Lots and Lots

Trip Start Feb 27, 2012
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Trip End Aug 26, 2012


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Where I stayed
Malaysia, Borneo, Java, Bali, Gilli's

Flag of Indonesia  , Sulawesi,
Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hey

Soo didnt realise it had been this long since my last post, done the whole of Malaysia and everything!

So I'll start off where I left off.

After Koh Lanta we went to Krabi where we stayed for a couple of days and then said our goodbyes to Becca and Emily which was really weird as we'd been travelling together for what seemed like ages.
Me and Emily then caught a bus over the border into Malaysia and headed for Penang. It was quite nice but nothing special really. We stayed in Georgetown whicvh was pretty cool, iot had a little China town and stuff and there was really good food. Also quite a big Indian community there so one night we went to a nice Indian restaurant.
Afetr staying there for a few days we got the bus to the Cameron Highlands where we were for a few nights. Whilst there we did this big tour thing which took us out to see Rafflesia (biggest flower/fungi in the world!) on a 3 hour hike, then went to try out using a traditional blowpipe, then we went to a tea plantation which was massive and really cool. Whilst there we got some really nice tea (think i had pommegranite tea (lush) and we got some cake as well :) then we went to a strawberry farm and got to try some of their strawberriesd and got a bog slice of chocolate and strawberrry cheesecake to share, yum. Then after that we went to a butterfly famr, but there was actually loads of animals there. There were loads of massive really cool butterflies but also all sorts of bugs, moles, snakes, spiders, lizards and all sorts. Was pretty cool.
After the Cameron Highlands we went to Kuala Lumpur. It was really cool there but our dorm was kinda weird, or not to much the dorm but the other guy who was in it...he told he'd been living in this dorm for the past 7 months! And in the nicest way possible he was a bit crazy. He showed us a welcome mat, mirror, portrait, table and all sorts that he'd bought himself for the room. Also said that we could use his talcum powder for deodorant and stuff! Anyway we went out and saw a lot of KL including the Menara Tower (KL tower) and the Petronas Towers which were really cool. And we went up at night ad there was an amazing view. Also went to the shopping centre under the Petronas Towers which was crazy too as it was all like Gucci and stuff.
After a few nights there we went caught a flight to Kota Kinabalu which is Sabah In Malaysian Borneo. It was really cool and after spending a few nights there, doing lots of shopping and going to the cinema and seeing some touristy stuff too, one night going to the night market and goignt o the Phillipino BBQ area and got barbequed squid which was amazing. Then we rented a tent, bought a load of food and got a boat to Sapi, which is one of the small islands off the coast of KK. We spent two nights camping on the beach and it was amazing. During the day there were loads of tourists on the beach but we just sunbathed and snorkelled etc but at like 4pm all the tourists dissapeared and we had pretty much the whole island to ourselves! To cook our dinner (pot noodle) we had to go and collect a load of firewood from the woods and then dug a small pit in nthe sand on the beach and made a fire to boil up some water to cook our dinner with. It was really cool, altho slightly stressful at times (like when our lighter ran out of fuel!!).
We then went back to KK for a couple nights before making our way to Sepilok where there was an Orangutan rehabillitation centre where we saw a load of orangutans which weer realy cool, so human like its unreal.
From there we went to Kota Kinabatangan where we went on a nature safari. There we stayed for 2 nights and 3 days and each day went on w river cruises where we saw all sorts of birds, monkeys (including probiscus monkeys which you only find on Borneo), crocodiles and even a wild orangutan which was amazing. sAdly we didnt see any pigmy elephants as they do get seen around there. Also went on a treck and a couple of night trecks, but sadly didnt see anything apart from a Civet cat.
From there we went to Semporna where we stayed for 2 nights before going tpo do our diving. First we had to dive at Mabul where we did 3 dives in one day. There we saw a load of really cool fish and finslly some turtles! INcluding one that was absolutely huge, like 1.5 metres in diameter! And we were like 2 metres away! But towards the end of the dive emily told me that she was running low on air, so i went to tel the dive master but before i could he asked me how much air i had, i checked and i was low too so told him and he then started to share air with me so emily had to with another diver in our group. ONce we h\got to the surface me and emily were a bit confused as we didnt think you had to share air till you were like really low and had never had to do it befopre apart from when like training, so was scary when we both ahd to do it in a real situation! Annoyingly about half way through the second dive my ears went all weird and i couldnt equalise properly and they really really hurt. So i had to surface and miss out the next dive to try and get my ears to recover for the next day at Sipadan which would be much more impressive. The next day my ear was still feeling pretty bad and luckily i survived the first dive, which was amazing. Just on the first dive we saw all sorts of amazing coral, fish, turtles and even sharks! ON the second dive my ear started to fel a bit funny again so i had to stay a bit shallower than the others which was a bit annoying, but i could still see everything tho. This one was at a dive site called Barracuda point, and there were LOADS of barracuda, literally like a massive school of at least 150 of them! The third dive was similar, lots of fish, sharks, turtles and amazing coral, but sadly my ear was so bad that i had to basically just float on the surface snorkelling but in scuba gear. Also it was particularly choppy so i started to feel sick as well, and once we'd got back on the boat at the end of the dove i was sick :( but was feeling a lot beeter by the evening.
We then went  back to semporna and then the next day got the bus to Tawau where we caught a flight to KK. Then after a couple of more days there we flew to Jakarta, Java, now in Indonesia. We only stayed in Jakarta for one night, then caught an overnight train to Yogyakarta, arriving at about 5 am so just went to sleep for a while once we arrived. Then we went to see some touristry stuff there (not that there was much to see). That evening we went to an amazing restaurant just across the road form our hostel and got the nicest chicken I'd had in absolutely ages :) The next day we went to Borabuddha and Prambanam which are two big temple sites, not too dissimilar to Angkor Wat in some ways. We went to them in a minibus thing as part of a tour thing with some other people, including a griup of english girls. the next day we got a minibus to Mt. Bromo (a volcano) and the four english girls were in the minibus with us, we all got chatting and realise dwe had the same plans for quite a while. I borrowed a book from one of them 'The Hunger Games' (which id heard were good from another traveller id bumped into in cambodia) so decided to give it a read, and considering it was like a 12 hour journey managed to finiosh the whole book in the one journey!
The next morning we woke at 3am and made our way up to a viewpoint and awaited sunrise. AS it slowly got lighter we began to appreciate the view infront of us. We could see 4 volcanoes in total, the biggest one at the back constantly chugging out smoke. After a while we al set off towards the volcano itself and climbed up it. On the way we saw a load of indonesian students, all asking for or just taking pics of all of us (probably more of the girls), but it was realy annoying. anyway once we;d got to the top it was amazing, really cool view out and also down into the crater of the volcano. We weer there for a while then made our way back down, i decided it wouod be best to basically run down which was fun, altho slightly dangerous and not welcomed by the people on their way up who got a face full of dusty sand....once at the bottom Lily (one of the girls from england) asked the driver if she could drive the jeep back to the hostel and he agreed! So that was pretty funny.
Once we got back and had breakfast we got a bus which took us all the way to Bali (another very long journey). We spent 3 nights in Kuta which was pretty touristy but a great laugh. We arrived at about midnight but still went and grabbed spome food and then went out at like 1 am! We went to a few places before deciding the drinks were really expensice\\ve so went to a littlew shope and made up our own (much cheaper), then ended up in a bar where they were playing live music and had a Djembe (African drum). I couldnt resist and went and picked it up and played along to the live band (two guys with guitars) and loved it, and also surprisingly so did everyone else ion the bar (or at least it seemed that way at the time...) we then made out way back to the hotel at like 5. The next day we jusyt went and lay on the beach all day until Lily got talkiung to some guy form Hawaii who invited us to his friends houe for a Margarita )the cocktail) party that evening. All we had to bring was juice and mentos so we went. It as hilarious and we had a great time and had amazing cocktails, they werent margarita's at all but were just ice, juice (mango or guava), vodka and fruit mentos blitzed up in a blender but they were amazing. We spent ages playing flipcup and stuf before going out. It as hilarious tho as the others were all hawaiian and were such stereotype hawaiian surfers all wearing board shorts, t-shirts way too big for them and caps. Anyway we then went out to some clubs and finally back to our place. We then caught a bus to Ubud, where we stayed for 2 nights and did some shopping and also went to a monkey temple place where there were loads of monkeys and stuff (obviously), apparently they're really bad tho as they try and steal all sorts from tourists so you have to be really careful about belongings and not even wear sunglasses!
The next day we caught a boat to Gilli T and it was amazing. Just a small island with quite a lot of tourists but it was easy wenough to find  alittlle bit of beach to yourself. We spent 5 nights there in total, spending most days chilling on the beach. The night before my birthday we went o an Irish bar and watched the England vs France game which was a great laufgh as it was packed with english and french people, there was lots of chanting, flags and everything so was an amazing atmosphere. On my birtjday we went on a snokelliong trip which was really cool and in the evening me and Emily went out for a really nice meal. And i got steak for the first time in soooo long and it was AMAZING. The next day we went to Gilli Meno, walked around the whole island, chilled on the beach and found a really nice little place for lunch. The day after we rented bikes and snorkelling gear and cycled around the island and did some snokelling which was cool, but not as good as the snorkelling on my birtjhday.
We then caught the boat back to Bali, headed straight to Kuta where we got a load more shopping done and then sent a parcel home (post office was closed but luckily found somewhere else), then went out for pizza for dinner at tyhis really nice italian place which was lush and then went out and had a great night. It was weird tho as it was the first time all trip that me and Emily had properly gone out (to like clubs and stuff) just the two of us.
And that was the end of our time in Bali as the next day we caught a flight to Makassar in Sulawesi, but I'll write all about Sulawesi in my next post as I'm still there now.

Sorry it was soooo ridiculously long, so well done if you managed to read it all, hopefully it wasnt too boring and ill try and make sure to post again soon

Josh x

P.s if you wanna see pics, check my facebook  
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