December 2014


Having arrived home earlier than planned from our Redang trip, we were able to get a good start the following day for a day trip to Melaka. Our little rental car is a pretty comfortable ride so the three hour road trip went pretty smoothly. We stopped a few times along the way to snack on some local fruit and see some scenery. It was a little tricky to find the central area of town and we were quite amazed at how the city had grown since we were last there seven years earlier.

Malacca was a major trading port for ships from India and China. The Portuguese conquered Malacca in 1511. Later the Dutch took over in 1641 until much later the British empire ruled Malacca. The state finally obtained independence with the then “Malaya states” in 1957. There are still many reminders of this rich history to be seen.


We found ourselves parked just at the beginning of Jonkers Street, the famous Chinese shopping street so we wandered happily until we came to the town square. took the obligatory photos at Christ Church and then toured the ruins of St Paul’s Church enroute to visit a replica of the Melaka Sultanate palace. The design is based on the description of the palace from the sixteenth-century ‘Malay Annals,’ or ‘Sejarah Melayu.’ It is the only building of its kind in Malaysia, and it provides a rare glimpse of the ancient Malay kingdom that once flourished here. The palace houses the Malacca Cultural Museum, which includes many artifacts of that kingdom.


The rains held off while we walked along the waterfront and enjoyed tea at a little shop before we headed home. We decided to swing by Putra Jaya on the way home even though it would be dark. We arrived to find the place packed and the main street blocked for a large eFormula One event. Got totally lost attempting to find a back way in but did get there and it is every bit as beautiful at night with the bridges and buildings all lit up. We even managed to find the mall and had dinner at TGI Fridays.


Our time together went by way too quickly but we did have one final evening sharing dinner at another of our favourite outdoors dining spots; Oasis. In spite of really miserable weather, Al and Shelley are pretty laid back and took it all in stride. We were sad them off but excited that they would have four days to explore Singapore. Thanks Al and Shelley for taking the time to visit with us and for all of your encouragement and support during our stay here.




With three days booked at the hotel and four sets of snorkel equipment we were thrilled to find that although the name had changed, this was the same hotel we had loved seven years earlier. It is a beautiful hotel, on an incredible island and was fully staffed in spite of the fact that there were a total of eight guests, including us. Sadly it rained, almost literally, the entire time we were there, By the second day we decided that the waves were calling to us and it was warm and there was no lightning.


Steve rustled us up four boogie boards and we spent the next two afternoons riding the waves. We all had some pretty amazing runs. It was so sad to know that the beautiful coral reefs and colourful fish we came to see were only feet away but completely unreachable because of the rough seas. We had internet access, plenty of books, tons of snacks and drinks and a deck of cards and great friends with us. Not at all what we hoped for but it was fine in spite of Shelley falling on the steps and landing on her computer. And they got to experience monsoon rains up close and personal- enough for a life time.


It was evident that the weather was not going to change and it was now too dangerous to take a speed boat so we opted for the public ferry. It was an enclosed boat, large enough to seat over 250 so a safe option. It was a pretty wild ride with swells that appeared to be a couple of stories high. Almost two hours later, we were pretty ready to celebrate when the town jetty finally came in to sight. For a price, a significant price, we switched to an earlier flight that got us home to KL by early afternoon. When we looked down on the floods in Kuala Terengganu, we felt very fortunate to be heading back to a much drier KL.



We are a long way from home and it is not very often that our Canadian friends come by this way. It was especially sweet to have Al and Shelley come and stay with us for ten days. Al has been in here before with his work but it was Shelley’s first visit to Asia. November is in the dead of the monsoon season so a bit of a risky time to come. It had been a pretty dry couple of weeks and we were beginning to wonder if they would even get to experience the amazing monsoon rains which we actually love. We needn’t have worried!



For the first few days Steve was working so we didn’t go too far afield. I took them on a city tour on Thursday and then we met up with Steve at the end of the day for dinner at KLCC and then an evening at our favourite spot for watching the Twin Towers light and the dancing fountains; the Skybar at the Traders Hotel. Friday we hung around locally, spending the morning at the pool and then touring the university before coming home for dinner and a evening just chatting with friends; a rare treat for us.


On Saturday we made the climb up to Batu Caves on our way out to take the cable car up to Genting Highlands. There is not really much to see up there but we will never tire of the 4.38 Km ride over the rainforest. It was a beautiful day, sunny and bright at the top. Spent about three hours visiting over a great multi-country buffet. Sunday we went to church and did some shopping then came home to pack for a trip to Redang Island early the next morning.


We were up and ready for an early flight to Kuala Terengganu when we saw the first warning signs of heavy rain. We took off in the rain and as we came in for landing in KT the rains were torrential. We waded into the airport only to learn that the ferry to the island had been cancelled due to weather. However very helpful hotel staff met us at the airport and took us to their lounge while they arranged for a fast boat to take us to the hotel. We agreed to it because it really had to get better, right?


Even getting to the jetty was a challenge because the roads were pretty much flooded the whole way. The “fast boat” was open but covered by a canopy and they graciously provided us with rain gear while we bounced through eight to ten foot waves in the pouring rain. We took a few hard hits when the boat crested waves and then crashed into the troughs. We were happy to see the helpful hotel staff at the jetty with warm towels and a dry van. Took some negotiations and an upgrade to get settled into our lovely hotel rooms just steps from the beach. Just waited for the sun to come out after the rains. But that never happened!



« Previous Page