Extract from Uncle Tans letter
to his son and daughter-in-law describing how Uncle Tans
B&B started and the first group of visitors he brought
to the Kinabatangan.
January 2, 1989
"Dear Suzie & Gene,
I should have written to you as soon as I got back from West
Malaysia. I got back to K.K. and [---] hotel was in a mess.
With the storms and flood it was upside down. The first
thing the boss told me was "with so much trouble here
and you are away promoting your tours business!" This
I could not take. I said I was only the marketing consultant
as long as sales go up I have done my duty. He was
very furious and said he wants to buy up unique tours
I told him to go to hell... However, I spent another 2 weeks
in K.K. to really promote the tour packages and made some
contacts before getting back to Sandakan.
Luck would have it. While spending the two weeks in K.K.
I contacted the people who were organizing the 11th Congress
of the Asian Photographic [Out.]. I managed to get 17 Japanese
and Koreans to be interested in a trip to Sepilok and the
Kinabatangan area to photograph wildlife. So I got back to
Sandakan on 3rd Dec a day before the group came to Sandakan.
You will remember I closed the restaurant to move to
a detached bungalow house very large and was empty
for 4 years. The owner had repainted it and it is very comfortable
with the main building 2 rooms upstairs and a very
large open area down stairs and a small attached unit with
2 rooms and separate toilet. This is now Uncle Tans
Bed & Breakfast. Just before the Japanese arrived I managed
to get some mattress and made some beds. So when they got
in on the 4th December, I was able to accommodate all of them
in the Bed and Breakfast.
I was in the jungle area for four days and the photographer
had taken more than 30 rolls of film each. Some took telephoto
shots, some even interested in micro-photography and spent
hours and rolls of film just photographing millipedes! Many
of the members want to come back again in the finer weather
I managed to make enough to furnish the B & Breakfast.
Since my return the B&B in December had excluding the
group of Japanese and Koreans 48 man-nights from other budget
travelers sent in by the T.D.C. So at [M] $15.00 plus breakfast
I feel I can cover my operation cost of rental, water and
light. The rent is only [M] $ 400.00 for this mansion! Some
say the place is haunted - well I am glad. Whoever
is haunting the place is kind to me! "