Report 5 - Malaysia Bukit Pagar

Report 5

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Mainland/Offshore Excursions

Butterworth by ferry & the Bird Park:
Took the ferry from the Jetty to/from the mainland, 10 minute trip each way, runs frequently 24 hours/day, free to go, cost 60 sens to return. Took TL bus 501 (90 sens) at the ferry terminal on the mainland to go to the Megamall to shop, it dropped us off before the pedestrian overpass about 4 block from the mall, had to walk the rest of the way. Have no idea where the bus stop is to leave the mall as we got picked up by a local
friend who took us to the bird park. The mall is very nice and modern with a great food court in the supermarket on the lower level, and there's a 2 Ringgit store (dollar store to us north Americans) in the mall too! We got conflicting information about whether or not there is a bus that goes from the ferry terminal to the bird park. Still don't know. A local friend picked us up after we were done at the bird park. Excellent bird park, huge selection of birds of all sizes from Malaysia and all over the world, cages fairly large and clean, birds in good condition, park nicely landscaped with pondoks (gazebos) for a shady picnic or a rest, adult entry = rm10 + rm1 if you have a camera. The only negative thing is that there are few if any park attendants around, so I can see where there might be incidents of unruly children harassing or molesting the birds as there would have been no-one to stop them, but I would have!

Pulau Payar/Langkawi Coral snorkel/dive tour:

Fairly expensive, rm230/adult for snorkel tour when I was there. You may be able to bargain a lower price if there's several of you going. Their brochures are available everywhere in Batu Ferringhi . You may want to check more than one tour vendor for the best discounted price? We went on the snorkel tour. The boat has life jackets, and the fins and snorkel equipment were in pretty good shape. You snorkel off a low platform attached to the boat. The fish are right there swimming over your feet! No need to go into the water if you don't want to! The small glass-bottom boat leaves every 10 minutes or so to view the coral (dead), then it later shuttles back and forth to the nearby beach so you can swim with & feed the small 'vegetarian' sharks.

 

Kuala Lumpur:
I was able to make a quick trip there and back with landlord Khoo by car. He used the scenic old highway between Taiping and Ipoh. We did a quick tour of the Lake Gardens in Taiping (very nice). Also saw lots of orchards in the area and Malaysian kampongs, many with stilt houses - neat! Then we stopped in the wonderful royal town of Kuala Kangsar, saw the striking Ubidiah mosque, the old palace (now museum) & the new royal palaces. In Ipoh we went to the big/fabulous Buddhist cave temple there, saw the pretty railroad
station and striking white town hall, also saw lots of pottery and many pretty Chinese shop houses. We had lunch at a popular rice noodle place (apparently Ipoh is famous for its rice noodles).
When we arrived in Kuala Lumpur, Khoo gave me a quick drive-by tour of the major sights in the city - the majestic Twin Petronas towers, the KL tower, Chinatown, Jamek mosque, national mosque, wonderful/historic train station and the pretty supreme court complex. I stayed in an a/c room for rm70 at the Hotel Champtan on Jalan Masjid India, right in the heart of little India, only a couple blocks from the Indian Jame mosque. It was an ideal location for me, very central. Had supper that night with Gallie and a girlfriend at a nearby hawker complex on Jl Alor, then we strolled along popular/modern Bintang Walk. I did a lot of great/cheap shopping/browsing on my street and the adjacent Little India streets, many fabric/sari shops. The next morning I walked along the river to the
Central Market and back (without getting lost, had a good map!). Was not impressed with the prices at the market so didn't stay long. We headed back to Batu Ferringhi at 3pm that day using the expressway.


The Bay Watch Tower of Batu Ferringhi


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