Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The hidden beauty of Bako National Park, Sarawak

I have always been a fan of nature, I even tag-lined myself as "Reserved for Nature" and encourage my siblings to enjoy and love outdoor adventures (Though our parents are always against us doing outdoor sports which to them it's consider as dangerous and unfeminine....)

To tell you the truth, though there's alot of Reserved National Park in the Peninsular, but I never actually been to one. (Knock myself on the head cause I couldn't answer why too...) I never would have thought that the first National Park I ever visited would be away in Borneo Island.

So after the ups and downs, got lost and back on track (you need a google map or a working GPS should you wanna drive around Sarawak), we finally reached Bako Village after 1.5hours drive from Kuching city. At first we were confused, is this the National Park because it's only consists of a jetty. Then after processing some information, we finally figured out that we had to hitch a speedboat ride from Bako Village along the river and out to the open sea to actually reached the real Bako National Park.

Speed-boat ride? Awesome!
Out to the sea? Awesome!

Beware of Crocodiles? Not-so-cool!

A small speedboat? You gotta be kidding me!

The entrance fee into the park is not expensive, only RM10 per pax, if you come in group of 5 pax, they'll give you RM30 for all. That's a good deal, isn't it? ~nod nod~
They charge differently for the speed boat transfer, which is RM94 (two ways) for group of 3-5 person.
Our parents were reluctant to come at first but since the price is the same for 3 and 5 person, I believe they find it irrelevant of why wasting the free ride. :p

The speedboat ride was super fun! The small rocky boat did made us worried once in awhile (actually most of the time), but the 20 minutes ride was crazy! Equipped with just lifejacket, in a small boat, out on the open sea, anything could have happen... the adrenaline rush was awesome! It's like being on a roller coaster ride.

The rock formations found around the Bako National Park are spectacular. We enjoyed ourselves taking photos all over the place. We didn't know that Bako National Park offers alot of interesting jungle trails, we missed the opportunity to explore them cause we came with just slippers... :(

Nevertheless we tried trailing to the nearest path which is to the Telok Paku Beach, only 800m away from the entrance of the park (which took us 30 minutes to reach the destination).

Enjoy the pictures of Bako National Park, peeps! Don't mind the silly poses and jumps.
We have lost our minds there... lol

 This is the view of Santubong Mountain from Bako National Park, Sarawak.
Next stop, Santubong Mountain!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Kayaking in Sungai Sarawak

Our next day activity was a pre-booked kayaking package taken with Borneo Kuching Kayak which includes a visit to Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Center to see the orang utans at feeding time. With RM218 per pax, I found that it's quite expensive and was reluctant to take the package at first but then again, how often that I can kayak along the river for six hours? Money is not everything... :p

We started our day with a stop at the Wildlife Center, we actually arrived just in time during their morning feeding hours. So we managed to catch a glimpse of the huge dominant orang utan male in the group and few other stunts done by the younger orang utans.

After meeting the shy orang utans, we then proceed to kayaking activities through the rainforests between the foothills of soaring limestone mountains.

Our first stop is at Semadang Village, which will be our finishing point to pick up our kayaking gears then they drove us further to the starting point.
Before starting, we got ourselves busy applying sunblocks all over our exposed parts, not that I don't know that it doesn't make any difference anyway... :p

Along the river kayaking, we stopped by few interesting places which includes a secluded waterfall, which is situated just a short walking distance from the river bank. We had a blast playing at the waterfall and capturing little fishes in the clear fresh water. We even caught a little swordsfish, yes a swordfish, at the waterfall, no kidding!

Then our next stop is for a lunch break at a friendly Bidayuh village at Danu Village with the packed lunch provided by the tour packages themselves. Along the kayak trip, we passed by few traverse rapids and pay a visit to a cave under the mountains beside the riverbank. Then we stopped by a sandy river bank which was close to the river cave and took a swimming before reaching Semadang Village.

The day was made more enjoyable and fun thanks to the friendly crew from Singapore and a very nice guide. There were few times we actually had kayak race along the river and have splashes war between each other's kayak.

Overall, it was indeed a wonderful experience to be floating along the river, enjoying the beautiful wonders of nature and the peaceful of the ride.

If you happen to visit Kuching, do try it! Don't worry, there's no crocodiles along the river!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Caving in Wind Cave, Sarawak

Last year, I explored the beauty of Sabah. This year I returned back to Borneo but now Sarawak, the land of headhunters is my destination. We had few activities laid out before we actually made our way there. This post is about my experience caving in Wind Cave, Sarawak. I wished I could have explored Mulu Cave, which is far bigger and more thrilling, but well I keep that one for next in the list...

Wind Cave is situated at Bau District, which is around 30-40 minutes drive from Kuching city. You can actually spot the signboards to two cave on your way to Serikin Market, a famous day market lies between the borders of Malaysia and Indonesia, which sells very cheap branded imitations, perfumes, clothes, home deco, sunglasses, head gears, high quality bags, interesting crafts and musical instruments.

The list goes on... oh where was I? Right, back to the main point, there are two caves you can spot on your way to Serikin Market, which are Pari cave and Wind Cave. We decided to try the Wind Cave, the names itself telling us that the cave probably windy, and since it's hot, we could use some ventilation in the cave to cool us off.

The whole trail took us around 1 hour to finish it, it wasn't a long walk actually, but since we stopped few places to look upon the formation and adapting ourselves to the sound of bats and darkness of the cave.

Entrance fees is just RM3 per pax, should you didn't bring along your torchlight or headlamp, you may rent one there for another extra few ringgit. Cellphones light does not help you in there, you really need a reliable source of light. Or else, you end up lost in the pitch of darkness. The sound of bats and the chillness inside the cave alone, can give you goosebumps...

Shared below are some of the pictures for the caving.

It looks bright in the picture, but that was the light from the flash, in reality, you are aided only by the point of light provided from the torchlight...

Skylight view from inside the cave, never thought I felt relief to see sunlight...

 This is what they called as the cave pinnacles...

Look, cavemen carved "I <3 U" on the cave. Stone-aged people are so romantic... lol

Some formations inside the cave

If you don't mind getting bat-droppings on your shirts or head, stopped by the Wind Cave when you're in Sarawak to play hide and seek in there!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Redang Island Escapade

I was never the one who loved the Beach, simply because of few reasons:

1) I don't enjoy bathing in Salty water, the taste is just too salty...
2) I don't know how to swim, all I can afford is to float (just for 20 seconds)
3) The hot sun which cause stubborn evil sunburns...
4) It's filled with hot looking gorgeous girls in super tiny bikini which makes me feel insecure about my not-so-hot body... XP

But since I never went to Redang and from what I heard that the water is so crystal clear, I just can't say no to the trip brought up from one of my colleges though I know that I'm gonna put my skin into a darker risk... Anyone who knows any tip to lighten skin after sunburn please do share your secrets with me!

Enjoy the photos from Redang peeps!

the water is so crystal clear right? See, I didn't lie! Go and catch a plane to Redang now! Like right now!

Getting ready for Snorkeling trip. If I could regret anything that time, I regret that I never had a waterproof camera or at least a waterproof casing along with me. The snorkeling experience in Redang was so magnificent, water is so clear, I can see alot of beautiful fishes freely swimming and corals lies below me. If I could have one wish at that moment, I would have wished to be a mermaid. I did imagine myself as a mermaid though, I can't swim, so I'm very thankful for the lifejacket floats that I'm wearing. (People who invented floats should go to heaven, don't you think so? lol)

It was so BLUE! It felt like almost heaven!

This is the famous More More Tea Inn, it was featured in a Hong Kong romantic comedy movie called 'SUMMER HOLIDAY starring Sammi Cheng and Ritchie Ren. How do I know this? Cause there's one dedicated channel in the hotel room which plays the movie again and again. I could tell you the whole story here but I bet you don't want me to...

  I love this picture the most. I always imagine there's a beautiful mermaid sitting above the featured rock there. :p

After Redang trip:

1) I still don't enjoy bathing in Salty water, since the water is so clear, I just imagine it's not salty
2) I still don't know how to swim, all I can afford is to float (more than 20 seconds, thanks to the floats)
3) I hate sunburns... Gimme back my lighter skin colour!
4) Hate those hot looking gorgeous girls in super duper tiny bikini with nice tanned skin! Life is so unfair! :p
5) Oh I fell in love with snorkeling. Considering to take diving lessons now... ~big grin~