Trip Start Jun 04, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Malaysia  , Kedah,
Sunday, June 12, 2011

Tim's first breakfast in the hotel I think. 

One of Moira's friends happens to travel with a hand-held scale, so Tim gets to find out whether he'll need to pretend that his carry on bag is lighter than it actually is.

Luckily for me Tim didn't bring a suitcase with him from Australia despite paying the extra for the 23 or so kilos... so I bought him a suitcase and got rid of some of the stuff I'd already bought on the trip... stuff that I certainly didn't want to take with me to Europe.  Unfortunately the handle broke off the first time Tim lifted it.  Only one handle left... it doesn't look good.  And to think that Alex nearly missed his flight because James and I were buying suitcases from this shonky shop.

I'd seen the posters up all week for the children's singing competition... trouble is they started so late that we only got to see one singer.  But she could certainly belt out a tune.

They all had some pretty elaborate outfits on too.

James and Ivy came over to get me for yum cha.  Another huge beer shed type place but with yum cha carts going around.  Quite a few dim sum that I'd never had before and... extremely cheap.

How's this for specialisation?  I've got a feeling the Chinese have some strange ideas about piles...

We decided to have a go at making it to Langkawi Island.  There's a car-ferry but it took us ages to find it and it didn't really look like we'd make it back in time for James' and Ivy's plane in the morning so we contented ourselves with checking out the neighbouring state of Kedar.  Much more Muslim than the Chinese majority state of Pinang.

It was really strange to see so many young female students in full Muslim clobber and the boys in those hats that you normally only see in Indonesian text books.  The sort of hat that Suharto would normally wear.

Yes, a new hat for my collection.  This bloke was making the Suharto/Sukarno hats.

After Pinang it was quite a novelty to see so many head-scarves and full cover up. 

In the centre of the capital Alor Setar, there was some pretty impressive colonial architecture.

Along with what look like mosques.

This tower was hard to miss.  But it's befallen the fate of a lot of this type of attraction... if they don't get the required number of tourists they just aren't maintained enough and it becomes a bit of a downward spiral.  The tower had a fancy lift but at the top there were spaces for shops all around the inside of the viewing tower... but they were all empty.  No interest.

And in any case, the viewing platform was extremely badly designed.  The glass was dirty and there were bars all around to ruin the view.  Unlike the extremely well designed viewing platform at the top of the ship type building in Singapore... but that's a casino so they can easily afford to spend more on design.

The mosque downbelow...

And this huge complex in the distance.  Possibly the royal palace?

Once out into the countryside again this huge rock loomed up out of the flat countryside.

The rock had this strange tower attached to it.  Apparently there are some caves at the top and this is how you get up.  But we were there a bit too late and it wasn't open.

But the science museum was open.  Another modernistic building in the middle of nowhere.

But how's this for science?  They had a display about the abominable snowman complete with information on habitat, eating habits...and a button to press for further info.  And all we used to have in Hobart were the migration patterns of the Arctic Tern.

I'd always thought that the Moslems didn't start with the head-gear for girls until they were a bit older... but in Malaysia it looks like they like to start them off young. 

Ah, they've only been married (Chinese style) for a couple of days and already Ivy's giving James a blast...

And next to the science museum?  A rice museum.  Another huge building in the middle of nowhere.  What do you get in a rice museum?  Not that much actually.  It's probably quite relevant for the local school-children as rice is a huge industry in Kedah... but it meant a lot of reading and we didn't have the time.

And we even made it back to Penang for tea with Ivy's parents and a few other relatives...  Our first real touristy day of the trip.  But quite relaxing as we had the huge van to ourselves...  I seem to be the only one left at the hotel...  well, I certainly will be after tomorrow when Jacquie Meow and James' mother and her friends all go back with James and Ivy.

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Adze on

Excellent and interesting photos Robert.


spesbona on

Perhaps the sign is supposed to read "Aboriginal Snowman"?

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