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Malaysia, part II

We have received some mails expressing something similar to "you must enjoy yourselves so much (A) that you don't even have time to update the blog (B)". While both (A) and (B) are true, they have no connection.

We are currently staying in the Taman Negara Park, of which many independent sources claim that it is the oldest jungle in the world. Apparently, neither an ice age nor any volcanic or other geological activity has disturbed this forest for 130 million years. The wildlife in the park is truly amazing: tigers, leopards, elephants and gibbons live here in the wild, largely undisturbed by human activity. Oh, and snakes and scorpios:

Unless you trek for days in the jungle to get away from the busy entrance area, it is extremely unlikely to see any big mammals, but that is not the point about Taman Negara. The point about it is simply to be in such an astoundingly old jungle. But if you are really interested in big animals, this is the right place for supersize animals of special kind: insects.

After a couple of days here, you don't think that 10 cm is especially big for a beetle. You are also not surprised to see butterflies with a wingspan of 20 cm. Everything is just supersized here (not the spiders, thank goodness, although the so-called bird-eater is not exaclty what you want to encounter in the shower).

After leaving the perhentian islands, we took a taxi to the northeastern city Kota Bharu which calls itself the islamic city. The islamic party is in power up there and wanted to enforce islamic law for a long time (and seems to have partially succeeded). Although single-sex waiting lines in super markets have been abandoned, this was clearly not the city we wanted to stay for long. The next morning we took the so called jungle train to Jerantut close to the national park. It felt a bit strange to pay 30 ringgit (about 10 francs) for the 10 minute taxi drive from the hotel to the train station, and 21 ringgit for the 7 hours train ride! Sometimes, it is really tricky to understand the pricing systems here. Consider, for example, this note at the national park entrance:


Zero ringgit or 3 years prison - though choice!

After another night in Jerantut, a small village close to the national park, we took a 3 hour boat trip to the place we are currently staying: Traveller's home. It's a great place only a couple of minutes from the park entrance away, and people are so friendly, the food is fantastic, the room spacious and clean - it's so good we decided to stay for longer. Since we both still have a little work to do, we thought that this is the place. Thus, the reason why we haven't updated the blog for a long time is because both adventure AND work keep us busy. This is our current "office":

Unfortunately, I stepped on a wasp two days ago, and my foot is still swollen and hurting, but I would defend myself with equal vigour if I was stepped on. I hope the swelling will stop soon so that we can go to the jungle once more, especially the part I liked the most: the canopy walkway, a set of hanging bridges originally built for tree research. The one in Taman Negara is the longest in the world, and at the height of 50 meters high enough for us (although maybe not the highest :-)


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 21, 2007 8:13 AM.

The previous post in this blog was A story about 5 billion $.

The next post in this blog is From Malayisa to Thailand (or: all roads lead to Hat Yai).

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