Thursday, October 14, 2010

The broken tree tower, Lambir Hills NP

if you’re afraid of heights… stay grounded!


this tree tower is about 20-30 meters high. it was one of the highlight attractions i looked forward to visiting at the park. all the materials that i'd been reading prior to my visit talked about what a perfect place it was to spot birds and wildlife.



built around a tall Kapor tree (Drybalanops sp), the viewpoint at the top affords a breathtaking panoramic view of the surrounding valleys. However, when I got there it felt like i had all four tires punctured and deflated. the tower is in bad condition with lots of planks missing.


i thought the missing steps were the work of hooligans destroying public property (unfortunately a common problem in Malaysia)


there was no "no entry" sign, only a sign advising visitors not to climb it if they doubt their fitness or confidence. i was also not told anything about this tower and the state it is in at the info counter when i obtained the map and asked for advice.


the only sign here.


when i saw the missing planks, i thought it was cause hooligans had ripped them off! since it was one of the highlights and something i looked forward most to, i went up this tower slowly and carefully, testing each plank before putting my weight on it.


this flight of stairs has no bottom support.


the tower is quite steady except at the very top where it sways with the tree. there was a flight of stairs without any support whatsoever. it never crossed my mind it was off limits cos all i could think of then was how badly maintained it was, all the while thinking "what? i paid rm10 for this? i am so writing a complaint!!"


there is no sign the tree is dying, its crown is still green and healthy.


the tree swayed in the breeze and i quickly made my way down after a few quick snaps. i must say, my guardian angels were with me that day cos i am so thankful nothing bad happened.


missing planks at the top…


it was only after i met an MNS friend the day after that i was told the tower's no longer maintained cause the tree is supposedly dying (it looked pretty healthy and normal to me, healthy crown and all). some irresponsible person must have removed the no entry side if there was one.


it’s such a pity because the view is magnificent up there. i got some pretty nice shots but i really hope they take this thing apart and build a new one cos these towers are really great for spotting birds and getting a bird's eye view of the surroundings. a canopy walkway is also a good idea, take a page out of poring in sabah and mulu np.


also, i think the park needs to update its photocopied maps and website to reflect closed trails etc.


more photos:

the tower is built around a giant Kapor tree.



Acriopsis orchids growing on the stairs.




one of the giant branches of the tree.



view at the top.


Elsie said...

This is a very sad state of affairs - I climbed up there in 1990 and the tower was in pristine condition. Obviously no maintenance done since!

Anonymous said...

I helped Build this tower in 1987 as part of Operation Raleigh 10D.I am surprised to see it was still standing in 2010, as most timber rots really fast in this environment.

Mike F

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