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The Great Wall of China in Mutianyu

The Great Wall of China is referred to in Mandarin as Wanli Changcheng (10,000-Li Long Wall or simply very long wall) BEIJING, CHINA- S...

Friday, October 8, 2010



The bigger the nose the more POGI daw ang isang lalaking Proboscis Monkey sa paningin ng mga girls na Proboscis Monkey. Uha!
The Klias Fireflies River Cruise. An exciting tour to search for the Proboscis Monkeys & see Nature's X'mas Lights tour would cost you between RM 175 to RM 260 per person, depending from where you booked the tour. Our tour operator was KLIAS RIVER TOUR.

Our tour guide fetched us @ around 2 p.m. from our hotel in Kota Kinabalu, we meet 2 Koreans on board the van already, they were brothers. The older one is a restaurant owner, and the younger one is a music professor in Korea. We then proceeded to fetch 2 Europeans @ another hotel nearby. Then we started our journey towards KOTA KLIAS, the jump-off point for the Klias River cruise. which is a good two (2) hours away from downtown Kota Kinabalu.

Upon arrival @ our jump off point, pose agad, wala ng suklay suklay sayang ang  oras, ha ha ha!

REMINDER: Since the Proboscis Monkeys keep their distance, don't forget to bring a pair of binoculars. And since it's a swamp area, insect repellent will prove to be handy. If you own a life vest bring it with you 'coz the life vest there smells bad!
The Klias River is a large area of peat swamp which explains the brown color of the acidic water. The characteristic dark brown color of a peat swamp is a result of dissolved peat tannins in the water.
Upon arrival at the port, we were served traditional MALAY snacks ( some of them looks like sapin sapin, complete with coconut grates on top) tea and coffee while we waited for ever more passengers from other tour companies to arrive.

One major attraction of Sabah is its nature and wildlife. That is why we really looked forward to visiting the Klias River to observe Borneo’s endangered Proboscis Monkey (Nasalis larvatus) in its natural habitat. If you decide to take the river cruise, you’ll be free for the morning. Tours are usually in the afternoon because the Proboscis Monkey comes out to feed very early in the morning or late in the afternoon just before dusk.

At around 5 p.m., we were required to wear life jackets before we boarded the small boats. We left in different motorized boats. Each boat could sit about 15 to 20 people and has a guide, who will spot the monkeys and inform the driver to stop and move near the place where he saw the monkeys.

Our first stop is the location of the crocs. It is a small crocodile, who doesn't moved, even when our boat comes near it. I guess it got used with the boats and passengers that come near. Or maybe the boat operators feed it in that particular area that's why mahilig siya tumambay dyan. Ha ha ha. Guess ko lang, ikaw ano ang guess mo?

The proboscis monkey is a different story. It was challenging trying to locate the monkeys since they are quite elusive and know when there are boats around. At first, you would see only movements in the trees. Then the guide would point and draw your attention on the Proboscis Monkeys silently feeding or moving about. Many times, they’d be in groups so you’d see mature male monkeys, which are the most peculiar because of their long noses and large bellies, with female and younger Proboscis Monkeys in tow.

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to appreciate the features of the Proboscis Monkeys unless you have binoculars or a camera with a really good zooming capacity. You only get to observe them from a distance especially since they are perched up high the trees and the boats can only go as far as the river banks. And taking photographs isn't that easy since the monkeys keep a safe distance from humans, the lighting is a bit dim, and the boats are quite wobbly especially when everyone stands up and tries to take photos.

We went from one area to another just observing the monkeys in their natural habitat. We even saw them changing lanes errr trees, ha ha ha! This is much better than seeing them in zoos. According to my brother, he read somewhere that you should never feed these monkeys fruits or any sugar since their digestive system cannot process sugar. It turns directly into gas and that would kill them since their stomachs will explode.

When it started to get dark, we proceeded back to the port for dinner. We’d stop every now and then as the guide spotted more monkeys on the way back. At the port was a buffet dinner of Malay dishes.

After dinner, we boarded the boats again for a quick river cruise to see a live Christmas tree as the guides would call it. This time, we were out to appreciate the fireflies as they lit up the trees in the night sky. After showing us several trees with thousands of fireflies, we proceeded back to the port to board our vehicles back to our Kota Kinabalu hotel.




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