Nepenthes Excursion in SE Asia

Perry Malouf (
Tue, 11 Oct 1994 19:34:18 -0400 (EDT)

Hello everyone,
Now that my travel plans are set, I'm asking the
more experienced among the general readership for some
advice about a Nepenthes excursion through SE Asia. Mind
you, the following itinerary was assembled as a result of
several factors, and not just the desire to do some Nepenthes
hunting. Don Burden has given me some helpful suggestions,
and I'm hoping to solicit more. Here is my finalized itinerary:

Oct. 24, depart U.S. for Taipei, Taiwan
and remain until Nov. 2.

Nov. 2 depart Taipei for Bangkok, Thailand and tour
the country (mostly rural areas) for
about three weeks.

(Here's the part that was put in specifically
for a Nepenthes excursion)

Nov. 27 depart Bangkok for Kota Kinablu, East Malaysia
and remain for about one week.

Dec. 2 depart Kota Kinabalu for Bangkok and stay five
days before returning to the U. S.

The trip to Taiwan resulted from a long standing invitation. Are
there Nepenthes to be found within a half day's driving distance
from Taipei? What kind?

The Thailand leg resulted from the availability of a Thai friend
who knows the countryside well and who offered to show me around.
He's not a cp enthusiast, though, and so doesn't know much about
Nepenthes. Where in Thailand can the Nepenthes be found? What
kinds are there (besides mirabilis)?

The East Malaysia leg resulted from my being able to contact a
botanist at the Mount Kinabalu Park research station. After some
reading and speaking with others in-the-know, I discovered that
an expedition up Mt. Kinabalu is more than I can handle during
this trip. I don't have the resources to bring camping gear,
food, etc. for a six day wilderness hike. So, the botanist offered
to send someone on the staff to take me around on day hikes both
inside and outside Mt. Kinablu Park. I did mention to them the
following: 1) I know that collecting is strictly forbidden in
the Park, and 2) it would be nice to collect Nepenthes seeds
outside the Park, but it wasn't the main thrust of the trip.
I will be taking lots of pictures (with measuring scales included,
to more easily gauge the pitcher sizes). When I asked what sorts
of Nepenthes I might find, I was told lots of N. tentaculata,
and even N. villosa. I was surprised about the latter, since
they're usually found in the cloud forests up Mt. Kinabalu (not
a day's hike!), but I was told that there are some which are
easily accessible.

So, may I please benefit from the experience of other travelers?
(How about you adventurous Germans? :) I've already
had my shots, obtained malaria medication (good for both Malaysia
and Thailand), obtained iodine pills to purify water, obtained
visas, and purchased light cotton clothing for trekking through
hot, steamy forests. I intend to obtain an international
driver's license (damn, they drive on the left side of the
streets in those countries!). I will also carry photocopies
of my passport and medical records, and currency will be in
traveler's checks.

Also, advice on where to find Nepenthes in Thailand and Taiwan
(and what kinds) would be helpful. Thanks.