Into the Heart of the jungle

My first professional writing role before I came to the U.S. was features writer for a couple of lifestyle magazines in Singapore.

One of the perks was short travel assignments such as this one to Taman Negara National Park in Pahang, Malaysia. The park is one of the world’s oldest deciduous rainforests, estimated to be more than 130 million years old. I got the chance to capture the experience in words and photographs as well.


The journey up Sungai Tembeling to Kuala Taman, the headquarters of Taman Negara, took us approximately two hours. Pan, the god of Nature, must have felt remarkably triumphant with his reign over the jungle. Massive trunked trees leaned far out from the bank forming the canopy that is unique to the tropical rainforest. The lush cool green of the trees juxtaposed confusingly with the warm earthy brown of the river.

And as Marlow’s tale in Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness’ goes, there was a ‘great silence’ — except for the drone of the engine of the boat. Yet the air was laden with a multitude of sounds — lyrical bird calls, the occasional wails of the monkeys and a whole sustained chorus of millions and millions of unidentified inhabitants of the jungle.

into the heart of the jungle

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