Monkeying Around

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January 19th 2015
Published: May 4th 2015
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Hello my fellow travellers!

What a day this has been, and I don't mean that in the amazed-and-dazed-way but rather in the god-what-a-day-of-chaos-way. The day started out well, I slept excellent and woke up rested and ready. Me and Chandra began by going back out to the hike trail and go for a short walk, on the way back we again came upon a flock of macaques and I managed to get quite close to them although one of the larger males started acting aggressively so I backed off.

Afterwards we went into the colonial centre where I took a walk on my own while Chandra ran some errands. It was unfortunately a bit cloudy today but even so I could really appreciate the beauty of this place. The first thing I went by was the Larut, Matang and Selma Land and District Office which is a huge and beautiful colonial building that is located in the city centre. From there I walked past an army base and then to the small All Saints Church, quite a beautiful little church, unfortunately it wasn't open so I couldn't go inside it for a closer look. Next I walked past the tall walls of the Taiping Prison, which is actually the oldest prison in Malaysia.

The final stop of the colonial tour, and the place where me and Chandra was meeting up was the Perak Museum. It's an absolutely stunning building and I wish I had more time to visit it. While I was there I met a wedding party that were there for a photo tour, they were all lovely people and we spoke for a while about a lot of various things, the photographer was keen to do a job and was crawling on the ground looking for good angles, it was fun to see his dedication. After they left to go to the next photo spot I sat down together with the security guard and chatted for a while until Chandra came and picked me up.

Together we went to a store to pick up some new shoes and so I retired my old ones, rest well old friends, you've earned it! It took me a while to pick out new ones that felt comfortable, and to be honest, after a while they didn't, the sole feel like they burn the bottom of my feet, perhaps to much friction. I can tell you that it was nice to get on the bus and take them off again!

Me and Chandra said our goodbyes at the station and I rolled on towards Penang where I was planning to take the train to Bangkok. Well, things didn't really go as planned, I missed the train by a few minutes and there are apparently only one per day so under somewhat chaotic and tumultuous circumstances I managed to get on a bus to Hat Yai. I must admit that I had no idea right now what was happening but rather just rolling with it. The bus station was very chaotic and the vendors and taxi drivers was all standing around yelling so loudly I thought my head was going to explode, very unlike the rest of Malaysia. I guess you could tell that it's noticeable that you're getting closer to Thailand now. The boarder crossing to Thailand was also really disorganized, people walking back and forth with little check and so noisy.

Anyway I got through and continued on the bus towards Hat Yai, I was told it would take three hours, it took almost twice that so we arrived quite late and the only bus on towards Bangkok wasn't until several hours later and would take like twelve hours or something like that to get to Bangkok. This was when a 'helpful' local directed me to a travel agency nearby where I could pick up plane tickets to fly to Bangkok instead which would only take about an hour instead. the plane was leaving soon though so not much time for thought, I took the ticket and the staff called my hotel to let me know I'd arrive late. The helpful local offered to call me a taxi, which turned out to be his son, to drive me to the airport. For his help he of course wanted a tips, so yeah I guess you could say that there has been a shift in mentality just from crossing the border between Malaysia and Thailand. I've literally just entered into Thailand and people are already hustling me for money.

Well, I was to tired and annoyed by now to really give a damn any more so I gave him some money (he had after all been of help to me, I'll give him that) and then his son came and drove me to the airport, once there he wanted more money than agreed on but at that point I refused, this part of my trip had already spiralled way out of what I had calculated for this part of the trip. Anyway i got on the plane and we arrived as planned in Bangkok, I'll give the airport credit though for keeping the taxis honest with a good system, the taxis are only allowed to pick up customer at the designated desks and everything is arranged beforehand so you know that the meters will be used and that they will be used honestly.

Finally I came to the hotel though, tired and weary after a full day of travelling and bouncing around and not knowing what the heck was happening, still I am finally here now in Bangkok and I hope that the rest of my stay here will be better! I actually decided on using a hotel here in Bangkok before I went on the trip because I suspected that by this point of the trip I would cherish some time alone, I was right.

Disregarding what has happened this past half-day this trip has been really good though and if I should summarise Malaysia I would put it at the top of the places I've visited so far. It's a safe, respectful and very friendly country and I really recommend you to visit here. I especially recommend that you visit Taiping, it's off the beaten track and not at all touristy, it's a good way of just seeing everyday Malaysians going about their everyday life.

Tomorrow I will see what Bangkok has to offer, the bed here is comfortable and I have a feeling that I will sleep very well tonight. I am, mildly put, beat after today's events.

Until tomorrow I wish you all peace and happy travels!

Additional photos below
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4th May 2015

Love these shoes!
I had a similar pair of boots that I wore all through snowy, rainy Patagonia. Good luck on your new ones fitting you comfortably soon. Congrats on being a wise, short-term traveler and going for the plane, which is the perfect option for those with less time and more money. Excellent--you got to Bangkok on the day you'd planned (and eventually more money will appear). Hope you don't get touted out.
4th May 2015

Love these shoes
Ouchie! At least it was warm and dry for me. :-)

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