Monday, August 27, 2012

Waiting For The Month of Peacefulness To Return

An island of serenity from July 21st till August 18th 2012 and only during the day.

People often asks me, "When is the best time to visit Langkawi"?

My immediate answer would be, "Never come to Langkawi in the month of December unless you have a bunch of kids on school holidays". 

If you are not particular in searching for food during the day, the best time to visit the island would be the fasting month or Ramadhan period, provided it does not fall in the month of December.

 Click on to pick a nature spot during that time...

Pick a nature spot. From the swampy mangroves to the Bat Caves of Kilim. From the giant slide of Seven Wells waterfall to the rocky Temurun Waterfall. And even to the gentle stream of Lubuk Semilang, one can find peacefulness and reap the best out of what nature got to offer.

My group of friends were here last month after following my advise. We practically had the whole place to ourselves on most of the nature spots we visited.

From Tasik Dayang Bunting (Pregnant Maiden Island) on Pulau Dayang Bunting:

 We had the whole pool to ourselves!

Caught napping! The staff from the Park Ranger office took the opportunity to snooze when we were there at noon. Park rangers were hired by LADA (Langkawi Development Authority) as part of their plan in Langkawi's blue print. But these park rangers are not the qualified park rangers from the Forestry Department

Can you spot them?

To my favorite waterfall, Temurun Waterfall:


 
To the locals favourite picnic spot, Lubuk Semilang (Book Village):


Ramadhan period is a detox time for those who were practicing it and as well for the nature! Lesser visitors means lesser rubbish brought into the nature spots. Lesser feeding to the macaques would also mean lesser rubbish scattered all over the place. I bet Mother Nature and her dwellers can breathe much easier without all those crowds. But sadly, there were those who secretly lugged food packages into Lubuk Semilang area. They took the opportunity to eat or smoke in such area where they will not be seen or caught eating during the day. They left their trails of rubbish behind when they left the scene.

Rubbish on the rock!

One month seems long for some and really short for Mother Nature. A month has gone and humans start to "colonize" the area again. Please don't misunderstood me. I am not against humans visiting such lovely nature spots. Overcrowded places often have rubbish left behind and the impact made by some ignorant people. They have the will to bring in food which can be heavy and yet too lazy to bring out the leftovers when the weight is much lesser.
The local crowd returned after a month

I have to wait for another year for such serenity.

My advise to discerning visitors, Ramadhan period is the best time to visit Langkawi. Pack some snacks with you and I trust you on how you handle your rubbish. Just remember, leave your snacks and even your soft drinks in your car or boat when you know of places with the Long Tailed-macaques. Their Boss is often watching YOU and your food!


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Sunday, August 5, 2012

My Ramblings

Into the rainforest I explored today ... just to fill my lungs with fresh air and needed some boost for my dying brain cells. I realised that it has been some time since my last post on this blog. Busy is the word, lazy is the reason and unmotivated is the ultimate truth. By getting out there and being out here in search of getting some sort of inspiration for the next blog post.

My ramblings today while walking through my imaginary world of Pandora.



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The start of the climb was normal and I needed to slow down even before the twenty minutes crept in. Abnormal. My legs muscles surely needed some form of physiotherapy because I busted my left knee - again. But this time, the pain on my left knee now is different - felt like the ligament needed the extra stretch... and it stretch slightly over the limit.

"EEEkkkWWAAKKK"... and then "whoosh-whoosh"...that certainly has woken up one plug of my senses. OMG... the "Mountain Banshee" !! (from the movie Avatar)...

They were alarmed by my presence even though they were high up on the canopy. Always vigilant against their number one public enemies, the hunters and poachers. Three Great hornbills flying over and hopping from one tree to another. People who came with me previously wanted to see them and the hornbills were invisible. But today, when I am alone, they revealed.... The Great Hornbills (Buceros bicornis), they always put a smile on my weary face.

One step after another as I climbed...
  
At times I wonder why am I continuing to post on this blog. What do I get out of writing and posting them? Nope...I ain't getting paid for writing all these with my own time. Will the locals here care if the whole Langkawi has no more wildlife and just the human monkeys running around? Will the locals here fight and defend the last tree standing on the island if it will be chopped down for someone's villa? You probably agree with me, no? Why am I still spending time on this? Should I stop wasting my time? hmm... Na... not yet. Since I have started this and I have unfinished business. But I will crawl till I drop... or until someone delivers a bullet into me..
 Though we had picked up a couple of bullet shells months ago and yet three more appeared. Illegal hunters and poachers up on their sleeves again
Looking at these forest termites at work, they seemed to be aimless... chew, chew chew...bite bite bite aimlessly. Yet they have a direction after that. What about me? Where am I heading to? Where's my direction? I am now back at my life's crossroad.
An army of forest termites eating hard

Aimless I am... at times... I am not focusing where I am going when the road ahead seems blur and there are hidden opportunities until I stumbled upon them and oppss...too late..   I accidentally stepped on land snails. Not my fault...they were under the leaf litters and well camouflaged!

One of the three land snails I accidentally "penyet" (flatten)...very sorry!

 
Amazingly, this "penyet" land snail was still alive and crawling
 I managed to spot one without having to "penyet" it. What a lovely gastropod!

I must be busy like those forest termites, productive and really must start on what I should be doing - working on my personal website. It has been overdue for one year now. Juggling between this blog and that website in which I yet to start, how I wish a single day can be more than 24hours! Feeling so burnout and doing nothing is really doing something! 

Musing while fixing my eyes on these trees... I pondered upon the several failed attempts to look for a place which I can call "My Home Sweet Home". A nice decent house or apartment is becoming less affordable for a below-average wage earner like me. The influx of these foreigners/expats buying properties in Malaysia and the speculation has turned the prices shooting sky high! Thanks to our government for failing to protect the welfare of its own people. In a way, if you are not a millionaire - you can kiss "a nice decent home" goodbye! Yes, yes...this happens globally, I know. Should I convert to Muslim and this will not help me to purchase a land with a title for Bumi either. So much for 1Malaysia! Boo! 
... I might as well become a tree and live amongst them..

My long lost friend! ... In fact, I have been yearning to see this old friend on this walk and walla... there you are.. "ye still digging and rolling the old shit?"
The strongest insect in the world - The Dung Beetle

A "slave" rolling and pushing the shit hard... but for a dung beetle, that is it's way of life and it loves every minute of this shitty job

While photographing the dung beetle at work and inhaling the fresh stinking dung, a new friend came along. It seemed to be walking aimlessly but in fact, it was charging aimlessly. Scorpions can deliver nasty stings when provoked. 
A scorpion in "fish eye" effect

Humans can be nasty and I have met many species alike in my years of working in various industries. They, including myself, have an innate character of being a bully. The unsecured ones will display their bullying character loudly and while the placid ones are able to make a choice to be a bully or not. I am learning to be like a Scorpion...ready to strike when bullied or provoked...  I am still in my process of sharpening my skills to stand my ground and articulate my emotions at the right moment. But sometimes, I failed. And when I succeeded,  some people are sour grapes...and blood-suckers..
...like a leech here
My true friends have advised me to be thankful...and I ought to feel blessed. Probably because they felt I am blessed to be able to walk into a rainforest, amongst the giant trees and surrounded by singing cicadas while they are on their desk during weekdays from 9-5 answering phone calls and watching the time clicking slowly. But hey, I work on all weekends.
  Indeed is a blessing to be part of Pandora forest

In the end, you will say that I am writing talking rubbish... and yes, as I have put all these "rubbish" I have collected in a bag. And speaking of rubbish... I recently observed the annual general meeting of the Malaysian Nature Society Langkawi chapter (election for the next committee) and it was the worst AGM I ever attended. Dirty and full of rubbish... buying votes and rounding up his cronies... I will not be part of MNS Langkawi for now. And it doesn't really matter to this newly elected committee if there is one or two members less from the group. There are always alternatives to promote conservation and not only MNS Langkawi. I prefer to work with those who are real activists rather than those sitting on a position for name sake... or just wanting the face to be on newspaper or TV, a celebrity wannabe.
 This bag of rubbish is out of the rainforest and it is in a place where it belongs - The Bin

Ta for wasting time reading this ...  you are my friend indeed :)

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