Flameback woodpeckers hammer away at the trunks of gigantic mangroves, the sound of their hammering almost like a low-pitched percussion instrument. Kingfishers chatter away noisily and out of tune, their scintillating blue hues catching the rare hint of sunshine as they flit impatiently from tree to tree.
Below the boardwalk, dozens of crabs crawl on the mud, feeding on decaying matter, some with pincers larger than their bodies, the fiddler crabs. Some others crawl out angrily if you step too close to their burrows. Leaf litter obscures most, though, covering the forest floor wherever it can.
Through the carpet of dead leaves, ferns unfold their fronds, crimson tinges on their leaflets. The rare pit viper raises its head, almost as if it were annoyed at your presence. The smell of decomposition fills the air, but the large numbers of bird calls distract you enough to forget it.
You, are in Matang. Continue reading