One of the great things about world travel is meeting people…and monkeys. In Kuala Lumpur, I got to do both. In addtion to meeting the Swedish girl who put the curse on me (presumably) and made me sick for my entire trip, I was also priveliged to meet a fellow Lonely Planet blogger (who I’ll write about in a later post), and then there was Nora, the naughty Malaysian Monkey.
Even though, I’d already begun to feel ill, I headed out to do a little tropical hiking in Bukit Nanas. You can imagine that as a former rainforest hiking guide in Hawaii, it was like coming home to wander among the banyons, apa, mangoes, plumeria, and halikonia for me. I miss that verdant emerald shade that simply pulses life. I began to feel a bit better.
Bukit Nanas is a landmark of KL. In fact, it sits sort of smack dab in the center of the city and is the only virgin tropical rain forest left inside the city. It’s not a botanical garden, it’s a true jungle though these days you don’t see so many of the Malayan tigers, elephants, pythons, or monitor lizards. Some of them are still there, and the monkeys? Yeah, they are there for sure.
This is one thing that makes the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve outstrip Hawaii jungle. There are a well maintained series of trails, not technically difficult, but sometimes a little slick with mud. There is also a very nice forestry museum, an orchid house, and an herb garden though the latter could do with some signage to explain what the herbs are, what they are for, etc.
Since the 90′s the KL Tower has risen above Bukit Nanas. It’s the fifth largest communications tower in the world. I’ll write about it and other communication towers later. Nearby are also a couple of the old colonial schools, St John’s Institution and Convent Bukit Nanas. There is also a St. Johns Cathedral nearby which might be interesting for those who like churches and colonial religious architecture.
As for me, I preferred wandering around the jungle, trying to spot both monkeys and squirrels, and then having a stop at the visitor center where the park rangers answered all my questions and I got to meet a frequent visitor, Nora, the naughty monkey.
When I got there, Nora swung down into the arms of one of the rangers. The ranger held her towards me, but Nora was a bit stand offish. I could understand that. The ranger told me she was a naughty monkey. She dropped down to the ground and swaggered over to me. I thought perhaps she had changed her mind about me, since she came right to my leg and reached up.
But no, indeed she was naughty. She grabbed the cuff of my shorts and much to the delight of the female rangers, she pulled the cuff outward and peered upwards with a big grin at my genitalia!
Having peeped my penis, she scampered back to the rangers and gave a big monkey scream of delight. Frankly, I think she sounded excited and impressed, but then again, maybe it was laughter.