Published: July 1st 2006June 22nd 2006
Right hello everyone and welcome to another fascinating log of the web variety. We've had an amazing time in Malaysia (and Singapore) since leaving Oz and done sooo much and all in less than a month!! There is a huuuugee amount of photos for you to trawl through if you wish, but please do as I just couldnt stop adding more and more pics to this good damn thing!
In a nutshell: Singapore
- 4 days, clean (apart from Little India where we stayed!), fairly cheap, hot & humid, skyscrapers, colonial, they all spoke English, Tescos and M&S!. So a nice easy introduction to Asia. Malaysia
- There for just under a month and on a whim decided to fly to Malasian Borneo, Sabah
. And what a great decision it was cos it was a wicked action-packed wildlife fest of a week including; Turtle's (Head) Island
where we say giant turtles laying eggs (which I thought was a bit intrusive), burying the freshly laid eggs away from predators (including man!) and setting the baby turtles scuttling off to the sea at night. Ahhhh how cute!
, one of the best snorkelling/diving sites
Obligatory Singapore Sling
at Raffle Hotel. Bloody colonialist...
in the world. Amazing best thing done so far - catching a ride with massive turtle, swimming with sharks, wicked fish lah lah lah.....
Also went Into the Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad stylee up the river into deepest darkest Borneo jungle for 2 nights (kept thinking I'd get native headhunting spear through me head at any mo). Very hot, humid basic jungle camp with just a wooden hut, mosquito net, matress toilets on a par with Glastonbury and loads of theiving scouse-like monkeys! It was ace and saw stuff, like totally wild orang-utangs, snakes, loads of different breeds of monkeys, hornbills, yada yada yada........ I played footie with the locals there, strangley some of them knew about Peter Crouch and thus was my nickname from the kids. I can only assume it was for my footballing prowess (our team won and I bagged a number of goals plus very deep blisters / cuts from playing barefoot) and not in any way my looks or my robotic skills which are far superior!
Back to mainland Malaysia and Cameron Highlands
- pretty nice and lots of tea (which I don't drink still!) and scones. Perhentian Islands
In Colonial Singapore. Bloody colonialsist
gert lush, although I had a job to do! Was the same everyday; watching 3 games of the world cup a day. Managed to watch over 25 full games over 1st and a half of the world cup in Malaysia. Heaven. It's a hard job but someone's got to do it! We really relaxed for a week and along with my new job the day consisted of lying on quiet beach, doing ace snorkelling and deciding what type of fresh BBQ fish I was going to try. Yes mum and dad I've being eating fish.
Anyway go to go now and move on up to Thailand beaches and more World Cup, did I say it was a hard life?
Rick Becky says:
Hello all! We are actually in Bangkok at the mo, however our blog is really out of date because a) tropical paradise islands don't really have web access and b) we have been too busy having a wicked time and watching the world cup to be arsed!
So, Malaysia and Singapore.
Guess the most striking thing for us was the impact of colonialism on Malaysia. Singapore (which was our first stop),
Old and New Singapore
with added Junks on the river
Melacca (our second, en route to Kuala Lumpur) and KL itself all have an area which was where the Brits lived; all the government buildings are set around a cricket pitch! Singapore and KL both have swanky country clubs in the same buildings that housed the cricket club in colonial times, it is a bit ironic that even after independence the elite, no matter which nationality they are, still hang out in the same spots!
Melecca was an interesting place, since it was occupied by the Dutch and Portuguese, as well as the English, so there are all sorts of architecture there (well the stuff that wasn't bashed down by the incoming occupier!).
Add to this the fact that Malaysia has about 93 religions, mostly which came over from India via the trade routes, and you have bonkers mixes of Raffles (lovely Singapore Slings!) and other plush ex colonial spots , cricket, then Hindu and Buddhist temples and mosques all mixed together. Plus there is every kind of food you can imagine. Not enough sausage sandwiches or roasties though.
From KL we decided, somewhat randomly, to buy a flight over to Sabah (the Malaysian part of Borneo).
The only dirty place in Singapore.
Glad we did as it was by far the best week of our travels so far. Dead jealous of Dunk and Clare getting to do it all in a couple of weeks' time!
The first day, we went to Turtle's Head (I can't stop calling it that), which is a national park. Only 30 people are allowed on it at any time, as it is where giant turtles come ashore to lay their eggs. The turtle we saw laid about 45 eggs, and about 18 turtles came ashore that night, so lots of baby turtles will hatch in 2 months' time! The best bit was seeing a batch of turtles which had been collected and buried as eggs 2 months before, hatch and be little turtles! They were soooo cute and we got to hold one! We saw the little fellas released into the sea, which was the highlight for me. Sadly only about 3% of the hatchlings will make it to adulthood cos of predators etc, so I wished the little fella that I held all the luck in the world!
The second day, we legged it back to land and visted one of only four orangutan
Lovely Raman Tucker
at Hawker Stalls in Singapore
rehabilitation sanctuaries in the world. They help orangutans who are orphaned, or captured by locals and kept as pets, and get them back into a state where they can be released back into the wild. It is amazing what they do with the babies who are orphaned; they have to treat them like babies with nappies and have to send them to "school" so that they can learn how to grip branches and swing and stuff. Once they are ready, they are released into the wild but the sanctuary has a feeding platform where, twice a day, they put out food so that the orange fellas can come back if they want to. We were really lucky when we watched, as sometimes only one or two come back but we saw about eight orangutans, plus loads of macaque monkeys who to scrounge the rest of the food.
In the afternoon we set off for something I was a bit nervous about (had visions of unbearable heat and swarms of flying beasties) - a 3 day, 2 night stay in the jungle. We stayed at a camp where you sleep in on a platform with a roof, a mattress and
Portugese Influence in Melaka, Malaysia. There was a Dutch Windmill as well. Bloody colonialists.
a mosquito net! We did three days of treks and river cruises to see the wild life. We saw countless cheeky monkeys (who came into the camp and pinched everything they could get their hands on) a massive python, proboscis monkeys, and, best of all, we were really lucky to see an orangutan in the wild - v rare. Even better, it was an adult male (HUGE, with those strange plate-like things on the side of his face that you see on telly) which you apparently almost never see.
After our feral jungle experience we travelled to Sipadan, which is a tropical island paradise national park and one of the top 10 dive sites in the world. It was loads better than the Great Barrier Reef. We saw the most amazing marine life, including sharks (!) but the best thing was the giant turtles. You would just be moseying along, when out of the darkness would glide a turtle. You could just float in the water and let them come to you, at one point there were about six or seven all around. Beautiful. Some were even bigger than me! We blew the budget and did two days there;
Chinese Influence in Melaka, Malaysia. Bloody colonialists.
Rick got horrifically sunburnt on his bonce and for the next few weeks had what semed to be really offensive dandruff. Nice.
After a nightmare journey to KL (q: how many peeps can you fit in in a 13 seater minibus? A: 19) we chilled out for a day the on to the Cameron Highlands where it was refreshingly cool and we had lots of lovely tea. Boh!
Another nightmare one-day journey bought us to the Pherentian Islands, the start of what has been a month of beach bumming for us. Life is very hard. When we got off the boat, the driver said "welcome to paradise". Thought he was a bit of a cheese master but he was right! There is nothing but two white sandy beaches, beautiful coral and clear water, and a few bungalows and one bar there (Rick clearly would highlight the football as the key attraction), We only meant to stay for three days but ended up there for a week, only leaving as our cash ran out and there is nothing even approaching an ATM there. Paradise.
We were gutted to leave the islands, but the prospect of two more weeks
Largest in SE Asia. Kula Lumpar, in predominatly Islamic Malaysia.
on the Thai Andaman coast (where The Beach was filmed), then Bangkok and meeting Lucy W, Belinda and Ben and Dunk and Clare (and laying my hands on Heat, a double Decker, some Iron Bru and a packet of Wotsits) eased the pain. We are never coming back.
There are more photos below