19 Aug - 28 Aug 2009 Similajau

Malaysian Borneo
Sarawak aka Land of the Hornbills
Beach Hostel No. 2
Excellent twin room with sea view for MYR 42.- or US$ 12.- per night. Friendly but somewhat lowbrow local staff.

Click below for an interactive road map of the Beach Hostel in the Similajau National Park, which we would recommend, and for directions:

Enjoying down-time, having the Similajau National Park (gazetted as a park in 1978 CE) during this Ramadan very much to ourselves, thus relaxing on the clean, casuarina-tree lined beach, swimming in the emerald green, lukewarm water and watching truly spectacular sunsets over the South China Sea.

Hiking the coastal trail of the Similajau National Park along its coastline, a chain of golden sandy beaches, punctuated by small rocky headlands and slow-flowing jungle streams, and bordered by dense tropical rain forest (mixed dipterocarps), spotting a crocodilian in the muddy water of the Kanyau River and identifying it as a Malayan false gharial (Tumistoma schlegelii), an opportunistic ambush feeder - according to James Ritchie’s great book about the Man-eating Crocodiles of Borneo.

Teaming up with like-minded travellers Maria & Tino from Germany and Melina from Argentine for a guided night walk together with native Melanau guide July (MYR 10.- per person for the two-hour walk) and spotting: (i) lesser mouse-deer (Tragulus javanicus), (ii) buffy fish owl (Ketupa ketupu) and (iii) a night-active squadron of unidentified bats.

Exploring the Likau River during a guided crocodile spotting tour at night (MYR 25.- per human head), counting a dozen estuarine crocodiles (Crocodylus porousus aka “salties” - known to attack humans) of various sizes, from 0.50 m up to 2.50 m, and noticing our blood pressure going up when one of the latter almost jumped into our boat.

Hiring a chauffeured private car (MYR 40.- or US$ 11.30 for the ride) from the park headquarters to Bintulu's modern bus terminal, taking an MTC Express bus (MYR 10.- or US$ 2.80 per person) for the 130-km trip from Bintulu to Niah Junction and hiring another chauffeured private car (MYR 25.- or US$ 7.- for the 20-km ride) to the Niah National Park (entry fee for senior citizens: MYR 5.- per person), gazetted as a National Historic Monument in 1958 CE and a National Park in 1974 CE.

Click below for more blog posts about Sarawak's excellent national parks
11 Jul - 01 Sep 2013 Bako

Click below for a summary of this year's travels

Visit the Konni & Matt Online Albums and order high-res travel photos

Recommended books - click below for your Amazon order from the United Kingdom
For all your Amazon shopping from Germany, please click here 
For all your Amazon shopping from the United States, please click here 
For all your Amazon shopping from Canada, please click here