Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Malaysia December 2011
This December we were able to plan where we were to travel to a lot earlier than last December as ADEC had published a list of dates well in advance rather than the hope and plan on rumours we had experienced in Oman.
Joy and I decided to head for Malaysia rather than seek out the chill of winter that a trip to Europe would have given and to forgo the pleasures of rain and earthquakes that a return to NZ would have provided.
The trip was pleasurable, especially the time spent in Melaka where Malaysian history was more obvious than that offered in Kuala Lumpur.
Joy enjoyed the shopping malls for a few days but found the Malls enthused about by different people and guide-books to be dominated by cheap goods and plastic tack - a problem that was repeated in Melaka where the "famed Jonkers Street," which was described as a fascinating street of antique shops and genuine Malaysian crafts, was dominated by plastic tack and obviously Indian sourced wooden boxes that we see in the souvenier shops here in Abu Dhabi.
We enjoyed having our feet nibbled by myriads of little fish especially after walking our way around China Town and the Central Market area.
We explored Kuala Lumpur sights, including the Batu Caves where Hindu devotees, including a little old woman who was obviously doing a penance as her hair had not been cut for years and had to folded onto itself and then be suspended in a net so it looked as if she was carrying a sack over her shoulder, paid homage to a variety of gods standing in alcove caves around the huge limestone cavity that mad up the sacred site.
We then travelled down to Melaka which is a UNESCO recognised World Heritage site as it was the point at which the many cultures that have influenced Malayasia met over the centuries. It was here that Europe met Asia, India and the Middle East as first the Portuguese, then the Dutch and the British fought for trade rights over three hundred plus years.
We enjoyed our time in Melaka then returned to Kuala Lumpur for Christmas and preparation to return to Abu Dhabi to welcome Rebecca for a three week visit to the Middle East.
The bus trip back to KL was punctuated by a 15 car nose to tail accident that snarled the traffic for several kilometres and then, a few kilometres further on, a car mets two buses pile up.
We celebrated Christmas with a buffet Dinner at the hotel and spent Christmas Day with a skype call to Jocelyn in quake ridden Christchurch and a wander around central KL and up the hill to the butterfly farm and botanical gardens before heading back to the hotel.
We flew back to Abu Dhabi on the 27th to ready ourselves for the new year and Rebecca's arrival.