Melaka sunset

This beautiful mosque sits on a tiny island near the city center, but its sereneness might as well be on the other side of the world from the chaos found on Jonker Street.

Masjid Selat Melaka

Entrance to Masjid Selat Melaka

The name of this modern mosque, is the Melaka (Malacca) Straits Mosque or Masjid Selat Melaka due to it basically being built on top of the Melaka Straits. To find this somewhat hidden gem you’ll need to catch a ride by taxi, Uber, or Grab to the diminutive, man-made Pulau Melaka. The journey from the heart of the city takes about 15-20 minutes depending on the traffic. If you need some peace from all the hustle and bustle of the old town or if you just want to witness a sunset at a pretty special place I highly recommend a trip out to the “Floating Mosque.”

There was a small, quiet crowd for sunset and more than a few photographers, but nothing in scale compared to Angkor Wat. We weren’t too stressed about grabbing the right shot, so we made it there about 30 minutes before sunset and still find some pretty nice angles to take pictures.

Sunset at Masjid Selat Melaka

Sunset at Masjid Selat Melaka

Mosque at darkPrayers lined up

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Malaysia, Photography, Travel

The Floating Mosque of Melaka

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Mosque

Masjid India Klang

To say that Klang is off the tourist map may be an understatement as evidenced by one of the locals approaching me and asking “Why are you here?” and “Do you know where you are?” As I was able to answer his questions and assure him that we were not lost he and his friends shared some tips for the area and some different festivals we should know about for the future. We thanked them and heartily shook hands as we went our separate ways. Klang may not see many tourists, but their friendliness will certainly make them feel welcome when they do come. We received quite a few hearty “hellos” and waves as we roamed aimlessly around the city. In addition to that a man and his elderly grandmother welcomed us to Malaysia as we were shopping in the market. The people may be Klang’s best asset, but there is plenty more to experience there.

Road in front of the train station

The main thoroughfare in front of the train station

 

Towering over the city is the Indian Mosque, highlighted by its blue dome and minarets. Apparently the interior is supposed to be stunning, but as we are still getting accustomed to traveling around the area we didn’t have the proper attire to enter. We know for next time what we need to have with us to ensure we can enjoy the full experience. Continuing past the mosque is Little India, filled with intoxicating sounds and smells that flood your senses. We were starving due to our late start, so we found a busy restaurant just off the main path for lunch. It turned out to be our first banana leaf experience. The portions were tremendous and the prices low. Suria Curry is definitely worth a stop if you find yourself in the area.

 

Feeling stuffed we continued wandering around the area, dodging into back alleys, popping into various shops, trying to take it all in. We visited the Chennai Silk Palace, which is housed in an old bank building. The vast interior is filled to the brim with beautiful silk textiles in every shade imaginable. In the heart of the store is a massive loom showing the intricate way in which silk used to be woven.

 

We continued our improvised tour east along a busy road eventually turning left, back towards the train station. Here the road curves and you can see the buildings curving with it, making for some great photo opportunities. Feeling a bit hot from walking around we ducked into the Sultan Abdul Aziz Royal Gallery, which is a free museum of collections from the life of the sultan. After strolling through the galleries we continued west towards the Kota Bridge, which was Malaysia’s first double-decked bridge.

 

Kota Bridge

The lower level of the double decker Kota Bridge

Underneath the bridge an artist has painted a call the revive the area around the Klang River, showing its varied history and colorful past. We climbed up to the upper deck of the bridge where there is a pedestrian path. From the path you have a clear view of the North Klang Royal Town Mosque built right on the banks of the river. Its gold dome and unique minaret are worth the climb up to the bridge, especially if you can frame your pictures without the enormous hotel in the background.

North Klang Royal Town Mosque

North Klang Royal Town Mosque (Masjid Bandar Diraja Klang)

Walking around had drained us of our energy, so we walked back into the old town center to find some coffee. We happened upon a quaint cafe right before they closed and sat down with two iced lattes. Here again the welcoming spirit of the people in Klang shown through as the woman working came over and spoke at great length with us about where we were from and what brought us to Malaysia. She doled out some advice on local places to eat for the next time we visit. We thanked her for her advice and hospitality and promised to come by again when we were in the area. As the sun was setting and we still had an hour train ride ahead of us we headed for the train station and said goodbye to Klang, but most assuredly not for the last time.

 

Malaysia, Travel

Making Friends in the City of Klang

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Living Abroad, Malaysia

Settling in Malaysia

I can’t believe we’ve been in Malaysia for three weeks! It would be quite the understatement to say that we’ve been busy. For the first two weeks all of our time was taken up either at my new job receiving training and preparing for the new school year or finding an apartment and getting everything set up. We’re still not even fully settled in the apartment yet, half our belongings are strew around the spare room and our wi-fi won’t even be installed until next week(thank goodness for mobile hotspots).

All in all, though, it’s been an incredible experience. The group of new staff I came in with have been ace and are really the first friends we made since we spent so much time together in the beginning. The school is impressive, with how passionate all of the staff are and how engaged the students are. The apartment we choose is massive, more space than we need, but after not having our own place for the past year, spreading out has been marvelous. Eventually, I’ll post some type of tour once the dust has settled.

The people we have encountered have all been super friendly and helpful. Frequently the people we meet can speak English, so that’s made life much easier for us compared to our transition in China. I’m still getting used to everyone driving on the “wrong” side of the road here and I’m always forgetting which way traffic will be coming at us as we’re walking around.

Sadly, we haven’t had too much time for exploring, but we plan to rectify that during the next two weekends. So hopefully my next post will include some nice exploration pictures with some travel details and I hope to start posting more regularly now that we’re at least home.

Standard

Today’s the day! All our bags are packed, all of our goodbyes are said, and we’re sitting in the airport waiting for our transpacific flight. These past 8 months at home with friends and family have been wonderful. We’ve enjoyed the time we spent together. Now on to a new phase of our lives. New experiences are waiting for us and we intend to make the most of them.

I hope to get in a regular schedule of posting once we get settled in KL. Until then, here’s hoping for smooth travel and a comfortable hotel bed 25 hours in the future.

Malaysia, Travel

Moving Day

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I’ve accepted a counseling position with an international school in Kuala Lumpur. My wife and I are totally pumped for this new chapter in our lives. We spent a few days in KL during our “Funemployment” trip in November and loved the energetic vibe of the city, the mix of cultures, and the exquisite food options. Now we’ll get to explore the city and the country more in depth and share it with you, my faithful readers.

Towers

What this means in the short term is changes in my posting and frequency of posts. We leave in about three weeks and in that time we have to move all of our stuff, shop for things we need to bring with us, catch up with friends and family, and all the other things I’m forgetting. In addition to all that, we celebrate 10 YEARS(!!) of marriage next week, so that’s a few days out of the schedule.

KL

In the long term I’m looking at making some changes to the blog and this move abroad provides a nice fresh start to make changes. I’m still going through some of my options to choose what I think would fit me best moving forward, but I’ll try to keep you updated.

Architecture in KL

Anyone else out there with exciting news that they want to share? I’d love to hear about it in the comments down below.

Malaysia, Travel

Exciting News: The Counselor is on the move!

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Traffic jam

Apparently traffic really only wants to go one way on this major road in Yangon.

Favorite Photo Friday, Myanmar, Photography

Favorite Photo Friday: Traffic Jam

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Old and newHanging onOpen air busCatching a ride

Photography, Travel, Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday: Buses in Yangon

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