Camping on a beach (Teluk Segadas)

                                                                                                                                Early this year we went camping at Teluk Segadas, which is a rather isolated beach situated on Pangkor Island. The beach is only accessible by private boat, or by trekking about 45 minutes through mosquitoe infested jungle. We're fortunate that we had a friend who owned a private boat. Preparing for the journey wasn't easy. It involved loading a lot of items on the boat, supplies for at least 4 days.

Green waters as we approach the island

Here we've just arrived at the island, and unloading. more work!

However, the beach is really really beautiful, heavenly, almost a paradise on earth. The children loved it immediately and started exploring the place.

Here's a picture of the beach. Not a soul in sight, except for a little camping site, consisting of shacks right at the end of the beach. That too was empty, except for the owner himself.

See how isolated we are? All alone.
 So what did the children do? Well they
-swam,  went crab hunting at night, played in the parked boats, made camp fires and built sandcastles.
Scooping out water. Rather rough waves here.
We also took a trip to main island. To do that we had to reload the children in the bigger boat parked further out at sea.
  Now for just a piece of warning if you decide to camp here.

1) Do NOT leave your things unguarded! Monkeys will come and steal things right from your tent! Once we were cooking, we had monkeys coming from every direction. In  the future, I might consider bringing a grenade for them. (kidding! )

2) Beware of THIEVES. Take your expensive belongings with you if going on a trail or boat ride. We thought the island was safe, and left our things in camp while away. When we got back, all of our expensive things were STOLEN! We prayed, and one of our kids saw footprints leading to the jungle behind our tents. After a 4 hour search in the forest, somehow, thankfully, we found EVERY single item stolen. The thief had hid our items in various spots of the jungle, hoping to retrieve them later.

3) Beware of STORMS! The second night of camping there was horrifying. We were hit by heavy rain, thunder and lightning, strong winds of at least 80 m/p/h. It was frightening. The wind threatened to blow our tent, or smash it to pieces. My husband and I held on with every ounce of strength we had to protect our children inside. Thankfully we made it through the night unharmed. But look at the pic below, it showed what happened to our friend's tent.

The damaged tent not let the last part of the post deter you from trying it out yourself. haha.. FOr us it was certainly an unforgettable adventure! :) Heavenly if not for the storm and thieves.

@flourpaint, 2011

Jadi Batek - KL

I last posted about our wonderful Batik learning experience at Uncle Sam's Batik, where you get to learn Batik Painting hands on with a very good artist, who's also a very dedicated and patient teacher.

Well, here's another Batik center we found, Jadi Batek. I'd say, the experience there  was really worth the time and money as well. Price ranges from 30RM to 100++RM, depending on cloth size.

Some pictures.

you get to observe artists at work

this artist was using wax directly on the cloth, freehand drawing and his strokes were beautiful and neat.

learning how to use the canting

what a wonderful way to explore and express

almost completed work..

some of the completed works..

my piece of art
some completed work by artists at Jadi Batek
 Once you're done with your work, you can eat at the mamak across the road, really good food!! Then head towards the back of the mamak, and you'll find Two very huge and crowded Chocolate Outlets!! yummmm...
For more info you can check them out at
@Flourpaint, 2011


You'll know you've arrived in Sematan when you see these shops.

Sematan is quiet fishing village almost at the tip of West Sarawak, about an hour and a half's drive from Kuching. Here time stands still.. things are slow going. This little town is famous for its never ending stretches of beach, seafood!, padi fields, pepper farms and fishing of course! It's also a place where fish mongers go to collect the catch of the day before heading to markets around Kuching.

I enjoyed our short stay there, simply because of the peace and quiet.
Here's some shots from the town of Sematan.
Heavenly seafood for very very cheap. Half of what we pay in town.
Tranquility.... not a soul in sight except us....and the sand flies. haha...
The Red House... by a beach near Lunduk free spirited girl...running by the waters...into the sunset...
village roads that seem to lead to nowhere

beautiful pepper farms

little J searching for shell

shells shells...beautiful shells..

So if you're in Kuching and long for some head out there to Sematan. You can stay at Palm Beach Resort, which offers cosy chalets.

@Flourpaint, 2011

Rafflesia and Raja brooke at the Ulu Geroh National Park

A Day after our wonderful Caving at Gua Tempurung , we headed towards
Ulu Geroh Forest Reserve which is located approximately 11 KM from Gopeng MCA. The 11 Km is a slow drive through very narrow and bumpy road. When on forest road, beware of traffic coming from opposite direction as you don’t want a collision.

Caught em' mating ---male on top??
 If planning on going, do contact Ngah at this number 017-5691227 to check first if there’re any Rafflesias in bloom. We called ahead and Ngah said there was only one, and it was “cacat” (retarded) with only 3 petals. We’ve seen lovely Rafflesias twice in bloom at the Gunung Gading National Park  before, but decided just to go ahead here to view a different species of the Rafflesia.

the beginning of the trail, just an easy walk through a muddy path

don't be fooled by its beauty, it's a LEECH!

The Trek to find the Rafflesia can take any duration between half hour to 2 hours, mostly through hilly paths, depending on where the Rafflesia is. Ours was just a short trek, but through VERY muddy paths with VERY HUGE  and HUNGRY leeches which will trek your feet down!
I had several huge ones on my pants, but thankfully none had the privilege of sucking my blood! haha :).  Some say applying Tobacco on your shoes and shocks will prevent leeches from crawling up. Let me tell you, it certainly DIDN’T work with the hungry leeches here. Our brave children went ahead and none got bitten. Just be watchful and keep walking.

 We found the Rafflesia after half hour of continuous uphill climb, and true it was cacat! Problem here is many tourists go through these tracks, and also local people go in and out several times a day to harvest durians. Our guide told us, when some people carelessly step on Rafflesia buds, the flower that blooms is then abnormal.

A bud, will probably bloom in less than a month from now
the 'cacat' Rafflesia. Probably deformed coz someone stepped on it while it was a bud. (so said our guide.)
So it's important to teach our children to trek carefully and not destroy the buds, which can be found on host vines.
After the slippery climb, we headed to find the Raja Brooke, and saw some Stick Insects on the way. Now this, was an AWESOME sight!
very huge stick insect!

A Close up of the Stick Insect

Raja Brooke Butterflies. According to the guide, they love the warm water here

closer look

The guide caught one for us. Some of us held it, but very gently so as not to harm it, and only for a while before we let it go. the children were all excited over this.

Close up of it's head

Finally, if you're at Ulu Geroh, do head to Gua Tempurung for some caving adventure!
Do visit this post Gunung Gading Rafflesia too.
@martha, 2011

Caving Gua Tempurung Level 3

Last month me and my girls studied quite a few things about caves (posts - Cave Art and Making Speleothem). I then decided that the best way to reinforce all we’ve learnt was to go caving. So we decided on a field trip/adventure to Gua Tempurung.
this is what you see at Level 1 and 2 caving. Beautiful
Gua Tempurung is definitely an adventure I’d recommend anyone! It’s thrilling, exciting, educational, memorable! J
There are four levels of caving there. Level 1 and 2 is nothing more than a walk up several hundred steps. You get to enjoy the beautiful view of the very huge cave, it’s speleothems and sometimes bats, but no real adventure there at all. There are lamp posts along the path so it’s not too dark.
But if you’re not wary of water, I’d highly recommend level 3 or 4 caving.
Level 3 begins with a slippery slide down a short path. It so happened that when we were at that point there was another big group sliding down the path. To safe time, our guide decided that we should slide down a different path, a slightly more tricky one. This is where our friend Ding’s 500RM rope, came in VERY handy for young children. We had 15 children in our group and the youngest independent caver (aged 4) definitely had to go by rope. (We also had a very brave toddler, and he was strapped to his very gungho mummy most of the time.
slippery descend to Level 3
(If you’re an adult and not very err..agile, make sure there’s someone down there to catch you. I saw a huge lady slide down, and no one caught her. She landed with a very loud thud on her back and cried. I felt the pain for her!! OUCH!) 
After the slide, the guide gave us a choice of either crawling through a tunnel or going down a hole in the ground. We chose the hole. Going through it, we came to a level below the main cave floor. This is where it gets dark, wet and Exciting!! 
the hole we went through
The underground adventure was awesome! It is a series of tunnels with water flowing through. The beginning is easy, just walking through shallow water.
The beginning of the underground trail. Here's where it gets dark, and you'll need your headlights

Some parts you have to waddle like a duck to get through,
The duck walk..only till the passage gets lower, then you've to lie flat (also notice super mum Jessy holding on to her toddler as they get through these tunnels)

some parts you crawl like in this picture below 

this pic is blur..sorry..hard to get good shots in darkness.. but here we are crawling

and in some sections there is hardly space between you and the stalactites. This is when you have to either crawl flat on your belly or slide on your back, with water up to your neck. I chose to slide on my back, simply coz  I was hanging on to my dear camera and preventing it from getting wet. But this was beneficial, coz as I was sliding, I caught sight of a baby bat! The children were certainly excited when I called them back to see the bat! Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo of it, as you know, it is very dark under these wet tunnels.
Using flashlight, you can spot Josh coming out at the end of tunnel where he's been sliding almost flat on his back

All the adults and children did REALLY well. We had one member who got slightly claustrophobic while crawling under the stalactites, but thankfully these crawls were short with some breaks in between, and she did ok. J
I thought this formation looked interesting..kinda like a snake?
All in all, we took about 2 hours including time to stop and *ooh* and *aah* at the cave formations. Fabulous!
Things to bring if you’re going with young children:
-Head Lights
-boots or crocs will do. It’ll get wet, muddy with lotsa sand inside.
-Plaster in case of knocks or blisters
-drinking water
-wear light clothing and prepare a change of clothing for after (to be kept in car or locker provided)
-knee caps (which made it easier for my kids to crawl).
-optional helmet. (Jo my little gal, did knock her head once against a stalactite, but she was ok and continued without fussing.)
Do not carry heavy stuff, remember, lotsa crawling in water, some parts up to the neck coz you have to practically get flat on your belly or back in water, and you don’t want your stuff getting wet!!! Also I would check with guide regarding water level before going for level 3.
nearing the end. just a walk through :)

How to get there
To get there, just take the NorthSouth expressway towards Gopeng. Once you turn left to Gopeng exit, you come to a tol. Take a left after and follow the Gua Tempurung sign. Very easy to find!
Where to stay:
You can choose to stay in Adeline’s Place, or Gopeng Resort. These were nice, but rather deep in the forest, through a very narrow and bumpy road. Food found only at resort.
Or you can stay at Grand Kampar Hotel in luxury, drive 20 mins to the cave, and after the cave, enjoy the pool back at the hotel and the Amazing, DELICOUS variety of food found in Kampar. We chose this option. J
Next post- Rafflesia Hunt and Raja Brooke Butterfly sighting at Ulu Geroh. Ulu Geroh

@Martha , 2011