Monday, March 15, 2010

0 Mailbag Monday: March 15, 2010

I am planning a trip to Cairo this summer when I have vacation. Will it be too hot? Any comfort tips?
-Herman, Koln, Germany

We were in Cairo in August and the heat was tolerable, but just barely. Try to get to the sights earlier in the morning, take a mid-day break somewhere cool, and then go out again in the late afternoon/early evening. Don't make the mistake we did and assume that museums will be air conditioned. The biggest one in town, the Egyptian Museum, only has a few pleasantly cooled rooms. And there's only so long you can hang out in those--most of the museum is hot and muggy. Our other big mistake was that we chose to save $5USD/night by not springing for an air conditioned room. Believe us, it's worth every penny. Remember to wear loose and cool clothing and you should generally limit your physical activity. Cabs are cheap so don't hesitate to hail one instead of walking all over the city.

What is your favorite destination in Malaysia after Kuala Lumpur? I'll be on a business trip there soon and have an extra day for myself. It can't be too far from Kuala Lumpur but I want to experience some more Malaysian culture.
-Erica, Werribee, Australia

A great cultural destination is Melaka, just a few hours south of KL by bus, and you can easily get a lot out of a one day visit. Everything is quite close together so you can cover a lot of ground. There are museums, old ruins, and the colonial streets and buildings of Chinatown are fun to just wander. Make sure to be around after dark to experience the Jonker Street nightmarket--the whole place is taken over by food vendors hawking noodles, pastries, and steaming mounds of dumplings. Don't miss the local specialties of chicken rice balls and pineapple tarts. You could take an early morning bus from KL to Melaka, spend the day and night in town, and head back to KL the next morning.

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