28/4/16. Stephen was up early on Thursday as we docked in Port Klang in Malaysia. Walking onto the deck there was a faint smell of burning and it looked to be foggy, although as it was still dark it was difficult to tell. The captain later confirmed that conditions were affected by fires “on the islands” (not sure whether he meant Indonesia which usually gets the blame for this sort of thing through clearing forests for agriculture) although when the sun rose it was hazy rather foggy.
Disembarking, we were diverted from our plan of hitting the nearby town of Klang by free wifi in the terminal building. Being among the first off the ship we enjoyed good download speeds initially but as the lounge filled up (with crew as well as passengers) things slowed down markedly.
Having dealt with most of what we wanted to do online,we set off on our plan of walking to the nearest ATM and then catching the train, based on where Google Maps showed the cruising terminal to be. After a few hundred metres Christine checked our position using the GPS on her iPad only to find that we had docked about 8 km from where we thought! There were several taxis hanging around just outside the port petimter (to avoid paying a few for entering) so we jumped in one, having agreed a price up front, and 40 minutes later we were in Klang.
We can see why none of the ship excursions called there! It is not the most picturesque of places but fortuitously we had been dropped outside a shopping mall that seemed to focus on “technology” so we were able deal with our our second major objective of the day, getting Malaysian SIMs, (the first was getting online). It took quite a long time to get the SIMs up and running but thankfully the lady who sold them to us was very helpful and got things sorted by putting them in her own phone. (We paid in cash and will not be using our credit cards for top ups so it should be “safe”.)
There was an hour or so until the time when we had arranged for the same taxi to pick us up, so we explored the area around the mall without straying too far. The only things of interest where a very smart mosque and a covered area with food stalls with many sells – not all appetising! We saw one cyclist – an old lady going the wrong way up a one way street.
By pick up time we had exhausted the delights and were glad to find our driver. In the morning we had crossed a bridge which had 3 or 4 alarming plumes of thick black smoke rising from somewhere under the road. On the way back there were several fire engines on the other carriageway and the police were in the process of either closing the bridge or at least one of the lanes in the direction in which we were headed. We just squeeked through!
The ship left an hour later than planned because several of the official excursion buses arrived back after the last boarding time and after that 2 passengers were “paged” several times leading us to speculate that they had not been checked back onboard.