First month in SE Asia – Singapore and Malaysia


May 12
Arrived in Singapore and got to my hostel safely. Hopped in bed at 5am. Sarah and I went to the night safari that (Sunday) night.

Monday May 13
We went to the Singapore Zoo before taking our stuff to Michelle’s and then walking around the waterfront.

Singapore to Malaysia
Tuesday May 14
Did laundry and took the bus to Melaka, crossing the border into Malaysia. Had to hop off the bus twice to go through customs on both sides of the border.

Wednesday May 15
Wandered around Melaka, gazing at historic monuments. Domestic disturbance night

Thursday May 16
Locked into the guesthouse until after lunch. We took the bus with Dutch Michael to Kuala Lumpur. Next we caught another bus to Penang, arriving at 2:25am. Took a taxi and found a guesthouse. Crawled in bed at 3:20am.

Friday May 17
Wandered around Georgetown gazing at the sights. We did two historic walks, also stopping at the Malaysia Tourism office and Fort Cornwallis.

Saturday May 18
Today we ate breakfast at the neighbouring cafe and then walked to the bus station. After finding it we caught a bus to Penang Hill and took the train up. Very interesting train. We went in a Taoist temple and then walked around on top the hill. We went back down and went to Lok —-Temple. Went to the Red Garden hawker area for dinner.

Sunday May 19
Today we took a bus to the butterfly farm and later went to Batuh Ferrenghi for a nice warm swim. I had the hiccups while swimming but promptly got stung by a tiny jellyfish that startled my hiccups away! Glad jellyfish don’t seem harmful here!

Monday May 20
Today we took a bus to the Penang Botanical Gardens and wandered around there. When we exited there was a man tossing apple slice to the local wild Macaques. They were really cute. One had a baby hanging on. Next we walked to Wat Chayamangkalaram. Very big large Buddhist temple with a giant reclining Buddha. We also checked out the temple across the road. Both were closed so we just walked around the grounds, not inside the temples. Then we had Pizza Hut pizza for dinner.

Tuesday May 21
Today we took the 8:15am ferry to Pulau Langkawi. It was approximately 2.5 by the ferry. We disembarked at Kuah Jetty and meandered to the other end of the town before taking a taxi to Pantai Cenang because there aren’t buses on this island. We checked into the Gecko Guesthouse.

Wednesday May 22
Today we went to the local beach. Very nice beach for swimming! Then we got a smoothie at the nearest cafe (Babylon) and met a Dutch girl who we went window shopping with for a couple hours. We ended up at Babylon again for dinner and live music entertainment. Apparently there was a conga line while I was in the bathroom.

Thursday May 23
Today Sarah and I got picked up and went on and organized boat tour around the northern part of the island and along a mangrove river. There was zebra fish feeding, fruit bat viewing, insect bats in a cave, swimming monitor lizards, a fish farm, where Sarah held a puffer fish, eagle viewing and finally lunch and swimming. When we got back to Pantai Cenang we went to McDonald’s for ice cream and meandered back to Gecko Guesthouse.

Friday May 24
Today we planned to go to the beach but it was rainy for most of the day. We did end up going later in the afternoon.

Saturday May 25
Today we decided to walk on the beach a ways, to find a different spot to swim. We did at a resort a few minutes north of us. Then we decided to keep walking, trying to reach the airport, but we were unsuccessful and just ended up doing a four hour walk around the area. Then we met Anouk at Babylon and ate dinner

Sunday May 26
Today we had a lazy day and hung around the guesthouse watching movies and using the Internet for a while. We did end up going to the beach for a swim, and just after sunset we went to find the atm to get out Ringgits to pay for our room. Then dinner.

Monday May 27
This morning we got a taxi at 11:30am and took the 12:30 ferry to Kuala Perlis before catching a bus to Ipoh. We shared paid for the taxi and shared it with an elderly man named TK Than. TK Tan offered to drive us somewhere the next day as thanks for paying for the taxi.

Tuesday May 28
This morning we had noodle soups for breakfast and then called TK. He came and drove us to a several cave temples around Ipoh. This took a couple of hours. Then he dropped us off at the main bus station and we caught buses (had to transfer) to Kellie’s Castle. When we got back to out hotel for the night we met a guy who was also planning to travel to the Cameron Highlands the next day (just like us). His name was Daniel.

Wednesday May 29
Today we got ready and caught a bus from Ipoh to the Cameron Highlands. We arrived just before 2pm so we were able to quickly book a sightseeing tour around the area, stopping at a “bee aviary”, tea leaf plantation, huge rose greenhouse, butterfly greenhouse, a strawberry farm (with great strawberry & tea cheesecake) and a Buddhist temple. Daniel ended up being on the same tour as us and he was staying at our guesthouse, so Sarah, Daniel, a Dutch girl Aline and I all went for dinner after that. Later Sarah and I sat outside the hostel, on the porch talking to a couple of Korean guys biking around Southeast Asia.

Thursday May 30
Today we ended up dropping laundry off to be done before heading on a small trek to a waterfall and then on to a town Closeby, called Brinchang, for market browsing and strawberry farm dessert eating. We also tried a drink called sea coconut juice but neither of us liked it because there was so much sugary syrup added to sweeten it. We walked back from Brinchang in the late afternoon but ended up getting overtaken by an intense rainstorm. Luckily we had rain jackets with us and reached cover before it rained too heavily. We were stuck for a couple hours waiting for the rain to lighten up. Luckily Sarah had brought a deck of cards in her day pack.

Friday May 31
Today we got up early and has breakfast before we got picked up by a shuttle to go to the Perhentian Islands off the east coast of Malaysia. The bus from Cameron Highlands took about 5 hours. Then we hopped onto a tiny passenger ferry and headed out to “The Little Island” or Pulau Kecil, the smaller Pulau Perhentian. The ride took about 45min to the island. Once we got ashore we began the process of looking for a place to spend the night. Unfortunately, because it was a Friday afternoon and school holidays were going on, we had trouble finding a room. Actually all of the budget accommodations were sold out for the night we discovered, after trudging from one business to the next. We finally decided to stay in a tent at Maya Chalets, on Coral Bay. I think we had a pretty good deal all things considered. We had mattresses and pillows in the tent, and a second tent right beside us, to throw our bags in overnight. Also we had a clothesline and our tent was under a shelter and was actually on a wooden floor so we had relatively few ants. We ended up staying there for a very lazy week, Friday-Friday.

Friday May 31-Thursday June 6
This whole week was spent on Pulau Kecil, in the Perhentians. It was a bit more expensive than other places (partly because its an island and most things need to be brought over by boat). On Wednesday we went snorkeling and it was so great! My first time on a snorkeling trip and the water was so clear! We saw lots of colorful rainbow fish, clownfish, sea slugs, turtles and sharks, beautiful bright coral, etc!

Friday June 7-Sunday June 9
Friday we took the mini ferry back to the mainland, to Kuala Besut, then took a bus north the Kota Bharu. We stayed two nights. While there we went to the night market a couple of times. We also bumped into a Dutch girl that we met in the Cameron Highlands, and spent some time with other travelers staying at our backpackers, Zecks. We also went to the famous indoor food market and tried a few new-to-me fruits, all very good! We also went to a Cultural Centre and watched dance and drum demonstrations, top throwing and batik decorating.
Sunday night we took an overnight bus to Kuala Lumpur; not a comfy ride. First day of malaria tablets. No fun.

Monday June 10
We decided to go to the Lake Gardens today. On the way there we stopped and visited the National Museum. Then we walked all around the Lake Gardens and then into the Botanical Gardens. Everything in KL is closed on Mondays.

Tuesday June 11
Today we invited a young French guy, Basil, to join us on our journey to the Batu Caves. Many steps lead into these caves. 272 steps. Afterwards we tried to walk to the Kuala Lumpur Tower and then to the Petronas Towers. There was a water & light shower outside the towers after dark.

Wednesday June 12
Today we flew to Cambodia.

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3 Responses to First month in SE Asia – Singapore and Malaysia

  1. Linda says:

    great daily update; what a wonderful bunch of pictures you will have collected, and life experiences also…..look forward to the next journal….mom

  2. knoughvah says:

    Your mom just sent my mom and me the link to your blog. I’ll be reading up on your travels. If you ever find yourself in or around Hangzhou, China, you ought to visit my bro there 🙂 Enjoy. Bon voyage!

  3. Knoughvah says:

    Hi Clarinda! Your mom just shared this blog with me. Seems like a whirlwind of excitement sometimes. I look forward to following your adventures.

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