Category Archives: Travel

Wonderful Hiking in Bako National Park

Bako National Park offers a network of trails through jungles, scrub environments and to beautiful beaches. The post includes spur trails which I took as part of a loop off the Lintang Trail. I slept in Kuching, hiked during the day in Bako National Park and returned to my hotel at night.

On the Pandan Kencil Path

photo of view from plateau on Bako National Park Pandan Kencil path

Great views from a plateau. And the plateau also had large numbers of pitcher plants.

photo of pitcher plants

Then there is a short spur off the Pandan Kencil path to this wonderful beach overlook (Besar):

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Lintang Trail, Bako National Park, Sarawak, Borneo

Forest trail, Lintang trail

The Lintang Trail, Bako National Park, Sarawak, Borneo is 5.25 km but it offers several additional spur trails. I will post on the spur trails in a future post.

Steep climb on trail, Lintang trail

The trail has quite a bit of step climbs. Along with the spur trails I was quite exhausted when I completed the hike (which is not normal for me). It was fairly hot, combining that with probably a bit over 10 km (which is not normally any problem) and the step climbs got a bit tiring.

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Bako National Park, Sarawak, Borneo

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.

view from boat dropoff for Bako National Park

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).

photo of sign showing Bako National Park trails

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.

photo looking back at Bako National Park from the boat as I leave

Looking back at Bako National Park from the boat as I leave (the visitor’s center is just off to the left).

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Johor Bahru Chingay Parade

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.

Photo of kids playing gongs at the Chingay Parade in Johor Bahru

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.

photo of costume at Chingay Parade, Johor Bahru 2013

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).

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Thaipusam Festival, Johor Bahru

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.

photo of Thaipusam crowd

photo of girl in a red dress

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.

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Hemmant Trail, Fraser’s Hill, Malaysia

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).

photo of Hemmant Trailhead

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.

photo of Hemmant Trail Fraser's Hill

The trail is quite nice and fairly easy.

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Street Art in Malacca

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.

photo of art on the Tang house, Malacca, Malaysia

art on free opinion - text: everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression...

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.

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Masjid Jamek, Kuala Lumpur

Masjid Jamek is a Mosque one block from Merdeka Square in downtown Kuala Lumpur that was built in 1907.

photo of Jamek Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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.

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