Photo Reflections: Welcome to the Rain Forest

Endau Rompin National Park in Johor, Malaysia is one of the oldest rain forests in the world. Jason and I entered the mighty depths of it with little to expect. It actually took quite a while because the roads are bad in that area (maybe worse than the roads we experienced in Cambodia). From the introduction by way of all the Palm Oil farms (endless) to the depths of the forest with its thunderous rain and huge leaves and strange, strange creatures, we ended up having a marvelous time getting off the beaten path for a little bit. Note: I highly recommend visiting all the countries we visited during the rainy season, as I’m sure experiences would have been completely different in a crowded season! A second note: the following images are once again in reverse order. You can thank the hooligans at WordPress for not making it easy to input photos in multiple arrangements.

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As you can see, above, our situation was really quite adventurous. Below, one of those famous meat-eating plants known for trapping insects in its sticky, destructive waters.

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Our lodging in the rain forest was at the park center (not geographic center, but infrastructural center). The large bunkhouse, which was occupied by me, Jason, and our guide William, could have fit a hundred more breathing, noisy bodies. Thankfully that was not the case. In addition to our solitude, I’m positive the non-A/C’d bunkhouse (instead filled with a wide assortment of rotating ceiling fans) would have been compromised with more heat had their been more bodies. Below: my first bunk bed experience since college.

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The following are some general images from the complex’s grounds. They really don’t do it justice, however. The location is quite distanced from anything (the closest town was maybe an hour away through many dusty red roads and many hectares of palm farms.

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One of my favorite parts about the rain forest is the man-made decay you find its corners. Priorities dictate that certain structures no longer see use, and some are destroyed by the millions upon millions of ants and other creatures living and dominating over humanity.

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We don’t speak Malay but we can understand cleanliness  The bathroom, though it approached on being the most frightening (lizards on the walls at night, this very wet feeling in all of the stalls) was actually quite accommodating. I will say that by this time our digestive systems, though not breaking apart from bacteria and sickness, certainly did stop functioning normally. Probably due to all the rice.

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And here we have the drive into the park. Imagine off-roading bumps, thick dust, and all manner of strange sites. Like the farms of the USA but on an alien planet.

 

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The fruit of the palm tree. This is where all the palm oil comes from. It’s one of Malaysia’s largest exports.

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Similar to clear-cutting in the USA, palm farms get cut down periodically so that they can grow anew. There was no mention of methods where they did not replant what they cut down. Everything grows so fast in this region that this technique makes sense.

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