Today was a play day with nothing planned. My other half, wanting to have a break from ‘the boy’ decided to take a visit to the memorial site just outside Sandakan. It was on his return that he spotted something very unusual.

Pulling into the bus terminal he could see them through the trees. White coloured heads, moving fast with two offspring held close to them.

In a bid to get a better look and to try and engage in some way, he ran through the busy traffic, across the road until he was in close range.

Ten minutes later and he was back. ‘The boy’ had a play date scheduled for later that afternoon.

The rare sighting was in fact another family backpacking. Mia and Tue are a lovely Danish couple travelling around SE Asia with their two little boys aged 10 months and 4 (a rare sight in Borneo). They’ve been travelling for 5 months now and are only half way through their adventure. In addition to Malaysia they’ve been to China, South Korea, Cambodia and Vietnam. We are the first family that they’ve met backpacking with a baby (and the first for us too) so it was brilliant to be able to swap tips and know that we can contact each other in the future for advice along the way.

Backpacking with a baby in SE Asia

A rare sighting in Borneo

We met up for a cuppa at a colonial teahouse on the hill but once we got chatting we extended our meet up into the evening. ‘The boy’ had a great time interacting and playing with their 10 month old and my other half had an even better time as he extended the night even further (into the early hours) and had some beers and blokey conversation (football and all that!) with Tue.

It was a really fun day and they are proof that it’s possible to travel long term with young children and still have a lot of fun whilst doing it.

Top tip of the day:
If you’re taking a laptop with you backup any baby/childrens DVDs you own onto your device to use during play days or on long train journeys.  You can also find episodes of popular children’s shows on Youtube. (For example, ‘Waybulu’ and ‘In the night garden’).