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Asia » Malaysia » Penang » George Town March 14th 2020

We were so fortunate to book a Home Exchange at 8 Gurney in Penang. We had the entire 6000 sq. ft. 17th floor penthouse to ourselves! Lazy days spent at the pool, soaking the sun up at Batu Ferringhi Beach and exploring Georgetown, an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our apartment was like a museum; Buddha statues inside and on the wrap around balcony, gorgeous Chinese pottery, Art pieces everywhere and Asian Bric Brac scattered throughout. In Penang, we are introduced to Grab, the company that put Uber out of business in Malaysia. Our condo is centrally located so grab fares to Batu Ferringhi beach is about $6 Can/18 RM and Georgetown $2 Can/6 RM. What a foodie paradise. So many restaurants and street food markets. We rarely spent more than $30 Can/90 RM for a dinner ... read more
Delicious Expresso Chicken!
Darold in Jungle on Penang Hill
Giant reclining Buddha at Thai Buddhist temple - Penang

Asia » Malaysia » Wilayah Persekutuan » Kuala Lumpur March 6th 2020

What a surprise! I never expected such a modern city filled with skyscrapers and air conditioned mega malls! Thankfully it is juxtaposed against the narrow winding streets populated with little shops, tiny houses and street food markets everywhere. It has a big city feel with wonderful modern and old architecture sitting side by side, with many featuring viewpoints of the city from the higher levels of the towers. The Menara Kuala Lumpur and the Petronas Towers being 2 of the most famous and iconic. The subway is very modern and extensive. Easy to navigate and connecting with some of the older train lines and destinations. A highlight for us was taking the subway from the Petronas towers (we were staying nearby in a lovely high rise apartment building that only took us 3 hours to check ... read more
Girl with greedy monkey
Monkey King with Ron
Sky Bar Lounge

Asia » Malaysia » Melaka » Melaka City February 28th 2020

On our final evening we went to a fabulous vegetarian restaurant, the best I’ve ever eaten at, and it was just round the corner from our hotel. It‘s called the Mori Vegetarian Tea House. We were unfashionably early at 6pm but a tour group and a family arrived just after us. The food was sensational, sweet and sour jackfruit, mushroom satay, olive fried rice and drinks cost £6.50 each. It’s quite stark inside, not full of atmosphere but the food is to die for. They close at 9, so you have to be there by 8.15 at the latest. Then we walked down to the quay for the boat trip, 25 ringgits including a bottle of water in a carrying bag and a cute (not) keyring. We thought ho hum, this will be a bit boring ... read more
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Asia » Malaysia » Wilayah Persekutuan » Kuala Lumpur February 28th 2020

The Aloft Hotel, which we’d stayed at before, is super convenient for KL Sentral as you can access it from inside the shopping centre. Go up the escalators and look for the little sign pointing to the right and follow the walkway round. Reception is on the ground floor but this way you arrive on the first. We could have our room straight away and it was on the 26th floor with a view over Brickfields, the Indian area. The last time the rooftop infinity pool had been full of Aussie schoolgirls with all their hand luggage and clothing so we couldn’t get near it. This time we had it to ourselves for a while and the views are so nice from up there. We relaxed for a while and had some overpriced coffees. Our reason ... read more
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Asia » Malaysia » Penang » George Town February 28th 2020

Today we got the train from KL Sentral to Butterworth for Penang, another new experience. I had booked the tickets online and chosen seats behind each other so we could both be next to a window. The cost was £15.50 each, as it was only a tiny bit more for Business Class, and this was so worth it! We got to the station early and went in the food court upstairs. I think it’s quite new, I remember going downstairs before. Only a few places were open and it was cheap but very average. We had teh tarik and he did the pouring it from a great height thing, which makes quite a head on it. My roti telur (eggs on toast) were cold as she had said they weren’t mine and then realised they were. ... read more
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Asia » Malaysia » Melaka » Melaka City February 26th 2020

Crossing the border from Singapore to Malaysia by bus is a breeze. We got a Grab to the bus station and were far too early but I was relieved to see that our easybook booking had gone through so we were OK for the 2 front seats. You have to go up to the 707 window and show your booking, then he ticks you off and he writes the bus reg number on it so you know which one. There is nowhere to sit at the bus station so we sat on our bags in the shade and used the loos at the last minute. Everywhere was very clean and being hired down and wiped constantly. There were posters up giving health advice about the virus. The 707 service bus pulls in across the road in ... read more
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Asia » Malaysia » Langkawi February 22nd 2020

For the last few days I’ve had the company of my new buddy, Bill, both on the beach (where it has been uncomfortably windy!) and for eating out. As he’d been in Cenang for a few weeks he knew some places I hadn’t been to before. There are an increasing number of places which offer western as well as local dishes, and although they are a bit more expense the food is very good and they have the added benefit of cocktails (but not as we know them.....). The first night we went to a place called The Kasbah, at the back of Cenang towards the airport and in fields. A very quiet area with some cheap backpacker type places to stay, including a dorm for women only, 35 ringgits a night. It was a really ... read more
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Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Kinabatangan February 21st 2020

We arrived back from Libaran Island at around 9.30 in the morning, walked back to our car that we had parked in a parking garage in the nearby shopping mall, and headed off towards Sukau. We were got g to spend two nights in a lodge by the river Kinabatangan to see the wildlife in the area: different types of monkeys, birds, maybe even pygmy elephants or a clouded leopard. The distance is only around 100 km, but due to the road having only two lanes and being under construction in some parts it took us over 2.5 hours to get to Sukau, also partly due to heavy rain showers. The last part of the road had a lot of big potholes, but we made it to our destination alright. We parked the car next to ... read more
Kinabatangan River II
Kinabatangan River III
Baby crocodile

Asia » Malaysia » Langkawi February 19th 2020

Yesterday in the lift going down to breakfast I met a buddy of Gill’s, who had been in this hotel for nearly 3 weeks. It was a lovely surprise and she introduced me to her her travel buddy, Bill, who was staying on after she left yesterday evening, so I was very pleased to have a new playmate for my few days here, especially one who loves the beach too! I wondered when I arrived if 5 days here with no transport would be too long, now I am super happy. We went for a pre-breakfast stroll all the way to the end of the beach and back. There were a couple of dustbin lid sized jellyfish washed up. No way would you miss those, even in the slightly murky water. Then we arranged to have ... read more
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Asia » Malaysia » Langkawi February 18th 2020

After finishing my last blog and peering round my dark and dank mozzie-infested digs, killer spray in hand, I decided this was ridiculous and went to the main block to see if I could move. Luckily there were new reception staff. They showed me a room on the second floor looking over the road (but it’s quiet here after 11, so not much road noise) and it was fabulous, huge bed, nice bathroom, usb points next to the bed, bright and cheerful. I said I’d move, inwardly crying at the thought of packing and unpacking again, but for 5 nights it was worth it and I could do it straight away rather than wait until the morning. They tried to charge me an extra 150 ringgits, but I said no, that was the type of room ... read more
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