Tuesday, September 20 – Transit: Kuching to Belum Rainforest

Travel day from Kuching, Borneo to the Belum Rainforest Resort at the north end of Peninsular Malaysia. We left the hotel by bus at 10am (with an almost immediate U-turn back to the hotel to empty a forgotten safe – not ours ). We had an uneventful flight to Kuala Lampur (KL) Airport, where we were met by our new guide, Rthyuan. He informed us that we had a 6-hour drive ahead of us and that we needed water, snacks, etc. We hit 2 airport stores for those necessities and were on the road about 3:30pm. Rthyuan pointed out the vast plantations of oil palms and explained their importance for vegetable oil production. He described the rubber industry and also the mining of tin. Both were key factors in the development of this area. Some mountains appeared to be chopped in half verticaly, where open mining occurred.
We stopped for a brief stretch and more stacks about halfway, then again for beer and wine in the last town before the Thai border, called Gerik.
On arrival at the lodge around 9:30, dinner was waiting for us. We enjoyed that and then fell into our beds. This is an eco-resort, much of it open-air. Very comfortable, but basic – though it does have free internet access which the 4/5 star hotels can’t seem to manage. We were just too tired to use it then but it was handy later.

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