shanlung (shanlung) wrote,

Pulau Pangkor // Cameron Highlands and visiting Taiwan & Tinkerbell again


More photos in Flickr folder Pulau Pangkor and Cameron Highlands

So it was on April 21 that I took the night bus to Lumut. Reaching there 530am in the morning when it was still all dark. Made my way to the coffee shop for coffee and early breakfast with a bunch of other people that I presumed was going to the island of Pangkor. Pulau is island in Malay language, and Pulau Pangkor was where I thought I be spending at least a week. Then when light appeared in the sky, a bunch of the other people paid up and walked off to the ferry point. Which I reckoned the ferry was going to be operational. Easy enough to follow other people.

I checked on Internet and booked myself 3 nights in a hotel in town. That was Beststay hotel on the basis of Internet recommendations. I thought that would give me enough time to decide to stay on in the hotel, or to stay in other places in Pangkor.

The ferry brought us to Pulau Pangkor. I always thought of it as a flat island, but I was wrong. It was a hilly island, with forest still on much of it. The ferry landed and it was a short 400 meters walk to that BestStay hotel to check in. I asked a few questions, with a very uncommunicative person behind the desk.

On the Internet, Beststay said they have Wifi. Later found out no wifi in room. Came down to ask and said wifi repeater not working but wifi on ground floor. I asked for the password to set my laptop up. That manager said he will set for me. I asked and asked again for password as I want to set up myself and for my Nexus 7. I made 5 requests before he reluctantly wrote the password for me.

Looking at the hills, I decided to rent a motorbike for about MYR20/day. And decided another breakfast will be good.


yummy chicken feet noodles

Cost of food about 1/4 of that in Singapore. And much more tasty too. Which was why I am checking out countries to find a place to retire in. I do not wish to die in Singapore. Where Beijing appears like a beacon of democracy and human rights in comparison with.

It was a fine day. I decided to ride around the island. In a short while, I was very glad I rented the scooter. Going up and down hills was a lot easier on a scooter than on a bicycle.





Malaysia was going into General elections on 5 May which was why all those campaign banners.

I was in no hurry. It was a leisurely 2 hours ride with many stops for me to do an entire circuit around the island. Many times I was glad I was on a scooter and not on a bicycle. I came back into town to see a religious Taoist procession




I went back to the Western part of Pangkor where the beaches were and hotels etc set up for tourists.
This happened to be where hornbills congregated. I heard that there were hornbills in P Pangkor. I never imagined to see so many hornbills until I came here.








I smiled when I thought how excited I was to see one single pied hornbill when I was in Taiping.

Later on I went to Sunset View Chalet which had a programe of regularly feeding the hornbills. There might be about 60 or so of those endearing birds then.





Taking a piece of banana from my hand


The island was not just all hornbills. There were two places I found interesting.
I was in a Taoist forum where some folks were taking Taoism a bit too seriously. I was in Pangkor then and telling them of a Taoist shrine with Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck at the steps welcoming one and all into the shrine. And a nude mermaid gracing the entrance. I was greeted with disbelief. And so photos had to be produced








I spend much time here at the foot of the shrine. There was an air of despondent in the tourist area. Many places seemed to be closed and neglected. As if tourists stop coming. I did not find it comfortable in the tourist area



Village with pink taxis.

There was another Taoist temple on the other side of the island. Much bigger and more elaborate.
Even so, there was a touch of whimsical element with two funky cartoon characters on the ground in a set that seemed to come from Hong Kong movie production. I told those in the Taoist forum that Taoism meant you can laugh and not be so serious










More photos in Flickr folder Pulau Pangkor and Cameron Highlands

I was used to getting into the Internet in the evening to keep up with things and for music at Youtube or radio Internet. My favourite Taiwan was
And for English

Except no Internet in the room. I had to go to the ground floor to face that guy behind the desk.
He was getting on my nerve. A most unhelpful and surly person, and no aircon below either.

If I had not paid 3 nights, I would have gone off after the 2nd night. I planned to move to another hotel around the beach. The maid there said she could help me do a bit of washing. Which was fine with me as the hotel washing machine had a big draconian sign on it that any guest using that for washing will be fined MYR300
And I came into BestStay hotel because of comments that hotel was friendly.

I thought of the friendly hotels in Taiping that had washing machines for your use except I prefered to use laundry outside for convenience. I came back late on 3rd day to find my washing was not done. That guy eyed me as I came back into his hotel and said the hotel do not do laundry and turned his head down to the table that he had spoken. No big deal to me. Except he was so rude in saying that. And not telling me where I could get laundry done in town either.

That decided for me that I will leave not just his hotel, I would leave Pulau Pangkor. And wrote what I thought of his hotel in Tripadvisor. I would not step into hotel BestStay even if room was given free to me.

I decided to go to Cameron Highlands, a hill resort area started by the British during colonial days for their R&R. Cameron Highlands consisted of Tanah Rata at about 4500 feet and Brinchang , a smaller town at 5000 feet.

I had not been there for 20++ years. But I had fond memories of the delicious coldness of the air in the evenings. I loved to exhale slowly to see my breath condensing. And evening walks under the street lights with thousands of strange insects from the jungle surrounding the town drawn by the street lights.

I took the bus from Lumut to Ipoh. And from there, the bus to Brinchang.

I could not believe my eyes as the bus went up and up. The beautiful jungle that I known were all gone. Farms after farms replaced the jungle. Brinchang grown from a small town of 30 odd buildings to sprawling city.
Evening saw me still in T shirt. Exhaling my breath did not bring about condensation. No strange insects congregate at the street lights. With the forests gone, and farms there, probably with insecticides sprayed all over, insects all vanished.

This chinese Zen temple was by itself. And now a town sprung up between the temple and Brinchang which became a city. Do a Google look at Tanah Rata and see the farms and buildings which used to be forest. If I had done a simple Google at this area, I would have better prepared myself instead of inflicting a shock to me.





The stream was crystal clear with gravelly bed. The water running in the stream was more mud than water.

All the beautiful things of my past remained in the past.

Since I was there, I had to explore a bit more. Took the bus to Kampong Trinkat beyond. Saw a temple up on a knoll and decided to check that out. It was another Taoist temple, a temple to KuanKung.



Wall tiles in the temple, of people who made donations to build the temple


Kuan Kung reading a book. Kuan Kung is the God of War. And yet, he is also the God of Literature. Which you can see him holding a book.

Kuan Kung name is Kuan Yu, or Guan Yu, Kung meant Marquis or Lord.

KuanKung is the God for Policemen. KuangKung is also the God for the Triads and Underworld. He stood for steadfastness and loyalty. I guessed that common to both.

A couple days later, I took a bus to Kampng Raja. And came across yet another Kuan Kung temple. This time , he was the God of War and God of Literature.



Yes, decapitated heads of his enemies and evil doers with blood dripping down.

I decided I had enough. A mistake for me to go to places of my past as the past remained in the past.
I went back to Singapore on 30 April. Malaysians were having elections on 5th May and indications there might be troubles. Apparently, the ruling party retained control after the elections with a lot of strange things that could not be explained.

I thought I better write this trip. I procrastinated long enough.

I will soon be flying to Taiwan for about 3 weeks to be with friends and Tinkerbell and to revisit some of the places I love such as Green Island.

I will be flying there in a couple of days time, Tuesday 28 May 2013

So Cheng Hung, I will be calling you on Tuesday late afternoon when I get my SIM card at the Taoyuan Airport.
And Nelson Liu, if you are in town, it will be good to see you too.

More photos in Flickr folder Pulau Pangkor and Cameron Highlands

26 May 2013
I have kicked Old Nic for One miraculous year, three incredible months, four wonderful weeks, 20 bloody hours, 52 misc minutes and 32 odd seconds. of cold turkey after about 45++ years of smoking. 24728 cigarettes not smoked, saving $12,982.38. Life saved: 12 weeks, 1 day, 20 hours, 40 minutes.

LiBai mash making.
About 300 grams of beef mince, with 200 grams of chicken mince and 150 grams of dried anchovies(for the calcium). That was all done up to the kitty mash formula I wrote about in
Pakistan//Tinkerbell Kitty Mash//Dommie at the beach Ramadhan 2010 //Villa walkabout 2
Instead of the almond and brazil nuts, about 100 grams of human grade groundnuts(peanuts) were used.

Making of Tinkerbell Mash
Morning with Harry & the decision// Sultan of Oman Palace// Tinkerbell Mash Batch 7

suri - Read "Conditioning clicker day 3 - and some tips on suris"

milli - read "Found the perfect treat and Yingshiong first "step up""

if you forgotten about clicker training

Tinkerbell Legacy - VH parrot and Clicker Training Rant 06

Some thoughts on clicker - The initial experience with Tinkerbell

Clicker training and bonding with Tinkerbell

To Shanlung-Charlie and clicker training

Charlie and clicker training - beyond touch target //LiBai on finger and in slow motion videos —

Tinkerbell Legacy - - Rant 03 (a flighted parrot mentality) & Understanding the mind of your grey
Above is probably the most important of all I have written, and the foundation to all that I have done.


(edited on 4th November 2011 to include below)

To Shanlung - How to do Free Flight Outside

If what I wrote help you and you like to help, give a thought
for the wildlife sharing our planet.
Do write that cheque to Gerald Durrell wildlife trust

I am a life member of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. Do join us to do
whatever we can for the wildlife that shared our planet.

Durrell-life member
or to any wildlife conservation body of your choice

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