Weston River Cruise Tour
Two months ago, I had the opportunity to join the Weston River Cruise tour in Weston, Beaufort. Being a newbie in the company, I was very excited as I had never been on a river cruise before. I know I am not the adventurous type of girl, but if you get the chance to join a river cruise and it’s a place that I have never been to in Sabah, then I’m game for it!
To begin with my story, let me share some information about Weston town. Weston town is located in Beaufort, Sabah. It was named after Mr. A.J. West, who is a British North Borneo railway engineer and the town was built as the terminal point for the first railway of North Borneo. It’s roughly a two-hour drive from Kota Kinabalu city. In Weston town, there is one row of shops, back then, British made a jetty point and a Chinese primary school built in wood, which remarkably, is rich in 100-years of history.
Weston is treasured with wildlife and nature. It is home to Borneo Proboscis Monkey, Silver Leaf Monkeys, Long-Tail Macaque, Birds, Snakes, and many more. Moreover, Weston also has a variety of aquamarines living there, such as the Mudskipper Fish, Otters, Crocodiles and River Shrimps. Apart from spotting the wildlife there in Weston, you can also participate in watching the stunning view of the “Reddish Fire Sunset”.
Our trip started about 1.30pm from Kota Kinabalu City, but we (one of my colleague, is the driver, and I) had to go and fetch our guests at Borneo Beach Villas, Karambunai. Our guest is a family group, a father, with four of his lovely children. Thus, we depart from the villas and enjoyed our trip to reach Weston town. However, on the way to Weston town, it was raining heavily and it’s hard for us to see the road! I can see the children were getting restless due to the long journey to reach Weston town. Luckily, my colleague played a movie “King Kong” through his mobile phone and I did some ice-breaker with the children.
Exactly at 5 pm, we reached Weston town, yet, it was still raining (sigh!), but that did not stop us all to continue the tour. Upon arrival at Weston Water Village, we went for an afternoon tea at one of the local cafes there. I was told by my colleague back in the office that the food served here are so delicious. Gosh, I could not agree more! The food really was so delicious especially their homemade pastry – the glutinous rice shrimp (Yummy!). Even our guests loved eating the fried noodles and had second helpings.
After our high tea, the rain finally stopped (Yippee!). We put on our life jackets and hopped on a small river cruise boat to start river cruising along the Weston River, and I cannot explain the happy feeling inside of me to go for river cruising for the first time ever! The after-rain weather really does bring out a euphoric feeling somewhere in me, as we cruised along the river hoping to spot for wildlife. We spotted a few Proboscis Monkeys hanging on a tree and our riverboat driver brings us closer to the river bank to see the Proboscis Monkeys. Our guests were so excited, especially the kids when they saw the Proboscis Monkeys upfront.
While everybody including myself was busy taking pictures of the primates, out of a sudden there was one Proboscis Monkey which jumped unto the other tree but failed and ended up going into the water (Haha!). However, it was quick to climb up to the other tree. One of the amazing fact that you need to know about this creature is their fingers and toes are partially webbed making them good divers and swimmers for them to swim across the river to move to new areas. You cannot imagine the feeling we felt that time when we see the live action from the Proboscis Monkey, it was quite a show for those who were first-timers to see it, especially to our guests and myself.
After that, we continued our river cruising to spot more of the wildlife. As it was raining before, there were not much of wildlife coming out that time. We did spot a few Long Tailed Macaques, and they were soaking wet and cute too! However, we were warned by my colleague, being our professional guide for the day, to not believe the cuteness of the primates, because they are the most sneaky and aggressive animals, will steal anything from anyone. One of the most significant experiences on this river cruise tour was, we managed to see Silver Leaf Monkeys, which happen to be the hardest wildlife to spot in Weston due to its characteristic for being overly shy.
Afterward, we went back to the cafe at the Weston Water Village. Along the way, we can see the wooden stilt village nearby, which was funded by government and the locals there were mostly fishermen. Joining this Weston River Cruise Tour was not only for wildlife sightings, but to also indulge ourselves with the magnificent sight of the sunset. Upon reaching the local cafe, a run of the mill dinner buffet was served, but the food was so tasty and delicious. Lucky for us, we are the only customers that day and the food served was all for us to eat. Oh yes! After dinner, we spotted some bats as well in the cafe and took some pictures before continuing our tour activity.
Later that evening, we hopped on the same boat again, this time, in pitch darkness. The tour does not end without going to see the fireflies. My colleagues had this green light torchlight which attracted tons of fireflies to our boats, and our guest, especially the children, were so excited to see the fireflies and even wanted to catch it! It was a sight to watch the colony of fireflies lighting up the mangroves trees. It really did feel like Christmas in March (in a tropical climate). Such an incredible experience to get the chance of a lifetime to see such an unbelievable sight, for a city girl like me. Not only that, looking at the light from the fireflies, really reminded me one of the scenes from the movie “Avatar”.
Finally, our Weston River Cruise ended. We bid goodbye and thank the owner of the local cafe for their good service and delicious food. We depart from Weston and continued for a two-hour drive back to Kota Kinabalu city.
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