Have you ever heard of a frog race? Neither do I. When I was first invited to join the media trip to the International Bornean Frog Race in Kuching, Sarawak, I did not know what a frog race is. Honestly, I thought a frog race is a frog race where the frogs race among themselves. How pathetic my guess was! The actual frog race is nothing close to that.
The frog race was held on the 2nd night I was in Kuching. After the trip to Bau in the day (read here) and our meeting with Matthew Ngau Jau (read here), we headed to the Kubah National Park. It was my first ever visit to a national park and I was amazed to see the abundance of greenery and tall trees shading us from the sunlight.
Kubah National Park is huge. One of the main attractions here is the frog pond. Many species of frogs can be found at the pond and the frogs can be found not only in the pond but also can be found hanging on the trees nearby.
After we got ourselves registered at the registration counter, we were brought into a hall for a briefing. We were told of the species of frogs that can be found here, how to snap photos of the frogs in the dark as well as the rules of the frog race.
Here is how the frog race works: participants will be released into the jungle in dark pitch and they will have to snap photos of the frogs and when they return to the registration counter, they will need to document the species of frogs that they have captured on camera.
I saw a lot of people adjusting their camera settings during the how-to session. Since I was only using a point and shoot camera, I felt so down to earth until the presenter told us that good photos can also be taken by using a point and shoot camera and he showed us how.
At 6.00 pm, the national park started to get dark. Participants were called and we were asked to dip our shoes inside a solution probably to ensure that we will not get bitten by wild reptiles. We took a group photo and soon after, off we go.
The journey to the frog pond was actually pretty challenging. I made a very big mistake by donning a jeans into the jungle! The route was also uphill so I was sweating like crazy in the dark. I walked together with Anis of Five Foot Traveller and whilst some participants used head torches, both Anis and I used only our phones torch lights.
We chatted along the way and sometimes, we saw frogs leaping from one place to another near the drains. The only plus point of the route was that it was tarred so the ‘hike’ was still tolerable for me.
Soon, we reached the pond and oh my, there were a lot of frogs at the area! Frogs were everywhere and some of them were actually nice-looking. Suddenly, my fear of frogs or ranidaphobia disappeared. I took photos of the tiny little creature with my camera – some looked good and some were not – and enjoyed my moment there.
We stayed for a few hours before we went back to the base. Since I was there on a media trip, I did not document the frogs that I managed to capture. Still, it was fun looking at the participants guessing and looking at the guidebook to see which frogs that they managed to capture on camera.
We went back to the hotel after the event had ended. It was my final night in Kuching and since I did not know when I will return to this beautiful city, I took some time to take a stroll at the riverside before buying a local type of fried rice – dabai fried rice. Up to this day, I am still not very sure what a dabai is but one thing for sure, it tasted good.
I went back to the hotel and went to bed early. It was a nice experience to have close proximity with the frogs.
I would like to personally thank the Sarawak Tourism Board and Tune Hotels for making this trip possible and to Planet Borneo for the hospitality throughout the trip. This trip was held in conjunction with the International Bornean Frog Race 2014. Kindly be informed that all the contents/reviews are of my personal views.