The Journey to Georgetown
George town is 350 km from the Cameron Highlands so a few diversions along the way are needed. First stop was the Parak Cave Temple
The crazy gods were there too.
Kuala Kangsar is the royal town you can see as you arrive huge posters of the royal couple over the roads. This place is more a photo opportunity than somewhere to stay for long.
First was the Iskandariah Palace gate.
Then on to the Ubudiah Mosque a stunningly beautiful building with a golden dome and minarets.
Near to the mosque are two traditional Malay houses
This house, Rumah Meor, is very attractive and was owned by one of the Sultans retainers. The next house is not in such good condition.
As you can see they lived in some style.
Last photo opportunity is the Perak Royal Museum or the Palace of Memories. This was built in 1926 entirely from wood and bamboo using no nails.
Its also known as the Palace of the Deceased as it was used as a royal mausoleum.
Charcoal Factory Visit
Best stop was in Kuala Sepetang, where we visited a charcoal factory. The manager, a really charming man, showed us around and explained the process to us.
Mangrove wood is smoked to remove water in huge igloo shaped kilns. It takes 50 days to dry out and then another 22 to cool down enough to remove. Mangrove charcoal burns longer and produces less smoke so is highly prized for cooking.
After our tour of the factory we were of course guided to a shopping opportunity. An interesting by product of charcoal production is mangrove wood vinegar. The vapour from the wood smoking is collected and condensed. We bought a small spray of this which according to the label has almost magical properties. It is a mosquito repellent, it cures skin diseases, helps heal cuts and bruises, it repels ticks and fleas, and, the only claim I can verify, it stops trainers smelling.
Finally over Penang bridge to George town.