Published: April 6th 2008April 5th 2008
What's up Montrealers....I think its time for some more Asian stories. Heard the weather's getting better in Montreal, so now you don't have to be too jealous that my stories are mostly set on beaches!
Somehow I find it pretty impossible to make plans here and actually follow through with them...so we've done nothing i said i would do last time i wrote. Kim and I spent another few weeks in Thailand, we went to ko lanta, an island I've never been to before, so it was nice to check out something different. then we made our way to Ko Phangan, the location of the infamous full moon party (which I've been to before, but who can pass up the opportunity to party till morning on a beach with 20,000 people!!). it wasn't as easy to get there as it sounds tho, somehow our bus missed our boat and then we got scammed into paying a second time for what turned out to be no reason, and to make it worse, the boat didn't leave for another 3 hours when we were told it would be leaving right away. because of that we got to the island at midnight and
most hostels were closed, so it wasn't so east to find a place. all in all, it wasn't the best day! but in the end it worked out, like it always does and we didn't even have to spend the night on the beach. i tried pimping Kim out to some guys so we could use their room but it didn't go so well. thankfully we found a place. we did come really close to getting kicked out of that place tho because we asked for the air conditioning to be fixed an that apparently made us shit disturbers and the owner didn't wanna have to deal with that so we had to beg him just to let us stay since the whole island was full because the party was that night! that would so never happen in Canada.....asking for a room that works properly and getting told to leave?!?!!! anyways, the party was a blast...as were the nights leading up to it. we drank buckets and danced and met all kinds of weird people in drugs.
From Thailand we decided the best thing to do would be to go to Indonesia first. but the cheapest way was to
Visiting a mosque in KL
we had to cover up to go inside
take a bus to Malaysia and fly from there so we detoured a bit and spent a few days in Kuala Lumpur. it was the first big city I'd been to in weeks so it was cool to see sky scrapers and cars again. we basically walked around the whole city in 3 days, which isn't so easy cuz of the lack of sidewalks in some areas. but we made it to the Petronas Towers to see the view of the city...you can go up to the sky wak on the 40th floor that attaches the 2 towers. We also checked out the touristy western area with planet Hollywood and of course went shopping. Although we couldn't really afford the Gucci, Chanel and Louis Vuitton that we found everywhere! the only place we shopped was china town. it was amazing because I felt like I was back in China, or even on canal street in NYC. it was the same purses and sunglasses and DVDs as everywhere else. the only difference I found was their attitude. the people in KL are generally really friendly and nice. so the vendors in china town tried to sell us their stuff but in
The twin towers of KL
a non-pushy, by-it-only-if-you-want kind of way. they didn't chase you down the street to sell you one DVD or yell at you when you bargain too much like they do in NYC. maybe that's the difference between Asians and Americans, they're just so much more chill here. i guess the Asians that move to the US adopt the American culture.....and by that i mean they become rude and unhappy....no offense to any Americans reading this. I know you're not all like that!!!!
We also visited some mosques, because there are some gorgeous ones here. They're prepared for tourists and have robes for women to borrow to be covered from head to toe...we had fun modeling them for each other!
From KL, we flew to Jakarta, which is on Java.....an island in Indonesia, for those who don't know. its just west of Bali. we spent about a day there before realizing its as dirty a city as the Lonely Planet describes and got the hell out! we took a long ass train ride to Yogyakarta....still on Java and spent a few days there seeing some temples and the palace. There are 2 giant temples here...Prambanan which is Hindu and Borobudur
which is Buddhist. They are 1000's of years old and took us hours to tour. Apparently the Buddhist temple is one of the wonders of the world. I'm not sure why, but it sounds cool that i saw it!! the people in Yogyakarta were pretty cool, almost too friendly. they wouldn't just say hi they'd ask "where are you going" which is weird, i never understood why they cared where i was going. and then they'd just keep asking questions, like they were using up all the words they know! at the beginning it was nice that they wanted to talk, but as wed walk down the street wed have the same conversation with about 300 people. the only way to get them to shut up was to ask them questions back. and when we couldn't get rid of someone trying to sell us something completely useless that we didn't need, wed offer to sell them our shoes instead. i think that got the point across that we weren't interested!
my favorite conversation in Indonesia happened the other day as i was walking down the street. some vendor lady yelled out to me, except this time the conversation was
a new one:
vendor lady: hello
me: ya hi
vendor lady: you have a beautiful nose
vendor lady: i really like it
me: i love you (that was the quickest I've ever sad it to anyone in my life!!)
vendor lady: i love you more than you love me!!
I've heard them yell out i love you before but that was the first time they said i love you more than you love me.....i thought it was hilarious. where do they come up with this shit????
This happened in Bali, where i am now. I've been here for a few days and am enjoying chilling on the beach again after more than a week traveling around to about 4 cities. oh ya, on the way to Bali we made another stop. we took a 10 hour bus ride to a national park called Bromo. woke up the next morning at 4 am to go to this viewpoint on a mountain to see the sunrise. we had a view of 2 volcanos and a bunch of mountains. it was actually really gorgeous, even with my eyes only half open!!! it was the first time in 10 years that
The view of the volcano erupting before the sun has even set
I've seen the sunrise and i think only the second time in my life!!! we then went as close as the jeep would go to the volcano and lazy me took a pony to the base! we walked up about 300 stairs and were at the top of the crater of an active volcano. We then took a 14 hour bus ride. The guy who sold us the tickets convinced us to upgrade to the VIP bus....for $15 instead of $10. Only once he dropped us off (and left us) did we find out that there is no VIP bus! It was interested being squished 5 people to a 3 person seat, with people staring at me and sitting on my feet.
So far on Bali, I've mostly chilled on the beach and spent some time surfing, I'm not sure if I've gotten any better though! its rainy season so we take advantage by napping, which allows us to stay up all hours of the night to party! which we didn't do too much of in the cities. how can you not when the clubs stay open here as long as there are people. we've met some cool locals
though and are enjoying hanging out with them. we're gonna spend some time touring Bali and seeing 2 other islands in Indonesia before heading to Cambodia. I'll let you know how they go next time i get around to writing again!
There are more photos below