So..Ive decided to share with the world my experiences as I travel through south east Asia, specifically Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and if I have time and money the Philippines.
I started my trip 10 days ago, on the 11th of February in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. My mother booked a nice four star hotel so I could ease into the life of backpacking, which of course was very pleasant after having flown 12 hours and spent two hours searching for the f***ing place. I decided to do this by public transport to save costs but in the end it saved me about 20 myr which is about 5 euros. Anyway got there and was welcomed by multiple over polite and friendly hotel workers who very eagerly took my bags and opened doors for me bowing their heads. It was about 9 in the morning so I wasnt able to check in yet so I decided to explore the area, unfortunately there really was nothing to explore cause I was in this weird area next to the motorway and a massive new shopping mall about 12-13km from the centre. That evening, after about 6 hours sleep I decided to go see the Petronas Towers which were really impressive, especially at night with all the lights being on. So the evening started with a positive experience until I discovered that they didnt allow people up the towers on mondays. So I started to walk around a bit and found that there is literally absolutely nothing to do or see around there. Just a couple of half-arse hotel and office buildings with stinking loud motorbikes and cars rushing past you along with ten million chinese people with enormous cameras dangling from their necks taking pictures of...buildings. After about two hours I had seen enough and went back to my hotel. The next day I checked out at 7 am and went to China town. Wow, what a dump, the smell of s*** fills your nose the moment you step out of the monorail tram. Checked out the central market and it was just this packed together bunch of crappy shops selling ridiculously priced tourist s***. So I quickly moved on and went to the Batu caves just outside Kuala Lumpur with the idea of getting a hostel nearby and then getting a bus to Genting Highlands which was supposed to be pretty nearby. The caves were pretty cool with a load of rude monkeys running around and chilling on the steps going up to the cave, but it was again one big mess with rubbish lying all over the place. In the cave there were several piles of broken furniture lying scattered all over the place and heaps of rubbish bags stinking up the place so I didnt stay longer than half an hour and went looking for a hostel. Found one, and there really was only one. Right next to a very busy road and costed 60myr which isnt exactly cheap, especially considering how much of a dump it was. I stayed in there for about an hour and felt so miserable and lonely that I decided to leave. The old hag sitting the counter said it was ok but she had to keep my f***ing 20myr deposit, i protested but in the end gave up cause this woman was retarded and could clearly not be reasoned with. So off back to Kuala Lumpur I went! On the train I met these two ultra german nerds who recommended the hostel they were staying at so I decided to join them there. Got there at about 10pm and the owner informed me they were completely full...Sweet. So my search for a hostel continued, unfortunately without success cause there were only a million hotels in the area costing no less than 80myr. Decided to try somewhere else and eventually got a place called Golden Palace about 3 km from China town. The room was 80 but the guy who was trying to reel me in on the street said I could have it for 60. I wish I could share the pictures I have of the room cause it was unbelievable, black walls with an enormous mirror covering the entire front wall. The bed wasnt made and had hairs all over it, the toilet had this steaming pile of black diaorrhea looking stuff just lying on the f***ing floor. So needless to say I demanded a better room and reluctantly the dickhead gave me the key to another room, this one was clean and didnt have black tiled walls so I accepted this was where I would spend the night. So as you can tell my experiences in Kuala Lumpur have not exactly been the most pleasant.
The next day I walked to the bus station and booked a bus to the Cameron Highlands which to my pleasant surprise was extremely luxurious and spacious. Arrived there at about 2pm with no idea where to go and what to see so I asked this Italian guy if he had any idea whethere there were any decent cheap hostels up here, but he was also clueless. Then a local man approached us with a leaflet for the Cameronian Inn which didnt look too bad and since I had no idea where else I could go I decided to go there and asked if the Italian guy wanted to join and we got a room together for 50myr. The room was spic and span and the bunk beds were comfortable enough to get a decent nights sleep. We went looking around Tanah Rata, the village we were staying in and decided to book a tour for the next day around the area. The tour turned out to be a massive waste of money. We visited some absolutely stunning tea plantations and the mossy forrest up on the highest mountain in the area which was all very impressive but were activities we really didnt need a guide to take us cause an hour later we rented a motorbike and really explored the area properly and visited far larger and more beautiful plantations and valleys with tropical forrest growing right in the middle of these tea fields. At the end of the day we always sat and relaxed with a fag and a cup of local Cameron Highland tea on the cosy little patio enjoying the cool breeze. Cause we were at 1600m height the temperature never rose above 21-22 or below 18-19 at night, so we could just sit with a comfortable jumper on and some shorts. These were simplest of moments I most enjoyed over there. What also added to the peace was that the wifi connection was reliable and didnt cause the frustration most places with wifi have been causing.
The Italian guy, Alessandro, whos name I only found out the second day only had a few weeks holiday so he wanted to head for the beaches of Thailand so our paths split here as my plan was to head for the Taman Negara rainforest. I took a minivan there and met a young german couple who were planning on doing a 4 day trek through the jungle, I wasnt really ready to spend 4 days in the rainforest with nothing but a sleeping bag, some noodles and 8 bottles of water so I did the 2 day one night trek which really was an amazing experience. We had this crazy little local guide called Ali, who while smoking cigarette after cigarette with an occasional jungle joint in between, led us through the bush. After a 6 hour ten kilometer trek we reached an enormous cave where we set up camp and gathered a s*** load of soaking wet wood to start a fire. He managed to get the fire going but it never stayed lit so he asked if I could help keeping it going. They had given me a plate to eat from so i used this as a fan to spred the embers to the rest of the wood. This worked really well but it wasnt enough so the rest of the men assisted me in this ridiculous activity of flapping our s***ty pink plastic plates around this seemingly hopeless little fire. After about an hour we managed to get the flame high enough to cook some rice and boil some water for tea. It seemed ridiculous to spend so much time and energy to get a fire going, but its unbelievable how a fire can build a person moral in a place like the jungle. Everyone was seriously fatigued but spirits soared when the fire really got going and everyone had had a bit of flavourless rice with a bit of disgusting bony chicken sauce from a can. I passed out about half an hour after dinner, it wasnt the best nights sleep but I did manage to get a total of 8 hours. During the night I must have woken up 20 times to the sound of rustling noises in the cave, at one point something smashed into my bag which i was using as a pillow which caused me to lie awake for quite some time. The next morning I found out from Ali that it was rats that we were hearing and I wasnt the only one who had had a head on encounter with one. The german guy Patrick said he had one run over his face and all the others heard the scurrying of the rats throughout the night. Ali again got a fire going in the morning and boiled another pot of tea. When I got my cup, which was a very sharp roughly cut empty water bottle which I had made with his machete, he passed me this strange plastic/leafy looking cigarette and I asked what it was. He said very simply, breakfast! And burst out laughing, so it was clear he passed me a joint. The second day was a far easier trek of 8 km and we passed a really nice river where they had hung a rope that you could use to swing into the river which was a lot of fun. Again we had to get a fire going which like the night before was an utter disaster to get going. After two hours of flapping plates we managed to get the water boiling and put the noodles in. We had to move quickly now cause this had taken so much time that we were behind on schedule and the last bus to the nearest train station one hour away was leaving in about 3 hours and we still had over an hour to walk and a 30min boat ride back to the place where the minivan left. But this all went quite smoothly and we arrived 20 minutes before the bus left. Soaking wet and stinking of mud and sweat, Valeska (a Brazilian girl who was also on the tour) and I were on our way to the Jerantut train station where the night train would take us to Wakaf Bharu where we would get a taxi to the city of Khota Bharu where another bus to Kuala Besut would take us to the port where the boat to our destination, the Perhentian Islands left. Unfortunately we were not informed that the night train was an extremely uncomfortable and packed train that took ten hours and left at 3.30am. So we had to sit for 6 and a half hours at this dirty little train station with enormous cockroaches flying all around us and demented stray cats running around catching and eating them.
Its my third day on the Perhentian island Kecil and its absolutely amazing here. Its low season so everything is a lot cheaper than normal and the beaches and coral reefs are stunning. Spent all day yesterday snorkelling around the island and spent my first hours in sunlight since ive been here and of course my back is now so burnt it hurts to wear a f***ing t-shirt, let alone carry a bag with me. I have to cut it short now cause my time has run out using the internet. Wifi here doesnt work anywhere so Ive had to use paid internet to write this blog and I dont want to spend half my daily budget on internet so Ill continue in a few days with more to tell about the island and then also the island of Penang, where im headed tomorrow to stay there for two days and then fly to Phuket on the 25th where Ill possibly meet the Italian guy Alessandro and check out the place together with him.
Hugs and kisses from a very happy traveler in Malaysia. xoxoxoxo