Tag Archives: canopy walk

Taman Negara, Malaysia – the Canopy Walk And Elephant Poop

8/1 – Today we decided to do the canopy walk – a steep climb up for an opportunity to view the rain forest from another perspective.  

   
 There were lots of tour groups here, with guides lighting bits of tree bark on fire so their groups could smell sandalwood and sassafras.  Don’t we look eager to start?

  

The bridge looked sturdy enough…  

 We ascended to the suspended walkway, with cameras in hand. We soon discovered that both hands were needed to keep ourselves upright on the narrow walkway that swayed with every step. 

    

We were able to regroup at a rest station built around a big tree, and stowed our cameras away.  Here are some views of the jungle below.

   

There were half a dozen long walks before a final ladder that took us back down.  We were told that the walk used to be longer, but some sections were closed for safety.  It was long enough for me!

  

A look up at the folks who were behind us:

 

We didn’t see any exotic wildlife today, but a German hiker showed us a pic he took of a huge tapir that was sleeping on the porch of his resort. (There is a very posh resort here for rich folks – a meal at their restaurant costs more than our lodging!). A Google search showed dozens of similar pix – evidently, the tapir is a regular visitor to the resort!  

 

8/2 – This morning we did not take the boat to the park. Instead, we set out on a hike suggested by our camp’s resident guide, on our side of the river. Here there were no tourists at all, nor were there any platforms for easy trekking. We followed a path toward the Abai waterfall, which entailed crossing four rivers.  

 It had rained mightily last night, and the water level was higher than we’d experienced so far. If you know me, you know that skipping across rivers from slippery rock to slippery rock is not my thing – my balance is not great on a good day, and since my broken arm, I have an increased fear of falling. Nevertheless, off we went! 

  

  

On the narrow, wooded path, we saw big piles of what looked like elephant poop. How could this be? When we returned to camp, we were told that, indeed, a band of twenty elephants roams this jungle, running along the narrow paths. Sorry, all we saw was the cantaloupe-sized poop!  

   I successfully crossed three of the rivers, with much cajoling support from Jim, but the fourth proved too daunting, so we ended our trek before actually reaching the waterfall. 

 

Here’s a shiny fern I’ve never seen before: 
 

  And I lived to trek another day! 

Penang National Park, Malaysia 

7/20 – So, here we are at the northern end of Penang Island to do a week’s trekking in Penang National Park.   

 

Mind you manners here please – no lewd kissing! 

 Admission to the park is free, and there are several trail routes to choose – to the University Research Center, Monkey Beach, the Lighthouse, Turtle Beach and the Canopy Walk.  Unfortunately, the Canopy Walk is closed for renovation.  Our first destination is the University Research Center.

 

This trek hugged the coastline, with different views of the water (Straits of Malacca), always on our right.

   
 

Parts of the trail were relatively flat and easy to navigate, while other parts involved some climbing and scrabbling over rocks, big roots and downed trees. 

    
 
The weather was HOT, and we sweated buckets even walking in the shade of the jungle. Very pretty tree trunks here.

    
Here are the same “temple-eating” trees (Ficus strangulosa) that we encountered at Angkor Wat in Thailand.  Looks like they also eat bridges!

 

There are several buildings and a pier at the Research Center.  It was a nice place to stop and eat our lunch before retracing our path back home.

    
 
7/21 – The next day we hiked farther along the seaside trail to see Monkey Beach.  As promised, there were monkeys here, long-tailed macaques of the agressive variety. 

    
  

We were sitting on a bench and talking to some Malaysian students and a couple from Switzerland, when a monkey jumped down and grabbed Jim’s backpack!  Luckily, his reflexes were quick, and he was able to snatch it back.  The monkey stayed on the ledge, looking a little disgruntled.

   

The beach was pretty, and we met another group of Malaysian students who had all just graduated from university.  They are all engineers!

   

7/23 – Today we hiked up the mountain toward Turtle Beach.  The terrain was steep, and it was dark under the canopy, but still very hot.  

     
There was a waterfall, and a dirt path used by water buffalo to haul logs out of the jungle.  

   
 
 
These roots look a little snake-like, don’t you think?  I examined them carefully before stepping on them!  

We hiked up to the Canopy Walk, which looked like it was intact, but was roped off so it could not be used. 

 
We’ll have to come back another year to walk the Canopy!