Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Malaysia- backpacker style

Malaysia probably seemed the most mysterious of all the countries in Southeast Asia to me. But then we went. As we spent time there, it became less mysterious and just
so fabulous and foreign!
Here is our first meal- fish balls, mutton, a bunch of random protien items served raw on sticks, then you cook it in that pot in the middle. Malaysian fondue I guess, how great is that? We stayed at a nice place (read $20 US/ night) our first night in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I didn't know this at the time, but we probably did that just so Scott could iron his shirt for church. :)
This awesome family had us over for dinner after church. They are all caucasian, but this husband and wife (on the left) have lived in about 15 different countries and their kids were all born in different countries too! We had a LOT of questions for them!!! Then the couple in the middle were invited over for dinner too. They got married the week prior, and she (from Utah, went to BYU-I) moved out to Malaysia where her new husband is on a government assignment. Wow. Needless to say we had a perfect afternoon, GREAT food, and enjoyed the comfort of their penthouse which consisted of the top 3 floors of a skyscraper downtown. With a pool on the open-air top level.
After the big city, we headed out to the eastern jungle in Malaysia: One side of the river had a few (like 2 options) hostels and floating restaurants, and then across the river was the park/jungle. So every morning we took these boats over. I think it was like 5 cents/ ride. Probably Scotts biggest regrets was not sleeping over in this hut, which is right beside a salt lick where all the animals come at night. Here he is trying to see a leopard or something cool: One great thing we did do was hike to some bat caves. It was SCARY. The bats were HUGE, and I could hear them everywhere, see them everywhere, SMELL them everywhere, and even feel them hit my ponytail as they flew by. Gross.

I know this isn't a great pic of me, but it is DEFINITELY the most emotive :) My face really looks how I felt after a long hike up a mountain.

There is nothing to really scale this ant against, but let me tell you, they were HUMUNGO and always biting me. I guess I didn't get a disease!

It is obviously too dark to see, but here we are at a floating restaurant with some German friends. We did a hike with them and kind of hung out while we were both at Taman Negara. They were such a fun couple, and definitely knew enough English to make our time together enjoyable!

Another one of the awesome hikes was to and across this hanging bridge. You know that hasn't been checked for quality assurance :) Ha. They were SOOOOO long and rickety. But see how they were literally THROUGH the jungle- it was just so amazing. I sometimes think about this hike when I fall asleep at night.

Riding down the river in the longboat cost about $5 US more than the bus, but I would have paid $25 more for that experience! Jungle river with water buffalo on the side was SO much better than the hot sweaty bus we took to reach Tamah Negara.

Apparently they don't charge for trail maintenance like they do at National Parks in America:

I wonder how this cute girl got her clothes? During our explorations we came upon random tribes of people. So fun to see the kids playing and the parents building.
We were about 3 weeks into our trip at this point. So sometimes it was nice to take a little rest and read a book on our stoop. We each read probably 4-5 books over the course of the trip. I just thought I'd put this pic in for good measure. It was at a bus exchange site and by FAR the worst meal we had in Asia. I can't even describe it. Gross, sticky-ish sauce with some kind of noodle and unidentified seafood mixed in. It doesn't sound that gross here, but believe me, it was a BUST.Back to the city to see:

The Patronus Towers!!!

This noodle dish was MUCH better, and I got a smoothie to welcome myself back into civilization- best idea ever!

The malls there were OUT OF CONTROL. I mean in all the big asian cities. They were always so architecturally impressive and very clean, comparatively.

Here we are on our last morning in malaysia, just enjoying some bread, i mean breakfast and oj on the top of the building. That is one great thing about asia, they don't waste space- the top of buildings are always good for something!

The KL tower was a great way to see the city.

We took the audio tour and learned all about the city, past and present.

We definitely love Malaysia, but stay tuned for the next review on our favorite country: INDONESIA!

Congrats if you're not family and you made it through this long, long post!


Heather said...

I made it, but no congrats, I'm blood.

Thanks for sharing, travel is just fascinating!

Escobar Family said...

I love your posts! I love taking the Hathaway adventure. I hope to have those experiences some day. Some day some day. Hey...if you don't go to Africa...come visit us in Santiago! We are going to Brazil and Paraguay will be fun!

NatalieD said...

You are "Amazing Race" material for sure.