A Travellerspoint blog

Snake Temple

sunny

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Today Mark and I made our way to the Snake Temple in Penang while Vanessa decided to keep sleeping in her hammock as she is extremely terrified of snakes!
The smell of incense was overwhelming as we entered the temple, we learned that the smoke from the burning incense is supposed to make the snakes harmless as it is believed that it paralizes them, I was still a little worried to find out that the snakes were extremely venomous and still had their fangs! We were assured that no one had ever been bit by one of the snakes... not yet at least!
The temple was built in 1850 in memory of healer Chor Soo Kong, a buddhist monk who made his home in Penang and is said to have given shelter to snakes of the jungle.(1) Once the temple was completed snakes from nearby hills began to swamp the temple and made it their home. Mark and I both thought it was interesting to learn that the temple was originally called "Temple of the Azure Cloud" after the beautiful sky over Penang(2),if it was still named that we figured Vanessa may have actually come with us to check it out!
On our way out we paid a photographer to take pictures of us with the snakes wraped around our necks, it was definately a unique experience!

Posted by mbvmalaysi 13:37 Archived in Malaysia Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Petronas Twin Towers

This morning we woke up early to line up to check the Skybridge at the Petronas Twin Towers. We arrived at the start of the line at 7am as we heard there could be a few hour wait to get a time to check it out. Tickets were free but availability is on a first come first serve basis and only 1700 passes are given out daily.
We were lucky and were able to get a time to cross the skybridge at 11:30am; it was a really incredible experience as it is the highest 2 story bridge in the world crossing the 41st and 42nd floors of the twin towers, as visitors we crossed on the 41st floor as the 42nd floor crossing is only used by tenants!(1)
The three of us had to finish our coffees quickly before making our way onto the bridge as no food or drinks were allowed, our personal items were then scanned as a safety precaution. Prior to making our way to the skybridge we were shown a documentary in the waiting lounge about the towers, after that it only took us about 10 minutes to take a tour across the bridge. It was pretty cool though the view of Kuala Lumpur wasn't all that we had hoped it would be due to the way that the towers are situated, we did have a great view of the KLCC park though.
We then made our way down to the Suria KLCC the major shopping center that takes up the first 6 levels of the towers(2), we were overwhelmed by the amount of shops and things to do like the art gallery and science center, I was most excited to see my favorite store Tiffany and Co. had made it's way into this impressive shopping center!
There were many things theat we didn't have the time or energy to check out in the towers that can all be found at the Petronas Towers website http://www.petronas.com.my/internet/pett/pettweb.nsf/frm_home_hi?OpenFrameset
After an extremely long day we said "Selamat Tinggal" to the Petronas Twin Towers which means Goodbye in Malay, Malaysia's official language, and made our way back to our hotel!

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Posted by mbvmalaysi 13:35 Archived in Malaysia Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Our new local friends!

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Today Becky, Mark and I went wandring in the Chinatown district of Kuala Lumpur. We met a few locals who showed us around and took us to this large and ornate South-China Hindu Shrine which houses a large silver chariot that is paraded to the Batu Caves during the Thaipusam festival held in January/February each year. Our new friends advised us that it was customary to leave our shoes at the door.
They also told us about the other local customs:

- Whenever you meet an older person or a woman, greet with a slender bow.
- Introduce the ladies first and then move on to introduce men.
- As you enter, leave a place or pass by someone, you should be giving a moderate bow,
which gives the expression of "excuse me."
- One should not touch other people’s top portion of the head.
- Malays do not appreciate display of affection in public places.
- Touching someone from the opposite sex is also avoidable.
- Always use your right hand while eating, passing things on or touching people.
- Avoid public display of anger. So try to take things easy.
- People in Malaysia are pretty relaxed, so avoid pushing them too much for services.
- Malay people like to eat with their hands, the greatest spoon-and-fork human beings have ever had.
The practice is also followed in the restaurants and saves you much time waiting for the cutlery.
Our new Friends also taught us how to order our lunch in Malay

Saya mau bak kut teh silaka. Saya suka pedas lagi!
( I'd like pork-rib soup with hints of garlic and chinese 5-spice please. I like it hot and spicy!)
Now were off to check out the famous night market for some dinner and local entertainment!

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Posted by mbvmalaysi 13:28 Comments (0)

Central Market

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Today we went to the Central Market which is housed in a cavernous art deco building, built in 1888(1) which was once a fresh produce market beside the river in Chinatown. We had no problem spending the entire day wandering the various craft outlets, and watching the programme of events, which included Malay, Indian, and Chinese dances as well as T'ai Chi performances!(2) We bought a few Kites, Batiks, handmade jewlery and clothing!
For lunch we had Coconut water which was such a good thirst quencher and Ais Kacang to beat the heat! It was there version of a snow cone but with a definate twist, it consisted of a colorful pile of shaved ice with syrup, red beans, jelly, sweet corn, and evaporated milk.

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Posted by mbvmalaysi 13:28 Comments (0)

Arrival in KL

Today we finally arrived in Kuala Lumpur tired and exhausted from our 30 hours of traveling! We needed our Canadain passports to enter into Malaysia and they needed to be valid for 6 months after our planned date of exit, which had to be no longer than 3 months becuase we didn't bother to get visa's to stay longer than that. To enter into Malaysia we needed our proof of exit out of the country as well as proof of adequate funds for our stay, but that was no problem becuase we definatly had more than enough Malyasian Rigggits (MYR) to travel lavishly for at least 6 months!
We were so tired when we arrived so we hired a rickshaw to get to the Red Dragon Hostel,which is based in an old cinema, located in Chinatown. Before we went to bed we tested out 1 of the essentail local dishes called Hainanese chicken rice, which is fragrantly poached chicken served with chicken flavoured rice, a clear soup and a chilli and ginger sambal(relish) it was delicious, a defiate must have by all. We also had a glass of Tuak which is rice wine, a tribal specialty!

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/worldguide/malaysia/

Click here to see some neat pictures of Malaysia!

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Posted by mbvmalaysi 13:17 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

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