Sunday, May 17, 2009

In the Folds of Crocker Range

Am back home now after a short weekend outing at Utan Paradise Jungle Lodge, at Kinolosodon, Kimanis.

We arrived earlier than we planned, even with a rather late start on Saturday morning. It was cool there, a welcome respite from the city heat. Met up with owner-operator, Mr Inus and chatted for while. As for our rooms, we quickly chose to accommodate ourselves in the A-frame huts instead of the bunk-beds. A nice change and my first time staying in such a setup.

At the signboard, along main road. Oh I look like a tour guide :)

The other signboard that was built by the Raleigh 2007 team.

The main building which also houses the dorms on both sides.
Bamboo flooring and walls and thatched attap roof.

Bunk beds in the dorm.

We chose to stay here instead.

The open kitchen. It's self-catering here so you need to bring your own food to cook.

The tent that's furthest away from the central area.
The toilets. Modern flushable squat ones. The showers are on the other side, don't think I took a pic of that.

The resident short-tailed macaque came by to say hello and made faces at us.


The Rules of the Rainforest.
No 12 : Respect the Rainforest.

We decided to trek to the waterfall first at 1 pm, taking Trail 1. It took about about 30 minutes, since the trail needed some clearing after recent rainstorms had uprooted trees and trunks and branches along the way.

On the small 'observation deck' facing the jungle, before starting our trek.

So vain, so here's another shot :)

Inus led the way, clearing the trail.

Posing at the boundary of Sabah Park. Still fresh and smiling at this point. The waterfall is within protected park area so we need to inform the Ranger to go in and pay the usual RM3 conservation fee. The Ranger was not free to escort us so Inus kindly made himself available.

One of the easier parts of the trail. No picture of the 'difficult' parts as I was busy huffing and puffing and catching my breath.

The waterfall.

The waterfall was rather small. According to Inus, many many years ago when he first started it was a beautiful waterfall with cool, gushing water. However, with the road construction and rock blasting that came with it, the flow to the waterfall was significantly reduced. A lot of fallen tree trunks and branches and other nature debris and sand and stones, you get the picture.

A fallen tree trunk that looks like the head of a dragon.

I drank water from a cut tree branch, first time. It was a good trickle of probably half a small cup. Cool and refreshing, the tree is called Pokok Keliwat. Jungle Survival Skills 101. Which Inus can conduct over 3D/2N.

I got bitten by a pacat. And got attacked by a quite a number. I don't like. Eeeeii.

Got tired very quickly on the return trek, hence took us a longer to walk back due to more stops. There are other trails which we thought of doing the next day, alas I wasn't feeling particularly fit (plus the pacat thing), so the idea was swiftly discarded.

My pacat bite.

After I got rid of that one, a short while later another one was latching on my toes.

Back at the lodge, we were hungry so we quickly used the kitchen provided to cook our rations. Yum yum, somehow basic foods taste so much better when you're starving. We decided to have an early dinner since we skipped lunch and were done by 5 pm-ish.

Mist moving in swiftly at about 4 pm. It lent an eerie feeling, much like Lord of the Rings :). What with the sounds of the insects, birds and other rainforest creatures.

Taken after dinner. The mist was getting thick and it was chilly. Nice!

The first tree that was adopted by an American guest way back in 2007. Now there seems to be more that 20, I stopped counting.

Resting after shower. View through the back window of the tent.

Electricity was supplied via small generator so at night only the common areas are lighted. Otherwise you are provided with a kerosene lamp. We played cards for a while, then called it a day.

One thing about being in the middle of the rainforest jungle is that it is very NOISY at night. A cacophony of jungle noises will serenade you non-stop. Light sleepers may well bring along ear plugs. Or you can sleep with your Ipod on. Thank God it rained so the symphony orchestra was subdued for a few hours otherwise I would've just tossed and turned the whole night, trying to guess whether that was a bird or an insect. And damn that giant cicada he was the noisiest of the bunch :).

Well, I found another place off-the-beaten-path to unwind and, perfect the art of doing nothing. And yes, I want to go back there again.


  1. Hi Auds, looks like a place i would escape to, too. It's lovely and am glad you are enjoying every bit of your life now...I wish i have a lot of time now to do a weekend getaway but even my weekends now are fully occupied for me.

  2. t's a nice place Debs. Yes I am grateful I have the time for these right now :)so will maximise the opportunity. Still looking for other off-the-beaten-path places around here to explore..

  3. Am not much of a "jungle person" but this looks like something I wouldn't mind doing. A jungle survival course - now that's something I would really be interested to do!

  4. auds,I'm going to do Bario sometime in Aug..wanna join? Going to do a bit of trekking there and just enjoy the remote life and scenery. I would imagine it to be something like Long Pa Sia. Let me know. Eh, the next off-the-beaten-path place you're going, let me know lah...i might be able to join if i'm not teaching.

  5. Charlene - Yes, very interesting and challenging, coz you apparently enter the jungle literally empty handed; and learn to find shelter, food to survive.

    Debs - August : 1st weekend and 3rd weekend I've booked to travel. How many days travel will that be? Best juga that go to Long Pasia.

    My next OTBP is either end of Aug or early Sept; travelling to BSB by land and public transport :) Want to get all the Immigration chops on my passport. Then return will be by ferry via Labuan. Want to join?