Cameron Highlands - Penang
Trip Start Jan 2003
200Trip End Dec 2003
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It's difficult getting up in the early hours when you're travelling. It's even more difficult getting up when you know you're subjecting yourself to another bus journey (even if it is a Malaysian bus journey). And getting up early when you know you're catching a bus and you've been awake until the marginally earlier hours drinking is virtually impossible! I therefore briefly patted myself on the back for making it to the bus station with five minutes to spare thus avoiding a repeat of the debacle of the missed bus in Kuala Lumpur - if you were told your bus left from the Shell station 50 metres up the road, you'd wait for your bus there wouldn't you?! We did. And we missed our bus as it departed from the Shell station half a mile up the road. However, I soon started to regret my punctuality as the endless hairpin bends violently disagreed with my already tender and churning stomach
Arrival (without vomit despite the nausea) in Penang, our last destination in Malaysia, was a bit of a surprise. I'd expected a smaller version of Kuala Lumpur but from what we've seen it bears a closer resemblance to non-Malaysian but still South East Asian cities. It appears run down and as we were hoping to have a bit of luxury before heading to Indonesia, this has been a little disapointing. Georgetown (the main city on Penang) has however provided us with a meal to rival those in Little Hanoi. What it lacked in decor (Malaysian restaurants tend to be done out in a lavatorial rather than sartorial fashion) it more than made up for with its food. It's a crime we were the only customers.
Looking at a map of the country, it shows how little we've seen, having visited neither Malaysian Borneo nor the East coast. If I could re-plan our travelling these, along with the Cameron Highlands and a quick trip to KL are the places I'd concentrate on. Feelings like this are inevitable at points during this year but at least Malaysia is accessible enough for a return holiday some day.