14 days, 7 beds, 3 countries
Trip Start Jul 11, 2010
21Trip End Apr 22, 2011
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We decided to book a half day country side trip for the next day to see a local temple, rose garden, strawberry plantation, tea fields, butterfly farm and market
The next part of the trip the butterfly farm was not only a butterfly farm but housed all sorts of insects, snakes, spiders (!!!), lizards and even a few rabbits, Mary took no hesitation in going to the box which holds the biggest species of beetle in the world and stroking it's back whilst enthusiastically waving it in our faces saying 'it's ok it won't jump on you'. I wasn't brave enough to hold it but Rob did and even managed to put a smile on his face long enough for a photo. Mary then went through the same with some very unusual insects; leaf insect, orchid insect, dry leaf insect, a beetle which when stroked (which I did) felt like suede and then she opened up the scorpion box and we watched five fall to the floor which she picked up and flung back into the box apart from one big one which she said 'who wants to hold it', we all took a few steps backwards and one brave man held it on his hand and the on his shirt only remembering to ask if it would sting when it was firmly stuck on
The next place we visited was the tea fields of the 'Boh' tea factory, the tea fields were 80 years old and had been started by a Scottish man who saw the great potential of the landscape and had gone to China to see how to develop the land into tea fields and learn how to process the tea ready to drink. After visiting China, he chose the name 'Boh' after one of the mountains he visited and also meaning precious in Chinese. The view was breathtaking, rows and rows of fresh green tea plants as far as the eye could see about waist height and the faint smell of the tea leaves being carried with the breeze, the fields in Cameron Highlands produce only black English tea which is sent to India and China - a very high grade of tea because of the drainage and temperatures up in the mountains, we were also told to never drink tea bags as it's always the sweepings from the factory floor never the good stuff that you get with loose tea leaves
We got dropped off back at our hotel around lunchtime just as the heavens opened up, we took a good rest that afternoon, we would be moving on again in the morning to the heat, noise and hustle bustle of Kuala Lumpur - it would definitely be time to put the fleeces back into the rucksacks ans start cursing them again.
The next morning we set off the Kuala Lumpur by public bus, we had been expecting and prepared ourselves for a hot, sweaty, cramped and probably dirty bus but our expectations were exceeded when we ended up on a coach with recliner seats, air con and even a DVD player! The journey took about 4 hours in total and was over in no time at all, the journeys by road we have found to be a good time to have a snooze, listen to music, read, watch the landscape go by and take in all you have just experienced the time goes pretty quick and the comfortable seats helped a lot! We arrived at Kuala Lumpur around 2.30 in the afternoon; traffic, skyscrapers, noisy market stall holders trying to sell you a watch and a bag, dodging cars to cross the roads - we were definitely back in the city.
We spent two days in Kuala Lumpur in total and stayed in the middle of China town, we have found so far on this trip that we like to walk most places, wandering down a street that looks interesting and getting lost - getting lost is part of he fun and we prefer to see everyday life than just stick to the tourist areas. Whilst in Kuala Lumpur we went to Central Market which has been going since 1888 and houses a little India, China town and Malay street full of lots of little souvenirs, beautiful Indian pashminas and saris, traditional Malaysian wooden carved souvenirs, traditional wau kites, antiques.....the list goes on and you could proabaly spnd a whole day just here if you wanted
So that was our experience of the Malaysian capital, although we hadn't seen much, we had good a good flavour of the place and had enjoyed visiting, the contrast between the old city and parts of the city that reminded us of historical Penang and the new city with the skyscrapers, bars and clubs was interesting to see although some parts seemed to lack the character we like but we'd expected that from the developing capital.
The next morning we were moving on again to Melaka, our last stop in Malaysia before going across the border to Singapore. We had less than a day here and the last 10 days was catching up on us quickly so instead of exploring the town we decided to have a restful day. Our restful day turned into a full day shopping bonanza, we had popped in to what we though was a small shopping centre for a drink and bite to eat only to find that it was a huge tardis like shopping mall that we must have spent 4 hours wandering about in the artificial light spending money in! If we'd had more energy we would have seen more but maybe we'll have to come back to Melaka one day to do it full justice apparently there is a lot of history and interesting part to see.
So here we are now in Singapore, we took a 4 hour bus journey across the border to this clean, modern, chewing gum free Island nation of Singapore and said goodbye to Malaysia or should I say selamat tinggal!