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JULY 2014

Hi Nirmala,

Thank you for your e-mail.

It is definitely so much colder here but I must say it is always nice to return home to New Zealand. Especially with all the chaos going on around the world.

Everything was wonderful thank you. 

The resort in Kota Kinabalu was outstanding. The children’s club and staff were fantastic and the highlight of my 6-year old daughter Laura’s stay was going there especially the activity nights that were organised.  They tied in well with us going out to dinner.  My highlight was swimming in the Southern China Sea – it was like having a warm bath – I still miss doing it every day.

We tried all restaurants except the Japanese restaurant and thought the food was lovely and reasonably priced for a resort.  We did venture out of the resort on a boat tour to the local village.  It is interesting to see how other people live.  Their sewage and rubbish get dumped straight into the river.  Mike and Melissa went on a bike ride into the local town and their pets are not well treated either.  We did venture into Kota Kinabalu but the local markets there are just knock offs and the heat was very intense.  I would have liked to have gone for a boat tour around the harbour but the girls just wanted to get back to the resort.  The Orang-utan sanctuary at the resort had lots of things to do and we went on a jungle walk and an orang-utan adventure – the children were rangers for the morning and they enjoyed this.  Unfortunately the children’s club was only available to those children 12 and under and I wish they had of had a teenage club.  Sometimes they would let Melissa join in the activities so that was nice of them.   I would thoroughly recommend the resort – although 18 hours to finally land in your room was quite tiring.

The gym facility was great at the resort – personal trainer there who would give you cool towels and wipe down your machine.  Apples and lemon/orange water provided.  Gym equipment the same as back home so a bonus.

Bonus at Changi airport since we were in transit – we scored $40 changi money each to spend at airport duty free.  I got myself some lovely skincare as it was decided by the family as a gift I could spend the whole lot.

In Singapore we tried to cram in as much as possible – Gardens by the Bay with the two air-conditioned conservatories – wonderful attraction.  Then we walked over to the Singapore Flyer and got to go up as sun was setting so saw Singapore at day and night – fantastic view.  We went on the MRT but from then on we caught taxis – so much cheaper.

We also went to Universal Studios – which was fun but not as good as LA.  Also the ride we wanted most to go on had been closed for a year which they don’t tell you on their website – the roller coaster.  Loved the zoo and the new zoo next door called the River Safari – went for ride and fed an elephant.  Missed going to breakfast with the orang-utans because there was a huge storm and we set off late and then there was an accident which delayed us even more – never mind we still got to get really close to the orang-utans. 

On our last day and this was a highlight for me we went to Raffles for lunch – I love the place – oh to be rich enough to stay there one day.

Singapore accommodation okay but nowhere as good as resort in Kota Kinabalu – walls were not sound proofed so could hear lots of children crying during the night.  They let us check out at 5 pm which was fantastic.

Another bonus we had when we went to the airport to fly home is they asked us to change flights to the next day and they paid us a considerable amount of money as well as paying extra for the hotel accommodation, meals and taxi.  We also got a day flight which was much better than the night flight on the way over.

Mike is already planning our next trip so we will touch base with you when we decide to travel again.

Thank you for your help with our trip.

Enjoy your day.

Warm Regards

Amanda Gunn