After a very delayed flight from Phuket, I was finally bak in Bangkok to start my second Asia tour which was to take me through Malaysia back to Singapore. I can't say I was hugely pleased to be back in Bangkok (you may have guessed from previous updates that I hate the place!!). This was only made worse by the fact that I had been on beatiful islands for the past 2 weeks!
Predictaby, I managed to get in yet another dodgy taxi from the airport to my hotel. It seems that even the licenced taxis cannot be trusted! This time the driver refused to give me my change when I handed him quite a big note. The last time the same thing happened I kicked up a fuss and the driver gave me the change but this time I was not quite so successful! I caused a massive scene but he wasn't having any of it and tried to drive off with me still in the taxi but luckily the hotel security came to my rescue! I never saw my change though! Perhaps yelling at him was not the best of ideas..anyway I can not tell you how relieved I am that I never have to get in one of those taxi's ever again!!
After all of the commotion I arrived in my room to find a note saying that I had missed the first group meeting and that they had all gone out without me! Luckily I met a couple of girls in teh hotek who had also missed the first meeting for their tour so went out to Khao San Road (the main backpacker street in Bangkok) with them instead. It has a night market and loads of restaurants and bars full of British backpackers. I had heared a lot a bout it so it was good to finally go there! It was pretty much the only think I actually liked about Bangkok!
Later on that evening when I got back to my room my room mate Penny was already back. We chatted for a whole before going to sleep and she seemed really nice so I was very relieved! There was always the worry I would have to stay with someone I didnt like for the next two weeks! I met the resrt of the group the next day, everyone instantly got on really well. I was very lucky to get 2 really good tour groups!
I only had to stay in Bangkok for around 24 hours as the group met again at half 4 that day to get the overnight train to Krabi (where I had also gone with my first tour group). We didnt have long to look around and were quite restricted as to where we could go due to the riots that were going on in the city. The temple was out of bounds so we just ended up going back to Khao San Road to see what it was like in the daytime and tooka taxi to see the 'Big Buddah' which is literally just that..a giant gold buddah..wasn't particularly exciting!!
After looking around Bangkok for a few hours it was time to take the 13 hour overnight train and as if 13 hours wasn't bad enough we ended up being delayed by three hours! After getting off teh train we had a 4 hour bus journey to Krabi, so waaay tp much travelling for one day!! You can imagine my frustrationas my previous tour had flown us to KJrabi in about 2 hours!
We stayed in Krabi for three nights (days 3-6 of the tour) which were my last few days in Thailand before moving on into Malaysia. We stayed in the same hotel as my previous group so it felt really weird being back with a different group of people!
We spent the first day on Ao Nang beach and in the evening we went out to dinner as a group and then to a few baRS. On teh second day the group went on a boat trip around Phi Phi island which was quite expensive and which I had already been on on my first tour so I stayed at the hotek to catch up on sleep!
Day three in Krabi was St Patrick's day so we just chilled out on the beach in teh day and went out in teh evening. We somehow ended up ina bar full of ladyboys which was pretty funny but quite scary at the same time!!
On day 7 of teh tour it was time to leave Thailand on a 12 hour bus journey to Malaysia. The first stop was for 2 nights in a city called Penang (also known as George Town) on the northwestern coast. Although the Lonley Planet guide describes it as 'Malaysia's most fascinating city,' I can't say I was a massive fan! It was just a dirty city with not much to do so nothing interesting to report from here! We just walked around looking at a few temples. We also stayed ina really gross hotel which didn't help!
Penang as a whole was a bit of a dissapointment, but it was just a day and a half and we were off to the next stop, the Cameron Highlands which were a 4 hour bus journey away. The highlands turned out to be a really good experience. unlike any part of my trip so far. At 1524 metres above sea level teh climate was totally different. We went from being in a boiling city at around 40 degrees to 15-20 degrees and torrential rain! When we were up there it did not feel like we were in Malaysia at all, more like the Swiss Alps (minus the snow obviously!). It was really good to do something totally different and it was also something I probably would not have thought of doing if I hadn't of been on a tour.
We arrived in teh afternioon on the first day so jsut had a look around before dinner. On the second day I booked myself on a full day tour. As part of the tour we went to a butterfly park in the morning where we saw all sorts of insects, I was teh only person who didnt hold any of the insects..there was absolutely no way I was going to go anywhere near a scorpeon of tarantula!
The Cameron Highlands are famous for their tea plantations and strawberry farms so the tour also took us to have a look at these. In the afternoon we went on a rainforest hike, to aboriginal village and to a waterfall. I typically did not pack anything suitable for hiking so ended up having to treck with my handbag and umbrella..must have looked pretty stupid!!
After 2 nights in the Cameron Highlands we took a public bus back down to Juala Lumpur, the capital of Malayisa and probably the best city I have visited so far after Singapore. There were some optional city tours and excursions here but I decided to save my money and just have a look around withouta tour guide. Is a really nice city and it was great to see the Petronas Towers , think we went about 3 times in the day and a half we were there!
Our last stop in Malaysia was Melaka for 1 night. We did not have much time here as we arrived at about 2pm and were leaving for Singapore early the next morning. We just had a look around the city centre and went out in teh eveing. Again, nota particularly interesting place..the town was pretty but there was not all that much to do here!
Although I had a really gopod time on the tour in Malaysia, I think some nicer places could have been picked and I would have really liked to have seen some of the Malaysian coastline as we were in cities the whole time! Tan has almost completely gone now!
We got up early on day 13 to take the public bus to Singapore. Mone of us weer feeling to great after the evening before and had only had about three hours sleep so when we arrived in Singapre we weren't really in the mood to do much! I wasn't really bothered about seeing any more of Singapre and I was happy because the hotek we were staying in had a gym and a pool so I didnt leave for the 24 hours that we were there apart from to go out for dinner! I had to make the most of it as it was the last time I would be in a hotel for ages as I am in hostels for the whole of Oz!
I flew to Cairns last night so am now in my hostel there. I had a really gopd time on the tour and made some really good friends so am feeling a bit sad to have left them but hopefully the people here will be just as nice as those I met in Asia!
Sorry for such a long update! That has taken me ages! Was hard to fit it all in.. Will teach me for not writing one half way through the tour! There are also proabbly loads of spelling mistakes etc as I cant be bothered to proof read it! So I'm sorry about that (Sophie that was mainly aimed at u hehe).
Anyway, for anyone who as actually bothered to read this far:
Miss you all loads! Lots of love xxxxxxxx