Earlier this year, Harrow International School from Bangkok paid us a visit spending time in Camp Tianngol and Batu Puteh. Here’s their story in their own words:

Borneo 2011 – ‰ÛÏThe land beneath the wind‰Û

9 intrepid pupils, Miss Evans and Mr van den Berg headed off early on Saturday to fly to Kota Kinabalu, arriving in the driving rain at 6pm before being whisked off to a backpackers lodge for the night. “Borneo was the complete package, full of adventure and new experiences waiting to be obtained. Each obstacle we faced allowed us to push ourselves further, especially away from our comfort zones.” (Kristina). The next day we headed off for 3 nights in the Long house, a favourite amongst all of us as we shared experiences, played cards and dared one another‰Û_( The place was so great ‰ÛÒ Christin) A day painting a library, making bead necklaces, followed by singing, dancing and being thrashed 5-0 in volleyball (as Ankit so aptly said ‰ÛÒ What the hell man!) added to the enjoyment. Day 3 was a trip to the stunning tip of Borneo, followed by a fantastic beach barbeque and time to relax on the sand ‰ÛÒ a fitting rest before we drove across the island under the shadow of Mt Kinabalu, went to the restful Poring hot springs and scaled the canopy walk. The day ended in Batu Puteh with groups of two‰Ûªs dispatched to various homestays ‰ÛÒ another cultural highlight, eating with our hands and learning local traditions. ‰ÛÏThe best-ever experience I had was the night stay in the jungle and the plant conservation project. I believed that I have learnt that besides technology we have to place nature first‰Û (Ted). A night in the jungle might seem daunting, but the added unknown factor was making our own shelters ‰ÛÒ and actually spending the night in them. We first did a wonderful river cruise, a night walk through the jungle where we saw two snakes‰Û_ and then off to bed. The jungle closed in around us and Ankit started to dream about life as a vegetarian‰Û_ And the next day we had the awesome experience of seeing orang-utans close up and personal! “Overall, if there were 10 things you would want in an expedition, this would tick 11 of the 10 boxes (Jasper). ‰ÛÏfelt closer to nature and if the expedition lasted longeråÊwould probably have created an emotional bond with this island.‰Û (Prince) This was an expedition in the true sense of the word. Friendships were made and a lasting impression created amongst the students. “I got so emotionally attached with the Borneo expedition that I didn‰Ûªt feel like coming back to Bangkok” (Ankit). ‰Û÷Terima Kasih‰Ûª was the first word I learnt in Malay. It means thank you; and I‰Ûªd like to use it for all my fellow students‰Û commented Rishabh. The sense of ‰ÛÏfun‰Û, ‰ÛÏamazement‰Û and ‰ÛÏwonder‰Û (Joseph and Dino) showed how much the pupils had learnt from their experiences and it says much that we were a sad group who boarded the plane to return home. Miss Evans gets the final words: ‰ÛÏEveryone has faced these challenges head on and fully immersed themselves in the entire expedition ‰ÛÒ coming out far stronger than we thought we ever were.‰Û