A Travellerspoint blog


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (3rd - 6th December)

We arrived in Kuala Lumpur quite early, so stopped off for breakfast on our way to the hotel. I’m pleased we did, as the check-in experience was strange enough as it was – if we’d also had empty stomachs and no caffeine, it’d have been even stranger I’m sure. I can’t remember the name of the hotel, but could find out if anyone’s desperate to know. We booked online through hotels.com (or similar) and it’d almost sounded too good to be true. Our own room in a hotel with a pool for only £20-something a night between the three of us. This was all accurate, but it wasn’t like any other hotel I’ve ever stayed at. It was basically run by some people who either owned or rented a number of apartments within a condo. A security guy had to take us up to the apartment that acted as the reception. There was then a bit of kerfuffle as the ‘hotel’ staff checked our booking and decided on what to do with us. They initially said we’d have to come back later for check-in, which is what we’d been expecting with arriving so early – we just wanted to leave our bags somewhere. But then they said we could check-in straight away and took us to our room, which was cool. It wasn’t the one we booked, but it was either the same or better. It was inside an apartment, with its own little kitchen area, which was nice. There were a couple of other rooms in there too, but they were empty as far as we could tell. The room itself was really nice, plus it had a separate lounge type area too. And yes, we also had use of the condo’s pool and other facilities. It was pretty great really – just somewhat surreal.

After a bit of a nap, as we’d hardly slept on the train, we went and checked out the pool. It looked very nice but it was rather on the cold side. Martta wasn’t bothered by that (Finns are used to the cold!) but Jamie and I didn’t stay in for very long.

We had three nights in Kuala Lumpur. On the first couple of days I was really tired, plus I had a lot on my mind and just wasn’t really happy. I was even worse company than I’d been in Langkawi, so I kept myself away from Jamie and Martta for quite a bit of the time – as much for their benefit as for mine. It did mean that I missed out on the free walking tour that they did, which sounded really great, but I just didn’t feel up to it. On the third day, however, Jamie and I got the opportunity to talk for a while, which we really needed to do. The outcome was that we decided to split up – not a happy thing of course and not an easy decision, but we both agreed it was for the best. I did initially contemplate flying home from Singapore, where we were headed to next, as thought it might be weird to keep travelling together, but it really wasn’t. Things were actually a lot better after that – mostly because I wasn’t all moody from being bogged down in contemplating whether we should split up or not.

Anyway, because of all that, my memories of Kuala Lumpur are generally not that great. Although our last day there was pretty good – the break-up aside, of course. We went to the Batu Caves during the day, which were stunning. Then in the evening we went and watched the fountain display thing in front of the Petronas Towers, then met up with some friends of Martta’s and went for food and drinks. It was a fun night, though did mean we got back fairly late. That wouldn’t have mattered so much if we hadn’t had to get up so early the next morning to go and catch our flight to Singapore. I think we had about 3 hours sleep – if that. Not that our flight was ridiculously early, but it takes quite a long time to travel to the airport in KL, so yeah, operating on minimal sleep had become a bit of a theme of the trip.

Batu Caves:


Petronas Towers:


Posted by chantalpatton 04:36 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia (1st - 2nd December)

Georgetown was really just a stopover between Langkawi and Kuala Lumpur. We were only there for about 24 hours, as it's not that exciting, but we had a decent time.

We stayed at Red Inn Court, which was walkable from the ferry port. It was a decent little hostel. We stayed in a 4 bed dorm, along with a guy from Evesham. He seemed quite excited that I used to live in Worcester and therefore knew where Evesham was.

On the night we arrived we went out looking for somewhere to eat. We decided on a really busy place as figured that meant it must be good. It also meant we had to wait for a while before we could get a table, but it was totally worth it, the food was great. I had the sweet and sour pork, as someone in the queue (though I use the word ‘queue’ quite loosely) had recommended it to me. I’ll generally go for chicken over pork, but in this case it was a perfect choice – definitely the best sweet and sour pork I’ve ever had.

During our one almost-full day in Georgetown, we went and checked out Fort Cornwallis. It was a decent place to walk around for a while, plus entry was cheap. Although Martta bought us some odd-flavoured ice lollies to try out. We chose at random. Jamie lucked out with the non-weird flavour of coconut; Martta got the slightly-strange but not bad flavour of Jackfruit; but I got the bizarre taste sensation that was the Durian flavoured lolly. I could hardly eat any of it. Fruit shouldn’t have an onion-esque element to it. And the aftertaste!! Eugh.

After that we tried to go to the Komtar Tower for the scenic view, but got there to discover it was closed. So instead we had a scenic walk back to the hostel and also nipped into a small art gallery for a while. That was really good – I’ve annoyingly forgotten the name of the artist being showcased, but I really liked his work. Plus the curator spoke to us about him for ages, it was really nice.

One of the temples we saw on our walk (I liked the giant incense):

In the evening we then made our way to the train station, which involved taking a short ferry ride first. We’d been planning to book beds on the train, as it was overnight, but as we’d only booked earlier that day, the beds were all sold out and we had to make do with seats. This made for a pretty sleepless night as we made our way to Kuala Lumpur.

Posted by chantalpatton 07:43 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

Langkawi, Malaysia (27th November - 1st December)

We arrived on the island of Langkawi and took a taxi to our hotel - the delightfully Twin Peaks evokingly titled White Lodge. We had a room to ourselves, so with a double bed and a single bed. It was a nice place - no complaints about it. No breakfast included, but that was fine.

After being away in the UK, it was strange being back on the trip. Especially as it had continued in my absence. Naturally Jamie and Martta had struck up their own rapport and way of doing things in my absence, so it was now like I was joining their trip - my previous trip with Jamie had gone, which made me somewhat sad. This wasn't anyone's fault, it was just an unfortunate side-effect of my being away at the time that I was. Still, it was difficult to adapt to. I know that this made me quite bad company a lot of the time, for which I apologise, particularly to Martta.

Anyway, Langkawi. The beaches are one of the biggest draws, so we spent a decent amount of time there. Not so much in the sea though as it's full of jellyfish. It was far preferable to hang out at a nearby bar and order some jugs of beer!


Another major thing to do is to ride up the cable car and enjoy the view. We tried to do that, but the cable car wasn't running due to high winds. Thankfully though, the area around the cable car was quite fun to walk around anyway. There's an area with a load of rabbits you can feed, plus a cafe that's attached to a tiger enclosure. We then also went to a sealife centre, back near where we were staying. It wasn’t up there with the amazing one we went to in Lisbon, but it was still really enjoyable. My only complaint was that they promised otters and didn’t deliver. Tsk tsk.

We did also get up early one morning to go and see the sunrise. Yes, you did read that right. That's the extent to which I didn't want to feel left out of things. Although I did kind of regret it as we needed to get up extra early, in order to get to a decent lookout spot, but then it was so cloudy we couldn't actually see the sunrise happen. It confirmed my previously held belief that sunsets are far superior. Although, on the plus side, we did then go for a really nice breakfast at a French café.

We left Langkawi on a ferry to Penang. Martta and Jamie had stayed out quite late the previous night and Martta was a bit worse for wear. We'd read that the ferry crossing was pretty rough and unpleasant, which didn't bode well, but thankfully it was fine. We all even managed a bit of sleep on it.

Posted by chantalpatton 01:52 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

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