20~26 March 2011 :: Paul Ham

Commentaries

Fri, 15 Apr 2011 14:32:35 +1000

Dear Tham and Team, 

A belated thank you for what can only be described as a wonderful experience on the trek across Borneo. Your experience and that of your team in guiding us through the jungle, together with meeting people who lived through these times, combined with visits to important and memorial sites has helped me to partly live and understand the atrocities, sufferings and hardships endured by the troops imprisoned at Sandakan. They truly where brave and heroic souls.

While they suffered the worst of treatment, our daily effort on our trek ended nightly with the return to comfortable accommodation and a hardy meal.

Again thank you to you and your team for a truly memorable experience -Lest we Forget.

Alex Kristenson

Thu, 7 Apr 2011 19:10:49 +1000

Dear Tham, 

Yes, once again thanks for a great trek.

I personally enjoyed the good balance between learning not only of the death march, military and Japanese occupation matters; but the bushcraft and survival techniques your team illustrated to us.Mikey and Jimmys’ animal traps; and  their knowledge of plants and edible vegetables was truly enlightening and fascinating.

On another note, I thought the size of your team was perfect, and all logistical issues were really skilfully handled. Guides at the front and rear, plus several drivers always in position made the end of day trips back to accommodation effortless when we were exhausted. All your vans were in the right place at the start of the day , at the end of day and for dinner trips. We never waited.Your  staff had all the answers for our questions whether major or just administrative.

On a personal note I also enjoyed hearing about Sadip’s athletic exploits in racing the Mt Kinabalu running race over 10 years and his  3rd placing.That gave us some context about the mountain we were about to climb.

Regards
Andrew Blomfield

Thu, 7 Apr 2011 14:12:48 +1000

Dear Tham, 

Thank you for an unforgettable journey.

From the first day it was possible to see that this trip was going to be different to any other. By retracing the actual path that the prisoners took it was possible to gain an understanding of the anguish and suffering they would have experienced.

Further, the countryside that you took us through was breathtaking and it will remain in my memory for a long time.

Your team did an exceptional job looking after our every need, each played their part to perfection.

Thank you,
Lest we forget,
Reg Carter

Wed, 6 Apr 2011 19:17:09 +1000

Dear Tham, 

I must admit that I did not know what to expect as we set off along the route of the Sandakan Death Marches. I knew only that the soldiers in 1945 had trudged through jungle and swamp, up steep hills and across rivers – always sick, exhausted and hungry, with many dying on the way – to Ranau. We would be following as closely as possible in their footsteps – into the heart of a country that had witnessed one of the worst war crimes of the Pacific war.

Your estimable guidance and comprehensive knowledge gave us a very close understanding of the kind of country the soldiers must have experienced. Your great team – Jimmy, Miki, Cathy, Sadip and Isaac, and yourself, of course – were always there to help, offering great advice and assistance on subjects as diverse as the edibility of jungle plants and the local experiences of the Japanese occupation.

I’m personally grateful to you, for going further than any ordinary tour guide, to make this astonishing journey possible.

Yours sincerely
Paul Ham


Thu, Apr 7, 2011

Dear Tham, 

I would like to thank you for a trek that was interesting, rewarding and extremely enjoyable.

Your detailed knowledge of the history of the Sandakan Death March – not just the major events but your detailed knowledge of various incidents which took place – was fascinating. We were especially privileged to be introduced by you to various of the local people who were involved in the war time events. Witnessing history through the first hand experiences of these now quite elderly people was a fascinating insight.

Apart from yourself, Jimmy and Mike were terrific guides – great guys with a good sense of humour and obviously unrivalled local knowledge – from allowing us to taste native plants along the route through to demonstrating how various animal traps are built, even fashioning musical instruments out of reeds.

I would also like to commend Catherine whose feminine touch ensured our comfort and that things went very smoothly for us.

Above all, thanks to everyone on the extreme and infectious enthusiasm which went beyond what was expected or asked for. This made the trip especially memorable.

Kind regards
Mark Friezer

 



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