Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Sarawak, Borneo: Jong's Crocodile Farm

Crocodiles eying the chicken carcass
After seeing the orangutans, we went on one more outing from Kuching, more family oriented this time. Tramping through the jungle looking for wildlife may have been the highlight of the trip for me, but R was not a fan and in retrospect it was not a good activity with a toddler in tow.

I had taken the precaution of getting R all excited about seeing the "monkeys", talking up the experience and how much fun we were going to have for a few days previous. It worked in that she was VERY excited to go see them, too excited as it turned out. She kept calling "Monkeys! I want to see monkeys! Look Mommy, monkeys! Monkeys!", which both visibly bothered the orangutans and made all the other visitors want to kill us (I imagine, no one said anything).

We tried to hush her but it was hopeless--she would try to be quiet but then her excitement would get the better of her. So we had to physically remove her from the scene, much to her displeasure: she cried and cried out of disappointment. By the time we saw the second group of orangutans, R was mostly over "monkeys" and no longer particularly interested in them.
R with a glazed look after her tantrum: don't I look tired??
R is more interested in pulling her father's hair than looking for orangutans
The next outing was to Jong's Crocodile Farm, which is an incredibly hokey yet fun family-run animal park of sorts. They have a small zoo, with a very friendly monkey and highly vocal otters begging for treats (R's favorite), but the main attraction is the crocodiles. They breed crocodiles (over 1000 so far) and the highlight of a visit is watching the crocodile show, in which they leap out of the water to devour whole chickens.
Eying the prize
R likes the "crocos"
It is very child friendly (the crocodiles are all safely imprisoned, don't worry!), with a gift shop full of cheap plastic toys, ice cream and french fries at the snack bar, and even a play structure. B and I both enjoyed it for the kitsch value: we felt as if we'd stepped back in time to 1960s Americana or something similar.
Safety first!
Except when it comes to the staff: I was not confident in this structure's protection, especially because they had a whole barrel of chicken in there
The play structure is fun...
...and the ice cream is tasty.
Typical example of the zoo: chickens, peacocks, rare jungle birds and an egret, all hanging out together
We only scratched the surface of what the Kuching area has to offer this trip: Dayak longhouses, trips up the Sarawak river, and many national parks are still to be explored. I look forward to going back someday soon!

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