Malaysia... why not

China town gates Melaka

Part of the plan was not to have a plan...much to Corina's chagrin...but enough time had been spent in Singapore and it was time to move on. It was down to either Indonesia or Malaysia. For the simple reason that it was easier to get into (ie. no visa required), Malaysia won out. So now we have 7 days where should we go???? K.L. (as the locals call it) ...Hmmmm...nah, we had just been through a bunch of big city's and even a couple of nights in Kuala Lumpur sounded a bit repetitive. Time to hit the beach!!!! Now, do some web searches, read our travel guide and... voila! The Malaysian peninsula has AMAZING beaches on it's east coast! Woo Hoo! But apparently we got there at the tail end of the monsoon season for the east coast.. and all but the fanciest resorts were closed. Drat! More digging, more reading... Oh! the west coast has a completely different climate and though, not as astounding, some nice beaches as well. Done and done... Pick a town any town! Dig...read...web search... humm apparently the island of Pulau Penang has a nice beach about an hour out of the main city. Next we trot off to our neighbourhood bus terminal and see if we can get a ticket. Well, they only go to Melaka and K.L. but once in Malaysia we should be able to go just about anywhere no problem. Seeing as how I had already read about Melaka we decided to go there and find a bus to Pulau Penang to soak up some rays.

First stop Melaka, who knew another UNESCO site, part of the Portuguese colonial presence in Asia. Famous for cultural diversity food and world class ruins...we had but one day and one night in Melaka but we did manage to get some stuff done, some sights seen and, of course, some food et. We walked around historic St. Paul's hill and the town square. We had lunch and dinner at one of the 17 recommended restaurants that were mapped out for us by the proprietor of our hostel, the very nice, clean, and comfortable River View Guest House. Melaka did live up to it's billing. The cultural diversity was evident in the many different temples and churches, the ruins were cool and the food delicious. One day was not enough.

Melaka Malaysia, World heritage city... Who knew?

Chinese temple, there are Hindu temples, mosques and churches as well

Extremely good curry soup.

Next up was Batu Ferringhi, the beach on Pulau Penang. We had purchased our tickets when we arrived at the bus terminal in Melaka. We took a VIP express bus to Georgetown only to take a local bus to the beach itself. This took the better part of the day and night had fallen when we arrived at our beach-adjacent guest house. It was clean and it did have a A/C unit but when the guide book described it as "basic" they hit the nail on the head. Our days at Batu Ferringhi were lazy and involved alot of beach time. There was a nice mix of Malay and foreigners at the beach. Even though the water was a little cloudy and there was a constant barrage of jellyfish eggs, we went swimming every day, it was too hot not to.

Jelly fish eggs (the translucent slimy things)

Once again food is important to the region. Breakfast was either spicy noodles, coconut rice and yam donuts or Corina's favourite banana roti. Truth be told I can't imagine anyone not falling for their warm banana-y goodness. Lunch was usually just a snack on the beach. Dinner was at one of the hawker and was fried noodles or rice.

Banana roti, all Corina wants for Christmas.

We really took it easy and I finally polished the Steig Larsson trade paper back I had been hauling around since Greece. We watched the endless supply of para-sailers drift peacefully by only to land with an audible thud, 3 minutes later, on the beach. It was a simple 7 days where it was enough to let the days slip by. We did some reading on Thailand as we were headed there next but it is safe to say that for the next month or so the plan will be... well to have no plan and wing it. Much, like I said, to Corina's chagrin.

Corina's (she)Grin =)

(To be fair Corina's "go with the flow" is flowing just fine) take care all and Merry Christmas, Jason.


Emms said...

Merry Christmas!

gayle said...

great Blog Loved reading it. Sure was nice to see you and talk to you on Skype on Christmas morning. All of the nine of us enjoyed the chat but missed not having you with us. The pics are great and of course you had to find a UNESCO site. You both look happy and rested M/G