Lumut is a coastal town in Malaysia and is the gateway to Pankor island, which was once a haven for pirates but is now a resort development. Lumut is noted for its seashell and coral handicrafts.
Today we took a tour to see a turtle sanctuary, a temple and a demonstration of rubber tapping. The beaches of Malaysia are one of the few places in the world where sea turtles come to lay their eggs. Studies have shown that these turtles travel between continents but when they are old enough make an annual pilgrimage to the same beach where they hatched in order to lay their eggs. At this sanctuary these eggs are collected, hatched and later released into the sea to ensure that this endangered species continue to thrive and are saved from extinction.
We saw several species of turtle (leatherback, green and hawksbill) some were very small babies and others were much bigger and will be released soon. The babies were gorgeous and fitted into the palm of your hand if you were lucky enough to hold one…not me unfortunately but Irene was the lucky one to be chosen.
Then it was off to the Tua Pek Kong Temple which is over 100 years old but looked like a work in progress to me…apparently lots of people that have prayed there have won the lottery and donated part of their winnings back to the temple so it just keeps growing and growing…I guess it will never be finished…
Finally we went to a rubber plantation where a worker ‘tapped’ a tree for us so we could see the sap run down the tree into collecting bowls. This age-old method of harvesting a natural and incredibly versatile substance is a fantastic reminder that nature gives us so many resources – we just need to figure out a use for them all.
We had cocktails in the Observation bar this evening and met up with Ralph and Mark, friends who had joined the ship in Singapore…perfect opportunity for a photo.
Then it was time to join Captain Hamish and his wife Gail for dinner. We were joined by Irene & Alan and Trish & Trevor…a fabulous evening with lots of chat and laughter…a real Brits table!!