Tag Archives: photos

Hiking in the Forest Research Institute Malaysia – in KL

Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) in Kuala Lumpur offers a nice location for a hike. I took the train to Kepong and then a taxi to the park. There is then a fairly long walk to the trail (from the entrance) but past interesting sites, so I found it worthwhile. You could probably get driven in further but you have to pay at the gate, so I think the taxi was reluctant to enter.

hiking trail

My guess is this isn’t high on tourists list of attractions in KL (more an education and research center and resource for those living in KL). But for people that like hiking (such as me) it is a nice location. And for those living in KL it is a great hike (those I saw hiking seemed like locals to me).

forest stream

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If You Visit Kuching Eat at Tribal Stove

Tribal Stove is absolutely wonderful

Yes it has great food, which thankfully there is a a great deal of in many place. What makes Tribal Stove someplace not to miss is it is the rare combination of great and generally inaccessible food.

I often find great restaurants in tourist destinations. And sometimes it is even local in a sense – but nearly always (not all, but almost) I can get very similar good dishes in any large city across the globe.

Tribal Stove had truly distinctive dishes that were also great. They have quite a few dishes, some of my favorite are wild jungle salad and tapioca leaves. The restaurant serves cuisine from Kelabit Highlands in Sarawak.

photo of great Kelabit Highlands food

Maybe my all time favorite meal. The 3 sample items were great.

The set menu (photo above) of tea, a meat dish with 2 vegetable sides, soup and rice that was US$5 (15 MYR). It was amazing. It would be great at $20. I happened to be lucky enough to get my favorite vegetable there with my first order.

The meet dish in the triple was very good, the rice I didn’t care for. But the two vegetable dishes were amazing – truly great. One the right is Lamud Busaq Keluduh (Bario Wild Flower Salad) – wild ginger flower, petai and wild chives flavored with Bario Higland salt. I believe the dish on the left was Udung Ubih (Wild Tapioca Leaf) – cassava or tapioca leaf pounded and shredded and cooked to perfection over a slow heat. The middle dish was, I believe, beef with crisp vegetables.

Menu - Tribal Stove, Kuching

I have been trying other dishes which are also great but those 2 are not to be missed (you can get “small” dishes of those for $3, see photo below – two pretty easily make a meal in my opinion). If the prices triple this place is still not to be missed.

There is no restaurant I recommend to travels more strongly than I recommend Tribal Stove. If I could have one restaurant transplanted to my location so I could eat their in my home town it would be Tribal Stove. There is nothing remotely close.

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Street Art, Large Mural on Jalan Tan Hiok Nee in Johor Bahru

Large view of the mural including door

September 2013

A large mural has been taking shape on Jalan Tan Hiok Nee for over a year. The first photo shows it near the beginning, September 2013.

photo of large mural street art

March 2014

Large paintings have also been added along Jalan Tan Hiok Nee near the mural. It is quite a nice addition of street art to the historical JB walk. A new post with photos of those will be added soon. (Update: In turns out it was a temporary display, the paintings are not there now).

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Treehouse, Permai Rainforest Resort, Damai (outside Kuching), Borneo

I very much enjoyed the treehouse cabin at the Permai Rainforest Resort. The reviews on Agoda for the ground level lodgings there were not great, but I was extremely pleased with the treetop cabin I stayed at. The Permai Rainforest Resort is in Damai, about 30 km outside Kuching.

photo of Treetop Cabin, Permai Rainforest Resort

The treehouses all are along the forest edge where it meets the beach. You hear the wonderful sound of waves crashing and winds rushing through the forest trees.

photo inside of the Treetop Cabin, Permai Rainforest Resort

The rooms have a full bath and electricity.

They were quite cool, with the shade and wind, but also offered AC if you wished to use it. The cafeteria wasn’t anything fancy but offered tasty food and a decent wifi connection (no wifi is available in the rooms).

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Sultan Abu Baker Mosque

The Sultan Abu Baker Mosque was constructed upon a hill overlooking the Johor Straits between 1892 and 1900 and is the state mosque for Johor. The mosque can accommodate 3,000 worshippers.

photo of Sultan Abu Baker Mosque

Sultan Abu Baker Mosque. All photos are by John Hunter.

I recommended taking a short trip to visit and walking around the grounds. You can walk to old town from without much trouble (I would guess it is less than 2 km from old town), obviously you can drive or take a taxi if you prefer.

building in the Sultan Abu Baker Mosque complex

This square building and two large rectangular buildings of the same style sit on the non-Straits side of the Mosque.

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Wonderful Hiking in Bako National Park

Bako National Park offers a network of trails through jungles, scrub environments and to beautiful beaches. The post includes spur trails which I took as part of a loop off the Lintang Trail. I slept in Kuching, hiked during the day in Bako National Park and returned to my hotel at night.

On the Pandan Kencil Path

photo of view from plateau on Bako National Park Pandan Kencil path

Great views from a plateau. And the plateau also had large numbers of pitcher plants.

photo of pitcher plants

Then there is a short spur off the Pandan Kencil path to this wonderful beach overlook (Besar):

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Lintang Trail, Bako National Park, Sarawak, Borneo

Forest trail, Lintang trail

The Lintang Trail, Bako National Park, Sarawak, Borneo is 5.25 km but it offers several additional spur trails. I will post on the spur trails in a future post.

Steep climb on trail, Lintang trail

The trail has quite a bit of step climbs. Along with the spur trails I was quite exhausted when I completed the hike (which is not normal for me). It was fairly hot, combining that with probably a bit over 10 km (which is not normally any problem) and the step climbs got a bit tiring.

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Big Lizards in Johor Bahru CBD

Large lizard (over 1 meter)

Large, thin, lizard (over 1 meter)

Two days ago I saw this big lizard and managed to get a photo. It is at least a meter long from head to tail (probably longer, the tail is really long). Still it isn’t huge since it is very narrow (more like a snake with legs than anything else).

A few months ago I saw a really big lizard 1 block from the CIQ. It was easily 2 meters long (head to end of the tail) and quite large (stout). I was standing for awhile looking at this cool patch of wild greenery. All of a sudden I heard a noise and looked down; this large lizard probably got tired of me standing so and moved quickly into the brush. I hadn’t seen it. I would guess it was sunning itself, before I wandered over. Too bad I didn’t have my camera ready.

close up of the large, thin, lizard

Close up of the large, thin, lizard (shown above)

A few weeks ago I saw one in between the size of those 2 (more like the stout one) that leaped into the undergrowth before I got a good look.

And today I saw another one (like the one in the photo) in a park near KSL Mall. It was maybe 700 cm or so. That is it for my large lizard spotting in Johor Bahru. I do see these little guys in my condo occasionally.

I do wonder what the largest ones eat. People keep chickens and feed neighborhood cats (as far as I can tell they are stray cats). I would think those lizards could get young chickens and cats maybe. I also wonder if the cats get any of the young chicks. I would imagine people wouldn’t like that too much. I guess the adult chickens are pretty good at keeping the cats at bay. They mill around right next to each other and I haven’t seen any cat stalking them. I see the cats stalking each other a fair amount (the young ones).

I haven’t seen lizard or snake on the menu anywhere here. I’m sure it probably is I just haven’t noticed it (in a bunch of places they don’t have menus in English. I have seen frog and deer and wild boar (and of course squid is common and I really like it). When I have had alligator or snake I have liked it. Nice lean meat.

If you know what type of lizards are in the photos (and what the larger one might be) please mention it, in a comment.