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Showing posts from April, 2018

Melaka

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Off we head to Melaka. A mid-morning coach from Singapore took us back through a considerably more relaxed immigration process, although we did have to play the on / off the coach game again at each step. We even got a new stamp for another 90 days in Malaysia.

Our Airbnb was about 20 min walk from the town centre in this weird industrial looking sector. The room was huge with a double and a single bed and having just spent 4 nights in a shoebox it was luxurious to be able to spread our stuff out. The Chinese lady that ran it didn’t speak a word of English but as most of our communication was translated by the Airbnb app that didn’t really matter. The first night we walked into town past a few cafes, food courts and pricey looking bars to a gorgeous brightly lit riverside.


Melaka has been nicknamed little Venice and with all the twinkling lights and bistro cafes you could see a certain similarity. After a pint and glass of wine in Sid’s pub we walked along the famous Jonker Street an…

Singapore

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We had to sadly say goodbye to Jane at Tanjung Gemok who had a bus booked to take her back to KL at 2pm. And after a KFC and a much-needed seat in their air-cooled restaurant, we boarded our next bus and departed on time at 5pm.
The journey time is scheduled for approximately 5 hours, but as this includes a border crossing, we reached the Malaysian border a few hours after setting off. The process is that the bus pulls into the drop off area, then everyone gets off with all their luggage, go through immigration and then back onto the same bus at the other side. Leaving Malaysia was the easy part, it’s just a quick show of your passport, get stamp and off you go. The bus then drives across the causeway into Singapore, and then you must do the same again to enter, but the driver advised he would only wait 30 minutes and then the bus leaves… This is where our journey went a bit wonky!
We got into the Singapore immigration and customs are, got our 90-day visa and then headed for the lugg…

Tioman Island

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I don’t think any of us got more than a couple of hours sleep that night but after a quick coffee and final pack we jumped in a taxi for the bus depot. It was about 5 hrs to the ferry port at Tanjung Gemok, but the bus was really a luxury coach and we’d booked the front seats again so Jane and I managed to snooze in air-con recliner seats for most of the journey.
We’d picked the ferry that left from Tenjung Gemok due to better online reviews and travel times but we still had a couple of hours to kill once arriving at the port. It was very quiet when we got there and after paying the standard National Park entrance fee for Tioman we settled ourselves in the large waiting area. The peace was shattered shortly after as about 30+ English speaking young teenage school children arrived to take over the area. They weren’t there long but it made amusing and horrifying spectator sport as they formed little clich├ęs and tested the patience of their teachers, before heading out on their boat. Lo…

Kuala Lumpur

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Our journey to Kuala Lumpur (KL) was another online pre-booked coach, so we got a taxi from our hotel and travelled the 10-minute journey with ease this time, thankfully the weekend traffic issues are no problem here during the week.
The bus was due to leave at 11am and arrived at the station on time, we boarded and got our seats we booked at the front and set off down towards KL. I had read that this road was a lovely scenic route, so was looking forward to it. However, the first 90 minutes were on the most winding road so far on our travels, not helped by a crazy driver who took the sharp turns with speed, overtaking on blind corners as the bus shook from side to side as we hurtled down some lovely countryside.

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Once we got out of the Cameron Highlands, we hit the highway and soon after that, we stopped at a roadside local restaurant for a 30-minute break. I was peckish, but didn’t really fancy some of the curries, rice or noodle dishes that they had, but seen some fri…

Ipoh & Cameron Highlands

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To get to Ipoh we had decided to do the 3hr bus journey. My sickness bands seemed to have worked quite well so far on other transport, and when you book online you can choose your seat allocation, so we got the front seats with a view to the front.

Ipoh isn’t a huge fancy town but we had heard good things about it and it was on the way to the Cameron Highlands, so we decided to stop for a few nights. We were staying at the Ritz Garden hotel, which is a bit rough round the edges but was quite cheap and included a breakfast. It also had the most enthusiastic doorman ever, that dragged me off to show me maps and point out the directions you need to walk in for any of the sights. The hotel does boast of a pool, 3 bars, a library, a cinema and a gym but most of these rooms were locked and empty when we went for an explore, so not sure if they are really used facilities.


After a settle in we headed out to figure out the town and to grab some food. The town is quite run down in places and …

George Town

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We had decided to fly from Langkawi to Penang, as not only did it cost around £30 for both of us, the Soluna guest house we stayed at was near the airport anyway, plus the reviews I had read of the ferry service were less than impressive. An easy taxi to the airport mid-afternoon got us there a good hour or so before our flight, and with the added experience and ‘convenience’ of having to self-print boarding passes & baggage labels and then self-scan your luggage onto the belt and away it went with no human interaction required (well apart from all the people who used to do all that for you, who are now there to assist you to do it seemingly!)

It was a 40-minute flight, so not even long enough to have a trolley service, though some people had pre-ordered an inflight meal…really?
We soon touched down in Penang and after a slow taxi journey through rush hour traffic, we arrived 45 minutes later at our hotel for the 5 nights, Hotel Mingood which was in the main town called George Tow…