29 September 2010

Malaysia's Best Canopy Walkway

Guys... If you think I have told you everything about Sandakan, then you’re as wrong as I was (I tot I did. LOL). There is one place here that seems to be largely ignored by visitors to Sepilok because – oh well, if you asked me where I stayed in Sandakan and I said SEPILOK, what would be the first thing that pops up in your head?
True. Your distant relatives. Sepilok is so much asscociated with Orang Utans people tend to miss anything else.
It’s not that I’d never heard of it before but yeah, I wasn’t really into anything with ‘discovery’ as much as I am not interested in anything with 'research'. These two words sound so much like student kind of thingy and that kinda way past behind me now. LOL!
Just so happened that it was school holiday and my nephew was in Sandakan to enjoy every single day of it and I brought him to Sepilok to see the handsome and pretty beasts and we were waiting for the next feeding time when the idea of going to Rainforest Discovery Centre came into my mind. After all they are just less than 2 miles away from each other. *whistling
Welcoming us too soon was this beautiful lake.
I tried to get a picture of me on the boat but the PTI-looking janitor hoii-ed me with his not-so-intimidating-at-all frowning face. Bluekkksss!
Oh well, I didn’t go there for the tasik though but just in case – only just in case – that any of you are interested in doing some paddling around that very little lake of theirs, then the charge is RM5 per hour? I'll re-confirm when I go there again.
So, saying no thanks to the paddle boats, I headed towards the ticket counter and bought 4 stick-on tickets for all the four of us.
THEN – they seemed to be too short of staff they’ll let you go around unwatched, let alone guided.
I never had the idea how it would look like until.......
I wasn’t even sure whether to call it a canopy walk because it was just so – steel. All the canopy walks that I’ve been to before, say the one at Maliau Basin and Mulu National Park or the one at Poring Hot Spring in Ranau and at the FRIM in Selangor – they are just so different from this one.
This one that they have here is so – structural. All the walk boards, the viewing platforms and the web members are all made of steel.
The only wooden part fo the canopy walkway is probably this and it seems to be an added beauty to the whole thing.
They were viewing towers at certain points of the walk boards which require you to use a little bit of your strength to walk up the ladders.
But it is just part of the fun and excitement and the feeling of being on a high elevation and watching all the pokoks down there – it was all make you wanna go wohoooo.
It felt so safe to be up there actually. All the structural complexity and the rigidness of the platforms seems so assuring you can always concentrate more on enjoying the view and less on worrying about snapping-off ropes or rotten walk boards or whatever hells that may haunt your mind when you're on a high elevation.
Being a structural ‘water engine’ (translate to Malay) myself, coming to Sepilok Rainforest Discover Centre is quite likely to stray me off the supposedly main focus which is the nature. IN fact, I spent most of my time trying to figure out whether the structural designs were all done according to the British Standard that we use as structural reference here in Malaysia. 
What? I just can’t help it! Hehe.
The canopy walk way is actually quite long you really don't have to run or you'll end up like this sorry little  fella here.  
Just walk and relax and enjoy the surrounding. If you're lucky you might see rare-ly seen birds and flying squirrel or those weird-looking monkeys amongst others. All you need is to shut the hell up.  
But seriously, the canopy walk at the Rainforest Directory Centre in Sepilok is so worth to come to. If I'm not mistaken, the opening was even officiated by the late former PM so you know it is a mega one, not an alang-alang one.
Now I feel so guilty to all the friends who came all the way to Sandakan and I DID NOT bring to Rainforest Discovery Centre.  :-( 
Oh well, look at it as a reason to come here again. Besides, a lot of new things seem to be coming in. This place is gonna be more interesting to check out I guess. OK? *soothing tone on 
OH well, I wished we could stay there longer but not only the heavy clouds seemed so ready to throw up, the time was so much nearing the feeding time at the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre.
I’ve been to Sepilok like half a dozen times and I never got to touch any of them in any of those visits. Coming to Sepilok for the first time, my mom did the magic.
We were heading towards the feeding platform when an Orang Utan who seemed to be heading in the opposite direction suddenly lied down right in front of my rather amused mom!
He actually simply propped himself down with his chin on the walk board and eyes looked directly at her as if begging for some motherly touch! o.O
I just stood there in disbelief as my mom rubbed her hand on the head and the back of the adorable hairy fella – as if whatever my mom was doing to him was like some kind of motherly affection to a son that comes just naturally.
I was too astonished to do anything but my nephew and my sister were fast to follow suit. They gave him a friendly touch and the Orang Utan seemed just as pleased.
They did it long enough to be photographed and an astonished Malay family who was around took the chance to come forward to touch the Orang Utan as well but he suddenly jumped off and walked away.
Now I wonder.

The Orang Utan came up to my mom for a motherly touch.

And he seemed just as pleased as my nephew rubbed his hand on his back.

So was he when my sister did the same.

And the family from Semenanjung came up to the Orang Utan and he instantly walked away.

My mother, my nephew, my sister. We are family.

Orang Utan and me.

OMG. Are we........ related? o.O

Now Charles Darwin's theory seems all make sense to me.

11 comments:

thomas said...

It looks very solid and
there are quite a number of canopy walkway in M'sia and i haven't been to any yet,hope to check on some and maybe we can see which is the best.(Notable ones,Frim,Sg Sedim and Taman Negara Pahang

JIPP said...

Hi Thomas. Yupp, we've got a lot of canopy walkways in Malaysia. I've been to at least 5 canopy walks in Sabah alone. I've been to both that you've mentioned but they all look almost the same to me. They are hanging tree-to-tree bridges. This one in Sepilok is made out of steel which makes it different. :-)

JIPP said...

FYI, this bridge is currently under some extension which upon completion will make it the longest walkway in the world at 1000m, wayy surpassing the current longest in Taman Negara Pahang at 500m. I am not really sure if it is a good thing or not. So much money has been spent for the wrong reason. :-(

thomas said...

Oh! trying to beat the 950m one at Sg Sedim,a waste of money which should be spent on conservation works instead.

JIPP said...

yupp,that's why I mean. Kinda dubious, all they want is project. Ohh, I missed the Sg. Sedim. Checked out the website, and it is too is made out of steel. Would love to go there someday. Thanks for the info Thomas.

Ellen said...

I suppose there are always 2 sides to a coin. On the one hand, it's (a whole lotta steel!!!) a durable and permanent structure to hopefully make it more accessible and attract local and international visitors alike. And on the other, it means putting invasive structure within a natural setting which is always frowned upon from a conservation POV. But! No coverage, no publicity = no funding = minimum conservation.

Now this wouldn't be a problem if certain species of human beings does not exist ie. greedy developer types/politicos who likes well padded pockets as mother nature will go on existing the way it always has been since day 1. But alas...

Moderation is key, the age old adage. But cakap senang, reality lain cerita! ;)

JIPP said...

yupp, very well-said Ellen. I actually like it for the fact that it is different from other canopy walks that I've been to. I think it is a good investment but yes, it doesn't look as someth that fits well with the mother nature. It just looks too 'metal' for someth so organic like Sepilok forest. LOL. But of course too much of someth will kill the fun. I just hope it stays the way as it is now. Spare the money for someth else. Hehe.

Kelvin said...

We all are Homosapiens XD

JIPP said...

haha. Ya lohhh. They've got 95% of our genes.

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