A Travellerspoint blog

Penang

Attack of the monkeys

sunny 32 °C
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We arrived in Penang after a 3 hour boat ride, which saw some Indian women at the back arguing and a little girl crying. It was quite late in the evening so thought it might be best to get a taxi, however they all decided to up their prices to £10 for what turned out to be a 10 minute walk. We found a guest house quite easily in China town, which included air-con and cable TV (I was happy) for about £7 and headed out to find some food. On our way out we ran into 2 girls who were headed to a temple which was lit up like a Christmas tree. We couldn't resist seeing this and headed into the hills to see what all the fuss was about. It was very spectacular with every building covered head to toe in lights. 4393642269_5ffb6460a5.jpgAs you can see it was very Christmassy, and was to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
In Penang there are basically only Chinese and Indians, with a lot of old westerners that seem to stay here for months at a time. God knows what they do all day!!!!! The next day we headed out to see some Chinese temples and mosques, which are recommended in the trusty Lonely Planet. It is very very hot in Malaysia so we ended up soaking with sweat and having viewed all we wanted to we headed to the air conditioned mall woooo. However this was not to shop but to finally upload all our photos. We had so many we had to spend about 5 hours uploading them all, but at least they are safe this time. The following day we decided that we wanted too see what the beaches of Penang had to offer so got a local bus and headed to Monkey beach. 4408403628_dee6082d71.jpgWe were originally gonna just go to the touristy one but the little old man in our guest house had recommended this one. The bus journey itself took about 45 minutes (I was sure we were on a small island) and when we got there we couldn't see a beach. We discovered that to get to the beach you had to go on a 1 hr 20 trek through the jungle to get there. Great. All we wanted was a quiet lazy day by the beach. To be fair, the walk to begin with was easy enough as it was all paved, however 20 minutes in and we were climbing over trees, and up rocks. Not fun, especially when your wearing flip flops. We saw some monkeys on the way which was cool, but I think we were too tired to care. The walk took ages and when we finally got there......let's just say it wasn't really worth it!!!!! It was ok but definitely couldn't compete with Thailand's beaches. It was a hot day too so we decided to go for a swim. This is where the fun starts. So we are a little way out and the water isn't that clear or clean, as in there were leafs and twigs floating around. First off I felt something nibble my back, I was sure it was just a twig bumping into me, then from no where Anna let's out one of her famous, 'I'm scarred' siren screams and runs out of the water. Well I had no idea what was wrong so followed quickly after. Apparently something had swam through her legs!! The scream was so loud some girl came over to see if we was ok. She told us there were jellyfish in this part and that it was probably that. The girl then suddenly shouted monkeys and pointed at out bags. Low and behold 2 monkeys were trying to get into our bags. I was sure our insurance company wouldn't believe it if we put in a claim about thieving monkeys, so I quickly run with my arms aloft to try scare them off..... It turns out there not really scared of humans, especially a tall lanky one with his hands in the air trying to scare them. The monkey decided to run at me with its teeth showing and claws out, so I quickly ran back to the sea. Luckily I found a stick and eventually got rid of them. Well what a day, and we still had an hour and a half of walking back to the bus to do. On the way back we also ran into some scary looking black monkeys who circled us, and we had to quickly get out of there!!! All fun and games though.
We then spent the next few days just chilling out, making sure we kept our spending to a minimum. This is a big theme of Malaysia as we want to make sure we have enough money for OZ. On one of our last days there was a parade through the middle of our street to celebrate someones birthday. We weren't really sure who's it was but it was funny none the less. The floats were all pretty pathetic but you could see a lot of effort went in!!! 4407612421_343503b781.jpg
Our next stop is Cameron Highlands!!

Posted by palmer830 21:31 Archived in Malaysia Tagged armchair_travel Comments (1)

Pulau Langkawi

Eagle Rock? Monkey Rock!

sunny 30 °C
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Our first taste of Malaysia was after a journey involving 5 bus (I use the term bus loosely) journeys from Krabi. I'm pretty certain that simple journey could have a been a lot more straightforward. We got off the boat and obviously looked a bit lost cos some smooth American 'guy' sidled up to us and offered to share a 'cab' with us to the beach. We tried a few places, including the dreaded dorms but I don't think me and Adam are quite ready to go that low just yet. By the time we'd finished farting around it was pretty late so that night we just grabbed some food in a local restaurant. To say Adam was nervous about trying the local cuisine would be a massive understatement...he took one look at the menu and recoiled in horror. However I soon got him shoving rotis down his throat!
The first day we chilled out on the beach, to the untrained eye it looks pretty nice but after Krabi we've become beach snobs so weren't all that impressed. 4393589325_9c0a0d359f.jpgThe next day we decided to do a bit of exploring so hired Malaysia's version of a cinquecento and toured around. We went hunting for a nice beach in the north and then headed to a waterfall. After that we went in search of a geological park to see a cave of bats. Little did we know they were charge us 40 squid for the honour so we didn't bother. Instead we opted for the cultural experience of the local shopping mall. Shopping malls seem to feature quite heavily in our travel itinery so far, mainly due to Adam's shopping addiction! After the shopping mall we went to some fruit farm where we got to see how all the tropical fruit was grown, and most importantly got free fruit! 4393548249_abde6623a6.jpg
After two days here we'd decided we'd had enough, its an alright island but it's a little dull to be honest. On the plus side the people here find us hilarious, our jokes are getting worse and worse but the locals love it!

Posted by palmer830 05:55 Archived in Malaysia Tagged automotive Comments (0)

Krabi

Paradise!

sunny 30 °C
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Our last stop in Thailand was Krabi. We planned to stay on Railay Beach but we met some people on the bus on the way there who recommended we stayed at a place called Ton Sai just next to it. Ton Sai is a really nice chilled out place with loads of limestone cliffs everywhere, perfect for rock climbers! We turned up and checked out a cheapy bungalow but it looked a bit dodgy and after our last bad experience we decided to spend a bit more and stay in something that looked a bit secure. After checking in we chilled out on the beach for a bit and practised playing the ukelele which a guy we met from Hawaii had brought along!
The next day we decided to have a look around the beaches of Krabi. We walked to Railay east and west beaches and a lovely beach called Phranang which had a cave on the beach. 4391187633_f3e98dc92e.jpgIn the evening we met up with the people we'd met on the bus. One of the guys we met used to be a tour guide round Krabi and he was taking his friends parents on a tour of the islands the next day and invited us to come along.
So the next day 8 of us went off on a longtail boat to check out the islands. The first stop was beautiful, we went for a snorkel and saw loads of brightly coloured fish and also some ugly thing called a sea cucumber! We went to an island called Chicken Island (called cos the mountains on it are in the shape of a chicken) and Poda Island. We went to an amazing beach which was the best beach I've ever seen in my life! 4391282569_41051c050c.jpgIt was a great day and a great end to our Thailand trip. After the boat trip we got dropped off at Ao Nang to catch the bus to Langkawi (malaysia), ready for our next adventure!

Posted by palmer830 05:52 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Ko Chang

Land of Elephants...saw about 3.

sunny 30 °C
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Adam's passport was gonna take 10 days before it was ready so we decided to check out an island called Ko Chang while we waited. We stayed at a place called Lonely Beach which was the backpacker part of Ko Chang. We found a lovely bungalow called Jaegon Huts and the people who ran it were really lovely and friendly. The first day we took a tour of the west coast of the island and found lots of lovely beaches, but we found the further north we went the more expensive it got so we decided to stay down the southern part for the rest of our stay.
The next day we explored the eastern side of the island which is undeveloped. We headed down to some mangrove forests where you could go kayaking. It was pretty exhausting stuff and me and Adam soon found out neither of us are cut out for kayaking, especially not in 30 degree heat! P1000221

P1000221

However it was pretty cool to do cos there was no-one else around and we felt like we had the place all to ourselves. The next few days were spent chilling out on the beach (you can see a pattern emerging) but Adam quickly got itchy feet. He'd been after a bamboo tattoo for ages and decided one night just to get it done. He already had an idea of what he wanted (an eagle on his arm) so the guy draw it for him to see if he liked it first. He was a really nice guy and did the whole tattoo for about 140 quid, it was about 8 hours worth of work. Adam's really pleased with it and glad he got a bamboo one cos they look much better than machine and you can go in the water straight away with them. 4391863548_f7cac54219.jpg
After a few more days on Ko Chang we headed back to Bangkok (trip number 4) to get Adam's passport, we were pretty beached out by this time and were looking forward to getting on with the rest of our trip. Back in Bangkok we did a fair bit of shopping (think we've been to every single shopping mall in Bangkok now) and had a look round Chinatown (not that great - all the Chinese have moved out cos its too expensive). We said our goodbyes to Jenny and Steve who were heading straight for Malaysia then we headed down to Krabi so Adam could see the Andaman coast before we left Thailand for Malaysia.

Posted by palmer830 05:50 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Ko Tao

Wife Swap Island

sunny 28 °C
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This is where it all goes a bit weird. Jenny and Steve bought a scuba diving package which included free accommodation. The guy who sold it to them said he would write on the forms that Jenny was with Adam and I was with Steve so that all 4 of us could get free accommodation. Sounded alright on paper, but Ko Tao's a pretty small place so for the next 4 nights the four of us had to put on a pretty poor show of 'wife swapping'. All got a bit weird, especially when Jenny and Steve said everyone on their diving course knew they were together so we ended up looking like a bunch of swingers. On the plus side we got free accommodation, which was much needed after 'the great robbery'!
While Jenny and Steve were diving, me, Adam, Katie and Sam hired scooters to explore Ko Tao. Was, once again, beautiful and, once again, we have no photos! We went snorkelling on some lovely beaches and attempted to head up to a place called Mango Bay but it was so ridiculously steep me and Katie had to get off the bikes! Didn't do too much on Ko Tao just chilled out on the beaches and ate a lot of food!
After four nights on Ko Tao we headed back to Bangkok to sort out getting Adam a new passport (this is now the 3rd time we've been to Bangkok so far on this trip argh!)

Posted by palmer830 04:52 Archived in Thailand Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

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