David Siems <>
Tue, 19 Mar 2002 07:48:30 +1100
I had a trip to Malaysia, 28th Feb to 17th March. This is some
info to bear in mind when planning a trip.
CURRENCY: The Malaysian Ringgit is a non tradable currency, so
cannot be bought from OZ banks. I bought Ringgit from American Express in OZ
and my advice is a definate DON"T. I received RM1:75 to $OZ with a $9
service fee. At Fraser's Hill I received RM1:931 from the bank. I changed
$500 with AA and with their exchange and service fee I was ripped off a cool
KUALA LUMPUR: I stayed at the Agora Hotel (formally Apollo
Hotel) witj A/C and onsuite for RM87. It is near the Hotel Istana.
TAMAN NEGARA: The office to book the bus and boat to Taman
Negara has moved from the Hotel Istana to an office in front of the entrance
to the building Kompleks Antarabangsa. Walk 30 metres from the Hotel Istana
to the road Jalan Sultan Ismail, turn left and walk under and past the
overhead monorail station, being built, for 30 metres and opposite is the KA
building. You still catch the bus on the ground floor of the Hotel Istana.
There are now two good boats that operate to take people across
the river. They charge RM50c each way.
FRASER'S HILL: From the information office. There is only one
bus operating to Fraser's Hill. The bus arrives in Fraser's Hill at 11:30am
from where I couldn't find out. The bus leaves Fraser's Hill at 11:45am and
arrives at Raub at 1pm. The bus leaves Raub at 1:15pm and arrives in
Fraser's Hill at 2:30pm then leaves at 2:45pm for Kuala Kabu Barhru.
Arriving at Raub at 1pm there is an express coach that leaves for KL at
2:30pm arriving at 5pm. Cost RM6:70. The information office is in front of
the Puncak Inn and has maps of Fraser's Hill for RM30c.
THE GAP: The Gap Rest House is now RM41 a room. Meals were
available all day.
The bird on my "want to see" list was the Finfoot. I saw the
bird at Taman Negara on the boat trip along the river Sg. Tahan. It was only
3 metres from the boat and paddled calmly bye. Then I climbed the hill to
sit and watch the Great Argus on it's display mound. I thought it couldn't
get better but it did. A Canadian couple and me were at a spot where a
Hooded Pitta was seen the day before. After a while, the lady went back to a
bridge over a gully to check there, when two kids banged their feet while
walking across the wooden bridge. A Giant Pitta flew up and hopped into the
scrub. I went next day at the crack of dawn and waited on the bridge and as
the sun lit up the area I saw the Giant Pitta on the edge of a small pond.
It hopped along four times and disappeared around the bend in the creek. I
was told by a Finland birder that two Swedish birders had seen it in the
pond three days before me. The bird may have been feeding on snails in the
pond as there was a really bad drought at Taman Negara. I saw a total of 194
species of which 46 were new.
An enjoyable trip.
All the Best
Phone: +61 (0)2 9759 1891
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