Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Diversity at an Outdoor Market in George Town, Penang

Today in an historical area of George Town, Penang, I saw more signs of Malaysia's incredible ethnic diversity: Chinese ancestral homes, Islamic mosques, Catholic churches, Little India, and so on. But it is the people, not the buildings, which made the largest impression. So instead of highlighting anything historical, I first want to share some scenes from an informal outdoor market I stumbled upon. A variety of people could be found there...

selling items at an outdoor market in George Town, Penang, Malaysia

painting for sale at an outdoor market in George Town, Penang, Malaysia

various items for sale at an outdoor market in George Town, Penang, Malaysia

women selling items at an outdoor market in George Town, Penang, Malaysia

man selling clothes at an outdoor market in George Town, Penang, Malaysia

man selling drawings at an outdoor market in George Town, Penang, Malaysia

variety of items for sale at an outdoor market in George Town, Penang, Malaysia

people at an outdoor market in George Town, Penang, Malaysia

variety of items for sale at an outdoor market in George Town, Penang, Malaysia

men talking at an outdoor market in George Town, Penang, Malaysia

items for sale at an outdoor market in George Town, Penang, Malaysia

boy wearing shirt saying A Perfect Environments to Develop Your Child's Gifts & Talents

Monday, January 7, 2013

A Mosque and Islamic Arts in Kuala Lumpur

Today was a longer than expected travel day. Such is life when a bus breaks down and you have to wait for another to show up. Fortune also has it that the hotel in my new location has chosen this week to upgrade their Internet. But at least there are some nearby cafes with wifi.

So, another light post...

This past weekend I stopped by the National Mosque of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur.

National Mosque of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur

However, I could  not visit inside due to restrictions.

sign at entrance to National Mosque of Malaysia saying Closed for Non-Muslim Tourists

Fortunately, the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia was nearby. The fusion of artistic styles seen in the section of Islamic art from China particularly caught my attention.

vases and incense burners with Chinese and Islamic designs

More later on Malaysia's rich mixture of cultures. For now, I will return to my Internet-less room. It will be like the old days.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Two Scenes from Neijiang, Sichuan Province, China

Due to my current trip, recent posts have focused on Kuala Lumpur. I have more posts about Malaysia planned, but China will definitely not be forgotten. On that note, here are two scenes related to two earlier posts about China.

Where I enjoyed some cold noodles for lunch in Neijiang, China

Where I later enjoyed a dinner in Neijiang, China

See here for more scenes from Neijiang, Sichuan province. And see here for a more recent post from Changsha, Hunan province, about stools in China.

More later...

Friday, January 4, 2013

Birds and an Unexpected Ad at the Bird Park

The Kuala Lumpur Bird Park claims to be the "world's largest free-flight walk-in aviary". As a kid I was fascinated by aviaries so I decided to make a visit. It did indeed seem rather large, and it was possible to see a variety of birds in close proximity (although some were kept in smaller cages).

bird at Kuala Lumpur Bird Park
Keeping an eye on the human

I will refrain from sharing a full set of bird photos, but I feel compelled to share a photo of one of the few advertisements posted outside the park.

advertisement for Nuget Ayam chicken nuggets at the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park
Advertisement for chicken nuggets

Maybe Ayam A1 thought looking at all those birds would put people in the mood for some chicken.

bird at Kuala Lumpur Bird Park
Not humored

OK. That's all--back to more typical topics in upcoming posts. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Front View from a Driverless Train in Kuala Lumpur

One day while taking the light rail on Kuala Lumpur's Kelana Jaya Line I boarded the front car. I then discovered its trains are "driverless" and include a front window providing an excellent view. And I have since noticed it is particularly popular with kids.

Father helping his young daughter look out the train's front window

Several of my friends have kids who are fascinated with trains. So that provides me a convenient excuse to share a few photos from a train ride today when the front window was free.

On an elevated portion of the line and about to enter the tunnel near the Masjid Jamek station

underground tunnel for Kuala Lumpur light rail trains
An exciting curve

It appears I had some onlookers

Approaching a station

Off again

The front view definitely makes the train ride a bit more interesting, though not as "interesting" as the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel in Shanghai. Despite (or because of) the Shanghai tunnel being a "trippy" experience and Lonely Planet commenting:
Stepping from the trains at the terminus, visitors are visibly nonplussed, their disbelief surpassed only by those with return tickets.
I typically recommend it to friends visiting Shanghai. As noted on CNN Travel:
But what's not to love about the sudden appearance of blow-up dolls, flashing colored lights and booming, disembodied voices saying vaguely apocalyptic words such as "magma" and "hell." You won't get that on the metro.
You also won't get that on the Kuala Lumpur light rail, which is probably a good thing.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

An Afternoon of Fabric and Stores in Kuala Lumpur

On this first day of 2013, I'll keep it light and share some scenes from my explorations today in Kuala Lumpur. They begin in an area well known for its fabric shops and end at the Sultan Ismail elevated light rail station. Some of the scenes provide a small taste of Kuala Lumpur's mixture of cultures and architectural styles.

A pedestrian street lined with fabric stores

A nearby "food court"

One of many food vendors

Several carpet stores

More stores

A sale section at the Sogo department store

Food court at the Sogo department store

Capturing some "Christmas spirit"

Sultan Ismail Road

Section of the Kuala Lumpur Rail Transit System's Ampang Line

News Year's Kuala Lumpur 2013

If I could sum up my New Year's experience in downtown Kuala Lumpur this 2013 in two words it would be "snow spray". I have now seen enough snow spray to last a lifetime. More of it was sprayed by the thousands of peoples in the streets I visited than... well... it was a lot. Whether it just set back the healing of the Earth's ozone layer or not is a question for scientists to explore.

All I can say is that New Year's in Kuala Lumpur was far more intense than my experience in Phnom Penh several years ago (which was pretty good). At the moment, I am out of words, so I will just share some photos, even if they are a bit fuzzy. For the rest of you still waiting for 2013, I'll just say most seems the same, but you might want to stay clear of any snow spray.

Happy New Year's...

Where I had a late night seafood dinner of sting ray, clams, and assorted veggies

The head chef from Myanmar

The snow spraying fun had already begun before midnight

Snow spray explosions

Nobody was immune

Big crowds


Taking over the streets

Many disposed snow spray cans

Photographic opportunities

Capturing the moment

Walking down the middle of the street

More snow

Still snowing

Never enough snow

Nobody was safe

Plenty to clean up

US $5 per cup for a Carlsberg beer at one bar 

Some Indonesian guys I met