Malaysia and Indonesia
20.04.2016 - 28.04.2016
Today (5-22) is RTW day #140. This is the last day of 3 days at sea in route to Apia, Samoa on 5/23. We will cross the international dateline tomorrow so we will be repeating 5/23 in Pago Pago, American Samoa.
April 20, 2016 Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Kota Kinabalu was almost completely destroyed during WW2 with just the clock tower and the post office spared. We did not have a tour scheduled so took the shuttle into town for a look around. There was a fairly new 6 story shopping mall for retail therapy. We did find a good pair of binoculars there.
April 21, 2016 Muara, Brunei
I did a Brunei Cultural tour and Water Village visit. The tour shows the contrast between the extravagant sultan and the life in a village built on stilts. The first stop was The Royal Regalia Building.
The sultan was crowned in 1968 and is highly respected by the country. He seems to be down to earth and actually works at a real job in government. They have a very large gas and oil production off shore. The sultan has decreed that auto gas will not rise above 53 cents!!! However, the price for cars is very high. The museum includes items used in the lavish coronation in 1968 and other celebrations. The royal chariot and ceremonial swords are still used today for national celebrations, the next being the 50th anniversary of the sultan coronation in 2018. The museum also contains gifts from various foreign dignitaries. We had to be shoeless and no photos allowed inside, sorry.
We then boarded a small river boat for the journey to the Water Village. The village has been there for 1300 years and has 30,000 folks in residence. The structures on stilts include homes, restaurants, shops, mosques, schools and hospital all connected by wooden boardwalks. Some were in better shape than others. We had to take off shoes to enter the family home for tea and some finger food snacks. The home was quite long and large but there were 5 related families living there with about 30 folks.
The final stop was the Jame Mosque, the largest in Brunei. The mosque was built to honor the 25 year reign of the sultan. It has 4 minarets and 29 golden domes. We arrived during prayer time and could not go in.
April 23, 2016 Kuching, Malaysia
I did a tour of the Sarawak Cultural Village. This is a ‘living museum” with about 150 folks dedicated to preserve and showcase the states cultural heritage. There are 7 primary ethnic groups represented in the village through replicas of houses that include Melanau tall house, Malay town house, Chinese farm house and the Bidayuh which was a head hunting tribe. Members of each tribe, dressed in traditional costume, were there to explain their culture and for storytelling. Following the tour of the houses, we enjoyed a folkloric performance. Wearing bright costumes and jewelry, the dancers tell stories through their movements and live music.
April 26, 2016 Bali, Indonesia
We took a cab to the Hard Rock Café at the beach for some t-shirts and guitar pin. We had a walk along the beach which had MANY vendors. Roger found a “virtual” cache at an old temple.
We declined to attend the Royal Balinese Feast that evening but may have been a mistake. We heard that it was over the top entertainment for the Around the World people .
April 28, 2016 Komodo, Indonesia
The Komodo National Park was established in 1980 in order to protect the Komodo dragon. This endangered species can get up to 11 ft and weigh 300 pounds. The dragons(Monitor Lizards) as ambush hunters and are quite capable of taking down local deer and wild boar. Even if their prey should escape the attack their wounds will not heal and they will eventually die from infection. Then using it's acute sense of smell the lizard will track down it's kill. Roger put his trust into the hands of the park ranger and did a tour of the island. I declined to participate….. He came back with lots of pictures and all limbs attached but did not find a cache there. He also saw a cobra but the snake skittish writer of this blog declined to include photos.
This is some of the marvelous temptation we face every day to avoid gaining weight! And one of my finished pictures from art class.
Next entry is for Australia