Welcome from Taiping, Malaysia
|My wife Cathy was born in Taiping, an interesting town off the normal tourist route. I first visited in 1988 during April, the rainy season, and experienced thunderstorms and floods for days on end! Taiping is fairly famous for its rain, being situated not too far from the sea and near mountains. During our UK winter, the weather is much better with only a few afternoon showers. Expeditions are best carried out in the morning before the heat and humidity get too bad - fortunately the Malaysians are sensible and use GMT +8 hours throughout the year so it is not necessary to get up too early. The clock is one rather striking feature in the lake gardens which are famous for their beauty.|
|The peace in the lake gardens stands in contrast to the bustle in Taiping itself. There is a multicultural atmosphere, with a mixture of Chinese and Malay and Indian influences and this can be mildly disorientating until you get used to the different customs. Many people speak good English, which is fortunate, especially when bartering in the numerous casual markets which seem to sell practically anything.|
|The lily pond is on the way to the local swimming pool at the foot of the mountains - the water is refreshingly cool, but I was not completely reassured when I was told that the water was checked for snakes on a daily basis. The Panorama Hotel is central and inexpensive and while there is no great luxury, everyone tries to be helpful, and the air conditioning works well.|
|One of the hazards of being invited to a Chinese wedding is that the whole affair lasts a couple of days, and the Chief Executive is liable to contract your services as photographer and as best man, both at short notice. Some of the duties were somewhat unusual, but highly enjoyable. More pictures to follow if permission is forthcoming!|
|Chinese families are very hospitable and there are often 20 visitors at any one time in a house - my last visit in 1994 coincided with Chinese New Year. There was a civilised conversation up in the front room, mah-jongg in the kitchen and a most enjoyable poker school down in what might be described as the scullery. Watch this space!|
The following links may be helpful to anyone who is interested in Malaysia, or intending to make a visit.
Malaysia Online - for general info
Have a look at Kayes' site, an excellent collection of pictures and comments from a resident of Taiping.
My Web Site is under continuous development and you will be updated regularly!
Last Revised: 8th April 1999