The journey so far...
Trip Start Sep 01, 2008
6Trip End Feb 01, 2009
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Our entry into south east asia was through Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. After approximately 24 hours travelling (including all the buses,transit time etc) the airport shuttle bus arrived in KL. This was the moment we had been waiting for...our journey had finally begun...the bus pulled up and we were ready to take our first footsteps in south east asia.. and of course it was raining.. and when I say raining I mean raining hard, monsoonal rain.. so we got soaked! But it didnt matter.We still had the biggest smiles and nothing could stop the excitement buzzing inside.
Due to an interesting combination of jetlag and excitment we woke the following morning very very early..and set out for a huge day exploring the city..typical beginning of travellling syndrome when you're so excited you want to try to see everything ; and then spending something crazy like 17 hours exploring a new city seems like nothing.. but we definately gained a fair impression of the city after just one day.. from the top of the biggest twin towers in the world to the bustling market in china town for lunch.. a wander around the inner city jungle (park) where we saw wild monkeys and visited a really beautiful butterfly park and on to little india for dinner etc etc
The pace definately changed as we headed north to some stunning islands off the east coast of Malaysia. For the next week we called the kecil perentian island home and had the absolute perfect beginning to our travels; many lazy beach days! We also did a few jungle treks to neighbouring fishing villages and I took a batik painting 2day course.. we were lucky enough to meet alot of really great people, both travellers and locals.. it was just such a chilled out place.. no roads-which means no cars or motorbikes.. no power between 10am and 6pm.. and only one awesome little beach reggae bar with small tables spread out along the sand.. and the beverage selection was chilled-out as well... 2 types of beer, or a small bottle of vodka (with a can of coke) or a local spirit known as monkey juice (also served with a can of coke)
Next stop was the opposite environment; Singapore.... and it was a suprisingly cool city.. i'd heard it was quite boring in comparison with other citys in asia but I really had a great time there.. we stayed in "little india" which was always very full of life.The thing I liked the most about Singapore was the variation within the city. Little india, china town, the riverside and cbd areas were all so closeby yet still so completely different. The one thing I didin't enjoy so much was the extremely high number of soul less shopping centres and enorrnous malls..but I guess that's another (very big) side of Singapore which the majority of tourists love.
From the extremely clean streets of Singapore we flew to the 3rd biggest city in the world, Jakarta. With 23 million people it's definately not an easy place to get ones head around. Hot, steamy and smelly with endless traffic and therefore ridiculously polluted Jakarta was the starting point for our travels through Indonesia. It's not really what you'd call a "tourist city" but I always enjoy seeing more than one side of a country, not just the most beautiful touristy areas.
The following weeks in Indonesia took us to some truley beautiful places. From cheeky monkeys to dancing puppets (wayan kulit) wandering ancient hindu and buddist temples surrounded by misty mountains to highly active volcanoes in an environment only comparable to the deserts in starwars, and then the other extreme of oh so amazingly green jungle valleys with ricepaddies as far as the eye can see. We found time to stop by Bali and didn't have any trouble having a good time in both Ubud, the artists "village" and Kuta, the aussie "playground".
Our time in Indonesia ended on an extremelely chilled out island. It was so small it only took an 1 and ½ hour to walk around. Just a beautiful reefs surrounding the shore, and the only transport is horse and cart... but there was a surprisingly big range of beach side bars.
One very strong impression I have of both Indonesia and Malaysia concerns the muslim prayer call (5 times daily)from stunning mosques in every corner of the land. It really seems no matter where one is, this soul full chanting can be heard. I've heard this truly enchanting sound everywhere, from market places to mountains plateaus and even whilst snorkeling offshore. (with the exception of Bali which is majority Hindu) The most magical time of day is without a doubt in the late afternoon around sunset. The fierce heat is rising from the sparkling tin rooftops as the end of another working day is welcomed. Children are skipping, giggling and weaving their way through the lane ways, and all the while the soft golden light makes everything look simply stunning. I know I sound insane now but really this time of day never stops to take my breath away.
It is moments like these that, as hard as I try, I just cannot capture on camera. However I have now added just a few of my many many photos.They don't do the times we've had justice but I really hope you all enjoy them anyways!
Lots and lots of love and sunny smiles!
Love kirsty xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx