Woke up this morning and got myself a Bintang

Trip Start Oct 27, 2004
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Trip End Aug 17, 2005


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Flag of Indonesia  ,
Tuesday, May 3, 2005

We headed straight for Chinatown when we arrived in KL and found it to be the usual mix of markets selling everything you could wish for, neon lights and (most importantly) cheap accommodation. Walking out into the centre of KL the next day we were treated to a truly modern Asian city. Skyscrapers everywhere you looked, Macdonalds, KFC's and 7-11's all over the place and traffic like you wouldn't believe. It was all quite exciting after running around Cambodia and Laos for so long. The only thing that I didn't like was feeling so damn scruffy - after these past six months my wardrobe is not what you would call extensive (to be honest sometimes I wouldn't even call it clean) so to see all your usual modern, trendy, city-types in their designer fashions made me feel a little self conscious of my $1 Thai flip-flops!

We tried to get tickets to go up the Petronas Towers, the tallest building in the world, but unfortunately we were too late as they only have 1200 tickets per day and they were all nabbed. Just standing at the bottom of the towers was quite breath-taking although with so many other huge skyscrapers close by, getting the scale of them was quite difficult.

Our four days in the capital was over pretty quickly and all too soon it was time to take only our second flight of the trip. After travelling for so many miles overland it was quite strange to take flight, perhaps that explains why we almost missed it! Not through any lack of planning in fact it was the contrary - we were so early for the flight that we checked in and got into the departure lounge way too long before the flight and got so bored sitting around waiting for it that we sat around a little too long. That reminds me I really do have to buy a watch!

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Flying to Bali was a fantasitic trip, unfortunately we were delayed by an hour so we spent more of the journey in the dark than we had hoped. We still got to see a few coral-ringed islands though, nothing quite matches seeing that from the air, a first for us both I think.

We stayed, for the most time, in Kuta as I had a case of suspected Typhoid. It wasn't us that suspected it, but the doctors. Luckily the bloods came back negative and a dose of antibiotics sorted me out, but slowly. We were only allowed a 1 month visa on arrival, so spending a week in Kuta recuperating was a real setback. Still, we managed to have a fantastic time staying in the party capital of Indonesia although I didn't always feel up to the full-on party.

We also hired a scooter which meant that I managed to get a couple of surf sessions on the nearby reefs of Bingin and Uluwatu. Something I'll never forget is seeing 4 foot high kids on tiny surfboards pulling into waves that were head-high for me and breaking on shallow live coral reef.

Bali is a truly amazing place and, despite mass tourism, has managed to retain a very realy and geniuine friendliness aswell as a true sense of culture ande identity. Although not a true "travellers" destination, I certainly would not leave Bali off any trip to South-East Asia simply for the pure pleasure of enjoying a paradise Island without having to "rough it".
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Comments

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