Hiking in the Jungles of Malaysia
8/5/11 - 8/7/11
Our second day at Tioman Island we discovered an amazing thing: They had real breakfast food! This is the first time since arriving in Singapore that I have seen a true breakfast. We all got omelets and toast with butter and jelly and orange juice! It was the best thing I could have imagined on such a tiny Island.
Sunday was not spent on the beach, but rather deep in the Malaysian jungle. We decided to go hiking to a waterfall which the locals told us was a two hour round trip hike. About 10 of us decided to go at about 11:30am. However, we realized a few problems after we got a few hours in.
1. This was not an average hike, but rather a mountain climbing experience
2. We would be lucky to make it back before dark
3. We should have brought extra clothes to change into from all the sweat
This hike involved repelling down boulders using tree roots, climbing through caverns and jumping across gorges. About half the group was bleeding by the time we finished the hike from falling on rocks trying to navigate the jungle. When someone would fall, it was likely they would lose their water bottle and would be unable to get it back. We had no tour guide, but rather were following the ‘trail’ left by the locals: beer cans nailed to trees every few hundred yards. There was no clear path through the jungle, and we actually had to cut through some areas because there was so much vegetation around us. And lastly, this hike was leading us directly to the top of one of the mountains on the Island. We actually debated giving up about 3 hours into the hike when we still had not seen a waterfall.
But we did eventually find it. The term waterfall was a very lose term, rapids would be more like it. However, the rapids created beautiful pools that we could all swim in, so we spent about an hour swimming and climbing upriver through the rapids in the middle of the jungle. It was truly an amazing place, with the water and the trees at the top of this mountain, It was absolutely beautiful.
Luckily there was a faster way back down so we did get back before dark, overall the trip lasted 6 or 7 hours, and we did get to see some very cool things. Wild monkeys were swinging in the tops of the trees, and we saw a lizard about a foot and a half long that was black with little yellow spots. We saw crayfish in the swimming area and there were a million different types of butterflies around us. Lastly the view from the top of the mountain out over the jungle top all the way to the ocean was amazing, and made the whole trip worth it.
Sunday night was mush like the previous, we had dinner and a beach party again all provided for us. The locals were fishing on the pier so we got to hold a dead shark and a dead squid that they caught and brought to the party, so that was interesting. Overall, the second day was very tiring but was a lot of fun.