Saturday, February 04, 2017
I HEART Malaysia
That was my introduction to Malaysia's roads, which are poorly marked and easy to get lost on.
The bus station was kilometers away, and it was getting towards evening. Taxied to Ipoh, then the next day rolled out of Ipoh to Taiping. This area of Malaysia is filled with karst topography, producing lovely hills. But as you can see, on all the roads I rode on, the traffic was insane. Although Malaysia is pretty, and the people and food are wonderful, the cycling was unpleasant because of the vehicle density, even though drivers were very courteous.
As I reached Butterworth, where the ferry port is, I turned onto the E36, which is a toll bridge. I poured on the charm, but the police officer sternly refused to let me pass. So I moved to plan B, which was flagging down a truck, but the officer was ahead of me, and had already waved one over. The driver turned out to be of Chinese descent, from Fujian, and spoke Mandarin and Minnan. We had a grand old time chatting away in a mix of languages, and he took me around on some of his deliveries, so I got to see a rare side of Malaysia. Then he put me off on the main road to Georgetown and refused to take any money. Wonderful guy. The reason he wouldn't take me to Georgetown was the awful traffic, which I soon ran into.
In this hotel you had to put the key into a lock set in the wall to start the electricity. LOL.
I'm definitely going back to Peninsular Malaysia, but probably not taking the bike. Too often it was merely bulky and awkward luggage. The roads I chose were largely unpleasant. Sadly, it was too rainy to do the mountains. But the food was amazing, and the Malaysian people are wonderful.
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