Category Archives: Malaysia

Sipadan Borneo diving – best in the world? Loved Semporna Archipelago!

Sipadan in the Semporna Archipelago was the best SCUBA diving I’ve ever done; it’s often rated by many as one of the top dive destinations in the world. The whole Semporna Archipelago was amazing!

Jacques Cousteau referred to Sipadan in the Semporna Archipelago as ‘an untouched piece of art’ – the crown jewel of the diving is Sipadan. Lucky for you, I rented an underwater camera to capture some of the experience, including lots of sharks! Here’s some of my underwater photos from Sipadan.

I was still learning how to dive (buoyancy, breathing, equalizing, etc) when I added underwater photography to the mix, so there’s much improvement to be made in future dives, but this should give you a feel for the experience.

To get there from KL I flew to Tawau, on Malaysian Borneo. Then I took a road trip to a sleepy fishing town called Semporna, and the next morning I took a boat out to Mabul, my home base foor SCUBA diving on the Semporna Archipelago. Some areas in Borneo take quite a bit of time effort to get to, but this was worth it.

Adventures in Borneo

My next destination after KL was Borneo, an amazing playground with wildlife, natural wonders, and adventure.

Trivia: Borneo’s the third largest island in the world. Can you name the 1st two?

Borneo actually includes three countries: Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia.  The vast majority of Borneo (73%) is Indonesian territory (Kalimantan). The area that interested me most is Malaysian Borneo – the Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah.  Also, the sovereign state of Brunei, located on the north coast, comprises about 1% of Borneo’s land area.  [Wikipedia]

[mappress mapid=”7″]

 

Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur | Architecture in Malaysia

Photos: Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur | Architecture in Malaysia
Petronas Towers

The Petronas Towers , also referred to as Malaysia’s Twin Towers, in Kuala Lumpur. The Petronas Towers were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 until surpassed by Taipei 101, but remain the tallest twin buildings in the world to this day (the Sears Tower / Willis Tower in Chicago is taller if you include their antenna).

Photos: View of the Petronas Towers from the KL Tower in Kuala Lumpur | Architecture in Malaysia
View of the Petronas Towers from KL Tower in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

 

Wikipedia’s list of the tallest buildings and structures in the world

My 1st haircut on Foreign Soil

Malaysian haircut

You wouldn’t think that something as simple as a haircut would be worth telling about, but when you’re traveling, even a haircut can be an adventure!

After a month of travel, it was time for my first time getting a haircut abroad. This should be interesting. I was in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital city, and the pouring rain altered my initial plans.  The receptionist sat me down at a chair and handed me a card to choose choose the services I wanted, and the level of experience of the hair stylist (different charges for each).

A Shampoo Massage?

A girl in a mini-skirt and stiletto heels came over and introduced herself and said she’d be washing my hair.  She was dressed to go straight to the clubs afterward. I started getting up, assuming it would be at a sink. It wasn’t.  She tied up her shirt and said she’d begin. I sat in the chair while she sprayed my hair with water (and herself), and started massaging the shampoo into my hair. She was dancing to the music as she lathered. A little head massage may be typical, but the massage moved down to my neck, and then shoulders.  What the?  Surprise!  After a long day of hiking it actually felt outstanding. I had been thinking of going to get a massage after the haircut. Is that normal for everyone’s haircuts in KL?

Raiders Plane in Malaysia??

NFL to Asia??

One of the big challenges about traveling are the things you miss from home. My New York Jets (American football) were in the playoffs, but I was in Malaysia!  I was excited to learn that my NY Jets playoff run took them all the way to the AFC Championship game.  Unfortunately, I was set to arrive in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, one day before the game. It’s a region of the world without any NFL fans. None!

KL is a major city, so my plan was to investigate if there’s any tiny sports bar that might have it (spoiler alert – there’s not). So I was thinking it would be a challenge, but imagine my reaction as we landed right next to this:

Air Asia, proud sponsor of the Oakland Raiders! That’s puzzling to most people because american football isn’t remotely popular in Malaysia, and they don’t even fly to the U.S.

That’s right – This is an Air Asia plane, with a custom Oakland Raiders wrap/paint job. At first I thought it was just Raider colors, but a closer look revealed that the side of the plane featured the name, the logo, and even images of the Raiderettes!
Why would a discount Asia carrier have a jet that’s decked out in Raiders colors?  My first fleeting thought was hopeful, incorrectly thinking perhaps there’s a small NFL fanbase here that they’re catering to. There’s not. They don’t even fly to the United States.