Escapade in Saint-Malo, spa and sand yacht

Escapade in Saint-Malo, spa and sand yacht

The advantage of many traveling around the world is that one re-discovers one’s own country with a new eye. After three months of traveling in Japan , I was actually taped by the city of Saint-Malo. I went there for a very specific reason: this is where the 4th edition of the Travel Bloggers Fair took placeFrancophones. It is an annual meeting that brings together travel bloggers and tourism professionals, and to which I am faithful, as much to find budding bloggers always a little scattered around the world to reflect on the evolution of this new profession and make new contacts. These few days at the Salon des blogueurs were an opportunity to combine business with pleasure and discover the city of Saint-Malo, its ramparts, its winding streets and beach

Visit Saint-Malo: culture, sport and relaxation

The city Malouine, as it is also called, offers an ideal mix between culture, sport and relaxation, since one can deepen its historical culture, do water sports and relax with thalassotherapy treatments.

Saint-Malo is a city with a very rich maritime history. Jacques Cartier , Duguay-Trouin , Robert Surcouf … We have all heard of these famous explorers and privateers who have sailed around the world. These three were from Saint-Malo and it’s fascinating to discover their history. The explorer Jacques Cartier “discovered” Canada (well after the Vikings anyway …) in the 16th century and the pirate Duguay-Trouin seized Rio-de-Janeiro in 1711. Unlike pirates, the Corsairs had the authorization of the King of France to fight and seize the wealth of enemy ships. It was also in Saint-Malo that was born the famous writer François-René de Chateaubriand, who was also a privateer and a great traveler.

To visit Saint-Malo, the ideal is first to go around the ramparts , to realize the unique situation of this fortified maritime city. Then we can stroll along the streets, while planning a visit to the castle , which houses the museum of history of history of the city, the Cathedral of Saint Vincent , where are the graves of Jacques Cartier and Duguay-Trouin and at the house of the corsair, the Hotel Asfeld , which was the house of François Auguste Magon de la Lande, a corsair of the King and merchant of the East India Company

Trip to Kota Kinabalu on the island of Borneo in Malaysia

Trip to Kota Kinabalu on the island of Borneo in Malaysia

Kota Kinabalu? What strange and exotic name is it? For my part, I had never heard of it before receiving an invitation from Thai Airways and the Malaysian Tourist Board to discover this place. The unknown aspect of this destination has all the more fueled my curiosity and my desire to make this trip. In addition, it was my first time on the island of Borneo, known for the exceptional richness of its fauna, such as orangutans and monkey monkeys, and its flora with its equatorial forests. Borneo is divided into three countries: Malaysia in the North, Indonesia in the South, and the small state of Brunei on the North West Coast.

Kota Kinabalu is the capital of the Sabah region, also called “The land below the wind” because it is protected from typhoons. It takes its name from the nearby mountain: Mount Kinabalu , which with 4,095m above sea level, is the highest point in Malaysia and one of the highest peaks in Southeast Asia (see photo above). We did not have the opportunity to climb it during this trip, but it is one of the best in the region, even if it’s quite physical given the high altitude.

The main interest of Kota Kinabalu, also known as “KK”, is that it is the gateway to discover northern Borneo. The airline Thai Airways has recently opened a new line to connect Bangkok to Kota Kinabalu and wants to attract more travelers. There are also currently promotional flights from 615 euros (Paris-Bangkok-Kota-Kinabalu A / R) for departures until December.

Visit Kota Kinabalu and discover the traditions

The city itself of Kota Kinabalu does not have much interest. It is a large agglomeration of more than 500.000 inhabitants, modern, developed and very concreted. Originally an old British port, but following the Japanese occupation during the Second World War, it was massively destroyed by Allied bombing, hence the lack of historical heritage. What struck me was the impressive number of construction sites and buildings under construction. We can see that it is a booming city. The roads are in very good condition, modern and comfortable cars, recent infrastructures. The level of development is really much higher than in neighboring countries like Indonesia or Thailand. Malaysia is one of the richest countries in Southeast Asia.

There are still two tours worth visiting: Kampung Warisan Traditions Village and Kota Kinabalu Heritage Museum . You can visit reconstructed traditional houses, made entirely of wood and bamboo. You can also see the traditional clothes of the ancient tribes, their tools, the musical instruments … With the explanations of our guide of the agency Asian Trails , we learned there the history and the traditions of the peoples of this part of Borneo which have also been formidable cutters!

Gaya Island: beach, jungle and relaxation

Gaya island resort on Gaya Island in front of Kota Kinabalu

Located just opposite Kota Kinabalu, a 10-minute boat trip, Gaya Island is ideal for enjoying the pleasures of the beach and discovering the equatorial jungle. The island is actually occupied by several hotels and you have to stay in one of them to enjoy it. For our part we were at Gaya Island Resort , a beautiful 5 star hotel, perfect for a romantic and quiet couple stay (approx 200 euros per double room). You can easily spend three days as there are plenty of activities to do beyond just enjoying the pool or the various beaches. The ideal is to go on a boat trip to go snorkeling. The seabed is sublime and you can see tropical fish of all colors. You can also kayak through the mangrove.