Lots of strange creatures

Trip Start Aug 24, 2008
Trip End Jul 07, 2009

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Flag of Malaysia  ,
Monday, March 30, 2009

From Kuching we went for 2 days to Bako National Park, which is famous for the large amount of wildlife they have there. Hopeful that we would see some, we booked ourselves a jungle cabin and set off on the bus. At the river, we had to take a boat for about half an hour which took us along the coast past lots of forest and mountains. We were a little annoyed that the boat cost 45 ringgit (9 pounds) for the whole boat, which can take about 8 people. There was nobody for us to share with so we had to pay the whole amount for just the two of us. Anyway we arrived and had some lunch because we had to wait an hour for our room to be ready. At lunch we saw a huge wild pig and four little ones wandering past the cafe. The pigs were incredibly ugly, with long snouts and white beards, but also quite cute in a strange way. After lunch we checked in to our cabin which was a bit damp and mouldy but better than we had thought. Then we headed off into the jungle.

In all the tourism brochures we had seen about Bako there was a photo of a stack in the middle of the sea surrounded by cliffs, so we went in search of it. We walked down to the beach where we were greeted by the strange sight of trees growing out of the sand, and then entered the jungle. We had walked about 2 steps when we saw a group of the elusive proboscis monkeys. There were about 6 or seven of them about 5 metres away from us up in the trees. They are pretty big monkeys, ginger and white in colour with huge protruding noses. They swung about in the trees, leaping about gracefully, and turning their heads away every time we tried to take photos of their noses, like they knew what we were doing. We watched them for about half an hour, feeling very lucky to have seen them so easily. We then set off on our walk again, and saw another one up a tree, looking at us suspiciously! On our walk through the jungle we saw lots of insects and lizards and then we emerged into open land. We think that the area must have once been volcanic because the rocks were full of bubbles the size of footballs and looked like solidified lava. We also finally saw the famous pitcher plant, which looks like a jug with a lid on it and traps insects inside. We were very hot without the shade of the jungle so we continued on to the coast. We reached the cliff and saw the famous stack, and sat for a bit to recover from the heat before returning to the park HQ.

After dinner we decided to go on a night walk. At first we saw only fireflies and some hermit crabs, but as we ventured further into the jungle we saw lots of sleeping birds, some crazy-looking stick insects, a huge spider, a macaque, a frog and a green pit viper curled up around a tree. They are very poisonous, so I got a bit nervous trying to take its photo, but it was OK. Exhausted after all our walking, we headed back and slept to the sounds of the jungle.

The next day we decided to walk the Lintang trail, a 5.8km loop through the jungle. It involved a lot of uphill, and a lot of sweating as we clambered over roots and rocks, but the jungle and the crazy lava rocks made it worthwhile. We also came across a troupe of silver langur monkeys who made it quite clear that they were not happy about us being there by barking and howling at us and generally looking menacing. We took some photos and then left because there were only two of us and about 8 of them! After lunch and a shower it was time to head back to Kuching, so we found some people to share the boat with, and headed back to our nice clean room.
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