Eke & Brian - Bangkok to Bali - 2016 travel blog

View from our 14th floor room at the Ancasa Express

 

At the National Mosque

 

 

 

National War Monument

NOT the CN Tower

Royal Palace

 

 

Batu caves

 

Royal Selangor Pewter

 

The professional

The apprentice

Pewter swans

Pewter peacock

KL Tower


April 6, 2016, KL

Eke wakes up still feeling weak with a slight headache and upset stomach. Brian tells her that he has done some research overnight and we can cut the trip short by flying home from Singapore. We talk about it and decide that we will make the decision later today. Brian feels physically okay although he also feels little energy and the effects of the heat.

We decide to go on the half day city tour to several attractions with the group (in an air conditioned minivan). Eke will stay with the van if she doesn't feel up to getting out in the heat.

The tour first goes to the Malaysian National Mosque which can hold 15,000 people. The women are given a hijab and a long "coat". Brian is wearing shorts and is also required to wear a coat. The mosque is a beautiful building, most of it open to the air. There is an enclosed area we can look into through open doors. This is a prayer hall, open to muslims only.

Our local guide today is very knowledgeable. His name is Stevie and we have some trouble with him trying to be funny and telling us that he will make sure that we don't forget him! From the mosque we go to the National Monument. It is in remembrance of the wars of 1914-­1918, 1939­-1945 and 1948-­1960. The last war is called the "Emergency" ­ the fight for independence.

The sun is hot already and sweat is pouring down. The advantage is that a bathroom break is not necessary; ­ we sweat it out!

The third stop is at the King's Palace. Eke decides to stay in the van. Brian does get out to take photos. There are nine monarchs in Malaysia and each takes a five-year term as King of Malaysia. They take their turns residing in this huge property in the middle of KL.

The palace is high on a hill behind huge gates which are guarded by ceremonial guards on foot and on horseback.

Then it was on to Batu Caves. Batu Caves is a limestone hill that has a series of caves and cave temples. It takes its name from the Sungai Batu (Batu River), which flows past the hill and also it is the tenth (Pattu in Tamil) limestone hill from Ampang. The cave is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India.

It is a climb of 272 steps up to the caves. We both decide to stay in an air conditioned restaurant, have a cool drink and admire all the birds nests for sale. There is a real industry here in Malaysia of collecting birds nests, putting them through a cleaning process and selling them ­ for 7,000 Malaysian Ringgit ($2,200) per kg ­ to make birds nest soup! Said to be a delicacy.

Our last stop is to the Royal Selangor Pewter factory founded by a Chinese entrepreneur. We see the process of shaping and shining the tin alloy. Eke is given a small hammer to make the dents into a pewter cup. Not easy to make them even!

Of course there is a beautiful shop with all kinds of wonderful pewter items and we buy a pewter tea caddy ­for Eke's tea collection! Brian discovers that he does not have the credit card with him. We count how much cash we have with us, but it is not enough. A bit embarrassing! Then he realizes that he still has cash in his camera bag in the bus. He goes and gets the money and is able to pay for the tea caddy.

There is a cafe next to the shop and our group enjoys a coffee/tea with some sweets/croissant which turns out to be our lunch.

We spend the afternoon in our room and make the decision to go home from Singapore.

Eke is not feeling well at all and we both are not looking forward to another 2 weeks of constant travel in the heat.

Changing our return flights proves to be a very frustrating process. Being told to make the changes on line (which the computer tells Brian is not possible), calling Canada (on hold for 15 minutes) and the Kuala Lumpur Air Canada office. None of them is able to do it for us. Brian finally decides to just cancel our original flights from Bali to Hong Kong and Hong Kong to Toronto and he books a "new" flight from Singapore ­to­ Toronto.

Eke starts to feel quite sick and after a vomiting episode we decide to make another visit to the hospital here. Ant (our Tour Leader) is very helpful; she joins us as we take a taxi to the nearest hospital. The hospital is not as modern and luxurious as the one in Krabi, but very clean and very efficient. We don't have to wait long. The doctor is very chatty, asks many questions about Eke's name and its origin, the tour, how long we are staying, etc. He takes his time with the whole process and concludes that Eke may have the flu. He is mostly concerned though with Eke's blood pressure which is very high. He would like Eke to come back after a few days to check on it again but we are leaving KL the next day. He gives Eke some more medication which we can pick up at the pharmacy right there in the hospital.

Back in our room we are convinced that we have made the right decision to go home from Singapore.

Brian makes an outing to pick up our clean laundry and also a sandwich which he thinks is an egg salad sandwich but turns out to be a tuna sandwich which neither one of us like! Fortunately he also has picked up a loaf of bread and we share a few pieces of dry white bread!

Then it is time to go to sleep.



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