The snake slithered through the undergrowth. Pausing, flickering its tongue and rearing its head, slowly….
Startled, I took a step back. I peered closer at the small snake basking on the forest floor.
It had longitudinal reddish orange stripes, with bits of greenish lateral stripes on a black background.
Was it a Banded Malayan Coral Snake? Or was it the Striped Kukri Snake?
Before joining Tourism Malaysia, about the only “adventure” I ever had was climbing the corporate ladder in the concrete jungle that was Kuala Lumpur. Nowadays, though, climbing actual mountains has become part of the job in promoting Malaysia.
One of the first peaks I attempted to scale was Gunung Stong (Mount Stong) in Dabong, a small rural village in Kelantan. It is believed that the word stong is a Malaysianised – or specifically, Kelantan-ised (if there is such a term) – version of the English word, “stone.” If you have been to Kelantan, you will know that they will turn any word that ends with the “n” sound into a nasal “ng” sound. And so the story goes…