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BLOG: Flying to Sandakan in troubled times

View 2001 Sabah, Shanghai, Eastern China & Xiamen on alexchan's travel map.

We're in Sandakan [Sandakan-travel-guide-1098646] after a brief night-stop in KL, and a transit in Kota Kinabalu. Except for our flight from KL-KK, everything went smoothly.

Malaysian airports are now observing heighted security due to recent events (their normal measures are equivalent to the increased security in NZ). Their new measures now include frisking which caused some delays ... then two passengers who had already checked in decided not to travel (probably after reading the morning newspaper about the "Night of Terror" in Afghanistan, referring to the US retaliation ... in contrast to the CCN headline of "Strike against Terror").

Their baggage had to removed from the cargo hold from amongst some 200 pieces, causing a further delay.

The captain apologised profusely for the actions of these "less than considerate" passengers. Cabin crew did their bit to pacify some obnoxious passengers ... my favourite was "Why why why, sir, are you so upset so early in the morning? Can I get you a cold drink?"

Did you know that one tunnel at KL International Airport was built by Omar (brother of Osama) ... excuse first name basis. Had no luck trying to figure out which one. So was the ring-road around KL. But as the PM explains, the crime of one shouldn't sully the names of his 50 or so siblings.

Anyway, Sandakan is a bit of a cowboy town without many attractions. It was completely rebuilt after WW2 after the Allied bombing. It reminds me of Male (Maldives) ... mix of simple eating places, semi-industrial, and essential supplies all on the same few busy streets. However, air-cons are cheap and we're looking at buying one or two units in KL on our last day if they're similarly-priced. Savings could pay for the airfares.

So, why are in Sandakan? Read on ...

Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Malaysia

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