Thursday, March 27, 2014

YOLO folks in Kuala Lumpur Oct 2013

We took an optional day tour to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia.  It's a big, modern city from the looks of it.  The twin PETRONAS Towers, or KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Center) are one of the largest joined sets of towers in the world.
On the way into town, we sidetracked to the Batu Caves, a big Buddhist temple set up in a huge cave up on a hill.  This golden statue at the base of the stairs to the cave is HUGE!
Looking up the stairs to climb to get to the shrines in the caves.  There are something like 276 stairs to get to the cave and more to get to the shrines inside, a total of 365 steps.
Monkeys were all along the stairs to the caves.
Tiny clay saucers were smashed and broken just behind the bannisters of the stairs.  People put offerings in them but they don't last long.
Mama monkey with baby's tail hanging out.
Statues and stactites at the top of the stairs.
Colorful shrines to many different gods were all over inside, built into nooks and crannies in the cave walls.
Another shrine in the cave entrance.
John from Kailani coming up the stairs inside the cave.
Karen next to a big rock formation inside the cave.
Lyn off Out of the Blue II and Karen in front of a shrine where the light made everything look gold.
Jason leaning on a stalactite in the cave/shrine.
A local dressed for prayer, with colorful chalk or powder on him.  If you gave a donation, you could get a dot of color on your forehead.
Bummer that this is blurry, but it is the Monkey God Shrine in the cave.  Reminded me of the Wizard of Oz characters.....spooky.
A view from the top of Batu Cave at the entrance.
Another view from Batu Cave entrance, with the head of the giant Shiva Buddha statue in view.
Monkeys playing.
Tiny newborn monkey suckling on the bannister.
At the Royal Selangor Pewter Factory, we saw this display of old pewter animals once used as money.  Imagine paying for something with a crocodile and getting an elephant, turtle or money tree in change.
A replica of the PETRONAS Twin Towers made of pewter beer mugs.
A sliver and pewter pheasant in the showroom--very pretty and ornate.
Jason and Karen in the huge pewter beer mug outside the factory.  Dive in and drink your way to the top!
A scale model of Kuala Lumpur, past, present and future.  It is in a room in a tourist stop and it lights up like the city at night.  Pretty amazing in its accuracy.
Fine woodworking and carving is another known skill in this area.  The city gallery has a small observation area where we could watch the artisans hand carve these detailed scenes from wood.  Very intricate and delicate.  It would be nice if you could get them home and had a place to display them, but not on a boat.
Karen with a Santa statue in front of a view of the skyline of Kuala Lumpur done in carved wood.
The giant Buddha statue at the base of the stairs at Batu Cave, the Hindu shrine just outside downtown Kuala Lumpur.  It is truly huge!
More intricate, colorful statues on the roof.  The gold is the bottom of the staff of the giant statue next to it.
This baby monkey is so new you can still see the umbilical cord hanging.  No such thing as privacy in the monkey world.
Jason and Karen up in the shrine in the top of Batu Cave.
Looking up at the giant statue.
I love Kuala Lumpur (or is that KL for Karen Lynch?)

YOLO folks in Malacca, Malaysia Oct 2013

We toured the ancient city of Malacca/Melaka on a day trip from Port Dickson by bus.  It was arranged by the rally folks so there was a good group of us.  We had an English speaking guide, but there were too many people for all of us to hear and keep up with him all the time.  Some folks spread out to explore on their own.  We followed the guide, even if we couldn't always hear what he was saying about the sites we visited.
This old wooden waterwheel was at the site of an old fort in the downtown area where we started the walking tour.
Part of the old fort still stands hundreds of years after being built. by the Portuguese.
Modern museums are now in the old buildings.

Some of the old 'tunnels' that were underground in the area they are now reclaiming.  The Portuguese were famous for tunnels, but they aren't very tall.
The oldest fort entrance in the area.  It dates back to 1689 or so and is a landmark here.
Another view of the entry to the fort.
Military vehicles on display.  Old ones, no longer in use.
The fort entry again.
Burial tablets that have been stood up for preservation.  Each of these would've covered a grave or the place in a church where the persons remains would have been stored.
St. Francis Xavier statue at his church.  His right hand is missing.
In the heart of the historic district on the river, we find this Hard Rock CafĂ©.  The tour guide was certain someone was bribed to allow its building in this part of town, right on the river at a bridge.  It did seem out of place in the old city.
A stone lion at the entrance to a Chinese temple.  The ball in his mouth moves but cannot be removed.  Touching it is supposed to bring good luck.
The brilliant colors inside the ornate temples.  Such artwork.
More temple statues inside.
Even the facia above the doors was so artfully decorated.  The sea creatures depicted here seem pretty lively.
The walls are often 3D in their decoration.  The bas-relief scenes are being cleaned up to reveal these great colors.
We visited a shoe shop where the man's family had been involved in the foot binding business in years past.  These are some of the tiny shoes he made for bound feet for the Chinese girls and ladies.  It was considered very chic to have tiny feet, but the tortuous pain involved in making and keeping them that was seems barbaric today.
The old ways are very interesting....
A statue of a dark child sitting on a chair.  Unusual here.
A replica of a ship in the old city.
A wall of colorful garments for sale in a fabric shop.  The Muslim women get dressed in such finery quite often.  The displays were like looking at artwork in fabric.
Jason and I wandered off to a non-touristy part of Melacca and found an old Chinese shop with strange things for sale.  These are shark fins strung along the ceiling for sale for people to make shark fin soup.
Bins of dried mushrooms of all sorts lined the sidewalk at the door in the shop.
An ancient well, preserved in the Cheng Ho museum.
A package of dried squid for sale.  These are found in the snack aisles of stores!
A banner to promote crime-free living.  Young police cadets or students encouraged us to sign their banner and gave us pens and junk packets for doing so.  If you look hard, you can see YOLO's signature to the left of the arm.  We were waiting for the bus and didn't have much else to do, so why not?