Mont Choisy Beach, Mauritius

Mauritius – A cultural melting pot with endless summer

Well, when we arrived after an 11h night flight, we were a little done… but getting out of the airport at 6am and right away searching for sunglasses was quite promising…

The airport is on the other side of the island, approx. 70km or a good hour’s drive from our little guesthouse away. So we had a little island tour already (lots of sugar cane fields… guess how this might have an influence on the cocktail list…) before we arrived at the guesthouse, had a nice breakfast in the garden before we got our rooms and organized the essentials (scooter rent for the time we are here, calling the diving center…). Ah yes, and we were introduced to the guesthouse cat “Bebe” (a completely spoiled little cat which once used my T-Shirt as a towel as it was not lucky enough to escape the heavy tropical rain shower in time) *smiley tounge*

The first days were all about the beaches…

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Mulu National Park, Malaysia

Mulu – caves and bats

Coming from Brunei and getting back into Malaysia was easy – bus starting off directly in front of our hotel, leaving us 30 minutes for the breakfast buffet in the lobby *smiley smiling* However all buses in Malaysia and Brunei seem to originally have been fridges now just with addition of some wheels… *bibber*

Defrosting in Miri was easy with temperatures well above 30 degrees. Overall this city is only a necessary stop over place for us and in general more an oil-industry than a tourist town. We found a nice spot to stay for the night at the Dillenia Guest House and spent the afternoon exploring the city.

Next morning, again a flight because the other option involves hours and hours on small boats with transfers at various places and/ or some serious trekking through the jungle along the “headhunters” trail.

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Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei

Brunei – not a small Dubai

We were quite curious how Brunei will be like so we spent 2 days there… is Brunei another small version of Dubai due to the oil found offshore of this little sultanate? Well, it isn’t really… there is a mosque with lots of gold on the exterior, but some of the houses (especially the traditional water village houses) are still quite basic (although there is water and electricity supply)…

The water village Kampong Ayer is HUGE, we strolled around and found quite some plant loving inhabitants (almost anything makes a good pot for plants) and it is interesting to see that everything seems to exist in a way: schools, school boat, petrol station for the boats (yes, a liter is only 0,5 Brunei Dollar = 33 Euro cent!!!), little restaurants…

Also quite interesting, there was a quite ugly clock tower somewhere in the city which is supposed to be important. Why?

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Sepilok, Malaysia

Sepilok – or Orang-Utans up close

Coming from the Kinabatangan jungle area we decided to skip Sandakan city due to some well phrased comments in guide books („light on must-see attractions“) and advise from fellow travellers coming the opposite direction („quite ugly city without anything to see“) and headed strait to Sepilok.

What is Sepilok?

But honestly it is partially a sad story…

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Kinabatangan, Malaysia

Kinabatangan – Where are the elephants?

We heard that there are pygmy elephants around Kinabatangan – in preparation for our Africa adventure later this year we decided to start small with elephants and go there to see this very rare (1000 – 1500 animals left) and endangered species. But will come back to the topic rare a little later…

To go to the jungle, we had to take a bus several hours through palm oil plantations. Hardly any forest left, what a shame… we could really see what “loss of habitat” means for the monkeys, elephants and other animals…

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Mabul, Malaysia

Diving off Mabul and Sipadan

Well, just briefly a summary of the city-life before we went to the Semporna archipelago in Borneo… Singapore was about working (Iris), meeting Michelle *smiley smiling* , having some nice food, buying the usual Singapore souvenir (a dress for Iris) and special this time: Getting some proper cough stopping medicine (also for Iris)… KL was again about working (actually for both of us), recovering from the cold and opening an account at a jewelery supply wholesaler (both later tasks only for Iris) *smiley winking*

Then, finally, we took the plane to Tawau where two cool guys with extra stylish sunglasses took us through endless palm oil plantations towards Semporna, the gateway to divers paradise.

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WordPress and HostEurope

In general getting WordPress installed on webspace at HostEurope goes very smoothly – however using the automatic update function or sending notification mails to users caused some problems to me initially.

In order to get both thing to work properly, I put together a very tiny plugin called th23 HostEurope Fix – for use, just download it, extract the zip-file and upload the folder “th23-hosteurope-fix” into the plugin directory of your WordPress installation. Activate like any other plugin via the “Plugins” section in the WordPress admin area, and you are done.

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Hong Kong

Last, but not least…Hong Kong, once again ;-)

After the extensive wedding celebration week in Melbourne it was finally time to leave Australia behind and head on to Hong Kong to meet old friends and indulge in some nice last-minute x-mas shopping rush

Our way from Melbourne to Sydney was a bit different than planned – all I say here: NEVER fly Tiger Airways, unless you wanna end up on a plane that gets cancelled without notice – but this way we both got the new experience of buying a ticket for a plane that leaves in only an hour directly at the airport :lol:

Sadly enough, there was another last-minute change…and Pete (an old friend of Iris) had to leave early back to Germany so we missed him *smiley crying* Nevertheless our special thanks to Pete for the most luxurious accommodation throughout our 6 months journey *smiley surprised*

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Sydney, Australia

Sydney – all about water…

On the way back to Australia we discovered a new feature in Qantas’ board entertainment system…the seat-to-seat chat. For sure we extensively used it and Iris convinced me, not to send any flirt messages randomly around the cabin as the system tells you the seat number of the sender

After getting started for our “adventure” with the Sydney bus system (if you ever have some spare time, I am happy to listen to whoever feels confident to explain it to me) we spent some time exploring The Rock (no movie, just the city area close to the Harbour Bridge) an it’s surroundings…

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