Sunday, May 30, 2010
Saturday, May 29, 2010
To see the Rafflesia, I went to the small town of Lundu, 3 hours from Kuching.
Astro (satellite) TV is a boon to the remote town of Lundu.
Lundu's sluggish river.
Motor workshop by the river.
Lundu's best hotel for 58 ringgit. The owner, Mr Ang, gave me a lift to the National Park.
Mountain stream in park.
Swinging in Gunung Gading National Park
Tua Pek Kong Temple in Lundu.
The sleepy town of Lundu with Gunung Gading National Park looming outside town. The peak is an easy 900m climb.
Quiet and unhurried life in Lundu.May suit some.
Friday, May 28, 2010
The cat is Kuching's mascot
I had a chat with a Kuching lady in a private van to Pasar which is the transport hub,
Our conversation turned to the visit of PM Najib in Sibu where he was trying to drum up support for his ruling party, BN, in a bye-election.
She said, "People here are angry with BN. They take our resources and develop Semenanjong (West Malaysia). Public service in Sarawak is so poor. When you ask them when will my IC be ready they will say not yet.
The dyak come down all the way to town for their IC, and they say not ready."
I said, "Why can't you telephone the department instead of going to the office?"
She said, "When you telephone them they don't jawab. Not like in Singapore, There the schools make ICs for the whole class. No need for parents to go to the IC department."
(BN, despite promising millions of ringgit to Sibu, lost the bye-election.)
BTW, I learned that when you're in Sabah or Sarawak don't announce that you're from Semenanjong. They won't welcome you.
Say you're from Singapore. Don't say you've not been warned. LOL
Thursday, May 27, 2010
On this fouth visit to Borneo I was lucky to see the Rafflesia flower, the largest flower in the world. Perhaps, it has something to do with the fact that May is my birthday month. It can grow up to 1 metre in diameter, but the one I saw was only about 50 cm.
This one was already 4 days' old and decaying but surprisingly there was no odour. Flies were already buzzing around it.
Being parasitic, the Rafflesia attaches itself to a vine.
The vine it attaches itself to leads up to the trees.
A Rafflesia bud.
A close-up of the inner recesses of the flower.
The Rafflesia is not only "exceedingly rare" but also highly endangered.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Senior citizen George from Singapore, in his mid 60s, tackled the trail with aplomb. He did not put a single foot wrong throughout the strenuous 4-hour trek, and emerged without a single scratch. Well done, George!
A friend asked, "Won't you get lost?" The trails are all colour coded but if you're colour blind then, yes, it's possible to get lost. But be like Boy Scouts: be prepared.
Remember Jim Thompson, the silk king who vanished in the Cameron Highlands
in 1967? Till today the case remains unresolved. Hey, am I frightening you? LOL
Monday, May 24, 2010
Canteen: reasonably priced food and drinks. Beer drinkers will rejoice.
Storm brewing at Bako.
In the evening what better way to while away the time than...
to watch the sunset?
Western backpackers clambering on board for the return trip.
Boatman Anuar: "Sometimes backpackers cheat me by claiming they've paid the fare."
Sunday, May 23, 2010
My purpose in going to Bako was to trek and to see some wildlife particularly the proboscis monkeys which thrive here.
A 15-minute boat ride was all it took to reach Bako. As it was low tide, we had to get off some way from the beach and wade in the water (wear slippers).
I was on the lookout for croc. None : (
The varied terrain.
Scorching hot. Sweat was pouring off my limbs like a leaky pipe.
One misstep will send you tumbling into the stream. Hot, hot!
A glorious view from the hilltop.
Don't be a hero. Bring food, snacks and two big bottles of water. Heat stroke is a possibility so consider a hat/cap or umbrella.
I was disappointed in not being able to spot any wildlife. But Bako is rich in birdlife, and I was delighted to spot some birds I'd never seen before.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Jetty: Boats to Bako. 9 ringgit per person or 47 ringgit to charter a whole boat.
Once again the lure of the Land of the Hornbill (Sarawak) proved irresistible. This time it was Bako National Park, and the chance to see the largest flower in the world, the Rafflesia.
The good thing about Bako National Park is that it's easily reached from Kuching.
Welcome to Bako
Most people stay at Bako. Cheap dorms and rooms available but no air-conditioning. Mine was a semi-d with attached toilet (52.50 ringgit) but even with a fan the room was warm at night, and I had a fitful sleep.
How to get to Bako from Kuching
Hourly bus leaves from Pasar (market) area starting from 8am. Takes about an hour to reach the jetty. Fare: 3 ringgit.