Taman Negara National Park, Malaysia
After a 3.5 hr bus journey from Kuantan to Jarantut followed by a frantic 140 km/hr taxi ride along winding roads to Tembling jetty, we made it onto the last boat of the day just in time. The 60 km boat ride into Taman Negara National Park was peaceful and relaxing, but within 2 hrs, our bums started to ache. We were partly sitting and partly lying back on a thin cushion wide enough for 2 people. The boat was long, narrow and very low. You could put your arms to the side and feel the cool water rush through your fingers. Then the rain started. The boatman turned off the engine, waited for the boat to stop, then moved to the front to cover all the backpacks. Our first glimpse of heavy rain in a 130 million year old tropical rainforest. It had taken 3 hrs altogether, the rain had stopped, and there wasn’t a cloud to be seen. Our budget stretched to a dorm room with 4 bunks in a cheap hostel for 10 ringgets each (2 quid each). So far we’d been able to afford hotel rooms. We settled into the 2 lower bunks. Luckily nobody was occupying the other 2 beds yet. We spent the evening wandering around followed by an early night. As Mike rested his head on the pillow there was a load thud, and as I looked over at him, I found myself in hysterics. Poor Mike had fallen through the bed! His head and body were on the mattress which was on the floor, and his bum and legs were dangling up above on the remaning half of the bed!!! The wooden slats that held the mattress were slightly too narrow for the bed. They also had rusty nails poking out on the underside. REALLY DANGEROUS. Luckily throught our stay here, no-one shared the room with us and no-one took the top bunks.