Michael: I am trying to figure out some more ways to express myself and the latest one is a video like this. I did not even think about this kind of videos before one person asked me about how I made some of the shots and what gear I used. So I figured that there might be more people who this kind of information might benefit.
If you have any suggestions about what kind of videos you would like to watch or you have any questions, please leave me a comment.
Michael: This is our story about our trip to the world’s oldest jungle, Taman Negara. It is located in Malaysia, only about 240 km from Kuala Lumpur.
Short History – Taman Negara
The jungle is now a National Park that was established in 1938 by the English Kingdom and was originally named “King George V National Park”. After Malaysia got its independence in 1957, the park was renamed to National Park (Taman Negara) of Peninsular Malaysia.
This place is a hotspot for biodiversity. There are more than 3000 species of plants and about 150 species of mammals, including the very rare Malayan Tiger and Clouded Leopard. In addition, there are 80 species of bats and 30 species of rodents, not to forget about the countless species of insects.
The area itself is estimated to be about 130 million years old and is one of the oldest tropical jungles still standing today. It is also listed on UNESCO as an unconfirmed World Heritage site.
We started early morning from Kuala Lumpur and jumped on a bus that took us to the closest town. This place is called Jerantut and from there, we took a van to the Kuala Tembeling jetty from where the riverboat leaves.
We did not actually plan to go with a tour agency, but when we arrived at Jerantut bus station, there was a guide, who told us it is our best option and it was only about 10 ringgit more to go with him. So we made a choice to go with him to make it easier for us. He took us to their office where we made all the park fee payments and the boat payments and then they took us to the jetty.
So we get in the boat and start the 3-hour journey. At this moment it is good to notice that you should use the toilet at the jetty before you enter the boat because it is a journey with no stops, some of us might have had a few problems because we did not go to the toilet before…
We finally arrived at Kuala Tahan which is the village on the other side of the river from the Jungle. This is where we stayed for 3 nights. We chose a budget room in Taman Negara Travellers Lodge* which cost about 13€/night.
The village is quite small and has developed through tourism, you will mostly find restaurants that sell burgers and other Western foods. Luckily there are also some local restaurants who offer more affordable and local food. We preferred these.
The first morning we got up early. We headed to the Jungle to find out what there is to be found. The first feeling and sound of the place were breathtaking and you could really feel the old energy of the trees. Our first mission was to get to the Canopy Walkway, which has been the most famous tourist attraction. We hiked for an hour only to figure out that the thing has been closed for almost a year. This was due to some irresponsible human behavior and bad condition of the structure.
So we decide to hike to Teresek Hill instead, the closest and easiest climb in the area. This was a quite long hike uphill and the place itself was only an opening in the canopy where you could see the jungle from above.
We did not want to get back the same route so we decided to go with the trail that went down on the other side. This was a much more adventurous trail than the one we came up with. There were no stairs and it was pretty steep at places but luckily there were some ropes that we could grab when the terrain got more difficult.
When we finally got out of the jungle and back to the village we were pretty exhausted but really satisfied, what a magical and wonderful place this jungle is!
The following days
We did the same thing the next morning as the day before and headed out to explore the unknown, only in the other direction. This time we also found a nice beach where it was possible to swim in the river. There were signs that you should not enter the river if you have any open wounds because of the bacteria in the water. I went for a swim and it was really refreshing after a hot and sweaty day in the jungle. No bacteria for me! We repeated this for the next few days.
The best thing I found out was that hiking in this ancient forest really made me feel good, physically and mentally! To trek the uneven terrain, not knowing what the next bend or hill would reveal was the best feeling ever. And there is some magical feeling about old trees that I just can’t explain. I suggest everybody should visit any forest as a regular thing to keep up your overall health!
And yeah, I almost forgot! Filming wild animals in the jungle is really, really difficult! You see them and hear them, but there is no time to set up the camera before they are gone. All the respect for animal photographers, it’s nearly impossible!
Transport Prices & How To Get There
The bus ticket from Kuala Lumpur to Jerantut cost us about 18RM (about 3,90€) and
the van + boat to Kuala Tahan (including National Park fees + photo license) was 55RM (11.80€).
You need to pay 5RM (1,10€) for a camera license for taking photos in the jungle, even if it’s just your phone. You also need to bring this permit with you all the time when entering the National Park because there are rangers who might check for this.
It’s also possible to get to the jungle by bus but the river scenery is well worth the price and the extra time. The bus cost only 6RM (1,20€) and takes about 2 hours. We took this trip when we got back to Kuala Lumpur.
There are also many tour operators in Kuala Lumpur that make all-inclusive trips there. Starting from a day trip that cost about 200RM (43€) to several days in the jungle that cost about 150RM (32€) per day.
Naura Roomstay* – New building a little bit outside of the village and here you will have complete privacy and it is right next to the river.
Mutiara Taman Negara Resort* – The only 4-star resort in the area and the only one that is actually in the National Park area. This is the place if your budget can handle it!
For me, this jungle was quite special. This was the first location where I really decided to try my best in making videos. And in my opinion, it really paid off. The reason we even went to this jungle was that our Indonesian visa was ending so we flew to Kuala Lumpur and we had 5 days before we were going to Thailand.
We did not want to spend this in the city so I started to look for other options. And this is what I found. I think you really should visit Taman Negara if you have a few extra days to spend when traveling via Kuala Lumpur. This is a place you are going to remember forever.
Oh, and we actually did a night walk in the jungle also but the footage was not that good… Let’s just say that it was more than just interesting to get the feeling of a totally dark jungle. Go find out for yourself!
Michael: This has been a pretty interesting week because we have spent it with my mom. It has been very nice to spend some time with her, but when you try to work and the other tries to be on a holiday it’s not that easy all the time. Anyway, we have done a lot of things and seen a lot!
As I told you in the last weekly update, we were most of the week in Phu Quoc, Vietnam which was a really good experience and also a little bit bad. More about the whole island in future posts. One thing I have to say that the people there were not as nice as elsewhere in Asia. The food was definitely the best thing tho! We even ate some frog and it was really delicious.
Phu Quoc, in general, is a really tourist-oriented island and they are building new resorts everywhere. They don’t seem to take that good care of nature and it’s really sad.
On Friday we flew to Kuala Lumpur. We have basically just eaten good food and walked around the city. We also visited the famous Batu Caves and today we tried the “Hop on, Hop off” bus which drives around in the city to all the main attractions. I’ve never experienced a thing like that before but it was actually pretty nice, a new perspective to the city!
We stay at Bukit Bintang in Fairlane Residence Suite* that comes with a swimming pool on top of the building and a gym that Lotta has been using every morning, and she loves it!
I have been flying the drone from the roof and it’s pretty scary when there are so many buildings and a lot of people on the street that I don’t want to hit with a falling drone! So far so good. Now we are about to head out to China town to do some cheap shopping and tomorrow my mom is flying back to Finland. I will fly to Sumatra and Lotta is going to Bali to enjoy herself for a week!
Hello there! We haven’t been posting anything because we are making some new adjustments for our content and work. We figured out that we want to do more story driven footage and with that, we came up with a travel “show” for YouTube instead of just videos. We are also going to make a few posts about the topic that is in the show at the time. I’m not going to tell you all about how and what we are going to do because we are still in the process of developing the final concept. What I can tell you is that it’s going to be one part travel and one part health, both with visual importance.
We are probably going to publish a schedule for the upcoming show/posts in a few weeks and the weekly update is also going to be a bit on hold so that we are doing it every other week. The thing is that we are both very excited about the upcoming thing and we want to really put our time and mind into it to really make something great. What YOU can do now already is SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel already so you get the notice right away when we launch our first episode. Thanks for that! So now I’m going to do a recap of the past few weeks for you to get a small insight on what might be expected in the future posts.
Taman Negara, Malaysia
We told you a little bit in the last Weekly update about this jungle that is the oldest in the world. This was a very interesting place and the jungle had a pretty magical feeling to it. We stayed there for 3 days and most of the time we were hiking and producing footage. There is a village called Kuala Tahan right next to the jungle, only a river that divides them, and we stayed in a place called Taman Negara Travellers Lodge* which was a simple room for about 13€/night. There are also small local shops and some restaurants so this is a pretty easy travel destination. I’m not going to go into more of this because we are doing a full travel guide on this one in the future. After the jungle trip, we went back to Kuala Lumpur for one night only to get to the airport the next morning.
Ko Lanta & Krabi, Thailand
Next, we flew to Krabi and then again to Ko Lanta. This was because some of our really good friends had come there to celebrate ones 30th birthday. And yeah, we did celebrate a lot! Thailand did not disappoint this time either and we had a really good time eating great food and hanging out with friends, and of course, we did some work also. This time we stayed at Lanta School Beach Resort* where we had our own small kitchen where we could make breakfast and save some money that way.
The last night we had to get ourselves to Krabi town because we had a really early flight the next day. The best place to stay in Krabi town and the one that we have used a few times is Sleep Easy Krabi*. It has the perfect location and is really clean and the staff is very friendly. So the next morning we flew back to Kuala Lumpur and only a few hours layover and then we took the plane to Vietnam.
Phu Quoc, Vietnam
This island is fast becoming one of the most popular destinations in Vietnam and the main reason we came here was that my (Michael) mom came here for a vacation. It’s nice to see friends and relatives when traveling a long time away from home. We have been here for a few days now and the place is really nice, the only downside is that there is construction work done almost everywhere and it’s clear that this is going to be a BIG holiday destination in the next few years.
We are staying in a more relaxed area a bit on the northern side of the main town in a resort called Camellia Resort & Spa* and this location is really good and not so touristic yet. Now we are gonna go out and explore more of this island so we can produce the best possible footage and info for our future posts.
Hope you have a nice Sunday and remember to enjoy life!
Greeting from Malaysia, Taman Negara National Park! There is a very limited internet connection here so that’s why this post is one day late. Sorry about that! We arrived here yesterday from Kuala Lumpur, where we were one night. The trip here was quite long but rewarding.
We left Kuala Lumpur early in the morning at 7:30 am. First, we took the train from KL central to Jerantut and then we took a bus, which took 3.5 hours to Kuala Tahan which is the village next to the National Park. The bus was fortunately equipped with air conditioning and comfortable seats, so the trip went quite easily. After the bus trip, we took a boat along the river to Taman Negara. It was long (3 hours) but hilarious because we get stuck two times so we had to push the boat forward.
Taman Negara is the world’s oldest rain forest, which is why we came here. The rain forest is by the river, and this small village is across the river. This is a really small place with mostly small eateries and hostels. This is ideal for backpackers, and you can see a lot of them here.
This morning we jump out of bed early because we had a plan: explore the jungle. So we woke up at 7:45 am, ate breakfast and then went on a mission. We had all the cameras with us and we walked around the jungle for 5 hours. It was really hard at times, the humidity and temperature are very high here!
After trekking, we were both really exhausted, but still happy because we finally arrived and got ourselves some food! And we also got good shots so it was totally worth it. We did not see many wild animals which were sad but we heard a lot of monkeys screaming and we also saw a few special birds and lizards. Now the legs are pretty sore, but still, tomorrow is a new day of filming and the jungle will call us again!
This place has been really rewarding after a long time in Sumatra doing the same things every day. From here we are traveling back to Kuala Lumpur and then fly to Krabi and our final destination for next week will be Koh Lanta again. Our good friend is coming from Finland to celebrate his 30th birthday so there will be some partying going on. Can’t wait for that!
Now we still have one more mission here in the jungle and that is to go explore the jungle when it gets dark! That should be excited and there should be more animals moving around also.
Hope you had a great week, now we need to go! Bye!
Lotta: Good morning from a sunny Sumatra! At the moment I’m sipping a coconut outside of our room and wondering about life. The days repeat each other pretty much and the time goes by. I’m starting to get a little bit bored here and I feel that I really need some new activities. This small village with the same faces, the same food, and the same activities every damn day, ugh, drives me almost crazy! 😀
One good thing about this is that there is a lot of time to work and THINK about everything. Thinking is good, people! Your brain is your most important muscle and you need to use it as much as possible to develop! And the most important thing in life is to develop yourself.
We have 12 nights left here and then we leave to Malaysia for a jungle trip – can’t wait for a new adventure! We found out that the oldest rainforest in the world is located about 8 hours from Kuala Lumpur and that’s where we’re going. After that we head to Thailand to celebrate our friend’s 30th birthday – it’s gonna be EPIC! So now I just have to try to enjoy this calm before the storm, hah.
This week’s Valentine’s Day got me thinking a lot about friendship and made me miss my friends back in Finland so much. When getting older, it gets a lot harder to find good trustful friends – I’m pretty careful about who I trust and let in close to me. I’m not interested in small talks and superficial relationships, I need something deeper. I just don’t have any interest to speak about the weather or some other superficial things and waste my time in relationships that don’t give me anything.
When I was younger, I was really different about this, I had a lot of friends and I spent my time just hanging out even with people who gave me shitty energy or took all my good energy from me. I’m pretty sensitive and I just can’t be surrounded by that kind of people anymore because they exhaust me.
The past few days I’ve missed my besties and nights when we just sip wine, laugh and talk about everything, even the deepest and most sensitive things. That is absolutely the worst part of traveling.
As I wrote last week, we went to the Tsunami Museum this week. It wasn’t that special as a museum, but the subject was really appealing. I still remember vividly when I looked at the news on the TV of what happened in December 2004. It was such a frightening thing for a 14-year-old girl and I got so upset.
North Sumatra was the place that took the biggest hit in the tsunami and there were over 200.000 casualties. Not so many people know this thing because of so little tourism here so all the headlines were about Thailand and other big tourist spots.
There was a tsunami short film at the museum, and I was wondering if I even want to see it at all. But it’s not every day you get the chance to do this so I decided to go for it. The film reminded me of how fucking powerful nature really can be and how small and vulnerable we, the human beings are!
The entrance to the museum was only 10.000 IDR (0,70 euros) so it was definitely worth it.
On Friday, I went back to Kuala Lumpur by myself to pick up my laptop which was finally repaired. It takes only 1.5 hours to fly from Banda Aceh to Kuala Lumpur. It felt good to get out of here for a while, back to civilization for one day.
The Apple repair service, where my laptop where, also worked out really well in the end. Now my laptop works like a brand new one! Thanks to Apple for a great service (even if I had to search for the place for two days when I brought it in)! If you have to repair your Apple products in Kuala Lumpur, I can highly recommend this place: Thunder @Avenue K Shopping Mall.
I was in Kuala Lumpur only for one night and I stayed at Zen Rooms KL Sentral* which cost only 14 euros. It is very close to the bus station where the bus to the airport leaves. It is also nearby the NU Sentral which is a big shopping mall where I went to buy some necessary stuff like vitamins and supplements from a pharmacy. Here in Sumatra, there is a pretty poor selection of those and people don’t really speak that much English, so I bought everything we need in KL.
Michael just came back from the water and we’re going to eat some lunch now!
Hope you have a nice Sunday and greetings from Sumatra, we both are here again! Michael came here on Friday and I came yesterday from Kuala Lumpur, where I spent two days by myself.
It really wasn’t the plan, but I broke my laptop so I had to stay there until I got it to a repair shop. Sometimes there are situations that can’t be expected in life! I’ll tell you more about this Kuala Lumpur trip towards the end of this post. However, here’s a small weekly review of the past week!
So last week we were at Krabi, Ao Nang Beach, from Monday to Thursday. We stayed at Ao Nang Bamboo resort* which was a nice and peaceful place with bamboo bungalows and a pool area.
One day we visited the Tha Pom Klong Song Nam nature trail, which is in the middle of a mangrove forest. The route was 1.2 km and it was a really beautiful place! We were there in the afternoon and we saw how the mangrove roots were filled up with water from low tide to high tide.
The next day we woke up early in the morning and went to the Tiger Cave Temple which is one of Krabi’s most famous attractions. Climbing to the top was pretty tough, but well worth it.1237 steps later my legs were shaking and they were sore for a few days after!
From the top, you can see the beautiful landscape of Krabi and the Buddha statue that stands at the top of the mountain. The entrance is free and you should dress according to the religion – the knees and shoulders should be covered. You can borrow clothes or sharongs there if you don’t have any yourself.
I recommend climbing there very early in the morning to avoid the heat and crowd. We started at 7 am and it was a really good time because there were no people besides us and a few others and the heat wasn’t too bad yet. Climbing there took us about 20 minutes.
On Thursday morning we left for the Krabi airport and flew to Kuala Lumpur. All in all, Krabi was a very nice experience, but still a little bit too touristic for us. The Thai culture cannot be properly seen when the place is made really tourist friendly. Overall, our 2,5 week Thailand trip was still full of happening and new experiences.
So the original plan was to fly straight from Kuala Lumpur to Banda Aceh, Sumatra, but I managed to break my brand new laptop so I had to stay in Kuala Lumpur and find out how I could get my laptop repaired.
The two days were full of blood, sweat and tears, and I was so fucking frustrated because a good repair shop wasn’t so easy to find as I imagined. There is still a warranty on my laptop and getting it to the warranty repair was really difficult, which was super weird in a city that big.
I was ready to give up so many times! I wandered around the city and visited many different repair shops. Thank god I finally found a good place and they sent my laptop to Apple for a warranty repair. I almost cried after that because I was so happy!
I stayed at Hotel Check-In which was nearby NU Sentral. The hotel was 40 euros for 2 nights but totally not worth the money, at least not my super tiny single room. In KL you can stay at 4-star hotels for that price but this one wasn’t like that at all. My room was so small that I couldn’t even spread my yoga mat on the floor and there were cockroaches in the toilet.
Normally I’m not that demanding at all about where I sleep but this time I was too tired (I had insomnia and slept only 6 hours for 2 days) and frustrated from the laptop thing so everything seemed so shit, hah. But all good in the end and the frustration turned into joy.
After all, I finally arrived at Banda Aceh yesterday and it’s so nice and stressless to be here again. Feels almost like being home and it’s also so nice to finally be in one place for a little longer after been traveling around in many places.
I have to go back to KL in one or two weeks to get my repaired laptop but before that, we enjoy our stay here by working and surfing. Oh, and I bought a new book (Unlimited power by Tony Robbins) at KL airport so I’m gonna read A LOT also! I’m so hooked on this book!
Lotta: Greetings from Thailand! Here’s our weekly update with pics taken with the phone during the past week. We are currently at Koh Lanta, which is an island in Krabi. We’ve been here for six days now and just been relaxing and enjoying the beach life. My father is also here, with his girlfriend and friends, and it makes me extremely happy that I can spend quality time with them because most of the time I’m traveling and can’t spend time with my fam. We’ve had so fun together here!
We flew here through Kuala Lumpur which is the best waypoint when flying from place to place in Southeast Asia because getting there is so cheap (from Banda Aceh to Kuala Lumpur only 20 euros!) and there you can buy all the necessary stuff if needed and best of all, enjoy the super delicious food (which is always an important thing when traveling haha). We stayed at My Hotel*which is nearby the bus station. It is a good basic hotel which cost 12 euros a night.
In Kuala Lumpur, we just chilled and ate good food and went to bed early because we were pretty exhausted from traveling. The next morning we woke up at 4 am, packed the baggage, drank some coffees and took the bus to the airport. Our flight to Krabi was at 7 am and the flight took only 1.5 hours, we both slept almost the whole flight.
Read our older Kuala Lumpur post (in Finnish) here.
I’ve never been to Thailand before, so I was really excited to get to experience a new place and see the culture. The other big reason I was so excited was that I could wear bikinis and get tanned because in Sumatra I couldn’t do that because of religious reasons.
We are staying at Lanta Smile Resort*which is located at Long Beach. Koh Lanta is a peaceful island, not like a big party island. During the day it is really peaceful, no loud music at the bars etc. Here you can relax, enjoy delicious local food, go to Thai massage and in the evenings watch the sunset while sipping cocktails. There are also bars so if you want to party it’s possible of course.
I tried Thai massage for the first time in my life and to be honest it was the best massage I’ve ever had! It lasted almost one hour and cost 7 euros. The Thai woman threw and turned me in different positions and got all the muscle and joint tensions open and I felt like a newborn after that.
Something on my mind right now:
– There’s so many Swedish here, huh. And Finns also. Pretty much like a basic tourist place. – Locals are so friendly here. Everyone is smiling! – The weather is amazing. +33-37 celsius and cloudless sky! – Coconuts are not as good as in Indonesia or Sri Lanka. Why the hell do they taste like cornflakes here? 😀 – Why does every breakfast include egg or dairy? – To see my family members happy and loved is the thing that makes me the happiest in life.
Today is my dad’s last day here so I think there will be some party tonight! Now I shut down my laptop and head to the beach, laters!