Chicago Marathon Training Week 11 – Borneo Wildlife

The flight from Phoenix to Borneo (Sandakan) was endless. It was hot and tropical when we landed in Sandakan. Training definitely took a back seat this week. As you can see below, there were hardly any training sessions.

  • Monday, August 28: Recreational Walk | 0.9 miles | Rainforest Discovery Center, Borneo
  • Tuesday, August 29: Rest Day (day spent in Sukau Rainforest Lodge – river safaris)
  • Wednesday, August 30: Rest Day (day spent in Sukau Rainforest Lodge – river safaris)
  • Thursday, August 31: Run and Recreational Walk | 3.12 miles and 2.0 miles | 26:00 mins (run) | Sandakan and Sepilok, Borneo
  • Friday, September 1: Run | 3.15 miles | 25:06 mins | Sandakan, Borneo
  • Saturday, September 2: Run and Cardio Strength | 5.0 miles and 2.09 miles | 41:44 mins (run) | Nusa Dua, Bali
  • Sunday, September 3: Run | 4.08 miles | 24:27 mins | Nusa Dua, Bali

What was in the forefront was amazing animals, birds and reptiles. For 4 solid days, we saw a plethora of wildlife including the “big five” – Pygmy Elephant, Orangutan, Rhinoceros Hornbill, Proboscis Monkey and Crocodile.

Black and Yellow Barbet

It was the birdlife that easily took the cake in Borneo. The hornbills took center-stage with their massive presence. They are loud, boisterous and strikingly beautiful. We also saw a few large birds like the Storm’s Stork (endangered), endemics like the Dusky Munia and gorgeous ones like boradbills, pittas, spiderhunters, sunbirds, beeeaters, barbets, flycatchers and lots of birds of prey. I really wanted to see the Bornean Bristlehead and we came close (we heard the call), but missed out from seeing it.

Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher
Long Tailed Macaque

Long tailed macaques were everywhere. One even attacked Naman (it was actually quite funny). Pig-tailed macaques were less abundant but still everywhere.

Malaysian Blue Flycatcher
Orangutan Baby

The cool ones of course were the orangutans and proboscis monkeys. As for orangutans, we saw a mom and baby frolicking in a tree gorging on fresh figs. I have some great video of it that I will mix into a montage and blog about soon. The baby was cuteness personified. As for the proboscis monkeys, their obscene noses and fat beer-bellies gave them a content appearance. The were actively jumping from tree to tree. We also saw the Silver Langur a few times.

Orangutan Mom gorging on figs

Naman really wanted to see snakes and was rewarded richly. In 4 days, we saw six different snakes. Five times we saw the Bornean Keeled Pit Viper and we also saw a Paradise Tree Snake (aka flying snake although he was swimming and then climbed up a tree).

Paradise Tree Snake (aka flying snake)
Pacific Swallow (female)
Storm’s Stork (endangered)

Probiscis Monkey


Rhinoceros Hornbill (female)

During a night hike, we saw a flying squirrel (I have video of that too), a Malayan Colugo (aka flying lemur), a Bornean Slow Loris, a Tarsier (similar to a bushbaby found in Australia) a few orangutans, frogs and even a leech! We unfortunately did not see any wild cats (e.g. clouded leopard).

On Saturday, we flew to Bali for Maithili and Rishi’s big fat India wedding. More on that next week…

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