Gosandra travels round the world

Malaysia-Travelogue  |  Travel time: March - June 2007  |  by Sandra Goritschnig

Southeast Asia on a shoestring: Malaysia

Since I dont have much time anyways and there was the added stress of the F1 grand prix in Kuala Lumpur last weekend, I decided to skip the capital and go elsewhere.
I started off in Melaka, a nice old harbour town, during the 12-16th century this was actually one of the most important trading harbours in the region. What's left of it is some Portuguese houses (mostly ruins), the Dutch Stadthuys and I forgot what the British left. There's now two new shopping malls but the foodstalls all over and especially at the night market are fabulous. I even went to some museums, one is especially gruesome, the museum of enduring beauty, its about what people do to themselves for the looks - and i'm not saying silicone!!!: teeth sharpening, lipdisks, head deformations, scarring, neckrings.....

the maritime museum of melaka

the maritime museum of melaka

colourful transportation in melaka

colourful transportation in melaka

nyonya laksa, mmmmhhhh very spicy and hot! mmmmhhhh

nyonya laksa, mmmmhhhh very spicy and hot! mmmmhhhh

one day was basically enough to see it all (although it makes a good harbour to go to sumatra and there are supposed to be some cool islands around there as well), then I was off to the jungles of Taman Negara national park. The bus goes straight to Jerantut, where the sri emas hotel starkly reminded me of the amphitheatre lodge in the Drakensbergs. Basically the only hotel in town and they are trying to sell you everything at once. but whatever, they take me to the boat at Kuala Tembeling and the river journey up to Kuala Tahan in the National Park is very nice and relaxing. There I'm staying in yet another dodgy place for 10RM (devide it by 4 and you get your euros), i'm getting too cheap to spend 40 on a nice bungalow. that shall change on the islands!

3 hours river journey to Taman Negara

3 hours river journey to Taman Negara

I paid the 6 RM to enter the parc, so no worries for me

I paid the 6 RM to enter the parc, so no worries for me

Hiking in 35 degrees and 100% humidity is quite the challenge, but i'm still getting it on, to the canopy walkway (a bit of a ripoff, half is closed do to renovation, but it looks like its been closed for a few years. still cool though, you get to the canopy for sure), and up a hill, a steep one for some cool views of the jungle. At night, despite being dead tired (but after 2 hours of napping its ok), i'm going on a nightwalk, where we see mousedeer (basically very small bambi), and tons of insects. On the next day I want to explore a cave full of bats, snakes and toads, so i grab my headlamp and walk trough the jungle for a while. the cave is dark and slippery and i'm not quite 5 m in, as my camera pocket opens and my camera plunges into a little pool. so, dont expect any pictures of white sand and palm fringed beaches, cause I will do that before I get to Bangkok and a new camera! a waterproof one probably, should be useful, especially for me.

Jungle panorama

Jungle panorama

cool plants grow in the jungles of malaysia

cool plants grow in the jungles of malaysia

ok, right now I'm in Kota Baru, arrived here with the jungle express train (why do they always turn the AC so freezing cold around here???).
I decided after all to stay in Kota Baru for another day, do some sightseeing, get my laundry done, check out the batik factories. Although not much was going on in the cultural centre it was still quite nice to walk around town. The batik shops are outside in the beachy suburbs and so i ended up on the beach for some nice seafood. mmhhh
So off the next day for some days on Pulau Perhentian Kecil. Took the local bus (639) to Kuala Besut and the fast boat to the island. Paradise in a nutshell. Electricity mostly only during the nigth (for lights and fans) and no roads, no vehicles (except the building bulldozers, promising construction and development). I shared a nice little bungalow with view of the sunrise (took pictures every morning) with a nice girl from Poland who I met in Kota Baru. First thing I checked out the dive shop and next thing I know I'm signed up for the Advanced Open Water Diver and doing 10 dives in total. Beautiful dive sites, soo many lovely fishes, only drawback: too many jellyfish as well. So it happened that my 3-4 days there ended up being a week and I now have only one week left to do Thailand, before I'm meeting Anne in Cambodia... Travel stress, can't be good, but then again, on paradise, nothing really matters....

That's the way you smile when you find your digital camera working again after falling in a puddle

That's the way you smile when you find your digital camera working again after falling in a puddle

sunrise view from our bungalow

sunrise view from our bungalow

"so, today we are diving the temple of the sea, and who knows, maybe we'll see a whale shark..."

"so, today we are diving the temple of the sea, and who knows, maybe we'll see a whale shark..."

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The trip
 
Description:
Very exciting times ahead, I'm gonna do a trip around the world! Starting from London I'll do South Africa, Singapore and South East Asia, Newzealand and the North American West coast and back to London. Wow! I'm looking forward to sharing my experiences with you!
Details:
Start of journey: Mar 03, 2007
Duration: 4 months
End of journey: Jun 20, 2007
Travelled countries: South Africa
Singapore
Malaysia
Thailand
Cambodia
New Zealand
Canada
The Author
 
Sandra Goritschnig is an active author on break-fresh-ground. since 13 years.
Picture of author