In the Jungle, the Mighty Jungle

Trip Start Jun 12, 2011
Trip End Oct 22, 2012

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Flag of Malaysia  ,
Sunday, August 28, 2011

We had to literally drag ourselves away from the Perhentians.  We even tried to change our bus but due to Hari Raya (end of Ramadan celebrations - the equivolent amount of shut down and celebration as Christmas at home) all the busses were booked as the island folk were going home to visit their family, and so we had to leave.

The journey to Taman Negara gave us the first glimpse of the reality of mass deforestation that has happened here in both peninsula Malaysia and Borneo.  We drove through mile after mile after mile after mile after mile after mile of palm oil plantations.  I think for the last 3 hours of our journey there were continuous plantations.  It is immense!  In between the palm trees you can see the evidence of the rainforest that once was.  The odd trunk of what used to be a beast of a tree, now remain as the roots meant it was too hard to move so the remains have been left between the palms to rot.  It was really quite depressing to see.  We were heading towards Taman Negara which is apparently the oldest rainforest in the world.  It has now been designated a national park to protect what remains from further deforestation.

Our bus journey from the islands ended up being 8 hours long and not the 6 we were advised and so we didnt arive in Kuala Tahan until 6.40 in the evening.  Its only a small village on the edge of the rainforest reserve and pretty much all the budget accomodation was booked out.  Determined not to succumb to having to pay 90 ringget (18) a night for an aircon room we persisted.  This eventually paid off when the kind folk in the information office took pity on us....night had fallen and our torch had got lost on the beach (not due to alcohol consumption I will add as that has been pretty non existant this being a muslim country), and so they drove us to the only place on the outskirts of town that was likely to have any budget rooms available.  Thankfully Park Lodge had a hut for us, very basic with what I can only describe as a tin cowshed attached to it as the bathroom, with a spider that lived in the loo and god knows what else that crawled in at night and so the mozzie net came out of its plastic wrapper and was put to good use!

We got up at 6 the following day crossed the river to the park headquarters, got our licence to enter the park and then set off into the jungle.  All in all we trekked around 7k, around the paths that followed the river and up to the top of a hill and back.  We saw a wild boar and its children and some birds that looked like peacocks.  We also walked along the canopy walkway which was awesome!  High up in the canopy you really feel like the king of the swingers, the jungle VIP ;-). 

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