Daily Archives: January 16, 2009

Asia – Day 8 – Bangkok

Since I last posted, we’ve traveled from Hong Kong to Singapore to Kuala Lumpur (and Putrajaya) and now to Bangkok (and Pattaya).  It’s all a bit of a blur for me, but here’s a quick recap:
Singapore – Days 4 & 5
Tour Guide: Francis
  • Jurong Bird Park – We caught a bird show where a parrot sang to us in three languages including Happy Birthday in English.  Very impressive.  Then we caught another bird show with all the big birds — hawks, vultures, eagles, etc.   One of the tricks was to have the huge vultures fly through the crowd right above people’s heads.  One of the birds along its path clipped my camera hand with its wings…. scared the bejeebers out of me!  I was videotaping and you can see the shake… I’m surprised I didn’t screem.  =)
  • Merlion Park – The merlion is the symbol of Singapore.  It’s a lion’s head on a fish’s tail.  The story has it that Singapore used to be a fishing town until a king saw a lion and made a sacrifice to it in order for the town to survive and thrive and so it did.  The lion represents the "new" singapore and the fish the old singapore
  • Sentosa – this is a resort town/island.  The best part here was the Songs of the Sea show which was a light show projected onto mist that was sprayed into the air.  It was pretty darn awesome.  Very hard to describe just how cool it was.

Kualu Lumpur – Days 6 & 7
Tour Guide: Diane

  • Thean Hou Temple – As temples go, this was just… "eh".  It wasn’t all that magnificent but I always like going to temples, so I enjoyed it all the same.
  • Twin Towers at KLCC – the twin towers were awesome. Diane was a fun tour guide and bribed us with out of print 2 Ringit notes for answering quiz questions correctly.  Thanks to her there are facts I actually still remember from Malaysia that I probably wouldn’t have.  For example, the twin towers have 88 floors.  The skybridge connecting the two are between floors 41 and 42.  One tower was built by a Japanese construction company and the other by a Korean one.  The two were built simultaneously.  The Japanese finished earlier by 1 day… however the Koreans had to build the bridge.  The building was completed in 1996; however, the grand opening ceremony wasn’t held until August 8, 1999 — the reason was due to Feng Shui and Chinese "lucky numbers".  The number 8 is very good luck so you’ll see lots of 8’s everywhere.  The number 9 sounds like the same word in chinese as the word for longevity, so it’s considered a lucky number meaning "forever" or "longevity".  Therefore, 8/8/99 is a super auspicious date.
  • Palace – We visited the King’s palace and had our pictures taken with the guards who sat on horses at the gate.  The guards have to stand/sit there for 4 hour shifts but the horses get swapped out every hour.  Right after I had my picture taken, the horse beside me pooed… I guess I just brought it out in him.  =O
  • Monument – We visited a monument that I’ll have to check the name of later.  It was a lot like a monument in DC — the one of the soldiers holding a flag up.  In fact, I think it was built after someone had seen the one in DC and decided it was a neat way to honour the country’s soldiers.
  • Putrajaya (the new city) – a new city was established an the new government center is being relocated there.  We had their famous chicken rice dish — pretty darn yummy and at 7 Ringits (2USD) it’s freakin’ cheap!

Phew!  That was a lot.  I’ll have to write more on Bangkok later.