Taman Negara 1: Suatu Persepsi

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Apabila mendapat Jemputan untuk ke Taman Negara yang di taja oleh Mutiara Taman Negara, saya cukup yakin bahawa ini bukan tugasan cabaran buat saya, malah telah mencadangkan agar rakan Penulis  iaitu Dr Marzieh Falah seorang pakar Eko Pelancongan untuk menghadirkan diri. Bukan kerana saya tidak cukup ‘Adventure’ tetapi kerana  banyak tugasan yang perlu di selesaikan.  Namun begitu, apabila Puan Aishah dari Mutiara sendiri menghubungi  dan memujuk untuk datang, saya terpaksa mengalah. Melihat kepada jadual program yang di email, saya hanya menyukai program sarapan, makan tengahari dan BBQ pada waktu malam. Kemudiannya saya bertanya untuk kepastian , antaranya ialah berapa jauh terpaksa berjalan untuk jungle trekking? Adakah Aktiviti Night Walk akan menemukan kita dengan binatang buas dan kita terpaksa berlari untuk menyelamatkan diri? Bot yang di gunakan adakah Selamat dari libasan buaya?  Setelah berpuashati dengan semua jawapan dan janji manis…OK LULUS..I am Ready, Willing and Able.

(Nota: Saya lupa nak tanya ketinggian jambatan gantung)

Bas Sudah Menanti, Taman Negara Sedang Menunggu

Tepat pukul 9 pagi kami sudah menunggu di perkarangan Hotel Istana. Untuk memastikan benar benar bersedia , saya telah bersarapan 2 kali sejak pukul 7 pagi lagi dan ke bilik air sebanyak 3 kali. Dr Marzieh tidak dapat hadir pada saat akhir kerana terpaksa pulang ke Iran. Maka saya jemput Murtadha  sebagai ganti. Mungkin Arkitek Muda ini dapat memberi sedikit inspirasi tentang Pelancongan Eko ini dari perspektif beliau.

Semasa berkumpul , saya berasa kurang seronok apabila melihat peserta -peserta yang hadir kelihatan seperti pendaki-pendaki Gunung Profesional. Beserta kelengkapan umpama seorang trekker, mereka telah benar benar melemahkan semangat saya.  Mereka duduk sekelompok mungkin berbincang tentang pendakian dan penaklukan mereka yang lepas….(Saya rasa macam nak balik rumah)

Saya memberanikan diri dan menegur salah seorang dari mereka Maswa dari Mingguan Wanita. Saya tanya, ‘Apa Gunung terakhir yang u all tawan ?’ Dia menjawab dengan selamba dan saya masih ingat kata -katanya ‘jangan terpedaya dengan bentuk fizikal kami Bang, kami duduk di ofis je’  Jawapan itu benar benar melegakan aku sebab Bukit yang paling tinggi aku pernah naik ialah Bukit Bintang. Itu pun guna eskalator. Nampaknya aku takkan pancit sorang lah….

Dalam Bas persiaran khas milik Mutiara Negara memang selesa memuatkan kami 30 orang. Dalam bas saya berkenalan dengan remaja yang kaki adventure, Nisa namanya. Kebetulan dia juga pernah ke Taman Negara melalui laluan Merapoh dan Sg Relau. Maka 2 jam kami di habiskan berkongsi cerita mengenai Caving Adventure.Perjalanan mengambil masa hampir 4 jam untuk ke Taman Negara, melalui Jerantut. Setibanya di sana , kami dapat melihat kesan akibat dari Banjir Besar yang telah melanda seluruh negeri Pahang.Banyak restoran terapung dan penempatan yang telah hanyut. Namun begitu MUTIARA Taman Negara tetap tersergam menanti kami selepas menyeberangi sungai dan menaiki 33 anak  tangga.

(Next: Tapir dan Babi Hutan singgah di Chalet kami)

Maswa, Aishah, Mike Tan dan Faisol ready nak menyeberang.
Maswa, Aishah, Mike Tan dan Faisol ready nak menyeberang.

Horror in Thai Paradise

Is Thailand dangerous for tourist ???

The naked bodies of two British tourists were found beaten to death on a Thai beach Monday, police said, sparking a murder hunt with the suspect believed to still be on the small resort island of Koh Tao.

The unidentified man and woman, both aged 24, were found early Monday with head wounds near a beachside bungalow on the island, a diving hot-spot near Koh Phangan in the Gulf of Thailand.

A bloodied hoe was discovered 35 metres from the murder scene, local police official Jakkrapan Kaewkhao told AFP.

“They were murdered and found naked on the beach. Their bodies were found 30 metres from (the) bungalow,” he said, adding the pair arrived in Thailand on August 25.
The bodies were found around 6.30 am (2330 GMT Sunday) and police have spent the day interviewing witnesses but have yet to identify a suspect or motive, he added.

Provincial police chief Kiattipong Khawsamang said “most of the wounds were to their heads” adding the suspect – or suspects—were “probably still on the island”.

Checkpoints have been set-up on the island’s two piers as local police called in reinforcements from neighbouring Koh Phangan, while high seas prevented ferries and boats from leaving.

Distraught friends of the victims – who had seen the pair partying at a local bar just hours before the gruesome discovery of their bodies – gathered at the local police station, a third officer said.

“This is a very cruel crime,” Prachum Ruangthong, superintendent of Koh Phangan police station, told AFP, adding the bodies would be sent for forensic examination in Bangkok on Tuesday.

In a statement the British Embassy in Bangkok said officials were “urgently seeking information from local authorities”.

“Consular staff stand ready to provide assistance to friends and family at this tragic time,” it added.

Koh Tao, home to stunning white sand beaches and azure waters, is popular with divers but is smaller and more laid-back than neighbouring Koh Phangan – which draws hordes of backpackers to its hedonistic “full moon” party.

A shocked employee at the budget seaside resort where they were staying told AFP the bodies were found behind large rocks on the beach.

“It was the first time this has happened on the island, I have never seen anything like this,” the staff member added, requesting anonymity.

The murders are likely to heap more misery on Thailand’s lucrative tourism industry which has been battered in recent months after a prolonged political crisis ended in a coup.

The army swiftly blanketed the country with a curfew and strict martial law, frightening off visitors.

Although the curfew was soon lifted from key tourist hotspots, visitor numbers have yet to rebound and martial law remains in place.

Military leaders have vowed to restore the nation’s reputation as the “Land of Smiles” with a clean-up targeting tourist resorts after a series of complaints about scams, assaults and even police extortion.

Britain says Thailand is the country where its citizens are second most likely to require consular assistance if they visit, behind the Philippines.

There were 389 deaths of British nationals in Thailand in the year to March 2013 – about one for every 2,400 British visitors or residents – although that figure includes natural causes.

But it is rare for tourists to be murdered in Thailand, although visitors frequently perish in accidents.

In July last year a 51-year-old American tourist was stabbed to death after an apparent row in a bar in Krabi, another popular tourist haven.

His death came just weeks after another American was slashed to death by a taxi driver in Bangkok after an apparent argument over the fare. – AFP

Great Incentives For Airlines Fly To Langkawi

ALOR SETAR: The Transport Ministry plans to give out incentives to airlines that bring in international passengers to Langkawi.

Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said doing so would boost tourism in the resort island as there were currently only two international flights going there weekly.

“When there are more routes overseas, we can bring in more international tourists to Langkawi as well,” he said.

“We’ll also be adding more chartered flights into the island besides the existing ones from Moscow,” Liow said after opening the Kedah MCA annual convention here yesterday.

On Singapore’s Land Transport Authority’s move to increase toll charges at its side of the Causeway by five-fold starting Oct 1, Liow said Malaysia and its southern neighbour had always enjoyed good bilateral relations.

“Both nations will continue to have discussions to ensure that the people are not burdened. I will look into the matter,” he said.

In his speech earlier, Liow, who is also MCA president, said the RM12.5bil Ipoh-Padang Besar electrified double-tracking project would stimulate economic growth in Kedah, Perlis, Penang and Perak upon its completion in November.

“We will see a tremendous economic multiplier effect in the four states,” he said.

In Kedah, he said it would bring economic benefits, especially to those in the tourism and agricultural industries.

Spanning 329km, the project links Ipoh in Perak to the northern end of the country at Padang Besar in Perlis.

In a message delivered by deputy MCA president Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong at the Perlis MCA convention earlier, Liow, who is in Pengkalan Kubor for the by-election nominations, said the project would enable Arau, Bukit Keteri and Padang Besar to each have a modern train station.

Later in the evening, after opening the Penang MCA annual state convention, Liow said the Government would ensure the Malaysian team sent to recover the MH17 wreckage and search for passengers’ remains was fully equipped for the task.

In his speech earlier, Liow described Pakatan Rakyat as a troika which did not have a common understanding among its component parties.