Well, that’s that for Malaysia, and for the whole trip (insert sad emoji here). Here’s a few pictures from Malaysia, and then this blog shall (sadly) go into hibernation until the next time I travel.
I’ve seen a lot of impressive things over the course of this trip, but the entrance to Batu Caves — featuring a towering, 140 foot golden statue — is right up there.
I mean, look at that thing.
Then you climb up all those stairs (it’s a lot of stairs), and there’s an enormous cave with multiple temples inside.
It’s pretty incredible.
That’s not to mention the monkeys!
There are dozens of monkeys that just hang around on the steps and near the entrance to the cave.
As you can see, they were pretty much the best.
Even if the caves themselves weren’t spectacular (which they were), it would be worth coming here just to see the monkeys.
Plus, here’s some video I took of a monkey eating a banana. Yes: I got to see a real-life monkey eating a banana, so I think it’s safe to say that my life has peaked and that it’s all downhill from here.
Well, the trip is drawing to a close, which means that this is my last taste of international McDonald’s weirdness.
First up: the Golden Prosperity Burger, which consists of a chicken patty (it’s also available in beef), a hash brown, black pepper sauce, and onions. I didn’t care for this one at all. For one thing, it was easily the sloppiest burger I’ve ever had at McDonald’s; the soft bun was barely even able to hold up under all that sauce. The chicken patty was really bottom-of-the-barrel — it was one of the shoddiest reconstituted chicken patties I’ve ever had. Plus, the sauce was just one-note peppery. It really needed pickles or something acidic to balance things out a bit.
Up next was the Bubur Ayam McD, which was a rice porridge with chicken, green onions, fried shallots, ginger, and sliced chilis. This was actually not bad at all — the rice had a good texture, and all of the flavours worked pretty well together, with the fried shallots adding some crunch.
Last but not least was the Red Bean Pie. This was about as close to a sure thing as it gets. I mean, it’s a crispy fried McDonald’s pie filled with tasty red bean filling. Yeah, it was quite good.
Line-ups for food are a traveler’s best friend. Have I mentioned this before? I have? A million times? Well, it’s true.
The latest line-based discovery: a street food stand called Uncle Bean, which serves up some seriously delicious tofu-based desserts.
There’s a few things on the menu, but most people seemed to be ordering the tau fu fa, which is an incredibly creamy tofu pudding. They have a few different syrups you can top it with (the tofu itself isn’t sweet at all); I got the brown sugar ginger.
It was really, really good. The tofu is silky and amazing; it doesn’t taste like much, but that’s what the syrup is for. A lot of ginger-based desserts are a bit too overpowering for me, but the syrup here managed to strike a perfect balance of sweetness with a very subtle ginger kick. Bonus: it cost about 50 cents Canadian. I could eat a million of these.
Well, that’s that for Thailand. So here comes the usual assortment of photos.
The other day I plugged my destination into Google Maps, as I am wont to do (no joke: Google Maps single-handedly makes this trip possible, because my navigation skills are nonexistent). The public transit directions seemed to indicate that I take a boat, which seemed odd, but I went with it.
The directions brought me to a rickety old dock next to a narrow river. After a couple of minutes, boat showed up, pulled over to the side of the dock for about ten seconds, then left again.
About five minutes later, another boat pulled up; this time I got on. There’s no plank — you just jump on, and then someone comes around to collect your fare.
It was an odd experience, especially since the boat goes fast.
I felt pretty woozy by the time I got to my destination, but it was such a memorable way to get there that I didn’t even mind.
Funnily enough, one of the best things I’ve eaten in Bangkok isn’t Thai at all — it’s Chinese, from a Michelin-rated restaurant in Bangkok’s Chinatown called Nai-Ek Roll Noodles.
As you’d expect from a place that’s cheap and Michelin-approved, it’s quite busy. But the line moves fast, so within ten minutes or so, I was in.
The menu is fairly extensive, but “Roll Noodles” is right there in the name. I got a bowl of noodle soup that came with minced pork, sliced pork, and crispy pork belly, along with some organs — stomach, liver, kidney, and tongue (plus, they don’t mention it in the menu, but there were also intestines in there; it was quite the cornucopia of pig innards).
It was really, really good. The soup had a bit of a kick, with a nice peppery flavour. And the noodles were kind of like a Chinese version of penne pasta.
Plus, the pork belly managed to stay crispy even in the soup, and all of the various organs were prepared perfectly — no off flavours here at all.
Though a lot of the food I’ve been eating in Bangkok has been a bit underwhelming, there’s definitely been some good stuff, too. Such as: this amazing chicken satay I had from a place called Jay Eng.
Everything about it was just right: it was super tender, the marinade was really tasty, and it had a nice smoky flavour from the grill. And that peanut sauce? Bananas. It was like a nuclear bomb of flavour. Perfection.
I’d say it’s the best chicken satay I’ve ever had, but then I had some pretty amazing ones in Singapore a couple of years ago; I’d have to try them side-by-side to know which was better.
One of the more memorable things I’ve seen so far in Bangkok is an enormous temple complex dating from the 16th century called Wat Pho.
There are so many amazing buildings here.
Not to mention the statues.
And these weird pointy… things… I have no idea what these are. They look quite nice, though.
Then of course there’s the most famous thing here: the reclining Buddha statue.
I don’t think the photos quite give you a sense of how big this thing was, but it was absolutely enormous.
They also had this thing in the same room with the statue where you could buy a small bucket full of coins, and then individually plunk them into various pots lined up along the wall. I had no idea what this was for, so I didn’t do it. I’m sure I missed out on a potential good luck bonanza.
A couple more pictures:
Another country down, another batch of photos.