Our trip to Ho Chi Minh City was broken by a short stop in Kuantan, Malaya. We were fortunate to have an erudite guide, who has won an award from the President. Many Brits were in Malaya mining tin or bauxite or managing rubber plantations pre and post war. Our friend in Singapore was actually born in Malaya, to Scottish parents; his dad managed a tin mine. He was sent back to Scotland when he was nine, to be educated. Since the invention of synthetics, rubber isn't quite as important. Around the port we could see huge mounds of the reddish bauxite being loaded on to Chinese freighters to be taken to China for processing.
Malaya's population is comprised of Malay Chinese, Muslims and Hindus. Malaya has been in an economic decline for the past twenty years but they are hoping that it becomes a developed country by 2020. As we drove along we could see many teak trees. Our guide pointed out a neem tree. Here the leaves are collected and put under the mattress of someone with a temperature to draw out the heat. I have used neem oil for aches and pains and I was hoping that I could buy some neem oil but unfortunately they don't process it into oil. I didn't see any leaves under the giant trees that I could pick up. Many herbal medicines such as quinine come from trees. The Malays drink coconut water every day as it purifies the system. Their diet is very healthy, with six meals a day and of course lots of rice.