Batang Kali to Bidor

Mixed day of icky highway and beautiful highway. We had killer fried chicken with rice and a fried egg for breakfast in a sweet little town. Later on, we passed through an incredible little grove with old houses and fruit trees—it felt like how I imagined Hawaii would feel, really calm and green. But also: HOT.


We stopped by a lake and had roti in a little pavilion where everyone was watching TV, switching back and forth between badminton and National Geographic animal shows. The old proprietor chatted with us, told us to be careful in Thailand. Biked more, took a rest in a palm plantation for a couple hours—Stuart brought a foam camping pad and we squeezed onto it and both napped a little. Back on the road, we put wet cloths around our necks and drank lots and lots of water, took lots of breaks. Kind of maybe sort of getting a little bit used to the heat. On the upside, there have been friendly people waving and honking at us all day, which is nice.



We got near Bidor, where we’d planned on staying, and we both totally bonked. So dang hot. And hungry—broke into the backup bars. We pushed for a couple last kilometers to the Long Fatt Hotel. Chinese, cheap-fancy. Sparse room with an inexplicable windmill on the bathroom door that looked more than a little bit like a dick. Truly enormous lobby downstairs with overstuffed leather couches and spangly Lunar New Year decorations. Got a king room with AC and TV for $25. Never before has a shower felt like quite such a blessing!

After a rest (We watched TV! We don’t have TV at home so even if we can’t understand most of the shows, still a super treat.) we walked around Bidor a little. New and boxy but somehow really beautiful and pleasing houses. Lots of cement painted white with emerald green plants and cracked roads—vines and flowers growing anywhere they can. Incredible sky above, felt somehow extra expansive. Had a beer at a sidewalk spot on the road our hotel was on, which was at least four lanes wide, with zero markings and total free for all mix of driving/parking/seating. We had a beer and some fried pork on rice, then moved on to sit in a park and take in the scene: cool Indian teenagers hanging out on a cement slide and playing soccer, little kids running around playing frisbee horribly and adorably. A middle-aged couple asked us where we were from and recommended Pang Peng for dinner, so we headed there after a long sit in the lovely park. So nice, calm and easy. Families going by squeezed on mopeds. Went over the the restaurant, where there was just one super harried waitress. After a long wait we got some fishy chicken, bok choy, an omelet-ish thing, and rice. Big boxes of chopped garlic and chilies on the table to make little sauce with soy. Yum! The big sky filled with dramatic dark clouds and lightning just as we were finishing, pretty exciting.

Then off to bed. Tired. Up in the morning and headed to Ipoh.