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Malaysia - Have a Fling with Kuching

 

(Orangutang frolicking in the rain forest of Kuching)

As many of you may know, Kuching is in the western peninsula of Malaysia. The eastern peninsula has the large cities and urban havens--Kuala Lumpur, Penang and of course Malaysia's elegant neighbor, Singapore.

So what does Kuching have? 

Scenic hills, wonderful hiking, naturally spectacular caves, wildlife and rain forest! Yes, you will find Kuching is . . . .simply nature in spectacular splendour.

Here are some of the sites worth visiting:

Bako National Park

 Sarawak’s oldest national park and, at 2,728 hectares (6,738 acres). It contains no less than seven eco-systems – coastal vegetation, mangrove, peat swamp and  forest and grasslands full of dipterocarpacaeae trees (specific to lowland rainforests). 

But it is the wildlife most people come for  - the rare proboscis monkey, macaques, monitor lizards and bearded pigs – that, and the amazing number of pitcher and canivorous plants that call the National Park home.

Satang Turtle Island National Park

The park is situated on islands of  Pulau Satang Besar and Pulau Satang Kecil just off Sarawak’s west coast. The islands are surrounded by breath-taken ocean scenery of  the  South China sea, and contain the habitat of the  Green and rare Hawksbill turtles who return to the islands each year to lay their eggs.

Park rangers roam the island collecting eggs and placing them  into the  hatchery. Birth cycle can last up to 60 days and then the babies are  released into the sea.

The seas contain an abundance of coral and marine life and it is possible to swim and snorkel here; however, it is advised that if you want to trek through the forest, better take a guide.

Semonggok Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and Sanctuary

The best place in Sarawak to view semi-wild orangutans, who have been rescued from captivity and trained to survive in the surrounding forest reserve.

The rehabilitated animals roam freely in the rain forest, and often return to the centre at feeding time. Thanks to the successful breeding programme at Semonggok there is a good possibility of experiencing one of the most heart-warming sights in Borneo - an orangutan mother with a young baby.

The centre is a 30 minute drive from Kuching and another 20 minute by foot into the jungle. Along the way visitors pass by the ethno-botanical gardens, with their unique collection of rain-forest plants.

Semengok also has a number of short jungle trails and optional forest walks that can be incorporated into the tour.

Fairy Caves in Kuching

Located about 50 km from the capital and getting here is quite easy considering you take a proper tour guide with you. The Fairy Cave is also known as Gua Kapor in Malayand is one of the very interesting caves to visit while here. The trip to the caves is through several spice plantations (mostly pepper. The caves are very isolated with no facilities so either take convenience items with you or buy them before you  reach the caves in the nearby town called Bau.

 

As seen in the picture, the caves are very steep and not for someone who has a heart condition, unless he/she paces the trek up. The unique feature of the caves is that it is almost carved  out through the height of the mountain—which means you get rewarded when you reach the upper level of the narrow staircase—which by the way has no hand rails.

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