After the quietness of our previous resort at Abai it was quite a shock to have to share the river and, more to the point, the wild-life viewing with so many other lodges. On our evening cruise there were 10 other boats crowding around for the optimum angle from which to view an elusive orang utan. Apparently it is still much less busy at Myne than at Sukau, further downriver, and to be fair we saw only one or two other boats on our morning cruise.
That apart, there were many similarities between Myne and other lodges we stayed in during our trip to Sabah. It has an attractive setting, on a bend in the Kinabatangan River that one day will become an oxbow lake, but there has also been an attempt at landscaping here. Rooms are simple but not devoid of mod cons: we had to turn the ceiling fan off at night because of the effectiveness of the air conditioning; there is a television for those for whom the dramas of the rainforest are not enough; tea, coffee and a kettle are provided, as is a room safe. Lighting is a bit dim though and reading in bed at night difficult.
We were in Room 10, the closest to the reception area; since the resort is built on a steep slope, the further away your room, the more exertion you will need to get there. (On arrival, fortunately, our bags were carried to our room by one of the cheerful and obliging members of staff.). Honeymooners, of whom there are plenty, are apparently given rooms furthest away for privacy and seclusion although we were unaware of any noise outside. The actual resort seemed very quiet, in fact, and there were only two other couples staying on our second night. Service here was very good. One unexpected bonus here was the massage service provided by Mira with unbelievably low prices for a range of treatments. We both took advantage of an hour's vigorous reflexology which, at 55 Malaysian ringgits or just over £12, cost about a tenth of what it would in California.
Because guest numbers were low, in place of the ubiquitous buffet we were given waiter service although the meals followed much the same format as at other lodges: soup, boiled rice, a meat dish, a fish dish and 2 vegetable dishes. Food was uninspiring rather than unpleasant: stir-fried vegetables were invariably cooked too long, sometimes to that very mushy state familiar from childhood school dinners - a shame since many are grown on an allotment behind the reception building. Bar prices again seemed to us very low, apart from wine; this was the first lodge we visited which also offered spirits and cocktails, again at very reasonable prices.
As ever for us, the key feature was the wild-life to be seen in the vicinity of the lodge. Spoilt by our experiences at Abai, we were amused at the way all other boats shot off at the news of an elephant sighting. On arrival, we could just about make out two of them eating the young shoots way back in the forest. Although elephants were in short supply there were plenty of primates around: we saw long-tailed macaques, red-leaf monkeys, silver-leaf monkeys, pale morph (albino) silver-leaf monkeys, proboscis monkeys and a female orang utan and her young.
Bird-spotting was a highlight of our two days at Myne. We saw 4 of the 8 varieties of hornbill to be found in Sabah, kites, bee-eaters, kingfishers, swifts, egrets, purple herons, storks, fantails and, posing just in front of our dinner table each evening, a buffy fish owl. A herd of wild boar also put in an appearance at dinner and one morning three large monitor lizards slipped off the jetty and into the river.
Of the land activities offered by Myne Resort, the trip to the Gomantong Caves to see the bats and swifts is the one most likely to divide opinions unless you are also a fan of cockroaches which also live there in great profusion (see separate review). You'll breathe fresher air on your walk uphill to the resort's viewing tower and inside the very large (and hollow) tree lower down.
We left the lodge by road which made us very pleased we had arrived by water. As soon as you leave the lodge environs, you drive through off-putting palm oil plantations for nearly two hours before reaching Lahad Datu.
The lower the number, the further uphill you will walk.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.