April 18 to 24 - Malaysia|
Malaysia is a country I knew almost nothing about when I went to visit. Malaysia has a lot of different cultures and religions.
The three primary groups are the family/environment loving Malay, the industrious Chinese and the ever present Indians.
The official language is Malay but English is very widely spoken, especially in the cities. The Muslim faith is the dominant religion but there is also a strong Hindu and Budhist presence as well as many others.
Overall people get along remarkably well for such a diverse country and corruption is quite low. The country is on a huge 20 year modernization drive and new infrastructure is built everywhere.
In the countryside you will find huge rubber and palm oil plantations and vast amounts of tropical fruit is grown.
Facts about Malaysia:
- This is a kingdom, there are various states each of which is headed by a local ruler.
The position of king rotates between the state rulers after a set number of years.
- Very diverse society that coexists mostly peacefully.
- The currency, the Ringit, is fixed to the dollar. Given the Malaysia's growth it
is likely to be undervalued.
This is a Palm oil Plantation. The market for Palm oil is booming in Asia and demand exceeds supply. Malaysia is the world's biggest exporter of Palm oil and has invested a lot of research into optimizing the oil production and quality.
This is an old Buddhist temple in the city/town of Malaga.
I made friends with an US/New Zealand couple. We went eating Malaysian / Portughese food in the
Portuguese district of Malaga.
I got to choose the crap for dinner. This is the pre-dinner crap...
And this is the same Crap with Garlic. Btw the white container with a straw is a coconut. Pretty different from the European conception of a coconut.
Among the 3 large groups (Malay, Chinese and Indian) the Chinese care the most about their graveyards. Chinese in Malaysia spend a lot of money to insure that their dead rest in a good location and have a good view.
This photo was taken in front of the Royal Malay Palace, the residence of the king. Notice that unlike the famous guards in London here in Malaysia the horses have to stand still (for 45 minutes at a time) as well.
Some of the historical buildings in Kuala Lumpur.
The Bantu caves, a holy Hindu temple on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.
The cave entrance.
The impressive inside of the Bantu caves... as you can see there is a crater like opening a few hundred meters from the entrance.
There is a whole colony of Monkeys inside the cave. These guys get free bananas from the locals and are used to humans around them.
Downtown Kuala Lumpur, this photo was taken next to the twin tower buildings who used to be the tallest buildings in the world until Taiwan built the 101 tower.
Kuala Lumpur has amazing shopping malls. I have not seen anything like it in Europe or America.
There was a fashion show in the Mall.
The living / reception area of the hostel in Kuala Lumpur. It was a great hostel right in the center of Kuala Lumpur, free TV / 150+ DVD collection, free fruit and water, cheap internet connection, great people, clean place and all that for less than $10 USD per day.
Departure Terminal of the Kuala Lumpur Airport. Notice the little Jungle area
behind the glass. This is one of the most modern and beautiful airports I have seen.