I am fascinated by language and culture and have highly diverse and eclectic food tastes.
My Travellr connection: The first development team members were my colleagues - when Travellr was just a prototype. Much has changed since, but the essence of Travellr has not. :)
I am going on my first solo trip and am headed to Asia. Where are some good places to stay in Malaysia / things I shouldn't miss ?
It does depend upon what sort of an experience you are looking for. Regardless, there are plenty of opportunities for people of all interests =) If you're into adventure activities, you must climb Mt Kinabalu (Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, a UNESCO World Heritage site). Sabah also has some of the best diving opportunities. The other Malaysian Borneo state of Sarawak is particularly good for jungle trekking. There is the best possibility of experiencing some indigenous culture in these two states as a significant percentage of the population are indigenous. If you're into fresh seafood, eat lots of it here - it's generally fresher than what you can find on the peninsula (especially KL, which is inland). And find some decent foochow food and eat that, too, because you won't find much of that on the peninsula =) [I must however warn you that thanks to decades of corruption, indigenous rights and the wider environment have been bottom of the priority list in Sarawak and if you look below the surface that most tourists tread upon, the whole situation can become very disheartening. Just a warning in case you're like me and want to know everything about a country and what makes it tick =) To illustrate this point, the UN is currently reconsidering the World Heritage status of the Mulu area. A travesty, I say.] As for West Malaysia, I'd suggest Langkawi if you want to hang around beautiful beaches and generally be a tourist. Go to Penang because it's awesome and because it's a UNESCO World Heritage city. Be sure to eat Penang Laksa (a variation of Asam Laksa). Visit KL just 'cos. Plenty of shopping there if that's your thing. And visit Melaka because it's another UNESCO World Heritage city. EDIT: Malaysia is generally a safe and friendly place (there are clear exceptions, based on anecdotal information from Malaysian friends), but do use your common sense. Do not leave valuables in a car (if you use one). Take precautions against pickpockets. Always check that a taxi driver has proper identification. If uncertain, find another taxi, or phone for one. At airports, go through official taxi queues and don't follow random people asking if you need a taxi. about 9 years ago
I personally own a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1, but the newer DMC-FT2 is better (though not as good looking in my opinion). It's very good, but the lack of full manual control does irk me a great deal as I usually use a DSLR. This is a limitation common to every ruggedised compact camera I have yet come across. Another annoyance with these cameras is that the manufacturers usually cram too many megapixels in at the expense of better low-light performance. 14MP or even 12MP in such a camera is quite frankly ridiculous. What I really wish is that Canon would produce a rugged version of their excellent 10MP S90, but I digress. Ranting aside, I would investigate these cameras: Canon PowerShot D10: http://www.dpreview.com/news/0902/09021805canond10.asp Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT2: http://www.dpreview.com/news/1001/10012603panadmcft2.asp Olympus Tough MJU 2010: http://www.dpreview.com/news/1001/10010703oly5010703070409010.asp I suspect all would be rugged enough, but the devil is in the nitty gritty details: The Canon anecdotally has excellent image quality and obviously a wider aperture (f/2.8 at the widest focal length), but the video mode is bad in comparison to the Olympus and the Lumix. The Olympus has the largest zoom range and very slightly better maximum aperture than the Lumix (f/3.2 as opposed to f/3.3 for the Lumix). Both are wider than the Canon, which is often important to me. The Lumix supposedly has a higher maximum ISO (6400 as opposed to 3200 for the Olympus and 1600 for the Canon). 3200 is already ridiculous for a camera of this size, though seeing is believing, and I haven't tested any of these cameras personally. So it depends what you value... - Image quality and low--light performance: Canon - Video performance: Olympus or Panasonic - Widest focal length: Olympus or Panasonic - Narrowest focal length: Olympus I don't know which I'd go with, so good luck =) almost 10 years ago
Any tips re: safest way to transport 1 and 2yo children from Singapore airport to CBD in taxi? any taxis with child restraints
Consistent with all other Asian countries (to my knowledge), taxis in Singapore are not by law required to carry child restraints... but some do. So when you get to the airport just book a taxi and specifically ask for one with child restraints. You may have to place a call or ask someone for assistance, but I doubt it'll be too much of a hassle - not much in Singapore is =) over 10 years ago
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