The fun part of our adventure for going back to the village in Malaysia, is mainly that it is not on the map and no tourists go there, and we were trying to get to a small town near the village called Kuala Ketil. The bus we were on basically runs you fromHat Yai in Thailand through the costoms and immigration points like cattle, and on to Kuala Lumpur (KL) so the best they could so was drop us on the highway near our turn off, which sounded like a good idea at the time.
there is nothing on the highway except a Crazy aussie and her son and all the bags. Ayanda FREAKED, I figured we were safe at least, and maybe a taxi might come along? No taxi. So we gave up and you know it was the best thing we could have done, we were near a highway turn off, so we trekked, and rested and trekked, and found a restaurant!!
and so still in "we give up" mode we sat down and had a nice cool drink, in a place clearly no other aussies had ever been to, and the locals were thrilled. And one could speak English, so they ran off to find us a taxi, came back with a taxi, and the driver did not want to take us (we just needed to go about 3k to the bus station it turned out) It turned out he didnt want to take us because he couldnt speak English, but as soon as we started in Malay, he was so happy, this old taxi driver actually was so excited like a young boy, he kept telling us he was so happy we could speak Malay, and he chatted away the whole three K.
On the last night in Thailand, Ayanda and I were talking about going to Malaysia, and I said I liked everything in malaysia except the taxi drivers (see below) so it was really nice to have a great taxi experience, Ayanda said he didnt enjoy the cold bucket baths in the village
Got to the bus station, and when we asked about a bus to Kuala Ketil, they thought we were confused and needed a bus to Kuala Lumpur, I mean why would foriegners go to Kuala Ketil? and it involved Ayanda and I saying K-e-t-i-l very slowly with Malaysians saying L-u-m-p-u-r slowly back at us, it would have been a funny sit-com, anyway suddenly one guy had a bright idea and announced that My husband must be in Kuala Ketil, I just smiled and nodded and the next thing we were on a local bus to Kuala Ketil!
We arrived and Siti was there to pick us up, for the long trek through the jungle, on streets much of the way only the width of one car, to the village Ulu Bakai, and it felt like going home, ( I even had a bag of dirty washing with me, which Siti had hand washed by the time I got up the next day, me so lazy on holiday huh?)
anyway that was Saturday 27th December
On the 31st we came to Penang, and last night I took Ayanda and the two oldest kids, Arash and Ayu to the fireworks at Midnight, and it was so much fun. Ayanda's New Year Resolution is "to get better at sports" which is an interesting one for a 7year old I think. And he has made plans! We also went for a ride for an hour in a Becak, it is like sitting in the scooper of one of those digger machines, with a man on a bicycle riding behind pushing you along.
Comparing Thailand and Malaysia.
Malaysia is cleaner, much cleaner. Thailand is more geared to tourists, but the pity then is that there is no excitement like you can get in malaysia from locals not used to tourists. Malaysians are more helpful. The fact that we can speak Malay also ads a dimention for us. Thailand is cheaper. Both countries have great food, and shopping. Both have things like Macdonalds where you can kind of get a break and feel like at home, and I think that is actually important for kids. Ayanda cant go anywhere without lots of attention, but people are generally super nice in their attention to him, and he feels a bit like a king. But sometimes you just need a break huh?
The big difference I think, is that travel costsin Thailand are the same for children and adults, Thais are working on having their minivans full as it is, and full fare all the way for kids, but in malaysia kids are automatically half price, for everything. And it make a difference, worth pointing out.
But you get what you pay for mostly, and the Thailand to malaysia trip was easy (until dropped at the highway) but in the reverse direction it was really hard, and expensive, and involved a few heated arguments with Malaysian Taxi drivers that left me very anti Malasian taxi drivers. It just didn't need to be that hard!
Anyway I wanted to make some comparisons, mainly because our next country will be vastly different I think, we have the language skills but not the Macdonalda and airconditioned buses I think, I'm talking about Sumertra not Bali haha. Hopefully if we can get a ferry tomorrow our next update will be from there
fingers crossed. (also Malaysian phone wont be used In indo I am planning to get a local Indo number)