CNY 2020 – Day 8 – Getting to the Jungle

Travel days can be a bit of a bummer, but when your travel day involves going deep into a 130 million year old rain forest, things get a lot more interesting!

It was quite the long trip across the country. There are several ways to get there. We decided on a bus and a boat.

We began in Kuala Lampur. The bus company we booked, Han Tours, was located right next to a Travel Lodge, so we booked a night there and were waiting outside for our bus at 8:00am.

Unfortunately, our bus wasn’t a bus. It was a mini van, which is much less comfortable and much more crowded. When you travel through Asia, you learn that ‘bus’ can mean a lot of different things. I’ve been in nice buses, small buses, mini van buses, buses with standing room, buses with live chickens in them, buses driven by maniacs. This wasn’t the worst bus we’ve seen.

It also wasn’t the best

It ended up being another passenger who made this trip unbearable, and not the lack of leg room. He caughed and sneezed without covering his mouth the whole 3 hour trip. Coronovirus has me acutely aware of coughers and sneezers at the moment and, unfortunately, we couldn’t find masks in KL, so I felt extremely exposes in that enclosed space. I used a lot of hand sanitizer, and gave a lot of dirty looks on our journey to the jungle.

Me: the whole way there (in my mind)

3 hours later, I was thrilled to get off that bus and away from “Sir Sneezes A Lot”. Kuala Tembeling was nice. We had lots of time to kill while we waited for the boat to pick us up. It’s faster to take a bus from KT to the little jungle town where we were staying, but who can resist a boat ride through the jungle!!

The type of boat we took to Kuala Tehan

If you’re planning to take this route to the jungle, be warned: the the boats are pretty small and there isn’t much room for luggage. It’s pretty handy that you can pay your National park fee in that little town though, and you can also have some lunch while you’re there. Sadly, the cater to “Western tastes”, meaning the food is lacking in flavour and mostly just deep fried and salty.

I also made friends while we waited for our boat

Once the boat arrived, it wasn’t long before we were on our way. It was quite a long ride; 3 hours. We were pretty uncomfortable by the end of it, shifting our weight around to get feeling back in our numb bums, but I’d recommend the trip anyway. It was gorgeous.

It was nice to get some fresh air after being in the bus. The bald guy near the front is the germ-spreader. I made sure to stay as far away from him as possible ?

One other thing worth mentioning to anyone who’s considering taking this trip: bring sun screen! The boat is covered overhead, but as the sun starts moving down in the sky, you’ll get a sun burn if you’re on the left side of the boat. My arms are now 2 different shades of tan as a result.

Binoculars might be a good idea too. You might be able to spot some wild life. We did see some very beautiful birds.

It was a beautiful trip to a beautiful town. We’ve loved our stay here so far and I have plenty to write about it! Check back soon!

The riverfront in Kuala Tahan. There are several floating restaurants down there. They all have Western and Malaysian choices
The little street near our hotel. The town is very remote and quite rural. I’m a little surprised we have working data, but wifi is scarce here
The view from our hotel room