Semenggoh WildLife Centre - 20th April 2015

Took the sampan ferry across Sarawak River yesterday afternoon which was a tight squeeze! Cost 1RM each way so no complaints. The other bank was pretty touristy with lots of cake shops and food stalls. Took ferry back after 30 minutes or so.

Dropped into Riverside shopping centre on the way back to our hotel and to our amazement Miss Asia Fitness was being judged. The centre was packed with admirer’s friends and relatives. An unusual event!

Ate close to hotel and dined on Roast Pork and Rice (Erica) and Barbequed Pork and Rice. A plate of par cooked greens made it a perfect repast.  Had two Honey Lime juices with it. Cost was 22RM or $7.80 Australian. Great food at good price.

Have 7.45 start this morning to go to Semenggoh Orang Utan Sanctuary.

Our expectations of Semenggoh were not high as when we visited Sepilok Sanctuary in Sabah about 18 years ago we were disappointed. Well Semenggogh was great! Our expectations were exceeded. We arrived by minivan (a little like us in its twilight years but reliable) in a carpark and immediately spotted 3 orang-utans in the trees moving around. One was a mother with baby. Got a pic of her crossing the carpark in front of us.

Semenggoh Orang Utan Sanctuary

Semenggoh Orang Utan Sanctuary

Ritchie the Orang Utan

Ritchie the Orang Utan

Followed road to a viewing area and a few were feeding on bananas and other fruit. Next thing a crashing could be heard in the jungle and out swung Ritchie, a 34 year old male. At about 110kg he was impressive. He scoffed down a loaf of bread and some bananas before strolling off along the ground into the jungle again. Several others came down to feed when he left.

Went to a second feed platform deeper in the jungle along a 200 metre track. It was a real “Jungle Walk” as it was through untouched forest. Only one came down this time but the setting in the steamy jungle was worth the walk. It amazes me to think when TV shows do Borneo Orang-utan stories they always use Sepilok in Sabah when this one just 30 minutes outside Kuching and to our way of thinking is far superior. Total cost including transport was 100RM for two or about $35 Australian. Thanks to Sarawak Forestry that run the place for a great morning.

Taxis in Malaysia come in two forms. There is the yellow and red basic taxi that is quite cramped for western sized people like ourselves to enter or alight from. We have had difficulty several times and we would not recommend them for older folk. The second type is blue and called Executive Taxi. They are larger, younger and a bit more expensive but are our recommendation for retirees.

On the way to the sanctuary we passed a lot of residential areas and housing varied from large bungalows to condominiums and housing commission style flats. We also passed the new Kuching Sentral Bus Terminus which looked very impressive and is situated close to the airport. Air is the best way to travel in Sarawak and Sabah as distances are great between cities and roads poor once outside town. The Malaysian Government is about to embark on an upgrade from Kuching to Sandakan under the banner The Trans Borneo highway. When this is complete road will become an option.

Have been looking at a Malaysian Airlines ad in The Star newspaper today. Their deals at the moment are very seductive! From Kuala Lumpur (all return prices) to Bali 445RM or $158 Aus, Columbo or Mumbai 1135RM or $403 Aus, Manilla 685RM or $243 Aus, Ho Chi Min City or Jakarta 385RM or $134 Aus, Tokyo Osaka or Kathmandu 1405RM or $500 Aus, to name a few. You can see why someone like us that cannot get enough of travel wants to base ourselves in South East Asia! Where will we go next? What a way to live!