These small images link to photographs found in my currently-active Flickr album.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Getting to Krabi, Thailand

From Both Sides Now
City Hotel, Krabi

Day 99 - A couple of weeks back, we saw a deal on flights and a hotel in Krabi, Thailand. Today, we arrived. First, we decided to take a Grab car to KLIA2, the airport for domestic and international short-hop flights. The drive to the airport took 50 minutes and the flight took an hour and a half.

We left the apartment at around 10:30 AM and touched down here in Thailand at around 2:00 PM. There was an extra hour in there as we're in a different time zone right now. We decided to take the cheaper transport shuttle bus which dropped us on downtown Krabi for our hotel. We chose to stay right here in the center of things and will get to the beaches and out and about on 'Baht busses'. We are familiar with this type of transportation from previous trips to the country. They are similar to pickup trucks with a specially-designed, covered seating in the rear for around 10 people (but on some occasions twice that). One jumps aboard and then pays the driver after ringing the bell for the driver to stop when one is near one's destination.

Our hotel is right across from the fruit and vegetable market and very close to the pier and river park. It was easy to find.

Our Hotel

Greetings from Krabi

Jay and the Giant Crab

Travel is amazingly easy in SE Asia and cheap by comparison to other places in the world. I knew we had returned to Thailand when I was able to order Pad Thai for dinner. This seems like it'll be a great little getaway for three nights!

Chicken Pad Thai

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Six Photos from a Sunday Morning Walk

Day 98 - I love this city. I take great pleasure when we simply walk around on a day like today. Of course, I find it best when I've got my camera.

(Kuala) Lumpur


Above the Sidewalk

Medan Pasar

Colour Vibe

Clock Tower

These six photographs were a sample of the sixteen which I uploaded to Flickr today. I see many photographers take images which are consistent and similar. I live to be eclectic, in life and with a digital camera.

I'm looking forward to our trip to Thailand tomorrow. We fly to Krabi in the afternoon and will spend three nights. Of course, you can watch for my Flickr images and get a glimpse of some of the things I view through a viewfinder.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Night Market After the Rain

Day 97 - It's Saturday again! This means tonight was a local night-market in the neighbourhood behind our building. There are always hundreds of temporary stalls selling both merchandise and prepared food. The streets are always crowded with people. Today though, at around 3:30 PM a thunderstorm began. The rains started before the lightning and thunder.

Tropical thunderstorms are an amazing show of nature's forcefulness. Winters in Vancouver are filled with an extraordinary amount of rain, but I think we've only witnessed several lightning storms in over twenty years! By contrast, just one, short storm in SE Asia often provides quite a show!

Evening Thunderstorm

I wasn't lucky enough to catch any lightning strikes. As I said today's storm was long as often the entire storm can come and go in the matter of a half hour. The canopies must have been set up in the rain because when we went out, after it had finally cleared up at 9:00 PM, the night market was pretty busy.

Night Markets

Friday, February 15, 2019

KL Forest Eco Park

Not Thinking of Snow

Canopy WalkDay 96 - We're staying right in the center of downtown Kuala Lumpur. When we look from our balcony, we can see a sizeable patch of green forest though. The hill, currently called the Eco-Forest Park, was land set aside in 1906. Presently the site is 9.3 hectares of preserved rain forest. A lot of the original reserve was used in the building of the KL Tower, now the seventh largest communication tower in the world.

There are stories on how the area became known as Bukit Nanas (Pinapple Hill). Supposedly, rival clans were fighting for the land in the nineteenth century. In order to protect a fort, pineapples were planted around it to help protect against the invaders. Nothing of a fort remains today.

However, there is a forest canopy walkway.

Fear of Heights?


Jay on Canopy Walk

It took just 15 minutes for us to walk around to the main entrances on the other side of the hill. It was interesting as some trees are several hundred years old but right here in the center of this major city.

Downtown Kuala Lumpur

Yet, when we got up to the base of the KL Tower it was quickly evident that our oasis was just an island of green remaining in Kuala Lumpur.


Peak at Twin Towers

KL Tower from Below

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Smells Like Home

Some Clouds

Day 95 - It's been ninety-five days since we began our winter abroad! Getting back to Kuala Lumpur from a few days in the city of Ipoh seemed nice. It was like getting home, even if purely to our temporary one.

We, of course, have done some grocery shopping since getting back. Today, we picked up some of this. The king of fruit (in this area) is surely expensive nowadays! Buying it cut at the supermarket saved a bit of a hassle though. It was delightfully creamy.

Store-Cut Durian

Did you see my magnificent haiku about this last week?

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Leaving Ipoh

Our 24-Hour Restaurant

Day 94 - We ate all of our meals in this restaurant as it was close to our hotel, was open 24-hours a day, and had good, cheap food. Last night's dinner was filling, so we were in no hurry to get up this morning. We took our time slowly putting our things back into our backpacks. Then, at around 10:45 we headed back for a lunch rather than a breakfast.

Our hotel checkout time was noon which worked out perfectly as we had a 1:00 PM train back to Kuala Lumpur. We ordered a Grab car which only took around 10 or 15 minutes to get to the train station. The station and Majestic Hotel was built in 1894, so I have taken a little liberty with the colour of the first of the next two images.

Ipoh Train Station (1894)

Train Station from 1890s

It seems as though KTM's Electric Train Service is pretty dependable. Both journeys started right on the dot. We actually got back to Kuala Lumpur a bit early this afternoon. Our GoKL free bus was a little late getting to KL Sentral and pretty crowded after it did. Still, we're back in our place here.

Train to KL

Yesterday was pleasurable and it'd be nice to explore more of the area around Ipoh. As for the city itself, well I'm sure it was quite a place back in its day. That was a while ago, and although the city is Malaysia's third largest, it is not a must see on an initial tour of the country.

I can sort of imagine Ipoh cleaning up and becoming prosperous and gentrified rather quickly. I'm just not sure we'll ever return there to see that day.

Beautiful Downtown Ipoh

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Ipoh's Surrounding Mountains

Tibetan Temple, Tambun, Malaysia

Day 93 - We didn't get started early but had breakfast at our outside restaurant at 9:00 AM. We ate too many appam in anticipation of a bit of activity. We clicked for a Grab car as soon as we finished.

First, we went to the well-known Perak Cave Temple.

Perak Cave Temple

Although the main cave is near ground level, this cave system offered a hike up through the inside to the outside of the hill.

Image 2

Preparing to Climb

Stand Up in the Sun

Limestone Hills

This area is surrounded by limestone hills and small ponds and lakes. The city was a boomtown during tin mining days. Then, the price of tin crashed during the 1970s as did the city of Ipoh. It sort of stayed in suspended animation for decades, slowing sinking into dilapidation. Nowadays, it is having a resurgence mainly due to tourism and the many universities located here.

After climbing the mountain and descending, it was early. The hills are dotted with caves. Many of them have Chinese temples. Jay had read about a Tibetan Temple in Tambun, a bit off the normal tourist path. As it would only cost $3 in a Grab to go into a rural valley, we called for one. Mr. Singh was helpful and friendly. We went way into from a road through lands growing fruits.

We encountered a rather fantastic building, with an enormous Buddhist statue on the eighth level. We did lots of climbing today. The experience was most definitely worth it.

Looking Up 8+ Floors

Not Frequently Visited

Time to Head That Way

Our Grab driver may have wanted us to ask him to stay, but we didn't. After our time at Tambun, we found that no Grab driver wanted to come out to pick us up. Fortunately, a Dutch / UK tourist couple had come to visit. They were the only others at the entire site. We begged a ride closer to town. They were older and we talked a bit about how travel has changed over the decades due to GPS and Internet reservations. We decided that we were 'experiences' in each others' days. They let us off near the major highway between Kuala Lumpur and Penang. They were going north. It was easy to grab a Grab from there.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Getting to Ipoh

Get Out of the Way!

KL Intercity


Day 92 - We had a smooth trip here today. We got up earlier than normal but didn't really have to. We walked to catch the free red-line bus to KL Sentral and boarded our train that left promptly at the correct time of 9:50 AM. I am a big fan of the electric train system which got us here in exactly two hours and forty minutes. The tracks leaving Kuala Lumpur are being upgraded and eventually, the fast trains will fly in and out of town on elevated tracks. Mostly on the second half of the journey, we reached the ETS standard cruising speed of 145 KPH (90 MPH). I do like the feel of the pull from electric motors!

Regalodge Hotel, Ipoh

We got a grab car to the Regalodge Hotel from the rather iconic station. We had two hours to kill as the check-in time at our hotel was advertised as 3:00 PM and we couldn't sneak in early. Therefore, we walked around town, eventually getting nearly to the other end by Little India. We passed the famous shopping streets of Market, Wife, Concubine 1, and Concubine 2. I guess the old tin miners were able to afford a comfortable existence!

Mountains Around

Hot Walk

We Walked Across Town


It was a hot day with hardly any clouds in the sky here. We welcomed a late, little nap in the afternoon. After we walked about and discovered a big mall and an old one which was more to our liking. We had dosas for a quick dinner. It gets dark after 7:00 PM in Malaysia at this time of year. There is nearly always about 12 hours of daylight because of our proximity to the equator.

Dosas for Dinner

Sunday, February 10, 2019

From February 10, 1986

Day 91 - I recently found a small, digitized treasure to include today. It does seem quite appropriate that Jay and I are currently relaxing in Malaysia. For you see, the image shown below was from our very first trip together.

On this date in 1986, we were visiting Jay's home in Sri Lanka. Jay and I had met just 10 months prior to the photograph when I came to work at the same company in Saudi Arabia. At the first possibility, we arranged for concurrent vacation time and flew to Colombo. Here, we are on the front porch of the house in Minuwangoda.

Lots of comments that can probably be made regarding weight and hair. I don't think either of us has worn a sarong since either. Yes, a great many things have changed since this image was originally captured. However, many things from our decades of shared experiences seem eternal.

Image Enlargement

(There's only so much editing one can do with a JPG which was scanned years and years ago on now-obsolete equipment. I was able to enlarge the image in order to create a new file. I can't help but find it quite amazing that something which happened a third of a century ago, on a cheap film camera, can now be shared with folks in any location with Internet.)

Saturday, February 09, 2019

My Haiku

Rough pungent odour
ignored by my joyous tongue,
spikey durian.

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