Page 5 of Pensiongapper Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Malaysia » Sarawak » Kuching May 25th 2018

My cousin Eric sent this to me yesterday on Whatsapp. He saw it on Facebook. This is such a tragedy. Not only has human greed in Borneo destroyed the habitat and food supply for thousands of primates, bears, leopards and other mammals down to the tiniest Tree Shrew, but also for fish, insects, reptiles and birds. Palm oil is used in the manufacture of so many things that we use unknowingly every day; but we do not need to use it. There are alternatives. However, it is cheap to produce (fast-growing and easily harvested using cheap labour). Please look in your larder and fridge now and see what is there that has palm oil in it. Throw it in the bin and don't buy that product again. The Palm oil Barons do not even care that ... read more

Asia » Malaysia » Sarawak » Kuching May 24th 2018

Monday 21st May 2018 We spent Monday on a full-day tour. We thought we might be in a group of people, squashed into a minibus, but it was just the two of us with our driver/guide, Musa. First stop was the Semenggoh Nature Reserve. The Semenggoh Centre was set up fifty years ago to rescue Orang-utans that had been kept illegally as pets or were orphaned due to hunting and loss of habitat. In the 70s there were eleven Orang-utans there and they underwent a rehabilitation programme before being released into the Semenggoh rainforest. This programme was so successful that eventually, over the years, they were all released and have set up their own wild colony of thirty animals, in the forest. In this way, Semenggoh is different to Sepilok, where rescued animals can still be ... read more
Annah Rais Bidayuh longhouse
Black pepper drying

Asia » Malaysia » Sarawak » Kuching May 22nd 2018

Tuesday 22ndMay 2018 In the “Lonely Planet” Borneo guide it says that Kuching will “amply reward visitors with a penchant for aimless ambling”. So true! So, on Sunday we spent the day aimlessly ambling along the waterfront, through Chinatown, the old colonial sector and the Islamic market, across the new bridge and around and about the town in general. We set off in the rain, then spent most of the day in the heat (I bought a rainbow umbrella to use for rain and sunshine), then in the evening we had a terrific dramatic thunderstorm. Most evenings it has rained after lovely sunny days, so we are still waiting for the opportunity to take an evening river cruise! Along the waterfront promenade there is an open-air community building called “The People’s Place” and often of an ... read more
Sunday morning at "The People's Place"
The Square Tower
Quadrangle in the Old Courthouse Complex

Asia » Malaysia » Sarawak » Mount Santubong May 18th 2018

Friday 18th May 2018 Well, as far as throwing paint on the canvas, how about this? Yesterday in the Sarawak Cultural Village at the foot of Mount Santubong, John had a go at using a blowpipe and I got a tattoo! My tattoo is an authentic Orang-Ulu design which is supposed to bring good fortune. More about the tattoo later! The Sarawak Cultural Village is a “living museum” designed to portray the state’s rich cultural heritage in a live form, with seven different ethnic houses around a small lake, where crafts are demonstrated, traditional activities are performed and also there are enchanting dance performances in the theatre. The living museum is geared to indigenous tourism, for Malay people to understand and experience their heritage, in the same way that living museums in the UK are visited ... read more
Iban dancer
Bidayuh male dancers
Bamboo bridge leading to the Bidayuh house

Asia » Malaysia » Sarawak » Bako National Park May 16th 2018

Wednesday 16th May 2018 There were times today when I was on the very edge of my comfort zone and even John was struggling a bit. It wasn’t jungle trekking, it was jungle scrambling and climbing and we are now both exhausted. However, it was a “Highlight Day”! Having proudly survived it, we can now say it was one of the best experiences ever, because the scenery in the Bako National Park is sensational and furthermore, it is teeming with wildlife. The only way to get there is by boat and one can only get a permit to enter the park with a qualified guide. The whole area is an ecological education centre for scientists from across the globe, due to the rich diversity of distinct flora and fauna. In short, the Bako is pretty awesome! ... read more
"What's up?"
Bako Terminal on the river estuary
Setting off

Asia » Malaysia » Sarawak » Mount Santubong May 15th 2018

Tuesday 15th May 2018 We came for the sunset…and the beach…and the beer…and the wine…and the big buffet breakfasts…and the twin double beds…and the bathtub…and the hilltop infinity pool with the stunning scenery. We got what we came for! Next week back to reality! We have enjoyed two days of complete chill. Paradise! However, there is still so much to see and do before our Borneo experience comes to a close. So, tomorrow we shall rise early once more, pack our small day sacks and head off to the Bako National Park for the day. Hopefully we shall find some Proboscis monkeys and other creatures there. On Thursday we are going to visit the Sarawak Cultural Centre, which is just along the road from Damai Beach where we are staying, then on Friday we shall head ... read more

Asia » Malaysia » Sarawak » Kuching May 15th 2018

Tuesday 15th May 2018 On Saturday we left Sibu on the 11.30 a.m. ferry bound for Kuching. It was a gloriously sunny morning, not too humid and the ferry left on time. It was so nice to be on a boat where one could stand on deck to enjoy the passing scenery as we made our way downriver, rather than being confined to quarters inside a cabin full of passengers. O! and what an interesting and varied journey it was! Shipyards, coal yards, timber yards, old rusting hulks of barges abandoned mid-stream or beside small islands (one had trees growing through it) juxtaposed with lush verdant rainforest, wooden longhouses on Penan and Iban tribal settlements and rickety jetties with longboats tied to them, all higgledy-piggledy, providing splashes of colour bobbing on the coffee-coloured surface of the ... read more
Our sea-going river ferry!
Eggs on board. Hope they don't fry in the sun!
"Farewell Sibu!"

Asia » Malaysia » Sarawak » Sibu May 11th 2018

Friday 11th May 2018 Well now! Kapit is a bit of a dump! It is by far the dirtiest town we have ever seen in Malaysia and we have probably risked our health eating there! However, we didn’t journey three hours up the mighty Batang Rejang to see Kapit. We journeyed up the mighty Batang Rejang to journey up the mighty Batang Rejang; and we are glad we did. We stayed one night in Kapit and got the first boat back out this morning at 7.30 a.m. to head back to Sibu and the lovely little boutique hotel the “Hi-Inn” where we had left our rucksacks. The river is majestic and the express ferry boats plough along it, past dredgers, coal barges and timber barges up to a little town called Song where some folk disembarked. ... read more
"Coffin" boats at Sibu jetty
Disembarkation at Kapit jetty
Kapit's attractive waterfront!!!

Asia » Malaysia » Sarawak » Sibu May 11th 2018

Wednesday 9th May 2018 Our flight from Miri to Sibu on Tuesday was on time and we found a really nice little new boutique budget hotel right in the centre of town. The food here is wonderful. It seems that it gets better with every kilometre south that we travel. In both Sabah and Brunei, the food is good, it is mostly halal Malay cuisine, not particularly spicy, whereas in Sarawak, it is far more exotic, spicy and varied. We ate the best Indian ever, the night before we left Miri and our first night here in Sibu we feasted on very spicy Chinese BBQ spare ribs, chicken in plum sauce and fried rice. Tonight, we had crispy duck followed by mango, durian and coconut rolls. Delicious! The town is very busy because it is polling ... read more
Typical street Chinese quarter Sibu
Down by the riverside!
Just booked our boat tickets for Thursday

Asia » Malaysia » Sarawak » Miri May 7th 2018

Saturday 5th May 2018 When the generator goes off at 1 a.m. so does the solar power, so no light, no fan, just heat! We couldn’t wait for the power to go back on at 7 a.m. so we at least had the little fan again! So, Saturday morning started off rather sweaty; nevertheless, we were eager to get going on our second Mulu day since the first had been so fantastic After breakfast at Kenny’s we got on a traditional longboat (with an outboard on back) from our garden jetty, to travel down river to more caves within the Gunung Mulu National Park. The longboats are the only form of transport here for the Penan; the Sungai Melinau is their highway. We felt snobbishly happy when we encountered a group of twelve tourists from the ... read more
Traditional Penan longboats
Low and fast water
Very shallow rapids

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