With our flight from Penang to Phuket booked for 9th February we had just 6 days in Malaysia - not long enough to explore properly, (we stayed just 3 nights in each of Kuala Lumpur and Penang), but it seemed quite relaxed - not nearly so hectic as other Asian countries and the people very pleasant and friendly. That also means that this blog will be fairly short - especially as the weather was warm and sunny ......both hotels had nice pools so we switched from adventure to holiday mode! Oh yes and I do apologise for the photos...they are just holiday snaps as the photographer needed a rest.
Despite our 'luxury coach' not being that luxurious the 6 hour journey from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur passed by quite quickly - broken up by stops first at the border where we spent at least an hour at border control getting out of Singapore and then into Malaysia. Fortunately we had a very friendly Malaysia man sitting behind us who with limited English managed to tell us where to queue at immigration and then how long each stop would be! Very useful as on the journey from KL to Penang (which we also did by coach - another 5 hours), the driver left a couple & their child behind at one stop - fortunately another passenger shouted out and the driver was able to reverse back and pick them up. More bizarre was that the older lady travelling (probably the Mother in Law...) with them didn't even seem to notice what was happening - they'd definitely have been left behind if it had been up to her! The road was 'motorway' almost all of the way and either side just looked like forest/jungle but then I think 2/3rds of the country is, so perhaps not that surprising!
In Kuala Lumpur the main attraction was originally just the Petronas Twin Towers (as you see from the pictures) but then a few weeks ago we discovered that some friends from Felixstowe, Jacqui and Clifford, would be there around the same time and the evening spent with them was definitely the highlight in the end!! Their hotel was very posh and the staff were dressed in old colonial gear including pith helmets...we relaxed in the cigar lounge complete with billiard table. It takes you back.....
It was here that we first realised an issue with replacement footwear as the largest size in any of the shops was 44 and Paul is a 45....they obviously don't get the demand.
Penang was a surprise - hadn't expected the island to be so big! Arriving by coach meant we crossed from the mainland via the bridge rather than the ferry - didn't seem that long but apparently it's 13.5km. We stayed by the beach about 30 minutes north of the main town of George Town. This was R&R and we spent some time by the pool watching the staff set up for yet another Chinese New Year party that evening. Although we did spend a day doing our own walking tour of George Town, including a very interesting museum of the more modern history and a night market, we learnt far more about Penang from our very informative taxi driver on the 45 minute journey to the airport the following day!
So nothing too new or exciting but maybe we're just getting too used to it...must be nearly time to come home.....