Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Wednesday, Feb 28th, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


First, thanks to all of you who sent along birthday wishes today, and especially my travel buddies on this trip who celebrated with me at lunch today.  Most every day traveling seems special, but this one was even more so.

Today's bus ride took us to Melaka (Malacca), a coastal port town southeast of Kuala Lumpur.  Founded in 1400 by a Sultan from what is now Singapore, the port came under Portuguese, Dutch, British, and Japan control until Pat's birthday (Feb 1, 1948) when it was included in the Federation of Malaya.  In 1963, Malaysia was formed with the merger of Malaya with Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore and Malacca became part of it.

We walked from the town plaza to one of the historic streets, which features the  Chen Hoon Teng Buddhist Temple, the Masjid Kampung Kling Shiite Mosque, and the Sri Poyatha Moorhi Hindu Temple, and a Christian church - demonstrating the town's commitment to an integrated and tolerant community, and its nickname as "Harmony Street".

We had lunch in Nyonya-Baba cuisine, a mixture of Chinese (mostly southern Hokkien or Fujian influence), Portuguese, Dutch, Indian, British, and Malay cooking with most dishes being spicy in nature.

We ended the day back in Kuala Lumpur, by taking a tour of the Twin Towers in the evening. Walking the Sky Bridge which connects them at the 41st floor, we ascended to the 86th floor observation deck in Tower One.  Hearing that the Mayor had announced that 367 skyscrapers were currently being built, and that 32 would be even higher than we were standing, we imagined a sea of metal and glass all around us in the near future.  We also wondered about the need for comprehensive transportation within the City to accommodate the many workers needed.

To see all of the photos taken today, click on Wednesday, Feb 28th, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Tuesday, February 27th, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

It's 5am, and Pat and I are awake and on social media.  Travel exploring by group always begins with exploring the group.  Dinner last night began the process of learning who we are, where we’re from, and how we got here.  Beyond inquiring about the last day’s journey, we’re asking each other about our lives, and what brings us to travel.  If you’re going to spend this much time together, and trust each other with our safety and adventure, you learn about who you’re with.
After a welcome and orientation in the hotel’s cafĂ© from our tour leader (Pam), we shared our names, hometowns, and why we came.  As usual, most are seasoned travelers.  More singles than usual (we’re the only couple), with extensive experience with Adventures Abroad.  Two already traveling (Burma), and none who’ll be away as long as we will.
We walked for a half-hour to the world-famous twin tours, and had dinner in a restaurant there.  Hitting the ATM for local money, we bought a local SIM card for the smart phone.  Realizing I left at home the small pin used to open the chip case, I learned the usefulness of pierced earings.  Pat’s hearing-aid battery changer kit also has a small tool which works.  Made our first travel mistake by splitting up after dinner to check out the mall, and experiencing some confusion on returning to the hotel.
But it was a great start to what looks like another adventure.  We’re with people who share our ambition to explore and learn, and who care about each other.  Tonight, I'll include another post with today's adventure, and get into the routine of nightly updates.  And hopefully begin to sleep through the night.
Today we walked back up to the twin towers to buy tickets to take the elevator up to the top tomorrow night.  We then went to the KL tower (just a little shorter), and spent 30 minutes circling its summit to get a panorama view of the City.  Out one window, rises an even taller corporate tower being built to twenty stories higher.
Our City tour took us to most of the places we saw on the Hop-on/Hop-off bus we rode yesterday, except we stopped off at the National Museum today.  Good displays in four large rooms on two floors show the history of the Peninsula and islands which have become Malaysia.
Finally, we ended the day with a ride on the city's monorail, and a walk up the Bukit Bintang hill to the Opium, a restaurant with modernized Oriental fare Pam chose which served us a large variety of local dishes.
To see the photos we took today, click on Tuesday, February 27th, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Monday, Feb 26th, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Wow.  Kuala Lumpur is huge.  The $30 taxi ride from the Airport to the city center passed some very nice high-rise residences, and we're about half-way up one of those downtown.   It's 80 degrees at 4am on Monday over here, and it's time to get some sleep.  We've been flying since 11am on Saturday your time, though we did cross the dateline.   We join up with the others at dinner tonight, and we'll be checking out the city for three days, then driving through the rest of the country.

Just this one photo last night, but more during the day today.  Click on Monday, Feb 26th, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the few taken when we went for a ride on the Hop-On/Hop Off Bus today.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Off on Another Adventure


Next weekend, we'll be flying to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) to begin a two-month adventure which also includes Indonesia, Singapore, and Japan.  We'll be on two long tours with Adventures Abroad and Samurai Tours, with a week on our own in Singapore sandwiched in between.  I've created a Google Map with the itinerary if you care to follow.  Of course, I'll be posting photos and commentary whenever I can.  For the first time, I'm just going to use my new Google Pixel XL as my camera, and still bringing the MacAir to organize the website posts and photo albums here. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Wednesday, Feb 14th, Last Chance Valentine's Day,


Here are some photos of the celebration we had a couple of weeks ago at the largest homeless encampment in our City.  It's a fond memory that I will carry with me as we travel, in the hope that it won't be broken up by the City while we are gone - without a serious effort by all to find homes for the residents.