A Travellerspoint blog

Malaysia

Welcome to the Jungle

Monkeys, insects and sweat!

sunny
View Around We Go on LauHot10's travel map.

Our final destination was Kutching, the capital of the state of Sarawak in the Northwest of Borneo. On the way we planned to visit the Niah Caves, which may not be as famous as those at Mulu (the ones drunk David gave us the hard sell on), but they are far more accessible and therefore more affordable. It was a long way from the border to Kutching and with the stop at the caves we were hoping to arrive around 10pm, having gotten up at 5:30am we knew we were going to be exhausted.

We hopped off the bus about an hour and a half after boarding and things seemed to be going well so far. A local man took us the next 15km to the national park and we managed to stow our backpacks in the cafe, I wouldn't have wanted to do the walk to the cave with mine on that's for sure! When we bought our tickets we found out that the walk to the caves was a little further than we had expected and so Kutching and ultimately our bed for the night seemed even further away.

To make things a little easier though the whole route has been carved out through the rainforest and an elevated pathway of wooden boards have been lain.
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It would have been nicer not to have the pressure of time ticking but it was certainly eased by the scenery. We were now really in the jungle and although it was all kept at arms length as we remained on the path it was still there surrounding us. You could feel the density of the place as the trees rose up all around, many of them hundreds of years old with their twisted roots snaking along the ground. On one side we had the forest and on the other shear rock faces began to rise up and we knew we were getting closer to the caves.

The once endlessly flat pathway began to turn into climbing stairs that hugged the side of the rock and when we rounded the corner we came to our first cave.
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I should probably mention that Bird's Nest Soup originated at Niah Caves. Traders Cave, the first one we came to was where the traders in the soup used to sleep. There are some still some remnants of their old dwellings, just a few wooden beams which would have been part of the main structure, it was interesting to see. We passed through this cave which although being impressive in size, was nothing in comparison to the next one.

Before we entered the main cave we stopped to look across at the view which had now opened up as we'd broken out through the trees. With the high mountains around us it felt like we were in the middle of no where and civilisation was a long way off.
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We turned our back on the bright light of day and made our way into the cave. As the mouth is enormous light does find its way in and the result is a slightly eerie green glow which illuminates the brown earth and the moist, uneven rock.
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I'm not sure if a 747 could park itself in there, it might be a bit of a squeeze at points but it could fit in at a weird angle I think. As we got deeper into the cave the smell began to become overwhelming, this would be the bat guava. The only way I can think to convey it to you, is for you to imagine the worst body odour you can and then times it by a thousand. I could almost taste it.

I think I've mentioned I'm not good with things that flap, so the combination of birds and bats made me a little nervous. Add in the fact that I'm somewhat claustrophobic and think people who enjoy pot holing or anything similar are clinically insane, and you can imagine I wasn't at my most comfortable. Still it was hard not to be distracted by the sheer size of this natural phenomenon. You could also see the primitive ladders which are still used by people to climb up and get the birds nests for the soup. I'm glad that's not my job!

As we continued to walk things began to get very, very dark and we realised why you had the opportunity to purchase head torches. However we hadn't and so our cave exploration came to a conclusion, much to my relief really. We retraced our steps all the way back to the cafe to grab our bags and then found someone to drive us back to the bus station.

When we arrived there was a bus going to Kutching so we thought our luck was in. We had been hoping for a bus that was as nice as the one we'd caught early, unfortunately we were disappointed a couple of times. Firstly we were informed that it would take twelve hours to get to Kutching, not the eight that we had thought and secondly the bus was not as nice. We were not very happy when we sat down but there wasn't a lot we could do and we resigned ourselves to a night on the bus.

In the end it took more than twelve hours because the bus seemed to stop every two minutes, sometimes we couldn't even understand why. We both had a fairly restless night, any time we did manage to drop off we were quickly awoken by the noise of people getting on or off. Finally we made it to Kutching at about 5am and a taxi took us to a hotel quite close to the waterfront which is the pretty and therefore touristy part of the city.
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Once in the room Adam went to sleep for a bit but I just couldn't manage to drop off so perused the internet trying to figure out what we should do here.

Kutching is a really lovely little place and has quite a quaint feel about it. There are lots of little streets to wander down and there is also a museum that we decided to visit.
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It is a small natural history museum and there was a whole plethora of animals, birds, insects, and all sort of marine life for us to look at downstairs. Then upstairs the history of the people of Borneo is depicted through scale models of their native dwellings; long houses and also there are many examples of weaving and tools which were historically used.

Although we had already had our Orangutan encounter, we had read that there was another rehabilitation centre that we could visit which was not far from Kutching. It was meant to be quieter than the one at Sandakan and we were hoping we may have a more intimate experience. We managed to locate a mini bus which was going and as we waited for it to leave it began to fill up with other Westerners and our high hopes were slowly being deflated. By the time we had disembarked at the centre and we were waiting to go in to the rainforest we were part of a crowd of tourists and then it began to rain, hard.

Apparently the rain would not effect the chance of seeing the Orangutans though, so at least this was something and as we made our way through the trees it was definitely more rustic than the other centre and it felt more real. As we stood on the raised platform we hard a crack and then a swoosh as a branch broke under the weight of a hairy, orange creature and then he used his weight to shorten the gap between one tree and the next.
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Soon enough there were a number of Orangutans in the trees above us all making their way to the feeding platform.
It felt much more wild than the other place and a number of times we were shepherded away from certain areas when the apes got to close. One of them was a female with a little baby clinging to her side, and it was really very, very magical.
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She grabbed some fruit for them and then retreated to the safety of a nearby tree, the baby then disentangled herself and climbed up the tree a little to munch on her banana.

When we'd boarded the bus to the centre earlier we were informed by the driver that 'The King' had been there at morning feeding time. This being the leader of the pack, the main man, and so we were hopeful we would see him too. He did not let us down and his arrival was marked by a low murmur which rolled through the crowd. Suddenly he came in to view and he was imposing, to put it mildly. He was much bigger than than the largest Orangutan we had seen at the Sandakan Centre. Unfortunately my camera had run out of battery and Adam's hasn't worked for some time now, so we just stepped back to take it all in. We over heard one of the employees telling someone that at his last weigh in, The King had tipped the scales at 160 kg/25 St. We were then treated to a moment of shared embarrassment as we witnessed an unusual show of dominance when one of the younger Orangutans tried to take some of The King's food without asking. I won't go in to details but just say it involved The King's face and the little one's bum! Needless to say we weren't quite sure where to look and people's eyes fell to the floor as they nervously giggled.

Although there were more people at this encounter it was in some ways a more magical experience, it felt more natural as far as the Orangutans were concerned. They arrived from out of the jungle, making their way through the trees high above our heads. We were witnessing them getting on with their lives rather than a kind of show being put on for us, which is what we had always wanted. We made our way back to the mini bus, pleased that we'd made the effort.

The last thing we really wanted to do before leaving Borneo was get ourselves in to the jungle. So the next morning we got up bright and early and caught a bus to Baku National Park. After a short trip in a mini bus and having paid our entrance fee we jumped in a speed boat which took us away from civilisation and dropped us off on a beach.

That kind of makes it sound like we were marooned there with the dark, uninviting jungle stretching out in front of us and a king of “you either make or you don't” set up. However it was in fact fairly organised and we had to go sign in and pick our trail so they would know where we were heading, we also arranged a pick up time with the speed boat guy, so rescue was almost guaranteed. The only slight problem we had was a big Macaque who didn't want us to pass and when I tried to he charged at me, teeth bared. Thankfully there was a man who was not scared of him and walked along and made a very loud noise and waved his walking stick around, the monkey backed off.

We had got there fairly early so as we finally climbed over a few rocks and disappeared in to the trees we were pretty much alone. We had picked a trail which would take roughly 3 hours as this is all the time we had. As it was our last day in Borneo we had a few things to sort out in Kutching. In the end though I think it was enough time and we got out before it got busy. The beginning part of the trail was quite strenuous, we were making our way up and although there was a sort of path to follow it was comprised of twisted roots and rocks that jutted out at different angles. Still it was good fun picking out the best route and moving quickly from one slightly precarious footing to the next. I am beginning to feel the benefits of a more active lifestyle and although we sweated buckets, I didn't feel like I was going to keel over after five minutes!

The jungle was heavy and oppressive, you could feel the weight of the humidity even in the morning. It was also teeming with life, lots of it was very, very small but it was there. We saw a whole army of ants, about ten abreast, all of which were heading off on some mission. Adam filmed the line for as far as he could follow it, it appeared to be never ending. Our trail then broke out of the trees and we were on a flat plateau of rock with scratchy grasses poking out through it and patchy, scrawny trees surrounding us.

We followed the little markers and the muddy jungle gave way to a sandy path and a much lighter forest on either side. The trunks of the trees shrunk and lightened and the leaves brightened. One of the things we had hoped to see here was the Probiscus monkey.
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It is native to Borneo and is a little unusual looking, well in the nasal region. We both heard a rustling in the trees and as we peered through the foliage, squinting our eyes, we saw one sitting in a tree. It wasn't the clearest sighting ever but it was there and we had achieved one of our aims.

The next part of the trek involved some very long, straight wooden board walks that guided us through the sandy, marsh beneath us and in the end brought us out on to a cliff above the beach. We sat for a little while looking down as the tide slowly drew the water back and exposed more and more of the beach. Once our batteries had been somewhat recharged we retraced our steps, snapped a few more pictures for the memory bank and emerged from the perils of the jungle fairly exhausted but otherwise unscathed. Our boat was waiting for us and we took off our shoes and socks and waded out in to the shallow water to climb aboard.

Once back in Kutching we tied up all the loose ends, had dinner and went to bed. We were looking forward to getting to Vietnam and finding out whether the people really did deserve their bad reputation for being rude, dog-eaters.

More Soon,
Laura & Adam

Posted by LauHot10 03:50 Archived in Malaysia Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

A Misty Mountain

and drunken tales

semi-overcast

We caught a bus bound for Kota Kinabalu which is a town on the Northern coast of Sabah. Unlike the majority of the passengers we disembarked about half way through the journey at the small village of Kundasang. It sits at the bottom of a valley and is surrounded by hills which steeply rise up all around. There wasn't great visibility when we arrived as the cloud coverage was quite dense but in the small breaks you could see that the area was stunningly beautiful.
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Pete and Jess had recommended a bed and breakfast to us and from the brief instructions I had found online we managed to find our way there. Both of us had envisaged a large home on the hillside where we would be welcomed with open arms by a Chinese man called David and his English companion Jerry. This was the impression that our Australian friends had given and they had stayed for four nights, so we thought it must have been a great place. Unfortunately our expectations were not met and it reconfirmed to me that you should never expect anything but just takes things as they come.

The house itself was single storey and was comprised of a living area for the owner David at one end and then we were shown down to the other end where they were a few rooms for guests and a shared bathroom. Initially what struck me was that it was cold, damp and in need a bit of a facelift. That said the the room we stayed in was spacious and could have accommodated six people but we had to ourselves. We took the attitude that we were here now and we would make the best of things, we had certainly stayed in worse places it only seemed bad because we had high hopes.

One of the main reasons for coming here was the opportunity to walk up into the hills and possibly into one of Borneo's many national parks. It was mid afternoon now so we needed to get a move on, unfortunately the weather still hadn't cleared but we were hopeful that we would still have an enjoyable walk. On our way out we stopped in to ask David some advice. As we entered the living area we met the other David for the first time, despite sharing the same name they could not have been more different. The owner David was very soft spoken and was really lacking charisma, he fairly matter of factly described where we should go. The second David was sitting at the head of a large wooden table and he only interjected a couple of times, he had about five empty cans of beer in front of him and was working his way through another. His would find his voice later on!

Following the directions we were given we stopped at the numerous fruit stalls we passed on the way to grab some supplies and then began to walk up a road which headed into the hills. We were somewhat disappointed when we didn't reach any kind pathway into the surrounding woodland, there was just the tarmaced road to follow. Finally there was a smaller track which we turned onto although we were still passed by cars and motorbikes. The air up here was full of moisture and it became quite misty at points.
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Despite the lack of the jungle we were hoping to explore there were lots of flora and fauna for us to photograph and we got pretty snap happy.
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For a little while we kept saying “we'll just see what's round this corner,” but in the end we had to admit that it would just be more of the same. Our jungle adventure would have to wait.

As we descended from the misty hill top the weather began to improve and the clouds lifted. Slowly but surely the scenery around us came in to view and we soon realised that as well as there being many beautiful green hills there was also a rocky mountain. It was hard to establish just how big it was because the peak was shielded from view but it seemed to be a big-un.
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Finally once we were back at the fruit stalls the mountain was completely cloud free. It didn't have any kind of conical peak but rather a craggy plateau with rocky pinnacles that broke free towards the sky. It provided a dark and almost ominous backdrop to this sleepy little town.
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We went to one of the many local eateries for dinner and we both ordered a coffee to warm us up as the temperature had now dropped quite a bit. When you order coffee in Malaysia more often than not you will be given a glass mug which contains a layer of thick, creamy liquid at the bottom, this is immensely sweet condensed milk and then the dark coffee sits on top until you give it a rigorous stir. Safe to say it is very rich but quite comforting.

When we went back outside the sun was beginning to set and it gently highlighted the wispy clouds gathered around one of the jagged pinnacles.
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The combination of low cloud and the fading light turned the sky a warm purple and the whole ambience of the place changed.
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We stood for quite some time staring out as the scene before us altered. Just over the distant hills the sky glowed orange and the contrast with the blueish purple of the sky was attention grabbing.
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Although I did get distracted for a short while by a couple of kittens that were darting around a small front garden and attempted to get some pictures when they sat still for a few moments. When all the light had disappeared from the sky we made our way back to the b&b.
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We were planning to go to Brunei the next day but were unsure how to go about it so we went back into David's living quarters to get some advice. Standing a little awkwardly at the edge of his open plan kitchen we began to ask whether there was a bus tomorrow and then were we might catch a boat. Both the David's were a little amused by our beliefs that we could make it from here to Brunei in one day and said “you better leave now.” David number two waved us in and instructed us to take a seat at the table. The number of empty beer cans in front of him had multiplied, there were now about ten or twelve and he was still going. It had obviously lubricated his vocal chords because he began to tell us why we shouldn't bother going to Brunei. Well first he asked us why we wanted to go but didn't really give us a chance to answer, he simply proclaimed that it was “boring” and also informed us it was a Muslim country, just in case we weren't aware.

We spent the next hour listening to a drunken David tell us about where we should go and that we should not go to Brunei if we just wanted to get our passport “chopped” to show our friends! One of the places he said we should go was Mulu caves because it is so big “ a er 474.. 744... a jet could be parked in it!” It was quite amusing to listen as he went round in circles and gave us little snippets about his life including all the places he had been, I'm surprised he didn't get out his passport to show us! In between the slightly incoherent ramblings he did provide us with a couple of routes to get to Brunei but still believed it would not be possible in a day. He also informed us that the large mountain was Mt Kota Kinabalu the largest mountain in Asia, so we were quite pleased we'd seen it. At one point some friends of his turned up and they sat with us for a moment before retiring to the living room to watch the tv, they seemed used to him and clearly thought it was better to just let him get on with it.

After a lot of nodding and agreeable noises we managed to make our escape and told him we would think about what to do. When we got back to the room we sifted through David's information and decided we would just get up really early and try to get to Kota Kinabulu where we could catch a boat. As we were just settling down I heard a bit of a rustling on the floor and I looked down to see two mice run into the wardrobe. A little freaked out we quickly set about closing up our bags and moving our shoes off the floor before we turned out the light. I heard a bit of rustling in the night but managed to tune it out. It was a very light sleep anyway because I knew we would have to up early and on our way once more.

More Soon,

Laura & Adam

Posted by LauHot10 00:55 Archived in Malaysia Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

An Orangutan Encounter

and our introduction to Borneo

sunny

We caught a local mini bus to downtown Sandakan and it was a little bigger and more developed than I was expecting. Straight away it had a completely different feeling to the Philippines, it felt more Asian. Maybe this is linked to the food which you can see being cooked and eaten as you pass by the little canteen style restaurants which spill out on to the pavements. The cuisine here is much more typical of that which is enjoyed through out Asia, the Philippine diet seems much more distinct and in some ways a lot simpler.

We found a little guest house and then began to think about how we were going to fill our time here. Having only got a week to get a flavour of Borneo and also visit Brunei it was going to take a bit of planning. First things first though we were going to see the Orangutans. We'd done a bit of research and found there was a rehabilitation centre about 25km away from Sandakan and there was a bus we could catch. We had to rush a little bit because we wanted to get the next bus to be there for the afternoon feeding so we hurried to the bus stop. Once we got there we searched all the buses for the right number but the one we wanted didn't appear to be there. While looking around we noticed another western couple who seemed to be waiting. We ended up making eye contact and they wandered over to us and we soon established we all wanted to get to Sepilok the rehabilitation centre. As it appeared the bus was not coming we decided to share a taxi. After a bit of negotiation involving us walking away when the price was too high and the cabby calling us back, we clambered in and despite being tired I was really excited. Once on the way they introduced themselves as Pete and Jess from Brisbane. They were in Borneo for a holiday and had been here for about two weeks. They mentioned a place that we should go and we just generally chatted about our travels and other places they had been. They were both really friendly and it was nice to have the company.

When we got there the taxi driver threw a fit, literally, he chucked Adam's empty drink can out of the window after us when we refused to pay him more than we'd agreed. When he was gone Adam went to retrieve it and dispose of it properly. It was while we waited for the centre to open for the afternoon that our illusions of Borneo were slightly shattered. Rather naively it would seem, we had presumed that this island would be a bit of a departure from the normal travellers route. In anything I've seen or heard about Borneo it seemed to have an air of the undiscovered about it. However as we waited the number of tourists increased. Soon there was a fair few of us waiting to go in and have a magical experience.
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Despite this I was still really excited and we were one of the first to make our way into the forest. They have built a raised board walk which leads you through to a clearing where there is a larger viewing area and some incorporated benches. At this point it was just Pete, Jess, us and a few others. We stared out into the trees and suddenly we saw one.
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He climbed up on to the little feeding platform and looked over to us. I'm not sure how old he was but he certainly wasn't fully grown. To our surprise he was soon clambering over the little fence that separated us from the jungle beyond. One of the workers told us to step back as he could be slightly unpredictable, he didn't usually come here apparently.
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I was full of kind mixed emotions, on the one hand this was clearly a wild animal, well more wild than your pet cat or dog but on the other hand he was so cute and I couldn't help but be intrigued.
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We all took a few steps back and just waited to see what would happen. He seemed very intent on interacting with us, or rather with our bags as he began to approach people and try to grab on to them. The keepers had to step in and they tried to haul him away but he was having none of it and he squirmed out of their grips and even tried to bite them.
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I wasn't scared though, he just seemed like a determined toddler who wanted to explore. It turned into a bit of a battle of wills and he got free a couple more times, he moved quickly along the board walks and went towards Adam at one point. Finally though they got him under control and took him away.
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It sounds like it would have been a bit scary but I thought it was quite exhilarating and I never thought I'd get that close to them.

When he was gone the viewing area began to fill up with lots and lots of people. It was nice to have had the previous experience with a few rather than having to try and glimpse it above people's heads. We saw a couple more Orangutans but it did feel more like they were put up for us to see. One was eased up on to the feeding platform and it was entertaining to see her immerse her head fully in the food bucket but it felt a little more like a zoo.
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Towards the end they brought out a very large male and he expertly manoeuvred his way down the narrow beam on top of the fence and then up to get some food.
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Some Macaques now began to descend, trying to get in on the action but it was clear they had respect for the large Orangutan. They were very cautious and waited until he was contentedly munching before they dug in.
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After an hour or so the main event seemed to be over and we made our way back to the centre to wait for the bus. It may not have been quite the wild and unique experience that I was expecting but it was still amazing to be so close to these creatures. They really are as fascinating and charming as they appear to be on television. I just wish I could have given them a cuddle!

Once back in Sandakan we went in search of food. Unfortunately mine was not very nice and I was left feeling quite sick. Back at the guest house we got an early night, it really had been a long day and we were ready for a good nights sleep. Pete and Jess had stayed at the same place the night before and had warned us that it had been very noisy with people shouting until very late. It didn't seem to bother us as we dropped off quickly, that was until about midnight when we were both woken up by people laughing and shouting. We lay there in the dark waiting for it to stop but there was no lapse in the noise, in the end I got dressed and went out to reception. It was the hotel employees making the noise and I explained it was late and we were trying to sleep. Thankfully they were respectful and were quiet from then on, we even heard them “ssshhhh-ing” people.

The next morning I was not feeling well at all, it seemed the meal the night before had done some damage. We couldn't leave which was really annoying as we had limited time. Trying to do something useful we spent the day making use of the free wifi and trying to research where to go next. It was tricky to make a decision as everything seemed to involve getting a tour, or going on a jet to some remote part of the jungle all of which sounded like it would cost a lot. After a fairly frustrating day and feeling at a little of a loss, we fell asleep. In the morning I remembered the name of the place Pete and Jess had suggested and we established we could get a bus there. It was enroute to Brunei and so slowly a plan was beginning to form.

More Soon,

Laura & Adam

Posted by LauHot10 00:53 Archived in Malaysia Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Malaysia Truly Asia

Malls, Modernity & Puppies!

sunny
View Around We Go on LauHot10's travel map.

Our last hours in India were tainted by a couple of incidents. Firstly when we came to check out of our hotel the reception was being manned by two men we hadn't encountered before and they tried to charge us more money than we had agreed. I could see we were just going round in circles and as we were kind of on a clock, what with having a plane to catch, I lost my temper with them. I'm not sure how often women lose their temper with men in India, but they backed off pretty quickly and accepted the money we gave them. The second incident occurred when we came to get our tuk tuk to the airport. The first driver wasn't interested really and referred us to a second older gentleman but as we were getting into his vehicle another couple of men came over and an argument ensued. Perhaps there was some kind of queue that wasn't being observed but it was hardly the old man's fault and he certainly did not deserve the slap round the head that he received. The two bullies then made up some story that the old guy's tuk tuk wasn't working, even though it had been a second ago and we had to get out. In usual circumstances there is no way we would have gone with those two men but time was getting on a bit and we didn't have much other option as it was quite early, so reluctantly we let them take us to the airport.

It was a little sad that those two things had to happen on our last morning in India, but we made it to the airport on time and although the process was a little unorthodox in places we jumped through all the hoops and got to the departure lounge without too much fuss. The plane was only slightly delayed and soon enough we were waving goodbye to India and getting excited about arriving in Kuala Lumpur.
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Straight away the contrasts between the two countries is evident, just from being at the airport it was clear. We had arrived back in the modern world. Although a lot of the charm of India is that it maintains strong links with the past, we were both a little starved of modernity and Kuala Lumpur appeared to be the perfect antidote.

We caught a coach, rather than a bus which was pleasing, into KL Sentral and then we jumped on the LRT (Light Railway Train). Which is one of the three train services which efficiently shuttle people all around Kuala Lumpur. As we walked the short distance from the station to China Town which is where we planned to stay, we saw about 5 McDonalds, 3 KFC's and many other fast food restaurants. In some places there are the same shops on either side of the street, for example 7 Elevens are everywhere, you are never far from a Slushy! Or Prune Powder, which Adam decided to try when he was feeling adventurous, safe to say he hasn't found a new love!
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Once in China Town we headed to a place that Adam had been to before and got a room, a little pricier than what we had been paying in India but that was to be expected I suppose. After getting rid of our bags we walked round China Town a little bit and found some dinner in one of the many basic restaurants which line the streets. We traded curry in for stir fry and were both pleased with the change.

While wandering around we came across a pet shop which sold a number of dogs, most of them puppies and they even had one out for you to pet. I was pretty excited with this discovery and spent a little time getting acquainted with a Husky puppy. Safe to say I made sure we found our way back to the pet shop a few more times over the next few days! There is also a large street market in China Town and lots of “real copies” for sale, or so we were told, unfortunately we were both feeling a bit too sleepy to have a proper look and deal with the touts.

Even though Kuala Lumpur is only two and a half hours ahead of India it still made dropping off to sleep a little tricky, which meant it was a slightly drowsy start to our first morning in the city. I had also had another encounter with the infamous bed bugs and was once again sporting a lumpy exterior. Nonetheless we made our way over to the Monorail, one of the other trains which operates in Kuala Lumpur and rode it to Imbi which is where the largest Mall I have ever been to is located.
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We spent a few hours contentedly soaking up the atmosphere and perusing the many wears for sale. I ended up joining Adam in his slight watch obsession and bought a couple for myself. After some retail therapy we visited the cinema and saw Wolverine, which apart from some slightly dodgy CGI in places was about what you'd expect from an X-Men movie, and was entertaining enough.

We then visited a couple of the other malls in the area, one of which is completely devoted to all things electronic. I have never seen so many laptops, digital cameras, and all the related accessories in one place, it appeared to almost be never ending and it was also packed. Gadgets and all the latest mod cons are big business in this Asian metropolis. After taking all that in we were both completely exhausted, and so decided it was time to call it a day and headed back to China Town.

The next day we continued the shopping theme and visited the Suria Mall which sits at the base of the famous Petronas Towers. We didn't go up the towers because you have to get there early to get a time slot for later in the day, so we planned to go the next day. The Suria Mall is where all the posh shops are situated, like Louis Vuitton, Gucci and so on. Being on a tight budget and already feeling the pinch just paying for the necessities in Kuala Lumpur we had to keep our wallets firmly in our pockets. Although I did splash out a little bit and buy a christening present for my nephew, which hopefully he will like. Escaping the lure of the shops we found safety in the cinema once more and saw Star Trek which I would really recommend to people. I have never been a trekky myself but I really enjoyed it and it didn't take itself too seriously.

After the cinema we headed out to the lake which sits at the back of the mall and I had my first close up glimpse of the towers.
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They are really quite impressive and sit amongst a number of skyscrapers which puncture the Kuala Lumpur skyline. With the bright sunshine, clean lines of the buildings and neat and orderly landscaping of the surrounding area, Adam commented that it looked like something out of a Manga cartoon. This little snapshot looked like the city of the future.
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The next morning we got up early and headed back to the Petronas towers to queue up for our time slot. However when we arrived we were confronted with a sign that informed us that the Skywalk viewing platform was closed every Monday. So our plans were well and truly scuppered. I wasn't feeling too hot so we decided to take it easy and went back to the mall we had visited on the first day and ended up going bowling. My performance was somewhat shameful but Adam seemed to have a some technique and got a good percentage of strikes over the four games we played. We spent the rest of the day just pottering around and slowly made our way back to China Town and visited the petshop for perhaps the fourth time and I got to pet an Andres puppy.

The following day we both woke up feeling a bit rough and Adam seemed to be starting a cold. We decided the best thing to do was just to stay around China Town and therefore we wouldn't be going up the Petronas Towers. We should get a couple of other opportunities though as we will be heading back to Kuala Lumpur a few times over the next 3 months. We spent some of the day mooching around the shops in China Town which sell all kinds of knick knacks, like little solar powered figurines which bob their heads and mountains of cuddly toys. By the fifth shop we were experiencing visual overload and had to go for a lie down. Later on we made it out for some dinner and although we thought we'd basically ordered the same thing just with different meats, we were surprised how different our dishes turned out to be! Still they were both enjoyable, even though we are still struggling a little bit to get our three meals a day, our appetites just aren't what they were.

We had to be up at 3:45am so we made sure we got an early night, we weren't helped out by our fellow travellers who decided to keep the noise levels up but we got a few hours sleep. We caught the coach back to the airport, checked in our bags and went through security, there were no problems apart from both of us feeling really under the weather. Adam's cold was much worse and I think the lack of food was starting to catch up with me.

Apart from this we had had a great time in Kuala Lumpur and were hopeful that the Philippines would have lots of exciting experiences to offer.

More Soon,

Laura & Adam

Posted by LauHot10 21:48 Archived in Malaysia Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

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