20th of April – 24th of April: Kuala Lumpur
Hello KL! The drive from the airport to the hostel was beautiful – it’s all green :-). Arriving in Backhome hostel felt a bit like coming home. The staff was amazingly friendly, the room clean and the showers the bést. On top of that they’ve a small garden and a kitchen. A good thing about the hostel is also the café next door; Lokl. At Lokl you have the best food, coffee and homemade ice tea’s. Kas ate here the best burger he ever had.
One thing I didn’t realize about Malaysia is that it’s really Islamitic. We traveled a lot in KL with the underground and in some trains you’ve seperate cabins for woman. And in shops for woman, man are not allowed near the fittingrooms.
We spend a lot of our time in KL in 2 buildings you actually want to avoid; the hospital and the Thai Ambassy. We visited the hospital three times because of my tickbite. The docter warned us for a red circle around the bite and one morning this red circle appeared. With some help of my Dutch doctor and the doctor at the hospital I finally had some good and heavy antibiotics for the coming 10 days.
We also went 3 times to the Thai Ambassy to arrange a Thai Visa for 2 months. Everybody at the ambassy was well prepared. Except Kas and me. We only took our passports. We forgot our passport photo’s, didn’t have a proof of our stay in Thailand and we didn’t have a busticket either (because we didn’t book anything). But we managed it. After 3 days we are the happy owners of a 2 months Thai visa.
In KL we visited the Batu Caves, a hindoe temple in a huge cave. The golden statue is impressive and so is the cave itself. The monkeys here were also an attraction. They eat all your food and are really, really naughty.
If you say KL, you say the Petronas Towers. You can take a look inside and go up to enjoy the view from above. Entrence was 20 euros each and we decided it wasn’t worth it. We have a budget and we can only spend the money once. So we walked into a small park with a small pool. With our feet in the water and the Petronas towers in front of us we knew we did the right thing. Sometimes the best things don’t cost anything.
Near our hostel there’s a big Local market which we visited on our last day. Lots of foodtrucks and so a happy me. I loved it! The coffee place Kopies was my favourite. This guy makes the most lovely coffees I’ve ever seen. I ordered a frappuccino and it includes every sweet you can imagine: m&m’s, cookies, marshmellows.. It made my day :).
24th of April – 27th of April: Taman Negara.
Time to leave KL for Taman Negara. We booked this trip with HAN tours. A touroperatour in Kuala Lumpur – which was the most brilliant organisation we’ve ever had. When we arrived at the hostel – a hostel from HAN – they didn’t know ánything about our trip. What time the jungle tour started this evening? No clue. Dinner? She thought somewhere around 6, but it could also be 7. Or something. Our other questions she answered with ‘yes’, I think that was the easiest way ;-).
We slept in a dorm, with beds covered in plastic and the showers were full of insects, including cockroaches. We shared the room with Anna. Anna loved this organisation so much, she decided to write a complaint of 1,5 A-4. Dinner surprised her the most; she had rice with fried chicken three days in a row. And so did we.
Anyhow! We found the jungle tour by night and we were both pretty excited. So were the 3 guys we met; Bart(NL), Julian(DE) and Aron (UK). Well, the hostel was a big joke, but this was even worse. We walked on a path with eleven people and sometimes our guide shined her torchlight on an insect. This last part was intresting, but we all hoped for a night full of adventures – as they promised us.
Luckely the big adventure was still to come, a 2 day tour in the old rainforrest with a night in a cave. In the morning we packed our backpacks with all the campinggear. We first made a boattour of 2 hours and covered ourselves with sunblock. Unfortunately sunblock 50+ for 2 hours on the water was not enough to protect us.
We had a little swim in the river and then the real tour started; the 6 our hike. We did this tour with 2 groups – also the 3 guys joined. It was so beautiful but at the same time pretty heavy. I think it was a combination of the full backpack (15 kg), the freaking high temperature (the windchill was above the 40 degrees), the heavy antibiotics and I also had my monthly party (dammit!). Luckily I had my favourite Kas with me to talk me through it and to carry some of the bottles water from my backpack. Around 6 we arrived at the cave – we looked like we just jumped into the water, we were all só sweaty. But it was worth it. The cave was incredible big, full of bats and the concert of all the animals in the jungle was awesome.
After dinner we noticed a leech on Kas’ foot. Not that bad, but it kept on bleeding. Our guide showed us a small plant. If you put it on your wound it will stop bleeding. And so it did. The miracles of the nature :-).
At midnight we woke up because of a loud animal noise and the sound of someone eating. The porcupines arrived. We hang all the food we had on a rock, so the rats couldn’t eat it. Unfortunately the porcupines could climb and had a lovely meal. Kas also had a good present during the his sleep; a bat shit on his head (hahaha)!
The next day we visited another cave – which was even more full of bats then the cave we slept in. Beautiful to see those animals. Those bats are not the ‘vampire bats’ that can bite you, but the ‘fruity bats’. This cave was also the home of a snake, spiders and some scorpions.
During our hike back we saw a few giant lizzards(2,5 meters), a condor and an ant battlefield. Groups of ants were lying on the ground – dead. They probably had a territory fight. When ants are fighting, there will never be a winner. They will die both due to the poison that they inject to each other. Fascinating story.
Luckily or unfortunately – we are not sure – we didn’t see the wild tigers, panters and elephants who are living in this jungle.
We had a noodle-lunch at the river, a small swim ánd Julian cathed a fish – as happy as a kid with his own catched lunch.
We started the last part of our hike, I was so happy we arrived. We took the boat to a small East-African village that’s living in the jungle. We got a small explanation about how they live. As soon as we had to go back by boat to our hostel it was raining cats and dogs. Well, at least our 20 minute boat trip (without roof), was very refreshing.
Writing this in the bus from Taman Negara to Cameron Highlands, we are ready for another adventure.