Taiping Nov 2nd – 4th

Good food, good sights, good walk, and all the hot water I wanted in the shower. No Internet, no sun, no other backpackers, no other Caucasians.

Came here to go up to Bukit Larut, one of three highlands areas in Malaysia and the one least visited by foreign tourists. Mid week, low season meant I rode up with some laborers and no other tourists. Walked for about 2km up the hill from the drop off point, shot misty photos and basically enjoyed the peace, quiet and lower temperatures.

Didn’t stay the planned second day because the air pollution was bothering me. Probably would have stayed if it hadn’t rained substantially each afternoon and/or the light had been better for photography. As it was, didn’t get a clear view of the sun in the 42 hours I was there.

[Updated 26 Nov, 2011: Taiping Photos]

Random High and Low Lights

One has to take a 6km local bus from the long distance bus station. They run every 15 minutes. Rain was threatening, so I was glad when one came soon. Climbed on and noticed the patrons had left a big hole in the seating arrangement. Looked like somebody had puked. Took another look at the sky and chose a seat far from the haz-mat spill. All the windows were open so what’s the big deal?

Waiter asked if I knew Sylvester Stallone. ‘Rocky and Rambo’ I said. No, he wanted to know if I knew Stallone. ‘Fraid not. There was something weird about his accent, something I hadn’t heard from any Malay before or since. Then I got it – he was doing Pacino’s character from Scarface, using a Malay version of a Cuban accent. He looked a little like the character, too, right down to the hair style.

Should have brought a compass. One has been part of my tiny ‘what if…’ kit that I left home for the first time in I don’t know how long. Couldn’t find direction from the sun, What I thought was the lake park wasn’t, the hand drawn map from the hotel had streets running parallel that actual street signs said were perpendicular. Made for a confusing walk from the bus station to the hotel and wandering later that evening. This was unusual because my sense of direction is much better than most.


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