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One step closer I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move. ~Robert Louis Stevenson

Malaysia

THAILAND | Sunday, 18 November 2007 | Views [400]

We left Singapore and caught the train across the causeway and into Penninsula Malaysia.  Sliding away from the tall cleaming isle of skyscrapers and into the Malaysian countryside.  The train travels through a countryside dominated by Palm olive oil production, miles and miles of it.

Our first stop was Gemas a non descript place, enough off the tourist trail not to have a backpackers but not off it enough for them to guess our reason for staying " you going to jungle place".  We were indeed going catch a train the next morning up to Tanah Negara National Park.  The first sensation that strikes as you walk out the station is the smell.  The source is not quite evident.  The semi-open sewers certainly add to the milieu, but don't seem to be the source.  The telegraph wires cast a shadow of excretia across the road and provides an enticing clue, but inspection above provides no answer.  Leaving the Hotel in search of the fine Malay qusine solved the mystery of the smell. The twilighted sky was loaded with swirling, acrobatic birds seeking a prime spot of perch for the night.   Where they go in the day is still the mystery; out into the jungle, just up higher.....

We got of the train in Jerantut after a 4-5 hour train ride from Gemas.  From here we went to the jetty to get a boat up to the park.  On the East coast of Malaysia the monsoon is in residence so the river was in spate.  I was struck as before in Bamgkok by the sheer velocity of these rivers.  The water is full of haste and purpose; swirling and eddieing in its massed charge downstream.  Anything that falls upon its course is swept along; irresitably joining it in it's frantic journey.  Against this flow we had chosen to go.

The boat was of the small thin kind, naturally selcted to make way in these rivers.  The logs of Bamboo that floated past looked more than a match for it's flimsy construction.  I just hoped are langid pilot had eagle eyes.  After three hours  we reached Kula Tanah in the heart Malasia's virgin forest.

The highlight of the visit was the jungle walkway.  A series of rope bridges strung through the forest canopy.  A great way to see the jungle from a new perspective and gets a bit of adrenaline flowing too.  Our guide Zam showed us what the various trees were used for aromatic woods, poisonous sap

Tags: The Great Outdoors

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