To break up the journey to Kuala Lumpur we stopped at the Cameron Highlands for a night. Set in the mountains, it not only offers a good climate but also many paths through the forests and the surrounding tea estates. As soon as we arrived we dumped the bags and set off on one such walk. The Rough Guide did warn that finding the starts of the paths was notoriously difficult but that was an understatement. After nearly an hour of searching around apartment blocks we found the path leading through a garden center. As soon as we were on the path we were off it due to a signpost pointing us in completely the wrong direction and back down onto a road. We gave up.
The following morning we tried again this time on a different path. Another hour passed until we met an American and a Scottish walker coming down a road from behind the hospital. We quickly shared our failure to find the path and that it was strange how a hospital could have been emitted from the Rough Guides map. After consulting a local gardener we were pointed in a new direction which led to the desired entrance. Success! The path was a superb three or so hour walk through the forest. We didn’t meet anyone on the way up and although the view was hampered a little by the sun lights haze it was a great way to spend a morning. On the way down we passed around forty school children being led up by some hardy adults. Nearly everyone said hello and despite a very steep climb, bits of which we had to scramble up, they did it all with a huge smile on their faces. In a general sense it is amazing how different the kids are out here to back home
In the afternoon we caught a coach down to KL, which had by far the best leg room I think I have ever had on a coach. Malaysia is surprisingly developed and modern compared to other countries in South East Asia. The one day we had in KL we met up with one of Paul’s friends from university, Sebastian, a Malaysian national now back working in his country. We met at the Petronas towers, once the highest towers in the world. They were mightily impressive, even if I could not fully appreciate the shopping center it contained.
One problem (although I might say fantastic) thing that I have encountered in Mayalasia is the dominance of Indian food. A superb reminder of just how much I enjoy it, it has stood in the way of appreciating any local dishes. Sebastian helped to take us on a whistle stop tour of a few dishes before we made our way to the KL tower. I think I am right in saying that it is the third largest tower in the world and in terms of the viewing platform is the tallest. The view from the top was slightly obscured due to the weather but still it was interesting to look out over KL.
In the evening Paul and I ate again in Chinatown. Much amusement was had when ordering baby octopus. On a stick they came, the real deal, tentacles and heads. I could feel it crawling around my stomach for days to come.
The following day we flew to Sumatra, Indonesia. It was a very whistle stop tour of Malaysia but Indonesia has captured my imagination and the sheer size of it has meant that something had to be sacrificed.