A Travellerspoint blog

Day 14 - Last day in Malaysia

sunny 30 °C

Today we had a free day, so after another leisurely start we decided to walk down to the centre along the river bank walk and
get a boat to tour the canals of the city.
We arrived early before they had opened, so we went around the Maritime Museum nearby which is inside a
replica of the Flora de Lamar a Portuguese Sailing Ship.
Once we'd being around the ship it was time to board boat for a relaxing river cruise passing the old canal side houses and
viewing the modern street art adorned all over the houses and even hotels along the river bank.
Once back we went up another tower ! The Taming Sari Tower, with it's rotating viewing platform,
(a bit like a polo mint revolving around a flag pole!).
It actually ascended fast up to 110m (350ft) and also revolving at the same time, it then continued for a couple of more revolutions before descending again.
We got some good views of the city and also spotted a 50m outdoor pool close by :-)
As soon as we got down we found the pool and that it opened in the afternoon, so we decided to go for swim after lunch.
We got there to find only 2 other people in the pool, who soon got out and left the pool to ourselves !
After swimming for nearly an hour, walking around all day in the 30c heat we crashed out back at the hotel,
Before going out to the night street market and a few beers to finish off a great day and our last night in Malaysia.

Posted by Andy-Irene 01:41 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

Day 13 - South to Melaka

semi-overcast 30 °C

Today we had a free morning relaxing and doing a bit of shopping in the Chinatown district before leaving to travel on to
the port city of Melaka and the famous Melaka Straits, once governed by the British as it controlled the main trading route from
the Indian to the Pacific oceans.
We caught the tube and then a bus for the 2hr journey south to this old colonial city port.
After checking in to our hotel, we had an organised rickshaw tour around the city, which ended up being a rickshaw race,
But the worse thing was that they were all garishly multicoloured with popula themes -
There was a Cindy one, a Minions one, an Hello Kitty, pleased to say that the one that we had was a Batman one :-)
So slightly embarrassingly we "paraded" around the streets over several small bridges crossing the Melaka canal each time and
on to the Cheng Hoon Teng - the oldest Chinese Temple in Melaka and then on to the Portuguese A'Famosa Fort.
By this time we were all in need of refreshment, so we all went for a group meal down by the canal which included some
"live music" which turned out to be a local guy "destroying" lots of classic songs.
But it got worse - when we went past him he was actually just playing songs from a karaoke machine and miming the guitar and keyboard !!!

Posted by Andy-Irene 06:41 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

Day 12 - KL and Petronas Towers

sunny 29 °C

We opened the curtains of our hotel room to a spectacular view of both the KL and Petronas towers,
Given we were on the 2nd highest floor (14th), it made a nice change to a view of a brick wall or even no view, as some rooms had no windows !
After breakfast we went on a city tour of KL visiting the National Monument with a very impressive replica statue of the "two-Jima" which the US have for the Korean War.
We then went to visit the main and largest Mosque in KL and as we we're non Muslim, we each had to wear robes and Irene a head scarf too !
(The phot's look a little dodgy).
Afterwards we left the city and headed west to Kings Royal Palace, very similar to Buckingham Palace, Guards on horses, large railings, etc.,
But a lot hotter :-)
Before returning to the city we visited a Hindu shrine at Batu Caves, a large Cave with numerous bats and tourist attacking long tailed monkeys waiting to grab anything you have, with a gold painted 45m high statue of shiva at the entrance.
So dodging the monkeys we climbed the 250 steps to the entrance and entered the massive chamber, worth the climb but full of tourists.
In the afternoon, we had luckily managed to book some tickets to visit the Petronas Towers (452m, 1,470ft) and its famous Skybridge,
plus the bonus was, Irene showed her passport and we got 50% discount as a senior citizen !
We ascended up to the skybridge on the 41st floor, at 170m and crossed it to get great views of the city, not to mention the twin towers,
then we went up to the 86th floor to the observation deck at 370m (1,200ft !) and WOW this was even more spectacular,
You could actually feel it moving, although only very slightly.
We then returned to the hotel before going out to the KL Tower for dinner !
This is the second largest building in Malaysia, just a bit shorter at 421m and it had a revolving 360 degree restaurant at 288m (940ft) in which entry was by pre-booking only, again our local guy fixed us a reservation with strict dress code - Irene had to buy some shoes !
So we arrived early evening to get a sunset view at our "revolving table"
The food was amazing - oysters, scallops and Sushi for starter, plus the rest etc.
It was expensive for Malaysia - Beer was £7 a pint & water £6 a bottle !
Suffice it say it was a very expensive night be well worth it.

Posted by Andy-Irene 05:37 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

Day 11 - K L

rain 29 °C

Today we left Penang for a long drive on a local bus to the cosmopolitan capital of Kuala Lumpur.
After another night out in Penang, dodging the first real rain of the holiday and the numerous Rats ! we spotted darting across the street and paths,
We found a small family run vegetarian restaurant, so we decided to give it a try and had some nice veg for a change,
plus we were guaranteed that rat wouldn't be on the menu :-)
The rain had stopped as we left so we checked out the 3 bars next door - all very seedy, all with Karaoke and all with girls ready to "serve" you,
Irene didn't seem too keen, (I could see why), so we gave it a miss and had another dry night.
The bus journey from Penang to KL would take about 5hrs, however when we arrived at the bus station expecting some sort of Malaysian cattle waggon, we we're pleasantly surprised to get a luxury "5 Star Line" coach that had "business class" reclining airline seats, foot rests, arm rests and free wifi too ! - but as like all hotels and public areas in Malaysia, Wifi is free everywhere, but it's probably slowest in Asia,
So effectively we had no wifi.
We left Penang island and crossed over the new 23km long bridge, onto the mainland and headed south towards KL.
The 5 hrs soon passed and we arrived in this skyscraper metropolis just before 2pm,
we then had to get a tube as our hotel was situated downtown in the city centre.
Their underground was certainly smart and efficient and as always put london's to shame.
No sooner had we checked in to the hotel, we went straight out for a late lunch and an orientation walk around the city.
Dominating the skyline was the KL Tower, but then you see the Petronas Towers with the sky bridge, even more impressive.
We got another tube to the KLCC, the convention centre below the towers and stood gazing up at these two magnificent feats of civil engineering.
We then sat in a bar (drinking beer at £6 a pint !) to watch the towers light up and
the water fountain light show which happens each night at the base of the towers.

Posted by Andy-Irene 05:33 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

Day 10 - George Town

semi-overcast 28 °C

We spent our first full day in Malaysia in George Town a quaint colonial quarter of Penang.
Penang is split up in 2 parts; one part on the mainland and the other on an island connected by 2 bridges;
one 13Km long and the other 23km long !
We drove across the shorter one with great views of the new longer one completed only 2 years ago.
Our Hotel was just outside the George Town area on the Island.
After breakfast we went on a walking tour of Penang's various Temples covering different faiths due to the multicultural population of Malaysia,
the majority of Malaysia is made up of around 60% Chinese, 30% Muslim, then Buddhist and
then Christian. Key Temples were the Buddhist Kek Lok Si Temple, the Chinese Wat Chaiya Temple and
finally the Burmese Dharmikarama Temple.
Afterwards we headed towards to waterfront to discover the numerous Jetty's where "clans" of Chinese immigrants arrived and established small communities, now serving as a tourist attraction.
One of the other attractions over recent years is the growing amount of street art around George Town,
all basically their version of a Malaysian Banksy !
We managed to get hold of a map with the key art works highlighted on it, so after a spot of street food for lunch, (a spicy Malaysian Laksa) we spent the afternoon strolling around the streets viewing the artwork, all very good (and very much like Banksy's).
Today was the only real day so far with some rain, although it was around 28c and in between the showers it dried up immediately.
Eventually we got back to the hotel, crossed out for a couple of hours before going out to discover more of Penang by night.

Posted by Andy-Irene 01:12 Archived in Malaysia Comments (1)

(Entries 21 - 25 of 34) « Page 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 7 »