Wild Orchid

Trip Start Jun 12, 2011
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36
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Trip End Oct 22, 2012


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Sunday, November 6, 2011

I snuck up on Mum at the bar in the Shangri La Rasa Sayang, her luxury resort in Penang, a day earlier than she expected me as a nice surprise. It was really nice to see her and Peter after 5 months of not seeing anyone from home.  We were staying at the opposite end of town in a nice budget guesthouse owned by a friendly Chinese family.  Alas we weren't allowed to use the Rasa Sayang’s 'facilities’.  But that didn’t stop us from using Mum’s plush bathroom to have baths (yay) use their free cosmetics, eat their free fruit and water.  We also spend a few evening sat on their balcony supping GnTs. 

The highlight for us was the food in Penang.  One night we had a buffet at Mum’s hotel which after 5 months travelling was really truely like being kids in a sweet shop.  Everything was on offer and so we stuffed our faces with roast chicken, roast lamb, gratin potatoes, curry, cheese (Mmmmm cheese) and cake.   We ate several fab meals in Batu Ferrengui ranging from awesome western food (we have been in Asia for some time now – so it’s allowed) and some of the best Indian food I’ve ever eaten

We spent several days relaxing and planning our onward journey back to Indo while Ma n P relaxed by their pool.  We ventured into George Town on the bus a couple of times to explore the Chinese Clan Houses and Malaysia’s largest Buddhist temple.  We also took a trip on the funicular railway to check out the view from the top of Penang Hill.

We all flew down to Singapore on the 6th and checked into the Holiday Inn Orchard City Centre.  My birthday present from Ma meant that we had five nights staying in a lush hotel.  Not only that, thanks to Mum’s uber awesomeness (and contacts in the hotel business) we all got upgraded to executive guests.  This meant that we got access to the executive lounge where one could sup on afternoon tea and sandwiches and each evening between 6-8pm one could have as much free booze (including really nice French wine) as one could drink and help ones self to a delightful buffet spread of hot and cold hors deuvres which was plentiful enough for you not to require any dinner afterwards.  And so we dined on curry puffs, chicken drumsticks, tandori chicken, cheese and biscuits, Caesar salad, pumpkin croquets, cakes, fruit and much much more.  Again – food heaven!  And every morning an awesome buffet breakfast of bacon, sausage, eggs, hash browns, breads, cheese, croissants and pastries, cereal, and real bread with no added sugar...... after 5 months in Asia this truely was a real treat.

We explored Singapore on the hop on hop off bus, wandered around China Town and Little India, gawped at the uber modern architecture around the marina, had a drink at boat quay, took a hot and sweaty stroll around the lush if not very humid botanic gardens (the highlight of which is the Orchid Garden) and obtained our 60 day visa from the Indonesian Embassy.  Will and Peter also went off to visit Chengi Prison which Mum and I had already been to on our last trip to Singapore.  In between the above we enjoyed the rooftop pool and hot tub and watched some trashy TV (a novelty to have a TV and especially one with English speaking channels).

For my birthday we ate the best Indian food I’ve eaten at the restaurant underneath the hotel and drank a Singapore sling at Raffles Hotel.  It was really nice to spend it with family.  On our last night we ordered Thali’s from the Indian restaurant and ate it by the pool, already a little sozzled from the free wine. 

It was horrid to say goodbye to Mum and P.  We took a bus back to KL sad that Mum had gone and took a few days to readjust to life as backpackers again.  We stayed in China town and ate some nice Chinese food, bought some snorkels and fins and a dive computer and prepared for our return to Indo.
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