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Tracy's Journey

Malaysia

MALAYSIA | Tuesday, 31 May 2011 | Views [283]

First, I visited Langkawi, which is a large island on the western side of Malaysia. It was the easiest location to cross the border from where I was in Thailand.  It was a nice beach but did not have the aqua blue waters. I stayed here for just a few days relaxing and taking it easy.  Next, I went to Cameron Highlands.  Cameron Highlands is noted for its tea plantations, strawberry & vegetable farms, and flower farms; also the Mossy Rainforest.  As we drove in, all the mountains & hills along the road were terraced and had steps leading up to nowhere. Later, I found out this was to prevent landslides and the steps was for the water runoff.  The tea plantation that I visited was over 600 acres and they have 170 workers that work there.  It was very interesting to learn about the tea trees and the process of picking and producing. The tea trees are over 80 years old and were from the original stock. The weather is virtually the same all year long (cold at night & could get up to the 80’s during the day); except for a dry and wet season. The Mossy Rainforest was incredible. I had a really interesting guide that explained about some of the plants and their medicinal uses. You’ll see in my pictures a flower that has two names (Insect eating flower and the pitcher flower). The insects are attracted by the sweet smelling flower that catches the rain. The insects go in to drink but then can’t get out. Also it looks like a pitcher.  I had such a nice time that I ended up staying about 4 days and went on a couple of hikes in the rainforest. I always forget how being in the forest just revitalizes me. It felt great and it was beautiful.  One evening I went out to dinner with a young Dutch couple that I met on a tour and we tried the traditional Malay steamboat dinner. It is sort of like fondue. We had two different types of soup that is boiling and then you get plates of meats, fish, noodles & veggies and then you cook everything in the boiling soup as you eat.  We had a really nice time.

They say the Perhentian Islands are paradise and I would have to agree. I think the water was even more blue and aqua than it was in Thailand. I had the chance to go snorkeling and it was the best snorkeling that I have ever done. Even out in the deeper waters, it was so clear you could see amazing coral; all different shapes & colors. I swam with so many different kinds of fish. Every time I thought I had seen all the fish in an area, I’d see another kind. I also swam with black tip sharks, little barracudas, sea turtles, and stingrays. I finally was able to get use to swimming with all the little colored fish that you were just always surrounded by but I always got a little nervous when I saw the sharks & barracudas.

After the beach, I made my way to Taman Negara National Park deep in the jungle.  Here, I went on a night safari and saw a few night animals and then I went on a couple of hikes. I usually was the only one on the path and it was so quiet and peaceful. You could hear all the different kinds of birds. It was so quiet you could hear the leaves falling; which sometimes startled me because I thought it was an animal. You know the question: Does a tree make a sound when it falls if there is no one there to hear it? I was thinking about this as I was walking amongst all the nature and decided yes, the sound would exist because there are so many animals, birds, insects, and living organisms that would hear it.

Now, after islands, rainforests, & jungles time to head back to the city. Kuala Lumpur is the capitol of Malaysia and full of high rises and shopping malls. I stayed in Chinatown and it was crazy especially after about 4:00 in the afternoon. They set up so many stalls all along the street that you can only walk one by one down the narrow isle they have left in the street. The first couple of days it was difficult even to find my hotel because they block all the buildings. They have some food stalls but the majority are t-shirts, shoes, purses & bags. Just stall after stall of things made in China.  One day I went to a supposedly free flight bird park. It was really cool to see so many different kinds of birds up close. It was kind of neat that a lot of the park was enclosed by a screen like net that was way over the top of the trees and walk amongst the birds; but unfortunately there were still a lot of birds in cages where they didn’t have much room. 

 

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