|On to Malaysia
||[Aug. 18th, 2006|05:02 pm]
|||||KL, Malaysia :-)||]|
|||||Cheesy Malaysian pop||]|
So we left Phuket after a couple of weeks diving, chilling on the beach and partying a bit too hard on our last night. It was a bit sad to leave the friends we made behind but it was time to explore new territory. We got on the 'bus' (Thai buses are basically trucks with benches in the back in which many many people are crammed on to the point of hanging out the door!) still in recovery from excessive alcohol intake and travelled for 8 hellish hours around the other side of Thailand to Railey which is a paradise of jungle, cliffs and beaches. We didn't want to leave, it was such a beautiful relaxing place. Its only accesible by boat as there are no roads through the jungle so when we arrived we thought it was an island. On the fourth day of our stay we found a map and realised it was actually attached to the mainland! Oops but that was our Railay state of mind, so relaxed with no real intelligent thoughts going through our little brains. It was great!
On to Krabi, a small very Thai town with few tourists which was a nice change. We tried to go diving again but there were no boats to where we wanted to dive as not enough people wanted to go. Damn! we need those tourists! We ate noodles from the night market in Krabi every evening and at the weekend there was a big stage and a celebration of the 60th aniversery of the king. Lots of terrible singing and dancing, it was so funny. We were given little candles at one point, then the whole market stopped, everyone lit their candles, stood up and started singing national songs. it was a bit strange to be standing there with our candles not really knowing what was going on! Thai people are very much attached to their king, there are pictures of him everywhere on the streets and many people wearing t-shirts with the king logo on them.
We left Krabi on a minibus driven at high speed by a crazed madman to Hat Yai close to the Thai-Malaysian border where we thankfully changed buses and were delivered after some ours to the island of Penang off the west coast of Malaysia. The ferry crossing at night was really nice but that was about all we enjoyed of Penang. we stayed for 1 day. That was enough! Open sewers and polluted beach were not for us. We took an ancient decrepit bus to Georgetown, the islands capital which was a mess of ugly 1960's architecture and were equally unimpressed. Don't go to Penang, its boring and it smells!
We escaped to Kuala Lumpur which is very nice city so far. An interesting mix of many differnt religions and races. Malaysian people are like Thai people, mostly very friendly and helpful. Its fun to explore the massive city on the metro which is cheap and cheerful but sometimes horribly slow! Our guesthouse is in the middle of the golden triangle of big expensive looking tower buildings (including the famous Petronas twin towers which we are planning to visit tomorrow) but is ridiculously cheap to stay in. we had a dorm with 5 beds to choose from to ourselves last night but today we have a roomate who has left her backpack and Jeffery Archer novels in there but has yet to appear. Curious to know what she's like as she seems to be travelling alone and her backpack is remarkably clean for travelling in these parts!
I think we'll hang around the big KL for another couple of days, then we'll chase the sun further south to the beach at Malacca, hopefully no monsoon rains there :-)