Wednesday, August 15, 2012

malaysia, on the road

the river meets the ocean (mersing, ferries to the tioman island)

yep, we are going to travel for 5 weeks from place to place by plane, bus, car (taxi), boat, train  ... i'm going to update some insights / experiences later on but one thing could i tell you right now: now i believe that i know why is germany doing quite well comparing to many other countries ... well, such simple things like withdrawal of money from ATM or ferry/bus transport by schedule simply work fine ... not so on the tioman island: the one and only island's ATM had just small 10 ringgit bills (aproximately 2.5 €uros) and you can't withdraw more than 30 bills ... a ferry? our ferry arrived on time, then someone decided there is not enough space for all passengers, so the ferry has waited for approximately 100 minutes for some miracle like the arrival of next ferry which doesn't happen, the engine was all the time on and none of the employed sailors could tell me why but no one of them cared (after a while there was an oil film on the water and i easily recognized where the term 'sardines in oil' comes from), then we have finally moved on and couldn't pick up all passengers from the remaining ports on tioman before crossing the 50+ km to mersing on malaysian mainland ... OMG ... what about mersing? well, the burger station at the ferry terminal was already closed one hour before the shop where it was located closes and mersing's bus terminal was a real shock: the tickets selling lady told us that the first available bus on the only road to the north would be available in 4 days ... and outside was a guy who told me that in 15 minutes comes a bus to the north and he will look if there will be some empty seats ... well, not only all 3 of us could move further but also 7 or 10 additional tourists/natives => WTF?

few major stops / views (picasa PICTURES):
  • palm oil plantations or jungle are the most common pictures ... in cities blocks of chinese shops and in the villages still many stilt houses ... well, malaysia is not that crowded like western + central europe (or sri lanka) and there is still a lot of place for nature
  • kuala lumpur (KL) ~ capitol
  • malacca ~ unesco cultural heritage
  • mersing ~ the ferry from/to tioman island + monkey beach
  • kuantan ~ a capitol of a province on the eastern part of  the peninsula + 1 huge mosque + 1 river + a bus station with buses in the directions taman negara NP, cameron highlands, penang island (georgetown), perhentian islands, KL, singapore
  • ipoh ~ a tin mining city in the east, the former riches still to see / recognize viewing the so nice old buildings out there .... town hall, clock tower, train station 'taj mahal', old streets, ....
  • cameron highlands ~ jungle + tea plantations in alpine looking countryside ... + massive nature destruction :-(
  • penang island ~ butterworth
  • penang island & george town (unesco's heritage)
  • KL again
  • ... and yes, we have been to thailand (10 days) and dubai (1 day) as well
typical malay stilt houses
many nice mosques out there like this one in kuantan

a picture tells more than 1,000 words => let's move to 'on the road' pictures + my inline comments :-)
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