Natalie Grimson

Mediterranean Dreams

Natalie Grimson

My passion in life is travel. I work in a stable job behind a desk by day and I go on long exiting holidays each year. I am half Thai half Australian and having this melting pot of cultures throughout my life has given me a zezt to find out more about different cultures and differnt cusoms. Travelling back to Thailand from the time when i was a toddler and throughout my youth, I have as a young adult travelled through Asia, the Middle East and Europe. I have recently started writing travel blogs to update family and friends on my travels but all are welcome to share my stories and passion for travel!

Asia » Malaysia » Melaka September 30th 2022

We said goodbye to Sabah and Borneo and flew back to KL - our Intrepid leader Felix arranged a taxi for us back to the airport (it was the same guy who took us to the Proboscis monkeys the day before!) Smooth flight back, we arrived at KLIA 2 (Air Asia terminal but much better than terminal 1) and picked up our bus tickets to Malacca. Its still not clear to me why the English spelling is more frequently used than the Malay 'Melaka' but I'll use the english spelling as its more common. Easy bus ride in and taxi to our hotel, we freshened up and walked around the historic city centre before retreating to a lovely rooftop bar of another hotel and had some drinks and dinner. The next day we spent wandering around ... read more
Red city centre
Ruins of St Paul's church
A'Formosa fort

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sepilok September 29th 2022

The next morning we departed early and collected our main bags from Sandakan and headed to nearby Sepilok to stay at a jungle resort and see Orangutans! We left our bags and the resort and the Orangutan rehabilitation centre was nearby. These Orangutans had been rescued (many were illegal pets) and are brought to the rehabilitation centre for exactly that – rehabilitation and nurturing until they can be let back into the wild. The expansive centre is a giant rainforest and there was a nursery for the baby orangutans and we sat behind glass watching them play and swing around on the jungle gyms and trees. Then it was feeding time in the main area (which was all outdoors) and we saw so many orangutans they really put on a show for us! Later me and ... read more
Proboscis feeding time
Monkey at the Sun Bear conservation centre
Sun Bear

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sandakan September 29th 2022

The end of the Intrepid trip was nigh – we would return back to Sandakan in a few days to fly out but for now we had a quick over-nighter in Sandakan. After a delicious roti lunch, we explored the small compact city and escaped the afternoon heat in the town’s mall! Later that evening we met the Intrepid crew at a rooftop bar for drinks, dinner and a glorious sunset. After dinner, a few of us hit the town and went to the seaside where there were markets, pumping music and families enjoying the Saturday night. A couple our gang got roped into dancing with a local singing group which was fun. The next day we caught a small ferry to Selingan Island – one of three islands that make up the Turtle islands chain ... read more
Rooftop bar
Turtle islands
Mama turtle

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Ranau September 23rd 2022

We then spent the next 2 nights at the Poring hot Springs- we knew what to expect. Built in WWII for Japanese soldiers, the hot springs are a series of outdoor tubs with taps dispensing sulphur water. I just dipped my feet it, and then me and Bill set off for the butterfly farm where we saw a few butterflies and enjoyed the air conditioned indoor exhibit, and then we set off for the canopy walkway which is the highest in Sabah. To our chagrin, more stairs!! We climbed approx 43 metres up to the canopy and walked the 4 rocky canopy walkways amongst the lush trees and just looked at the views, it was pretty great! After lunch, we had a beer and headed back to the hotel so I could get a much needed ... read more
Canopy walkway
Rafflesia flower
Pygmy Elephant on wildlife cruise

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Mount Kinabalu September 21st 2022

The next morning we set out for our next adventure, climbing Mt Kinabalu! Felix had registered all our details (including evidence of a negative Covid test) and we congregated at the park headquarters together our 3 mountain guides Sai, Edwin and Bonny. As we had to take our overnight gear with us, most of us sent a small amount of gear with porters. And with that we set of to the Timpohon gate the start the climb. The gate is already approx 1900m above sea level, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that will make the climb easier! The track to the guest house is 6 km long, at a very steep incline. The track is a combination of steep stairs (in my case, knee-height) large boulders and some flat paths. Each km there ... read more
Stairs and more stairs
Sunset at the guesthouse
Bill and I at the summit

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Kota Kinabalu September 19th 2022

We left Penang to fly to Kota Kinabalu, the capital of the state of Sabah on Malaysian Borneo. Our flight was delayed by 2 hours but we finally boarded and 2hr50 later we were in Borneo! We arrived to our hotel which was opposite the night food market so we went to have look around that evening. The market itself is dubbed the ‘Filipino market’ and has a large fresh seafood section, as well as fresh and cooked foods. We bought a couple of skewers and went back to the hotel with a couple of beers. The next day we walked around town, and found ourselves in one of the many malls to get away from the heat! Kota Kinabalu is interesting – the city centre is a bit run down but there are many malls ... read more
Masjid Bandaraya

Asia » Malaysia » Penang September 15th 2022

We had wanted to catch a 3 hour ferry from Langkawi to Penang but unfortunately due to the pandemic and less business the ferry company closed so we took our shortest flight ever (30 mins) to Penang. Our Langkawi taxi driver was very chatty and before we knew it we were at the airport, boarded and landed on time in Penang. We knew Penang was a much bigger, built up island and on the way to our hotel we could really see it. We were staying in the heart of UNESCO world heritage listed Georgetown and opposite Chew Jetty. After check in we took a stroll around Georgetown and took photos of the old Chinese shop houses and small alleyways, and of course the street art! We ended up back at the coastline near Fort Cornwallis, ... read more
Lantern walkway
Street art
Chew jetty

Asia » Malaysia » Langkawi September 12th 2022

We landed in Langkawi on a typical tropical Malaysian day. Our hotel was very nice – open plan foyer with a large pool and welcome drinks. Once we checked in, we decided to check out the local area. It was super sleepy during the day (like us) so after a quick walk around we went back for a rest. Langkawi, like anywhere in SE Asia, has food markets every night of the week but in different locations. That day it was a short walk from our hotel. We ventured out at dusk and to our surprise we discovered lovely a village along the way just a street back from the main beach strip. It reminded us so much of my mum’s home village in North-east Thailand Ban Phut-sa. Beautiful banana palms and wooden houses dotted around ... read more
Night market
View of Langkawi from the top

Asia » Malaysia » Wilayah Persekutuan » Kuala Lumpur September 8th 2022

After 3 long years the day finally arrived – we're finally off overseas again!! We arrived in Kuala Lumpur via Singapore late in the evening. After we worked out how to catch the airport express train, we made it to our hotel centrally located in the shopping district of Bukit Bintang. The next day we ventured on foot to the Petronas Towers to take photos and to pay for tickets that I had booked online. Kuala Lumpur reminds me of any Asian capital city – but I couldn’t help but compare it to Bangkok. A slightly condensed Bangkok with less traffic but equally as cosmopolitan. We explored the grounds of the Petronas and took photos, and later walked around the Pavilion shopping mall that is near our hotel and treated ourselves to pints of European beer. ... read more
Nasi Ambeng
Sri Shivan temple Batu Caves
Lord Murugan at the base of the Batu Caves

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam September 26th 2019

We left Utrecht for Zaandam a short 44 minute train ride away. Our last stop on our epic two month holiday, we decided to yet again finish our European adventure in Amsterdam and stay with my cousin Biab and her husband Douwe. Biab, who moved to the Netherlands 22 years ago from Thailand, and Douwe, live in Zaandam which is only 10 minutes north of Amsterdam. We had visited them twice previously and in 2003 I stayed with them for 3 months (I was 20). They met us at Zaandam station, then a quick break at their place before heading out to Amsterdam for the evening. We parked just outside Amsterdam and took the metro (very new it only opened a year ago) the rest of the way. We had some beers at a bar and ... read more
Bikes by the flower market, Amsterdam
Dam square, Amsterdam

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