A Travellerspoint blog

Mingling in Malaysia

Finished off Singapore with the 'Big Night Out'. Curry by the river followed by a search for a karaoke bar (unsuccessful) which meant we would have to go to a regular club. Never mind. We paid $22 to get into Rebel, and it was pretty empty. Thought we would leave and come back, sat on a bridge and sang some songs (made up for the karaoke). Always broke into 'Hey Big Spender' when middle aged Westerners walked past with significantly younger Asian girls. Awkward? The club was actually pretty good later on, some crazy dancing going on! Mainly from us... Went to bed at 3, up at 6 for train to Malaysia. Yay!

The 7 hour journey was actually pretty relaxing although sleep was difficult. Then had some Dunkin' Donuts in KL Central. Realised that we had left some things in Singapore. Inevitable. I was missing a towel, JC his swim shorts. Headed to the hostel, Sunshine Bedz KL, which is really nice! (And was booked through Travellerspoint!) Loads of friendly people around. I was forced by the others to watch the royal wedding at an Irish Bar (Mac's!) which was quite nice I guess. But after around 3 hours I was starting to drop off.. The next day we headed to the Petronas Towers. Massive. Went up to the skybridge on the 40 something floor. Pretty cool view. Had a nice noodle curry thing for lunch while the others spent three times the amount on a Subway. Continuing to explore local cuisine. We had a Burger King later after seeing the Batu Caves. Climbing 272 steps in major heat is certainly fun. Then we got the train back, got off a stop early to see a mosque that JC had apparently spotted, turned out to be another train station. Good one. Then he put us back on a train going the wrong way... Eventually we got back and had a chilled evening, tried to go back to Mac's but had no money to buy anything so had to leave!

Today was my favourite Malaysia day! Went for a walk round China Town (after watching a protest against MayBank (a bank) who apparently do all sorts of horrible things including 'the breeding of gangsters'!) Crazy market stalls in China Town, managed to haggle some pretty cheap stuff, ended up looking pretty gangster myself in my new cap. True dat. Then walked to some other big tower, was definitely beginning to overheat... After an awesome chocolate milkshake we attempted to reach the monorail station through some kind of jungle shortcut. Quickly lost our bearings, major tropical storm hit, soaked through in minutes! I love rain :). Found an outdoor activity gym thing in the jungle and worked out in the rain... Arrived back at the hostel seriously wet! Apparently they have acid rain here... Oh well.

Looking forward to Vietnam tomorrow :). We have now sorted transport for it woop! Now off to McDonalds for dinner!


Posted by tom_christmas 04:25 Archived in Malaysia Comments (2)

Idling in Indonesia

So on Monday I was faced with the 'Battlestar Galactica' rollercoasters at Universal Studios. Would I or wouldn't I? I'm sure you'll be pleased to hear that I went on all the rides and only felt slightly ill afterwards! I think that part of me even enjoyed the big rides (even if the photos seemed to show the face of a man going through indescribable turmoil) but they were definitely outshone by the likes of Shrek 4D, the Jurassic Park ride (a bit like Rumba Rapids at Thorpe Park but SO much better) and 'The Daddyos' a singing, dancing group of lads who sang such classics as 'Good Vibrations' and 'In the Jungle'. Obviously I loved it.

Tuesday we went to the zoo :). I was properly excited about this one even though I'd been before. We woke up slightly later then planned but better than the day before (we had overslept for 3 hours prior to Universal) and got a taxi up to the zoo, and grabbed a quick KFC before entering. (JC elbowed his tray and sent the contents flying behind him. Made quite a mess, much to the cleaner's dismay. I simply could not hold in the laughter.) The animals were all sooo cool. Got some great photos! Rob particularly enjoyed feeding a giraffe! Not sure what my favourite animal was but the white tigers are always worth seeing...

Yesterday we were due another early start so that we could head to an Indonesian island. The cost of the day would be close to 100 Singapore dollars (very bad news for my budget!) and we had pretty much no idea what was on the island... But the others were very keen to be able to say they had been to Indonesia! When we were there it was actually a really interesting place. Singapore is very much Asia for beginners, not that different a culture to the West, but Batam (the island) was different. Loads of motorbikes, everyone beeping and waving at us (not sure they saw many Western tourists), taxis trying to pick us up every 30 seconds! We went to a large bridge called Barelang bridge (wish it had have been called Bare Long bridge) and the view from there was pretty awesome. I think the main thing I noticed there was that even though the material standard of living was much lower than Singapore the people seemed livelier and happier! Finished off the day with a trip to the night zoo, probably not as good as the day zoo but still enjoyable!

Today was a very welcome lie in day! Then, after the failure of JC's 'marmite pasta', we were due to head to the rainforest walk. Although just before we were about to leave Rob took an executive decision that 'we' no longer wanted to go and lay down and refused to move! (We still had packing to do as we leave for Kuala Lumpur early tomorrow morning and the rainforest walk would have meant no time for a 'big night out'.) So it looks like a night out is back on. Guess I'll do the rainforest walk next time I'm in Singapore... Probably a good thing we stayed in though as the trains through Vietnam are booked on the days we need them! Problem! I'm sure we'll sort something out... A few days in Malaysia coming up, let's hope there's time for an update while I'm there...

If you have a birthday in early May you might find yourself getting a postcard :)

Posted by tom_christmas 01:29 Archived in Indonesia Comments (1)

Settling in Singapore

Hi there! We touched down on sunny Singapore on Friday - and it's fair to say that everbody was looking forward to the weekend - although I was unable to have my customary bowl of cereal which was a shame. After settling in the appartment we heading into nearby Holland Village. Haircut time!!!! It's fairly short - not what it used to be but the quiff is threatening to make a return. I'm sure there will be photos soon :). I won't do a detailed run through of what we've done every day but here are some highlights:

We all went out for a meal on the first night. Rob definitely ate a duck's head, bold move. I then took on a large chilli - it didn't go too well. Went through two glasses of tap water pretty fast - had to request another as my mouth was still on fire - bad time for the waitress to fill up from the hot tap. Uncool. Seriously.

The next day we headed to beach - on the way we went past a skate park, the kids were taking pretty seriously so we thought we'd have a go, but we had to use imaginary skateboards... We now intend to do a 1 minute silly video daily - our performance of Swan Lake may grace Facebook soon... JC then actually lost his credit and bus cards (we believe they fell out during his attempted gymnastics on a banister) but they were retrieved safely. Then we did some train surfing, trying to balance with feet planted together - we did fairly well until Rob started to celebrate his success too soon and ended up headbutting a pole when the train stopped - particularly amusing as the whole carraige was watching us at this point. The beach was tiny, and I may have gone swimming with phone and wallet still in pockets. Good one.

Then Easter Sunday. Found a big cathedral for us to go to, loved it! Really nice place and the service was good, and there were 30 baptisms woop! Priest was definitely a lad. Claimed to have been 'a bit of a rascal' at uni but was now a born again Christian. Good from him. Explored more of the city during the afternoon, reached floor 33 of the spectracular Marina Bay Sands hotel, view was amazing.

Heading to a theme park tomorrow - rollercoasters and I don't tend to get on - we'll see how it goes.

Missing you people in England!

Posted by tom_christmas 08:03 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

Meandering in Mumbai

It didn't really hit me that I was leaving until we arrived at Heathrow. I'd been too busy all day packing and saying my final goodbyes to think about the actual departure. And it hadn't helped that my phone had stopped working and my cashcards had malfuncioned about half an hour before we left! But once we arrived at the airport everything was relatively stress free - except for JC 'losing his wallet' (a panicked and frantic scramble eventually revealed that it was in fact in his bag where it had been all along). The first flight was also a fairly smooth affair (aside from a questionable landing), and I even managed a couple of hours sleep!

Then we hit morning in Mumbai. Over half an hour early. Our wait in the airport was now set to be 13 hours. I was very excited about this. Actually, the airport was much nicer than I expected, and my spirits were certainly lifted by the presence of a Pizza Hut. Several comical events made the time pass more easily - Rob mistaking a burka-clad woman for Darth Vader, Jonny accidentally thanking someone in Greek, and Rob unintentionally finding himself in the ladies' toliets... Not gonna lie, in the last few hours we slightly ran out of things to do in Mumbai airport, but I still felt very attached to the place when we left. Only a few hours later we were in Singapore, and it was early morning again. Somehow. The time differences seem to keep skipping night-time. I think I've slept about 5 hours max since Wednesday morning. Good.

Posted by tom_christmas 23:12 Archived in India Comments (0)

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