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  • traveling to Malaysia

    heh, this would have been a better question to ask earlier in my packing... but here goes. i'm going to be traveling to Malaysia for a week, has anyone here had experience with that part of the Pacific Rim and would care to offer any tips? i've already shot emails and PMs to a couple people whom i think have some details, but i might as well open it up to anyone on the forums, as well.

    anything from "be sure to pack <specific clothes> due to <some whacky climate consideration>" to "there's this awesome <museum/bar/massage parlor> that you don't want to miss" would be good advice.

    i'll be in Kuala Lumpur. much of my time there will be for a con, but i should have a spare day or two at the end for free time.
    "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
    - Trent Reznor

  • #2
    Re: traveling to Malaysia

    Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
    heh, this would have been a better question to ask earlier in my packing... but here goes. i'm going to be traveling to Malaysia for a week, has anyone here had experience with that part of the Pacific Rim and would care to offer any tips? i've already shot emails and PMs to a couple people whom i think have some details, but i might as well open it up to anyone on the forums, as well.

    anything from "be sure to pack <specific clothes> due to <some whacky climate consideration>" to "there's this awesome <museum/bar/massage parlor> that you don't want to miss" would be good advice.

    i'll be in Kuala Lumpur. much of my time there will be for a con, but i should have a spare day or two at the end for free time.
    I have spent a LOT of time in Malaysia. Penang, JB, KL, ect. I have a lot of friends there still. PM me specific questions. One thing .. it is HOT very humid and warm. Zero drug tollerance so make sure you are not doing that.

    KL is fun.. (you going for HITB?) If you are looking to meet someone there.. "beach club" and "thai club" (across the street from each other) is an EXCELENT place in KL.

    pm me for specific questions..

    tw

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    • #3
      Re: traveling to Malaysia

      Malaysia is good ... I really like KL. Not my favourite place in South East Asia (but I'm Indonesian, so I'm a wee bit biased). Pack bug juice if you're not used to mosquitoes. I'm pretty sure KL is malaria free, so don't bother with prophylaxis (unless like me, you enjoy Lariam/Mephloquine dreams). Don't forget suncream, a cap, and other common sense stuff.

      Don't touch people on the head, even in jest, as it is an major insult ...

      I have to say that if you're planning to see the sights, KL is not the place to be ... I prefer Sarawak and Sabah, but I would second TechnoWeenie's assessment of Beach Club.

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      • #4
        Re: traveling to Malaysia

        I spent a few days in KL. I will second TW on the HOT and HUMID. And I don't even remember what time of year it was.
        "\x74\x68\x65\x70\x72\x65\x7a\x39\x38";

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: traveling to Malaysia

          hmm, my best advice is, is to have fun!, pack crap loads of swimming trunks, i didnt even bother to wear jeans i always wore trunks and a white t-shirt while i walked, for a person whos never been its impossible to ever prepare for the humidity its always hot and humid , oh m paranoid but i always kept my passport wallet in the most safest of places, anyways have fun!
          Mr Bubbles, look its an Angel!

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          • #6
            Re: traveling to Malaysia

            forgot to mention one of my favorite places.. near KL.

            The Batu Caves.

            Free to go see.. climb up the stairs. Bring a few ringet to buy fruit at the top... to fee the monkeys. Did I mention.. monkeys.. wild, (for the most part) running around.

            tw

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            • #7
              Re: traveling to Malaysia

              I've heard it described as having the cheapest five-star hotels and restaurants in the world .. you can eat like a king for peanuts.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: traveling to Malaysia

                OK Deviant,
                you were there...now tell all!!!
                ======================================
                DJ Jackalope
                dopest dj in the galaxy. *mwah!*

                send in the drop bears!
                ======================================

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: traveling to Malaysia

                  No hookers, no unprotected sex, no drugs, in fact don't do anything illegal. Great advice for every where.

                  xor

                  I wouldn't trust the water either, but I could be wrong; stick with beer :)
                  Last edited by xor; September 9, 2007, 19:00.
                  Just because you can doesn't mean you should. This applies to making babies, hacking, and youtube videos.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: traveling to Malaysia

                    DJ Jackalope;

                    Think I saw you spin when I lived in SF, Cali. Spent quite a bit of time on the electronic music scene out there round the turn of the 21st century; SFRaves and Hyperreal. But that was another life, I still listen today primarily Trance. Big Juno Reactor fan.

                    I will nEithEr confirm nor dEny that I once did drugs. But today when I listen to the music surprisingly it makes me happy no matter what is going on in my life. Or maybe I'm just one of Pavlov's dogs.

                    xor
                    Last edited by xor; September 9, 2007, 20:26.
                    Just because you can doesn't mean you should. This applies to making babies, hacking, and youtube videos.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: traveling to Malaysia

                      Originally posted by DJ Jackalope View Post
                      OK Deviant, you were there...now tell all!!!
                      i promise to do so in a much more detailed and discursive post sometime today after i get to work. for now, let's just say that Malaysia is a really amazing region of the world due primarily to their very multi-layered and multi-faceted cultural blends. it's a rather small geographical area (whole nation is only slightly larger than new mexico, and only little of that is comprised of urban centers) but has throngs of the populace representing everyone from true local Malay to ethnic chinese to indian with loads of other southeast asian/indoneisian added into the bargain.

                      the country is sort of officially muslim, but only about a third or one half of women can be seen wearing hijabs. (it is more prevalent among government officials and others with ties to the state.) while the establishment attempts to maintain some semblance of religiosity, the rest of the country is fortunately making the transition to being fully secularized.

                      that's the most wide-reaching observation i could make about the whole region... it's a land marked by transition. they only gained independence from the British 50 years ago (we were actually there right at the very end of their "Merdeka" celebration of freedom and independence) and they have rapidly industrialized in the past decades. these two factors have had rather typical results when it comes to super-fast advancement in certain areas coupled with problems for largely forgotten swathes of the population.

                      as for the night life and entertainment, people who know large parts of the pacific rim region say it has some of the best party scenes of any city they can think of. i know that we had a fucking blast in a large number of spots. perhaps the best visual i can give, however, is this little clip that i cropped together from some shots with my camera one night at one of their "beach clubs" near the city center. (lots of clipping on the audio levels, it was crazy loud in there. it still is representative of what i want to show, in any case.) while you can't totally see it in the footage, the place is packed with people nearly wall to wall. the center dance floor is crammed with silly, stumbling locals enjoying american music, the edge tables are ringed with scores of people smoking up a storm and enjoying the beer which is served in buckets, and the bars all around the edge are lined almost 100&#37; with prostitutes trying to land clients for short sessions upstairs in the "VIP" areas.


                      Google Video Link (poor quality, sadly)

                      Originally posted by xor View Post
                      No hookers, no unprotected sex, no drugs, in fact don't do anything illegal.
                      heh, while i will refrain from any specifics, i will say that we failed almost totally to follow such a list of suggestions.
                      Last edited by Deviant Ollam; September 10, 2007, 12:26.
                      "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                      - Trent Reznor

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: traveling to Malaysia

                        ok, now that things have settled into a slightly ordered chaos here at work i'll make my additional comments about Malaysia.

                        before i do, however, i'll make a note that i've changed the above video link. instead of just hosting the clip on my home server, i re-edited a higher-quality version and uploaded it to google. sadly, it seems their video hosting engine automatically downgrades the file to the same blocky compression size that had disappointed me earlier. ah well, at least this one loads fast. check it out and enjoy short clips of a local Malay band performing Abba's "Dancing Queen" and Dire Straits' "Money for Nothing"

                        that said, on to my impressions of the country...

                        as i touched upon above, the whole region is marked by that rather amorphous yet predictable vibe which happens in many parts of the developing world when they begin to get a toehold into industry, banking, and other connections to the western business apparatus...

                        a huge income gap appears and the business class becomes separated from the underclass in a number of key ways.

                        geographically, new life is breathed into certain regions of city centers where the new suits live, work, and play. the outlying regions become slums or at the least they become further run-down as capital migrates away to new office complexes and high-class apartment high-rise buildings. this was very clear in .my, even while all government propaganda touts that poverty is "a very minor problem"... hell, just look out the windows of the high-speed train that runs from the airport to the KL Sentral station and you see almost nothing but makeshift shacks or people living in abandoned factories or warehouses. almost the only connection that the underclass appears to have with the new elites is via service sector jobs.

                        biologically, all persons in regions of this sort of rapid development tend to be universally plagued with the same health issues you see elsewhere... air pollution is horrible there, with nearly all buildings operating air conditioners 24/7, although the devices appear to be in widely-varying states of repair, and i suspect they may still use things like Freon as a coolant. while PetroNas (the national oil and gas concern) has a decent output of petroleum products, the quality of the actual fuels used locally in the country is pretty terrible. vehicles run like shit and spew awful fumes everywhere. the water and sewer infrastructure have not kept pace with the cities' rapid growth and therefore waterborne contaminants are a huge issue. essentially, one is told to drink bottled water and only trust ice cubes that are of the rodded variety (they are produced in specific facilities that serve the high-end areas) as regular cubes are a sign of simply frozen tap water. while the whole population bears the problems, the class of "new wealth" of course has access to the medical care and improved food and drink that makes it less of a concern for them.

                        legally, the whole country perturbs me a great deal, as folk who know me would no doubt figure out. the media is almost all state-run or and the few outlets that can truly be called "independent" still defer to the leaders' wishes out of a hope of not being fined, harassed, etc. (just today there was a story about a newspaper losing its government approval to operate for depicting jesus holding a cigarette or some bullshit.) the nation has drug laws that go beyond what one could even call "draconian" and has (to the best of my knowledge) no appropriate apparatus for allowing citizens the freedom to own a great variety of weapons and tech tools. it was my extreme pleasure to be so openly allowing locals to use and have lockpicks.

                        i really did love being there and look forward to going back soon. the fruit alone was worth the trip. it is all delicious, plentiful, and inexpensive beyond description.


                        The Hack in the Box crew was pretty terrific. they put together a great event and the makeup of the attendees as well as the speakers was really cosmopolitan. The Italians are without a doubt the most hilarious bunch you'll ever see at a con. the Zone-H / WabiSabiLabi guys are something else... you think I'm constantly enjoying stiff drinks and trying to fuck anything that moves? these guys (Roberto in particular) nearly make me look like a teetotaling nun or something.

                        the audience was definitely a bit more corprate than you see at a scene like DefCon, but i'd say it's parallel to Black Hat or HackCon. lots of suits and ties (oh, remind me later if i don't post about my thoughts on business apparel in .my as i have some significant thoughts on that)

                        Microsoft was a key sponsor of the whole event, and seeing as they were picking up the tab for my hooch, hotel, etc. i opted to tone down slightly the customary criticisms of them with which i tend to pepper my talks. i will say this, they sure hire some hotties and send them to kickass places. this one beauty named Katie was a fine addition to the conference, for sure.

                        a few of my compatriots and i were shocked at how many of the attendees were really in the noobtastic category. when Q spoke about wireless attacks, many people were wholly unfamiliar with concepts like spoofing, snarfing, WEP cracking, etc. cons like this really illustrate how sharp the divide is between our world and the upper echelons of corporate hierarchy, particularly overseas. while there may be very skilled hackers and intel professionals in places like china, the pacific, eastern europe, the mideast, and other parts of the world that can be removed somewhat from our culture... the folks in charge of the companies are just as clueless (if not more so) than people here in the west. i wasn't expecting that.
                        Last edited by Deviant Ollam; September 10, 2007, 13:28.
                        "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                        - Trent Reznor

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: traveling to Malaysia

                          few of my compatriots and i were shocked at how many of the attendees were really in the noobtastic category. when Q spoke about wireless attacks, many people were wholly unfamiliar with concepts like spoofing, snarfing, WEP cracking, etc. cons like this really illustrate how sharp the divide is between our world and the upper echelons of corporate hierarchy, particularly overseas. while there may be very skilled hackers and intel professionals in places like china, the pacific, eastern europe, the mideast, and other parts of the world that can be removed somewhat from our culture... the folks in charge of the companies are just as clueless (if not more so) than people here in the west. i wasn't expecting that.
                          Glad to hear you're back safe and sound, and that you had such a good time.

                          About the sharp divide, I think you'll find the same divide in all countries (including china and india - as tech savvy as those countries are) where there is a large amount of poverty and a *huge* population. The majority of the population may not even have access to a primary school education, let alone any form of tech.

                          That aside, I'm wondering if the difference in skill level is a result of the autocratic government - controlling who gets access to technology, or more just a side-effect of an entire nation's poverty and isolation, and that it is beginning to changing now because of changes in global markets and the proliferation of cheap tech.

                          -mouse
                          One Voter really can make a difference. Ask me how!

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                          • #14
                            Re: traveling to Malaysia

                            I have met a lot of skilled 'hackers' and security folks in Malaysia. I think there are two things to think about... 1) Laws there can be brutal.. hackers keep a low profile 2) it is still a very 'new' concept to be open and talkative about knowing anything related to hacking.

                            There are a couple of DCGroups there. I have spent time with some of the folks from Penang's DC group.

                            just my thoughts..

                            tw

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                            • #15
                              Re: traveling to Malaysia

                              That area was hit by an 8.4 earthquake today. If you have friends you mite what to check on them.

                              xor
                              Just because you can doesn't mean you should. This applies to making babies, hacking, and youtube videos.

                              Comment

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