Posts Tagged ‘Kuala Lumpur’

The first stop in Malaysia was the stylish capital, Kuala Lumpur. It was a bit of a mission to find the hostel I booked (Sunshine Bedz KL) but it was my fault..oh and the monsoon rain didn’t helped either:)

Patrick, the owner welcomed me very nicely..this hostel  was just like being home..The crowd was cool too. My first trip was to the KL Towers..breathtaking high tech look:

KL Towers

Then went to an AMAZNG place, to the Sky bar in Trading hotel. Pool in the middle, view on the towers, fashion, luxury. Didn’t quite match with my sweaty, scruffy traveller look but who cares it was amazing to be there!

Sky bar

I was soo in the mood to go out but Athene (English girl I was hanging out with) didn’t feel good so I opted for a quiet night too.

Next day I walked around in the Sea Gardens, Orchid/Hibiscus garden, Little India and Chinatown. In the evening I was ready to play out. We were only a few of us, Patrick, Sheldon (Zimbabwe) and another guy from the US. It was an ok night, nothing crazy. First day of experiencing the Malaysian food..I have to say it’s seriously delicious…

food DSC_0105

Me and Sheldon wanted to go to Tioman but we missed the bus..doh, so went back to the hostel and visited the Batu Caves..nice:

Batu caves

The next day  we made sure we didn’t miss the bus, and Athene joined us too, so we arrived after 5 hours to Mersing, the jump off point to Tioman islands..There was only one ferry going/ day and we missed it so we spent the night in Mersing. I this town there is not much to do really and even though we did everything to blag ourselves into a cargo boat or get a speed boat to the island nobody took us so we had to stay overnight. Sheldon after this decided not to come to the island and I was pretty indecisive too as I contacted a few dive centres and all were pretty much closed for the monsoon and the only reason why i wanted to go was because of my AOW course. In the end I did go..we met Kai (Finnish guy). Athene went to Juara (East coast) and me and Kai went to ABC beach (the best on the west!) I had the time of my life on this island with a super cool Malay group of guys. They were celebrating the closure of season  (Ray’s dive school ) in A peace bar drinking off all the leftover booze.

A peace party


Then I started my Advanced Open Water with B&J Dive centre. Sammi, my instructor was super cool with a lot of knowledge..i got so much more confident in diving. Next step will the Rescue diver level. Meanwhile i got involved in their season closing celebration too. It was so nice not to be in a very touristy spot with full of the timing was perfect for the island. I spent here 5 days, then I continued to Singapore.

I would describe it as a perfect, neat little artificial city. High buildings, luxury, warm weather and incomparably delicious food. I found a very cheap hostel too, Wow Hostel (book it via hostelworld so it’s 8 SGD but if you walk in it’s 18).

I spent most of the time with Pang, I met him in Bali and he is from Singapore. It was nice to see him again and have a local guide. We indulged in food together.

singapore Pang

Oh my whole Singapore experience started with Candy..I was queuing for the bus when she warned me from behind that my bag was loose and about to we started chatting. Turned out she was from Penang (Malaysia) and she visited his friend (Jovan) who was from the same place but living in Singapore. They were both supernice..I had no clue about the transport and they almost came with me all the way to my hostel..See this is what is missing from the western culture..humanity and unconditional care for people…even if you don’t know them at all!

Overall you need about 3 days for Singapore (for the main attractions) of course you need more time to really ‘feel ‘ the city which I didn’t have. On m last day I visited Sentosa island with Jovan which is even more artificial than Singapore itself..with its giant Universal Studios, Casino, cable car and beaches it’s very popular for the locals and tourists as well.

Don’t leave Singapore without trying the chilly crab, carrot cake (it’s not a dessert!!), murtabag, nasi padang and Tiger!!

chilly crab

After Singapore my next stop was Melaka. Melaka is about 3 hours north from Singapore and 2 hours south from KL. I arrived quite late (10pm) so I happily accepted the approach of the guesthouse sales man waiting at the bus station. He got me  cheap room and cheap taxi..the only thing he didn’t tell me that the place (‘Home sweet home’ ) was a brothel. 3 girls from Taiwan were getting ready for the night next door so I left as quickly as I could. I was walking on that dodgy street in the middle of the night but then when i reached China Town a party rickshaw with a super fun guy picked me up and took me to Ringo ‘s Foyle hostel (i had to be persistent with him so that he accepts the money..again Malaysia..super nice interest..unconditional care..simple is that). In Ringo’s Carol welcomed me so nicely..and the people were cool..there is a roof terrace in this hostel so first night I was up there boozing with the people till 6am…nice start:)

The next day I was walking around by the river and in China Town and in the evening I met Silke (German lady living in Melaka, whom I first met in Pulau Weh- Indonesia if you remember). We went to an excellent restaurant called Pak Putra and had a walk around..But I was too tired from the previous night so we got home around midnight. The last full day I spent with her again, Melaka is a place to chill and walk and absorb the art and culture..

Melaka Melaka

After Melaka I went to KL again to see my friend from Tioman Afiez ( his bar: A peace)..I spent a couple of days at his house..cooked some Gulyas for the guys and relaxed.

Cook assistant Gulyas

After KL and the relaxed days I needed some fresh air and hiking so Cameron Highlands was a perfect place for it. I got here late too but it’s a very safe place. So I was walking to the hostel I looked up before but unfortunately there was a little obstacle to get there..due to the heavy rains a little lake formed on the road with hip height water level so I had to alternative routes to cross…on the left on a mud hill or on the right on a slim edge..None of them were ideal but my common sense suggested the mud cause even if I fall there I’ll just look like a turtle with my backpack and legs in the air but if I fall from the other side I might break my neck..So there was a Swedish guy, Adam who was on the same bus as me and we accomplished together this mission..I got muddy only till knee level..and no falling:) Once we got to the hostel we had to go back to town for a same mission 2x more..but the dinner was worth it We tried the famous Malay speciality called Steam boat. Basically they bring you a massive pot of either chicken soup or tom yam and a lot of raw fish, vegetables,  chicken, mushroom, tofu that you put in your boiling soup and cook it..(the soup arrived at the table on a gas cooker) here is a pic:

steam boat

Once we finished this delicious meal we went back to the hostel. Next day we decided to do some hiking. In Cameron Highlands there are plenty of trails that you can do individually or you can take a tour to the Mossy forest and to tea plantations and strawberry farms.

We teamed up with a lovely couple (Scottish girl, English boy) and we started the adventure together. It took us a while to get onto the right trail but eventually after walking in a private garden with cabbages and strawberry around us we found the trail. Oh it felt good to trek again!! It’s been a while..When we reached the top it started raining and I suggested to take a different route on the way back (I hate returning on the same route) this was a real it was steep and  the soil was mainly clay and the water was streaming down on I had a very stylish fall there which made my day as I couldn’t stop laughing for the rest of the day..Once we arrived back in critical conditions, we bought some booze, had dinner and spinned the bottle in the  hostel 🙂 It was truth not dare..and we learnt a lot about each other.

Next day Phil and Christy left and we had another day with Adam..but woke up at midday so we went on a short trek to Binchang to see a tea plantation but we didn’t make it in time so went to a strawberry farm instead.

The next morning we left for Penang..Now Penang is a great island with fantastic food.

Very similar to Singapore, food courts everywhere. We checked into the Cocoa Mews Hostel in Little India, then started walking on the promenade towards one of the best food courts in Gurney Drive Food court. We met Candy there and we started some food orgy:) By the way..another amazing gesture in a phone south American phone doesn’t seem to be working with the sim cards on this part of the world..and i didn’t want to spend on a new phone so..the shop assistant gave me his old Nokia phone for free….so nice!

After we finished with the fried chicken skin, sting ray cooked in banana leaf, fried oyster, ambra juice with sour plum and the rest delicious pieces we went to Bora Bora beach for cocktails..which ended again with night bathing in the sea..oh..again nice memories from Colombia…

The next day I went with Adam to the Thai embassy (when you cross to Thailand by land you get only 15 days visa) I was thinking to apply for 30 days too but then I realised that I have only 30 days left in South East Asia and I have still Laos and Cambodia on my list so I didn’t apply in the end. We then went up to Penang Hill for a stunning view on George Town and then we met Phil and Christy for lunch, and then we walked along on the heritage trail to see the wall paintings:

street painting Penang

Early everyone was ready for the Friday night karaoke! On Friday we separated ..I rented a bike and went to Penang National park, trekked to the Monkey beach and back, and went into the island..i love discovering on scooters!! So cool!

Monkey beach

In the evening we went to eat and then hit a private karaoke bar in one of the shopping Malls..the night finished at 4 am..had a lot of fun AGAIN.

Next day Adam had to catch his ferry to Langkawi and me the bus at midday to Krabi..

I loved Malaysia A LOT. One of my favourite countries..nice people, nice time I will not skip the Perhentian islands (which were closed because of monsoon) and Borneo..