Sunday, July 8, 2012

Caves, food and good company.

Sitting on the couch listening to the rain is certainly one way to relax and reflect on a motorbike trip. Especially in Ipoh. Ipoh is north of KL and south of Penang. And its got great food and loads of limestone cliffs/caves around that just make you want to smile.

Even now as we directly headed for Thailand, Ronnie, a local biker/guide master has very generously taken us into his family home. He's fed us 'evil pork' from the local Chinese food square and showed us around his local area and to his favourite western restaurant. Last night we dined in western food hell! 

We spent the evening chatting about life in Malaysia and the nitty gritty things that we don't really appreciate that we take for granted back home. One thing clearly rings loud and true that Ronnie reminded us throughout the evening. 'Malaysia is not its government.' With a basic understanding and hearing many stories about the running of this place...thank Zeus for that.

Not as scary as it sounds though. It was a good culinary difference to the norm. We have been very religiously eating local street food and meals from coffee shops. Basically the coffee shop is a restaurant area with many little stalls that sell a main dish or two or one may even just sell only drinks.

Really can't stress that paying $2p/p for awesome food rocks big time.

The cooking areas are 1/4 the size of a western kitchen. But they pump out the goods.

Took many a photo of these little guys around one of the cave temples. I particularly like this one with his Zenphone.

First cave temple with its own garden out the back!

Coga (cave yoga).

Ronnie got a bit cinematic with the camera in the cave.

My little macro friends. These guys were like 3cm high. Chilling.

Wish I could do yoga here. Alas the hut is only 5cm high.

A royal gate! Let us is my lord!

A vist to a Commonwealth war grave. Many an Aussie/Pom/Indian to be seen here. Lest we forget. 

Ronnie dominating the new camera again. He can take a photo the man.  Location, Taiping, Perak.

Ronnies beast. A 200cc duelsport monster.

Clarissa inspecting the workshop at a Penang bike assembly plant.

This basically sums up test rides. Give it hell!

Potential steed for Malaysia next time?

Maintenance. Love it.

Everyone we've met has been outstanding and real golden ambassadors for their country. Yea sure theres been a couple of shifty characters. Nothing thats caused us any drama though. 
We've been taken in by part of the spectrum of the local populace including the Chinese background and Malay background. Both proud to show their Malaysian hospitality and both equally eager to look after a random blond girl and bearded orangoutang. On top of that we're smelly bikers! Speaking of smelly, did I mention it takes one day of riding for us to smell like death? Mental note to self...Don't buy black riding gear again...even if its on special.

Ronnie is putting together his "No bullshit" overland Malaysia travel guide. Primarily aimed at overland  motorcyclist, although when completed you will see me put on money on it being more useful than the phoney planet or useless guide by a long shot. As we must return to visit our Malaysian families in the future, we shall certainly be investing in a copy ourselves. Alas next time in south east asia, under Ronnie's advice, we will be 'underboneing' on a couple of Honda EX5's. I certainly agree with Ronny that riding a small 100cc scooter in Malaysia/Thaiand/Laos if you have time on your side is the best way to do it. Ultimate mobility combined with 'when in rome' styling. To top it off they cost...BUGGER ALL!

Our new underwater case has finally turned up so we can offically head north to get our Visa's for Thailand. We also certainly want to ride around Penang to have a look. Especially so as Clarissa's Nan used to live in Penang when her husband was posted in the Army there years ago. Initially we wanted to spend a week there but we've spent that time here with Ronnie whilst he graciously showed us around his fantastic home town. Personally for me, I remember the people not the places so I would rather spend time with Ronnie than walk around playing tourist any day.

We head to Penang tomorrow morning for our Thailand tourist visas. Excited to be going to our third country we are.

Ronnie also lives literally next door to the biggest Buddha statue I've seen in South East Asia. Complete with cave temple. Yea... No biggy....

Ronnies place is awesome. Best yoga location to date.

Local bike shop... Hate to see the warehouse...

And on a complete side note though. I would like to take the time to raise awareness of the evil of the Australian Vaccination Network. Even though we're not doing our trip to charity or raise awareness for a cause I would like to bring to light the below. They're a group that is basically bringing back preventable diseases. Not only are they spreading lies and misinformation but they are seriously endangering those that can't be protected. Even though they are promoting lies he worst part though is that if your child, for some unfortunate reason, cannot be vaccinated can potentially have these disease passed on by an un-vaccinated child. A quote from wikipedia.

"The Australian Vaccination Network (AVN), formerly known as the Vaccination Awareness Network, is an Australian anti-vaccination lobby group registered in New South Wales. It is dedicated to the idea that one's health can be maintained without the use of pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines. The organisation has lobbied against a variety of vaccination-related programs, downplayed the danger of childhood diseases such as measles and pertussis, championed the cause of alleged vaccination victims, and promoted the use of alternative medicine such as homeopathy and chiropractic.
The AVN has been described as a provider of "misleading, inaccurate and deceptive" vaccination information by the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission and has been heavily criticised by doctors and other experts on immunisation. The group has been called the "stronghold of the anti-vaccination movement" in Australia and is subject to widespread criticism from medical professionals, scientists and other proponents of vaccination.
From wikipedia -

If you hear or see these clowns, or hear of someone spewing their rubbish - make sure you sort them out. Quick smart. Swift kick to the head at a minimum will be completely appropriate. Its a bloody sad day to see preventable disease returning to certain areas of Australia when its the work of misleading and downright rubbish being spread. As Peter Griffin would say “this really grinds my gears”. I do apologise for the rant about this but someone needs slap them up and down with a wet fish.

To leave this post on a high note though. Beer is cheaper in Thailand! Horray!

Clarissa sorting the Aussie wine out at Tesco.

Curry Noodles. Delivered to your door. 


  1. Clarneil ROCKS.

    And Ipoh misses two White People already ...

    1. Mate we miss you! Hope the ride into the red zone went well!

      On the border crossing they wanted to use our carnets as I had showed them so they could copy eng/vin no. Alas we were very adamant that we needed the TIP and also required three months for it (they only wanted to give us one initially). They even printed Clarissa's TIP with 30 days and then after some classic 'begging' changed it to 180.

      This was a sigh of relief after the kick in the pants 30 days we were given on our VISA. We then realised after staying for a night in Satun we could have got our extension there at the immigration office. Alas there's one here in Krabi too.

      We've gone straight to Krabi as our friends at bike week didn't seem to be able to make it (wish I had of stayed for the red zone now!).

      Take it easy brother and we shall see you in the future for some EX5 adventure riding!

    2. I take the 30 day visa part back... We were given 60 days... Somebody forgot the month of August existed.


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