242 Kms from Narathiwat
This island – located close to the Malaysia border – is said to be one of the most unspoiled islands in Thailand. It was also the setting for the fifth season of the reality TV show Survivor. While not exactly undiscovered it’s quiet, clean, beautiful and protected – everything the main tourist islands are not. There are no major resorts, no beach parties just an ample supply of peace and gorgeous natural scenery. It’s protected national park status also ensures there is plenty of wildlife – as well being a nestling ground sites for turtles, Langurs, crab-eating macaques and wild pigs are common. Accommodation on the island is run by the National Park and guests can choose from either a tent or a fan-cooled bungalow.
214 Kms from Narathiwat
We decided to make a spontaneous stop at Taiping between Tanah Rata and Penang. We took a bus to Ipoh and then to Taiping, a colonial city in northwestern Malaysia. While the people here were charming, there was not a great deal to do. There is a very nice lake garden, which is worth seeing. However, Taiping is not the reason we came here. We came here in search of Orangutans on the mysterious Palau Orang Utan. The island itself is quite a remarkable conservation effort of these magnificent creatures. They have minimal human interaction and roam free in their 5 acre designated area. As a visitor, you are in the cage to see them, separated by two fences in order not to disturb them. There is a nursery where young infants are looked after if there are complications at birth. Forced breeding is not encouraged and Orangutans have a very slow reproduction cycle, hence why every effort is made to safe newborns. If you have a soft spot for these animals or are unsure, this is a great place to visit.