Updated: Sep 21, 2020
FluffyBBunny took a short interstate trip in a bid to get domestic tourism off its feet, along the way encountering many other things for the first time.
One hundred twenty-two days. That’s the number of days I’ve been confined to Kuala Lumpur since the whole country went into lockdown.
Although the actual number is slightly fewer as I work in Selangor and travelling between KL and Selangor was ruled out as interstate travel, but who’s counting.
I was already feeling restless as my much-anticipated holiday had gone up in flames (figuratively) as the nationwide lockdown was imposed just weeks before it was supposed to happen. So, my family and I decided to contribute to the Malaysian economy by supporting domestic travel and Ipoh it was.
Not knowing when interstate travel would be restricted again as news of a second wave of the virus hitting countries around the world had already begun, we hit the road at dawn to maximise the trip.
Opting for the road less traveled, we explored the old roads. The drive was certainly interesting with patches of two-laned roads, making overtaking vehicles in front a challenge yet an accomplishment. The windy roads are sure to keep you alert if not awake compared to cruising down on a highway.
We eventually stopped at a Chinese kopitiam in Bidor for breakfast that ended abruptly as the sky turned grey with a blast of trumpet. We took off and drove about 30KM north to Gua Tempurung.
Greeted by a full parking bay, we bought our tickets and entered into the tunnel. What a sight it was to behold!
The staircases and viewing platforms installed along the route inside cave made the expedition much enjoyable while the strategically placed spotlights highlighted the cave’s distinctive features. Awed by the uniquely shaped stalagmites and stalactites we pushed through the course.
The walk inside the cave took about an hour plus, which was by far the most I’ve actually exercised since the Movement Control Order or perhaps the year.
Our next destination was Kellie’s Castle. Instead of queueing in person to buy ticket, it was by cars which I thought that was a good move to curb the spread of the pandemic.
Passing through the ticket validation booth, we found ourselves between two periods – the 20th and 21st centuries. The sight of drones flying around the colonial era building was definitely shows how far we’ve come.
But change is not always welcome.
Eight months into the pandemic and we’re still not out of the woods. In fact, cases are resurfacing now in countries which had initially successfully managed to bring it under control.
Asia being the first continent to be hit with the outbreak reacted purposefully and swiftly by imposing lockdowns; a move that would later save many lives. Undermining COVID-19’s potential in crippling the economy and health care system, certain parties took it lightly and decided to play the blame game.
That lackadaisical attitude of not taking the threat more seriously is likely what endangerd thousands of lives that were left ravaged by the virus.
And while we would like to think Malaysia has successfully managed the situation, we are still far from over.
Travelling from KL to Ipoh with pit stops at Bidor, Gua Tempurung and Kellie’s Castle, you will see that many Malaysians still do not grasp the severity of the situation.
In many places, one can find unmarked dining tables, allowing customers to bond like never seen before since March 18. Kopitiam staff going about their full range of emotion that were vividly displayed on their faces.
At attraction sites like Gua Tempurung and Kellie’s Castle, the only preventive measure in place was to scan the MySejahtera QR code before entering. No signage making mask wearing mandatory or even emphasising it were seen.
Although face masks are not advised to be worn when exercising, especially in a low air circulated area, there should have been other preventive measures that could have been put in place, cave guides and hand sanitizers.
The lackadaisical attitude of both public and service providers are going to result in stricter lockdown. Which will ultimately bite us back.