While driving on the outskirts of the town I saw this huge, never ending set of stairs climbing it's way up to the top of a very high hill--maybe a mountain. At the bottom of the stairs was a bus stop. I asked what the stairs lead to and was told that it took people up to their village.
I couldn't imgaine doing that twice a day to and from school or work. Even if I didn't have to walk with a cane.
So, unless this is your favorite thing to do, be careful when making friends and before you agree to visit, make sure you won't have to climb a thousand steps from the bus stop to reach their remote little village, as is the case here!
To a european like me, monkeys are generally associated with being fun animals and so they are at times.
But they can also be aggressive little buggers who bite you and steal your stuff.
In Malaysia you have many of them.
In some parts of the country they are in almost every tree along the roadside.
While cycling through Malaysia i sometimes had 15-20 of them following my moves when i stopped to take something from my bags.
They were most likely checking out if i was taking something out that could be eaten.
Even in a huge city like Kuala Lumpur you have wild monkeys in the city center and while i would not say that you should be afraid of them, you should certainly be a little aware of them and not try to provoke an attack from them.
When travelling here in Malaysia be aware of your surroundings. There are some people here who look to tourists as "fair game" and a quick source of revenue...Like anywhere you travel be aware of crowded places such as markets, bus and railway stations. restaurants and bars and at the beach...in fact anywhere that crowds gather..
Don't flash your cash in public. Keep notes folded in singles in your pocket not in a bundle.
Keep your bag around your neck not just over your shoulder.
Don' t put your bag down without some form of personal restraint.
Don't keep all your money in one place ...have a stash somewhere else on your body.
Carry enough money in travellers cheques to get you back home..if they are stolen they can be replaced ..unlike cash or cards..some people think that they are old news !!even if you don't use them on this trip you can use them on the next one..They don't expire.For you they are cash money!!
REMEMBER THESE PEOPLE WHO STEAL ARE GOOD AT IT--THEY DO IT FOR A LIVING EVERYDAY
Common sense Acommon Travel rules as to where ever you go.
#1. Don't go where you shouldn't go.
#2. Follow the rule of law in the country that you reside.
#3. Adhere to the rule of law from your home country.
#4. Respect and "pre-" read up on the culture(s).
#5. Gain some familiarity with the country's national language prior to your trip.
#6. Practice the local language with the locals.
#7. If concerned with lodging then don't do what isn't familiar to you.
#8. Eat what has been cooked.
#9. Drink bottled water that has a seal. Open it yourself.
#10. Know your coordinates (esp. North & South). Memorize the major cross-roads prior to taking your trip.
#11. Have a copy or two of your Passport in a safe place (either on you personally or in an emergency place).
#12. Go electronic (with back up paperwork) when you can.
#13. Be reluctant to share your full plans with strangers.
#14. Be flexible.
#15. How you handle "it" determines whether it'll be a good event or day or not. Understand that something weird, funny, or bad might occur.
#16. Watch your travel companions as they might just as well cause trouble by accident / unknowingly or on purpose.
#17. International travel is not a time for pranks. (Stay away from pranksters that want to travel with you)
#18. Just try to remember that "nothing" is for "free". (This goes for women too! Crazy partying guys should know this.)
#19. Silently meditate as to rehearse (or re-play) plans.
#20. Always be prepared for a back-up exit plan (... where ever you are (and check for exits)).
#21. Travel with flex travel time on the front end but esp. back end of your visit. This'll reduce your frustrations if there happen to be delays.
#22. Pack light while being wise.
#23. Be nimble. (physically)
#24. If you have good judgment with befriending people (anywhere) then be social with out giving away too much information.
#25. Know your money. Where it is. How much is on you. Denominations in order. Minimize coins if possible (don't need to be heard walking around jiggling).
#26. When driving a rental car ... pay the extra for full coverage. (Take it from a guy that has had 2 separate flat tires and locked up engine all in the same trip. Can you guess where?)
#27. Walk like you know where you are going even when you get lost. The best way to not get lost again is to remember where you were when you were lost.
#28. You are not a "stick" in the mud if you choose to stay away from the "loud" crowd.
#29. Avoid traveling during the host country's elections.
#30. Be aware of political and labor union protest. Don't accidently get caught up.
#31. Never walk away from your open beverages and/or food. Once you've stepped away then pass on further consumption as to be cautious.
#32. Ladies and guys, know that you will meet lots of wonderful people plus some not so. Don't be fooled by "beauty" or a "handsome" face. Danger lurks. If you have a bad judgment of character domestically then it is not going to get any better outside of the country.
#33. If you're not considered "HOT" back home then don't be fooled when you are abroad. Money matters. It isn't really your looks.
#34. The money train gets you access but it can also generate trouble.
#35. Make certain Taxis / Limos drivers happen to be locked into the price and directions prior to departure.
#36. Know the weather conditions prior and during your trip.
#37. Read the local newspapers / journals prior to arrival. (seek to understand cultural, social, economic, etc topics of the day)
By Gail Saari.(Adaptation)
The Penan are the most traditional and nomadic of Borneo's tribes. The Penan people as a whole number approximately 10,000. A mere 400 have managed to retain their completely nomadic style of life. The rainforest they have depended upon for thousands of generations is now allocated as logging concessions to wealthy and politically-connected timber companies.
Because the Penan live in Malaysia's most commerically valuable remaining forests, they are being hit especially hard by logging and plantation operations.
For a short while, some international attention was directed at Sarawak, prompting the Malaysian government to make studies and promises.
Few promises have been kept...
Many of the Penan communities say their living conditions are significantly harsher now than when they were nomadic. The government sees people living in the forest as an embarrassment to the modern reputation of the country, and so forces them into Western styled housing.
The government promises clinics but the people cannot afford to travel to them.
Schools are far away and most parents have no way to pay the school fees anyways.
More and more people have been forced to leave the area entirely and move to coastal towns in search of work. A deliberate strategy to facilitate resource exploitation?
Logging has greatly increased in Penan areas , since there are few valuable trees left in other parts of the country.
Perhaps the greatest tragedy of all is that we will never know what is falling beneath the chainsaws of the loggers and plantation developers. The only people who are close enough to the forest to know its richness and diversity are also rapidly losing their own battle for cultural survival, and with their demise go their traditional lore. The ancient peoples of Borneo have long been tied to land in an intricate harmony of use and care where the forest flourished and they flourished. They are few and politically marginalized, but they continue to struggle to protect this way of life.
yesterday, 27nov10, 3.30pm. i was on the eagle coach sdn bhd from penang to kl by PJE8831. guess what? at 3.40pm after 5 minutes traveled from the bus stations, my bag with another 2 other bags suddenly dropped off from the bus onto the road because the bus driver did not close the bag compartment carefully. after 1 hour waiting at the side of the road, our bags are still missing, they couldn't find it. so the bus continued the journey. we called the office but not the main office. there is no main office. no response at all. they said that they are not responsible for any lost and they refused to give us the manager's phone number if there is any! what a lame. my estimate lost is rm3k. please please BAN EAGLE COACH SDN. BHD. you better walk rather than travel with this bus.
I was surprised to see this sign at the airport in Langkawi, but even more surprised by a conversation I had with three colleagues from Malaysia and Singapore. Two of them have maids; one from Indonesia and one from the Phillapines. The third was a single male who whispered to me that the practice was somewhat like legalized human trafficking.
In the case of the Singapore resident who has a maid from the Philippines, the maid must work for 9 months to repay the agency fees and arrangements. The remaining 15 months of her contract she may keep her pay. In the case of the Malaysian resident, the Indonesian maid sends 50% of her earnings to the agency for a few months. Her contract is also for 24 months and can be renewed for one year after that but then must return.
I can't even speak about how wrong I think this is. I agree with my male colleague.
If you are planning to take a bus or taxi to your holiday destination, just make sure you avoid travelling on days leading up to a long holiday weekend, or on the last day of it. The traffic jams on our interstate highways are CRAZY.
Todays news is a good example... a 47.5km jam!!!
Buying a coach ticket from the main coach terminal in KL has always been a pleasant experience, especially with legion of coach companies that are always eager to offer the best price to attract customers like me. However, I notice some selling agents on top of selling seats provided by their own companies, are also selling seats belonging to another coach operator. In other words, a seat from a ticketing agent in Konsortium ticketing booth might not necessarily be one for a Konsortium coach but for a coach belonging to another operator, for e.g. Eagle Coach Sdn Bhd. I encountered such incident recently. I was on a coach belonging to Eagle Coach Sdn Bhd and it was scheduled to depart at 11am on 12 Apr from Bukit Jalil Bus terminal in KL to Sungei Nibong Coach terminal in Penang. The coach had a faulty air-conditioned system that failed to provide sufficient cool air inside the cabin and this was made worse by the immense heat from the afternoon sun that came straight at us throughout the journey. Along the way, passengers exchanged glances of frustration and at the same time were constantly fiddling with the the air-conditioned vent, hoping to get more cool air. All but in vain! Some resorted to using whatever pieces of paper or magazines they could lay their hands on to fan the heat away from thier bodies. What was even more exasperating was a complete lack of movable windows which we could open to let in air.
Seemingly, the faulty air-conditioned unit must have taken its toll on the vehicle when I noticed our coach was easily overtaken by heavy-laden trucks in many instances. Our driver made stops to check on the vehicle but the situation did not improve. The sales girl who sold me the ticket assured me that the journey would take around 4 and a half hours. But when we reached our destination, we had actually endured the suffocating condition and unbearable heat for 5 hrs and 45 mins! Together with 2 passengers who were seated infront of me, we decided to approach the Konsortium counter staff at Sungei Nibong Coach Terminal for an explanation. Obviously, they must have gotten their tickets from Konsortium ticketing booth in KL.
We had a rude shock when the counter staff behind the Konsortium ticketing booth told us to head back to KL bus terminal and complain to the staff who sold us the tickets instead. But were they not all from the same company, Konsortium? Despite our persistent pestering, they did not offer any good explanation or assurances, and even after making a call reluctantly to their counterpart in KL. What we were upset was not about why the air-conditioned system broke down when we least expecced it, but the lack of a service-oriented attitude of a responsible and ethical service provider. There was no effort made to assuage the customer's frustration, not to mention about their willingness to empathise with a customer who had barely survived a service breakdown.
Isn't after-sales customer service not about accountability and making sure what a customer pays for is delivered? This is one of the worst and absurd customer service treatments I have ever encountered. I have read and heard of many cases of bad after-sales customer service and this is certainly one of the most classic examples and pitfalls that many aspiring businesses would want to avoid. And I am extremely disappointed to see this occurring in Malaysia where tourism remains as one of the key sectors of country's economy. I hope my experience will serve as a wake up call to those black sheeps out there who, if left unchecked, could potentially destroy all the good that everyone has painstakingly built.
- you get invited to a house for a meal
- you get shown how to play a card game and win
- you play cards and win for a while, but before you can continue and collect, you are asked to show you can cover the bet by providing cash
- then you lose...
The stories that support all this are extremely well delivered and researched, so it would be easier to be drawn in than you would expect. If it sounds too good to be true...
There is a post from another forum linked for more detail and a search on 'card game scam Malaysia' will give you a few more. Apparently quite common.
It is said that Malaysians like open air dining - ie when it is not raining in the evenings/nights... It is unlike open air cafes in European towns where tables are placed on verandahs... In many Malaysia towns, shop owners will occupy day-time car parking lots for the purpose... When this is not kept in check, like the current situation, shop owners are even more bold... They even claim car parking lots opposite their shops as if it is their right to do so...
Roadside dining can be cool in the evening/night, but it is dangerous for the diners... There are cases where speeding cars have crashed into them and some diners were killed or injured... This may be the in-thing, but remember, it can kill you when you are having a cuppa... A reckless driver and you may end up as the newspaper headlines story the following morning... So don't take risk with your life, avoid such places at all cost... It is not worth your life, there are many more places where you can have a cuppa without such risk...
If you are offered recreational drugs, don't be tempted! There have been cases where tourists were trapped and got into trouble because of this stupidity! The drug laws of Malaysia is hard and make sure to abide by their laws.
I am starting to believe this, that my country has the most Speed bumps in the whole world. You may not want to believe me because you, as tourists, are not driving, especially not driving at the residential area in this country.
Some of the residential area has had this self-made Speed bumps, built probably by the residents to reduce speeding of the illegal racing bikes and cars.
The people of this country has becoming addicted to the illegal bike races, that was because the super mini bikes that they are riding are as small as 125cc, known as Kapcai. These Kapcai bikes are feul saving machines, a full tank US$2.00 of petrol is good enough for them to accerelate a whole night, that also explain that there are rising of poverty, and even crimes as some of the Kapcai bikers are involved in rapes, robbings, gangsterism, etc.
I'm afraid such unclean environment is a little overly common in this side of our planet, this phenomenon has since accepted by most of the non-foreigners, many years ago. We believe it is morally no good to show to our guests such an eyesore picture. Nonetheless, my advise to our dear tourists is, please do not walk too far away from the designated tourists destination, it is not nice to let our dear visitors to be able to see so much of rubbish being thrown indiscriminately by the non-foreigners.
Look tourists, do you know what TBS is? Ok, vehicles that are half damaged or aging, will be sold to developing countries to recondition and use, to use until perhaps the next millennium. So, when you visit Malaysia, you can enjoy some of these semi-antique machines and they are in countless numbers, although old, they still moving fast and many of these heavy vehicles were 'branded', such as Merz. However, due to the ferocious corruption practices over here, these vehicles actually bypassed the standard inspection, as a result, you and me had to inhale tons of TBS into the lungs.
September 7, 2008, Only 25-60% vehicles failed tests: The vehicle inspection department said that between 25% and 60% of commercial vehicles checked in the Klang Valley failed their road-worthiness test, and not 80% as previously reported. news 1
Twenty-three vehicle inspection department employees will be dismissed after the company found them guilty of approving non-roadworthy vehicles and accepting bribes. They had also been found to have abused their powers.... news 2 more news
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