Malaysia Sandbox

Travel Photo Thursday, June 9, 2011 — Look Down, Way Down –Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Posted by on Jun 9, 2011 in Malaysia Sandbox, Travel Photo Thursday, Uncategorized | 37 comments

Welcome to another week of Travel Photo Thursday To join in the Travel Photo Thursday fun simply post a photo on your blog. Return here and place your link in the Mr. Linky at the bottom of this post. Please remember to leave a comment after you link. Finally, if you have a few moments, visit the others who have linked. Perhaps you can give them a tweet, a stumble, or a comment on their TRAVEL PHOTO THURSDAY.

Please post a link to a post featuring a travel photo, not simply a link to your blog.

If you do tweet a shot, please use the hashtag #TPThursday.

I took this shot from the Sky Walk of the Petrona Towers, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A visit to the towers is a must do for anyone visiting KL. The towers are easily accessible on the city’s fast transit system. Access to the Sky Walk is free, so a perfect outing for a budget traveler. The day that I visited there was no line up for tickets. I arrived around 1:30pm and was able to secure a free ticket for 4:30pm. That gave me plenty of time to tour the visitors area, souvenir shop, and take photos inside and out.

Looking down from the sky walk --- Petrona Towers

If you are planning a visit to KL don’t miss the Petronas Twin Towers. You can find out everything you need to know here…

Petronas Twin Towers

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Travel Photo Thursday, May 26, 2011, Smiles to Warm Your Heart on Mabul Island, Borneo

Posted by on May 26, 2011 in Malaysia Sandbox, Travel Photo Thursday, Uncategorized | 25 comments

Welcome to another week of Travel Photo Thursday I want to express a big thank you to all of you who have made Travel Photo Thursday such an amazing travel photo community. I look forward to visiting each and everyone of your Travel Photo Thursday shots each week. Remember, we can never have too many contributors, so if you know a travel blogger with photos to share please tell them about Travel Photo Thursday

To join in the Travel Photo Thursday fun simply post a photo on your blog. Return here and place your link in the Mr. Linky at the bottom of this post. Please remember to leave a comment after you link. Finally, if you have a few moments, visit the others who have linked. Perhaps you can give them a tweet, a stumble, or a comment on their TRAVEL PHOTO THURSDAY.

Please post a link to a post featuring a travel photo, not simply a link to your blog.

If you do tweet a shot, please use the hashtag #TPThursday.

(Click on the photo to see a larger Version)

Mabul Island Children

Mabul Island is located a short boat ride from the small town of Samporna on the coast of Borneo, Malaysia. Most people who stay on the island are divers or snorkelers. The huge drawing card is Sipidan Island. If you’re looking to live among the locals, while experiencing some of most awesome underwater life on the planet, this is it. Accommodation ranges from budget to luxury.

The children on Mabul island are amazing. They love having their photos taken, or just spending a bit of time with the foreigners. This is one of my favorite shots of many. This shot is currently being featured by the National Library of New Zealand “Services to Schools Publication”…. “Inspire Me”. How cool is that?

National Library of New Zealand
Mabul Island

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Wanderfood Wednesday — Malacca’s Chicken Rice Balls

Posted by on Feb 9, 2011 in Malacca Sandbox, Malaysia Sandbox, Uncategorized, Wanderfood Wednesday | 5 comments

Here we are for another week of Wanderfood Wednesday, kindly hosted by WanderLust and Lipstick. My last Wanderfood post was back in early December, so it’s great to be back.

When I decided to add Malacca to this winter’s itinerary the first thing I wanted to know about was the food. One dish that was mentioned time and again was Haianese Chicken Rice, or simply Chicken Rice Balls.

I immediately pictured chicken and rice mixed together and shaped into balls. I couldn’t have been more off the mark! The chicken and rice, although served together, are very separate, and delicious.

Here are the rice balls, which are very filling. These five with chili sauce is a perfect serving for one person.

Chicken Rice Balls

Then, there’s the moist, succulent, perfectly cooked chicken…yummy to say the least! If you could see under the chicken, you would find that it’s sitting on cucumber slices.

Malacca's Chicken Rice Balls

One of the burning questions I had was “why rice balls?” I went searching for an answer, and this is what I found over at the food blog Fatbooo.

“So why does Melaka’s hawkers serve their chicken rice in the shape of balls? To answer this, we have to go back to the history behind chicken rice. This comforting dish was brought over to Malaysia and Singapore by Hainanese immigrants. In its early years, the dish was sold by travelling peddlers and the reason why the rice was sold in little balls was primarily a functional one. It simply made life easier for the peddler because the rice balls could be wrapped in banana leaves instead of using plates.”
True or not?; I can’t say for sure, but sounds credible to me.

I feasted on my Chicken Rice Balls at Kedai Kopi Chung Wah. Located just over the bridge at the beginning of Jonkers Street, look for the noon hour lineups. The wait is well worth it!
Kedai Kopi Chung Wah
A lunch of Chicken Rice Balls is perfect for any budget traveler. My entire meal, including a beverage, was well under $5.00 U.S. That should make any budget traveler smile.

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Penang’s Georgetown– A Budget Travelers Dream Town

Posted by on Jan 25, 2011 in Malaysia Sandbox, Sandbox Photography, StumbleUpon Sandbox, Uncategorized | 7 comments

Good memories of a previous visit to historic Penang prompted me to stop there on my way to Bangkok. After thirteen hours of chugging along on a train I was ready to find my street legs again.

I had a great nights sleep at the historic Red Inn on Georgetown’s Love Lane. Their breakfast of delicious local food gave me the energy to do one of my favorite things….walk. I grabbed an excellent brochure from the lobby… “Traditional Trades & Foods of George Town” (Self-Guided Walks).

Red Inn

My first stop was at Mr. Lee’s joss stick making shop. He hand makes several hundred of these a day. They are purchased by Taoists to use for worship at home and at the temple.

Joss Stick Maker

Before stopping to see the flower garland weavers I dropped into the Kuan Yin Temple next door. Commonly known as the Temple of the Goddess of Mercy, it’s believed to be the oldest temple in Penang. Being the 15th of the month, the temple was extremely busy with worshipers lighting incense and praying to the gods. I love the huge pink joss sticks that they burn at the entrance.

Kuan Yin Temple

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Kuan Yin Temple

Then, it was next door to watch the flower garland weavers create their magic from beautiful fresh flowers. I was amazed at the speed that this weaver worked. In the ten minutes or so that I watched he easily finished three garlands.

Flower Weaver

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Flower Garlands

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Flower Garlands

Have you ever wondered about those “funny” black hats worn by Muslim men. Well, they’re called Songkok and Haja Mchidin is a second generation songkok maker. He can complete one songkok in about two hours.

Songkok Maker

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Songkok Maker

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Songkok

At 165 Lebuh Chulia the bertram blind weaver was busy varnishing a newly completed blind. Like the songkok maker, he is the second generation of his family to produce these blinds. They are handwoven from the stem of the bertram palm, and protect store fronts from the sun and rain. You will see them everywhere in Penang.

Bertram Blind Maker

My next to last stop was the “Cotton Bedding Maker”. Mr. Ong has been making bedding from his store front for the past 60 years. His bedding is stuffed with kapok (Java cotton), which is the local secret for a good nights sleep in the local tropics. I wonder if this is the secret to his longevity?

Penang Blanket Maker

Finally, I headed over to see Auntie Sim the local fortune teller. She is easy to find at stall 20 on the corner of Lebuh Chulia and Jalan Masjid Kaptan Keling. She’s advertised as one of the last “sidewalk fortune tellers” in Penang. For 20 MYR (Malaysian Ringatts; roughly $6US)) she read my palms and my face. Like most good fortune tellers she didn’t tell me anything to worry about. Apparently, I have a lot of years left in me, and I am going to be prosperous (hope that happens soon!). Of course, as Auntie Sim mentioned several times…”It’s all up to you (me).”

Auntie Sim

A walk around Georgetown wouldn’t be complete without sampling some of the local street food. I have to say it was a scorcher of a day, and my appetite had vanished with the heat. However, I couldn’t resist sampling an onion baji (the one in the front). OUTSTANDING! ……

Onion Baji

All of these crafts people have their shops in or around Little India, and with a map are very easy to find. This is an economical and fun day for any budget traveler. I spent less than $7US, and most of that went to Auntie Sim.

I booked the Red Inn through Hostel World , and highly recommend it. My room was clean and comfortable. I really enjoyed the breakfast of local food. Finally, you can’t beat the location.

Love Lane

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Warming up in Malacca

Posted by on Dec 19, 2010 in Malacca Sandbox, Malaysia Sandbox, Uncategorized | 27 comments

I’ve arrived in Malacca and after the deep freeze of Korea it’s a welcome relief. The trip here was a long one. My Air Asia flight left Incheon at 11:20pm, arriving in KL at 5:00am. I waited until 9:00am for the bus to Malacca. Anyone who tries to tell you that there is no bus between LCCT in KL and Malacca is wrong. I will post more details later.

I am at the Apa Kaba Homestay, which is fantastic at $12.00 per night. The owners are friendly and helpful, and it’s about a ten minute walk from the historic downtown. This is a fabulous find for any budget traveler.

Late yesterday I did a bit of an explore. I took one of the trishaws for an hour tour ….forty ringets or about $12.00US. The price is posted, so there is no haggling or getting ripped off. I am off to explore and will write and post more photos in the next day or so. Here’s my beautifully decorated trishaw………………

Trishaw

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Friday’s Talking Photo #15 — Kek Lok Si Temple, Penang, Malaysia

Posted by on Jun 13, 2010 in Malaysia Sandbox, Talking Photos, Uncategorized | 2 comments

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