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Gunung Mulu National Park: A Rainforest Adventure

After living in Taiwan for a year, we decided it was time to continue with our World Trip journey. The first country we visited during this second segment of our World Trip was Borneo. This is the third largest island in the world. It is divided between 3 countries: Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei. We visited the northern part of the island, which is mostly occupied by Malaysia.

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The Malaysian Borneo has two states, Sarawak and Sabah. Since Gunung Mulu National Park is located in a very remote area in the Sarawak region, we flew from Kota Kinabalu to Gunung Mulu airport. It was one of the smallest and cutest airports we had ever seen!

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Mulu National Park is a rainforest flourishing with great biodiversity and amazing natural beauty. During our 3 day stay at the park, we encountered so many interesting insects and animals. For example, we found this black and white worm to be very unique.

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We also spotted with creepy looking red centipede. It moved so fast!

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This looks like a branch, right? But it is actually an insect–a walking stick!

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These aggressive fire ants will bite humans.  Unfortunately, during a night hike, a fire ant bit my foot.  It really hurt and the pain continued to persist for awhile. Don’t wear sandals when you go hiking in a dark rainforest!

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During a short hiking, we explored a path that was usually not traveled by lots of tourists.  It lead us to this beautiful waterfall–the Paku Waterfall.

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To enjoy the views of the rainforest from high above, we decided to do our very first canopy walk. It was pretty cool to see the rainforest from this perspective!

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The Deer Cave is one of the major highlights at Mulu National Park. It is home to over 12 species of bats. It is also the largest cave passage in the world.

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With millions of bats inhabiting the cave, there is a lot of guano inside. I have to admit, the smell inside the cave was not very pleasant due to the piles of excrement.

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Every evening around 6pm, about 2 to 3 million bats fly out of the cave in search for food!  It was an absolutely amazing experience to see millions of bats flying high in the sky!

Anyone, who is a rainforest enthusiast and has a sense of adventure should definitely visit Gunung Mulu National Park. Within the rainforest lie marvelous creatures and natural wonders that are ready to be explored.

VIDEO: Usually within an hour, it is possible to see millions of bats flying out Deer Cave in small groups. This short video shows a group of bats coming out of cave during the evening.

A Day To Remember: Trekking in India’s Periyar National Park

When you are on the road for a year, every single day is different.  Some days however, become permanently imprinted into your memory forever.  One those days for me was when we went to Periyar National Park. This could have been our last adventure! I am not exaggerating, keep reading.

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It was a beautiful sunny day in South India, and we had signed up for an all day trekking tour at Periyar National Park. This is one of Kerala’s most popular national parks due to its beautiful nature and wildlife. People flock to this amazing park, lured by the possibility of spotting wild elephants, deer, boar, and perhaps even tigers!

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At 8:00 am sharp we met our guides and the rest of the trekkers. After some brief introductions, we were sitting on a bamboo raft ready to paddle across the gorgeous lake.

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Jason worked very hard to paddle us across this huge artificial lake that lies within the national park. Riding the bamboo raft was an incredible way to enjoy the beauty of the forest. It was both peaceful and fun.

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While on the bamboo raft we were very lucky to spot some wildlife. In the far distance we noticed a group of water buffalo.

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Due to the distance, it is extremely difficult to see but we also saw boar.

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Once we reached land, we trekked for several hours hoping to encounter some wildlife up close. Aside from a few deer, we didn’t really see too much. But, I did hold these super heavy antlers that were found in the wild.

Our tour was almost coming to an end. We had been out all day and now it was almost 4:30 pm, and everyone was feeling a bit disappointed since we never saw an elephant. When the group was pretty much convinced we were not going to spot an elephant, an incredible thing happened. Are you thinking, we saw a wild elephant? Yes, you are partially right. Let me explain.

We were hiking in a straight line, and I happened to be near the front. We were about to turn the corner, when our guide told us to immediately stop. Through the bushes we could see some gray and hear some rustling noises. Yes! It was definitely an elephant! Carefully following our guide’s instructions we all moved away from the elephant. Soon we were in an open field about 50 meters away from that grayish wild animal we had spotted seconds before. We had a clear sight of the elephant and other elephants too!! What? There wasn’t just one elephant, or two, or three, there were seven elephants!! Unbelievable!!

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Now, this is where things got really crazy. The elephants immediately noticed our presence and began kicking the earth with their legs and trumpeting! Then the 6 adult elephants encircled the small baby elephant. What were they doing? Trying to protect their baby or discussing politics? I don’t know! But, the next thing they did was stand in a line facing us with the baby elephant behind them. I think they were telling us to move away. I turned toward my guide, who was holding a rifle in his hand. He looked terrified. There was so much fear in his eyes! My heart skipped a beat. Seriously, it did. The guide was yelling at everyone to run as fast as they could away from the elephants or else they may attack!

I was starting to feel nervous; after all I was wearing orange. I would definitely be an easy target if those elephants started a stampede. So naturally, it would be wise for me to run for my life, but I didn’t. Why?

This was the part that made me the most petrified. Jason was so thrilled about the seeing the wild elephants, he kept taking their pictures despite the fact the guide had told us to run. Everyone had already left except him and of course me. I couldn’t just leave him behind. I kept yelling at him to run as my stress level continued to increase at the speed of light. Finally, he ran! In fact, he ran pretty fast! Yup, I was the last one to enter the safe zone! What can I say, I am just a slow runner!

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Oh, the adrenaline rush. I was terrified and excited simultaneously. Check out our video below, if you don’t believe me!

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These were our wonderful guides, who succeeded to keep everyone safe!

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So what happened with the elephants? They were probably laughing at us. No, seriously they realized we weren’t a threat and went about their merry day.

Any words of wisdom from me? Yes. Don’t wear orange when you go trekking in the wild.

Korea’s Sex Park!

Throughout my travels I have seen numerous parks. However, Korea’s Sex Park definitely tops my chart for its uniqueness. This interesting park, which is also named Jeju Loveland, is home to 140 erotic statues that express the theme of sexuality. It was built in 2004 by students from Seoul’s Hongik University. Now, it has become a very popular attraction for both locals and tourists. Considering that sex is not openly talked about in Korean society, this park is indeed very unique to Korea!

Watch this short video and get a glimpse into this sex park!

What has been the most unique park that you have visited?

Related: Korea’s Penis Park

Why is this Korean Park full of Penises?

In South Korea, sexuality is a topic that is not openly expressed. Thus, it might be quite alarming to learn that Korea has an entire park consisting of about 50 phallic statues. Situated along Korea’s east coast, approxiately 20 km south from Samcheok, lies a Penis Park. This unique park also known as Haesindang Park belongs to a small town called Sinnam.

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According to legend, a fisherman took a maid out to the sea and left her on a rock to harvest some seaweed. He promised he would return later and bring her back to shore. Tragically however, there was a very heavy rainstorm and the woman eventually drowned and died in the sea. After her death, the villagers were unable to catch fish. Many believed this was due to the dead virgin’s ill spirit. To please her spirit, the villagers decided to erect wooden phallic statues and hold a religious ceremony. After that, it was not long before the villagers were catching fish again.

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Interestingly, the religious ceremony for this maid still continues to be held twice a year. In this photo, the rock on which the maid was left can be seen in the far distance.

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The penis sculptures peppered throughout the park were of various sizes and shapes. Most of the penises were carved with facial expressions or unique patterns.

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Some penis statues were fairly simple.

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Others were more creative, like this fish penis.

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I found this phallic statue very interesting due to its facial expression.

Personally, I thought it was worth a trip to the Penis Park. If erect penis statues don’t make you uncomfortable, then this park is a great place to have a few laughs!