A Travellerspoint blog

March 2010

Kuala Lumpar

Back to the city....

sunny 32 °C
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We left Taman Negara early the next day, and thanks to my worrying about missing the bus we got there early to find the bus was nearly full and ready to go. This bus was old school, and making some funny loud noises, to the point where the driver let it coast most of the way only accelerating up hills. I was sure it was gonna be another bus disaster. So our original plan was to head to the Elephant Sanctuary and then head to KL, however we decided not to bother as there wouldn't have been any accommodation for us to sleep and instead got another local bus (by the way i say local but it had to be the nicest bus we have traveled on for the whole of Asia) all the way to KL.
When we arrived it was the usual search for the nicest/cheapest guest house we could find, which took forever, with Anna and I settling for a place with free dinner, and Kim going for Monkey Inn (which we later moved too as it had a cool TV room and free breakfast). We headed out for our free dinner on the roof top of another guest house, with Kim joining us, as they didn't seem to check who we were. I found some mash potato and had about 4 helpings. Greedy i know but with Anna rationing for the whole of Malaysia i didn't know when i was gonna eat next. We met a nice couple there from Canada, whom Kim knew from Cameron Highlands, called Ellie and Shane and we all went for a drink after dinner at a weird food hall that plays old country music. Quite funny. It also does a good BBQ pork noddle dish!!
Now me and Anna are quite lazy compared to most travelers, with us happy to spend the days pottering around. Kim however is a doer. So fairly early the next day we checked into Monkey Inn and headed out to see the sights. We had intended on heading straight for the KL Museum, however we got side tracked by the Biggest Mosque in South East Asia. We had to dress in these funny purple dress things,4474884535_0c5c54b7c6.jpg with Anna having to wear the hood up. We just wanted to have a look around, however these two old guys started chatting to us about the Muslim faiths and beliefs. In the end we couldn't get away and had about an hour discussion with them. It was quite interesting but we only popped in for a look and were all very hungry!!!! We all got given a free Koran to read also. Not quite sure where we left them though..........With our belly's rumbling we headed to the museum cafe for a re-fill and then a mosey at the history of Malaysia. It was interesting but i get bored of museums quickly and rushed Anna though (she likes to read every last inch of information going!!) In the evening we met with Ellie and Shane and headed to little India (we are staying in China town.....again!!) to see the evening market. It wasn't too bad, Anna was constantly worrying about our belongings, as usual!! But none of us spent any money and eventually headed back to China town for food.
The following day we went to the Petrona towers, which were very cool.4474849759_3f8ac2836d.jpg They are absolutely massive and the view you get from the sky bridge is amazing. However they are even better at night time when they are all lit up. As you can see its an amazing sight. We also finally had a TGI Fridays in the evening (we had meant to have one the day we left England, but couldn't find it in Heathrow Airport. It was ok, but not as good as the Chilli's we had 2 nights later. Anna will agree that it was the best burger we have ever had!! Her first words after her first bite were, "Oh My God your gonna love it" I think it was just that Malaysian food isn't that great and we were happy to have a good meal. We spent the next few days shopping (we spent quite a bit...ooops) watching movies in the TV lounge and uploading photos. The last night in KL was spent in the Airport, with our flight at 7:30 we thought we would try and save some money and kip on some benches. Let's see how it goes...

Posted by palmer830 22:13 Archived in Malaysia Tagged shopping Comments (1)

Taman Negara

It's a jungle out there...

sunny 28 °C
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Yep, it's a jungle out there, somewhere, but nowhere near where we were staying! We were told tales of elephants and tigers roaming a 130 million year forest but in reality it was filled with rats, bats and a pet pheasant. It is, however, 4343 sq km (seven times the size of Singapore) and we only really did the outskirts so I'm sure those elephants and tigers are in there somewhere. The first day was pretty action packed, starting with a stroll along the canopy walk, said to be the longest and highest in the world. I have a fear of heights (not sure why I didn't remember this before I signed up) so ran the across the thing in record time in order to get it over and done with, while Adam took a leisurely stroll across. 4442743498_6015089be5.jpgIn the evening we headed to a market, it was pretty far out of town but we managed to get a lift there. We weren't really sure how we were gonna get back but Kim (a lovely guy we'd met from Singapore) assured us we could HITCHHIKE back. HITCHHIKE. The word conjures up images of kidnapping, murder and Wolf Creek (to me anyway), but we soon got a lift with a friendly family. Turns out hitchhiking is pretty normal in Southeast Asia and people are more than happy to give you lifts anywhere you wanna go!
The next morning we woke up with a cricket staring us out from the other side of the mosquito net. This is the one time on our travels where that damn blow-pipe would of come in handy but unfortunately it was not within reach. Adam and I figured we weren't really made out for the jungle if we were scared by a cricket so decided to only spend a couple of days here. However, after a day settling in we grew to really like it, it was a really nice chilled out place and there's loads of adventurous stuff to do if you're into that kind of thing. The next day we trekked to a bat cave (insert embarrassing picture of Adam scared of a bat here!) 4457175620_4f2d8bf308.jpgand went for a swim in the river. After 3 nights here we left for the bright lights of Kuala Lumpur!

Posted by palmer830 22:05 Archived in Malaysia Tagged ecotourism Comments (0)

Cameron Highlands

More Tea Vicar

sunny 30 °C
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Our next stop after Penang was the Cameron Highlands. This place is famous for tea plantations, strawberry farms, and tea and scones! Very British! The guesthouse we found had rooms/cells for a mere 5 pounds a night, but after spending the night feeling like extras on 'banged up abroad' we decided to check in somewhere a little more civilised. 4407650081_62c7af5cfb.jpg
The food options in the Cameron Highlands are pretty limited, with Chinese and Indian being pretty much the only options. We tried a local dish called a 'steamboat' which basically involved the waiter dumping a gas stove in front of you so you cook your own food for the night, that's not what I go to a restaurant for! And a 'banana leaf' with cold Indian food, my worst nightmare! However, we found a nice cheap restaurant run by a cute old couple so we ate there pretty much everyday.
The next day we signed up for an 'Adventure Trek' which involved finding a 'Rafflesia', the biggest flower in the world, the guide assured us we'd have a 4x4 vehicle to help us out along the way. We set off in search of this damn flower and after two hours of uphill trekking (no 4x4 in sight) we finally found it. Not sure how excited you can get over a flower but it was pretty damn big.4416005281_a631315321.jpg The guide encouraged us all to have a look at the flower and then gathered us all for a chat. The chat basically involved telling us that this flower we'd just spent two hours trekking to find wasn't actually a flower but a fungus, and it wasn't even the biggest fungus! Bit of a letdown! On the way back we visited an Orang-Asli village where they showed us how to use a blow pipe. I'm happy to say I got a bullseye! At the end they offered us the chance to own our very own blow pipe for a mere 5 pounds. It is with regret that I have to inform you that Adam is a shopaholic, so the prospect of owning his own blow-pipe was something he couldn't let pass by. Not sure we'll have much use of a blow-pipe, and I'm pretty certain its journey will end at Australian customs. Next stop was a tea plantation where Adam continued his Where's Wally joke and I was too tight to buy a cup of tea.4440158784_b0faedfc84.jpg Then a strawberry farm where I was too tight to let Adam have his own milkshake. Then a butterfly farm, that involved an entrance fee which I was too tight to pay. A good day had by all!
After a couple more days of walking and generally stuffing our faces we headed to Taman Negara for some hardcore jungle trekking.

Posted by palmer830 21:53 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

Penang

Attack of the monkeys

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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)

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