malaysia 2016: doha airport and kl

November 11, 2016
Doha, Qatar International Airport. Signage in Arabic is novel. (Grateful English is the default second language)
Interesting playground.
Moving signage. Melissa pointed out it's not exactly an *inviting* image, at least if you don't like the heat.
Lamp merged with Teddy Bear?
Hydration is important.
Oh good lord. One of the first places we see at the KL airport.
At least the KL Dunkies had some localization.'Til we got in the cab I forgot the Malaysia is "drive on left"
'Til we got in the cab I forgot the Malaysia is "drive on left"
Plantations of Palm Oil Trees, a major export. Though frankly at this point things were looking suspiciously Florida like.
Toll booth. Caught my eye that "Mex" means something different here.
Elevator at my cousin's place - they live thirty floors up. Ken pointed out all the floor ending with 4 get called "lowerfloor A" - "24" is "23A", because the Chinese word for 4 sounds like the word for death. Combine with the Anglo "fear of 13" and at one point you have the sequence "11, 12, 12A, 13A, 15".
The view from my cousin's apartment is amazing. Most prominent building is KL Tower. They have a festival including BASE jumping from that.
They do love their scooters and motorcycles...
KL is not a great "walking" city - everyone drives! Gas is cheap and the national banking system encourages people to buy the local car brands Perodua and Proton. Besides having to watch out for daredevil scooters, walkways are often a bit broken and uneven.
Tree embraced (strangled?) with other tree.
Petronas Towers "the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 and remain the tallest twin towers in the world" - my aha moment was realizing they were the inspiration for the video game "Just Cause 2"'s Panau Falls Casino: http://justcause.wikia.com/wiki/Panau_Falls_Casino
Quick intense rain shower happened then, so people are used to ducking out of the rain and waiting it out.
Inside the Petronas Towers there is a mall, interesting architecture inside.
I was almost hesitant to post this, I don't want it to be "ha ha, weird asians" - squat toilets make a lot of sense biologically (at least according to the unicorn in those squatty potty ads) and this is just a bit of culture clash where a person used to this might suffer because Westerners like to plop down.
Malay is an interesting trade language, a blend of multiple influences colonial and otherwise, but mercifully with latin letters. Sometimes they correct weird spellings or English, or sometimes the spelling reflects local pronounciation, ala "Restoran"
I think these lanterns are going to be in my second of the day
More Malay - it's not a cab, it's a "Teksi"
Colorful streets
Innuendo intended, I assume.
Kitty. There are a number of feral cats around, but they seem to be taken care of usually.
Ended the night with a nice meal with my cousins Ken and Mary at "Opium"; they server Tiger Beer in this kind of mini-jug with a bowl to drink it from.

Weird happenings in Arlington - Accused FBI Impersonator Tried to Enter Arlington Home - my housemate reports seeing a news van right outside our house.

malaysia 2016: kuala lumpur, markets and temples

November 12, 2016
Saturday we headed out with Mary. There's a nearby nature reserve, and you see the KL Tower in the background.
Stock Exchange building.
On the way to KL Chinatown
Petaling Street market - tons of little vendors and some great bootleg stuff
Heading to China Town
Wanna buy a Christmas Tree?
This alleyway feeling space had lots of meat and fish vendors
Later I doubled back for more photos from the fish alley at the Petaling Street Market
The Sri Mahamariamman Temple... love the front of it. I guess that kind of tower is fairly common with Hindu temples, always impressive and magnificent to behold.
We were there when there was service going on, people following a temple official from station to station of various Hindu deities,
These musicians played, and a loud bell was rung.
I like religions that make tasty snack offerings, like oranges. Also decorative flower necklaces.
Kali, I believe.
Lord Ganesha, "remover of obstacles, the patron of arts and sciences and the deva of intellect and wisdom". That's a deity I can get behind!
My cousin Mary - note shoes are not allowed in the temple. They had a place where you could check them for .20 Ringuet - like about a nickle
Guan Di Temple - Taoist, I was told.
Again, tasty offerings.
Slow burning incense.
I really liked the columns wrapped with identical tiny shrines, each with its own little light
I always love this kind of sink. here where we lunched (tasty lamb burger) at Lucy in the Sky cafe I can't decide if they were being cool or economical.
Near the Central Market...
The Kompleks Dayabumi is a lovely bit of Islamic-influenced architecture.
At the KL Central Market, I loved this little WiFi pay machine... connectivity in vending machine form.
Many beautiful (and often upscale) crafts and artworks at the Central Market.
"Fashion as far as the feet can take" is a good slogan.
Mao statue outside some galleries where Ken and Mary looked for some pieces (probably some authentic tribal works) for their currently spartan apartment.
I liked the little "E" to denote electronic cigarettes.
We were going to head back with Ken and Mary, but then a ferocious rain squall rose up...
Nothing to do but go for a beer! (or a cider)
The rain was pretty impressive.
But the rain cleared quickly. Much construction in KL. However, they really don't care about keeping walkways traversable. (again, since everyone drives everywhere)
Despite being a moslem country, booze is easily found, whether in wine stores like this one offering Hello Kitty champagne or even beers from convenience stores.
Toothsome street art.
My cousins Ken and Mary at Bijan, serving great Malay-fusion cuisine.
Aww, dinner at Bijan
This is Sunday morning, actually - both evening and morning the KL Tower puts on a light show and changes colors.

malaysia 2016: batu caves and kl tower

November 13, 2016
Ken and Mary's apartment is on the luxury side of things - such glossy floors!
And they have a pool/patio-
Little cafe "The Kitchen Project" poolside.
Coconut water. I've had coconut water from the coconut, but never with the membrane preserved... kind of weird.
Our big trip to today was to the Batu Caves, Hindu temples built into limestone caverns.
The world's tallest statue of Lord Murugan was under construction.
Many steps up to the caves.
Workman walking down..
....workman still walking down.
Inside the cavern.
Many idols.
The inner inner cavern is open to the sky.
There's a little temple in that inner cavern.
Typical(?) temple tower.
The temple, the greenery, the cavern walls...
Gorgeous Rooster.
Batu Cave rooster strut.
They also had monkeys.
The monkeys were pretty aggressive and would grab bags out of folks hands if they looked like they might have food.
Monkey silhouette, heading out.
Monkey silhouette with birds.
View from inside the "dark cave"
Heading back down.
Silver lining to Lord Murugan under construction was some workman up there to give a sense of scale.
Many Ganesha.
Back in KL. - since it was clear Melissa and I decided to go up the KL Tower.
Attractive Fern.
This was in the lobby of the KL Tower.
View from atop the KL Tower, this is looking at the connected towers of the Verticas residence where my cousins live.
Nice clouds in this one.
The KL Tower had a "Sky Box" with a glass floor you could walk out on.
You know, I'm as skinny as I've ever been but when my shirt puffs out I look bad. Also weirdly foreshortened.
Melissa looks great though. Believe it or not she's walking on air.
Another KL Tower attraction was a little zoo, we skipped it but the parrots were by the entrance.
The KL Tower's base had numerous extra attractions including the Upsidedown House.
The KL Tower reflected in a bank. With a camel... I've been told the camel has interesting animations or at least lights at night.
The KL Tower with a puffy cloud. Ken pointed out later it looks like it's ready for blast off.
Ruined old building, looking even more than its 80 years.

When and Why Nationalism Beats Globalism. I'd prefer to be a citizen of the world myself, but we need to understand people who put nation over humanity. And sometimes there's something to be said for the view in the United States, there are many things we get right, and paths to improvement. Unfortunately the white-america first got this know-nothing elected.

malaysia 2016: george town, pinang peranakan museum and food tour

November 14, 2016
Sunday evening, reflection of the towers off the wet patio deck as we went to grab a quick dinner.
Bus to Penang!
Campbell House is this beautiful colonial style place in Chinatown.
View from the window.
Scientific evidence suggests every photo in South East Asia looks better with a scooter in it.
We're 3 floors up in the loft- odd cross beam in the middle of it, but great.
Cage in a cage.
Pull rope, flor hauling luggage I think.
Remove shoes. No smoking. No Durians. We sampled some Durian ice cream the other day... you can taste the stinky!
George Town is famous for its street art and we took in many pieces of it - there's a series of Welded Iron Wall Caricatures that tell bits of very local history on various streets. Not always so PC, but pretty cool.
Like a lot of island places, they hace a knack for color.
So today we're heading out exploring on our own.
Oh, hipsters.
Kapitan Keling Mosque.
Yap Kongsi Temple
You could rent tourist bikes. Again with the colors!
Street art.
Street art behind K-Bab street food.
This looks a lot like Melissa's kitty Dean. Note the mouse in the top left.
Funky furniture.
This "Awesome Canteen" had some cool trees inside.
The signage on the outside had some nice wabi sabi.
Melissa enjoys the coconut.
Scooters and shrine.
Next on a whim we ducked into a little tourist thing called "Phantamania" - hall of mirrors!
After the hall of mirrors you'd meet up with a guide who uses your camera to take wacky optical illusion shots...
So Many Melissa.
Melissa is always saying my cranium is a bit inflated.
Melissa is impressed that here, snow castle = wonderland. In New England, outside of the movie Frozen, it's misery.
Nice confluence of cars and building.
Famous Street Art
I noticed red and blue pipes in many places... come to think of it that might be inflow/outflow not hot/cold.
That is some tree! I mean I think it's a tree. (later we found out it's a kind of precursor to the Palm....)
This about expresses the ratio of cycles and scooters to bicycles.
We went into the Pinang Peranakan Mansion, the feng-shui crafted house built by a figure high in the secret society underworld...
The house had a courtyard that was open to the sky- rain represents money/fortune so you want to let it in.
Great relxed guide explained Peranakan Chinese / Baba-Nyonya culture, the kind of Chinese Malay fusion.
Music box! Had a giant disk to play its one song .
Conversation chair. (I've seen a similar design in the business class section of some airlines.)
Old camera...
We were joined by an English pair of sisters and Portugese tourists, 2 men and a woman.
So I liked how the camera had a mirror built-in! Kind of like a selfie but it took half an hour and someone else had to operate the camera
There was an adjoining family shrine, still used for homage.
I liked this style of art outside the kitchen.
Clever stool tipped to be come a (low) high chair.I liked this style of art outside the kitchen.
More of that art in the kitchen.
Pot with... crawfish?
Wrap around sunglasses
Buddha with money for wishing.
I like the pixel-like nature of the beadwork shoes.
500,000 beads in this wedding table cover, they say...
Even the toilets are fancy!
Jade (?) table.
Back outside, I liked this street art.
More wire art.
Another Hindu temple.
I assume this was a purposeful rock garden, otuside the Prangin Mall where we were going to meet our food tour guide.
The mall was surprisingly large! Well, maybe not large so much as tall.
Our guide Kevin took the two of us to lots of places, picking a wide range of foods and pointing out lots of neat stuff
Mini-tour of the Clan Jetties, at super low-tide, I imagine because of the supermoon.
We had so many foods! I had Kevin write 'em down: 1. Cendol, A. Laksa 2. lorbak, prawn fritters, tofu fritters, umbrella fritters, Chinese New Year fritters, 3. Chinese Bun, Appom 4. Curry noodle, Chu Key Teow (?), Poh Niab, Satay, BBQ Chicken wing 5. Dosa Tissue, Pulled Tea. Oh yeah, that warm nutmeg drink tastes just like warm flat coca-cola, Kevin pointed out to us.
Some of the street vendors
The Dosa came in a little tent. kevin recommended this view.
So much Pringles diversity! Original, Hot + Spicy, Pizza, Salt+Seaweed, Zesty Lime + Chili, and Cheesy Cheese.
For 8 Ringyat, or $2- 2 bottles of water, 2 bottle of coke zero, 2 seaweed snack, , and some super glue to try and fix a shoe.

"A kissing booth at a fair is basically a PG rated glory hole."
"[How is half of such an advanced country so hell-bent on going back to the 18th century?] Because the same people that like to mock "safe spaces" and "participation awards" and "the pussification of America" are fucking ignorant cowards who are intimidated that women and minorities might actually be edging to equality to the point where simply being a barely high school educated white male isn't enough to stay ahead of the curve."
Are. You. F'in. Kidding. Me. :
"Returning home to Trump Tower from the White House may not be Mr. Trump's only embrace of the familiar. His aides say he has also expressed interest in continuing to hold the large rallies that were a staple of his candidacy. He likes the instant gratification and adulation that the cheering crowds provide, and his aides are discussing how they might accommodate his demand."

malaysia 2016: george town tour, kek lok si, and penang hill

November 15, 2016
The colors are so nice.
Charmed by the cat tail rear window wiper.
Loved this tile pattern.
It's so hot, the fire plugs are melting.
Street art.
Kind of a mashup of street art- wondering if it was something else originally on the end of the kid's string.
Melissa in the street art.
Kirk in street art.
"Soft Opening" - a poster for some kind of singles night, I think.
Colonial architecture... near the start of a nice little free walking tour we took.
Again with the colors. An island thing? Or maybe a post-colonial island thing? I wonder why...
The tourguide took us to the Kuan Yin Teng (Goddess of Mercy Temple), this is one of the booths outside. It's funny we had been so shy about approaching the day before, it's a very public place. I mean as outsider tourists we try to be respectful, but this flavor of Taoism, or maybe this temple in particular, is very open.
The guide told us of some of the querying / divination going on here; picking numbers that you can then bring to the counter for the corresponding revelation, and then you toss these two ying yang halves to see if your answer is correct or not or maybe not understood by the divine forces at that time. The guide Campbell mentioned people come for that when they have problems, mostly.
I appreciate the down to earth nature of the figure attending to his ear.
Kapitan Keling Mosque again - this one is a bit more aloof, tourist-wise; outsiders are allowed in but you have to arrange it.
Inside the courtyard of one of the clan houses. One point stressed is the Chinese in the town were historically very diverse, not homogenous at all. Different groups (and not just the Chinese for that matter) would form societies and groups to help their communities get a foothold.
Some of the clan houses, this one in particular with "secret soecity" connections, was a fortress that could be sealed off, and had a narrow escape route that a Chinese man of the time might have an easier time with than a burly British copper.
Another mosque.
Just a photo to remember the tour by.
Loved this mod'ed auto, especially the rear hatch's tail light covers that look like exhaust pipes.
After the tour we had lunch at a nearby open food court.
My White Curry Mee and a Tiger beer, a kind of local default.
In the USA it's usually "order, pay, get food, go sit", but here it's "order, go sit, they find you with food, pay" - feels chaotic but it works.
View from an Uber, guessing people were picking up their schoolkids. Many scooter riders put on a shirt backwards (not sure if it's ever a custom garmet or just a regular shirt), I'm guessing to protect from the sun and other elements.
We headed out to Kek Lok Si, a Buddhist temple
It's an amazing place... the grounds are huge and winding with lots of ways to go and explore.
Random photo experiment, trying to capture reflection of pagoda in glasses. Kept her because I'm amused at how I ook.
Later we'll see the power of scale, but repetition is an important theme too - over 10,000 Buddhas on the grounds.
The grounds are full of shops of religious paraphalia and souveniers as you make your way to the cable car to ascend. That is a creepy holy person in a box statue.
Chinese Zodiac statues abound, I decided to pose with my year's figure, the Tiger.
Wishing ribbons, I did a Family Safety one for Cora and her moms.
This photo does not do justice to the 99 ft statue of Guanyin, Goddess of Mercy, built in 2002, nor the Pavillion built around her.
Graceful tree. Less graceful garbage can but it had a certain wabi-sabi.
A lot of construction going on around.
I guess I didn't get a picture of the pavillion and koi pond (it had an interesting chant playing on loop from speakers hidden as rocks.) But I like this one with the (I think Kuan Yin, though that's just another name for Guanyin) upper body behind.
We paused to reflect, in more ways than one, actually.
Buddha off to the side.
I liked the expression, almost a little mischevious.
Suspiciously infringing looking stone figures.
Because of my housemate I'll always take a picture of turtles.
You can go into and ascend the seven story pagoda here- wikipedia tells me Chinese at the base, Thai in the middle, Burmese at the top.
Each level had its own Buddha
And each level had its own Buddha tiling...
Floor 2
Floor 3
Floor 4. People of the world, Relax!
View at this level.
Floor 5
Floor 6
Floor 7. Each floor had less floorspace than the one below.
View from the top
Attempt at a panorama that just into a vertical slice
A note on this cross. I thought it was the clockwise vs counterclock wise that seperated it from its nazi use, but more that the Germans put it at 45 degrees.
It's humbling to think about the detail of this- I mean this is just one panel among dozens, in this kind of of wonderland of hundreds of things to see, and it's amazing.
We hopped an Uber to head to Penang Hill. They have a funicular (such a good word) to ride up
The train rises over 4/10 of a mile in its mile and a quarter run.
For non-citizens, a ticket is 30 ringgit, like $7.50, for a roundtrip. Or you can pay double that for a "Fast Lane" pass, and skip the line. We felt kind of like jerks but we did that to save at least 30 minutes each side. I was a little surprised that more people didn't go for it, though I guess local, besides not having as much money in general maybe, only pay 10 ringgit, so if it's a 10 to 60 ringgit jump, that might change the equation.
Schoolkids go for 4RM, or a buck.
Oh I'm such an 8 year old, but Kaca means glass.
Oh, man, the view was astounding, just vast and sweeping, you could see the whole coast of the isalnd and the main insland beyond.
On the right is Kek Lok Si where we were earlier
A cloud that, uh, looked like an elephant.
Students wanted to take selfies with us. After a week of taking awkward photos of "exotic" stuff, it was nice to have the tables turned.
At the top we were approached by a tout for "The Habitat", a walkway through the tropical (not equatorial, we learned) rainforest there, where important conservation work and some fascinating research is being done (like - this tree is 500 years old and not dead of fungus, what does it know that we don't)
We took the guided tour along with anotehr couple. Our guide Hermes was so obviously enthused about the place, and when we spotted relatively rare birds from the path...
They had a few really nice giant swings.
The couple we were with also wanted a selfie...
They had electric carts you could hire to run you back to the station.
The electric buggy driver stopped to let us see this Centipede... not sure if this kind is dangerous or not.
Back at the funicular station. Man, and I thought Tokyo had it tough with Godzilla... George Town must have been really hosed!
The hotel recommended this Dim Sum just a few doors down - we went in and the waitress nudged us (almost literally, we didn't have a language in common so much) to this awesome chicken and ginger, and the greens...
Classic Dum Sum feasting!

malaysia 2016: george town clan house tour and off to airport

November 16, 2016
Goodbye to the Campbell House - The "Loft" room was really excellent, a small foyer we mostly ignored and then stairs up. The cross bar (exceedingly well padded) was not annoying as one might guess, despite being at face height across the space.
That foyer. The shuttered windows with colored glass were nice.
Also, a little Italian (for some) reason restaurant that served a complemntary breakfast - much nicer than places that through a little of that "Continental" stuff at you, or a big buffet.
Melissa has a very tender place in her heart for street and stray animals.
More street art! Comissioned by the nearby hotel, but fun.
Melissa points out it looks like Marilyn is checking her out...
"Coffee, Tea, or Me"...
More of the wire art.
This was the outside of the Pinang Peranakan Mansion we toured the other day. We're heading here to be back at the Penang Heritage Trust where we booked a more in-depth tour.
I admired the local "Myvi" style car because it looked a bit like mine - later it would happen to be the brand of our rental.
We started a walking tour with an Australian couple, Mark and Anna. The guide encouraged us to have fun with the art- in general Malaysia seems to like goofing with photos.
Our guide- alas I forgot to record his name, but he was a lot of fun, a bit foppish? I don't want to over-stereotype, but I dig that Indonesia offers models of malehood not all hung up on machoness.
More of the local clan house-style temples.
Hindu temple, I think they mentioned it was a recent addition, or at least renovation.
Again, I love how almost whereever you go temple wise, there's some little detail that rewards close attention, but that otherwise you might miss.
Again, more temple stuff...
The clanhouses in general made me think about Mutual Aid Societies, like the ones in New Orleans. They kind of go against the grain of American Rugged Individualism... in thinking about what some Trump Voter defenders say about the relative neglect of rural communities... I dunno. Food for thought.
I asked the guide a bit about the "tasty offerings" I mentioned earlier - was their a particular procedure for removal of them? He said that the temple keeper might enjoy them or give them to needy people - or sometimes people offer it ceremoniously and then take with.
That... is quite a plant.
One of our fellow tourees, Anna from Australia.
Is that... "Chillax" over an Avatar character?
Moslem cemetery. The guide pointed out males get proud tall columns, females less imposing structures, tablet-shaped I'd say.
The rainforest has a lot of life and a lot of decay.
Street art...
WHOOO doesn't love owls?
He talked about how a Sikh guard at Buckingham Palace had a special headpiece combining his cultural background's wear and what the guards all sport.
These lions had granite spheres carved from and forever trapped in their mighty jaws.
But, tourists are told not to muck with 'em.
Interior of the Khoo Kongsi clanhouse - I think our guide had a special connection with the group.
I just love the art when it goes monochrome.
This calligraphy has tiny birds...
...see? rather Escher-esque.
"The Nine Old Men", see next photo...
I love the braggadocio of "This painting pays tribute to the clan leaders of Khoo Kongsi, whose insight into the ways of changes in a highly competitive society have steered Khoo Kongsi to the top."
This whole trip I had a special affinity for Tigers, since they are my sign...
Hallway with students granted scholarships and their achievements. Again, very strongly pro-community.
Something pretty - the shell is just a sample but I bought a bookmark using the material for Melissa's birthday (shh)
Finally Melissa got to see some Tea-pulling! This (and the last photo) was at the Edelweiss Cafe - lots of odd little prankish things there our guide took delight in showing us - the witches that jumped up when you clapped, the boxer on the wall in the lady's room with an inviting handle on his shorts, pull it and a spider jumps out and a loud bell rings in front, etc...
Kitty street art.
Chicken and Rice to end the day before heading back to the airport.
Uh, it's an airport.
It's interesting walking out to the planes - loud sometimes though. Off to Langkawi!
Beautiful Langkawi... more to come.

malaysia 2016: langkawi junglewalla kayak and waterfall, excursion to kuah

November 17, 2016
Geckos (?) abound at the hotel. At one point we saw a weird scene in the hallway with a lot of these flapping bugs around, seemed like a feast for the lizards, and you could understand why they move so fast...
Monkeys also abound here.
Morning cartoons..
Kind of frightening? Some kind of mad scientist plot turning the (chicken) citizens into zombies
More monkeys. Our original room had a leak so we got an upgrade to one with a semi-private pool outside it.
Lobby of the Andaman.
On our way to a "Junglewalla" tour..
Kayaking - Mudskippers there, probably tough to make out, but that intriguing link between water and land dwelling.
Male fiddler crabs waving their tiny giant claws to attract the babes.
Beautiful kayaking weather.
A local-made lunch is part of the tour.
Part of the tour was a swim in an out of the way swimming hole and waterfall.
St Andrew's Cross Spider!
Walking back to the van.
Definitely looking the part of luxury resort!
They do some conservation stuff, I think this is the coral nursery.
One smart thing we did was to rent a car- we didn't realize we'd need one at first, but our resort is 20-60 minutes from everywhere, and taxis would add up. Anyway, after heading back to the airport for a rental, we headed out to Kuah for Seafood- "My Chef" is this place.
Local flavor.
We ordered an entire fish...
Made pretty short work of it.
(We had actually been looking for seafood from "Teo", but the maps were off so we didn't find it til when we were walking around a bit after dinner)
Never seen a skull drawn quite that way.
Biggest KFC I've ever seen.
This map of Langkawi is a prominent feature of the hotel lobby. But what- what's that? Zoom. Enhance.

malaysia 2016: panorama langkawi and the beach

November 18, 2016
It's amazing how wild the walkways near the hotel are...
Today we went to Panorama Langkawi to take the SkyCab (world's steepest and "Longest Free Span Mono-Cable Car") up to the SkyTrail path (instead of the Sky Glide funicular) to get on the SkyBridge. (I also stopped for a movie at SkyRex, which Melissa skipped, we also skipped shopping at the SkyBoutique or sending a postcard at the SkyPos) Anyway you can just see a cable car up there.
Sadly, the Oriental Village's (at the base) feature attraction, those floating human size hamster wheels and hamster balls, didn't seem to be running
Paid a bit more for the F-1 Simulator for me....
...lets just say I was better at regular driving (even on the left side of the road) in our rental car than I was at sim-F1; it's no Mario Kart.
Up, up, up
Action shot of Melissa.
I guess that's a more sensible strategy than my plan of standing up screaming and flailing my arms like Kermit at the beginning of the Muppet Show intro.
I'm happier here than I look, I think. Also: wow, that Oriental Village is far away.
As promised, the panorama was breathtaking! And this is only the halfway-up station.
Darth Vader was there. Wish I had got a better shot of the costume; the shirt in particular had local flare.
Finally up to the SkyBridge, a great twisty suspended path, with more of those "walk on the glass or pose for a selfie pointing straight down" panels.
Langkawi is (I think) built of these limestone rocks.
So pretty. The landscape was good too. Plus the sea went well with Melissa's shirt.
Whenever you go up these things, you think about the people who did so before you, but with tools and raw materials to build the things.
Errm, not sure the Panorama mode of the iPhone quite got the curve of the cable car right...
A lot of stairs this trip. Was trying to remember why we passed on the funicular.
That's a cute icon of a monkey.
The SkyBridge was a bit lower than the viewing platforms at the top. I liked the colors these fellow tourists were wearing.
They had those "Love Locks" things, but for sale.
Presumably they put the weight into the calculations, unlike that bridge in Paris...
Back down. I think this is the 7 Wells Waterfall.
Then suddenly... pterodactyl! (I kid, this is the SkyRex movie, a fun little jostly the trolley around Jurassic Park-ish thing)
Our rental car (Perodua Myvi) was a little larger than this, but not by all that much.
The diversity of the place is great, I think this place was Iranian?
Delish Kebab.
Did I mention the upgraded resort room we got? Wider than it is tall. Melissa had me make a GIF of her rotating while planking on it...
A little late afternoon lounging, then.
Squinty selfie!
The resort was an experiment in splurge. Resort-only beach side booze is nice, as is an shore side with shade.
Back at the hotel - a monitor lizard, maybe? And all the geckos were hot to trot because of these bugs that were flapping about- it was like the bugs were molting and/or losing their wings or something.
Salt water shampoo and conditioner does so much for me, doncha think?

malaysia 2016: langkawi lounging and the night market

November 19, 2016
In this staged photo I attempt to express the amusement I felt at the map to ad ratio of the map the rental car place gave us.
We liked how this tree looked like it was sporting cornrows.
There was a nice pool central at the resort, with a little waterslide, but we stuck to the saltwater.
Being in a bay, the waves were hardly greater than a Great Lake's...
Digging formations made by crabs, we sussed.
"Bae Caught Me Sleeping" is one of my favorite memes, on multiple levels.
One of the larger versions of the beach crabs.
Lone jellyfish.
I do like how those singular trees stick out of hillsides.
Choosing the night market rather than the resort's Malay Buffet...
Wanted documentation that I know how to drive Right Hand Drive.
Khua Night Market.
Delicious things.
Giant woks.
My first entree.
There was a river or stream parallel to the run of the market, with a lit up bridge. Malaysia has a lot of those color shifting LED things.

malaysia 2016: langkawi waterfalls and farewell

November 20, 2016
Saying good bye to our room. This arrangement of wedge cushion for a couch strikes me as kind of perfect.
In Islam-friendly countries, often a drawer will have an arrow showing the appropriate way to face Mecca.
Body wash et al. Every shower we had here: our cousins' nice apartment, the Campbell House in George Town, and the Andmana had stand up tile showers with glass doors and hand nozzles. I wonder if it's just the old NE apartments I'm in that make them seem unusual.... it's a near perfect arrangement, a lot better than risking slipping around a confining round-bottomed tub.
Earlier in the trip we heard about - and later saw, briefly - Langur monkeys and their cute orange babies, considered one of the cutest creatures in the world -- too cute in fact - they're a target for poachers, and they have to kill the whole family unit who will fight to the last to protect the babies.
Final lunch. I stuck with Tiger beer the whole trip, the local Bud - reasonably tasty, seemed like the authentic thing to do, and made sure I didn't get too buzzed.
Melissa posing coyly behind a frickin' GIANT leaf that had fallen on our car.
The Myvi was a great rental car - a little tinny maybe, but otherwise a lot like my '04 Scion. I was amused at the lgo-kart ook of the gas pedal, though both pedals felt fine.
Before our flight, we decided to hit the nearby Temurun waterfall...
Through the forest a bit.
...Wow. How does such a little island have such big majestic things in it?
The stairs were kind of cool, carved into the stone with a grid pattern at top.
Some folks I think might be locals were enjoying the pool.
Obviously it's not a single giant plunge waterfall, but the overall drop of 200 meters is still amazing.
Young men scrambling up...
Jump 1!
Jump 2!
Those stairs again.
A popsicle ad I enjoyed.
Checking out the Seven Wells-- many, many, many stairs.
Viewing platform.
Random toilet seat.
The wells are a bunch of little dipping pools...
You can see the SkyCab from there... because of time and energy on the way down we ended up skipping the side trip of the actual falls.
Pathside monkey.
Bye Myvi! You served us well. So glad we decided to grab a rental rather than rely on taxis, even though it required more concentration from me.
So Malaysia has a sport "Sepak takraw" which is "kick volleyball" played by 2 teams of 3 people each- it was on at the Langkawi airport.
Dang fluffy clouds.
In Malay, "kanak" is child and "kanak-kanak" is children (also "kiddy", depending on context) - my cousin Ken mention doubling words for plural is common in the language.
The airport is ready for Christmas...

My dad accidentally texted me with voice recognition...while playing the tuba...

malaysia 2016:kuala lumpur twin towers mall

November 21, 2016
I dig how Malaysians celebrate any holiday... this is back to the mall under the twin towers bit we had an excuse...
...unfortunately Melissa got a bit of travellers bug and we decided to hit the clinic, a decent one was built into the mall... interesting being able to go shopping while waiting for bloodwork being done. Luckily it wasn't Dengue fever or Malaria or Zika or anything like that...
The maps in the mall were electronic and searchable and would even show you the path from current location to the store...
Nail polish store, well obviously.
Again getting the scale of it... the middle elevator had some repair work going on though. Each floor had a theme, like "Electronics" "Kids/Toys" "Glamour"... (or was it Luxury?)
Kid's jigsaw puzzle on how to do Salaat, the Moslem prayer ritual.
The store "Smiggle" was a kid centric stationary etc store... this burger notebook (with smiling plush ends)
Odd cafe I liked.
Kids ride of the Crocodile Hunter.... (the plaque says its in memoriam)
Malaysia uses a 3 prong plug ala Britain... also each socket tends to have its own little power off switch
Sigh, KL airport
Doha airport has better sculptures though
Finally, the water we got on the plane is a lie. THAT'S NOT A BOTTLE.