Travel in Asia

Kuala Lumpur, Melaka and The "Man"fred……


I’m slightly distracted by the prepubescent kids i’m surrounded by in this internet cafe but i’ll try and do my best to run down the events of the past week as we made our way to Malaysia’s mainland to visit Kuala Lumpur and meet up with a new friend.

For reasons I really cannot quite explain, our original trip itinerary never included Malaysia at all but after meeting some natives of the country (Manfred and Christina) aboard our Halong Bay cruise in Vietnam almost 2 months ago, plans changed.

Manfred offered to show us around the metropolis for a few days which is exactly what he did and then some. After our arrival was semi spoiled by a pretty rancid hotel, we jumped to a new one and let Manfred captain us through the rest. On our first day we checked out the most famous caves of the region, the Batu Caves which ended up being more of a monkey exhibit than anything else but still a very impressive area nonetheless. Following our cave expedition we checked out the Royal Selangor pewtor factory. The company has been producing pewter products since 1885 and is the most famous of its kind in the world. The exhibit featured quite a few very impressive pieces and we even got a chance to try our skills alongside a master who hand-hammers designs into pieces that have the look only a machine could produce. After failing miserably at that we checked out some F1 trophies and took off for out next stop. Manfred is obviously a super romantic so he decided that as this was our honeymoon we should take in a local lovers spot atop a lookout point to get a great view of the city. Although a bit hazy, it was a really cool vantage point to scope out the skyline and the gallon of watermelon juice I inhaled made the experience even sweeter 😉

As the night krept in, Manfred saw this as an opportune time to snap some photos of the skyline and iconic Petronas Twin Towers. You see, Manfred is a photo hobbyist and for me, a source of great information in helping me to understand how to take pictures that don’t suck. We pulled off at a spot outside the city and then headed right up to the towers where we had a perfect view of the buildings. The area below the towers is home to a sprawling and beautiful shopping area that draws a pretty large crowd in the evening. The towers themselves stand a staggering 1500 feet high and were atop of the world from 98-2004 as the worlds tallest towers before Taipei 101 was built. The lights illuminating the building create a grand spectacle of the architecture and are really something special to see up close.

The following day after a walk through some historic areas of the city near our hotel we were picked up by Manfred who had a nice lineup in store for us yet again. Our initial stop was the Malaysian History Museum which showcased the diverse and interesting heritage of the country. One theme that ran through most every exhibit of the museum was the richness of the countries diversity in culture and how Malaysia is what it is today thanks to the people, cultures and religions that have molded it into one nation. Manfred’s father in law who owns a rubber plantation in Malaysia which is actually pretty big business in the nation. Something else we didn’t know is that pure rubber is made from a sap like goo that is extracted from certain trees. Now, i can’t give you the lowdown on how this is actually done but as you can see from the shots we took. A white sap drips into buckets and is used as a component in the rubber making process. Unfortunately, Nicole was fairly annihilated by the mosquito s so we stayed only a short time.

Further up the road was a dam that made for some scenic shots and yet again, the monkeys awaited. i think after our experience with monkeys in Indonesia we kinda lost that spark of intrigue get just plain freaked out by them. Our final stop of the day was a nice lake that Manfred suggested we stop at to take some city shots before heading out to eat with the fam. I know that most of my shots are pretty average but thanks to Manfred, I was able to figure out the proper settings on the Nikon to make the night scene shots look well…..not so sucky.


For dinner, Manfred’s wife, Christin and their two sones, David and Beckham….(yup, thats their names) joined us for some local italian. The food was great and clever Manfred even had the chef whip up a special steak entree for us that included a nice “Happy Honeymoon” flag and candles. Very nice. That night we stayed over at Manfred’s to ensure an early start on our last day.

…try to ignore my swollen eye…Manfred’s dog Cecil and my left eye apparently have beef. fun.

On our last day, Manfreds youngest son, Beckham, joined us on a trek to e. Melaka is a very historic town in Malaysia that was once under Portuguese, British and Dutch rule. The city featured a large amount of of older colonial buildings, forts and interesting shops that lines the roads. We spent the day wondering around and I even had an opportunity to sample a Durian fruit infused snack which although it stank like the underbelly of a wolly mamouth, I learned to like it after a few bites.

Sadly that night we had to leave, but we made some great memories during our trip and will be forever grateful to Manfred and his family for their hospitality.

thanks for reading!
adam

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