Pangkor Island, Malaysia: AWESOME! – and then some!
Pangkor Island can easily be reached from Puduraya bus station in Kuala Lumpur. You can catch one of the many buses (20-28 ringgit, 3.5-4 hrs) that leave in the morning (from about 7AM-2PM) to Lumut. At the Lumut bus station, it’s a short walk to the ferry terminal where you can grab one of the frequently running boats to Pulau Pangkor, or Pangkor Island. More
Conservation in Vietnam started at Cuc Phuong National Park. It was consecrated by Ho Chi Minh in 1962, right in the middle of the Vietnam War. The bombs dropped and the defoliants used during the war, destroyed much of Vietnam’s forests and fauna. Ho Chi Minh told the people that protecting the environment is protecting their future. Since then, 29 other national parks have been created in Vietnam, but Cuc Phuong remains the largest. More
We got up early for the 7:30AM bus from Semporna to Sukau (RM40/$13). We had booked a night with Osman’s Homestay (RM50/$16.20 per person per night inc. 3 meals) and arranged for them to pick us up at the junction, paying RM20/$6.50 for the privilege. We were dropped off at a boat dock and took the boat across the river to the homestay where Osman’s wife and children greeted us warmly. We settled into our very basic fan room – the best one in the house (including the family’s quarters). The lodgings weren’t stylish, but we were here for Osman. We had read online that Osman is the fixer for the BBC’s nature documentary crews when they are in town filming the local wildlife. He is supposedly a mine of information about the wildlife in the area, and the best around for spotting the animals. More
Getting to Sepilok from Kota Kinabalu is easy. We took a taxi to Inanam Bus Terminal for RM25/$8.10. The taxi drivers will tell you it’s a flat rate, but ask around as we got told a couple of different prices. When we arrived at the station (around 11am), we headed to the ticket counter and asked for tickets on the next available bus to the Sepilok junction. Any bus going to Sandakan will drop you at the junction. The next bus with seats available left at 1:30pm (RM42/$13.60, 6.5 hours). It would be a good idea to book your bus ahead of time if you want to arrive in Sepilok early. We found a restaurant across the street from the station sat down, drank tea, ate murtabak, and played chess until it was time to board the bus. More
From Kampong Cham we headed to Kratie (4 hrs, $5) on a bouncy, speedy bus that was driven by a man with no fear. We were dropped off right on the Mekong River and were immediately approached by a guy who wanted us to stay at his guesthouse. Not having any better options, we agreed and checked into Silver Dolphin Guesthouse ($12 with AC and TV). It was basic but had everything we needed (although Sara’s spider count reached dangerous levels). One bonus was that there’s a school next door that we could see right into from our window. It was fun to watch the little Cambodian children working away in a classroom. Don’t bother with the guesthouse restaurant though. More
Pak Chong is easily reached by bus (108B/$3.50) from Bangkok‘s Mo Chit Terminal (Northern & Northeastern Terminal). Khao Yai is our first foray into Thai wildlife. We stayed at Bobby’s Apartment which was a great place to stay. We didn’t have a reservation, but when we got off the bus a local woman asked us where we were staying and called Bobby’s from a public phone. In 10 minutes Mike came and picked us up and made us feel at home. We had some of the best food we’d had in Thailand there. I highly recommend the red curry. More
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