My travel up from Singapore was smooth, and I arrived shattered in Kuantan at 4:00am. My original plan had been to make it up to Maran – near to Tasek Chini – in the same day, but I had so little sleep on the bus I crashed straight into the hotel for some Z’s.
Waking much later than even my modified plan, I made it to the bus station in time for the bus up to Maran. It was fairly uneventful, and hooked up neatly enough with a taxi that took me onto the Jetty. Waiting around in the rain, the clouds parted as soon as I stepped into the boat and we hurtled up the river doing a good impression of a Vietnam war movie.
I was alarmed when the cap’n aimed the boat straight at the trees on the opposite bank, but they drew back as the revs dropped and we entered a secret jungle world. The river threaded through the trees like some giant snail’s trail – the lake system is linked thus and I spent a fascinating 20 minutes staring up at the vines, the birds and more exotic wildlife. The driver cut the engine and coasted as soon as he saw a one metre long iguana basking in the sun. Far bigger than anything I had seen before, it scampered up the bank to safety as soon as it realised I was pulling out my camera.
I stayed the night in very basic accomodation provided by Rajan Jones – a local Indian man. The food was home cooked and I had a lovely view out accross the lake, and happily supped tea while watching the fishermen pull in their nets.
Today, I originally planned (do you see the pattern?) to make it up to Jerantut and the national park. Rajan explained to me that since people are becoming more affluent they are also less and less reliant on a good local bus service. As a result, I arrived in Kuantan late for my connection bus up to the park, and will have to stay here a second night. Not too much of a problem, and will make it in time for the next day’s boat up the river.
I am having trouble accessing my e-mail from this cafe, so please do not be offended if I am not replying!
Planning is for losers anyway.
Tasek Chini Boat Trip