(written by Dave)
Very quiet day on Pangkor Island. The hotel is starting to fill up a little and I suspect that by the actual holiday in a few days this place will be hopping. Today, it is still pretty empty. We do have neighbours now at least. And people seem to come here from pretty much everywhere. In the last 24 hours we’ve met folks from Iran, Kazakhstan and the UK.
We had breakfast in the hotel but like most of our new neighbours, we had to search a little for lunch. There number one restaurant in Tripadvisor (Daddy’s Place) is down at the next beach. Quite funny actually as we went there for lunch and all the people we’ve been meeting in the last 24 hours were there eating. Food was nice, but I have to dobb Nancy in for her fish and chips order. I guess sometimes you just have to satisfy that craving for western food or have a comforting reminder of home. I had a nice satay – perhaps thinking ahead to Thailand.
In the afternoon we decided to make a list of all the hotels we’ve stayed in Malaysia. We’ve managed to find similar lists from other touring cyclists and they are great help. Plus it helped us recount some of the nicer, and not so nice, rooms we’ve stayed in (editor’s note – I think there are quite a few more in the ‘not so nice’ category than in the ‘nice’ category). We saved the names and few choice notes – we’ll have to figure out a place to post this once we finish with Malaysia.
While on the subject rooms, I’ve been meaning to post about a “feature” that we find in every room. That is, the ubiquitous Kiblat sign on the ceiling. For those not familiar with Islam, this literally translates to “the direction of Mecca”. Being an Islamic country, the arrow helps followers know which way to orient their prayer mats. I’m pretty sure that we will not have these in Thailand, or in many other countries which we travel. I suspect that the arrows are required by law as even the Chinese motels have them. While Malaysia doesn’t follow Sharia law, the population is 57% Muslim and they have a big influence.
While we were in the room today it rained pretty hard. Earlier Nancy asked the folks at reception to have our sliding glass door cleaned (it needed it really bad – quite common here) so we could actually see the sea out of our Sea View villa. Housekeeping came by almost right way, did an average job, actually creating lots of smudges, then it started to rain. I think the window now is dirtier. Ah, adventure travel is so glamorous. Even through the dirty windows, we managed to spot a couple horn billed birds flying outside. They didn’t come too close so the photos below are a bit fuzzy.
For dinner we headed back over to our favourite Chinese restaurant, around the corner. It was completely manic, as were all the other restaurants in this area – it’s obvious people have arrived for the long holiday. We ended up getting some food from the restaurant and brought it back here to eat at the hotel. Still good, even as take-away.
Another day here tomorrow to hang out, and then Tuesday morning we hit the road to head north.