Jess Tang speaks on “Manu: To the heart of Peru’s Jungle”. Here she tells of her venture to the heart of the rarely visited Manu area of Peru. After crossing the Limonal Ranger Station into its Reserved Zone into the jungle with a member of the Matsigenka tribe, she encountered an array of animals in the wild. These range from curious capybaras and sleeping sloths, to five different species of monkeys, caimans, piranhas and giant otters at Cocha Salvador, and jungle deer and tapir in an overnight hideout, shielded by the cover of rain. Manu is a bird-lover’s paradise and among a 1,000 species (roughly 10% of the world’s bird species) of birds have been spotted here. She even witnessed the dynamic mating ritual of the Cock-of-the-Rock, which is the National Bird of Peru. In addition to wildlife, she spent weeks in the jungle and argues that the jungle is an educational experience that teaches essential ways of human survival, tribal knowledge and the biodiversity that exists.
Jess Tang hails from Hong Kong. She studied at Deerfield Academy and at Tufts University, where she majored in French and Film Studies, in Massachusetts, USA. She also spent a year studying in Paris. On her return to Hong Kong, she ran the DOORS Method Learning Centre and then worked for Penhaligon’s as a Brand Ambassador. She recently completed a MSc in Psychology from Sheffield Hallam University in the United Kingdom. She now works for Jacada Travel designing bespoke itineraries.
“Singapore to Phuket by bicycle”
Humphrey Wilson speaks on “Singapore to Phuket by bicycle”. While telling the story of this solo ride/challenge along the Malay Peninsula, he discusses the joys and challenges of travelling in this way, alone. He shows how the larger Southern Malaysian towns melt into the lusher and quieter North before crossing a quiet hilltop border outpost into Muslim Thailand. He illustrates lesser-known towns and villages where he was almost certainly the only foreigner to visit for some time. He feels that while trip planning is essential to a successful long or short expedition, it is acceptance and celebration of unexpected events alongside successfully overcoming constant problems, which is the heart of the enormous satisfaction associated with adventure travel.
Humphrey Wilson hails from the UK where he read Theology at the University of Durham before training as a chartered accountant with PwC in the Channel Islands. A long-term resident of Hong Kong, he originally moved here by way of an 11,000 mile bicycle adventure which was the subject of an RGS talk in December 2010. He has enjoyed a varied career in Hong Kong, including equity research and recruitment. He also organises yearly “Mad Dogs” challenging cycling expeditions, which are open to public participation, and has undertaken several other cycling expeditions, including Tokyo to Wakkanai, Hong Kong to Bangkok and Pu’er to Luang Prabang.
“Trekking the World's Largest Cave in Vietnam”
Henrietta Chu speaks on “Trekking the World's Largest Cave in Vietnam”. Henrietta spent 5 days trekking in the Son Doong Cave, an intense expedition with many river crossings. Son Doong Cave is in the heart of the Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park in the Quang Bihn province of Central Vietnam. Only recently explored in 2009-2010 by the British Cave Research Association, the cave has only been open to the public since 2013.
The Hang Son Doong is the one of the least visited of the world’s great natural phenomena and is so massive that a Boeing 747 could fly through its largest cavern, or house an entire city block. Henrietta describes the landscapes of the cave, such as enormous stalagmites rising from the ground and statuesque stalactites hanging from the ceiling like an alien species. Jungles clog the mouth into the cave itself, a surreal scene. Misty clouds envelop the whole scene, a result of the cave’s own localised weather system.
Henrietta Chu hails from Hong Kong studied Mechanical Engineering at Cornell University in USA. She is a senior marketing executive at a major corporation and worked previously at the Hong Kong Jockey Club. Henrietta is also a keen ultra-marathon runner and is a keen traveller not only having visited the remote Venezuela tepui but also participating in a 38-days Antarctica expedition on an icebreaker.
Members, guests and others are most welcome to attend this talk, which is HK$150 for Members and HK$200 for guests and others including a glass of red or white wine. This event is free of charge for Student Members.
The Royal Geographical Society - Hong Kong wishes to express its thanks to KPMG for its generous assistance with this talk.