Kula Lumpur – The Batu Caves – Photos

There were only two places I really wanted to see in Kula Lumpur – The Batu Caves and the Petronas Towers.

The Batu Caves was first. Four of us got into this rickety old cab whose exhaust system was gone and so was leaking choking exhaust fumes into the cab. Even with all the windows open, it was choking – but it was cheap.

The Batu Caves are a very sacred Hindu site. There is a colossal golden statue outside. Then you climb up hundreds of steps into the cave.

Hindu religious statues and art do seem very gaudy – at times they verge on the cartoon.

The caves were amazing.

Goodbye to Manilla plus Sunsets – Photos

It was early evening when we left Manilla.

On the quay, there were two groups of musicians and dancers who seemed to be competing with each other.

It

There was a huge difference between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’.

We had celebrity status!

Then the sun started to set.

Arriving in Manilla – the reception – Photos

I think they’d made a mistake. They had mistaken our little ship for one of those massive cruise liners. We slipped into the harbour with three fire tugs spurting water! There were stilt-walkers, musicians and dancers – all in elaborate costumes (some obviously bought from the local pound store). We’d never received such an elaborate welcome.

Looking back I suppose they were employed by the port to welcome a string of cruise ships. We just happened to arrive when no others were there and so received the full works.

It was fun and bemusing.

There were a number of musical instruments that I’d never even seen before. It was great to hear and see, even if it wasn’t exactly my thing.

Borneo – volcanoes and sunsets. Photos.

Sailing along the coast of Borneo in the evening as majestic volcanoes poke through the cloud layer. The sun slowly sets to bathe sea and land with orange, purple and yellow.

I stared at the landscape as we sailed by and imagined all the creatures living in those rainforests, creatures now under great threat. Within the beauty is a great sadness.

Borneo – Kota Kinabalu – The stilted water village

Many people live in stilted houses out in a village in the river. I find these places fascinating. There are shops and even mosques. The houses look a bit ramshackle – like corrugated shacks on stilts. But I’ve seen far worse slums than these. The mode of transport is canoeing with outboard motors or motorboats.

Borneo – Kota Kinabalu – Into the rainforest

As soon as we landed we took ourselves off into the rainforest. I never get fed up with the lianas, huge fronds, stilted trees and scent of a rainforest. It is so rich and overpowering – though the heat can get a bit oppressive. It fills me with delight.