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Malaysia

Motto: "Unity is Strength"

Currency Ringgit (RM) (MYR). 1RM = .231USD (appx 4RM to 1USD...divide RMs by 4 to get USD)

Population: 32,447,385

...is a country in Southeast Asia.  The federal constitutional monarchy consists of thirteen states and three federal territories, separated by the South China Sea into two regions, Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo's East Malaysia.  Malaysia has its origins in the Malay kingdoms which, from the 18th century, became subject to the British Empire, along with the British Straits Settlements protectorate.  Peninsular Malaysia was unified as the Malayan Union in 1946.  Malaya was restructured as the Federation of Malaya in 1948 and achieved independence on 31 August 1957.


Find out more, right where I found it!: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur

July 11th to July 20th, 2022 

Arrived today, July 11th.  Immediately could see, hear, and smell the rich flavors of cultural diversity and wonderful restaurants. 

Part of the attractiveness of the type of travel I am doing -  moving to various locations, based on what I want to see - that each city I land in brings new surprises and new things to explore.  Desaru is a coastal vacation destination for Malaysians, Singaporeans and many others, and far removed from the hustle and bustle of city life.  I did not realize just how remote it would be, while I planned to spend a month there biking, swimming and running, it did not really turn out to be the right place for that.  However I was able to play 4 rounds of Golf on the Els course.  Back to Kuala Lumpur and the surprises it brought.


Excellent and incredible variety of restaurants such as: Food in the Woods, Happy Bread Bakery, The Brew House, Super Pot, The Sam Hong Old Style Restaurant, Yomies Rice & Yogurt, and The Chicken Clay Pot.  I choose the latter to try.  It was nothing short of a masterpiece of food.  I had the Sesame Chicken.  Most delicious!  Cazmen was a super waiter, he said, "Many nice food.  Many nice views. Many nice people."  I asked what is the best thing to do in Kuala Lumpur?  He said quickly and with a great smile, "Eat!!"


Here's the pictures of the day!

Johor Bahru

July 8th, 2022

The city has about 500,000 inhabitants (2010), and its metropolitan area has about 1.4 million.  Due to its proximity to Singapore, Johor Bahru is frequently visited by tourists from Singapore particularly on weekends.  Shopping and eating in the city can be a real adventure, with many shopping complexes, restaurants, cafes and a wide variety of local, Asian and Western food establishments offering from street food to fine dining. There are also plenty of spas, massage parlours, resort hotels, karaoke, night markets, pubs and nightclubs in the city.  Here's the 


source: https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Johor_Bahru.


So let's go find out about Johor Bahru.  Here's what I found:


Is that Kentucky Fried Chicken?!!  Yes.  Sometimes it's nice to just know what you're going to get!  I was tired of guessing about various foods and what to expect and being disappointed, but the Colonel's 11 herbs and spices never let you down!


I also needed that salad!  Ensuring I don't fat during this whole Unbelievable Journey!


Egg Tart - love these little things and this one from Malaysia lived up to the egg tart reputation!  Other egg tarts I have tried:

Hawaii 

San Francisco 

Los Angeles 

All in the various China Towns

Tiara Desaru

Arrived June 27th left on July 7th


My stay in the Tiara Desaru was very relaxing, however it was not all roses. The day I got here I was sidelined by a flu. Yes, probably Covid. I thought I was never going to recover, took 6 long days, but I am better now!  


The Tiara Desaru was listed on AirBnB, overall a very enjoyable place to stay - I may return soon!  The staff was young, exciting and provided everything I needed.  They would often participate along side the residents in dinners, the pool and on the beach.  The Tiara is a good choice if you want to relax in solitude and take long walks on the beach.  It is not the vacation resort like the Hard Rock or Westin, but for me this was fine.      

The Tiara Crew Netting Fish


The Tiara staff catching Pomfrets - a fish that I immediately recognized as a Pompano.  They used a net that was about 50 yards long and 4 feet high.  In about 5 feet of water they dragged it along the beach to scoop up fish, crab, and anything else.  They caught 2 Pomfrets and were thrilled to show me their netting skills.  I loved how they carefully placed back all the sea life caught in their nets they did not plan to eat.


Pictured here is a great group of the hotel staff.  They were out fishing and invited me along.   Good kids!

These are fairly deep bodied ocean fish of family Carangidae (Jacks and Pompanos). and are prized eating fish worldwide. The family is, however, a bit confusing because some pompanos are called Butterfish and Pomfret while some fish from those families are called "Pompano".  I found this information online!  

The Rocks in Desaru, Thailand

June 29, 2022

The absolute most amazing rocks can be found here on the beaches of Malaysia.  There are huge chunks of rock that appear to be more metallic like than rock like.  They are twice as heavy as you might expect and look like molten lava metal instead of normal rocks.  Then right next to a silver metal rock you can see what appears to be a copper rock.  See these pictures!  If anyone knows a geologist that can shed light on what I am seeing it would be fascinating to learn about the formation of the rocks on this beach.

Getting Brave with Malaysian Food

July 4, 2022

Here is a sample of Malaysian food.  The chicken was very good...flavored just right with only salt and not any over powering spices.  I also had a fantastic lobster meal with rice, vegetables, and drinks all for 22 USD.  Can't beat that!

Desaru has 2 Ernie Els Golf Courses

July, 4, 2022

When you travel to Malaysia and visit the Desaru coastal area, you will find two great golf courses.  Both Ernie Els Country Clubs, the Ocean Course and the Valley Course.  The Ocean Course has 27 holes; Lakes, Coast & Ridge courses.  Challenging due to the multiple table top greens and narrow approaches, but forgiving fairways.  Hazards include families of little monkeys that will steal food, bags, and shoes!  I know this first hand!


The Valley Course, designed in part by ViJay Singh.  Come on Vijay!!  This course was extremely challenging due to the narrow fairways, elevated (much more elevated than the Ocean Course) greens and 180+ bunkers.  This is how they put it, "The Valley Course...is a completely different test compared to the Ocean Course. The small greens and sharp undulations mean that approach play must be precise in order to prevail against the course. The layout is as dramatic as you’ll find anywhere in the world...".  I agree, but let's just say your low score will be elusive here.  I do highly recommend the challenge.  

https://www.elsclubmalaysia.com/valley_course/


The Valley Course Restaurant: The Lembah:

The food looked great, however I did not go over the top, I ordered the International Club.  A fine choice, when your not excited about your score on the course!  I had a glass of white wine and was fine with the combination!

There is an abundance of various fruits in Malaysia.  I was able to eat as much Mango as I wanted.  Rambutan is the other fruit, I had often seen these little Lychee like fruit, but never sampled them.  They are very good, I must have ate a dozen after dinner.


Also pictured here is Sheila.  The was my Grab driver, however she also became my tour guide local cultural advisor.  She and her entire family constantly assisted me with advice on what to see, local restaurants, foods, and her brother ended up giving me a ride to Johor Bahru.