The King of the Swingers

Trip Start Jul 16, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed

Flag of Malaysia  , Sarawak,
Thursday, August 8, 2013

So after the basic amenities we had endured on Pom Pom and in the jungle we decided to treat ourselves to a nice apartment hotel so we could cook for ourselves and relax whilst our still weeping sores from Pom Pom were healing. The odd thing about the Pom Pom infections is that they just don't go away.  Even a week after leaving Pom Pom a simple mosquito bite would turn into a weaping septic mess.  I just keep telling myself it is all worth it for the turtles!

So all was well, we had a huge bedroom, a kitchen, a dining table, access to a much needed free washing machine and tumble drier.  I went to supermarket, we had a delicious home cooked pasta dinner and got into bed.  All was perfect in the Currie household until there an almighty rattling noise started resonating through our room.  We tried to ignore it and tried closing doors to drown it out, but nothing was stopping it.  Seemingly the room next to ours was a room filled with air con units which had a life of their own and when turned on started a chain reaction of 20 air con units all banging and clanking against one another.  This was not going to do, so at 1am we were on the phone to reception having a good ol moan and demanding to be moved.  An hour later we were relocated to a quiet and blissful room, ahhh now that’s more like it.

We were in Kuching during Ramadan which basically means that pretty much everything is dead until sunset and even then not much seemed to come to life, we just made the most of having a nice room and cooked, ate and slept our days away.

The main reason we went to Kuching was to see the king of the jungle, the big old ginger monkeys, the orang-utans.  Semenggoh National park is one of the best places to see the Orangs, as the residents here have all been rescued and the park is a huge natural rainforest where the orangs roam free and twice a day food is put out so they come for us to gawp and watch them eat.  A much nicer experience than seeing them cooped up in a caged enclosure 24/7.  So we booked a tour through our hotel which took us for the afternoon feeding.  The journey was slightly odd, we were put in a taxi with an couple from Singapore who were lovely, but they just insisted on asking me hard questions about the British government structure and the Royal family, neither of which I have much knowledge or interest in. Tim sat silently in the front listening to me lie and struggle through the questions, you will pay Tim Currie!

Eventually we made it and watching the people walk the hill to the orangs we were delighted that we opted for the tour option and not the DIY bus option.  When we got to the top, there must have been 200 people all poised with their cameras ready to get a glimpse of the orangs.  The ranger gave us the safety warning, don’t touch, don’t feed and run like hell if the orangs come at you.  No seriously that was exactly what he said.  The huge dominant male had not turned up for breakfast so there was every chance he would be there for lunch  and with just a piece of rope between us and the feeding zone if we saw the big male step foot on the foot path we were to run at speed as he is very grumpy.  Just moments later the orangs start to arrive, a mum with some youngsters were swinging through the trees and low and behold the dominant male Ritchie appears. He swings through the trees, down a rope and straight onto the footpath that if he steps foot on we have to run.  There was a stream of small Asians who took off to their buses in fear, we on the other hand stayed put and enjoyed the view as he very quickly changed direction and headed over to the food.  Thankfully he fancied coconut and bananas rather than tourists!

With Ritchie having scared off half of the tourists, next up was the rain.  Just a few drops were enough to send the rest of the tourists packing.  Before long there were just 20 or so of us left watching these amazing animals eat.  Richie grabbed himself a pair of coconuts, headed up a tree and  with one swing smashed the coconut to smithereens sending milk pouring over the unsuspecting orangs below.  Perhaps we should have run when he headed towards us, that coconut could well have been a human head!  It was truly magnificent to get so close to see these amazing animals pretty much living in their natural environment, but their food was pretty much gone so it was time for round 2 of Taxi Trivia, needless to say Tim took the front seat and left me to fend for myself again!

As with most Malaysian cities Kuching had a pretty nice shopping mall, so it was only right for us to spend a day there hiding from the rain.  When we arrived it seemed that there was some kind of VIP day out as the entrance to the mall was filled with supercars just parked on the pavement and pretty much anywhere they fancied.

On our way home we found a restaurant, closed of course, but it had possibly the best name I have ever seen for a vegetarian restaurant.  I have been called this many a time in my 33 years and I can only assume that this is actually a steak house. Boom Boom.
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