Kong Hee Fatt Choy!

Trip Start Jul 26, 2006
1
49
109
Trip End Apr 01, 2008


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Flag of Malaysia  ,
Saturday, February 17, 2007

I was very fortunate to be in Malaysia during Chinese New Year, and brought in the new year with the Kan family on my way down to Singapore to visit my pal Anthony. Little did I know when I rented an apartment in Lumut that I'd get an adoptive family thrown in with the deal. From the first day we met, the Kans treated me more like family than a tenant, and hanging out with them was definitely one of the highlights of my time in Malaysia.

The Kans and much of their extended family live in Ipoh, about an hour or so inland from Lumut. Named for the poisonous Ipoh Tree, the city was built on the late 19th century tin mining boom and thus has had a strong Chinese community from its inception. These days it comes across as quite suburban and post-industrial, although with a population approaching 700,000 it's one of Malaysia's largest cities. Set in a valley, it's ringed by beautiful limestone hills; they make for nice hiking, and also reputedly have much spiritual power, so over the years a number of Chinese temples have been erected within them. When we weren't feasting or visiting family, Mr. and Mrs. Kan took me around Ipoh to visit a few of the temples; especially given the new year, they were bustling with activity, vibrant colors, and profuse clouds of incense.

As I try to describe it all I'll most likely get some details of Chinese New Year and our temple visits wrong, as I did when I showed up with gifts of "lai see" (money in red envelopes, for good luck) for the Kan's kids (which as an unmarried "young" person I'm supposed to receive rather than give!). But as the Kans have been avid followers of my travel log, I'm counting on them to chime in where I get my Tongs and my Kongs mixed up.
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Comments

ecogyrl
ecogyrl on

par avion
i hope you're settled in nicely in india these days. i won't say anything beyond 'keep your eye to the sky.'

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