Monkeying around “Cat” city

MY - Sarawak

[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100921-dsc_7484.jpg]
It's funny cos we hardly found people selling mooncake. Anyway, we all know that it is mid-autumn.
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100922-dsc_7505.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100922-dsc_7506.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100922-dsc_7511.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100922-dsc_7522.jpg]
Cultural dance at Sarawak Cultural Village
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100922-dsc_7539.jpg]
Cultural dance at Sarawak Cultural village
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100922-dsc_7599.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100922-dsc_7603.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100922-dsc_7622.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100922-dsc_7625.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100922-dsc_7639.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100922-dsc_7667.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100922-dsc_7685.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100922-dsc_7690.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100922-dsc_7691.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100922-dsc_7692.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100922-dsc_7699.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100922-dsc_7703.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100922-dsc_7705.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100922-dsc_7709.jpg]
Junk - our favourite restaurant at Kuching and we had been there 3 times.
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100922-dsc_7711.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100923-dsc_7829.jpg]
Semenggoh Wildlife Centre
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100923-dsc_7904.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100923-dsc_7916.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100923-dsc_7942.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100923-dsc_7995.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100923-dsc_7998.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100923-dsc_8003.jpg]
Goodbye my ten-year trekking shoes...
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100924-dsc_8005.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100924-dsc_8022.jpg]
Bako National Park
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100924-dsc_8030.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100924-dsc_8038.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100924-dsc_8044.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100924-dsc_8050.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100924-dsc_8055.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100924-dsc_8080.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100924-dsc_8086.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100924-dsc_8092.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100924-dsc_8093.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100924-dsc_8119.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100924-dsc_8132.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100924-dsc_8133.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100924-dsc_8137.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100924-dsc_8141.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100924-dsc_8145.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100924-dsc_8146.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100924-dsc_8151.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100924-dsc_8156.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100924-dsc_8179.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100924-dsc_8201.jpg]
[img src=http://www.bendfeldt-cheung.com/wp-content/flagallery/my-sarawak/thumbs/thumbs_20100924-dsc_8216.jpg]

On arrival the playful long-tailed macaque monkeys were already at the beach of Bako National Park welcoming us!  Er, no…they were indeed having crabs for breakfast.

Shortly before leaving Singapore, we spontaneously booked a flight to Kuching, East Malaysia without much planning.

Kuching, the capital of Sarawak, also known as “Cat” city from direct translation, has indeed nothing to do with cats but is a good base to make day trips to the national parks in the region.

There are altogether five national parks (Bako, Gunung Gading, Kubah, Tanjung Datu and Talang Satang), three national reserves (Wind Cave, Sama Jaya, Semenggoh), and two wildlife sanctuaries (Samunsam, Pulau Tukong).

We picked the most visited one, Bako National Park, because we wanted to see the Proboscis monkeys which can only be found in Borneo.

Early in the morning we took the public bus from Kuching to Kampung Bako.  I would recommend going to the bus station 10-15 minutes earlier because the bus might leave before scheduled timetable; it happened in our case.

About an hour later we arrived at the jetty.  Next came with the 30-minute boat ride and a short walk in the sea before reaching the beach.

There are so many suggested trails, 16 altogether, which can take days to finish.  Just a few minutes walk along the Lintang trail (5.25 km) away from the customer service centre, we already saw a group of proboscis monkeys.

They were quiet, moving slowly and grabbing leaves for breakfast.  Besides having huge, distinctive reddish brown noses, a big belly and long grey limbs, they sat like a human being on the branches.  On and off they looked thoughtful.  At that moment the whole trip was worth it.

Alas we did not come across any silver leaf monkeys, which can only be found in Borneo, Peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra.  Similar to proboscis they eat leaves, but as their main diet, and therefore mostly staying in the middle canopy of the forest.

The following day we took the public bus again to Semenggoh Nature Reserve, which serves as rehabilitation centre for orangutans.  They are orphaned, once injured or handicapped from former human misuse and captivity.   The recovered ones are released back into the forest but returned during the feeding time twice daily – morning and afternoon – when they cannot find food in the wild.

These clever orangutans eat fruits with hands, like us, and often carry a replenished supply with one foot.  Seldom did I see them sitting still, rather they were hanging and swinging. If proboscis monkeys were scholars, then orangutans were stunt men.

Though there is no folklore linking cats and Kuching, I think Kuching people do not mind having this nickname.  Statues of cats can be easily spotted downtown.

Besides there is much colonial-style architecture remaining as it was once under the administration of British adventurer James Brooke, who was appointed by the Sultan as a reward for ending the rebellion in Sarawak.  Later on it was succeeded by his nephew Charles and subsequently by his great-nephew Charles Vyner before Japanese invasion.

I probably have seen enough colonial-style buildings in other Asian cities, nor did I find Chinese and Islamic museums particularly interesting.  The only place that appealed to me was the area around Main Bazaar, Jln Carpenter, Jln India and Jln Gambier, where lines of stores sell all kind of goods and handcrafts produced locally.

We were sort of interested to know more about the life of major ethnic groups, the Sarawak Cultural Village2, where replicas of ethnic houses are open for visitors, is the closest we could reach from Kuching.  Handicrafts were demonstrated and traditional dance performance was the highlight.

Not only the well-known Bako National Park but also the little Santubong Jungle right next to the Sarawak Cultural Village contains a great variety of wildlife and plantations.  During the two-hour sweaty walk we heard sounds of moving branches from above several times.  We looked up.  There was no sign of orangutan or proboscis.  Was it a silver leaf monkey?

This entry was posted in Asia Pacific, featured, Malaysia and tagged , .

Hinterlasse eine Antwort

Deine E-Mail-Adresse wird nicht veröffentlicht. Erforderliche Felder sind markiert *

Du kannst folgende HTML-Tags benutzen: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>