Monday, December 17, 2007

My Trip to Taman Negara

When I was serving as a teacher in Jerantut, Pahang, I had the chance of visiting Taman Negara, one of Malaysia’s National Parks.

Here I am, Taman Negara.

We had to take a bumpy one-hour bus ride from Jerantut to Kuala Tembeling. From Kuala Tembeling, a three-hour boat ride then took us to Kuala Tahan where Taman Negara was. On the way, the boat had to shoot numerous rapids and we had to get off the boat for the boatman to pass certain obstacles after which we were on our way again to the destination. Some of us would read, play chess or scrabble. My scrabble set came in useful then. Simon would strum his guitar and some of us would sing our voice hoarse. This was how we killed the time.

Waiting for our boat at Kuala Tembeling Jetty
[Standing with arms akimbo on the left is Anchor Chong]

We stayed in the chalets and the lady teachers cooked for us. All vegetables, meat and others were bought earlier in Jerantut.

We spent the afternoon exploring the jungle and passed by an aboriginal settlement. What a sight when we saw the aborigines! The women wore only sarungs while children wore mostly their birthday suits. The hygienic condition was deplorable for flies could be seen hovering over their hair and bodies. Finally we reached a natural pool deep enough for swimming. It was here that I was nearly drowned. You see, I was sitting on a tree trunk when I slipped and sank. I struggled hard to rise but failed and suddenly a pair of hands pulled me up and dragged me to the shore. It was Anchor Chong who had saved me. We called him Anchor Chong because he drank a big bottle of 'Anchor Beer' every night without fail.

The next morning at about 5.00 a.m. I went up the high hide near our chalet to look for the appearance of wild animals. Luck was on my side because I happened to see a tiger that had just awoken from sleep. Then a herd of Seladang was in sight. I counted and found eleven of them in the group. There were together because a tiger was around. I wanted my friends to see them, so I descended the high hide. Unfortunately, when my friends and I were up again, the animals had left the salt lick area.

Behind me is the high hide

They had to content themselves with watching mousedeer which roamed about. They were so tame and cute that we felt like stroking their bodies.

So much for my trip to Taman Negara in this blog.

No comments: