Bako National Park is a wonderful location less than an hour outside of Kuching, Sarawak, Borneo. The park includes rustic cabins (for overnight stays) and a visitors center that serves food. To reach the park you must take a 20 minute boat ride.
When the boat dropped us off here in the morning they said they would pick us up on the beach. I couldn’t really understand why, but this photo shows the tide has made the path to the stairs impassable, which explains why (I should have figured that out but my brain doesn’t always work as well as it should).
I only spent a day in the park. There are several intersecting trails. The “small” loop trail includes the Lintang trail and intersects with Pandan Kecil path, Pandan Basar path and more. I hiked through several trails and completely exhausted myself, actually. It was a wonderful hike.
There are probably enough trails to keep you busy for 2 days of hiking though I think you can get a good feel for the different settings in 1 day.
Looking back at Bako National Park from the boat as I leave (the visitor’s center is just off to the left).
The Aquaria is located in the Kuala Lumpur City Center (KLCC), near the Petronas towers. It is pretty small and something that can be skipped without missing much. But if you have a bit of extra time it is a fine way to spend an hour or two.
These are real (which might not be obvious from the photo) jelly fish floating around in the display.
The Chingay parade is held of the 21st day of the Chinese New year. In 2014 that will be February 20th.
Here are my photos from 2013 Chingay afternoon parade. The afternoon parade starts at 11 AM or so on the previous day – so on February 19th this year) as deity statues from the Old Chinese Temple are carried out to get ready for the evening parade.
The biggest parade is the night parade but there is also a parade during the day. The evening parade covers 10 km and starts about 7 PM, I believe; it will finish after midnight.
The Johor Bahru parade is also called The Parade of the Deities as the Temple deity statues are taken on a journey from the Temple to bless the city with peace, prosperity and harmony (the Chingay parades in Singapore and Penang are non-secular as I understand it).
Thaipusam is a Hindu festival dedicated to Lord Murugan (Kartikeya) celebrated mostly by the Tamil community on the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai (January/February). Murugan is the Hindu god of war and victory. He is the son of the lord Shiva and Parvati; his little brother is Ganesha.
I took the photos in this post last year at the festival downtown (between the Arulmigu Sri Raja Kallamman Hindu Glass Temple and the Arulmigu Thandayuthapani Temple). This year the festival is scheduled for January 17th.
On the day of the festival, devotees will shave their heads and undertake a pilgrimage along a set route while engaging in various acts of devotion, notably carrying various types of kavadi (burdens). At its simplest this may entail carrying a pot of milk, but mortification of the flesh by piercing the skin, tongue or cheeks with vel skewers is also common.
The National Mosque (Masjid Negara) is located in downtown Kuala Lumpur. The Mosque was opened in 1965 and can accommodate 15,000 worshippers. Islam is the official religion of Malaysia.
Even when you can’t enter the Mosque itself the surrounding grounds provide nice views.
Hemmant Trail is a short (1 km) trail located inside Fraser’s Hill (just a short walk from the clock tower, the trail is next to the golf course).
The entry to the trail is difficult to see if you come from the north, though it doesn’t look like it would be from the photo. If you walk to the start from the clock tower it is much easier to see the trailhead which is will be on your right before your reach the Mosque.
The trail is quite nice and fairly easy.
Malacca (Melaka) has a beautiful historic district; it is even designated a world heritage city (by the United Nations – UNESCO). The atmosphere encourages artistic thought and expression. And that is shown in art as you walk around the city.
Text: everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression…
Some of the art is maybe not what we normally think of as art. But the painting of walls and shutters gives very artistic views as do arched walkways and other elements of the urban architecture.
Masjid Jamek is a Mosque one block from Merdeka Square in downtown Kuala Lumpur that was built in 1907.
The Sultan Abdul Samad Building, was designed by the same architect and shares a similar style. That building sits between the mosque and Merdeka Square.
The webcast includes audio of the Adhan (“call to prayers”).
The mosque sits at the confluence of Gombak and Klang rivers.
The Cheng Hoon Teng temple (Temple of Green Cloud) is a Chinese temple practicing the three doctrinal systems of Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism. It is the oldest functioning temple in Malaysia; built in 1673.
Ceramic art on the temple roof
The ceramic tile roofs are great.
Pine Hill Trail is the longest trail in Fraser’s Hill. It is a bit difficult to find the trailhead, it was further along the road than I thought. They suggest letting your hotel or Inn know your plans (how long you plan to hike, when you should be back, etc.).
The trail was blocked in several places giving you the chance to climb over or around fallen trees.
I found it to be a wonderful hike. It is quite a bit of up at down at the beginning.
At one point I say a huge monkey swinging from banches high in the canopy but I couldn’t get a photo of it