Tag Archives: jungle

Venturing into the Khao Sok national park My boat sped up on the big lake of Khao Sok national park in Thailand. Water splashed in my face since I was at the very edge of the boat. I tried to protect my camera and bag, while looking around me mesmerized by the landscape. Massive yellow blocks of limestone rose from the water, covered in the green of the jungle. Above them thick, grey clouds loomed, threatening to ruin our adventure. I was on my way to an idyllic place in the middle of the lake, where small bungalows connected through wooden walkways floated on the water. It would have been spectacular on a clear day. After an hour the boat dropped me and the other travellers off at the bungalows. The small huts floated on big logs. They were simple, but I felt like I was in a luxurious resort.…

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Our guide Lo started awkwardly introducing himself on the ride to Paksong. He sounded a bit like a robot, coming through in pieces, as if I had a bad Skype connection. As it turned out, this was just his style of talking and had nothing to do with nerves. He explained a bit about the great adventure we were embarking on. When we arrived in the small town where our journey would start, harnesses were already spread out on the ground. Around the property lay loads of big tarps on which coffee beans were drying. The harnesses looked strange in this setting. But we needed them for our ziplinging jungle adventure. Our group consisted of myself and 2 other solo female travelers, an Italian family and some Korean men. Some carabiners and a pulley were attached to our harnesses, we got a helmet and were ready to go. We had…

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Who knew I would be hiking in Pai. I’d been looking for trekking around Chiang Mai, but found that most companies included an elephant trekking, which is something I really don’t want to support. There are some companies that offer trekking only, but they were more expensive and I had only talked to a travel agent and not to the source. So when I read that Pai has trekking too, I checked out some of the outfitters. The third company I talked to was from Mr Chao. Unlike the others I’d talked to, he already had a trekking confirmed the next day, as enthusiastic and a not so vague. He told me all about the trip and said to come back later in the day to confirm it. I had a quick yoghurt breakfast from 7-11 and then we met the rest of the group. We were eleven, with two…

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To get to Khao Sok I just had to sit at the side of the road and wave at the buses. Approximately every 60 to 90 minutes there would be a bus that was heading for the national park. So I sat down somewhere and was soon joined by other tourists, all going to different places. The first bus went straight past us. Not much later a minivan stopped. He was going all the way to Khao Sok and even though it was probably a bit more expensive, I was happy to get on the road. I’d been warned about crazy minivan drivers that make very long hours, but this guy was perfectly fine. A few hours later I walk through the one street that is the Khao Sok tourist village. It’s full of resorts and eateries. It was easy to find the Coco hostel and when I arrived a…

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I can be an adventurer and at the same time I can be a very cautious person. Would it have been just me, I would have never thought of taking a shared taxi to a random place, but together with a fellow traveler, I found myself driving into the jungle. At the street in Kota Kinabalu stood several shared taxis, waiting for passengers. One was going to a place called Tambunan and was about to leave. It was quite luxurious and there were four others on board. The drive took just over 1,5 hours and I really didn’t have a clue in which direction we were going. It was a long, winding road, surrounded by dense jungle. We left KK in bright sunshine, but now the weather turned, clouds coming in rapidly and heavy rain putting the ‘rain’ back in rainforest. We’d planned to get out somewhere and do a…

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To see orangutans you don’t have too many options in this world. A visit to these endangered apes is something you cannot skip on a visit to Borneo. I got the chance to see these wonderful animals in Sarawak, Malaysia and it was an experience I won’t easily forget. There is a lot of criticism about the rehabilitation centers for orangutans. Some say it doesn’t help, some say it’s even counterproductive, while others say it helps. I don’t know who’s right in this matter, but after seeing the orangutans in the forest, I know we have to do whatever we can to help these beautiful creatures survive. I saw the orangutans in the Semmenggoh rehabilitation center in Kuching. The center is usually in the shadow of the more popular center in Sepilok and before I went there I’d heard it was not worth going there. Imagine my surprise when I…

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I love this photo of myself, taken by one of my Borneo travel mates Jenny. You have to know that this is all  genuine. This was my reaction. There is nothing staged about it. If you’re talking about unexpected, this was a moment that came as a surprise to my whole travel group. Just at the moment Jenny was taking a photo, I turned around and it resulted in this awesome photo that captures the core of this adventure. It is so pure and real, full of emotion and excitement and I love it! And now the story. After a stay in the Headhunter village and an adventurous journey in a longboat that left me with this wet bum, we were at the start of the Headhunter trail, a track that leads through the jungle of the Mulu national park. There are no more Headhunters to worry about, but that was…

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For this weeks travel theme, Close-up, I chose a photo I took in the jungles of Borneo. The jungles are full of extraordinary plants and bugs that I’ve never seen before. I love the shot I took of this bug on a big jungle leaf.

I am in Kota Kinabalu in the Sabah province of Malaysia, on the island of Borneo. The easiest way to get to Sandakan is to simple take a plane, but the most adventurous and cheapest way is to find your way by bus. Taxis are cheap in Borneo. If you’ve got a few Ringgit to spare, save yourself the trouble of walking to the minibus stations. I can tell you from experience that this is a pain in the ass in the humidity of this country. The minibus station is in the north of KK. It is not just a tiny bus station, but a station for minibusses. I can’t find my way around and ask for some help. The old man starts shouting: “Inanam!” He walk to a few guys and directs me into their minivan. I really hope this thing will take me to the right place. The driver…

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10/10