Thursday 29 September 2011

GPS tracks!

Here is the GPS track through Australia:

You can download the kml files to look at the detail in Google Earth, you'll be able to see the many many many u-turns I've done while looking for accomodation or just being lost! The files are here for Australia and Malaysia, I'll make an Image for Malaysia once I'm in Thailand. There's no track for Singapore, cause the GPS batteries were flat, and there's a video of me getting lost anyway.

Syarikat Motosikal Sunny

I'm back in Kuala Lumpur because the bike needed a service, I was only in Ipoh so it was just 200km along expressways into the city.

Everyone mentions Sunnys as the place to go for servicing here, I tried to find it last time I was here but I'd been looking at an old post on Horizons Unlimited with their old address.

For future reference it is here now (the green arrow, not the red marker):

Address: Syarikat Motosikal Sunny, 37 Jalan Pahang, Setapak 53000, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.179802, 101.700992
Phone: 0340211661 or 0340216611

And the reviews are all correct. I wandered in expecting to come back the day after or do it myself (no problems there really), but they changed my oil, oil filter and brake pads on the spot! It took less than an hour, but I was looking at all the other bikes in there so I didn't really notice the time. He even used a Torque wrench to tighten everything back up (I have NEVER seen that in Australia. There they have left my axel nut undone, or put the front sprocket on the wrong way round... etc... but that's a different story).

Here it is, waiting to get new oil.
The bike on the right of the picture is Simon's bike from 2ridetheworld. I believe they've gone home for family reasons. I had a couple of random people in out of the way spots come up and mention that they had been in Malaysia. It looks like they've been at this travelling malarkey for longer than I ever plan to be!

So highly recommend if you're in the area! It ended up costing about a third of what it would in Australia, I would not have even got the parts for that price.

Bonus humourus restaurant name photo!

Monday 26 September 2011

Places I've been in the past 3 days

A huge load of pics to go through! Let's start.... HERE:

Boh Tea Estate, Cameron Highlands

I rode up the hill to try some of the local tea. And here's what I saw:
One of the 8 local varieties you could try, then there's all the others with non-tea flavors added too. It was a fine cup of tea this one.


A close up of the tea on the hills.

The non-closeup version.

After the Cameron Highlands it was time to head down into the heat again and visit Ipoh for a few days. The road down the mountain is quite windy, and narrow... And in typical Malay fashion there are drivers trying to speed down and overtake around corners. It's like what the Black Spur in Melbourne was a few years ago, but with cars.

Lots of jungle over the edge of the road.

These little huts are everywhere along the side of the road. And of course, most of them have people trying to sell you stuff in them.

Lata Iskandar

These are some waterfalls I didn't expect on the way.

The bottom of the falls

The waterfall!

Oh right. Yes. Of course, if you absolutely need that giant stuffed pencil toy, you can buy it here, next to the waterfall...

Kek Look Tong

Kek Look Tong is a buddist temple built in a cave here in Ipoh.

This is the entrance to the templ... Hey what's that symbol on the ground! It's the symbol for luck, why, what did you think it was?
I don't know my buddism very well, so I don't know who these three are.

Well I recognize this guy.

Some cave formations.

Don't photograph the monkies!

The Tortoise pond! There were hundreds of the things in there!
It started to rain on me here so I thought it best to go find the hotel. Quickly.

Kellie's Castle

It's hard to find this place, there's no real directions anywhere. I found a website that had a hand drawn map, so I copied that down and set out, only, there is a new road where one on the map is supposed to end, so I got slightly lost. There's only one road sign pointing to this place, but it's not the last turn you need to make either.

Anyway, this was being built by a scot called, Kellie, who died while he was overseas collecting things for the place, and so the building was never finished.

This is the castle. The tower on the left has rooms for guests.
This is the cellar. There was a Tunnel here that lead to a temple somewhere. The tunnel has been boarded up though :(

The Altar

There are info cards all over the place, the one here said that the ghost of Kellie walks up and down here... There was another that said his 6 year old daughter was once seen walking out of her room...

Creepy stairway

This is an escape stairway! Each of the bedrooms had one.

Son's room.


This was for the elevator. One of the things Kellie was acquiring overseas, when he died.


You can get out on the roof. The raised part is meant to be a miniature tennis court
This was his old house, in use while the castle was being built. It was destroyed in WW2 apparently. 
Some of the imported Italian marble in the old house.

Gua Tempurung

This cave is mentioned in all the local tourist information, a must see, while in Ipoh. This cave has four large chambers to look through, however, you have to have a guide. And to get further than the first chamber you need to have a minimum of 5 people. Great. I hung around for a while to see if anyone else was going to turn up, but no one did. So I paid to go look at the first chamber only. The guides here are useless, they take their torch and shine it at different rocks and say things like "This one looks like a dolphin, that one like a crocodile, there's a mans face...". The only informative thing he did was shine it at one rock and said it was marble, the rest of the cave was limestone. I mostly ignored him and took photos.

This was just inside the cave, looking back out. 

The big chamber. Apparently 120m tall. The big formation on the right is called the flowerstone.

Oh I lie, he told me about this... Water has eroded this channel into the stone.

Looking down into the main chamber.

I could hear thunder while I was in the cave, and went we got back out it was raining quite heavy. I waited round for an hour or so while lightning hit the field nearby and then once the rain eased up a little I decided to just get wet and go.

So now that everything is wet, I've booked in to the hotel for another night to let everything dry out, and because they told me I could get laundry done today, but apparently it was too late to do it and get it back before tomorrow afternoon... Great. The day after tomorrow I'll head back down to KL to get my bike serviced, then speed north so I can cross the boarder into Thailand.


Saturday 24 September 2011

Boh Tea Estate Video!

Downhill from the Boh Tea Estate shop to the main road.

Have to get to processing the photos from there, but today I'm moving down to Ipoh, where it will be hot again.

Friday 23 September 2011

Cameron Highlands

I left Kota Bharu after a couple of days exploring the marketplaces and a couple of museums. Don't have many photos of that. What I found interesting was that the Japanese and British forces were given equal room in the war museum. The Malays were taken over by both I guess, and it's not trying to hide anything. I just hadn't seen that much info on the Japanese side before.

These are some of the things I saw on the way to the Cameron Highlands:

On the way to Gua Musang

Gua Musang. I stayed the night there in an expensive hotel ($30AU...)  but didn't do much else.

Hills with all the trees gone.

Big curved bridge over the village huts. With a motorbike in the way.

More of the highway, now it's 4 lanes, and at about 1300m. Much nicer weather up here now!

I'm staying in the Hillview Inn. The tourist info places weren't that helpful here, one was closed (permanently?) the other didn't have any maps left. I could see the Hillview Inn from the main road, decided to give it a go. It looks clean. But it's costing me $27AU a night. Luckily I found a can of 14% alcohol beer for $2AU.

The view from the Hotel.
Today I went up to the highest road in Peninsula Malaysia, Jalan Gunung Brinchan. The record on my GPS was 1600m before this and I think it that was near Cubramurra. So here is what it says now:

I have to beat this! To Nepal!
This road isn't on the highest mountain, there is a peak next to it with a hiking trail which is higher. And the tallest on the peninsula is in Taman Negara. But the tallest in Malaysia is in sabah, and more than twice as high as this.

Here are some pics from the top:
The view from the top.

The clouds coming in, on the right is part of the taller peak.

It's only 3km, but it's a 700m rise or so. I saw some people coming up this trail with very muddy shoes.

This is from a 10m tower on top to see over the trees, when I got to the top the clouds were coming in and  this is the best that I got up there. I headed back down after waiting 20 minutes or so.

The road goes through a tea plantation. It's a single lane width, and people constantly beep their horns to let people know they're coming, but they don't slow down of course. I took it verrrry slowly.

Part of the road near the top, this is the mossy forest.

More tea!

Closeup of tea.
More tea, this time with the better camera

In your face tea!

Tea, etc.

Looking down the valley.
Tomorrows plan is to visit a tea plantation and try the local produce. And scones. Somewhere here you can get pork products too, haven't found out where yet though. In the meantime there's this: