There is a certain smell in Asia. It is a mixture of wet heat, exotic spices and ordinary everyday filth – and I love it!!! We made it to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) just in time for the last night of the Chinese New Year and as our hotel is in the middle of China Town in Petaling St we had the chance to experience the “real deal”.
Petaling St is an iconic tourist destination in KL with dozens of street stalls set up to fleece you of your last dollar as you try to bargain for that “genuine” Louis Vuitton handbag, or those Gucci sunnies, or perhaps you really want some Tiffany jewellery 😉 The haggling can be intense but most of the traders are pretty good natured because they know they have an endless supply of tourists to sell to.
Chinatown in general is a sound and smell overload with the calling of the hawkers and the street side ‘restaurants’ selling all kinds of stir fried or coal cooked meals. Last night though the sounds were mindbending. Every hour or so the Chinese New Year Dragon Dance would break out in one of the little side streets and everyone would flock. This visual extravaganza is heralded in with a massive clashing of cymbals and banging of metal drums.
I was standing about 3 feet away from the drummers completely oblivious when they opened up with a mighty clang. I literally ducked to the ground wondering what the hell that was 😉 Of course as soon as I saw the dragon (which you would think was hard to miss but there were a lot of people there) I took my chance to stay low and try out the new camera with a fun subject. I think it did pretty well and I certainly had a ball trying to get the shots 🙂
There is something about packing a small backpack that is definitely challenging and ultimately rewarding. The piccys below show what I managed to pack into one small packpack (as in carry on size) for an extended trip. The first shot is the clothes all laid out: 2 pairs long pants, 3 pairs ¾ length pants, 2 shorts, 1 skirt, 10 tops, 2 jumpers, underwear, 1 small handbag.
Once they were in (picky 2) I then added in a towel, blow up pillow, thongs, toiletries, all the electrical chargers for computer, camera and kindles, makeup kit and raincoat along with various things like diving paperwork, a couple of scarves and a small gorillagrip tripod for the camera.
In the end I was pretty darned chuffed that I got it all in one bag with room to spare. I must admit that Dave carries less in his bag so he took the medical kit and the mossie net but between us it is all there. The camera, kindles, computer and travel documents (passport etc) all come with me in my handbag.
Just as a side note – had no issues at all getting this little lot onto the plane. The biggest thing – make it look like you are carrying a bag full of air and no-one will even question you 😉