My journey from Thailand to Malaysia, with a few hiccups along the way.
12.03.2010 - 05.04.2010 33 °C
As always I hope this silly little blog finds you all well, enjoying spring time wherever you may be.
So when we last spoke, I had just a few days left in Khon Kaen. So on the Friday I headed down to Bangkok once again to see the fabulous Eimear and have some well-deserved and much-needed girly time! It was so great, we caught up on our travelling adventures since leaving each other in Alice, gossiped ruthlessly, and ate some pretty awesome fajitas, all at the same time! Aren't we good?!?! Eimear was very very kind and let me stay with her in a truly swanky hotel, which was amazing, and I had the best night's sleep! We then got up, had a lounge and a swim in the pool, and went to Koh San Road for some dinner and a massage, it was perfect! I was so sad to say goodbye to her when she had to head off to catch her flight, but it was so great to catch up with her, and we both decided that we are the most cosmopolitan people we know, just meeting up in Bangkok for dinner, darling! haha
Anyway, I got a room ready for the boys to join me in the middle of the night, which was officially the hottest twin room in all of Bangkok, and Dan and I had to squish into one teeny single bed, but for some of the night I actually slept on towels on the floor as it was cooler down there! After that money-saving effort, we booked our bus for later that day, and hopped across the red-shirted throngs of town to see Alice in Wonderland in 3D Imax glory. Then we began our bus and boat combo journey down to Koh Tao.
I have never seen water so clear! We had actually arrived on paradise. We got to Koh Tao mid morning and struggled to find accommodation before collapsing into a triple room and then heading down to the beach. The sandy strip was very narrow and the water is shallow, but it was beautiful. The colour of the water took my breath away every time we would wander down there, whether early in the morning, or just before the sun said goodnight. It was stunning!
After a day of sunbathing and finding our feet and some cheap bungalows we headed out for a couple of drinks on the beach before grabbing some street food. Dan and I decided to get a lantern to set off from the beach, and found a secluded spot away from the bars to let it off. I put my bag down and turned to help Dan with the lantern and by the time I turned back round, my bag was gone. Now unlike the infamous Superloo incident of New Zealand, I did not freak out, have a meltdown, or generally fall apart, O no! I had learnt that this would not aid the situation, so after Dan had run up the beach looking for the dirty scoundrel without any luck, we headed to the Police Station in the back of a van. I had a little scream on the way to let out the frustration and anger of losing my passport, my purse, and most importantly and upsetting, some pictures of Mum, Dan Jane and Teegs as well as other little bits and pieces of sentimental value. We got to the police station where a guy who looked as much like a policeman as I do was lying on a sofa watching TV and proceeded to not believe that we had actually had something stolen. The whole process was fairly ridiculous, but he told us to come back in the morning where he would give us a report. We did this, after cancelling my cards and all that other boring stuff, and once I had the report, I had to find out how I could get a new passport, as my Thai visa was due to run out in less than two weeks - all fun and games! Eventually, I had to go up to Bangkok, send off all my papers, and then come back to Koh Tao.
Anyway, I was then able to continue to enjoy paradise! We were on the beach pretty much everyday, we went on a snorkelling tour of the island which was pretty awesome, where I saw a shark!! We went to Koh Tao festival which was really cool and we just generally chilled out and had a great time! Although this was the only Thai island we got to see or spend time on, it was exactly what I needed, and the scenery didn't disappoint. The Thai people weren't as friendly as our Northeastern pals, but we have put this down to tourism. I'm so glad we got to experience some 'real' Thailand, and I think I would recommend it to anyone!
After Koh Tao, James headed down to Malaysia, and Dan and I had a weekend in Phuket, waiting for my passport to arrive. The old town where we stayed (in the hotel that is featured in the film The Beach) was really nice, and had a very retro vibe to it. We wandered around, went to the cinema, and read, A LOT! It was really nice, but Dan had to leave a day before me, as his visa ran out. I stayed to collect my passport, which was another debacle, but finally got on a bus down to Penang in Malaysia the following morning. Actually to e more accurate, I got on 4 minibuses over the total journey, having countless near-death experiences at the hands of the mental drivers, but arrived to meet Dan and his friend Pauline in Penang at about 9pm. Pauline was very kind and let us stay for the night, and then we headed down to the Cameron Highlands to meet James in Tanah Rata. We stayed in Daniels Lodge, and our first day was spent hiding from the rain and just chilling out. Then James and I went for a it of a trek through the jungle and out to the tea plantations that are dotted through the countryside. The landscape was incredible, and the plantations were amazing, a patchwork of different green tones covering the hills. We saw the farmers havesting the tea with hoover-like machines and with small clippers and it was pretty awesome to see the plants themselves close up, and think of the process of converting them into the drink everyone back home loves. It was a really lovely walk, but we were pretty knackered by the time we got back!
After the stunning scenery of the Cameron Highlands, we headed down to KL to get ready for the Grand Prix. KL as a city was pretty cool, lots and lots of dizzyingly tall buildings, and most obviously the Petronas towers. On the Saturday I opted out of the qualifying (there really is only so much F1 I can take, and it isn't much at all!) and had some girly time, mooching around, doing a spot of shopping and popping up to the observation bridge on the two towers. I have to say this was absolutely not worth it! We had to queue for so long in the morning for the free ticket, as it's first come first serve, and then you get 10 measly minutes on the bridge, which is only 41 floors up the 88 floor building! A bit pants, but at least I can say that I've done it! Then on the Sunday we headed over to the Sepang Circuit to watching the deafening race. It was boiling hot out on the grass verge where we sat, but we had a pretty good view of a corner (apparently this is good??) and I did get vaguely enthused when the race actually started and Dan explained who everyone was and why that mattered! I'm sure the boys could tell you far more about it, but as this is my blog, I can't and won't bore you with the details hehe! Please forgive my girlyness!
The following morning we flew across to Medan in Sumatra, Indonesia.
I'm going to continue my tales of Indonesia on a separate entry, as there is lots to say.
See you all very soon.
Lots of Love.