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Wait and see - let's drink tea!

The third of September did not work out. Of course not.
But after we had received the Go for picking up the car the next day we immediately made our way to the office of the port agency, which was responsible for the Container discharge. On the way there heavy rain started, which at this time of the year is a thing you can rely on every day - unlike the shipping authorities ... but enough with the moaning - for the moment.

Chinese Temple
Black-naped pirol
Masjid Negara Kuala Lumpur

Usually Google Maps is very useful source for us when searching for a destination but this time it displayed nonsense when we tried to figure out the location of the port agencies' office. The taxi driver also used to have difficulties to find the address by himself so we couldn't avoid calling the office with our own mobile phone to get guided there by the staff. While the taxi driver apparently exchanged the latest gossip on the phone with the branch manager, the German Telekom, meanwhile, rubbed his hands. Since the roaming agreements between the different telecommunication providers do not reach over the European sandpit, even as a contract customer in this part of the world you have to face charges of 2.99€/min while doing a domestic call. My crazy waving from the passenger seat (Would the gentlemen using my mobile phone please hurry up, that is bloody expensive!) perhaps made it even worse.
After the second call, and ultimately at least 16 euros on my upcoming phone bill we arrived at the office, which you couldn't have found even if you had lived in the city for ten years already. With excruciatingly slow pace the on the other hand very friendly and helpful employee Saidi chauffeured us to the huge ... really hugely huge container port of Klang.

Petronas Towsers
Parliament House of Sarawak
Pitcher Plant on Borneo

With excruciatingly slow pace the on the other hand very friendly and helpful employee Saidi chauffeured us to the huge ... really hugely huge container port of Klang.
After final formalities on site we found ourselves back at the entrance of the port after also getting back our passports which have been withheld at the harbor entrance as a pledge. Now the tires had Malaysian ground among themselves, too. It was 4.30pm and we wanted to collect our container deposit of 500 euros the shipping agencies' office (again a different address), which would naturally close at 5.00pm. In the consciousness, not making it there on time when driving there with Saidi, we thanked him, said goodbye, quickly left the port and ensured Malaysian prejudices against Australian motorists (see our car's number plates). At 4.50pm we successfully picked up the deposit and were sure we wouldn't have to go to an ATM within the next time.

2013 we have already been in Malaysia. At that time we arrived in Kuala Lumpur by plane, coming from southern Thailand. Then we went south to the coastal town of Melaka and then to Singapore before we flew to Borneo (East Malaysia), where we met orang-utans as well as proboscis monkey before we went below sea level in the Semporna Archipelago.

From Klang / Kuala Lumpur we now went north since this is the way to Europe, so people say.
Our first destination was the Cameron Highlands. Home to many vegetable, fruit and tea plantations at more than 1500 meters above sea level.

To get up there, Nadine's favorite road course was necessary again: LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT, RIGHT! ... ... LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT, RIGHT !!!
We made our way up the road to Tanah Rata and Brinchang.
That afternoon we visited a butterfly farm, stormed the booth of a strawberry plantation and drank Malaysian tea overlooking lush green tea plantations extending over the hills.

Trogonoptera Brookiana
Tea plantage
Sam Poh Tong temple

In the early evening back on one of Malaysia's even, quiet but not very cheap highways (toll raods) we drove to Ipoh, where we visited the largest Buddhist cave temple in Malaysia, the Sam Poh Tong Temple and made the car happy with a new air filter.

With seemingly 30 hp more under the hood and now finest 95 octane gasoline (in Indonesia it was only 88 octane!) we drove on towards Thailand and then took a nearly 17 km long bridge to the island of Penang, the "Pearl of the Orient" , as it is called.
Over the past centuries many cultures have found their way here and today the island is shaped by Indian, Chinese, Arabic and English influences.
When driving across the bridge one gets a very good view of the entire east coast, which is to us looked like a miniature version of Hong Kong: white high buildings huddle close in front of a dark green mountain landscape.

First destination on the island was an embassy: when entering Thailand via land border one only gets a 15-days visa. So at 9.00an we lined up in the already long queue of the visa section of the Thai Embassy in Georg Town to get the favour of a sufficiently long 30-day visa. Thus, now one more page in our passports was filled. As for the remaining free pages in passport: we will run very short when reaching Europe!

In addition to further places we took half a day for seeing the Kek Lok Si Temple, the largest Buddhist temple complex in Malaysia. Highlights here were the 30-meter-high bronze statue of Guanyin, the main pagoda with its 10,000 Buddhas which unites Chinese, Thai and Burmese architecture.
In the evening we got aware of the local cultural diversity while visiting a usually simple but very large Hawker Centre. Besides Malaysian dishes one also get satisfied here when having Indian or Chinese appetite.
Not only once was our dishes were called Roti Canai (Malaysian flatbread with various side dishes), Nasi Lemak Ayam (Rice with Chicken Thighs and variation of sauces and vegetables), Won Ton Mee (noodles with various herbs in soy sauce and wontons) or satay (Indonesian: various grilled skewers with vegetables and sauces which address the sharpness receptors, of which you previously did not know that they exist).

Malaysian fondue
Kek Lok Si temple complex
Odometer 222222km

After three days in Penang, it was time to leave. Thailand called for us. It is still far to Mae Sot on the border with Myanmar and there are lot of interesting places along they was. We have three weeks left for Thailand before we start out trip in a car convoy through the last country in Southeast Asia on our route.

For now, a "Hello" will become a "Sawatdee" and a "Terima Kaseh" will become a "Khob Khun Kup" / "Khob Khun Kaa".