Blogs from Pahang, Malaysia, Asia


Asia » Malaysia » Pahang » Taman Negara National Park September 15th 2019

I had a great opportunity to meet an indigenous tribe in Malaysia while volunteering and here are the most interesting facts about them: People of the Batek Tribe of Malaysia are literally people of the jungle. Unfortunately, they were forced by the Malay government to leave the rainforest in 60‘. They used to live there in traditional shelters called “hayak“. Although they were forced to leave the rainforest and move to the edge of the national park, Taman Negara, they still retained their beautiful natural culture. They are small, shy, smiling people and they have their own unwritten language. What they enjoy the most is running through the rainforest, or at least around their village barefoot in the rain. There is no better way how to earn their respect than when you play soccer in a ... read more
Batek lady

Asia » Malaysia » Pahang » Pulau Tioman July 2nd 2019

The past month has been a fun, a bit food focused and social month for us. We traveled overland from Myanmar to Thailand where we would meet two friends for 48hrs in Bangkok and then we would fly to Kuala Lumpur to meet two other friends with whom we would spend almost three weeks exploring Malaysia. We had a great laugh, some tears were shed, we had plenty of drinks and enjoyed a lot of the best food ranging from Michelin star dumplings to the best Laksa of the world (according to the locals that is…). From the border we first went to Kanchanaburi, a pleasant town in Thailand, where we could get used to this part of the world, being very touristy, modern and everything available in abundance. We adjusted quite well, we had great ... read more
Kanchanaburi and River Khwae
Kanchanaburi and River Khwae
Kanchanaburi and River Khwae

Asia » Malaysia » Pahang » Kuala Tahan June 8th 2018

It was a foggy morning when I woke up, but still no rain though and the river is getting quite low. It’s much, much lower than it was when I first arrived and at the river swimming area, there’s now a huge sandy beach exposed that was entirely underwater when I got here. It was quite a quiet morning birding, although I did see a Lesser Mousedeer from the boardwalk and a nice view of a male fireback pheasant just sitting quietly on the boardwalk. I’ve still not managed any pictures of the mouse deer though, they just run away too quickly. The forest also seems to be overrun today with a mixture of Low’s and Slender Squirrels with large numbers that seem to just have appeared out of nowhere. I also got an unexpected fly ... read more
Green Broadbill
Prettily Patterned Lizard
Asiatic Brush-tailed porcupine

Asia » Malaysia » Pahang » Kuala Tahan June 7th 2018

Has it really been six days already? I was a bit slow off the mark this morning as you might expect, and I left the hostel just after 8 rather than just before 7 as I had been doing. I decided that I would spend the morning going to Tabing Hide which is 3.1km each way from the entrance with about the first km boardwalked and the rest on trails though it wasn’t a bad trail, it was certainly rather better than the one going to Kumbang Hide. I think I’ve said it already, but I really like the woodpeckers around in Taman Negara. There’s lots of diversity and a wide variety of different shapes, sizes, and colours, and woodpeckers are really cool birds generally. The top mammal is obviously the Malayan Tapir but for birds ... read more
View of the Liana Hostel
Fly-covered Mushrooms
Ginger Flower and Bee in Flight

Asia » Malaysia » Pahang » Taman Negara National Park June 4th 2018

(this post covers three days – the 4th, 5th, and 6thand so it’s a long one at a little over 4300 words. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.) Epigraph: In mammal watching, there are some species that are legendary. Species that you sometimes wonder about with awe because in theory you know they're out there somewhere but in reality? You can't help but think of them more in terms of unicorns and the Lock Ness Monster than animals that you really see. Malayan Tapirs are a zoo animal. Big funny looking black and white things in paddocks. Not wild animals in forests. Sure, you might sometimes see a camera trap photo but can they really be out there? Somewhere? In the vast darkness of the forest at night? It can't really be possible to see a ... read more
Orang Asli Village
Kumbang Hide from Outside
Inside Kumbang Hide

Asia » Malaysia » Pahang » Kuala Tahan June 3rd 2018

I got the first boat across the river to go into the national park at 7. Around the headquarters there was a tame argus pheasant roaming around. It would be really cool to see a wild one and I’ve heard the calls around, but this one doesn’t count. I also found out that I had forgotten to get my camera battery out of the charger. I have a spare non-official one which I put in and the camera didn’t really like it very much and wouldn’t stay on for very long and then decided to die completely which was annoying. It wasn’t too long after walking around that I found another of the big targets for the area, a Crested Fireback Pheasant. This was an absolutely stunning male so I was really kicking myself for not ... read more
Crested Fireback Pair
Crested Fireback
Checker-throated Woodpecker

Asia » Malaysia » Pahang » Jerantut June 2nd 2018

Just a quick update, this isn’t a proper blog post. I wasn’t sure whether to post about this or not, but I think it’s better that I do because it’s a fairly important thing. To cut to the chase, last night at Jerantut I had my wallet nicked. I don’t know exactly what happened, but between paying for food from my wallet and sitting at a table, the wallet was gone and it was not anywhere around and none of the people/staff around knew anything or had seen anything. The circumstances are not really the point anyway. So last night, once I was sure that my wallet had definitely been taken, I did all of the annoying and time consuming things like making a police report, calling the insurance, contacting banks, etc. I didn’t lose very ... read more

Asia » Malaysia » Pahang » Kuala Tahan June 2nd 2018

I had intended to get the normal public bus from Jerantut to Kuala Tahan. I decided not to do the boat at first because it doesn't actually leave from Jerantut but from a jetty that is a fair distance away, and it is much more expensive and I would have to do a boat to the tapir hide anway. I can always take the boat back if I regret not doing it, but the bus is not bad anyway. So as I was leaving the accommodation in the morning, the person there asked if I was going to take the bus to Kuala Tahan and if I wanted to go with his private minibus directly for the same price as the bus at RM7. It turned out, that day he was conning a family into paying ... read more
Male Peacock Pheasant Displaying
Peacock Pheasant Displaying

Asia » Malaysia » Pahang » Jerantut June 1st 2018

In the morning I woke up to find a leech in my bathroom crawling towards me. I’m not sure how that got there, whether it had come up the drain or latched onto my bag or something. But I went out for one last morning of sunrise birding at Bukit Fraser around the Telekom Loop which was good because I was able to add a few interesting birds and also saw a group of wild boars eating out of an upturned bin near on of the fancy cottages although they were extremely skittish about having a camera pointed at them. I said goodbye to all the super-cool common Bukit Fraser birds like the Minlas and Laughingthrushes and Fantails and Spiderhunters and got the taxi down to Raub with a nice view on the drive down. There ... read more
Town Centre at Night

Asia » Malaysia » Pahang » Fraser's Hill May 31st 2018

It was unusually quiet this morning at sunrise without the characteristic morning siamang screams this morning and much less bird song. The ground and leaves and everything were all very wet so I think it rained throughout the night although it was dry when I got up. It was quite quiet on the bird-front although I got a nice view of a Slaty-backed Forktail at a stream, the same place as I had seen it yesterday as well as a nice view of the same group of three Malayan Laughingthrushes around the same place as yesterday. There was one especially nice bird that morning which was a very showy stunning male White-tailed Robin hoping up and down from the road into the nearby trees and back again. After breakfast, I decided to do the Telekom Loop. ... read more
White-tailed Robin
Mountain Bulbul
Golden Babbler

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