Getting up close and personal with some great apes
22.02.2012 - 23.02.2012
View Just a big holiday on ClareAndTom's travel map.
After a healthy dose of Borneo’s nature, we visited the Sarawak Cultural Village to find out a bit more about the people and history of the place. The large traditional dwellings were interesting, some were on stilts, and they were very different to anything we’d seen before. People still live in houses like this in more rural areas.
Living the high life, as ever, that night we dined at the exclusive Top Spot Food Court. Joining lots of Malaysian families we picked a selection of seafood and had it cooked to our liking.
We tried a local speciality, midin, a type of jungle fern. Tasty and crunchy
Back to nature, we were up early the next morning to visit the Matang Wildlife Centre, a rehabilitation centre for endangered species.
It was fun to watch the porcupines snuffling around, and we were relieved that they didn’t fire their spines at us
We had our first orang-utan sighting! It wasn’t in the wild, but we’d rather not come face to face with this guy out in the jungle: he was massive!
Spurred on by seeing the orang-utans this morning, we were keen to see them in a more natural setting and so decided to revisit the centre at Semenggoh: maybe we’d be lucky second time around.
As we arrived the heavens opened and our hearts sank, as we’d been told that the orang-utans didn’t like the rain much and wouldn’t come to the feeding platform. Having come that far, and with no return bus for an hour, we decided to sit and wait anyway.
Suddenly, high up in the trees a shape appeared: it was an orang-utan, collecting branches to make an umbrella to protect itself from the rain. Amazing!
Gradually more orang-utans appeared, swinging effortlessly over our heads to reach the feeding platform
Rangers fed the orang-utans fruit and bottles of milk
We saw five orang-utans in total. It was fantastic to be so close to these fascinating creatures, watching them move with such agility and grace.
That evening there was a large procession from the nearby Chinese temple, which apparently only happened every three years. It conveniently passed right in front of our hostel, so we watched some of it from the balcony with a beer.
One of the Chinese temples lit up at night
On the way back to the hostel we had an ice cream, opting for boring strawberry, as we didn't fancy yam or sweetcorn flavour.