The goal for today was a visit to the National Planetarium (known to locals as Planetarium Negara) and it’s well known blue-dome structure. It’s situated atop a big hill amongst green trees, lush gardens and is refreshingly quiet. Unfortunately, when we arrived we discovered that the planetarium was closed because of a holiday; so the journey up the hill was for naught.
Earlier in the day during my wanderings I stumbled upon a dragon temple and celebration. During the celebration there was a dragon dance complete with drums, chiming bells and energetic dancers. The story of the dance: a large and fierce dragon chased a ball around the temple. It was becoming frustrated because it couldn’t seem to catch the ball no matter how hard it tried. The grand finale of the dance occurred when the dragon somehow managed to tie itself into a knot and fall to the ground.
The temple itself was impressive. In the centre was a shrine jam packed with food and a huge pork. There were gigantic candles, sticks of incense, and tons of donation bags. On the ground chickens ran around unfettered doing whatever it is that chickens do. Later in the day (and on our way to the Planetarium Negara) I took Mari and Andrew to the temple. We bought some really huge incense sticks and I have since decided to start collecting donation bags; many are ornate and most are unique and very beautiful.
Once we’d discovered that the Planetarium was closed we wandered through the lower level parks until it was time to find a washroom. It was at this point in our journeys that it suddenly started to thunder and pour like it only can in a tropical country! Instead of leaving we stood under the tarp by the washrooms and hackie sacked with some guys from Scotland. To leave meant you would drown!