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Published: January 27th 2007
Petronas Towers, KL
Right in the middle of a thunderstorm!
Sorry it's been such a long time since we updated, we sure have been around.
We spent a couple of days in KL, enjoying the scenery and such. We saw the Petronas twin towers. They are the tallest twin towers in the world, and also has the highest skybridge in the world! Our guesthouse was called "Le Village", located in Chinatown, smelled strongly of incense and was very cozy. The only downside to this were the bedbugs and cockroaches at night... We spent a few hours each day just walking around the city seeing the sights. We loved the architecture and modern style of the city. It was a really neat place to see. It was a huge change from Thailand. We decided to journey to the Batu Caves so we took a city bus which was very cheap and saw some really nice caves. The Batu Caves date back to the mid 1800's. They were an elaborate set of Caves with Hindu Temples and Paintings inside. The ceiling was so high! We spent a few hours touring around the Batu Caves and then went back to our guesthouse. That evening we decided to head up to
These are the tea plantations amidst the jungle. Imagine biking this Jason!
the top of the KL tower, similar to the Calgary tower but taller. We had great views of the city at night. We spent another day in KL and decided to head up a few hours north to the Cameron Highlands.
The Cameron Highlands were very nice. The road to get to the Highlands was very very windy and every time the bus went around a corner it had to honk. Our bus was a "VIP" bus, which included large reclining seats and air conditioning. There were lots of tea plantations and fruit farms amidst dense jungle as we drove up. The Highlands were a lot colder than KL, reaching temperatures of 10 (Brrr!) at night and 20 during the day. We stayed at the Cameronian Inn, which was cozy and even had a hot shower! The beds were very comfortable. It always seemed to be raining in the Highlands, even when it didn't look like it was there was mist falling. We met a cool pair of travelers from Holland and England. Ray was from England and Marpessa was from Holland. Our first trip we did with them was visiting a local tea plantation. We
Welcome to Singapore
This sign shows just how strict Singapore is!
sat on a porch overlooking the valley and sampled the local tea's. The scenery was amazing. The next day we did a jungle hike with Ray and got a little lost. There were intertwining trails all throughout the jungle with poorly written signs so we had to find our way out. It was fun but a little long. We stayed on the trail the whole time though so we managed to find our way back alright. After hiking we went to a great local Indian restaurant. The food there was amazing and cheap, including Tandori chicken and Nan bread. The curry was also delicious. We spent around a week in the Highlands just reading and relaxing. After the Highlands we decided to head to Singapore.
Singapore is such a clean city! When we first arrived from the overnight train from KL we both were shocked at how clean it was. We arrived and took a very expensive cab all the way into downtown. We stayed at the New Seven Story Hotel and got the backpackers special. The cost was 15 dollars each, we stayed in dorm rooms with shared bathrooms. It was fairly pricey to what we
Tuk-Tuk and a food stall
Right after meeting up with Nathan
were used to. The hotel had a great view though and was very clean. When we first arrived to Singapore we ate some disappointing food and toured around some local markets. We saw people power washing the sidewalks! The city was extremely modern and hi-tech even more so than Canada. Their local transit system used magnetic cards that you swipe to get on the train or bus. We took the MRT and the local buses, both were very modern. Everyone just taps their wallets on a computer screen when they get on. The next day we found out that Heather was in Singapore with her class afloat group, so we ventured to the far side of the city to meet her. We went to Raffles Marina, a very high class marina with a swimming pool and very fancy hotel. It was great to see Heather and to hang out with kids our age. We walked around a mall and got free subway coupons! We had a great picnic underneath a lighthouse, eating lots of snacks and Andrew got his nachos that he missed so dearly. We spent half a day with the class afloat group until they had to go
to bed. It was a great day. The next day in Singapore we walked around through Downtown and Chinatown, seeing as much of the city as we could. We saw lots of really tall buildings and a really neat concert hall. We got to see quite a bit of Singapore in the three days we spent there. The only downside of Singapore was the price and lack of good food. It was an amazing city to see. After Singapore we flew up to Bangkok to meet up with Nathan for only 70 dollars Canadian to see Nathan.
We met up with Nathan at the Bangkok airport and it was great to see a friendly face from home. We shared a cab to Khao San Road and once again stayed at the peachy guesthouse. We only spent two nights in Bangkok. We toured Khao San Road and once again went to the MBK shopping plaza, where Nathan spent a lot of money. Nathan was culture shocked and couldn't believe where he was! Walking through weird streets was very weird for him. Everything was so cheap Nathan had to buy it all! After Bangkok we decided to head
we stayed in one of those huts the first night
up north to Chiang Mai.
The night train ride up to Chiang Mai was 15 hours and very uncomfortable. We took a 3rd class train because all of the 2nd class sleepers were sold out. The temperature went from boiling hot to freezing cold because there were no windows, none of us were ready for it. It was probably the worst traveling experience so far, but a good one at that. When we arrived in Chiang Mai we found a guesthouse simply named the Chiang Mai Guesthouse. It was very cheap and had a great view. We had to wash ourselves with a freezing cold hose for the first couple of nights and then Trevor ventured downstairs one level and miraculously found a warm shower, including a showerhead! Once again Nathan went on a spending spree, buying a rolex and a large quantity of clothes. There was a great rooftop porch at our guesthouse that no one else knew about so we sat up there playing cards. On our second day we rented bicycles and ended up getting lost, so we decided to go to a driving range that we happened to bike by. Nathan is
we went to the top to see views of the city
a good golfer, so good that he actually was kicked out of the driving range by the manager for hitting the balls to far! After the driving range we somehow found our way back home and grabbed a bite to eat. We saw an elephant that night walking the street. You could buy bananas off the owner and feed them to it, so we did. It was really weird. Some parts of Chiang Mai are very old, the whole city is up to 800 years old. The old city is surrounded by a large square wall with a moat around it. The next day we walked around the city trying to find an arcade and bumped into Drew Clippard from school. It was crazy to just meet up with someone we all graduated with on a random street all the way across the world! We did not find the arcade so we walked back home. There were lots of neat temples all throughout Chiang Mai. That evening Nathan had a bright idea of getting his chest waxed. We all ventured across the street from our guesthouse to a spa offering waxing. Nathan had a few beers before and during to
endure the pain. It was so funny to see, it looked really painful. Andrew and Trevor tried one strip of wax on their stomachs and that was enough for them both. The next day Andrew and Trevor did a cooking course, learning to cook our favorite Thai meals. We got to tour a local market and buy all the necessary ingredients to cook our meals of choice. We ended up eating six meals! We were both so full afterwards. While Andrew and Trevor were cooking Nathan went out golfing where he had a very funny caddy who could barely speak English. That evening Trevor and Nathan were both very eager to play some video games so we all head out on another adventure by tuk-tuk to try and find an arcade. We found the one main mall in Chiang Mai and played the oldest game there. It was fun. We played for probably an hour and payed only around two dollars each. After that we went to Swensens and had a great ice cream and fondue. We had a great sleep that night and left Chiang Mai to head northwest to Pai the next day.
a bus to get to Pai, which was extremely cramped. Nathan didn't get a seat so he had to sit on a raised floor by the front. There were people standing up and sitting in the aisles. The road to get to Pai was very windy and picturesque. Peoples belongings were falling off of the top shelves and the buses motor sounded like it was going to die. We saw Pine trees and it reminded us of home. It seemed like the whole trip we kept going up and up. Pai is in a big valley surrounded by mountains. It is very dry, almost like a desert. Pai gets very hot during the day and very cold at night. When we first arrived we found a place across the river made completely out of weaved bamboo. The shack felt like it would topple over every time you took a step. It felt like we would fall through. To get to our shack we had to cross a bridge also made completely out of bamboo and was very rickety. That night we went out with a group of English people and went to a local bar where there was live music.
All of the music was old classics by Bob Dylan, Van Morrison and Eric Clapton. That evening after we walked back to our shack Nathan got very sick, so we all had to sleep outside on our porch. We went to 7-11 at 4 in the morning to buy some crackers and were all very cold. We fell asleep on the porch again, which we joked about how funny it would look to see three guys sleeping under one blanket on a hard bamboo porch. We checked out in the morning as fast as we could, still freezing from the night before and found a different and better place to stay. Six hours later Andrew got sick so he laid in bed the rest of the day. Later that night Trevor got sick. The three of us have suffered from horrible sleeps because of our stomachs. We now have plans to go to Phuket very quickly before Nathan's flight on February 6th. We are really excited.
Thanks for reading everyone! It's great to hear from you, we love your comments!
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