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30th October - Kuala Lumpur

MALAYSIA | Monday, 30 October 2006 | Views [835] | Comments [1]


We've been taking things pretty easy in Malaysia, Emma came to join us for a week in Penang where we spent most of the time eating or waiting to be hungry enough to eat again.  We couldn't get enough of the night market / hawkers centre near where we stayed - not the most glamourous eating spot but cheap as chips (actually, cheaper than chips) with people bringing beers to our table all night and about 20 different food stalls around us to order whatever we fancied from. Lovely!  Also low on the glamour scale but very exotic was the Indian cafe where we were served curry and rice on a banana leaf and ate with our fingers.

Butterfly Garden

We did a little excursion to a butterfly sanctuary - you wouldn't think it was possible to be scared of such harmless, pretty little things but I ended up squealing and running away from them...I made the mistake of wearing red, the colour that their most enormous butterflies are attracted to.  They flocked to me, landing all over me and fluttering around me and honestly, they are huge, the size of a hand, bigger.   Serves me right for laughing at Emma for being scared when one landed on her finger.


When I last wrote, I said that we'd upgraded our accommodation to a four star hotel.  Who knows where they got these so called stars from, it turned out to be the kind of establishment where there were porters, but their main job was to watch you lug your own bag up the steps; there was a gym, but the equipment had all been purchased in the eighties, broken down in the nineties and left to fester ever since.  It also turned out that the entire week was some kind of Malaysian national holiday (not mentioned in the guide book / internet guides) so everywhere was packed including, unfortunately, the ferry that was meant to be taking us to idyllic Langkawi for a  few days on the beach.  So packed, in fact, that it was fully booked out for days and we had to abandon the plan.  Don't worry about us though, we managed to find another beach to relax beside in the end.


Once Emma left us, we carried on travelling and braved a five hour bus journey to Kuala Lumpur.  It was meant to leave at 9:30 but turned out to be on some kind of flexi time and only left once it was full, almost an hour later.  A year of travelling has not left me any more zen like than I was before and I got really cross with the guy who kept telling me five more minutes.  We finally left and the driver lit up a cigarette as we drove out of the city, I just couldn't believe it and stomped up to the front and terrified him into putting it out. Pah.


My favourite bit of the journey was getting into the taxi in KL and saying "The Ritz, please" to the driver.  Oh yes, we've well and truly upgraded this time (I think there must have been some mistake with the price on Expedia).  We drew up to the hotel where we were enthusiastically greeted by about ten staff, shown to our gorgeous room and introduced to our butler. Three days later and I still haven't thought up any chores for him to do. He said he could run us a bath (but I've managed that by myself) and polish our shoes but I don't think either our flip flops or our trainers would benefit from much of a buff really.  Still, the room is gorgeous, it's like an apartment.  Every time we come or go from the hotel, all the staff are falling over themselves to offer us help, wish us a good day, welcome us back, whatever.  The hotel is also attached to a shopping centre, a really plush one with posh restaurants and terrifying shops like Versace, Gucci and Louis Vuitton. I feel like a rock star!

What a way to end the trip.  Tomorrow we fly to Cape Town for Aoife and Damian's wedding and a few days after that, we'll be home.  Thanks for reading the journal, I've really enjoyed writing it anyway.  See you all soon!

Tags: Adventures



hello...i'm still reading...hope you're still having fun!
See you very soon...enjoy the rest of your trip

  Helen Nov 1, 2006 2:58 AM

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