Monday, August 24, 2009


Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia that consists of 13 states and 3 federal territories. The capital city is Kuala Lumpur, while Putrajaya is the seat of the federal government. The country is separated into two regions, namely the Peninsular Malaysia and the Malaysian Borneo, by the South China Sea. Malaysia borders Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei. The country is located near the equator and experiences a tropical climate. Malaysia's head of state is the Yang di-Pertuan AgongYang. This a term that is similar to King. An elected monarch, and the government is headed by a Prime Minister.

The name Malaysia was adopted in 1963 when the Federation Of Malaya, Singapore, North Borneo and Sarawak formed a 14-state federation.

During the late 20th century, the Southeast Asian nation experienced an economic boom and underwent rapid development. Economic growth during the 1980's and 1990's, averaging 8% from 1991 to 1997, has transformed Malaysia into a newly industrialized country. Because Malaysia is one of the three countries that control the Strait of Malacca, international trade is integral to its economy. At one time, it was the largest producer of tin, rubber and palm oil in the world. Manufacturing makes up a mjor sector of the country's economy Malaysia has a bio-diverse range of flora and fauna and is also considered one of the 18 mega-diverse countries.

Malays form the majority of the population of Malaysia. There are sizable ethnic Chinese and Indian communities as well. The Malay language and Islam are the official language and religion of the federation respectively.

What affects men sharply about a foreign nation is not so much finding or not finding familiar things; it is rather not finding them in the familiar place. G.K. Chesterton.

(Tourist attractions visited:
Safari, Genting, Malacca City, Batu Caves, A' Famosa, Melaka)

(How I decided to go to Malaysia)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Last Minute Accommodation

Last Minute Accommodation

Yes, I am going! I hear her say.

I am going to Malaysia twice this month, was what my friend relayed to me. She said she'll be off a couple of days from then. I jokingly said, what if I went with you. She said yes but she would be on a business trip so I would practically be on my own. She confessed that her son was sick so she was not really sure if she'll go now or a week from now.

Going on a trip to a place I have never been. I did not know much about Malaysia except from TV and magazines and practically not so much about traveling, except about stories from friends and a short trip to Hong Kong, but that was with the family a long time ago. Even the airports have changed now, you know. I have become a Jurassic traveler, practically out-dated, that is.

Okay, what do I do first? No need for a visa, just a passport that is not expired of course. What do I need? I need a plane ticket and a place to stay. Wow, instant decision and last minute accommodation, and to think I am a newbie here. But I know everything is on-line now as long as you have the budget. Cash or card will do. I must think of going and not the not-going, to focus on the can do and not the can't do.

Where in Malaysia are you going? I had the sense to ask by now. She said, she'll be off to Kuala Lumpur. She showed me a photo of the Petronas Towers for she has been there a lot of times.

My friend decided to go only the day before the trip because she was worried about leaving her sick son. I would not go alone. If she postponed her trip it's okay, we just have to reschedule, but I just kept on hoping and hoping and praying.

She finally called that night to tell me, "Okay, you can sleep now, we will go to KL tomorrow morning."

Kulala Lumpur, Malaysia, a memorable place for me. My trip was worth all the anxieties I put myself through.
(My Dream To Travel,Preparing My Trip To Malaysia)

Selamat Datang!
(Tourist attractions visited:
Safari, Genting, Malacca City, Batu Caves, A' Famosa, Melaka)

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. Mark Twain

There is no moment of delight in any pilgrimage like the beginning of it. Charles Dudley Warner

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Little Cave? Batu Caves

Where to? This was Jack's question to me that morning. I told him we were to go to the Theme Parks. He suggested that we go to the
Batu Caves but I have gone there the other day. By the way, Jack is my teksi (taxi) driver. Cool guy, that Jack. My driver, my tour guide, my photographer, my friend, but no discount on the taxi fare, Miss. Ouch!

You know what happened after we went to the parks of Kuala Lumpur? I decided to return to the Batu Caves. There is something about the place that draws me back. To the bat cave . . .

The place is the focal point of the Hindu festival of Thaipusam in Malaysia. In 2007, the festival attracted more than 1.5 million pilgrims, making it one of the largest gatherings in history.

The cave is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India, dedicated to Lord Murugan, ayan siya (that's him on the photo). The entrance, with the Murugan golden statue towering at 42.7 m high, was built in 1891 at Gombak district, Selangor.

Below the Temple Cave is the Dark Cave, with its amazing rock formations. It is a two-kilometer network of relatively untouched caverns. Both stalactites jutting from the cave's ceiling and stalagmites rising from the floor, which took thousands of years to form, shape intricate patterns like cave curtains, flow stones, cave pearls and scallops.

Wooden steps up to the Temple Cave were built in 1920 and have since been replaced by 272 concrete steps. Of the various cave temples that comprise the site, the largest and best known is the Temple or Cathedral Cave, so named because it houses several Hindu shrines beneath its 100 m vaulted ceiling. My target then was to be able to climb all the way up the 272 steps in the shortest time while staying alive. (Tipong Kamay ni Hesus steps ito sa Lukban, Quezon, 292 steps naman). Go Girl . . .

The limestone hill, which has a series of caves and cave temples got its name from the Sungai Batu or Batu River, which flows past the hill. (Aba more than 400 million years old ito, hindi na bata. Kaya pala "Batu" caves at hindi "Bata" caves). The hill is more than 400 million years old.

It is also the center of rock climbing development in Malaysia for the past 10 years with more than 160 climbing routes. Sayang, I was not able to try rock-climbing, stairs climbing lang.

To welcome you and bid you farewell are the Cynomolgus monkeys at the steps of Batu Caves, waiting for visitors to feed them.
(Other places I went: Safari, Genting, Malacca City
A' Famosa, Melaka)

Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind. Seneca

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