Saturday, August 10, 2013

Semmingoh Orangutans

Well we are in Borneo, so we should see some Orangutans.  We had not planned to visit a rehabilitation centre but on the recommendation of Greg that it wasn't a zoo, and that the animals were living in the wild, we decided the Semmingoh sounded good.

It was an early start for us to be on the road in the green bunny by 7:30am.  It was one hour drive to the other side of Kuching and we knew we were getting close to destination by the number of tourist minibuses. 

Feeding time is set down for one hour at 9am & again at 3pm.  The orangutan are in various stages of rehabilitation to the wild.  Therefore it is considered successful if no orangutan turn up for feeding - but not very good for tourists with their eagerly poised cameras.

We were lucky with one lone female arriving about 9:10,  after the keepers began calling.  She made her way in through the treetops at her own pace.


Orang1

Orang 2

orang3

She stayed for 5 minutes or so and then we and our fellow tourists scanned the treetops for more orangutan, but they didn't appear.  Instead we all watched the numerous squirrels for the next half hour.  Having exhausted patience Andrew & I looked at each other and headed back up to the main gathering area. 

After looking at some crocs and displays we noticed cameras turning to the treetops and tourists rushing west.  So we followed and saw a second orangutan come in to another feeding platform, much closer than the first one. 

Orang4

Orang5

Orang6

Orang 7

The centre is excellent, there is no feeling that these wild animals are constrained in any way.  They come to the feeding areas if they are hungry, but if not they don't. 

They are very strong and graceful animals and we were very pleased we had made this visit.


We headed done the road to see an authentic long house.  We chose to go to a smaller less visited village that had once been at the end of the road.  We had a look around and got an understanding of what real longhouse is.

Longhouse

Setting the GPS in the direction of home we looked for restaurants for lunch.  Andrew turned down the 1st noodle stand options, but thought the name Porkies seemed promising.  Having eaten both fish and tofu in the last 2 days, he was feeling meat deprived - but certainly not underfed - we have eaten well.

We found the said "porkies" which turned out to be a pub restaurant sports bar in a suburban mall and we had a pork chop and wedges.  It was a good choice and we enjoyed it.  On paying the bill the owner asked where we were from and on hearing NZ he became quite excited.  He showed us the official Rugby World Cup 2011 ball he has, the NZ BBQ apron, and the 3 bottles of Watsons beer on his international bottle display.  It turns out he has a friend who is working just outside Christchurch, and the friend brings him something every time he returns to Malaysia.  It was a nice end to a good outing.

In the evening we (Adrian, Greg and us) went out for a Chinese meal a few kilometers away.  We were the only guests at the farm and it probably seemed the easiest option.  Adrian, speaking 3 dialects of Chinese, asked what we didn't eat and then proceeded to order a feast of delicious dishes.

From the farm we went back to Kuching for 2 nights, before retracing our flight steps back to Vientiane.

1 comment: