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Monday, May 31, 2010

Singapore - Kuala Lumpur

Singapore November - December 2008

Singapore via Darwin, which wasn’t too bad, when I was smoking it, gave me the chance to have a smoke half way and a bit of a walk around.

Landed at, Singapore Changi Airport. Raced out the front to organise a taxi at the taxi counter, then went out front for a smoke. There was a small group of around 10 hanging around the ashtray smoking .As I went to put my smoke out I noticed everyone had left and I noticed bag left, next to the ashtray .So I said to the police man not far away look someone left there bag behind . I clearly wasn’t thinking about bombs, but the police man was he was on the 2 way radio got me to move back and started asking me questions. Shit time to get out of here, with my taxi voucher in hand off I ran.

I stayed at The Traders Hotel

Website here

Singapore Flyer

website here

Singapore harbour and Merlion

I visited China town and Little India, Singapore night zoo. Most of this was video my photos of these didn't turn out very good.

At the night zoo I got myself in trouble. I took the train around to see all the animals and then got out to walk around while near the lions. I heard the train coming so I said to the people around me, a few kids and a few young couples from Japan. let’s roar like a lion on 3, Everyone agreed , so on 3 we all went raaaaaahhhhhhhh , the people on the train had a shock , so did the lion and half a dozen other animals . Quick run hide as zoo keepers came running with torches looking for the clown causing problems.
After the night zoo I went to catch a cab back to the hotel, next in line was a Honda wagon/van type car, I got in the driver just sat there and kept cleaning a cd after 5 minutes he said where are you going, In shock from the wait and the fact there was a full Buddhist temple with flashing lights and music located on his dash board. So I said Traders Hotel buddy. Then he placed the cd in the player just then 6 DVD screens came on with ABBA blasting, the next 15 to 20 minutes couldn’t go fast enough.
Orchard Road, Singapore around November – December is fantastic with all the Christmas decorations and lights.

Singapore Zoo

website here

I really enjoyed Singapore; I thought it was very expensive. The zoo and the night zoo where fantastic and well worth the money.

Back to Changi Airport Budget terminal, I had a tiger airlines flight to catch to Kuala Lumpur .The flight was on time and as I was the only westerner on the plane they sat me on the emergency exit on the wings with the extra foot room. Great extra leg room for a $7 plane ticket plus taxes .40 -50 minutes later I landed in Kuala Lumpur .At the budget terminal , I knew that Kuala Lumpur is an hour drive away . The coach bus was my best and cheapest alternative and as it was 1am I didn’t want to muck about.The bus stopped right out front of the hotel.

More photo's of Singapore here

Kuala Lumpur

The Royale Bintang

Website here

View from the room, Petronas Twin Towers and Kuala Lumpur Tower

I did a bit of shopping in KL; I found a lot of stuff in the shopping centres was dearer than here in Australia. China town was fantastic for shopping and for a good cheap feed, but this is 1 place to bargain hard very hard. Little India was full of gold I have never seen so much gold in my life .The markets were ok no need to bargain stuff is that cheap but the quality of some things is very poor .
Also went to a huge shopping centre out of town in the shape of a pyramid with a theme park out back called Sunway Lagoon .A great day out , especially if you have kids or just a big kid like me .

There website is here

Batu caves

I grabbed a cab over to the Batu caves; it’s a Malaysian Hindu temple .With a very impressive statue at the front. More Info here It is about 270 steps to the top and they number them just to remind you how silly you are.

Petronas Twin Towers

Website here

Free tickets to go to the viewing bridge are given away each morning but only a certain number. I was told to get there early because a huge line builds up.
The alarm went off at 6 am. Oh my head, too much beer last night. I left the hotel around 630 am and walked up the street to the monorail. On a short monorail ride then a 1km walk to the underground train station with a couple of stops to Petronas Twin Towers. I walked out of the station and looked up oh my god, this tower was massive .I went to the lower level to line up for the tickets. It had taken me an hour to get here. There were about 10 people in front of me. I joined them sitting on the floor waiting, god I was hungry and had to wait till the ticket office opened which was 830 or 9 am.
My turn to get the tickets, I want them for 3pm this afternoon, as I want to go out for awhile this morning. With my tickets in hand I headed out front towards the train station. Stuff that I thought, grab a cab. I jumped into the cab and headed back to the hotel. When I got a message on my mobile phone, which is a whistle .The taxi driver was ducking and grabbing his head, the taxi started swerving on the road with him yelling it’s a bird. No I said it’s my phone holding it up, he said no it’s a bird. He pulled over to let the invisible bird fly away, and off we went again to the hotel. The taxi ride took 30 minutes and around the same price as the monorail and the train combined, why didn’t I do that in the morning.
Silly me got the tickets for the afternoon; I guess I didn’t think too well about that. Since we were in Malaysia and every afternoon at 3 it rains like someone needed to build an ark. It was still ok just raining.

More photos of Kuala Lumpur here

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Thailand - Phuket

November – December 2007

After spending a few visits to Bali, I got interested in seeing more of Asia. So when the chance came along to visit Phuket Thailand, I seized it.
Touch down at Phuket airport , which was a little scary the plane slide a little sideways for a second or 2 as the wheels hit the ground , It was raining buckets of water , it was nearly change of underwear time.
Once outside the airport it was late afternoon, the rain had stopped. Now it was time to find transport from the airport to the hotel. Thoughts of Bali flash in my head of cab drivers with meters turned off who want to rob you blind with some fantastic price to travel ½ hour. If I was rich I would of payed a silly price with my travel agent for transfers .Anyway this is Thailand, The cab booth was out of cabs for an hour or so. The other alternative was to bargin with the rip off taxis in the airport car park. He goes nothing, I can always walk away. We chatted for a good 15 minutes agreed on a price which was still a few dollars more than a taxi, but still cheap. He was a pretty good guy to chat with along the way, and answered a few of my silly questions.

Accommodation was at the Baumanburi.

Fantastic hotel in a central location .And just a block away from the beach. And only a short walk to Bang La Road. And to the right of the hotel is a great market. Internet out front of the hotel, a 7/11 store next to that and a Laundromat next to the 7/11.

website here

View of Phuket

Some of my photos look a bit smokey it's because of Burning off rainforest in Malaysia

Buddhist temple

Phuket zoo

website here

The guy who looked after this tiger only has 1 arm , which made me a little nervous to start with and as I sat down the tiger let out a little grrrr which made me even more nervous. Then the 1 arm Thai guy said lay next to him well as I was getting into position the tiger looked at me opened it mouth and roared. Ok now I’m shitting myself. Hurry up and take the darn picture I yelled.

Loy Kratong

The Loy Kratong festival was on while in Patong the place was packed with local and tourist’s .It was a fantastic site to see .On dusk and into the night lanterns were lit and let go to fly away. And they make these fantastic floating monuments which they light the candles and set them afloat late in the night of the full moon. This would have to be one of my favourite sites I have seen on my travels.

Bang La Road

Thai ladyboy

Phuket team canoe

Website here

This is one of the tours I took in Phuket and well worth it .It was an early pickup from the hotel. By minivan .Then a tour around to other hotels, picking up other guests .Then over to the harbour, Ao Poh behine.
We cruised around Phang Nga Bay, till we reached Panak Island here we left the boat and got aboard the kayaks and headed in to hongs.

Back on the boat and off to Hong Island

Back on the boat, and a fantastic Thai lunch was served, and on to Ko Tapu or commonly known as James Bond Island from the 1974 Bond film "The Man with the Golden Gun".

Patong beach

Tuk Tuk

P.P.Island tour

website here

Another early start to the day, I raced down and scoffed down some breaky and got to the front of the hotel just in time for the pickup. Just as a guy came looking for a guest for a tour .he grabbed my itinerary from me and said no not you , so I waited another 20 minutes . I watched other people get picked up and taken on their tours. I started to get worried when it hit the 30 minute mark. So I phoned the company, they apologised for being late. Ten minutes later the guy who came before made a mistake and left me behind .finally we were off to Rasada Pier to board the speedboat.
First stop was Khai Island for Kayaking or snorkelling.

Back on the speedboat and over to Monkey beach

Back on the speedboat and off to Phi Phi Don . A stop for lunch and walk around

Back on the speedboat and off to Viking cave

They come here to collect the swift's nests, used to make Bird's Nest Soup, a Chinese delicacy. The season for the nests is between February and April

Off to Maya bay on Phi Phi Ley . This is the bay used in the movie The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio

Phuket FantaSea

website here

This place is fantastic and well worth a visit. I had dinner and the show dinner was good and heaps of it.There isn't to many photos here they take your cameras off you.

More of my Thailand photos here