Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Taman Negara, Don't Believe the Hype!

Wednesday 4th April, 2012; 14:38
Location: Taman Negara Malaysia
Why: Not all 'must see' places are as they're perceived....

Wake up and go for a run. Check. Get interrupted by landlady while in downward dog. Check. The day is starting out beautifully. Okay, the afternoon is. But I did get up at a respectable 9am. Progress.

I was going to write about the flat I currently live in on Jonker Walk here in Chinatown. But I've only got the 'before' pics and the flat still needs some more lovin' to make it 'homey'. Like curtains for instance. Speaking of which, I need to go buy some fabric today. If you've been following my blog, then you know that I usually post pics to tell my stories.

Okay, I'll write about Taman Negara. Late last month, after checking out the At A Glance Art exhibition where Nora the Explora killed it with 4 pieces sold and a major commission, I met up with that funny Lemmon. Dan Lemmon. I met this hilarious British gent during the TEFL course in January. So when the opportunity to hang out with him in Malaysia came up, I jumped at the chance for more jokes, awkward comments and a new place to discover. Our plan was to hit Taman Negara, then beach out at Pulau Perhentian.

From KL, we took a bus to Jarantut, a small passing through town on the way to Kuala Tahun where the Taman Negara National Park begins. After 3 hours, we got into Jarantut in the evening and headed straight for the Pizza Hut. Very worldly, I know. But we were starving! Plus, it had been months since I've had anything remotely resembling a pizza so....yah, Pizza Hut. Don't judge.

After dinner, we stayed at the stuffy and lack luster Sri Emas hotel before catching a bus to the jetty for a 3hr (more like 4hr) slow boat to Kuala Tahun. Poor Dan, at 6'3", he was all crooked like a pretzel in the narrow boat.

But like a funny man in all situations, he hammed it up for a snapshot. That's his knee on my chest!

When we finally docked, we decided on Liana Hostel. Another stuffy and lack luster pit with dorm bunks. We found ourselves with another Canadian and German as roommies for the night. Cool, but it was tight in that little room.

Another example of being 6'3" and traveling in SE Asia:

Okay, so we tried in vain to do some of the activities that were supposedly 'must do' in T.N. But as a twosome, prices were more than doubled and we had no luck recruiting others to economize this overrated place. What we really wanted to do was sleep in the bat cave overnight and trek in the jungle; a RM230/person if there were at least 4 persons doing the 2D1N tour. No deal. Oh well.

So Day 1 was a write off. We hung around the pier instead, eating and drinking away the rest of the day. Wifi at Liana Hostel was RM5 and we're told was very slow. Fail. Liana Hostel staff - Fail. **sigh**

We decided to do a night safari by 4WD, yet another lack luster activity that was over priced at RM40 and cut short by 30 minutes, wtf? Well, at least our tour guide Rain was entertainment for us by virtue of having to answer Dan's many awkward questions. Questions like "Rain, what kind of herbal leaves would you recommend I use to help me poo? I've haven't taken a dump in 4 days". Awkward.....

In between Dan's silly, drunken questions (he had 7 beers that night), I tried to take some night shots. Not so much. Except this pic looked kinda cool:

Night Safari? Fail. But we persevere. The next day, we got ourselves sorted out and headed across the river into the park for the Canopy Walk. Another disappointment. Half the canopy was closed. But we walk it anyway. At RM5, I thought is was a rip off but whatev...

Here we are, enjoying a short ride into the National Park:

Entrance to the Canopy Walkway:

Look how excited we are to walk only half the canopy!

After walking a bit, we came to a clearing in the jungle with a view:

After these two let downs, we decided to pack it up and move on out. We headed back to Melaka where Dan spent one night and half a day. Then, pouff, like that, he was gone. Back to Chiang Mai. Oh well, Pulau Perhentian will have to be another trip. Hopefully, it won't be a fail.


  1. OMG!! Love this! This was hilarious Davie!!! Miss you both!

  2. Dan and his drunken questions. How can I forget?! Lols!

  3. I laughed so much with Lemmon that I now have permanent laugh lines. Seriously!