With our only
full day in KL we went to look at the Lake Gardens.
At the hotel we were told it is only a 15â walk (maybe they meant 50â?), but we
got lost, so after getting halfway to the Petronas Twin Towers (the tallest
towers in the world if you count the flagpole) we gave up and caught a taxi.
At the Lake Gardens
we went straight to the bird aviary â the largest walk-in bird aviary in the
world with 180 different species. Just inside we were greeted by wolf-whistles
from Mynah birds, and a display from Indian Peehens. The aviary was huge, and
easily took us two hours to walk around.
In it we saw many small sunbirds,
pigeons and song birds. By the lake were flamingos, Malibu storks, ibis, pelican and scarlet ibis
which are so startlingly red that I assumed they were normal ibis that had
managed to get into the flamingos red food-dye feed until we saw the sign.
There was also a display of flightless birds with emu, ostrich and greater
rhea. Several owls and birds of prey had their own cages, as did the hornbills.
The next segment of the aviary was for the hornbills only â they had several
pairs in cages, and a pair of greater hornbills and rhinoceros hornbills in
freeflight in the area. Seeing them up close it was amazing to see how large
they were. The next few segments had parrots and endangered birds (including
toucans) and we finished up by watching a rather horrifying bird/orang-utan
show put on for a group of 40 ten year old school kids. We lunched at a
restaurant overlooking the free-flight hornbills. Still at the Lake Gardens
we went to the butterfly house, which was good but not spectacular, but we
missed the orchid centre, the lake and the many gardens due to a lack of time.
Back at the hotel we had half an hour free (the taxi was quicker than we
thought) so we spent it looking around china town. Our hotel was conveniently
located on the main shopping street. I picked up a very neat tripod for my
camera, but we didnât really buy anything.
Our next tour
was Kuala Selengar and the fireflies. We drove out with Diethelm tours (with
two Armenian men and a Japanese lady) to Kuala Selengar where we stopped at a
historical hill. The hill used to be owned by the Dutch (it overlooked the
Sungi Selengar) for shipping, until the local hero poisoned their well. At the
hill there are wild troops of silver-leaf monkeys and long-tailed macaques. The
silver-leaf monkeys were amazingly beautiful with silver adults and bright
orange babies. They were also very friendly to each other and us, eating out of
our hands. The long-tailed macaques came along a bit later and chased off some
of the silver-leaf monkeys and squabbled over the food.
silver-leaf monkeys we had dinner on the shores of the Sungi Selengar (with
crowned eagles flittering by) until it got dark, when we went on a cruise up
the Sungi Selengar to the mangroves, to see the amazing displays of hundreds of
fireflies synchronously flashing.
A little more
shopping in Chinatown back in KL, and our only day in mainland Malaysia was