26 November 2009

Sukau, Kinabatangan - Returning for MORE


Sukau has always been one of my favorite places for a getaway. I recently went there with a group of ‘crazy’ lady friends. OK. I wouldn’t say crazy. ‘Hilarious’ is probably a better word to describe them. I mean, I’d never seen ladies laughing as much as they did in my entire life before. LOL! 
 

Thanks for the kind courtesy by the WWF, we had the privilege of staying here FOC.

Being a big fan of WWF, I just think that this NGO organization deserves a world-wide recognition for all the efforts that they are putting in to make sure that those endangered creatures such as the pygmy elephants and orang utans would never get entirely wiped out from the surface of the world.
I had this for a sleeping matress.
Not bad for a single night sleepover. They have a nice living room. Just look at the rattan furniture. They seem to fit perfectly well for a place that is related so much to nature.  
And I just love the hammock. It really is a symbol of a relaxing vacation.
While the WWF in Sukau doesn’t really take in visitors all the time, they are dozens of chalets and B&Bs to stay in while you are there. While most of them can be too damn expensive for budget travelers like me, they are some places that are worth checking out.
One of the most recommended one is probably the Sukau Greenview B&B. I had actually blogged about it in one of my earliest blog entries. I was among the first to have stayed there and I wasn’t disappointed.
Coming back this time, I wasn’t surprised that it had been gaining popularity among Sukau visitors over the years.
And most of them had left good comments and reviews about it.
I was even happier that the pricing rate had not changed much. It was still RM30 per head per night. Errr, that is by current currency exchange is just a little bit over USD 6! Check out the room in one of my previous entries.

Sukau for one IS NOT a food-friendly place. The nearest restaurant is located at an estate village some 6 kilometers away from the tourist area.
Sukau Greenview is probably one of the only few places in Sukau that has a proper café to feed your hungry stomach.
It serves you with a perfectly relaxing river-side ambiance.
And OK-lah foods.
While the foods for some reason might take ages to get prepared here, they’ve prepared for you... a stretching corner! Just look at how these two ladies make full use of it.
What a health-conscious environment they’ve got here. :-P

Another one is the Sukau Bed & Breakfast. With a down-to-earth accommodation pricing rate of RM20 per head per night (less than USD 5!!), it’s beautiful and well-maintained surrounding makes it a popular choice among budget travelers to Sukau.
They’ve also got a nice camping site for those who are into camping.
It was actually my third visit to Sukau. I was still so NEW to blogging during my first two visits that I didn’t really bother to take many photos. My mind was so free I didn't even put in any effort in trying to figure out what to write out of the those trips. This time, I had a better reason to be there. Blogging and of course, pictures. I just couldn't stop taking pictures.Sukau for one is a beautiful place to fulfil your craving for good pictures with panaromic river views.  
While I had to drag my legs to move anywhere around, these ladies were amazingly tough to the core. Fresh from the Sepilok Nature Marathon, they still could play around as if the marathon thingy was just another after-work jogging routine.
Phew! Respect. Hehehe.

As usual, my favorite time of river-cruising is at the breaking of dawn. Since we were there quite at the beginning of a rainy season, we didn’t get to see much of the beautiful morning mist.
The river was heavy with drifting logs of all shapes and sizes that the boat had to move quite slowly to avoid ramming into one.
Too bad that everybody had a camera of their own that each of us was too busy to take picture for anyone else.
Every time I asked any of them to take a picture for me, they would either pretend to be asleep,
and asleep some more..
or busying themselves up with a cam-whoring marathon.
In the end, I had to resort to the only choice I had – cam-whoring, which I didn’t really like to do because I look FAT on a close-up photoshot.
OK. That was a joke. Of course they’d be more than happy to take photos for you if you know how to ask them in a proper way. Not to mention, politely. :-P
Visitors can rent a boat with a price ranging from RM80 to RM150 depending on the length of time. There are a number of places to choose from. One of the more popular ones is the upstream Manangul River. Its narrow width is of a great advantage for the visitors to get really really close to the wildlife habitat.
Not to mention its highly picturesque views. 
Quite amazingly, despite the rainy low season, we were lucky to see quite a number of rarely-seen species of birds and wild animals. Having with me a camera with a disappointingly limited zooming power, I had to get really close to them to get a clear picture which was impossible to do because they’ll tend to shrink away at the sight of approaching humans.
Or I could still keep the medium zoom to get a clear picture but the subjects of photos would be too small to recognize. I was forced to believe that this was an Orang Utan.
This is the photo result of a female proboscis monkey when I tried to zoom in to the fullest.
Had to zoom out for a better result. But the photo subject would be too small for the picture.
Almost the same case for this Clouded Monitor Lizard that we found perching on a tree overlooking the Kinabatangan River. I could hardly make out more than its shape without using the zoom.
But zooming in..
Blur..

How I’m itching to buy a new camera with a better zooming power now. I had to be content with what I had with me though. I kept taking pictures nevertheless. I got to see the extremely rarely-found highly endangered bird species - the Crowned Hornbill!
Errrr, a Rhinoceros Hornbill..?
For the first time ever since I started taking photos for blogging purposes, I wished I had a DSRL with me.. :-(

Ohh, and I didn’t know that proboscis monkey could actually do bungee-jumping. Only without the elastic rope to bounce it back upward. Instead they plunge right into the water and swim to the other side of the river. Of course, the whole bungee-jumping thingy took only a fraction of a second, quite too fast for my unprepared hands and slow camera. But hey, I did manage to catch the stunt on camera. Can you spot it..? LOL!
I just don’t understand why this thing was put up when they don’t really need it.
Ohh. How come I forgot. This part of Kinabatangan River is known to be highly-infested with wild crocs and you gotta bear in mind that proboscis monkey is an endangered species. Crocodile is not.
Our next cruising was done in the afternoon. At 4.30pm, it was still blazingly hot. I mean really really HOT that I cursed myself for not having put the slightest layer of sun-block lotion on any part of me.
In one of my previous trips to Sukau, I could only see the pygmy elephants from across the river. My fully-zoomed camera could only get as good (bad) as this.
This time, I had the privilege of getting so close to them that I could even see the movement of their (eye) balls.
I actually thought that I could smell them. I had seen them in a zoo that I went to before but the excitement of seeing them moving freely in the wild was totally different.
Pygmy elephant really is a wonderful animal.
Well, we did return briefly to the Manangul River where a group of proboscis seemed to be SO ready for some kind of orgy.
Everybody was waiting in a watchful anticipation. Even this group of half-naked German tourists was excitedly ready to watch some action by this unique monkey whose male species are famous for its 24-hour hard-on and inspiringly superb sex-drive. LOL!
It was getting dark and we were still waiting patiently. So were the Germans.
We were told later that they were actually.... ASLEEP. No action. The ladies couldn't hide their disappointment. :-P

By then, it was too dark to stay in the river. We decided to call it a day and returned to the boarding house.
So, that was how my Sukau trip with the ladies had turned out to be. I was blessed with a perfect weather.
and good (and crazy) company. LOL!
What more could I have asked for? ;-)

OK ladies.. Sukau is past. Trus Madi is waiting.. He he he..

8 comments:

ainee said...

Hey,nice pics u took,yg ko upload tu pakai yg Sony ka yg Nikon?Amboi amboi amboi..mgolok2 ah secara d blog..jaga ko..3 suda kesalahan ko..

JIPP said...

Tenkiu.Tenkiu. Sony & Nikon campur2 ba ni.Tapi kbykn Nikon la. Abis kamu kana olok2 d blog kan. hehehe. Woit, bukan kesalahan saya tu ah. Kamu yg mempengaruhi saya tu. saya ikut sja. hehehe.Abis la..

ainee said...

Mmg yg Nikon ko tu 1 of the highly recommended juga tu,makanya,jgn la ko bli bru,klu pun mau, ko invest dSLR,nnt sa tnya kwn sa d kastam tu ada ka tia lagi Nikon d90 dia,aritu dia jual rm2500

JIPP said...

Errr, thanks. ko tanya la. I'm not really into DSLR for 2 reasons - not easy to carry around and its tendency to draw too much attention. Besides, I'd consider myself a traveller rather that a photographer. AIsheh. hehe. Tapi manatau sa buli pupuk minat lepas beli satu.. hehe

Murphy said...

Nice coverage and photos! The "sky" bridge is for orangutan to cross the river so they can migrate to other forest. They don't do stunt like proboscis monkey and they don't swim. :-)

aud said...

Hi JIPP

Thanks for the info on Sukau Greenview B&B (I emailed you for that) and I actually ended up staying there in early November! Wah you got to see them elephants up close - sadly I didn't when I took the cruise.

JIPP said...

thanks for the info Murphy. I wish I had known that. Audrey, glad to be of some 'help'. After all, that is part of the reason why I'm blogging. Sight of elephants really is a luck-thingy. I was just lucky there were so close to the river when I went there. :-)

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