Saturday 27 August 2011

Melaka to Port Dickson to Kuala Lumpur!

I've moved again, now I'm in Kuala Lumpur for a week, but I think I'll extend that another few days to escape the following weekend after the Malaysia National day. All this week is mostly public holidays and festivals for the end of Ramadan (from what I understand anyway, there's no clear answer on this because of the moon (although, my GPS tells me where the moon will be, but this has to be sighted apparently)).

First off, leaving Melaka!

Here are Luc and Kent. Luc is staying at the hostel until he can find work here, and Kent and family run the place! Also proof it's me! And my bike!

Police were getting people off the road so they could transport this thing, whatever that is. Of course, this being Malaysia most poeple just kept trying to go around it, and people following were trying to overtake.
The beach just off the road from before. I tried to follow the road along the coast as much as possible, a lot of it looked like this, and smoggy.

Another example of beach further North.

From what I understood of the sign, this was a fish market out over the water. I think.

Hmm, maybe I should ride on the beach!

Oh that's not allowed? What else isn't allowed? How about that bottom right one.

So after this small run of 80km or so I ended up at Cocobay Resort in (near) Port Dickson. I had booked the cheapest hotel I could because everywhere else was in the $50-400 range and just wanted to have a quick look at the area. The resort comfort roughly matched the price though. Outside it looked very run down, but there were staff all over doing whatever. There were security gates around it which I guess is comforting that they're there, but it also means I'm in an area where they are needed. About 10 other people seemed to be staying at this place and by my rough guess there should have been about 200 rooms. Only three of the lights worked inside the room, and by the second night that was only two. The hose next to the toilet was constantly dripping (the poo cleaning hose...) and I noticed later on that the pipe from the room above was dripping into the sink. But I've stayed in worse. 

The only thing that really annoyed me was the constant loud bangs I could hear through the day and night. I think it was something to scare away birds, but because the birds fly back it kept going off every 15 minutes or so. It was loud enough to rattle the door occasionally, so then sleeping was a problem.

I had a quick look around Tanjung Tuan while I was there. They charge 1RM to go in, and then it's a 400m walk to the top, but it's steep, and it was very humid. I was in my full motorbike gear of course, and once I got to the top it looked like I had been swimming in it. I only got a few photos up there because I was broken after walking up in the heat. From the top you can sort of make out Indonesia, but it's still very smoggy. Other than that you can see ships and oil rigs. I think it would have been better to go down to one of the beaches but that was another 400m down, and then back up, and then down again.

The way down, from the smaller camera.

The way up, from the big camera!

And this is what's at the top! This is a stop for birds migrating to Australia too (some that end up in Melbourne!). Also in this photo you can see what happens when  the Malaysians unload bricks. They just dump them out of a truck and then sort through for the unbroken ones, which might be close to half of what's there.

This is Tanjung Tuan, from the beach out the front of the resort (well, out the gate, down a road, down some steps, then leap off the wall onto the sand).
After Port Dickson it was time to go to Kuala Lumpur! Unfortunately the rain had also started and I had 150km to cover. I left when I saw a small break in the rain but I was riding through this unfamiliar place struggling to follow my GPS's directions for about 30 km. Then finally! It stopped for a bit and my jacket dried out a little (I was still dry inside it). Riding through palm plantations until I got to the Sepang Formula 1 track which is right next to the airport!

They have a museum and a tour at the track but I was still very damp, so I had a quick ride around to see what I could see of the track (not much). I might go back later in the week if it fines up a bit, or maybe I'll come back for the Motogp in October, I'll need to do a visa run from Thailand around that time! 

I found some fuel near the airport and managed to get to a petrol station with a McDonalds JUST as the heavy rain started again! So looks like lunch was decided for me. After giving up on the rain easing any time soon, I headed out for the run into Kuala Lumpur. Little did I know I'd be heading right to the busy part of KL in this rain. The GPS didn't seem to know about some expressways and kept trying to direct me onto others that didn't exist. Traffic, rain, and possibly outdated maps made this very difficult (that's some whitepeopleproblems of course!).

But here's the time-lapsed video of getting lost several times on the way in, and the rain:

Note the motoribke bypasses for the tolls. Awesome!

I have to fit in a motorbike service, a camera service (the little one isn't focusing properly) while I'm here, and next week is holiday week.

Tuesday 23 August 2011

Oh right, Bukit' means Hill!

Some more pics from around Melaka.

Jonker street/walk/thing
Not sure what this was used for before. Needs some paint.

I'm told that this is the holiday house for the staff of a billionaire from Singapore.

Bukit Cina
A monument for the Chinese soldiers in WW2 at the base of the hill.

This style of grave is everywhere. I saw some like this on the way  up from Johor too.

Another large grave

The graves keep on going and going over the next hill

The stairs on the way up/down with a model of the Dutch Square

View from the top towards Jonker street/walk/thing and the Straight of Melaka
Another pic from the top

A stall was selling these at the bottom. Hehe, Rectum. Oh, and bottom!

The rain started, didn't bother this guy!

Also on each edge of the road there are 50cm deep drains...  That's a lot of water out there. It was all gone by lunch time.

Dragon on the front of a Chinese temple

Sun from inside the Hostel


My breakfast friend!
Bonus Wallpaper Pic
Took a whole bunch like this, currently set as my desktop background!
Tomorrow it's off to Port Dickson/Si Rusa for two nights, then into Kuala Lumpur for a week (or more, on advice from others)

Sunday 21 August 2011

Some night time Melaka!

Was out with the camera before, here's what I found.

Jonker Street/Walk/Whatever night markets. They run these every Friday/Saturday/Sunday night.

Some of the old chinese houses along the river. This is all part of the World Heritage area.

The fountain in the Dutch Square.

The church in the Dutch Square. But I seem to remember that the church was built by the British? I could look it up but I'm lazy

Some more Melaka River

Saturday 20 August 2011

A little bit of daytime Melaka

Staying here for a week in Mekala in House of Kititto. The owner set the place up so he can meet and talk to other travellers. It's in a good area, a short walk to Jonker Street and the historical areas and a Long walk to the big shopping centres/malls/[whateverwordhere]. I booked in for a week but I'll stay for an extra night now. I've met a couple of people staying long term here who have shown me to a few good spots in the town.

Food is cheap. But in this area there is a lot of western food. There's a bit of local food around of course, but most places usually serve a few Asian items and then chicken chops, pasta, pizza, hamburgers. Most of the western food is bad though.

I tried the Formosa Chicken Rice Balls on Jonker street, but they were bad. Just plain rice in a ball covered in some soy sauce and some cold and boney roasted chicken. The chilli sauce was also bad too. I cannot recommend! Nothing like the awesomeness that was Maxwell Road. There's another place at the end of Jonker street that is apparently better but I'm yet to get down there when it's not busy.

There are places serving western breakfasts everywhere too, minus the bacon, and minus good sausages. The long term hostel residents here have taught one the owners of Little Momma's how to properly boil and egg and make toast, so their breakfasts end up quite good. And good pasta too (well, better than expected?).

But still, the food here hasn't been that great! I've been to McDonalds a couple of times, 10-12RM for a large meal (about $4AU) which is consistent with Australian Mcdonalds. And today I've also been to a Starbucks and that stuff is awesome, no wonder they're everywhere. Expensive though at 15RM for one of them iced coffee frapamachawhatachino thingys! Still cheap compared to other countries though!

The other spot I've been to a couple of times is the Discovery Cafe. Cheapish beer. But last night as part of one of the Chinese religious things (not sure what) they had a large amount of free food to give away to everyone! So I enjoyed many plates of Chinese and local foods for free! Just on the street here at night too they sell the Chinese medicine tea. No idea what it's for or what's in it, so the best idea after a few beers was to try some. WOW. Never again. That was a taste that I couldn't forget. Do not recommend.

And two more random things:
- Found a 5RM note on the ground. Spent it already so no need to worry if it was counterfeit.
- Someone was wearing a shirt that said "Free Keeps Evolving Alive". That was a bit "if it weren't for my horse"... Apparently a popular Korean thing?

Some Pictures!

A replica waterwheel looking down towards the new immigration building

Steps on the side of the river, all different turd colours from the turd water that splashes up onto them.

Looking up from the bridge between Jonker street and the Dutch Square

The Dutch Square

The view of the Straight of Melaka from the top of the hill.

St Paul's Church on top of the hill

Inside the church... Because defacing historical sites is what people do (well the British did it when they arrived anyway)

Inside St Paul's

More of inside St Paul's
Old building (dunno the name, left after I took a photo because of  the approaching swam of people)
Stairs into a large mall.

Jonker Street

A traditional Malay house, the chinese temple, some bamboo and the modern transport!

Wednesday 17 August 2011

Left over video from Australia

This one's from 30minutes out of Normanton, into the town. It demonstrates the mindnumbing boringness of the road out there. Only the Northern Territory is able to beat it.

Timelapsed of course, so you only have to waste just over a minute, and not 30 like I did.

Muar to Melaka

Just some photos from yesterday on my way from Muar to Melaka. I tried to go via Gunung Ledang park but now I realise I didn't find the right entrance. I was on the wrong side of the mountain! At least I got away from the masses of people temporarily.

Not sure what the name of this place is, it's within the Gunung Ledang park though (not the bit I wanted to be in )

Yesterday afternoon, with my 15RM beer!

My bike has friends!

Some art shop near the famous bit of chinatown.

I'm not sure... Umm...
And some video of trying to find Gunung Ledang!

Edit: Finally finished uploading this one too: