Tanjung Tuan and the Cape Rachado Lighthouse


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July 30th 2015
Published: July 30th 2015
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First off, an apology for the nearly three-week delay in getting this blog out. The funny thing about writing for a living is, well...when you're done working for the day, the last thing you want to do is sit down at your computer (again) and edit photos (again) and write (again). Even for me, who LOVES to write, it's a little bit of overkill.

But fear not! I had some free time tonight (and a smattering of creativity leftover somewhere in my brain), so I thought I'd fire off an update, assure you that we're still alive and well, and send some photos along from the past few weeks.

These pictures are actually "Part Two" of my last blog about Malacca. On our drive home the next day, we hugged the coastline and ended up near the resort town of Port Dickson. Now, before you get TOO jealous, let me tell you that the west coast of Malacca is NOT known for its beaches. The Strait of Malacca is narrow and shares its border with nearby Indonesia, and the water is not exactly the cleanest, clearest water on earth. Hence the reason you never see Malaysia listed on any "World's Greatest Beaches" lists (not the mainland, anyway. East Malaysia is a whole different story).

But I digress.

I got a tip from a fellow travel blogger to skip the "resort town" area and instead drive out this tiny winding road onto Cape Rachado. Once there, we parked our car and paid one Ringgit each (about 30 cents) to hike up a surprisingly steep jungle trail to the very end of the cape. The path was paved, thankfully, but I won't lie - it was HOT in that jungle. We were the only two souls in sight, save for the occasional monkey and the relentless, almost deafening roar of insects. By the time we neared the end of the trail, we'd drained our water bottles and were really wishing we'd brought a few more gallons with us.

Why, you might ask, would we subject ourselves to such misery?

Because of the view.

Yes, after a long, sweaty, complaint-filled hike, we reached the remote Cape Rachado Lighthouse. "Rachado"...hmmmmm. That doesn't sound very Malaysian, does it? You're correct! This lighthouse is in fact the oldest in the entire country, dating back to the Portuguese occupation in the sixteenth century. As you can tell from the photos, this is obviously NOT a 500-year old lighthouse (the current one dates to 1863). However, a lighthouse has stood on this same spot, in one form or another, since 1511!! Pretty cool, if you ask me.

When we rounded the far side of the lighthouse, we truly felt like we were on a desert island. Not only were we the only two people for probably miles around, but we were looking out across untouched rainforest to an amazingly clear view of the Indian Ocean. Alas, due to the midday sun, mosquitos, and the ever-present threat of death by heat exhaustion, we didn't linger too long. But the hike was more than worth the view, and the journey down was nice and easy.

Otherwise, we've pretty much been hunkered down in our lovely little flat in the city. I recently completed my TEFL course (to teach English) and Jeremy's in the middle of his, so that's kept us busy. I also landed a part-time job curating articles and creating content on 10 websites for a new start-up company (mostly related to health, fitness, and sports). It's quite different than any
Nasi LemakNasi LemakNasi Lemak

Perhaps Malaysia's most popular dish - fried chicken, rice, boiled egg, peanuts, anchovies, and spicy sambal sauce. I know it sounds weird, but trust me...it works!
other work I've had before, but I'm enjoying it so far. I'm also in the midst of getting a real, live, PROFESSIONAL travel blog set up...but more on that as it develops.

I've also thrown in some photos of the variety of different food we've been eating lately. I finally realized that it is, in fact, MUCH cheaper to eat out than to try to cook at home. It's sad to admit, but the only type of food I really know how to cook is either Italian or Mexican. Back home, those are inexpensive meals. But here, it's all imported stuff, so you're paying a premium for items like pasta or tortillas. Don't get me wrong; I still need my western food fix every now and then. And I'm having fun introducing our new local friends to strange, "exotic" delicacies such as chips and salsa, guacamole, and tacos.

But for the most part, we've been eating local. There's a "bistro" across the street from us (translation: cheap Indian/Malay food with plastic tables, baby chairs, and questionably hygienic silverware) that we dine at nearly every night of the week. Tandoori chicken, nasi lemak, garlic naan, lamb curry...it's all there,
Sirap BandungSirap BandungSirap Bandung

Condensed milk with rose syrup. Yes, it's really that color. Yes, it tastes like roses. Yes, it's DELICIOUS!
it's all delicious, and it's all about $2 a plate. The first time we wandered in, I was fairly certain that we were the first white people to ever set foot inside. Now they don't even give us a second glance, so I guess they're getting used to us.

It's crazy to think about, but we've already been here for two months!! You know what that means...we're only a few weeks away from our first "obligatory vacation" across the border. Yes, if you've been feeling a little neglected in the incoming travel blog department, no worries. Fourteen days in INDIA is going to give my writer's brain plenty of fodder for new blogs!

What's on the itinerary? We fly from KL about 4 hours north and west to the city of Chennai, down near the southern tip of the country. There we'll rendezvous with an old buddy of mine from Florida, Elizabeth, spend a few days acclimating, and then fly up north to begin our tour of the "Golden Triangle" (aka the touristy circuit most first-timers travel). We fly from Chennai to Jodhpur, an ancient fort town in the vast Thar Desert of western India. My goal while
Sunrise!Sunrise!Sunrise!

No, this is not Photoshopped. Yes, the sun really rises between the Petronas Towers and the Sky Tower. No, we are NEVER awake early enough to see this.
in Jodhpur is to ride both a horse AND a camel across the sand dunes, but if I only get to do one, I'll try to catch the other in our next stop of Jaipur (also a desert town). From there, we'll catch the train to Agra and make an obligatory visit to the Taj Mahal. Our final stop will be the capital, New Delhi, where we'll see some awesome bazaars, mosques, forts, palaces, and whatever else is there waiting for us.

I'm the first to admit that I know little-to-nothing about Indian history or culture, except what I've gleaned from my dear Indian friends in Canada and the exposure we've had to it here in Malaysia. So...I'm excited to jump into a place that I know so very little about! In case I fail to get another blog out between now and then, expect the next one to come sometime around August 15th from Chennai, India!

(More photos below!)


Additional photos below
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Chicken RiceChicken Rice
Chicken Rice

No, it's not as exotic-sounding as nasi lemak, but this cousin is pretty darn tasty too! Boiled chicken and white rice get dressed up with cilantro, bean sprouts, and all the spicy chili-garlic sauce you can eat.
Pattaya Kway TeohPattaya Kway Teoh
Pattaya Kway Teoh

This is a sort of hybrid Malay/Thai dish. An egg omelette stuffed with rice noodles, chicken, veggies, and killer Thai chilis. The spiciest dish I've had here so far!


30th July 2015

Beautiful scenes!
I could get used to $2 dinners, even with silverware of questionable cleanliness. Two words: disposable chopsticks. Can't wait to see and hear about India!

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