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Reisverslag 2,5 weeks of squatting, eating and more!
16 augustus 2014
2,5 weeks of squatting, eating and more!
This is my first blog about my adventure abroad. I decided to do this blog in English, since some of my international friends also asked to keep them up to date (sorry mom!). And even though half of them live in the Netherlands, I don’t expect them to know my wonderful (not difficult at all) language. I’ll try to keep it short, lol wont work!
For the people who reaaaally need a Dutch text (those people aren’t able to read this I would say, but anyways): just ask and I can inform you personally about my travels .
So as you all might know it all started with me going to do my thesis in Kathmandu, Nepal. Well before I will go there (tomorrow), Harrie decided to ‘drop me off’ and Malaysia turned out to be a good option for that. 2,5 weeks in this country, which is quite long.. but it turned out to be not long enough ;-).
We started in Kuala Lumpur, which is basically a big city under construction with big buildings. However it had some magic: the food. There was a huge street with all ‘outside’ restaurants and terraces on the streets. The menu’s were endless, but the waiters never gave us enough time to decide on what to eat.. and once I have ordered they were like: “no you don’t like this, you want to eat this”... Euh ok! Anyways the ambiance and the food were really great. When you walk across the city you gain so many different experiences: hookers on one side, great food places on the other. Also the smells: one moment it would smell really nice and the other you would want to puke. We decided we wanted beach asap, so on the second day, after a visit to a really cool Hindu temple in a cave, we got a busride to Penang, an island on the westcoast of Malaysia. And boy what were we wrong, the capital of the island: Georgetown is a big city. It’s a nice city, don’t get me wrong... but we needed beach, palmtrees, sand, bikinis and coconuts (not necessarily in this order). We are starting to get to know this country, and it turns out to be quite difficult. People are willing to help you, but they don’t explain how you should do things. So you have to trust them. Finding a bus for instance can be a big challenge.. The bus towards Georgetown was also a big hassle, we bought tickets for the 11.15 bus. So you sit in this hallway where they call your busnumber and platform number, only this is in Malaysian.. so you hear Bas Number jfdlsajfksla, platform Numer: fjdksjklfsa. Not really doable. After half an hour we decided to ask, “yes, sit wait!” until this guy comes along and grabs the ticket out of my hands, walks away with it and returns a while later with different bus tickets, with a different time. You can ask for an explanation or whatever, but you won’t get one. Best thing is just wait.. and it turned out all right because the same guy told us the bus arrived and escorted us towards it.
After 1 day of sightseeing we got a ferry to an island above, Langkawi, and Hurray... this had a beach, palmtrees.. well the whole mikmak (this might be dutch: de hele mikmak). The beach was perfect, and there was a lot to do on the island. Some waterfall pools and cablecars. We rented motorbikes and the island is small enough to drive around it in half a day. On our first evening back from the best Sushi we had ever had, it started pouring.. really raining hard. We couldn’t go further. It’s monsoon season in Malaysia and well, we experienced that. The next day we decided to go to the ‘bat caves’. We found this on the map. Once there a guide told us we could only get there by boat, and he named the price. Immediately after that he told us another, much cheaper price but also that we had to pay directly and weren’t allowed to go to the official ticket counter, well ok. We got in a boat and didn’t go to the bat caves directly, but took a slight detour past a fish farm which basically was a small circus in the water, without any English speaking people. Once back in the boat we went to watch some eagles. Normally the boat would throw chicken in the water and the eagles will eat this (really nature like, I know..). There was one sea eagle. I asked the guide which kind of eagle it was and he responded: “chicken”. Yes so much for that conversation. Finally we arrived at the bat caves, which turned out to be closed, but that wasn’t such a problem according to our guide. We could just walk through and he’d pick us up at the other side of the cave. Ok so we enter... had to crawl with the bats flying over our heads without seeing a thing, it was quite a scary adventure but it was fun. They didn’t get stuck in my hair so its save to say anyone can enter those caves.
Next stop are the Perhentian islands, on the other side of Malaysia. This is really something different than Langkawi, thats just a big island where you can get around yourself. Perhentian doesn’t know what an ATM machine is... and also you have beaches which have 1 or more resorts and some restaurants and you can only get there by water taxi. But wow is it beautiful there (so nice that we forgot to take pictures, whoeps). We stayed at this resort with a private beach, the accommodation wasn’t much but we were on the beach anyways. The first day I got burned, so that was it for sunbathing. We rented snorkel equipment and went into the sea. The underwater world was really cool, fish in every shape and colour.. also weird looking things that I can’t name. In the evening we took a water taxi to another beach to have a luxury dinner. Getting back to our resort turned out to be a small problem, the water at our place was too low, so we had to walk over big stony coral thingys to get back. The next day we went on a snorkelling trip with a boat, which started with sea turtles. The biggest ones I have ever seen (well the first sea turtles I have ever seen but ok). It was so amazing to see those creatures swim and you’re just there above/next to them. Once we got back in the boat the ladder wasn’t attached and well I‘m clumsy so I fell face forward in the boat. A blue eye and a big cut looked worse than it actually was.. but it did hurt a bit. The blood however was good for our next stop: trying to find sharks! We didn’t find any... but it was nice trying to find them.
It was time to go back to the main land, since we still got some Malaysian highlights to do. We already decided to skip Taman Negara, since we’ve had seen jungle already and decided we needed time for Singapore. A stopover at the Cameron Highlands was a bit of a flop. it is really nice there with tea plantages.. but we weren’t able to get there since it was some kind of national holiday and the taxis didn’t drive. We had to look at them from the bus, so also no pictures (sorry). We ended up doing a nice walking trail, with a bit of jungle to make up for Taman Negara.
We took the night train to Singapore, a whole different country. Where Malaysia is definitely influenced by muslim culture, Singapore is more western. Also the whole city is ‘complete’ everything is connected to each other and it all makes sense. Nothing is left to chance, as a person you are nearly not allowed to think, with the signboards along the way and the places where you have to stand and so on. Also there are some crazy ass rules in Singapore (a fine for importing chewing gum or not flushing a public toilet for example). They have fines for whatever you can name, but I guess that’s what makes the country so clean. There is a great mix of buildings and nature, and some architectural wonders. Despite that, everything is build.. we went to Sentosa, a amusement island where you can do almost everything... it’s really great, but we were really wondering where Singapore left his real nature. The highlight of Singapore for us was the night safari in the Zoo. We had spend the whole day walking around the zoo, which is nice, but it was a zoo. In the evening we had tickets for the night safari, well the words say it.. it’s a zoo in the dark. It is really build to be like that.. you have to search for every animal, although they are still visible. And you can walk around in some parts with the feeling it’s you and the zoo (and the occasional stuffed minibuses that drive around with Asian people).
Our last days we spend back in KL, where we are a little bit more used to the country and how to get around. We relax a lot, and do some souvenir shopping. Today I dropped harry off at the airport, really grateful that he wanted to ‘drop me off’ halfway. We had such a great holiday together... tomorrow my own adventure begins... Kathmandu here I come!
Oh yeah, I’ll post the pictures on Facebook!
totally forgot about the squat thing, which obviously relates to the great hole in the ground toilets that youll find everywhere here!
16 augustus 2014 18:42 | Door: Marijke
Leuk om te lezen Sharon....... de vertaalmachine aangezet en is goed te volgen !! Veel succes in Nepal !