A Travellerspoint blog

Moalboal

...and bus adventures/Les aventures intreprides en bus...

overcast 29 °C

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Our first few days in the Philippines did not work out quite as planned, as we were turned away from the ferry to Malapascua Island because of a threatening typhoon. We were lucky to get a room at the nearest lodging with several other stranded travelers, owned by a lovely couple who went out of their way to help every one of us rearrange our plans. We decided, rather than lose the lodging we prepaid for, to return to the island at the end of our trip instead.
Nos premiers jours dans les Philippines sont remplis de surprises innatendues. Nos avions nous deposent a Cebu ou nous dormons une nuit avant de prendre le bus pour l'ile de Malapascua, au nord de l'ile de Cebu. Une fois arrives au point de passage du ferry, nous apprenons que le ferry ne passera pas en raison d'une tempete tropicale approchant les Philippines. Nous sommes chanceux de pouvoir dormir dans la derniere chambre disponible de la maison d'hote du coin geree par les proprios super sympas qui se demenent pour rendre l'experience agreable a la demi douzaine de voyageurs. Bref, apres reflexion, le lendemain nous decidons de deplacer notre visite a Malapscua sur la du sejour et de retourner a Cebu, direction Moalboal a l'ouest de l'ile de Cebu. Decision prise, les gardes cotes decident de laisser le ferry embarquer pour Malapascua. grrr. Nous campons sur nos positions et partons pour Moalboal :)

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After another bus ride back and a boring night in Cebu city, we took the bus south to Moalboal, known for their everpresent sardine bowl. We seemed to have the best loding in town, a cabana on the beach right in front of the sardines! We could walk off our front porch, swim out 30 meters and swim with hundreds of thousands of sardines, whenever we wanted! No one knows why, but this massive school of sardines just stays right here on the coast of Moalboal. We snorkeled along the shores several times, and scuba dove early one morning to get the view underneath the sardine bowl. It is quite amazing how from underneath they appear as a giant black cloud completely blocking out the sun.
Apres un retour en bus a Cebu (4h), une nuit a Cebu et un autre bus vers Moalboal (3h), nous arrivons enfin. Les hotels sont tres accomodants, et nous permettent de depalcer nos dates de sejour. Moalboal est une petit ville balneaire, reputee pour son banc de sardines et ses spots de plonges. Les millions de sardines restent pres du rivage en toute saison ,ce qui en fait une attraction pour les plongeurs. Nous les observons depuis nos masques et tuba a plusieurs reprises, et effectuons aussi une plongee matinale pour les observer de plus pres/de dessous. La masse colossale de ces sardines est telle que la lumiere s'interromps des que nous passon dessous.

Trumpet fish

Trumpet fish


This little guy kept charging the camera to defend his territory

This little guy kept charging the camera to defend his territory


The sardine bowl from below

The sardine bowl from below


Periwinkle colored starfish were everywhere

Periwinkle colored starfish were everywhere


Sardines

Sardines


A tattooed fish

A tattooed fish


Neon blue fish

Neon blue fish


Jill swimming through the sardine bowl

Jill swimming through the sardine bowl


Indescribable how many sardines there are

Indescribable how many sardines there are


Chocolate chip starfish

Chocolate chip starfish


Black and white fish, with a pipe fish on the left

Black and white fish, with a pipe fish on the left


Amazing camouflage

Amazing camouflage


2 feet long Longtoms swimming around the sardine bowl hoping for a snack

2 feet long Longtoms swimming around the sardine bowl hoping for a snack

We also did two drift dives along a wall at Pescador island, both during the day and at night. I felt more comfortable doing a night dive off a boat, and not the shore, since there were no other boats driving around overhead to add to the stress! On our night dive we saw plenty of shrimps, crabs in decorative shells, seaslugs, a sleeping turtle, and an amazing fish called a feather starfish, which looked like a fern moving like an octopus. Sadly, no one on these dives had cameras but we took some fun photos and videos of the sardines while snokeling. The weather here has been iffy, so while not scubadiving or snorkelying, we did lots of planning again for the last portion of our trip, and relaxed!
Nous plongeons aussi deux fois sur le spot de l'ile de Pescador, une fois en journee, et une fois de nuit. Jill apprecie cette plongee de nuti beaucoup plus que notre experience a sharm el sheik de nuit. pas de stress, juste des vagues :) . La plongee de nuit fut incroyablement pourvue de nouvelles observations: crevettes, crabes, limaces, tortues (endormie) et la rencontre en pleine eau d'une etoile de mer plume (voir videos ci dessous). Mlaheureusement, pas de camera a cette profondeur, donc pas de photo :/
Le temps etant souvent a la pluie, nous passerons le reste de nos 3 jours a planifier pour la suite du voyage.

Tomorrow we head further south to Dumaguete to scuba dive at Apo Island.
Nous quittons Moalboal pour Dumauguete, sur l'ile de Negros, avec en vue, la plongee autour de l'ile d'Apo.

Long video of red one

Black and white one

Posted by jillandloic 19:41 Archived in Philippines Comments (1)

Kuching, Borneo

City of the cats (lost in translation)

sunny 28 °C

Our last stop in Borneo was Kuching, which means "cat." Being cat lovers, we enjoyed searching for the several cat sculptures around the city, and even visited the cat museum. Loic enjoyed it, but to me, it felt like I was in a really big apartment of the crazy cat lady, full of pictures, greeting cards, posters, ceramic, glass, stuffed (real stuffed cats- sick) cats, keychains, paintings, and even, a display of cat food. Not very educational, but at least it was free. The highlights of our visit were watching the semi-wild orangutans at a sanctuary and Bako National Park. At the sanctuary, the 26 orangutans live in the wild but are aware of and can participate in feedings if they choose, which is really just a bunch of fruits left on a platform while tourists watch from a short distance. We got lucky and watched three moms and their babies swing and climb their way through the trees and ropes, grab as much fruit as they could hold in their mouths and hands while climbing, and make their way back up the ropes to stuff themselves. Sometimes they hung by as little as one hand or foot, and the young ones were too cute!
Notre dernier arret Malaysien sera la ville de Kuching, Sarawak. 'Kuching' se traduit en "Chat". Comme nous aimons les chats nous partames a la decouverte des quelques sculptures et decorations en hommage aux chats. Cela inclut le musee du chat, a quelque kilometres de notre hotel (merci Uber). Loic a adore le musee remplit de posters et tout un fatras de petits bibelots en forme de chat. Jill aussi, les 10 premieres minutes :). A Kuching nous prenons le bus pour le parc national de Semenggoh, une reserve naturelle de quelques hectares qui accueille une trentaine d'ouran outang. Nous assistons (presque silencieux) lorsque trois femelles et leur petits viennent se nourrir de fruits. Impressionnants. Delicatesse, tendresse, habiletee. Bouche bee.

One of several cat sculptures around the city

One of several cat sculptures around the city


The Sarawak parliament building on the river waterfront

The Sarawak parliament building on the river waterfront

Monkeying around

Monkeying around


Hanging by 1 arm, and check out mom's abs as she hangs by just her feet!

Hanging by 1 arm, and check out mom's abs as she hangs by just her feet!


You gotta love that face

You gotta love that face

Gnawing on sugar cane for desert

Gnawing on sugar cane for desert


Crazy colored squirrel!

Crazy colored squirrel!

Our second highlight was taking a boat to Bako National Park, where we were hoping to see the famous proboscis monkeys, the bearded pig, and mudskippers (Ren and Stimpy anyone? Muddy mudskipper?) Amazingly enough, after registering at the headquarters, we saw all three, plus two vipers in the next five minutes! One of the guys working at the park pointed out the monkey for us, and we were lucky to have a very clear view, in spite of the fact that they are shy and usually are seen around sunrise and sunset. He also pointed out to us the vipers, which are actually very small and non-aggressive. We completed a short hike along the island through the jungle, and returned dripping with sweat, and ready to head back early, since we had already seen what we came for. We arrived back into town by noon, and were lucky because by 1pm it was downpouring, and we may not have gotten a boat ride back had we waited!
Le second jour, nous allons au parc national de Bako, ou nous esperons observer le Nasique (singe a gros long nez - relisez vos albums de Tintin), le cochon barbu, et un mudskipper/Oxudercinae/gobi qui marche dans la boue. Chanceux, a peine arrives, un Nasique nous attends sur la plage, le porc nous accueille sur le chemin, et nous voyons les poissons qui marchent dans la boue depuis le ponton. Bref, nous resterons quelque heures au lieu d'y rester la nuit, et rentrons a l'hotel profiter d'une nuit tranquille et d'une douche fraiche bien meritee.

You don't want a bearded pig for a pet- not good for the lawn

You don't want a bearded pig for a pet- not good for the lawn

Boatride in the Chinese Strait to Bako National Park

Boatride in the Chinese Strait to Bako National Park


At a beach on our hike in Bako National Park

At a beach on our hike in Bako National Park

A proboscus monkey

A proboscus monkey


A bearded pig

A bearded pig


1 of 2 vipers we saw

1 of 2 vipers we saw


Mudskipper

Mudskipper

The only thing we missed was the world's largest flower, the Rafflesia, but when we called the national park, it wasn't blooming. Next time! Tomorrow we head to the Philippines for 3 weeks of scuba diving and beaches!
Nous n'aurons pas la chance d'observer la plus large fleur au monde (Rafflesia), endemique de la region. Tant pis ce sera pour la prochaine fois ! Demain, les philippines, pour 3 semaines de playa/scuba !

Posted by jillandloic 22:40 Archived in Malaysia Comments (3)

Mulu national park

Caving in the rain forest of malaysian Borneo

sunny 26 °C

We landed in the tiny town of Mulu to ring in the new year at Mulu National Park, known for its amazing caves and jungle trekking. The park is accessible only by plane or multi-day trek along the headhunter's trail.
Nous atterissons dans la petite ville de Mulu, pres du parc national de Gunung Mulu, Sarawak, Borneo/Malaysie. Le parc est renomme pour ses caves, sa foret tropicale et ses treks de plusieurs jours. Le parc est accessible par avion, ou parc plusieurs jours de marches. Pas de routes. La jungle quoi.

Our first afternoon we headed straight to Deer Cave, home to 3-4 million bats, who exit the cave all at once to feed for the night around 5:30pm. This day, they left in about 8 large groups that looked like a swam of mosquitos flying overhead, followed by one large river of bats that took 3-4 minutes to complete.
Des notre arrivee, nous foncons a la sortie de la cave du Daim, lieu d'habitations de 4 millions de chauve-souris. A 5h30 petantes, celles-ci decideront de sortir se nourrir, juste avant la tombee de la nuit. Plusieurs petits groupes de ces mamiferes seront suivi par un peleton de plusieurs millions. Il est extremement impressionnant d'observer une envolee de chauve-souris pendant plus de 4 minutes.

Butterfly landing

Butterfly landing


Entrance of Deer Cave, place of the bat exodus, where 4 million bats leave for the night to consume 4 tonnes of flying insects per day!

Entrance of Deer Cave, place of the bat exodus, where 4 million bats leave for the night to consume 4 tonnes of flying insects per day!


huge group of bats

huge group of bats


Loic on the botanical trail

Loic on the botanical trail


Our room at the park lodging

Our room at the park lodging


Watching the bat exodus

Watching the bat exodus

Our next 3 days we went on adventure caving tours. Day 1 we visited Deer cave again, which involved some climbing and river crossings, followed by a jungle hike to a waterfall for a swim. We ended with Lang cave, which is a show cave, where you just walk through on a boardwalk.
Nous passerons les trois prochains jours a faire de la speleo. Nous commencons avec la cave du Daim, niveau debutant, qui nous entraine, a travers roches et rivieres, vers le jardin d'Eden et ses cascades d'eau claire. Apers une petite seance baignade, nous rebroussons chemin pour les 2 heures de crapuatage en sens inverse, suivies d'une rapide visite de la cave Lang, qui expose sous lumieres artificielles toutes les formations typiques d'une cave (Stalagtites, Stalagmites,...). Tres joli.

We watched this snake swim across the river to the other side

We watched this snake swim across the river to the other side


R0013247 (2)

R0013247 (2)

poisonous caterpillar

poisonous caterpillar


My efforts at being leech proof.  I still managed to have 3 on me, but not long enough to get my blood

My efforts at being leech proof. I still managed to have 3 on me, but not long enough to get my blood


Loic crossing the river in Deer Cave

Loic crossing the river in Deer Cave


leaf bug

leaf bug


just a cool lizard

just a cool lizard


Jill scrambling over rocks in Deer Cave

Jill scrambling over rocks in Deer Cave


Jill crossing through the river at Deer Cave

Jill crossing through the river at Deer Cave


Inside Lang show cave

Inside Lang show cave


Enjoying a waterfall massa

Enjoying a waterfall massa

Can you see the stick bug

Can you see the stick bug


Abraham Lincoln's profile

Abraham Lincoln's profile

Day 2 was an adventure cave tour to Clearwater cave, where we crawled along rocks, waded through the river, and used ropes in places, for 1 kilometer into the cave. Our guide let Loic and I guide the way back out which added to the challenge. We celebrated my birthday with dinner at the Marriott, the only alternative to the park's cafe, enjoying a noble attempt of Malaysian waitstaff singing happy birthday, and a candlelit chocolate brownie.
Le second jour, nous suivons un guide dans une cave de niveau plus avance, la cave de Clearwater "Eau claire". L'aventure speleologique requiert le passage d'une riviere souterraine (eau a hauteur d'epaule) et l'utilisation de quelques cordes horizontales dans les passages difficiles. Apres 1 heure, nous arrivons a mi parcours, mangeons et faisons demi-tour vers la sortie. Jill guidera la seconde partie avec brio :) Le soir meme nous celebrons son anniversaire au restaurant du Marriott, la seule alternative au cafe du parc. Les serveurs negocient le chant d'anniversaire avec plus d'entrain que de succes :) Nous degustons la part de gateau d'anniversaire noix-chocolat avec plaisir !

The cave is a short boat trip away

The cave is a short boat trip away


A sinkhole at the entrance of the cave

A sinkhole at the entrance of the cave


Us, at the mouth of the cave

Us, at the mouth of the cave


Jill observing the underground river crossing

Jill observing the underground river crossing


Some balance is required

Some balance is required


Stalactites in the dark

Stalactites in the dark


Jill in the lake after the cave

Jill in the lake after the cave


It started raining _hard_ on the way back

It started raining _hard_ on the way back

Our last full day we toured one last adventure cave, Racer, which again, involved some rope climbing and snake watching. We also encountered numerous spiders, echo-locating brids, crickets and other night-carwling insects.
Pour notre dernier jour, nous suivons un guide dans une autre cave d'aventure speleo, la cave de Racer, qui sera plutot seche, mais requiert l'utilisation de cordes. Nous y observons le serpent Racer, qui se nourrit d'oiseaux et dee chauve souris dans l'obscurite totale. Nous salueront aussi araignee, criquets et autres insectes, ainsi qu'un petit oiseau qui utilise l'echolocation pour se nourrir.

Whip snake creeping onto the boardwalk

Whip snake creeping onto the boardwalk


Using ropes to climb down steep, slippery parts

Using ropes to climb down steep, slippery parts


The racer snake, which gave this cave its name

The racer snake, which gave this cave its name


Jill (yellow helmet, pink shirt) lowering herself down on a rope

Jill (yellow helmet, pink shirt) lowering herself down on a rope


At Racer Cave entrance (2)

At Racer Cave entrance (2)


An insect that matches the paint of our deck!

An insect that matches the paint of our deck!


A mound at the showerhead formation (water dripping down from above)

A mound at the showerhead formation (water dripping down from above)

We really enjoyed the jungle surroundings of the park, watching lizards, giant insects and pigmy squirrels racing up and down the trees, and falling asleep to the sounds of the insects. Tomorrow we fly to or last stop in Borneo, Kuching.
Nous avons vraiment adorer le parc, ses habitations confortables, et l'impression constante d'etre au milieu de la jungle, sans moustiques! (merci les chauves souris). Prochain arret, Kuching, capitale de l'etat de Sarawak, Borneo.

Posted by jillandloic 23:05 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

Diving at Kapalai, Mabul and Sipadan

Scuba Diving !!

sunny 25 °C

Mabul Island

Mabul Island

We flew to the Malaysian side of Borneo and began with a few days of diving. Day 1 we dove at two sights near the island of Mabul, where we are staying, and saw amazing sealife! Luckily, one of our divemasters had a great camera and is an experienced underwater photographer. The pictures and captions will speak for themselves! The best sighting was a white snake eel digging in the sand with his tail, then flipping around to dive in headfirst, and yanking out from the bottom a foot long pink worm/snake before swimming off. I don't know how he knew it was down there!
Nous nous envolons pour Sabah, Malaysie, sur l'ile de Borneo pour quelques jours de plongee. Le centre de plongee est sur l'ile de Mabul, pres de Semporna, au Sud Ouest de la partie malaise de Borneo. Notre premier jour nous plongeons a Kapalai et a Mabul. L'eau est claire, et la faune aquatique tres bien fournie. Nous apercevons des grupper geants, des anguilles geantes, d'autres poissons geants. Bref, tout est geant !! :) Nous avons de la chance, l'un de nos guide de plongee a une camera et sait s'en servir. Les images et videos parlent d'elles memes, nous vous laissons decouvrir cela ci-dessous. L'observation la plus incroyable: une anguille serpent blanche en quete de nourriture. Elle plante sa queue dans le sable et gigotte son corps jusqu'a se qu'elle trouve sa proie, se retourne, crocque, et part avec son festin, un ver rosatre de plus de 20 centimetre de long. Incroyable !

Jill water entry

Jill water entry


Local transport

Local transport


Trumpetfish

Trumpetfish


Lionfish

Lionfish


Catfish

Catfish


Jill and a Bat fish

Jill and a Bat fish


Green Turtle

Green Turtle


Hawksbill turtle and Jill

Hawksbill turtle and Jill


Green turtle and Loic

Green turtle and Loic


Giant moray eel

Giant moray eel


Giant moray eel

Giant moray eel


Giant grouper

Giant grouper


Crocodile fish

Crocodile fish


Our resort is built on stilts sitting right on the water, and we can see schools of fish, chocolate chip starfish, and green turtles coming up for air from the deck of the restaurant. We've enjoyed great Malaysian and fresh seafood every day! We are amazed at watching the local children, as young as three years old, paddling around in small boats, one kid, by himself using his flip flops! The island itself is small enough to walk around in less than an hour, but is surprisingly populous. We watched locals swimming in the sea, playing soccer and volleyball, and basically just lounging around for lack of much else to do.
Nous dormons dans un complexe de maison sur pilotis (Billabong resort) oriente sud-ouest, ce qui nous donne une vue imprenable sur le coucher de soleil. Depuis le restaurant panoramique, nous apercevons tortues, raies et etoiles de mer a proximite. Magnifique. La cuisine locale est fraiche et plutot bonne. On se laisse impressionner par les jeux locaux des enfants (aussi jeune que 3 ans !) qui savent deja se debrouiller en bateau a rames (improvisees a base de tongs). L'ile elle meme est plutot petite, avec une circonference d'environ 30 minutes a pied, mais surprenamment, un grand nombre de locaux y habitent. Nous passons a travers le village et les plages des autres hotels, et observont les locaux passer le temps en jouant a la marelle, cerf-volant ou au football. Bref, le temps passe doucement ici :)

Billabong resort

Billabong resort


The resort jetee & restaurant

The resort jetee & restaurant


Loic's new toy - a dive computer watch

Loic's new toy - a dive computer watch

On the boatride to Mabul, we stopped every 5 minutes to drive in reverse to empty the propeller of trash

On the boatride to Mabul, we stopped every 5 minutes to drive in reverse to empty the propeller of trash

Not the most sanitary food prep!

Not the most sanitary food prep!

A boy paddling a homemade boat with his flip flops

A boy paddling a homemade boat with his flip flops


Kids as young as 3 and 4 years old paddling around the island

Kids as young as 3 and 4 years old paddling around the island


Village girls playing hopscotch

Village girls playing hopscotch


A boy with some fish

A boy with some fish

Local shop

Local shop


Town street

Town street


Town street

Town street

Local fisherman paddle around to the resorts hoping to sell their catches

Local fisherman paddle around to the resorts hoping to sell their catches


Chocolate chip starfish

Chocolate chip starfish

Mabul sunset

Mabul sunset

Our second day we went to Sipadan, a protected reef that only allows 120 permits per day, which meant we never ran into anyone except for lunch on the island. We are afraid that after today, we'll never want to dive again, because nowhere can be as good as Sipadan! We saw over a dozen green turtles, sometimes as many as 3 together, more white tip sharks than I could count, and beautiful coral. I'm amazed at how close you can get to both the turtles and sharks before they scare and swim off. At Barracuda Point, the 5th best dive spot in the world, the Bumphead fish were visible popping out of the water when we arrived. We swam with a massive school of Jack Fish and the Bumphead fish look like they have a major bump in their foreheads and the worst buck teeth I've ever seen :) We had the most amazing 2 days of diving and will definitely return to Borneo one day.
Pour notre second jour, nous allons plonger autour de l'ile de Sipandan (top 10 des meilleurs sites au monde), un recif protege qui ne laisse que 120 plongeurs par jour. Le recif est a la hauteur de sa reputation. Au long des trois plongee, nous observerons des dizaines de tortues, des dizaines de requins (pointe blanche, recif gris), des tonnes de poissons plus beaux les uns que les autres, et du corail resplendissant. Au site de Barracuda Point, nous voyons un banc enorme de Jackfish enorme, ainsi qu'un banc de Bump head geant. Au final, la plongee ici est magnifique et vaut vraiment le detour si vous aimer ca.

The boat deck

The boat deck

Loic and a Bump head fish

Loic and a Bump head fish

Jill and a turtle

Jill and a turtle


A patient turtle

A patient turtle


A turtle and humans (us)

A turtle and humans (us)

Loic in a heart

Loic in a heart

Loic making the signal for shark and a shark

Loic making the signal for shark and a shark


Jill and another shark

Jill and another shark


2 white tip sharks

2 white tip sharks

Sipadan beach

Sipadan beach


A beautiful woman on a beautiful beach

A beautiful woman on a beautiful beach


Sipadan's lizard

Sipadan's lizard

Mabul Island jungle

Mabul Island jungle


A beautiful island

A beautiful island

Next stop, Gunung Mulu National Park, in the rain forest of the sarawak state of Borneo .
Prochain arret, le parc national de Gunung Mulu, dans l'etat de Sarawak, Malaysie insulaire/Borneo

Posted by jillandloic 19:15 Archived in Malaysia Comments (1)

Continental Malaysia

UNESCO World Heritage cities, big towers and a mix of culture

sunny 28 °C

Petronas Towers in the business district

Petronas Towers in the business district

We arrived in Malaysia a few days before Christmas. Malaysia is really a melting pot. In addition to native Malays, Indian and Chinese traders arrived begining in the first century, followed by colonialization from the Dutch, Portugeuse and of course, the British. Therefore, in each of the cities we visited we found a variety of cuisines and architecture from different periods. We began with George Town, a Unesco World Heritage City, known for its plentiful street art. Much of the art was painted on walls, and other art was shaped out of iron and told a tidbit of history of George Town. We had rain all day on our only full day there, so we didn't explore as much of the city as we expected, but enjoyed what we did see.
Nous arrivons en Malaysie quelques jours avant Noel. La Malasie est un grand pays, plutot moderne, qui depuis le premier siecle mixe une population diverse d'ethnicite Malayse, Chinoise et Indienne, sur un fond d'histoire coloniale dur Portugal, de Grande Bretagne et d'Hollande. Parmis les consequences, une cuisine variee et une histoire vibrante dans un pays moderne. Nous commencons a Georgetown, Penang, une ville classe UNESCO World Heritage, ce qui permet au centre ville de conserver son caractere unique. Le centre ville est connu pour ses peintures murales et autres piece d'art en fer forge. Nous avons une grosse journee pluvieuse (pour une fois !) que nous investissons dans la planification de nos prochaines semaines.

Tourists can sit on the bike for a photo op

Tourists can sit on the bike for a photo op


One of many iron sculptures describing the city's history

One of many iron sculptures describing the city's history


More George Town street art

More George Town street art


Another street art favorite

Another street art favorite


Great use of space

Great use of space

George Town from the jetty

George Town from the jetty


Clan jetty in George Town, where locals still live in stilt houses

Clan jetty in George Town, where locals still live in stilt houses


Doesn't seem very sturdy to me

Doesn't seem very sturdy to me


Colonial Dutch architecture in George Town

Colonial Dutch architecture in George Town


Most cats we've seen have short tails, a type of bobcat, we're told

Most cats we've seen have short tails, a type of bobcat, we're told

Our second stop was Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur. Our first day we hit the malls to check out the Christmas decorations and pick out Loic's Christmas present, a scuba dive computer! Then we toured a museum of a typical Malay house owned by a chief of a village. We learned a lot about the design and purpose for the architecture, marriage ceremonies, foods and games. We went to a Malay traditional dance performance which we really enjoyed, except at the end when they made all the tourists get on stage to dance along. We opted for a 3 hour walking tour at the end of an already long day. We toured a neighborhood of KL known as the agricultural settlement, which consists of 7 small villages in the middle of a skyscrapered city, that are 1 story, old buildings, that can only be sold to Malays. The land is so valuable due to the city growing up around it, that most people can't find a buyer who meets the Malay requirement, so luckily, none of it has been developed into more skyscrapers, yet.
Notre seconde destination sera KL. Kuala Lumpur pour les non-inities. Capitale de la Malaysie, la ville est extremement moderne, et vise a devenir une ville de classe mondiale a l'horizon 2020. Nous faisons un saut dans les nombreuses galleries marchandes et y acquerons un (cadeau de noel) ordinateur de plongee. Nous apprenons l'histoire de la ville, de la Malaisie et vie des habitants au 20eme siecle a travers la visite d'une maison datant de 1850 (importee du Nord). Nous assistons a un spectacle de danse qui retrace les diverse cultures de la Federation des royaumes de Malaysie (Le roi de Malaysie change tout les 5 ans pour le roi de la prochaine region sur la liste). Nous finissons cette petite journee avec un tour guide du vieux quartier Malay sur 3 heures. Le quartier constitue de maison traditionnelles, survit en plein milieu de KL, grace a une politique stricte de gestion de la propriete. Il n'y aura pas de tour dans ce quartier. Fin de la journee; Ereintes !

Christmas decorations in one of the KL malls

Christmas decorations in one of the KL malls


We didn't get to meet the Malay santa like we'd hoped

We didn't get to meet the Malay santa like we'd hoped

A temple in China Town.

A temple in China Town.


Massive incense burning in Chinatown

Massive incense burning in Chinatown

Typical Malay house

Typical Malay house


Inside a traditional Malay house from the 1800's

Inside a traditional Malay house from the 1800's


Egg shells to prevent getting poked when walking at night

Egg shells to prevent getting poked when walking at night


Old Malay stilt home in the agricultural settlement, in the heart of the sky scrapered capital

Old Malay stilt home in the agricultural settlement, in the heart of the sky scrapered capital

Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur


Canopy walk in the heart of the city

Canopy walk in the heart of the city


View from KL Tower.  Most afternoons brought clouds and rain, which helped stifle the heat

View from KL Tower. Most afternoons brought clouds and rain, which helped stifle the heat

Malaysian desserts- none that we tried were good!

Malaysian desserts- none that we tried were good!


Petronas Towers in the business district

Petronas Towers in the business district

The sign on the right rules out that we'll ever live in Kuala Lumpur

The sign on the right rules out that we'll ever live in Kuala Lumpur

Our second day we took the metro to Batu Caves, which is a massive cavern at the top of 276 steps, that has been turned into a Hindu shrine with many statues of Hindu gods. In the afternoon we went to yet another performance, Mud, the musical, about the history of Kuala Lumpur. Loic had to dance on stage with the cast, again, and I escaped by acting like I needed to take a video.
Nous commencons notre second jour par la visite des caves de Batu, au nord de KL (metro Kommuter, 30 minutes). La cave est geante et est un site religieux Hindou. L'apres midi, nous assistons au musical MUD, le classique opera chantant de Kuala Lumpur, qui retrace l'histoire de Kuala Lumpur ("Boue Confluence")(Boue = MUD en anglais) en musique, chants, et a grand renforts de participations du public. J'adore. (Jill un peu moins :) )

Steps up to Batu Cave

Steps up to Batu Cave


Hindu shrine with a morning ceremony

Hindu shrine with a morning ceremony


Loic in the enormous cave

Loic in the enormous cave

Traditional dance performance

Traditional dance performance


What a stud

What a stud

Our last stop on peninsular Malaysia was Melaka. Also a Unesco World Heritage City, the city is really catering to tourists and is loaded with hotels, souvenir shops, and restaurants. We enjoyed Jonker Walk, the main street that the tourists visit, but due to a bad flu (Jill's 4th in 7 months), we rested quite a bit. In the evening on Christmas day we rode bikes to the Portuguese settlement, a section of town consisting of 300 homes owned by people of Portuguese descent. The neighborhood was decked out with Christmas lights and decorations, making it almost seem like a normal Christmas!
Notre troisieme et dernier arret en Malaysie peninsulaire (Il y a la partie peninsulaire au sud de la Thailande, et la partie insulaire au Nord de Borneo) se passera dans la ville portuaire de Melaka. Ancien port franc Portugais et point d'orgue du commerce regional du 16eme au 19eme siecle, la ville est maintenant une desoin touristique et culinaire. Le centre ville est classe UNESCO World Heritage, ce qui permet de conserver le caractere et les veilles maisons des familles Malayse, Chinoises et Indiennes. Nous apprecions la rue Jonger Walk et son marche de nuit. Enfin, Loic apprecie, car Jill, enrhumee, apprecie la clim :) Le jour de Noel, nous visitons le quartier Portugais, ou des generations s'y transmettent les maisons depuis 500 ans ! Les maisons sont pares de lumieres et de decorations de Noel, ce qui est de bon ton en cette periode ! Il fait chaud, mais c'est Noel !

Chinese temple

Chinese temple


Catholic church, though the country's official religion is Islam

Catholic church, though the country's official religion is Islam

Jonker walk at night- food and shopping

Jonker walk at night- food and shopping


River cruises through the city

River cruises through the city

Many words borrowed from English (also, taksi for taxi)

Many words borrowed from English (also, taksi for taxi)


English, Chinese and Malay instructions

English, Chinese and Malay instructions

Christmas lights in the Portuguese settlement

Christmas lights in the Portuguese settlement

Tomorrow we head to the Malaysian side of Borneo.
Prochaine destination, La Malaysie insulaire, l'ile de Borneo.

Posted by jillandloic 02:28 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

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