Tuesday, 27 April 2010
After a 30 min interview with immigration which saw me outline my background, future ambitions, favourite past times and why I was carrying 120 of the queens finest tetley tea bags I was finally let into oz. Cairns was my first stop and though i didnt see the sun once in 5 days i still had an awesome time indulging in the power hours at rhino bar, togo parties and keg challenges. With accomodation sooo expensive i ended up couch-surfing with a really cool guy who to be fair only tried molestering me a handful of times. He introduced me to the crazy game which is AFL, kangaroo meat and GOON - this australian institution is a 4 litre box of wine which costs aout 7 quid and though contains fish cuts and creates the worst hangovers ever it is the drink of choice for backpackers and tramps a like.
I started heading down the coast and was soon on magnetic island with a group of us hiring a car and seeing the island. Due to jellyfish and other unfriendly sea creatures we all had to wear stinger suits to swim, but whilst snorkelling with schools of multi coloured fish and craping yourself everytime you saw a stingray you soon forgot about you condom-esc suit.
Airlie beach was the next port of call and a 3 day sailing trip around the whitsundays was truely amazing. Watching the first mate jump into swim with sharks, before we ate a squid which jumped on deck and later watching the sunset with a cold beer was enough to see even the hardest man with a tear in his eye. I tried my first dive, and though we only reached 15 metres i manged to see a baby shark and destroy a lot of thousand year old endangered coral. On the last day our boat (british defender) raced its sweddish nemesis (condor) in a bitter battle in rough seas, with the boat on a 45 degree angle we had to hang our legs on the top side to prevent capsizing; although we lost the race it was an awesome day.
Monday, 5 April 2010
A night bus which kicks you off at 5 AM isn't the best way to start the day and walking around Kuala Lumper trying to find a hostel which is only known by word of mouth between a select few travellers doesn't improve your mood. 25 minutes later the map a Dutch guy drew me on st patricks day worked suprisingly well as i banged on the door which had 'la village' scrawled on over the peeling paint with a permenant marker. Being eyed up by some man-she monster on the corner I breathed a sigh of relief as the door mysteriously swung open on the 20th knock. No reception or night warden just a traveller going to bed who heared me knocking and said i should sleep on the couch untill morning. When i woke it looked even more like a crack den as strange characters trudged around the ripped leather sofas, which were surrounded by crazy artwork. Still confused someone said they were leaving so i could have their bed, on my way to my dorm i watched people doing yoga, painting pictures, learning instruments and watching films.
After a few hours i met some mental but awesome people and began to realise why every backpacker who'd stayed there had loved it. A crazy lad with tourettes was the sons owner and appeared a few times a day to collect the 2 pound rent, other than that there were no rules or order but it some how worked.
The city was pretty cool and with malaysia being obssessed with world records i saw the worlds biggest flag, indoor roller coaster and hat in my first hour in the city. The indoor theme park was mental and even though there was a 6 foot 3 height restriction i disregarded my safety and spine to go on all the rides. We also went to Batu Caves which was packed with loads of monkies who kept attacking people for their food, the little basterds hustled me for some chips. KL has some massive and amazing shopping malls, so we spent most our days there bowling, going to the cinema and eating sushi. The night life was pretty epic with everyone playing sadistic drinking games such as running man, calypso and ring of fire with three packs of cards in the hostel all made easy when a bottle of vodka is only 2 quid; and the night usually finished in the Regga bar.
Singapore - Clean but very expensive
Thursday, 1 April 2010
I reluctantly dragged myself away from Ko phangan and the aftermath of a mental half moon party in the jungle. After an hours sleep my minibus was beeping his horn outside and in the panic I left my shoes, machette and wash bag behind. 9 hours, 2 boats, 1 bus, 2 minibuses and 2 taxis later we stepped off in the chinatown of Pennang. I breathed a sigh of relief as a few hours earlier me and a jackie chan look-a-like called locky almost got detained at the border as we lost the group and thought we had to enter ourselves. However they were waiting for us on the Thai side unable to cross as they had our backpacks; after 45 minuteswe knewsomething was wrong and as we tryed to go back across the bridge without an exit stamp we got caught in no mans land as neither country would let us back in without an in depth explanation in their mother tongue. Luckily our minibusdriver got words to one of guards and we were rescued by our our heroic yet very annoyed driver.
The food was unbelievable as you strolled through chinatown, little India and the colonial district. Three curries a day was not what the doctor ordered and definatley wan't what your arse wanted to deal with but iswhat its been dealing with for the last week. Being a half arsed Muslim country beer is very expensive, coming inat a mighty 3 pound a bottle for the local brew - JAZZ. Considering accommodation, 3 meals a day and a funky hat struggles to cost more than 6 pounds, we are talking a locals monthly wage to get you pissed.
The stiffling humidity makes the day pass in truely sweaty style but thats what your paying for. Did the cultural thing of visiting a fort and a few museums only to learn us Brits were pretty awesome. A really cool national park was worth the bus ride as gorgeous beaches and crazy wildlife(monkies, jelly fish/ snakes) kept us on our toes. Alls well and good, hoping to be in kuala luimper by tomorrow morning though im so tight im trying to turn a 6 hour bus journey into my accomodation for the night. Laters xx