A Travellerspoint blog

Kuala Lumpur - Tribal wedding show


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We went back to Kuala Lumpur to get our Vietnam visas, and on the days we were back the city was hosting a traditional wedding show, with mock weddings of many ethnic groups, and some musical performances. At points Sue and I were each invited onstage to play some music. The whole thing was pretty exciting. We even got to see a Punjab wedding, with bollywood-style dancing.
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Tae kwon do demonstrations were also on offer at the festival, though it was choreographed so the 4-on-1 fighting and even some of the flips looked pretty fake.
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Posted by chrisvasil 21:21 Archived in Malaysia Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Melaka - Colonial town steeped in history Unes


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Unesco World Heritage City Melake is teeming with historical structures, the most famous of which is A'Fomosa, at the foot of an old Portugese (I think; maybe Spanish) fort. A'Fomosa is a lot less impressive than the photos make it look, being a small 2-story building with a grand-looking facade.
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We went to the museum of enduring beauty, which had pictures and displays of different cultures' ways of mutilating themselves to their society's ideal of beauty. This encompasses foot binding, tattoos, cosmetic scarring (similar to tattoo, but with scars from cutting or burning instead of ink) and devices to change the size or shape of facial features (including elongating lips and ears). We don't have many pictures, as the museum was less interesting than the content: many displays are simply photocopies of National Geographic pictures. Here are the foot shape and shoes associated with foot-binding.
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The main market is Jonker Street in Chinatown, and we tried some Durian (rotting garbage-smelling fruit) Cendol (ice cream dish). Sue liked it and has taken a shining to durian; I didn't enjoy it as much.
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The Christmas building (actually no idea what it is)
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While walking along the riverside we randomly saw a couple kimodo dragons, 2 alive, 1 dead.
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Most of the old houses are in good shape, but some are just being let go - here's one with no roof, and trees growing on the second floor.
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Back near A'Fomosa there are a slew of pink buildings that used to function as the local government buildings.
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Just outside of town is a district with tons of attractions clustered together: the zoo, botanical garden, a few museums, amusement park, and this: Mini Malaysia and Mini ASEAN, which has furnished model traditional houses from each of Malaysia's provinces and each Southeast Asian country. Unfortunately they are mostly built in the same style (raised on stilts; thached walls and banana leaf roof), so we lost most of our enthusiasm after Mini Malaysia.
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After Mini Malaysia we went to the botanical garden, which had far more trees than and went on for a few kilometers and was full of mosquitoes
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Posted by chrisvasil 21:21 Archived in Malaysia Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Kuala Lumpur - Ultramodern Asian metropolis


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Kuala Lumpur is what I was expecting to see when I first went to Shanghai, or in Delhi or Mumbai: a shiny new city expressing the continent's incredibly quick progression into a world-class financial and commercial locale. Everything is new, buildings are tall and and well-planned, the subway system is effecient, and the city fits together as a whole.

The main attraction architecturally are the twin Petronas towers, which at the time of construction was the tallest building in the world.

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There are some food and tea stands in Chinatown (Jetan Petaling), but relatively expensive and the food simply can't compare to what we grow accustomed to in Thailand.
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A sign saying to beware of snatch thief, where the thief is appears to be snatching a bag from an otherwise unclothed lady.
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I found Malaysia generally to be a country of compromises between East and West: old colonial buildings alongside some built with Chinese influence, Asian food that is very tame, and reasonably polite people who speak English (though with an accent that I really like when they get excited). It might make a good first stop in Asia to ease into the continent, but once settled into the continent it simply feels less authentic than other areas.

Posted by chrisvasil 21:19 Archived in Malaysia Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Update - Brussel-Thailand (Sept 19-Oct 15),Sue English post

Update - Brussels to Thailand (Sept 19-Oct 15)

Sept 19-Oct 15 was just uploaded, a total of 9 posts. After Thailand we went to India for a month, and just arrived in Malaysia a couple hours ago. With more Internet updates will be more frequent.

Nov 18 - Sue has published Cesky Krumlov pics and updated Thailand, but not all pics are up.

Also - to be able to read Sue's posts in Engrish, use this link. Some parts won't make sense (because Sue's Chinese is too "advanced" for computers to be able to translate - a lot of expressions and slang), but for people that are interested it's something.

http://translate.google.ca/translate?hl=en&sl=zh-CN&u=http://vasilshu.travellerspoint.com/

Posted by chrisvasil 11:06 Comments (1)

Madurai - Tamil temples


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The main attraction in Madurai is the temple complex, whose temples are built in the Tamil style of being a large pile of hundreds of statues and carvings stacked in a pyramid shape on a blue background. After going inside we went across the street to a rooftop shop, where we could see the entire complex from above for as long as we wanted before going back down the stairs to the sound of their sales pitch.

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Inside the temple there was an elephant in a wig and makeup that would "bless" people with its trunk in exchange for a few rupees. It was cool to see inside an otherwise normal temple complex, though the trainers did hit the poor thing more often than I'd have liked to see.
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The market was hard to find, and after rain the unpaved floor was quite muddy, which made the produce a bit less appealing and the walking around a lot less appealing, though it also made it a unique experience within the center of a fairly modern city.
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With this we bid farewell to India: it's been cheap ($500 for a month including lodging and lots of trains; $1000 also including visas and flights to and from SE Asia; prices are total and not per person). We met some interesting characters, ate a lot of curry and mutton, stayed in some great value for money hotels (and some cheap grubby places), negotiated a lot (esp for rickshaws and fruit), and saw great things in both the dusty North and the lush South.

Posted by chrisvasil 21:18 Archived in India Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

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