Posts Tagged With: Malaysia

10 Things I Learned While Travelling the World

I’ve been back in Canada for a little less than a month now and have had some time to decompress and to think about my trip.  At first, I thought I hadn’t really changed at all during my travels, but it actually has in a million tiny ways.  I’d like to share that with you now:

10. The Journey is the Thing

My trip had no specific goal, other than to relax, enjoy and experience the world that was far away from home.  This turned out to a great way to travel and, for me, to not focus on the result, but to really take the journey for what it was – an adventure into the unknown.

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9. We are all the Same

I included this in my last list, but I want to say it again.  I love people, and the truest realization I had again while I was overseas is that we are all, at our most basic level, very similar.  We just want to be happy; to have enough food to eat, a roof over our heads, some people who love us and a purpose in life that brings us joy.  I saw all kinds of people living in many different ways as I worked though six countries, but they all have this in common. We are all part of one big human family, and it doesn’t matter where you are from or what you are doing with your life, some things are the same within all of us.

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8. Travel is as Easy and as Hard as you Want it To Be

PATIENCE.  This one virtue has eluded me my whole life, and nothing cures the need for control than a less than smooth travel experience.  I learned about the essence of the journey in my search for patience as I met setbacks and mishaps along the road.   I learned how to be more adaptable, to let things slide, and to only care about the most important things along the way.

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7. Roll with the Waves

This one is a good follow-up to #8.  When I rolled with the upsets along the way, the journey got even more interesting: I saw some things I would otherwise have missed, or had a completely new experiences I wasn’t expecting to have.  By saying “Yes!” I got into more trouble, saw more unexpected things, and had more impromptu adventures than if I had stuck to a strict schedule and followed it the whole way along.

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6. Pay Attention

I learned that there is beauty in the details.  That every city is an intricate mess that somehow works in its own unique way.  That the road less traveled sometimes results in a washed out car or monkeys attacking your windshield.  To stop and save the kittens, get lost on a bike and get found again, and that fun can be found in every airport, bus station, or boat ride.  By paying true attention to my surroundings, I was also able to glimpse into the local life of the people, and have real experiences from the country I was visiting.  That, to me, is priceless.

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5. Embrace the Inner Hippie

I’m normally a goal-oriented, round the clock, by the book kind of person.  To escape that mentality for a while and embrace my inner beach bum was an enlightening experience.  I had whole days with no plans and nothing to do, vague ideas of where the day would take me, and days where I just went with the flow.  That rarely happens in my “real” life in Canada, and it was refreshing to break out of the bubble of who I think I am and step into the sandals of my inner Hippie Goddess.  She is someone I want to know better, and a side of me that I won’t soon forget now that we’ve been re-aquainted!

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4. Trust the Kindness of Strangers

In my travels I stayed with family friends, friends of friends, new friends and people I didn’t even know at all. I was welcomed into countless homes with open arms, to people eager to share in my travel journey and get to know me.  I feel SO blessed to now have friends from all over the world, and want to thank each and every one of you for your hospitality and help in exploring all these new places 🙂 If you ever travel, and someone recommends that you stay with a friend or you have family/friends to stay with overseas, DO IT! It will completely change your perspective on the country you are visiting, because you get to see it through the eyes of a local.  A thousand thank-you’s again to all those who put me up while I was abroad!  You are welcome to return the favour here in Canada anytime!

3. Comfort Zones are Boring

I did something new and crazy in every country I went to: Surfing in Indonesia, Parasailing in Philippines, and even Skydiving in New Zealand.  Get out of your comfort zone and try some new and crazy stuff.  It will enrich your travel experience and add a whole new level of fun.  Besides, that’s what travel is for: new experiences and adventures! It doesn’t matter how scared you are – do something wild and crazy!  eat that cricket off a Bangkok bug cart!  Take the jet boat ride through the canyon!  Throw yourself out of a plane! These things are the highlights of my travels as I look back on them now, the times I challenged myself and really went for it.

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2. Theres No Place like Home

Canada is an amazing country. I learned this while I was abroad through other travellers stories about my home country, that it is a well-loved place in the world and worth exploring in its own right.  Talking about it with others made me realize how much I love being a Canadian and how lucky I am to call this place my home.  I never really appreciated it until I left for a long time and realized what a phenomenal place it is.

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1. I am SO lucky

The fact that I was able to pull off this trip still boggles my mind.  There was so much planning involved – a years worth of time and effort went into it, and now that I’m back I can see what a privileged position I hold as a citizen of Canada.  I have enough food to eat, a roof over my head, and friends and family who love and care about me.  The rest is just gravy!  Upon returning I went to my bathroom and turned on the tap, thinking back to all the times I didn’t have access to fresh water on my travels. Something as simple as turning on the tap can take on new meaning after travelling: it represents all that we take for granted, being from a first world country were every comfort is provided for.  I feel that, now, I am able to name how lucky I truly am.

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Well. That’s it!  I’m sure I will update this blog again in the future as life takes me on more travels, but for now I am happy to have landed back in Canada, ready to take on the world 🙂

xo

D

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Categories: Australia, Cambodia, In the Air, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Phillipines, Singapore, Thailand | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Walking Trek of Kuala Lumpur

I actually think I walked ten clicks today, or more! There is a certain satisfaction to navigating yourself around a new city, especially one as confusing as Kuala Lumpur!  I had some walking tours outlined in my trusty Lonely Planet, but decided to save them till later and check out the landmark that is the Petronas Towers, once the tallest twin towers in Asia.  I figured out I could walk there, and decided to make the 20 minute trek over to see them myself.  As I walked, I stumbled upon the Tourist Center, and decided to go in to change the 200 or so Philippine Pesos I had in my wallet (about 17 rinngit worth but hey I didn’t want to hit another Malaysian ATM before heading to Aus!) Luckily I stumbled upon a chocolate shop and was treated to 6 or 7 samples along with all the other Asian tourists on the bus tour that I wasn’t on 😉 Nobody needed to know that!

My next stop was the twin towers.  They were pretty impressive as I walked up, and after a few minutes of figuring out where to buy tickets, I found out that they were sold out for the day and NOT free as my two-year old guidebook had said. Grrr! Oh well. I saw them from the ground!  They were cool!  After feeling like a schmo in walking in the fancy mall for a while, I hit the streets again and found myself on Bukit Bintang, the shopping and tourist district of KL. I wandered in and out of shops, feeling harassed by massage ladies, taxi drivers and salespeople alike, and took refuge in a giant mall with about a thousand kiosks selling every single imagineable item know to man.  I found a cheap meal in there, Black pepper beef and rice, along with a scalding hot coffee.  As I moved back out onto the street, I managed to get myself a bit lost and as I wandered, I just took in this big noisy dirty city with its walls of traffic and construction, and luckily got spit out only a few blocks from my current place of residence, Reggae Mansion.  I went inside to escape the heat and after a mid-afternoon shower and nap, I was ready to spend my evening in Chinatown, where I took in the covered Central Market and uncovered Petaling Street, where counterfeit bags were the order of the day.  I couldn’t help myself, I joined in and bought a fake Tory Burch clutch.  Oops! Dinner was soup noodles (surprise, surprise) and as night was rapidly approaching, I hurried back to my hostel as I didn’t feel safe on the streets of KL, having been followed last night.
The next day was my last full day in Asia, and I spent most of it planning for the adventures ahead!  I found a comfy spot in the hostel with good wifi, and booked my bus trips for the next two weeks in Australia, along with some of the sightseeing attractions that were booked in along with my pass.  I soon figured out that these places were a lot farther than I thought from each other, and groaned when I realized I had to take an eighteen hour bus ride at one point in order to fit it all in and make my flight to Sydney from Cairns at the end of the month.  Ugh!
To clear my hear, I headed out to the hustle and bustle of KL one more time, this time to Little India to peruse the night market that was just getting started and find some rice and chicken dish to celebrate my last evening in Asia.  I was feeling nostalgic and actually enjoyed the crush of people, smells and tastes for once, as it would be the last time in a long while I would experience the uniqueness of SE Asia’s flavors.  That night was tough to sleep as I was worried/excited for the next morning’s trip.  I was leaving the continent for a completely new place, filled with people I love and tons of new adventures!! Bring it!
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Lazy Langkawi and the Long Ride to KL

Our third day in Langakwi was super beachy- the sun was shining and it was almost unbearably hot – almost.  We set up in front of our favorite five star resort and I snuck into their pool numerous times to cool off – hehehe. Sneaky.  We grabbed some duty free beers after burgers for lunch and did some last minute poking around in the mall and little shops before spending the later part of the afternoon in our pretty guesthouse with all the kitties, and our fellow travelers.  I seriously can’t say enough good things about Soluna guesthouse – you have to walk a little bit to get to and from the main road, literally through a field and some rice paddies with water buffalo hanging out, but its so quaint with the cottage style rooms and beautiful greenery, the owner obviously put a lot of effort an planning into making the place a comfortable destination for travelers, and I especially enjoyed the air-con in the dorm and mini fridge to keep our cheap beers cold!  After cleaning up and eating dinner once again at the cheap and delicious Indian place down the road from us, we packed up our stuff and went to bed early.  In the morning we had a kitty-escort to the taxi stand, two funny little guesthouse cats followed us halfway down the road, just being cute little punks!

Our taxi took us to the jetty and I arrived in time to buy a ticket for the 8:15 ferry across the channel to the mainland.  Micheline and I said our goodbyes at this point, as she was traveling north to Thailand and I was headed south to Kuala Lumpur!  Thanks for being such a great and easygoing travel partner!  I’ll miss you!
The ferry ride was FREEZING but I was prepared this time with a sweater and blanket, I sat next to an energetic girl who watched me play candy crush the whooooole way, then whipped out her iPad and played a few rounds herself!  The jetty was a short walk to the bus station in Kuala Perlis, and I spent the next hour anxiously awaiting my bus after being told there is NO ticket counter for my company there. Eeps! Will it come? Am I in the right place? What happens if it doesn’t show up? I was also, at this point, trying to fend off a Pakistani man who decided since I was alone I must be lonely and offered to be my friend, but i soon realized he meant “boyfriend” and I told him thanks but no thanks. Lol. He persisted and THANK GOD my bus rolled up only about 15 minutes late, I said goodbye to my new “friend” and boarded the Transnasional Bus.  I soon realized I had bought a ticket for a bus that stopped in EVERY town in the province, and it was two hours before we even crossed the border into the next one!  Oh well, I got to see every little towns’ bus station, so – there’s that.  We finally got on the road and I figured the ride would take twice as long as the estimated five hours. I was right, cause five hours into the ride we were still nowhere close to KL.  Oh well.  We stopped at another little roadside rest stop, this one more picturesque than the one we had stopped at on the way to Penang.  I ate some noodles and chicken, had my bag of drink and waited in the rain for our bus to open up and depart.  When I say “bag of drink” I literally mean it – they serve drinks in these hilarious takeout mini bags with handles and a straw and ice.  I guess cups are too much effort.
We rolled into KL around 8pm and I was dropped at a bus station called Duta – which is still kinda outside of town. I was anticipating taking a taxi into town but the driver told me to board another bus with the same company – no charge – that would take me down town!  Win for Transnasional Bus Company!! The bus took its sweet time leaving but I wasn’t complaining about a free ride, especially after I realized I could now walk to my hostel from there.  I was armed with my guidebook as we arrived at the Puduraya Bus Station and I successful navigated myself through the streets of Kuala Lumpur and ended up at Reggae Mansion, the coolest, cleanest and funkiest hostel I have stayed at.  I have a little “pod” in the girls dorm with four walls that feels like a tiny hotel room, there’s free breakfast and the facilities are gorgeous! Yes! I already was loving KL!!
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Beach Daze and Cheap Changs

Our time in Langkawi was equally split between eating delicious food, lazing on the beach and shopping our butts off.  We woke up on our first full day on the island and were disappointed that it was kind of cloudy out.  No matter, we had an island hopping tour booked at 2pm and decided to head to the beach anyways – as it promptly started raining. Poop. We took shelter at what would become our favorite beachy place, outside the fancy Casa Del Mar resort, and watched the rain.  It let up in time for us to grab some lunch and snacks and be herded onto a bus to the jetty to catch our boat.  it was us, four girls from Syria and a whole lotta Malaysian Muslims! Our first stop was to the lake of the Pregnant Maiden, a freshwater lake on an island nearby that was gorgeous!  It reminded Micheline and I of our cottages back home and we laughed as some of the other tourists took what looked like their first swim, life jackets and all!

The second stop was cool but not to my taste, since eagle-feeding sounds all majestic and awesome but is actually taming these gorgeous animals and making them dependent on the food we give them.  It was interesting to see such a large eagle colony and of course to see them swooping down to grab the food, but made me sad since this is not a responsible thing to do.  The garbage at the tourist sites in Malaysia disappoint me quite a bit as well – if you have been given the gift of Paradise, do you seriously want to ruin it with pop cans and candy wrappers!  Smarten up, Malaysia!!
We stopped at a third island as well, for more beachy fun.  We wanted to snorkel but our conversation with the water sports guys went like this:  “Is there anything for us to see” Snorkel guy: “um, no. really clear water.”  us: “ok. pass.” We laid on the beach and befriended some other girls who turned out to be from Canada as well (french side) and I got to hear a bit about their travels in Australia, my next destination.  The weather ended up being great for the rest of the day and we loved just boating around the various small islands.  Not bad for 25 ringgits! about 9 dollars.  After chilling at the hostel for a bit, we shopped in the evening, I picked up some souvenirs for friends and family and bought cheap beers to drink on the beach since there was, once again, NO party to speak of on the beach or otherwise.  We snuck through an amazing resort on our way home, the Frangipani, and were amazed by how the other half lives – winding pools, private water park, and gorgeous villas.  Someday!!
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Love in Langkawi

I have officially found my favorite place in Malaysia!  Shes got everything I need – incredible beaches, cheap beer, great shopping and awesome accommodation. The only thing she was lacking was a good beach party!!  We took the ferry from Penang to Langkawi, since both are islands and fairly close together it made sense to hop on the ferry that connects the two.  Our tickets were 62 Ringgits, about $20 each and we managed to catch the bus there (about a ten minute ride) from out hostel on Lebuh Chulia for one ringgit (YES).  The ferry left an hour late and we got underway around 9:30 am.  It took three freezing hours to get there, seriously if you ever go on a Malaysian ferry bring both a sweater and a blanket, we had hoodies and sarongs to cover us but were still cold.  We went from cold to sweltering hot and boarded a taxi to Pentai Cenang after a quick food break at the jetty since neither of us had breakfast.

There’s no public transport on Langkawi, so taxi are the main transport for tourists if you are not renting a car.  We found our guesthouse with not too much trouble, we had found a brochure for a lovely looking place when we were in the Pehrentians, and luckily they had room in the dorm.  The place is called Soluna Guesthouse, and I would highly recommend it, its newly opened and very clean, centrally located, though not on the beach it’s quite close, and cheaper than a beachfront place, very quiet (except for the homemade Ramadan bombs going off, not much they could do about that), and run by a lovely Italian woman and her husband who keep a bunch of friendly cats around!
We dumped our stuff and had the rest of the afternoon to explore slash fall in love with this little place!! Langkawi is a pretty big island, and we stayed on Pentai Cenang, the biggest and most populated beach.  There is one loooong main road off the beach which holds all the restaurants, shopping, hotels and guesthouses, construction was going at a frantic place everywhere you looked, im assuming Langkawi will look very different in a few years with all the mid rise hotels going up!  But for now its still quite charming, we walked down the main road and found tons of interesting shops, even a shopping mall and a duty-free complex!  There was also lots of yummy looking and cheap food to be had.  We walked the whole strip before turning our attention to the beach, which was unreal. White sand, untouched tropical islands in the distance, the sky blue Andaman sea, it was just the thing this beach bum wanted to see!  We walked the length of the beach, climbing rocks and watching the parasailers as they sailed above us.  After dinner at a little Indian restaurant, we noticed that a whole new batch of shops had opened up in the evening, and did some poking around before heading back to our guesthouse.  There is NO nightlife to speak of in Langkawi – the beach bars were dead, the restaurants close early – I guess since it’s a family place we guessed everyone was at home with their wee ones.  Oh well. There’s always a catch in paradise, I guess!!

 

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A Walking Tour of Penang

We only had one full day in Penang before heading to Langkawi, and were determined to make the most of it!  It was a sleepy Sunday, so not much was open but it was still fun to walk around and check out the many sights of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.  We set out in a random direction, armed with a map.  We managed to get lost after I ate what was the most delicious fried rice I’ve ever had in my life (for breakfast, lol) from a cart, and the proprietor warned me about bag thieves and the myriad of ways people could steal my bag and money.  I thought SHE was going to rob me, from the detail she was going into!  I clutched my bag and left as we walked and walked and WALKED, saw churches and temples and mosques and the city hall and the esplanade running along the waterfront and a memorial clock tower, finally deciding to purposefully find a museum after realizing we had inadvertently seen half the city’s sights just by walking around!  We got lost in Little India and sidetracked at TeoChew Temple, we finally located the Perenakan Museum and saw some more history concerning the wealthy Straits Chinese families, I am so fascinated by this particular facet of Asian culture, and find the food so delicious, I’m convinced I must have been a Nonya in a past life!

We stopped for sushi and I splurged hard on good food, the most I’ve spent on any meal since I’ve been away – 62 Ringgits!! 20 bucks! It was well worth it, though, the sushi was fresh and I was super satisfied.  We decided to check out a movie that night and headed to the mall, which was about a ten minute walk away.  We loaded up on candy and ice cream, and saw R.I.P.D, a fluff movie but good for the hotness that Ryan Reynolds provided!  I had a long chat with my sister when I got home, shes five months pregnant and one of the main reasons I’m looking forward to the end of my trip: I get to meet my new nephew soon after I get back!
Our feet were achy after so much walking, so it was bedtime for us as we had an early ferry to catch!
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The Road to Penang

Wahoo! Nothing like a nine-hour bus ride to occupy your day.  Although travel days are different in a way because there’s no way of knowing what your destination brings, it usually turns tedious pretty fast.  Our bus driver was late because of traffic (excusable) but had to be called back to the drop-off point because he had taken off without us, his four passengers, in the back!  Oh man.  Our driver, captain Taz, as he introduced himself, was dressed for a day of golfing in short pants, long socks and a golfing tee and hat.  Hmmm? I didn’t ask.  Soon after we left it was clear he was an AWFUL driver with a lead foot and shitty attitude behind the wheel, I wedged myself between a bunch of backpacks in the backseat and hoped they wouldn’t fall on me – which they did – eventually.  Then. The traffic.  OH MY GOD. It was some of the worst traffic I’ve ever seen, and we inched along the road, lurching forward with every stop. Only my music made it bearable, and I watched the charge slowly decline and prayed the tunes would hold out till we got there. They didn’t.  Our minivan held four other passengers besides Micheline and I, and after three hours we were all hungry and desperately had to pee!  We asked Captain Taz to stop, and he replied that he would but he would keep the van inching along in traffic and we would have to run and catch up.  What? So we ALL ran out when the door opened, I guess he realized he would have some explaining to do with an empty van and no passengers, so he stopped for us reluctantly.  I peed in some Muslim guys backyard (oops sorry!) and we stopped at a roadside stand to buy fruit (some passengers were not as prepared as us with our loaf of white bread and peanut butter) and ran back to the torture device that was our ride.
 
 The time slowly passed as we alternated between breakneck speed and painfully slow jerkiness, finally we came to a roadside stop where we were the ONLY ladies with our hair uncovered, this was a sight for the rest of the Muslims around, who were lovely and friendly and fascinated by us, especially by Micheline’s blonde hair!  We got back on the road, and our driver told us he “didn’t know” how long it would take for us to get there….lol. We finally arrived around 8pm and were recommended to a guesthouse by our golfer/driver/captain. Since we were too tired to object and the guesthouse looked clean and there was a sweet mural on the wall, we paid the 35 Ringgits ($11.50 CAD) and dumped our stuff, happy to finally be in Penang.  

 
We dumped our stuff and wandered around a bit, since we were in the heart of Chinatown there was a sweet night market serving all kinds of food and drink, so I sat down with a plate of noodles and we had watermelon shakes and happily went to bed after walking a bit and realizing there’s not much nightlife around!  
 
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Pehrentian Island Paradise

Yay! We are back on the beach again!  The Pehrentian Islands are a two tiny islands on the east coast of Malaysia, close to the Thai border and about a ten-hour bus ride from Singapore.  After crossing the border without a hitch, we settled in to sleep and tried to get some shuteye on the swerving bus.  I think i succeeded – i woke up feeling not too crabby at the Merang jetty, the closest we could get to our destination by bus, but still an hour away from our port.  We found two lovely Polish girls to share a taxi with to the Khota Baru jetty, splitting the 100 Rinngit cab fare four ways, making it about CAD $8 each.  At the port, we bought tickets to the islands ($23 return fare or 70 Ringgits) and tickets for our bus ride onwards after the islands (60 Rinngits to Penang, about $20).

The boat ride to the islands was refreshing, and we landed on Kecil, the smaller of the islands, at Long Beach, which isn’t actually that long but looked lovely to us.  We had some problems finding a room, as it’s a holiday weekend and we walked from place to place with our backpacks on, sweating bullets as we begged for a place to stay.  I finally found a room at the LAST place on the beach, a little cottage with a fan and two beds that was grungy but perfect for us at 50 ringgits a night! (25 rinngits each, about $8).  The beach was calling us after that, and we laid on the beach alllll day, working on our tans and soaking in the sun.  Our dinner was not the best,  but it was cheap so what do you expect.  Our plans to watch the fire show were cancelled as it started to pour and we were tired from our overnight bus ride.
Our second day on the island was awesome!! Even though we had to wait an hour and a half for our breakfast at D’Rock Garden, our guesthouse, the sun was out and we hit the beach again.  Around lunchtime we stopped for Milo milkshakes (mmm malted chocolate) and eavesdropped on others who were having trouble finding rooms, even going so far as to sleep on the porches of various hostels and guesthouses!! We felt pretty lucky to have found a room without too much trouble, after that! In the afternoon we walked over to coral beach on the other side of the island, comparing the beaches and the food we found. It was smaller than our but the ambiance was quite nice!  We had dinner (pizza mmm) at the Imbiah Resort and tried to catch the sunset with no dice, as there were clouds rolling in.  Our second night’s attempts to go out and hit the beach bar were once again cancelled because of rain 😦 BOO!! I wanted to see the fire show!
Today it was grey and rainy, so I decided to type up all my blogs and hang out at the overpriced cafe.  Their wifi is down, but its funny to hear all the spoiled and disgruntled tourists complaining around me about poor service, no ATM’s, lack of rooms, and the weather.  Cheer up, people!! You are in paradise!  SO what if there’s nothing to do, there’s a beach!

The evening ended up being really nice, so after playing cards all afternoon and catching a few rays as the sun went down, we decided to go out to the beach party and ended up having an awesome time!! The Changs were flowing, we shared some shisha with some friendly Malaysians, and watched the fire show on the beach – not quite as good as Thailand, but pretty impressive nonetheless!  I even spun some fire myself, sorry Mom!! I cant help it, its too fun!! The fun ended around midnight, though, as these two Cinderellas had to catch the 8am ferry back to the mainland.

 

xo

 

D

 

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One Sweet Day in Melaka

Well, I’m glad I only planned on staying two nights here, because one and a half days was more than enough to see all that this little town had to offer.  I wanted to check it out since it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and since I love history I thought it would be a worthy stop.  I found it to be charming but super touristy, and although the food was good and it was worth a look around, there’s not much fun stuff to do besides take pics, check out museums, eat, and shop.

 
I left my hostel on a mission to find some good coffee and a big breakfast to fuel my day, and I found a riverside café with both of those things.  I chatted with my mom over breakfast (nighttime for her) and caught up on all the news from home 🙂 I had kind of a route planned out and first decided to check out the Museum Rakiyat, which had some good if slightly bland exhibits about Melaka, a kite museum and a really interesting exhibit about beauty practices all over the world, including scarifications, piercing, corsets, Chinese foot binding and more.  I found that really interesting, but not much else, and then while trying to follow my walking route I inevitably got lost, found, then lost again after finally getting my bearings at the extremely cute town square with outrageously decorated tricycles for hire, some with boomboxes attached, blaring 80’s tunes!!
 
 
My second museum stop was the Baba Nonya house, a Perenkian style house that showed how the rich Indochinese merchants lived when the area was a main shipping town in Malaysia. The women of the house were rarely seen, and lived their lives indoors and behind screens.  Fascinating!  I ate yummy Nonya food at the little café and did some shopping after that, there’s lots of kitschy little stores and antique shops, I sampled some baked goods (seriously there are SO MANY yummy things to eat here.  Oops.) and headed back to my hostel to hang out on the rooftop lounge and get to know some of my fellow travelers.
 
Today i sampled some Chinese goodies before leaving town, and may or may not have a box of pineapple tarts to snack on during the trip to Singapore!  My waistline cannot take the goodness that I found in Melaka!  Right now I am on a very bumpy bus to Singapore, where I will rendezvous with my travel companion Micheline and meet some family friends who are graciously putting us up!  Onwards!

 

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Mmmm, Melaka! – Foodie Paradise

I love Malaysia!!  It is extremely awesome here – I was not expecting such a clean, well-organized and developed country. I think im going to really like it here.  In between my first stop in Malaysia and the rest of my travels in this country, I’m going to check out Singapore, as well.  But I’m getting ahead of myself here.

I got off the plane at the Low Cost Carrier Terminal, thank goodness I did some internet research as my lonely planet is two years out of date, and was totally directing me to the wrong bus station 😦 i caught wind of this before making this tragic mistake, and got on a sexy bus that cost me 8 ringgit ($2.50 CAD) for an hour and a half bus ride to the new, beautiful bus station.  All the buses ran on time, left on time, were clean and air-conditioned and in great shape!! OH MY GOD ITS A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE.  iT ACTUALLY IS. This type of service is pretty much unheard of in any other asian country I’ve been to, so needless to say I am already impressed.
My bus to Melaka was easy to find, super cheap (9 ringgits, or 3 dollars for a two-hour bus ride) and right on time.  I stared out at the suburbs of Kuala Lumpur from my bus window. it looked so orderly! No signs of poverty, no roadside shacks, just cheery looking row houses and palm plantations.  Woah.  Minus the palm trees, you could be in any developed country in the world and not know the difference.  The highways are also well maintained and well-marked.  If you know me personally, you will understand why I’m pointing this out, I have an organization fetish and this country’s got it going ON!! lol.
We got to Melaka in record time, and my cab from the bus station cost 20 confusing ringgits, I didn’t understand how I could have travelled for over three hours for less than twenty ringgits, and then my five-minute cab ride cost me just as much as that. HMMM. I got to my hostel, Ringos Foyer Guesthouse, and while it’s not much to look at, it was pretty comfortable and I met a bunch of interesting people there so points for that, even though it wasn’t the prettiest place I’ve stayed.  I was super tired from getting up at 4am, but decided to go for a little walk and check out the very charming town and grab some Nonya Laksa, a yummy curry soup that is a local specialty.  The cats found me, as they always do, and I shared some of the seafood in my soup with them.  I can’t help it!! I love kitties!! I walked around a bit more and oriented myself, and crashed hard that evening after chatting with some fellow travellers in the homey common area of my guesthouse.
xo
D
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