Royal Belum State Park in northern Perak is a 130-million-year-old rainforest, a fact that not only put the park on the world map, but also Malaysia for having the world’s oldest rainforest. Interestingly, Royal Belum State Park was only discovered around 200 years ago by a couple of Siamese royalties. The British then took over the forest and included it as part of Perak through the Anglo-Siamese Treaty 1909.
As I am writing this, the Indonesian island of Lombok’s eastern and northern side had just experienced several earthquakes and tremors, chiefly among them were the one on 29 July 2018 that claimed 14 lives and destroyed 90% of the hiking trail up to Mount Rinjani, and another one on 5 August 2018, killing 400 persons. These quakes were not only felt throughout Lombok but also in the eastern and southern parts of neighbouring Bali. Tourists fled Lombok in droves, while the Indonesian authorities have been deploying disaster relief efforts to affected areas. At the same time, Bali Government Tourism Office issued a statement that Bali remains unaffected, and that Ngurah Rai International Airport only sustained minor damage and business goes on as usual, which is good news for travellers seeking a short break at the Island of the Gods (page 98).