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We saw elephants taking baths, a Great Hornbill in a cage, played with monkeys and watched orangutans up close, but never had to hire a jeep, pay a steep fee or enter a big distant game park.

 
That’s because in Malaysia, all of these family-friendly animal attractions are close to the cities and are easy day trips. Viewing animals in cages or out in the open provides something visceral and meaningful to any Homo sapien, and Malaysia provides many low key, low stress parks and sanctuaries to enjoy.

Sarawak is one of Malaysia’s largest provinces, it was part of the sultanate of Brunei back in the 1840s, before James Brooks did the sultan a favor and subdued the headhunters who were killing eachother. He was rewarded with this huge tract of thousands of square miles, today composing the top of the island of Borneo.

Borneo and Sumatra are the only places on earth where Orangutans live, and today they are an endangered species due to habitat loss and predators, like man. These gentle creatures, with 96 percent of the same DNA as humans, live in nests perched in trees dozens of meters high, and swing from limb to limb. A solitary animal, they live on roots and fruits and take many years to reproduce.

The sanctuary rehabilitates many orangutans found injured in the wild, and runs a captive breeding program to try and restore their dwindling numbers.READ MORE

Malaysia

Shopgirl in Malacca, Malaysia. photo by Liz Chow. Malaysia: A Melange of Three
Getting fitted with a Bajau costume - photos by Alice Driver Pulau Bumbun, Malaysia
. Malaysia: A Home-Stay in Kampung Pachitan By Gary Singh A dozen musicians sit in a semicircle
Sarawak dancers Sarawak, Malaysia: Adventures on the Island of Borneo - Page Two
The Sarawak Parliament Building Sarawak, Malaysia: Adventures on the Island of Borneo
World Music Festival in Sarawak, Malaysia - photos by Sony Stark. Sarawak, Malaysia
The hotel staff prepares Iban dances for the Rainforest World Music Festival in Kuching, Malaysia
Michelle Perry's story: Borneo: Climbing Gunung Kinabalu A Read more GoNOMAD stories about Malaysia A A A
from mainland Malaysia especially for the climb. At around 9,842 ft (3000m) I soon fell into a slow
ThatAs because in Malaysia, all of these family-friendly animal attractions are close
Swimming with elephants at the Kuala Gandah Elephant sanctuary in Malaysia. Read
the food) of everyday life in India, Malaysia, Laos, Thailand and Indonesia. A Upon arrival guests
) Macau(7) Macedonia(1) Malaysia(11) Middle East(110) Mongolia(13) Nepal(24) North Korea(4
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