June 2007


Today we ventured outside of the city of KL for the first time and loved what we saw!  We caught a shuttle bus and travelled about an hour on switch back roads up to the Genting Highlands.  They are 1700 metres above sea level, on a mountain peak in the Titiwangsa Mountains.

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The final leg of our trip was a 3.38 kilometre ride on the Genting Skyway, which is the fastest and longest cable car in Southeast Asia.  It ran high over multiple peaks, above thick rain forest, with the most beautiful vegetation.  You know you have had too much rain when the ferns are the size of trees. 

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It was so quiet up there you could listen to the sound of the birds singing.  As we were ascending into the clouds we couldn’t even see our final destination.  It was awesome!

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Our final destination was a massive resort with five huge hotels, Casino,  convention center, two theme parks, a diving simulation center and even “Snow World” where kids can go to experience snow.  We took a pass on that.

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But, yes Steve did have to try the “Corkscrew,” and no, that is not enjoyment on his face, it is craven fear!

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I blame my parents. They dragged me off to Canada when I was five, then shipped me home to visit with my grandmother when I was eleven. Three glorious weeks catching double decker buses in London, going to the Tower, Hyde Park, the Planetarium and eating bread-n- drippin’ for breakfast and I was hooked. A few more family trips to England and Mexico City solidified my conviction – I was born to travel.

I spent four years between high school and university just bumming around North America and Europe. In those glory days all you needed was a backpack and your thumb. A month sweeping streets or eight weeks priming tobacco and you were good to go again. I think I saw every art gallery and gothic cathedral between Oslo and the Pyrennes that I could pack in.

Marriage and kids didn’t settle me down much either. We spent a year in Bangladesh and another in Germany with three kids in tow, and toured as much of the surrounding countries and sights that we could, including the Alps (skiing St. Moritz) and the Himalayas (staying in Kathmandu). We swam in the Bay of Bengal (nearly losing our borrowed Jeep to the tide!) and the Adriatic. We climbed the Eiffel Tower and the cliffs of Dover and had a wonderful time doing all of it.

Fortunately God was good enough to give me a wife who not only understands my love of travel, but shares it. An old adage runs “If love is the food of life, then travel is the dessert.” To which I can only respond “Can I have another helping?”

We had a lovely evening at the Taylor’s University College – International Canadian Pre- University “Prom 2007”.   The theme was Hollywood-Bollywood and it was held at The Palace of the Golden Horses.  Billed as Asia’s most extraordinary hotel,  it is a blend of Moorish and Malaysian architecture and overlooks a picturesque lake and resort area.  It truly is fabulous.

One of the best reasons to come to Malaysia is the food, made up of two of the most amazing cuisines – Chinese and Indian- and one of the world’s most underrated – Malay.  Each of these three has learnt from the other two, giving rise to some great, distinctive dishes.  The Chinese do curries, the Indians and Malays cook tofu- and everyone does noodles – with rice still the staple.  Plus there is a variety of excellent fish and unusual tropical fruits.

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These sizzling claypots (Sweet and Sour Chicken and Kung Pao Chicken) are among our favourites, and at RM4.50 or $1.50 Canadian each we just do not cook at home.

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Its called Low Yat Mall, and it is located across the street from one of KL’s largest malls, the 10 story Times Square Mall. Low Yat is a more modest 6 stories, but every store sells IT technology of some kind, mostly cell phones, just as in a former era it was mostly cameras. I did price a presenter mouse there, but at 180 ringgit, I am going to have to wait.

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Edmonton, eat your heart out, here is Malaysia’s answer to West Edmonton Mall, a four story indoor amusement centre with a really wild roller-coaster that I am going to have to ride someday. Pam’s chicken, so I am waiting for takers.

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