Blogs from Sarawak, Malaysia, Asia - page 2


Asia » Malaysia » Sarawak » Kuching April 30th 2015

A visit today to the Semenggoh Wildlife Center proved uneventful as the promised orangutans were no where to be seen. This center is a rehabilitation site for injured and abandoned orangutans and is a natural habitat. All was not lost as I did manage to get a photo of ants, squirrel and small lizard. HaHa Still we couldn’t help but feel disappointed. Today was number 40 of our cruise and we are feeling a bit tired of the ship’s excursions. They don’t always deliver what they promise and boarding a bus with 30 other people gets old real quick. Our fellow passengers are at different levels of mobility and some have great difficulty with stairs and walking which makes the stops all the more tedious. Although the ship warns about being able to do the activity, ... read more
Can You See The Lizard?
Parliament Building in Kuching
Water Taxi on the River

Asia » Malaysia » Sarawak » Sibu April 29th 2015

MIRI TO SIBU & KUCHING (Now safely home - but-Just catching up on my blogs!) These long journeys, as part of our 1000 mile trip from Kotal Kinabalu in Sabah, through Brunei to Kuching in Sarawak, make us appreciate the size, scale and the landscape of the Island of Borneo, the 3rd largest island in the world after Australia and Greenland. Ruth and I catch a local bus from Niah Junction on the road beyond Miri to Sibu. It is very comfortable - just 3 armchair seats across each row. A 5 hour journey with 2 stops. Typical Sarawak scenery - miles of oil palm plantations with occasional purpose built longhouse accommodation for workers and scrappy secondary forest. Little agriculture or industry apart from a few palm oil refineries. The road has few cars but many ... read more
Roasted pigs heads
Roasted birds heads
Tasty chicken & beef satay

Asia » Malaysia » Sarawak » Miri April 11th 2015

From Brunei to Sarawak - Miri and the Niah Caves National Parks Ruth and I locate the Miri bus stop, grab a coffee and set off on our adventures again. We are sorry to miss the eclipse in the UK, but here it is the equinox with the sun directly above the equator at noon. We are about 4 degrees North. It is hot and our shadows are very short. The road from Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of Brunei, is a super motorway. It is green and leafy with flowers and manicured verges. There are no unsightly sprawling industrial suburbs in this direction. We pass several big stadiums and huge out of town malls and some large houses. The road cuts through maturing secondary rainforest for miles. There are no big lorries or container lorries, ... read more
Nodding donkey and water tower
Seria Crude Oil Terminal
Entrance to Niah Caves

Asia » Malaysia » Sarawak » Bako National Park January 11th 2015

Divided into 3 countries, Borneo is something of a cult tourist hit. It's not so much the urban attractions, although there are obviously cities on this island, but rather the alternative that lures those tourists in. Welcome to the jungle. Borneo's jungle comes in 50 shades of green (there has to be a sequel book in there somewhere) that is clamorous and alive enough to evoke, perhaps falsely, a sense of immortality. We chose Kuching as our landing point partly because the city seemed exotic in its own right and partly because it is on the doorstep of forest that houses 2 tropical rainforest wildlife dignitaries. Borneo is Orangutang and Proboscis Monkey country and we had our eyes on a sitting with both. Turns out Kuching is a charming town with a languid riverside setting and ... read more
Bako NP
Bako NP

Asia » Malaysia » Sarawak » Kuching January 5th 2015

Asia » Malaysia » Sarawak » Kuching January 4th 2015

Early in the morning we left Yogyakarta by train for Bandung the trip took about 9 hours passing the most beautiful country side, spectacular scenery of rice paddies and jungle and slowly merging into more civilised areas. I think civilised areas is a wrong description more western should I say. However upon arrival in Bandung we found the place quite conservative as there was a strong Muslim culture and the more we moved around the town, we didn't feel comfortable. When we walk around the towns usually we find the locals having coffee, beers, etc but none of that. In fact we could find nowhere that sold beer or any alcohol what so ever, after checking into a very tiny accommodation we tried to eat, also very unfriendly, maybe it's because we were tired we thought, ... read more
Udjo in Bandung

Asia » Malaysia » Sarawak August 17th 2014

The notion of staying with a tribe who were the dominant 'headhunters' in Borneo may strike some as odd. However, my short stay with the 'Iban' was a fascinating and stimulating tour that I'll remember clearly for a long time. The Iban are the main tribal group in Sarawak, Malaysia. They were once renowned for being the most feared warriors, hunters, and 'headhunters' on the island of Borneo. The term 'headhunting' refers to the practice of killing an enemy and taking the head back to a 'longhouse', a large single-storey continuous house. The head would be smoked, worshipped and treated with a high level of reverence. The practice was forced into a decline by the British 'White Rajah', James Brooke in 1841. His intention was to ensure less violence between the various tribal groupings and encourage ... read more
The Longhouse
The former chief
Inside the Longhouse

Asia » Malaysia » Sarawak » Kuching July 20th 2014

A family kayaking adventure on our second full day in Kuching was a lovely way to take in some sites of the area. Although I was quite concerned about our lack of appropriate footwear, it appeared that Eleanor and I did wear what would eventually be the best type (thongs) and Dean's runners should have remained in Malaysia. The weather was reminiscent of a typical Melbourne day - sunny, cloudy, rainy, warm, sunny, cloudy, rainy etc - so we were fairly acclimatized and didn't raise an eyebrow when the first raindrops landed. It wasn't too taxing but some element of fitness was necessary. The water was very shallow, so we had a good giggle when we were given life vests as part of the safety briefing. Dean and Eleanor shared a kayak and one of the ... read more

Asia » Malaysia » Sarawak » Kuching July 14th 2014

Landing 19 minutes early in the 'City of Cats', we walked off the plane and straight into a Marrybrown ckicken franchise. Eleanor's stomach was rumbling and we thought it could be fixed by a quick pitstop. In hindsight, we should have kept going because there was nothing 'fast' about this food outlet. Neither is Eleanor's eating technique - she wouldn't be winning any prizes on the eating contest circuit. Even Dean, renowned for his patience, decided to go and collect our bags. And this led to another humiliating immigration adventure at Dean's expense. Eleanor and I walked through Gate B, whilst unbeknown to us, Dean had entered through Gate A and had spent the better part of ten or fifteen minutes in immigration limbo. An officer greeted us, enquiring as to whether I was missing my ... read more

Asia » Malaysia » Sarawak July 14th 2014

INTO THE JUNGLE In addition to the river cruises, each day there were two scheduled jungle walks. Rubber boots and high cotton boot liners with draw strings could be rented for the duration of your stay. The trails through the jungle quickly became a mire with so many guests following guides on the same paths. My first jungle walk started out quite briskly around ten a.m. and, at first, I was concerned about keeping up the pace for three hours. Soon my focus was almost entirely on avoiding giving a free ride and a free meal to a leech. During the day walk you were almost guaranteed to see, if not experience, leeches. The guide explained that they have an anticoagulant in their venom and the doctor’s wife told us they were good for extracting pus ... read more
Rainforest Tree

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