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The rest of the trip

Well, I took my time didn't I? Since I'm leaving for South Africa in less than a week I might as well sum up the rest of my last trip which were one and a half year ago. As I said... it took some time ;)

After the train trip down to the border we had to cross the last bit on foot. Clearing customs didn't take too long, however, finding a taxi we could trust wasn't the easiest thing - and I must say - we failed miserably. Both rough-guides and lonely planet warned us of this bit, but still. The plan was to go to the Perenthian Islands north-east of Malaysia and the only way to get there is by boat. Unfortunately there's two harbors to leave from, one being cheaper and most taxi-drivers taking you to the other one so do you research!

Anyway; after grudgingly deciding that buying a ticket with the more expensive boat still would be cheaper than taking a taxi to the other pier we were on our way in a small speedboat filled to the rim with other back-packers. I don't think you could have squeezed one more person onto the boat and laying dangerously low in the water... interesting.

We managed to get safely to the smaller island called Perenthian Kecil. We discovered that all the accomodations on that side of the island was taken so we walked across to the other side and were rewarded with one free cabin. Good for us :) In spite of a lot of frogs chirping away every night and one account of poisonous snake on our porch we stayed in this tropical paradise for five days relaxing and enjoying the beach. M even managed to do the Padi Advanced Open Water course. Me on the other hand had enough with my book, beach, palm trees and swimming in the crystal clear water. I can really recommend this place and I think there's a real good chance of returning some day :) Just remember; there's no cash machines there so make sure you bring enough money. Power is a scarcity too so it's mostly generators during the nights. You will actually get a cel-signal, but there's like 4 lines out from the island so it may take you some time to get through. You really shouldn't be using your phone in a place like this anyway; just relax and kick back instead :)

Getting back to the main land we took the night bus down to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. We arrived insanely early in the morning, something like four a clock. We then walked the short distance from the bus-station to the nearest subway-station. There I had one of the more bizarre experiences of deja-vu in my life. We were at a totally empty subway station, not a sole in sight, and I had a feeling I had been there before. Had it been in the middle of the day I probably wouldn't have noticed at all, but since the conditions were exact alike I suddenly realized this was the station from the movie Entrapment. Very cool :)

We ended up at a hostel in China town, and I don't know why but we did that in every town we visited that had a China Town... Anyway, we ended up staying in Kuala Lumpur for a while since we were both tired of being on the road and M got a cold so she needed to take it easy for a couple of days. We got to discover the city a bit during that time and visited the Petronas Towers amongst other things.

The original plan was to travel down to Singapore and then go by boat to Indonesia and then go by land until we got to Bali. There had however been a small tsunami hitting the south-west side of Indonesia and that combined with our prolonged stay in Perenthian Kecil and Kuala Lumpur we instead took a day-trip down to Singapore where we stayed the whole day at Sentosa Island which is an artificial island created as an amusement park with beaches and other activities and it's also the southern most point of mainland Asia.

We used the official malaysian bus-company to get both to and from Singapore and while they have both comfortable seats and very reasonable rates I can't understand why they always have to run the air-condition on 110%. Bringing a sleeping bag is highly advisable and make sure you have it stowed in the overhead compartment and not with the rest of your luggage in the trunk ;)

Back in Kuala Lumpur we had plane tickets to Bali booked the same day we came back. Using the internet and booking your own tickets with local air companies is much cheaper than booking through an agency before you leave. Also, we found out the tickets from KL was much cheaper than similar tickets from Singapore.
We took the subway out to the airport, but, of course, ended up at the wrong terminal. After a few hectic moments we found a very helpful taxi driver that got us to the correct terminal in time and at a reasonable fee.

The last part of our trip we spent in Bali shopping cheap knock-offs, relaxing on the beach (or trying to at least) and partying the nights away. I've heard they have banned street vendors at the beach now, but when we were there we were constantly hassled by people trying to sell us stuff we didn't need or want. That said, getting rid of them or trying to say no was interesting enough and if you make a little game of it it's entertaining enough :)

Although Bali is a bit touristy for my taste it was relieving to be able to have week of "western" vacation where we knew what the dishes on the menu amongst other things ;) Next time I'm there I'm probably going to take the time to learn to surf since the conditions for that are excellent.

Leaving Bali we flew to Hong Kong where we had a nine hour stop-over and after some trouble with the plane that made the stop over 6 hours longer we were on our way back to London. Heathrow were a bit of a mess when we arrived. We were told there fire-alarm had been tripped, but it later turned out it had been a bomb-threat and as a result two thirds of the luggage that should have been loaded on our next plane back to Norway didn't make it in time. Thankfully all the passengers made it and the bomb-threat were nothing more than a threat.

We were served real bread as part of the break-fast on the plane back and I must say it were fantastic! I have nothing against Asian food, I'm quite fond of it actually, but I really missed proper bread during this trip. I can't say I've missed anything else at all. All said; an incredible journey and one I have no problem recommending!

Next up; safari in South Africa. Cant wait :)

Posted by atle 11:25 Archived in Malaysia Tagged round_the_world

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