Jungle creatures and how to deal with them

Our time in the jungle at Kuala Tahan is the first of two places on this holiday where we expect close encounters with creatures of one type or another, but actually we got off rather lightly with just a lizard, one large spider, a few small beetles and one big cicada entering our room at the lodge.

So if you’re thinking of heading this way, here are our top ten tips for coping with creepy crawlies.

1. Unless you know otherwise for certain, assume it’s poisonous

2. Always check your shoes before you put them on.

3. Never leave your bags open.

4. If you get a lizard in your room, don’t scare him off. He’s not dangerous, he won’t come near you, and he’ll kill some bugs for you.

5. Don’t leave clothes on the floor

6. When you get a bug, don’t stamp on it. It’s dead body will attract flies and ants, neither of which you want.

7. Don’t leave food in your room, not even in the bin.

8. When looking up at a creature, keep your mouth closed. Like the girl at Batu caves said, nobody wants fresh bat shit for tea.

9. Put the toilet lid down and cover drain holes.

10. Get over yourself, don’t be a wuss and accept that it’s going to happen. If you can’t do that, then it’s best you don’t come to places like this!

Mad dogs and Englishmen

It was Noel Coward who said that only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun; we’ve been true to that folly, out in the sun all day and right through the hottest parts of the day. Apart from us though, neither are here; there’s no Englishmen and no dogs at all, let alone mad ones. We guess mad dogs and conserved wildlife are not good companions.

This is Day 7 and our last day in Kuala Tahan; go to Asia/Malaysia/Day 7.

Dry season in Kuala Tahan

At this rate this could be one of those holidays where we actually lose weight whilst away, what with all this exercise, the perspiration in the intense humidity, the lightweight meals and the absence of beer! With Islam the dominant relugion, alcohol is something of a rarity in Malaysia; here in Kuala Tahan, none of the floating restaurants have any, although there is just one backpackers hostel which has beer. Even there, one bottle costs more than dinner for two in the restaurants, and here, in this amazing and stunning natural environment, where human life and nature are so closely entwined, alcohol seems completely irrelevant. We’re now on Day 6 of Malaysia and Singapore.

Kuala Lumpur

Our three days in this city of astonishing diversity and contradictions is at end and we move on tomorrow to drive up to the tropical rain forest of Taman Negara, for a whole host of new experiences. Our KL experience is on the “Asia” page, then go to Malaysia.