4500 ft above sea level

Trip Start Jan 29, 2003
Trip End Feb 01, 2004

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Flag of Malaysia  ,
Tuesday, March 4, 2003

1st March 2003:
Woke late for me, about 11, then phoned home to let them know I have moved on 2 different countries last contact. After lunch we went on a wild goose chase, looking for this Park - Lake Gardens Park which under the orienteering genius of Stephen 'Edmund Hillary' Sahdev took us about an hour to find in the sweltering heat, which is made 10 times worse from the cities pollution, and the intense humidity. Nevertheless we eventually found the park, and got to play a little frisbee, which believe it or not, we got quite good at towards the end. Though unfortunately we couldn't play for long, as the heat makes you feel more and more lethargic, and so we just sat down and sweated for another hour before getting a taxi back to the town, At this point it decided to rain, massive drops which we were lucky not to get caught under, but went into the indoor market instead, where we got a drink, then watched some traditional Malay dancing. What a joke! I know I'm not really 'in' to live performances of any kind, but this was pathetic. Three lads, and three girls dressed up and in my eyes just repeated the same dance, the only difference being that each time they had a different coloured hankie in their hand??? Needless to say I was not impressed, and unless you're painfully bored, and have some kind of massachistic wish, avoid this at all costs even if you are in the Central Market. If it was possible I would like a refund on those wasted 20 minutes of my life!
We walked back home, had a Chinese meal in the market, few beers upstairs, then off to bed!

2nd March 2003:
Nick and I woke up and went for a traditional Malaysian breakfast at Dunkin' Donuts, before making the long walk to Petrona towers, or the twin towers as they are affectionately known in KL. It took about half an hour to walk there, and on arriving there we were told the next available slot was at half past four. It was only 11 'o' clock! Thats what you get when you make a tourist attraction free! We got the bus back for 70 sen, which is about 12p, and saved my clothes from another perspiration soaking. Did nothing for the next few hours which is one of the problems, when the heat is so excessive. You lack the energy to want to do stuff, especially when your hostel is fully air conditioned and hence you don't want to leave!
Anyway, me and Nick went back to the Towers and did the trip on the Skybridge, at which point we were told that these towers - Petrona Towers have been recognised as the tallest in the world according to the 'Tall Buildings Association'. Now I was convinced that the CN Tower in Canada was still the tallest in the world, and Leah, who incidentally is Canadian was positive that they were too. If anyone can clear this up, it would be appreciated. Anyway, regardless the building was bloody tall, and pretty impressive in anyones standards
For dinner, another authentic meal was had in the shape of 'Shakeys Pizza' before going to a local snooker club and playing pool for an hour. We booked our ticket to leave for the Cameron Highlands the next day, and then as per usual grabbed a few beers from the 7-11, and disposed of them on the rooftop. Spoke to Singaporean woman who was quite interesting, and told us that the income tax rate in Singapore reaches a maximum of 4%! And that is only incurred on the highest earners. Also, the government has such surplus funds that every year they give out a hand-out to everyone in the country over 18 years old, which last year was the equivalent of about 500 pounds. My reasons for moving to Singapore are becoming more and more plentiful!!!!!
Oh and Happy Birthday Snick! I think it's 25 today isn't it? Getting old now mate. Time to start growing your hair!

3rd March 2003:
I got up early and headed for the National History Museum, because in all honesty I know nothing about Malaysia, don't what it does, what it's famous for, or indeed if it does anything at all? It took me around 45 minutes to find the museum, because of the inadequate map, and signs in KL, not of course because of my useless sense of direction, but it did only take 10 minutes to get back.
I found out quite a bit, with history dating back over half a million years, though that stuff meant nothing to me. it was the modern history which told me what I needed to know! Basically in the last 500 years, Malaysia has been invaded and run by the Portuguese, the Dutch, and most recently the British, until it became an independent state about 40 years ago, and has had only 4 Prime Ministers! I was aware that the Commonwealth Games of '98 were held here but I did not know that Malaysia was home to the Proton car, its most famous export surely!
After lunch, we packed and boarded the bus to the Cameron Highlands, a 4 1/2 hour bus journey which was quite scenic, with waterfalls, hill tribes, and tea plantations, and the best thing of all, was that when we got there it was nice and cool. The Cameron Highlands are 4,500 feet tall so you can imagine the air is purer, and the place is miniscule when compared to the city life of Kuala Lumpur. We stayed at the Twin Pines Hotel, and we got a mini-bus pick-up to take us straight there from the bus-stop. We have a room with 4 beds for 28 Ringos/night working out at about 1 pound 20 per person per night. Not bad I don't think! This afternoon, after feeling unnaturally tired, I slumped myself in the TV Room and remained there for the rest of the evening.
The other 3 are keen to do a full day trek, which inludes waterfalls, hill tribes, tea plantations etc, but at 100 Ringetts each, (20 quid) as I am already over-budget I think I might opt for the half-day trek which takes you to the highest point and includes jungle trekking at only 40 Ringetts.

4th March 2003:
This Morning I got up early, ordered an 'American' breakfast, and sat down and watched the film 'American Psycho', which I noticed they had in their VCD collection the night before. I have just read the book, and therefore thought I must watch it and enjoyed it thoroughly, though it is not quite as graphic as the book suggests, which is probably a good thing! Got some laundry done today, which at 6 Ringetts for 4 kilos was remarkably cheap compared to other places recently. When the others got up we went for a stroll, well we took a taxi to a nearby strawberry farm which turned out to be dire, and so walked up to a local hotel and paid 8 Ringetts each to use their pool for an hour. Thats more than our accommodation per night!!! Bollocks to it, we had walked too far to go back already, so begrudgingly handed over the cash, and went to the swimming pool, at which point we found out was indoors! The weather outside was beautiful and we were using an indoor pool?? The water was not heated which made for a refreshing swim, and after an hour we were all knackered anyway, probably as this was the first excercise Me, Nick and Leah had done for well over a month and Steve because he's an unfit lazy bastard! Returned to the town where we decided to go for a snack at 'The Tea Cafe' in the High Street. Now this is the place to go when you are hungry! The sandwiches are the bollocks, the tea is beautiful, and the scones are top knotch too, all for about a quid each! My plan is now to go on a short jungle trek tomorrow, then head up to Ipoh on Thursday where I'm told you can do some kind of underwater cave diving without a scuba license. the others don't seem so keen on this, so if it looks kosher, I'll do this on me own, and meet up with them in Pangkor, an island on the West Coast.
I'll let you know!!!!
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