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Welcome to My World

March 11, 2011 – 7:21 pm

I admit it. This picture was taken a few years ago, but I think I still look vaguely like that. Depends on the day (and the time of day). And today, just before I uploaded this picture, an Indonesian English student told me how much she liked my nose. I heard that a lot in Indonesia. Apparently, a large nose like mine is a good …

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North Sumatra Bike Trip 2018
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Reviews of the cycling gear, camping gear, and camera gear I use.

All, Malaysia »

Chap Goh Mei! Firecrackers, Temple Offerings, Lion Dances – Celebrating the End of CNY in Malaysia

February 21, 2019 – 4:43 pm
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Chinese New Year is a long and elaborate holiday. In fact, it lasts for 15 days, and the final day has lots of names. It’s known as Chap Goh Mei. It’s also the Lantern Festival. AND it’s Chinese Valentine’s Day. There are super-loud firecrackers, exciting lion dances, extensive temple offerings and rituals, PLUS Mandarin Oranges to find your one true love. What is a traveler to do on such an important day in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia?

Me, I did what I always do. I made some vague plans, went for a walk, and hoped to have small adventures along the way. And it worked out very well. My first stop was the 130-year-old Guandi Temple, dedicated to the God of War. From there, I roamed Chinatown and stumbled across quite an astonishing lion dance topped off with 88-foot strings of fireworks (2 of them!). That’s 176 feet of the loudest fireworks you can imagine. My morning ended there, as does this video.

In the afternoon, I went to the Suria KLCC mall to take in the Petronas Towers (the tallest twin towers in the world and once the tallest buildings in the world) and another lion dance. My time at KLCC and the Petronas Twin Towers is in the next video. There was one Chinese New Year Chap Goh Mei tradition I did not experience – the search for one’s true love with Mandarin oranges. But that leaves this tourist with something to do next year.

Hunting for LIONS in Malaysia! [The Chinese New Year Acrobatic Lion Dance]

February 18, 2019 – 5:28 pm
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Colorful, exciting, dramatic, funny, suspenseful. What could this be? The newest Pixar film? No, it’s the traditional Lion Dance for Chinese New Year. I really, really wanted to witness an acrobatic lion dance in Malaysia in which the performers leap from high pole to high pole. But, with my talent for missing things, I kept missing lion dances.
Other travelers and tourists told me about the …

Turtle-Warp Speed on the KL Monorail – EXPERIENCE KUALA LUMPUR FROM ABOVE!

February 16, 2019 – 6:07 pm
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I’ve ridden on the Kuala Lumpur LRT and the MRT at Warp Speed. Now it’s time for a ride on the KL Monorail – perhaps at Turtle Speed. Stretching 8.6 kilometers over 11 stations, the KL Monorail takes passengers through the heart of commercial, downtown Kuala Lumpur from KL Sentral through tourist-heavy Bukit Bintang and Chow Kit all the way to the terminal station of …

Revisiting my Childhood at the KL Butterfly Park (Part 2)

February 14, 2019 – 7:07 pm
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In Part 2, I dive back in to the heat of the Butterfly Park armed with a telephoto macros lens. My mission was to capture some close-up video of some of the dozens of species of butterfly fluttering around. In this, I was only partially successful. I blame it on the camera as it falls apart and refuses to either autofocus or even manual focus. …

Revisiting My Childhood at the KL Butterfly Park (Part 1)

February 13, 2019 – 9:20 pm
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I go full-on tourist once again as I visit the Butterfly Park in Kuala Lumpur. It’s kinda like the Bird Park but with 5,000-6,000 fluttery butterflies instead of a couple thousand feathery birds. I collected insects as a boy in Canada (butterflies, moths, beetles, dragonflies, ants, bees, wasps, etc), and I’ve been fascinated by them ever since. So when a Butterfly Park is located just …

Goodbye, Dog! Hello, Pig! Chinese New Year Traditions at Thean Hou Temple

February 8, 2019 – 1:26 pm
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Chinese New Year is the biggest and most lavish holiday event in the Chinese calendar. Families gather at home, at shopping malls, and at temples to celebrate. As a backpacker slash tourist, I chose to visit the inspiring Thean Hou Temple in Kuala Lumpur to begin my exploration of the traditions of this important festival.
The six-tiered Thean Hou Temple is dedicated to the goddess Matzu …

Shop Till You Drop at the Megamall – Window Shopping at the Gardens Mall

February 6, 2019 – 9:15 pm
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Shopping and shopping malls have become a big part of Chinese New Year celebrations. The malls organize sophisticated artistic and cultural displays, put on exciting lion dances, and install lavish decorations to attract customers during the biggest holiday of the year.
And it works! Malaysians flock to the malls to enjoy the festive atmosphere (and air conditioning), and I joined them for a stroll through Kuala …

Vlog: A Walk to Dhaka’s Buriganga River (Part 1)

December 16, 2018 – 10:29 am
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My first vlog from Bangladesh on The Cycling Canadian YouTube channel. In this episode, I walk from my hotel through the bustling city of Dhaka to the Buriganga River. I met lots of people along the way and saw plenty of amazing sights. And the river more than lived up to my expectations with the fascinating boat traffic.

26 – KTM Komuter Train to Kuala Lumpur

September 7, 2018 – 2:01 pm
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Friday, September 7, 2018
4:30 a.m. Room 7, Natalia Guesthouse (formerly Bird Nest)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
(37 ringgit per night/$9 US; small room; single bed; no sheets provided; no towel; no soap; fan only; no window; noisy; hot; shared bathrooms a long way away; but big and friendly lobby, kitchen, and other common areas; informal and relaxed)
I wish I could start this entry in this long email by …