Goodbye Malaysia, For Now?

I wrote this while sweating my arse off on the roof of the Oasis hotel in Kuala Lumpur. This is the first sunny day I’ve experienced since arriving in KL 5 days ago, and it’s HOT! Not only is it hot, but it’s insanely humid today because we had a total downpour here late in the afternoon yesterday. Actually it’s probably no even that hot — I don’t have my thermometer with me at this moment — but I’m sweating buckets when I cross the street because it’s so humid.

Anyway, enough with the weather report. After George Town, I spent eleven nights in the Cameron Highlands, in the central part of the Malaysian peninsula. It wasn’t that there was all that much to do there, but it was actually cold up there, and relatively cheap to boot! My dorm bed was 12 ringgit per night (4 US dollars). Yes, back into a dormitory situation after all these months. I haven’t had to share a room since Vietnam, but the price was right, and I must admit that the mattress I slept on at “Kang’s Travelers Lodge” was absolutely the most comfortable mattress I’ve had this entire trip! It was fantastic, even though I was sleeping in a room with 7 other people — one being an older Chinese man who has been living in the dorm for about a year, and who snores and farts all night long…. The ear plugs saved me from that (the sound anyway).

The Cameron Highlands is known for it’s strawberry farms, flower & vegetable farms, and probably mostly for it’s tea plantations, most notably the BOH plantation — a British owned company, and the largest black tea producer in Malaysia. In addition to touring the local farms and tea gardens, I did a bit of trekking in the hills, which was nice with the cool weather. Did I mention that it was very cool up there? In fact it was even cold at night — I was so happy to wear my fleece again.

Eventually I felt I had to get moving, so I took a bus down here to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. I can’t say there’s anything extraordinary about KL — it’s a big expensive city full of shopping malls. I did go up the KL Tower, which offered a great view of the city. The Petronas Twin Towers, the world’s tallest buildings until 2004, offered great photo opportunities. The downside of being here is that I’m spending money like it’s going out of style. This is not a cheap city…. I decided to “splurge” the other night and went to the Chili’s restaurant in the mall underneath the twin towers, dinner cost me about 30 USD. I splurged on a sandwich at Subway today, 7 USD – that’s like 6 meals in Thailand. So, I’m really looking forward to getting back to some place with reasonable prices — oh wait, I go to Singapore tomorrow, D’OH!!!!

Tomorrow morning I leave for Singapore, to visit Barratt and Asuka, and to go to a psytrance party in the city. The last psy party I went to was Goa Gil back in May, so I’m really looking forward to this. Barratt is playing the party, so it should be a good time. After that, I’m not sure, I am torn between going to the Borneo side of Malaysia and climbing the tallest mountain in Malaysia, or just get on my way to Indonesia. The best diving site in the world is supposedly on Borneo, so maybe I should go check that out. Argh, choices! Anyway, I hope I don’t go totally broke in Singapore…