Monday, June 28, 2010

Road trip to Maludam – Day 1

Last week, a couple of friends and I went to Maludam on a short survey trip. Maludam is a small coastal village about 250km from Kuching. Its inhabitants are mostly fishermen and farmers. Malays make up the majority, followed by Ibans and a small community of Chinese settlers.

 

Our main purpose was to visit Maludam National Park to photograph the extremely rare Red Banded Langur. Here is an excerpt taken from the Sarawak Forestry Department’s website:

 

Peat swamp forests cover about 10% of the land area of Sarawak. Borneo's peat swamp forests are amongst the most highly developed in the world, and the Maludam Peninsula is the largest single patch of peat swamp forest in Sarawak and Brunei. The Maludam National Park is critical for protecting the only viable population of the red banded langur (Presbytis melalophos cruciger) remaining in the world today. This species is one of the world's most beautiful monkeys. It occurs only in Borneo, and is restricted entirely to the peat swamp forests of the Sri Aman and Sarikei Divisions of Sarawak.

 

The three of us had been planning this trip for a long time, since last year if I remember correctly. We were supposed to go months ago but kept changing plans and went to other places instead. Finally, we decided not to postpone it any further so we put together a quick itinerary and invited a bunch of other friends. Sadly, all declined as they didn’t think it was that interesting. In fact, not many know of Maludam. Fewer still know about the existence of a national park there, or about the rare red langurs. Through this blog entry and my photos, I hope visitors to my site will be more aware of this beautiful park and its terrific potential for eco-tourism.

 

We started driving from Kuching around 3:30PM in the afternoon and arrived in Sri Aman at 6:15PM, just in time to head to the waterfront and snap some sunset photos. After that, we had our dinner at a small kopitiam. Four dishes (which were too salty!) and rice cost us about RM20 each person including drinks. Incidentally, the full moon was out that night but only half of it visible because of the half-eclipse. Non of us brought along a tripod so we didn’t bother taking any photos.

 

After dinner, we drove around looking for a suitable hotel to stay in. There are no international chains or star rated hotels in a small town like Sri Aman but there are a number of decent hotels to choose from. We visited three, checking out the rooms and rates before deciding on one close to the town center. Then we headed to a supermarket to pick up food and drinks for the journey the next day and then headed to our chosen hotel.

 

Our room which slept three was very good value as we paid only RM20 (discounted rate) for a night’s stay. Soon as clean towels were brought up to our room, I hit the shower then got ready for bed. No live World Cup match was on that night so the hotel and surrounding areas, cafes and shops were quiet. All three of us turned in early as we had to be up by 5AM to resume our journey to Maludam.

 

Photo gallery

Click on each photo for the larger size.

On our way... DSCF8415

Left, on our way… Right, at the top of Bukit Begunan, the tallest point along the Kuching-Sibu trunk road.

 

paddling across river in sampan Floating log that looks like Nessie! 

Left, two men paddling across the river in a small sampan. Right, the Lochness monster invades Sri Aman!

 

Floating log (Looks like Lochness monster) Birds flying in sky

Left, Nessie turns out to be a big log floating in the river… Right, birds flying in the evening sky.

 

Birds, sunset Sri Aman Waterfront (Sarawak)

Left, birds flying in the evening sky. Right, sunset at the Sri Aman waterfront.

 

Sri Aman DSCF8432

Left, in the evening, food stalls selling grilled seafood, chicken and other foods pop up by the waterfront. We didn’t visit any of the stalls. Right, taking sunset photos.

 

Sunset at Sri Aman town Sri Aman town

Right, Sri Aman town.

 

Sri Aman town White doves at Sri Aman round-about

Left, sleepy town. Right, a pair of white doves welcoming visitors driving into town.

1 comment:

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Nice photos and very eye opening. Thanks.

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