfast, packed up, took the short boat ride back to the car, and drove the 2 hours back to Sandakan to the hotel we originally stayed in on sunday night. we spent the afternoon back at the pool and had a relaxing night at the hotel.


  1. Your trip looks like it was so so so much fun!

  2. Turtle Story? = Awesomest. Story. EVER.

    I wanna see 'em!!