So I have now been in Asia for 2 weeks, and so I thought it was probably time for a bit of an update!
Firstly, the photos in the album "Oz - Brisbane to Melbourne" are in no way complete. The photo uploader on the site isn't working properly . I have reported it to them, and I keep trying every now and then to upload the photos, but it still isn't working. I am going to try again after writing this though. So just keep checking and hopefully one day soon it'll work!
Well, I flew into Singapore and spent a couple of days there. I spent the first day visiting the Changi Prison war museum, which was all about when the prison was used as a POW camp in WW2, and run by the Japanese. It was really interesting, with accounts from people that were held in the camp. There were some really awful stories though about what the Japanese used to do to the prisoners. One account said that the Japanese tried to get them to sign a contract saying that they wouldn't try to escape. When they signed their names though, they signed false names like Charlie Chaplin and Mickey Mouse, one even signed Winston Churchill, and the Japanese had no idea! There was also a wall with tributes from family members to people that had been held there and either died there or since, and it was really touching to read the messages that had been left. Anyway, after that I went to the shopping centre to cheer myself up a bit (not that I bought anything!). The next day I went for a ride on the Singapore Flyer (which is their version of the London Eye) and then in the evening a girl I had met in the hostel and myself went to the famous Raffles Hotel to try a Singapore Sling, which is where it was invented. A bit of a disappointment and an anti-climax if you ask me, but at least I can say I've done it!
Anyway, then it was time for a very early start and a rather long (8hour) train journey to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. I met a girl there that was friends with someone I met in Australia, and so we spent the week travelling Malaysia together. In KL we went to the central market in Chinatown, visted a Mosque, saw the Planetarium and went up the Skytower at Sunset for some nice pictures of the Petronas Twin Towers. Then it was off to the Cameron Highlands to do a day tour trekking in the jungle to see the world's largest flower and then the tea plantations to learn all about the process of making tea. We also visited an Aborigine village, and learnt how to use a dart pipe, which was cool. After that we moved on to the island of Penang, and the town of Georgetown. That was lovely. Walked up Penang Hill for Sunset. The walk was ridiculously steep though, and in the boiling heat, and took us two hours! The man at reception of our hostel sold it to us under false pretences, and we weren't very happy with him when we were walking! It wasn't even that great a view, but nevermind, it was an experience, and we managed to complete it in the end! Needless to say, we gave ourselves the next day off from walking and site seeing, and visited the beach for the day. We also managed to sneak into the gardens of the Hard Rock Hotel, and use their sunloungers and shower and toilets. Lovely!
So then my travelling buddy left to visit some of the Malaysian Islands, and I moved on to Thailand. After a 13hour trip on various mini buses, I spent a couple of days in Phuket, where I met up with the guys I had met in Australia as their flight home was delayed due to all the ash. And then today I moved on to Koh Phi Phi. I don't have as long as I originally planned here due to the timings of boats and buses to get to Ko Samui for the full moon, so I've booked myself on a half day tour around the bays here tomorrow, before heading off to Ko Samui. I'll get to see Maya Bay though, which is the one used in the film "The Beach", and is the main thing that I wanted to see, so that's all that matters really!
So that's pretty much got you all up to speed I guess! I hear the sun is breaking through in the UK...I bet it's still not as hot as it is here though!