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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Sarawak, Malaysia

May 19, 2014 - A Mad Dash Through Malaysia

After a previously mentioned iffy start to Cory Aimlessly Wanders SE Asia Part II: The Backpacker Edition, things quickly perked up. 24 hours later I had almost completely shed those pangs of sadness and panic, which was a huge relief-- although I still found myself often using KL as a reference point for the rest of the country. Because the areas I've been lately are so different from one another, this will be broken into mini-posts rather than a single continuation. I'm not sure the best way to update now that I'll be bouncing around so...

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Oct 6, 2013 - long houses and long boats

Just back from 3 days deep in the Sarawak jungle, staying at an Iban Longhouse village for 2 nights. Our small group traveled for 4 hours by mini-bus with stops for a market visit, lunch and to see a pepper farm. Then we boarded a local longboat for a 2hr trip across a large dam and up a river which was low in parts, necessitating some very deft and impressive maneuvering by our two boatmen (grandfather and father) 'aided' by their 3-1/2yr old grandson who was learning the trade young. We climbed steps to the lodge and settled into our...

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Oct 2, 2013 - Orangutans in Semenggoh

Second visit to the orangutan centre today, with a conference group this time, and we got a good information lecture and more sightings. One took a whole coconut high up and cracked it against the tree trunk, at first to drink the juice then more cracking to break it into sections to eat the coconut meat. There are currently 23 there and they are breeding, semi-wild because they are offered food to keep them within the small reserve. Great stuff.

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Sep 29, 2013 - Kuching ('Cat City') Borneo (Malaysian Sarawak)

Wildlife adventures in Borneo near Kuching - the first 5 photos are from Bako National Park (Malaysia's oldest from 1957)which is accessed by small boat down a river to the South China Sea then around to land on a beach. Wonderful sightings of proboscis monkeys especially this sleepy adult male; a trek along a jungle trail to another beach then collected by boat to view stunning sandstone formations. The orangutan photo is my sole sighting in the Semengoh Rehabilitation Reserve for orphans but was quite a performance from 'Rosanne' and,...

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Sep 26, 2013 - Leaving Australia today for Kuching, Malaysia Borneo

Flying to Kuching today via Sydney and Kuala Lumpur to attend a World Science and Technology Education Conference for 4 days. Have added some activities before and after - like visiting the Semmengoh Orangutan Centre on the outskirts of this city, a river cruise to spot proboscis monkeys, and hopefully a jungle longhouse overnight trip.

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Sep 19, 2012 - Day trip to Bako Natl Park + Next Day Orang Rehab Center

Wiki Info Bako National Park Since Nomad manager, Chris, said it was not necessary to go at 6:30am for bus to Bako, we decided 7:30 was early enough although we waited at the bus stop 2 blocks away from Nomad until 8:15. While waiting at least 3 taxis stopped and tried to get us to pay the 1.50 more for their fare. Bon & I - the cheapskates - refused even tho if it had been just the Dutch folks they'd have paid and gone by taxi. Of course, they're all working stiffs, a PhD in pharmaceuticals, a financial consultant, and an owner of a safety...

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Sep 17, 2012 - Kuching-move photos 7566 to 7588 to 9/19 -need captions

Wiki Info Kuching Our flight landed after dark...'cooler' here, got taxi and he took us to LP recommended Nomad Guesthouse. Chris, the desk guy, was very helpful and put is in a nice room with shared bath & AC. Bon stayed up talking to some other 'residents' but I hit the hay! 9/18 Late getting started but after some discussions with Dutch folks we decided to take the boat to Bako Natl. Park tomorrow and share the cost (5/boat). Went to Tourist Info Center - very little signage, had to ask 3-4 people before we finally found it. Once there...

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Jul 24, 2012 - Mulu-Part 2

During my 4-day stay in Mulu I tried to experience as much of the park as possible. I hiked all of the self-guided trails over the first two days, and then I turned to a guided hike on the third day. I was slightly disappointed with the limited number of trails until I learned that the rough terrain has made more trails impossible at this point. Proof of that is the fact that one of the park’s premier “show” caves wasn’t even discovered until the 1970’s. Three of the park’s four caves open to the public are quite beautiful with all sorts...

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A Whole New World

Jul 24, 2012 - Gunung-Mulu National Park

Miri is the gateway to Gunung Mulu National Park, which many consider to be the highlight of a visit to Borneo. (As an aside note, nobody in Eastern Malaysia describes his or her homeland as Malaysia. They all say that they’re either from the state of Sarawak or that they’re from Borneo). The charm of Mulu is its remoteness. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but it is only accessible by air via a prop plane that lands at the park’s paved airstrip. Mulu is only a half hour flight from Miri but as soon as we took off I knew that we were...

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A Whole New World

Jul 19, 2012 - Crazy Caves

Niah National Park is located about 70 miles south of Miri and is centered on the limestone caves found there in the midst of the rainforest. Archeological excavations in the 1950’s revealed that the caves were inhabited as early as 40,000 years ago and even unearthed a primitive burial ground as well as cave paintings. The caves are home to thousands of bats and birds known as swiftlets. Swiftlets play a role in Chinese cuisine because their nests are made from the birds’ saliva and are the key ingredient in bird’s nest soup. Members of...

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A Whole New World

Jul 19, 2012 - Malay Impressions

As I traveled 800 km (480 miles) via boat and bus from Kuching to Miri, I had plenty of time to formulate some impressions of Malaysia. For starters, it is the most integrated country that I’ve ever visited. It is striking how people of Chinese, Indian and Malay descent seem to mix seamlessly. This is all the more amazing because four different religions are involved (Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Taoism). Occasionally I’ll see a billboard here advertising a certain school or university and, much like similar advertisements back home,...

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A Whole New World

Jul 15, 2012 - Night Hike

As a warm up for what I hope to be a week’s worth of hiking on Borneo, I spent two days in Bako National Park located on a peninsula extending into the South China Sea. It is only about 1-1/2 hours from Kuching but it can only be accessed by boat. The trails through the jungle are well marked and quite beautiful. I spent the night in a Park Service dorm so I also had a chance to take a ranger-led night hike. That hike was particularly interesting because we saw a flying lemur, which is like a large flying squirrel (approximately 2 feet long...

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A Whole New World

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