A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: mikeb1986

And finally

its over

sunny 34 °C

so 6 weeks later I'm into my last night in south east asia. This time tomorrow I should be landing in Japan ready to start 3 months in the snow.

Kuala Lumpur what a boring city. I went to the zoo yesterday - its actually really under-rated. Way better than the bird park and cheaper (about the same including transport there and back - train and taxi/bus) I took some lunch I bought a banana-leaf rice and some bread and peanuts and plenty of water after the 4 RM shocker at the bird park I was well prepared. For the record water was 2.50RM still expensive but almost half the bird park price. Anyway dont listen to the bad reviews about the zoo . Its not perfect, obviously. The more bad press it gets the more people will stay at the shitty bird park and the less money the zoo will have so just go there and enjoy it. A lot of reviews said all the exhibits were shitty and the animals dont look happy. I didnt see that at all (bar the elephants they looked distressed). The monkeys were swinging around, fighting and shagging, and I'm pretty sure that these three things all appear in "a monkeys top 3 things to do" so they must be happy. Theres a fucking baby Orang utan o dont tell me thier not happy. The lions and tigers were sleeping, which is what lions and tigers do when theres no zebras to eat. And the zebras were mostly eating grass, which is what they do best. Theres quite a lot of cows and guars? there fucking big, they were eating and sleeping, which is all a cow understands really.
The worst thing about the zoo is all the chinese tourists. Running around singing and yelling like fucking 7 year olds. Just fuck off.

I got dinner from round the corner from backpackerville. It was really nice and 4.50RM Some red curry and some yellow curry and rice. And it was raining

Today I basically did Jack shit. I took a train to KLCC far too late to get a ticket to go to the bridge. So I walked back to Little India for lunch (fried rice wrapped in egg - good but a bit plain, felt like I could have made it) and back to the hostel and played a bit of transport tycoon which I finally got working on my laptop. Then I went for dinner little india again for some curry and naan breads. Really tasty and not too spicy for a change. I'd eat there again... but I dont have to because tomorrow morning I'm gone. And I cant wait.

Picked up a new book today aswell I just finshed Black Order by James Rollins. Not what I;d normally read but I liked it kept me interested anyway. Its a thriller about some neo-nazi's I guess and their search for perfection, and the debate of god vs evolution. One of thoe novels thats part sci-fi part sci-fact. Similar to Graham Mastertron who I've read a few by, but not as likely to give you nightmares. I'd read another one by this guy. I went for another thriller because I've got a few fantasy fiction e-books to read anyway but I like to keep a proper book with me too. Mortal Fear by Greg Iles. "The decades most terrifying novel of psychosexual suspense" Pyschosexual. Sounds promising

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Posted by mikeb1986 06:01 Archived in Malaysia Tagged kuala_lumpur zoo kl Comments (0)

Kuala Lumpur

like Bangkok, but more expensive

sunny 30 °C

We got our bus someone even brought us some tissues and water to clean my head with and wash our hands, so I didnt have to sit all bloddy for 5 hours. It did mean I didnt get a chance to pee. I thought I could hold it its only a few hours, but I had to ask the driver to stop halfway I just couldnt keep it any longer.
We got a room in Chinatown at Monkee Inn, I didnt recognise it from Lonely planet so I reckoned it must be ok. The room was clean and shared bathroom was really clean, but its a bit expensive at 50RM for a fan room. Anyway I was sick of looking by now.

They call this area Chinatown, I call it Tourist town. Its just like being on the dreaded Khao San Road. You can walk a block or two away and it gets better, but to walk to the LRT station I have to go through the shitty area of people selling me sunglasses, watches, tatoos and all the T shirts I didnt buy in Bangkok. All the food is expensive here, even the food court is full of gaijin. I got a reasonable curry from the indian stall and Kyoko got some stuff and rice from the buffet stall for 8RM each. a bit expensive compared to Penang and fairly average.

I get so wound up they spend 5 minutes asking about a meal what is it what does it come with can i see this is it spicy. Dont be fucking stupid its less than 2 dollars if it really is so bad you cant eat, you can buy something else later. Anyway, we

We went to the bird park next day. Its OK, but not worth 45RM, not at all. $5 or possible $10 but not 15. Their only birds at the end of the day, and the shows not even that great. Nothing I've never seen before though. I dnt understand what all the fuss is about to be honest. Theres a half day there (its walking distance from Chinatown by the way maybe 15 minutes) but take your own lunch and water - 4RM for a small bottle there. I expected abit of overcharging but 4x the normal price. I'll dehydrate before I pay that much. Meals were around 18RM in the restaurant too so bear that in mind. Like I said its OK, and lets be honest theres not a lot else to do here.

We headed to Little India that night on the LRT looked a long way on the map, but when we were looking for the bazaar area, we ended up walking back as far as central market. Which was irritating. We found it in the end and got some Mee Goreng and fried rice around there (I'd had a bit of a scare earlier suddenly had to shit and it was a bit loose, so I thought I best stay off curry a couple of days). Better than touristtown food and cheaper. All the stuff at the markets is cheaper too. Fact

Took Kyoko to the airport yesterday to fly home and get everything ready for the ski season. 3 days left for me. Almost over at last. train/bus combo to LCCT is 12RM (22 return) bargain. Not sure why they built the airport so far away, or why theres no link between the terminals? we grabbed some banana leaf and brown paper rice/noodles packages. And I spent the afternoon dossing at the hostel (moved to dorm bed, christ its cold in the AC dorm). Grabbed some dinner at the food court again, since it was raining and its close by. Chicken rice claypot. pretty good but could do to have more veggies in it, it was really rice and chicken and sauce in a clay pot.

I have noticed quite a lot of fat people in Malaysia especillay women. But to be fair I would be fat if I lived here, and so would Kyoko I reckon. My theory is this. There is fuck all to do. Theres no reason to walk anywhere since public transport is so cheap, and footpaths are basically non existant, and why would you when it stinks of smog and open drains. All there is to do is go for a curry, go for some noodles, go for some laksa etc. See where I'm going good cheap food and nothing to do is a bad combination

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Posted by mikeb1986 01:32 Archived in Malaysia Tagged kuala_lumpur park bird kl Comments (0)

Krabi - Penang

storm 27 °C

Our next day in Krabi we didnt do anything. because Kyoko was sick in bed all day. We went to a noodle shop for dinner tried to get one fried noodle and one noodle soup, but we both ended up with noodle soup, which was tasty anyway. And I went back to the fat guy at the night market for some curry and rice again for dinner. Massman curry and ginger chicken, which was nice, but the massman curry kicked the shit out of it.

Our last day we went on the speedboat trip to Phi Phi island. Which was to be honest disappointing. Mostly due to the weather and sea conditions. The "coral" you can see is not what I expected, again probably because I'm comparing to the great barrier reef. Its just a few dull corals on rocks, and theres a few different fish here. I felt pretty sick on the boat so I didnt do that much snorkelling. We spent a lot of time going to places to take a photo too which I really wasnt too interested in. Anyway lunch was good a buffet of the usual thai food - chicken and nuts curry, fish curry, rice, noodles etc. Enough that I didnt go hungry anyway. They dropped us off at another pier, not at Ao Nang beach, because the waves were too big to unload the boat there or something, but they had transport waiting for us at the beach they did drop us at. So no messing around it was well organised if a bit rushed day. For dinner we went to ther other night market, and I think I had a really spicy red curry and Kyoko had fried rice. And some snacks and stuff from around there, joined the backpacker cliche's and ate some pancakes which are nice and overpriced. Stick to the seasme balls or those little pastries filled with some kind of cream and corn or taro.

We jumped on a bus to Penang the next day which was a bit shit. It was a shitty MPV to Hat Yai, Kyoko's seat didnt have a headrest or seatbelt. Then another shitty MPV though not as packed and with headrests for everyone, to the border and across to Penang dropped us at the middle of Georgetown Chuila street infront of their hotel I guess, but we found a nicer one across the road. Names gone already, they have a cafe out the front and its a big yellow building. The room was ok, small and had a shower but no toilet for 35RM.

Its not a bad place, but theres nothing outstanding about it. Infact I can honetsly its fucking boring. You could go fishing I guess, if it wasnt raining. We went to the museum, mostly to get out of the rain. Thats about all its good for. Maybe on hot days its good to get out of the sun into some AC. The bets thing to do by far in Georgetown is eat. We got some wan tan soup at chuila street. Spot on, except for prawns in the wan tan (I dont like fish) but I couldnt taste them anyway.
Day 2 we got breakfast at a restaurant some clay pot noodles for me and I think Kyoko had spicy fish noodle soup or something. Anyway mine was nice. Kyokos was too fishy for me, but she really liked it. I had curry and rice in a banana leaf for lunch at a food court sort of between Fort Cornwallis and Little India, I think it cost RM1.50. Turned out it was fish curry so I just ate the sauce and rice but it was still well worth it. Bargain, and we got some massive onion bhajis and veggue samosa for 50sen. They were so good I even went back and got some for tomorrow breakfast. Dinner was 1 mutton and 1 chicken curry with the bets nan bread or chapatti whatever it was it was good and cheap. Tea with condensed milk - more like a desert its so sweet.

So basically if you go to Penang the food is great, and theres nothing really to do, other than eat. So I liked it. Just be careful of head-height air-con units.... Blood everywhere, didnt wanna miss the bus so I had to walk around literally dripping blood which got some funny looks. Kfortunatley my mrs is Japanese so obviously she had some tissues, some stuff to clean the cut and some antibiotic cream to put on it. I was a bit disappointed it turned out to be only a small 1cm scratch. From all the blood I thought it was gunna be a hospital job

Oh looking for a photo to upload, the bridge from Butterworth to Penang is massive - 13.5km, one of the longest in the world, Thats something worth seeing, make sure your awake for the last leg of the bus ride. Beats any dirty old temple hands down.

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Posted by mikeb1986 05:14 Archived in Malaysia Tagged food malaysia bridge krabi penang Comments (0)

Krabi

not all that bad

all seasons in one day 27 °C

We spent 4 days in Krabi planning on doing some snorkelling and climbing and stuff, but it was raining when we arrived. We stayed at Baifern Mansion which was good enough 350b for a pretty big room with a window and bathroom. They were a bit pushy with tours but not that much, and they were decent tours and well priced anyway.
First afternoon we just dossed about town really, I looked for a fishing rod to go fishing but couldnt find one can you believe it. Plenty of people offering me boat rides for an hour though, even at 6PM when its almost dark. We got dinner at the night market (the small better one, not next to the river) 35b for 2 curries and rice from a big fat guy who was pretty cool, told us what everything was and how spicy. Only downside is the curry is cold. But Massman curry, christ. Green curry is good I can see why its taken on all round the world. Why have I never eaten massman curry before, thats a work of art. Loads of nice snacks and sweets around there too.

We went kayaking first incas the weather didnt clear up much, unfortunatley that was the hottest day we were there. IT was a good trip, we saw monkeys up close. Close enough that the fat american woman could give it a packet of peanuts. We got chance ot go for a swim and the guide was pretty good. Even took us to see some elephants after lunch (sweet & sour fish, chicken and nuts curry and some veg soup/curry to share pretty tasty and enough food, but if we'd been a big group I might have gone ghungry) because he had to drop a couple off there, so we got to spend ten minutes feeding the elephants which was pretty cool. They even gave us the bananas for nothing. Not sure why but we took a full day package that included lunch and a visit to a fish & crocodile farm for an extra 200b. Not worth the extra, I think my maths was "we can get lunch for about 80b so its only 120 for a better lunch and the crocodiles." Obviously thats wrong because it was 200b extra, each. Anyway not the end of the world. We got lunch at the market again some pad thai for 30b each. Bargain again. And some fried chicken that was amazing, off the old lady a bit outside of the market square, she was always sold out so we figured it must be good. And it was.

For the record, if your planning on on going to Halong bay and Krabi at some point, skip on Halong bay (infact skip on Hanoi altogether), andgo Kayaking at Krabi. Landscape is the same, and you get to spend about 3 hours cruising round and swimming and seeing monkeys, instead of `15 minutes cruising round in dirty rubbish filled water and the rest of 2 days bored on a boat or bus.

4-Island snorkelling tour was next day, weather was OK at first but the clouds semmed to follow us everywhere so it was never really really hot, except when we stopped for lunch (typical). the tour guide was great, he was interested in Japan so spent a lot of time talking to us about best places to visit and food and alsorts. We had a good time but the snorkelling just wasnt what I expected. first beach had loads of fish, but they were all the same kind. The next place we stopped wasnt a beach and I dont like open water much but there were more different fish there. Im not like a fish geek or anything, Just I expected smething like the great barier reef, where theres thousands of fish and water clear as tap water. Anyway we had a good time and it cost 400b each so it was alright. Lunch was fucking great green curry and omelette and rice, in a takeaway tub on the beach, all in little packets. Not sure where he picked it up but it was still hot. All the tours included drinking water too which was a bonus. So dont do what we did and bbuy a big gallon-bottle of water to pour into smaller bottles everyday.
Dinner that day was curry and rice again from a different stall. This time the lady didnt tell us what was what just "fish" or "chicken" we ended up with a bit of massman, and 3 really spicy dishes. The 2 thai women next to us found it hilarious how we struggled to eat it. But it was nice, cold again though.

and I'll catch up later. Bored of writing

almost forgot about this beast
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Posted by mikeb1986 15:57 Archived in Thailand Tagged snorkelling thailand krabi kayaking curry Comments (0)

Back to Thailand

Siam Reap - Bangkok - Krabi

rain 30 °C

A bit of a shitty ride to bangkok - as I expected to be honest. We were picked up by a shitty looking bus about 20 years old I reckon and I was pretty certain things wouldnt get any better when we changed at the border. Anyway it was a fairly quick ride to the crossing and we waited there for what seemed like forever to jump the next bus, they took 9 of us away to jump in what was basically a clapped out people carrier, and I thought oh shit. Anyway they dropped us at their "office" ie a restaurant and another hour or 2 later a nice new Hi-ace turned up, which would have been great if they hadnt bolted an extra 4 seats in the back with about a foot of legroom. Im only 5 8. I felt sorry for the guys next to us who were both probably around 6 foot. Anyway we got there in the end with just a bit of cramp and a bit annoyed he wouldnt drop us off when we were stuck for 30 minutes in traffic a 5 minute walk from Siam square. Twat.

we ended up in BAngkok a couple of days longer than we wanted cos the bus was full, but we were in Siam Square, not shitty Khao San so it wasnt that bad, we just spent most o fthe time dossing in MBK centre. We went to see Harry Potter 7.1 which was pretty good, but the cinemas were fucking freezing. I saw it in lonely planet, which I tend to use to read where they recommend and stay well clear, but I thought ah bullshit it'll probably just be nice and cool. Its fucking cold, and thats coming from someone from yorkshire. wear a hoody and jeans if you go. The movie was good, seats were comfy (we didnt go VIP but Id like to know what thats like) and we went at 1030 on a monday so there was like 10 people there. Snacks and drinks are expensive ie nearly as much as the actual ticket, we just bought some stuff from 7/11 before we went. On another note How old is Hermione Granger now, she must be old enough I can say she's looking pretty hot

Also another positive I decided to take some anti biotics instead of going to a doctor, that day I ate lunch and dinner and didnt have to shit all day, for the record I also didnt shit the 3 days we were in Bangkok. To celebrate we ate at Hachiban Ramen in MBK centre one night, we chose there cos the original hachiban (route 8) ramen was in Kyokos prefectre. It was nice but to be fair you can get the same on the street for half the price.
We ate at MBK's food court one night Kyoko had tonkatsu ramen which was nice and I had some I dont know what it was called but it was essentially beef parts (I think liver, kidney, and intestines) soup with short noodles. It was ok, Kyoko's was better.
We got lunch at the weekend market one day, I think Kyoko had omelette and rice, which did exactly what it says on the tin, and I had some really nice stir fry noodles I think it was pork. I'd recommend there if I knew where it was, somewhere in that market which is about as big as my hometown. Pink guava shake to wash it down was perfect
And once we found a sneaky little local food court I suppose, close to MBK we were looking for some lunch and walked into this tiny restaurant that opened out the back to like a covered street with tables on one side and small cooking places on the other. We went to one of those where you get rice and chose 2 or 3 curries or sauces or whatever to go on it, which was really good if a little bit spicy, possibly the best I ate in Bangkok.

The bus to Krabi let me down again. We had abig argument bus or train/bus and I backed down and let Kyoko book us on a bus, they promised us fuly reclining seats and had a photo of a seat that looked pretty good, folded almost fla and had a foot rest, The bus we went on, didnt. It just had normal fucking seats. And when we got on half the bus was roped off for passengers we would pick up later, which lef only single seats dotted around for us. . So I'll probbably kick Kyoko's head in later for that.

Which brings us to Krabi - just 3 days ago I think. And you know what, I actually almost like it here. when its not raining

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Posted by mikeb1986 06:19 Archived in Thailand Tagged food bangkok krabi mbk Comments (0)

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