Mission aborted (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

Journal entry for Sunday 15th Mar, 2020 (day 10, miles 0)

According to our original plan for this venture today we should have flown to Hanoi in Vietman. But a couple of days ago we were informed that Vietman has temporarily cancelled all tourist visas. This was followed by the news that Oman (a country that was also on our itinerary) had taken the same action. In the face of these developments and the likelihood that other countries would follow suit we have decided to return home and attempt this trip again when the world is no longer racked by a health crisis. We fly back to Seattle tomorrow.

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Petronas (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

Journal entry for Saturday 14th Mar, 2020 (day 9, miles 0)

Today started with a visit to the nearby Petronas Twin Towers with their destinctive double-decker connecting bridge at the 42nd and 43rd floors. The towers are named after Petronas Gas Berhad, Malaysia's national petroleum company which occupies one of th towers as its head quarters. For those into F1 motor racing Petronas is one of the major sponsors of the Mercedes F1 team and this is reflected by the display of F1 racing cars in the foyer of the building. The visit to the towers, which included time seeing the bridge at the 42nd floor, the observation desck at the 85 floor and the souvenir shop at the 83 floor gave a great view of the greater KL area.

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Birds and butterflies (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

Journal entry for Friday 13th Mar, 2020 (day 8, miles 0)

We planned today, our first full day in KL, to be a somewhat relaxed day with only a couple of sightseeing destinations. First up was a small tropical garden garden park that is completely enclosed by netting in order that its population of butterflies cannot either depart of be attacked by the local bird or monkey population. Interestingly this small facility is located in the heart of this major city. Simlarly our second destination, the KL Bird Park, is located in the heart of the city and is also partially enclosed by netting with different areas of the park connected by bird-proof double doors. Since birds and butterflies are mainly visual attractions I will let todays photo collection tell the remainder of the story.

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Golden lady (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

Journal entry for Thursday 12th Mar, 2020 (day 7, miles 0)

Melacca (Melaka) was a trading center from as early as 1403 when the town was founded by Parameswara (the King of Singapura) and first visited by a Chinese trade envoy. For the next 100 years or so the port of Malacca propspered as a trading hub for Asian trade. The Portuguese arrived in 1511 conquering the city, disrupting the ports central role in Asian trade and thwarting their own ambition. Over the next 100+ years the Dutch tried on a number of occassions to take the port from the Portuguese finally succeeding in Janurary 14th 1641. In 1824 the Dutch ceeded Malacca to the British in exchange for Bencoolen on Samartra.

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Road signs, cows and umbrellas (Melaka, Malaysia)

Journal entry for Wednesday 11th Mar, 2020 (day 6, miles 0)

This morrning we set off by car to Malacca (Melaka in the local Malay language) a city about half way between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. At the start of this journey we passed through the border checkpoints that mark the transition between the two countries. We had anticipated that the checkpoint buildings would be large but the reality exceeded our expectation. Two massive building complexes like super large shopping malls marked first the Singapore side and then the Malaysian side. We were also suprised to see that both complexes made extensive provisions for motorcycles, with dedicated lanes and dedicated checkpoint booths. Our driver explaiend this to us by noting that many people live in Malaysia and travel into Singapore every day for work (I guess that is how Singapore gets a supply of low cost labor) and that each morning approximately 40,000 mototcycles cross from Malaysia to Singapore and the same 40,000 reverse the trip in the afternoon.

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