- 2009/08/22 A bit on Bird

Isabella Bird was one of the great Victorian-era women travellers. She was born in England in 1831 and the daughter of a Church of England vicar.

Although she was a sickly child, Bird seemed to have had a great desire to travel. Her first journey was to Canada and the US in 1854, when she was 23. It was another 20 years before her extensive travels began.

In 1873, she went to Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and the Rocky Mountains. In 1877, she travelled to Japan, Hong Kong, China and Malaya. On her return she married Dr John Bishop. When he died in 1886, she began travelling again. After training as a nurse, she went to Tibet.

In 1890, she travelled as part of a military expedition to Persia, and in 1897 covered over 8,000 miles (12,874km) in China and Korea. Her last journey, in 1904, was to Africa. The Golden Chersonese is out of print in Malaysia but can be bought from bookshops and Ebay on the Internet. You can also read the book on-line at: http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/b/bird/isabella/golden/

Another writer, Bruce Lockhart, also mentions the Linggi. In his 1936 book Return to Malaya he wrote: "We stopped, too, at the Linggi River which in my youth I had visited with Roger Swettenham, a nephew of the famous Sir Frank (Swettenham), in the Government launch. In those days, the river was alive with crocodiles. Freddie told me their numbers had scarcely decreased. It was a strange emotion to feel that close around one were crocodiles, tigers, wild pigs, deer, not to mention snakes, iguanas, lizards and other smaller animals and insects, both dangerous and harmless."

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•  2009/08/22 Linggi history
•  2009/08/22 Following the Linggi

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