Friday, 30 December 2011

50th Birthday on a Tropical Island




Thnx Sara n`Clas, 1st toast was on you Guys
 Thank you guys for all the best wishes I received on my birthday. Cards arrived and a real surprise was the present which Sara and Clas left behind. How did they know I liked a nice drink :)) Shame you two could not be here. The day was fantastic. 1st a nice swim (not bad in December), then a nice stroll to a fishing shop where Fiona treated me to some fishing rods, then we chilled by the sea and had a couple of drinks and a meal in the evening. The best present though I have ever had was to be here! The one thing I always dreamed of.... living on a tropical Island and being completely relaxed, no worries or stress, but sunshine, Palm Trees all around and friendly people. What else could someone want on his 50th? As I am having such a good time I thought I would let you have some of it too, (in cold old Europe) and cheer you up a bit! Look at the photos, lean back, dream and relax. (Click Photos to enlarge) Maybe you can forget about winter for a moment.
Footnote: we were observing Turtles coming up for air every so often, and their diet consists of Jellyfish which we have never seen in Tanjunj Rhu Resort, unlike Cenang or Pantai Tengah. 
 We are off to the Island of Penang soon for a few days to meet old friends of ours, who at the moment are working in China and have come on a vacation to our part of the world. Really looking forward to seeing them and I shall give you more information about Penang when we get back. Penang is a 2.45 hour ferry crossing away and the price is 115RM p.P. return.
Tanjung Rhu Beach
50? No Way :)
Warm water
That`s what I call "The good life"






















How is this for relaxing in December and what else could someone wish for on his 50th Birthday??? This is our new home, where we live and what we wanted. I am lucky to have a partner who agreed to make this (not always easy) move to South-East Asia. Ta Fiona 

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Visa Run to Thailand and a new Place

In a Chinese Temple, Satun
We have quite a few busy days behind us.
First of all we moved into a different Apartment in the same building as before and then  going on our first Visa run to Thailand.
The Apartment (pics here) is not as luxurious as the old one but a lot cooler as it is situated on the north side and there is always a cool breeze going through. We are overlooking part of the harbour (so still sea view) and the Jungle. The old place was nice, but facing south-west, just got too hot. We must have had about 60°C in the afternoons (no kidding) and just could not use the balcony. Our new neighbours are monkeys, no not the ones in the building, but real ones jumping around and playing in the trees.
The day after we moved we went on our first Visa Run to Thailand, a place called Satun, nothing much there but if you are interested click here
It was a nice break from Langkawi though, but it was just as nice to come back home. The next plan so far is to rent a car on the mainland and visit the Cameron Highlands and the East coast of Malaysia. We shall keep you updated.
If you want to have a good laugh, take a look at these funny pictures taken in Satun.


Sunday, 11 December 2011

The hardship of travelling

Sara n´ Clas
There is only one thing which one needs to get used to whilst travelling and that is to say "good-bye" in order to move on.
This is exactly what we did yesterday. Sara (Welsh) and Clas (Swedish) are off to Kuala Lumpur tomorrow and then Thailand, followed by Laos and wherever after that. In the last 7 weeks they have become good friends and it is sad to see them go. I am sure though we`ll meet up again somewhere in Asia and until then we want to wish them safe travels (enjoy)

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Pythons in Malaysia

10 meter Pythons are not unusual
There really is not too much to report lately as we have been busy getting a different Apartment ready for ourselves. It is in the same building but on the Northern Side of Sri Lagenda. The one we were in had fantastic views (see pics) but far too hot. We were unable to use the balcony in the afternoons and as the Summer is only about to start here we decided to change. The new place faces North, overlooking the Jungle and hills and monkeys here are a common occurrence (pics will follow)
Catching a Python
So as there is not much to tell you about, I thought I let you have a look what happens in Malaysia, which you would not be as likely to find in Europe. I think you are really going to like it.

Snakes giving residents the jitters (06th December 2011)
THERE has been a strange  phenomenon at Taman Skudai Baru here in Johor Baru  and its residents are hoping for some answers soon.Since the beginning of this year, there have been more than 12 reports of python invasion in the housing estate. With about a catch a month, many residents are worried if there were unreported cases.
 Resident Fairus Azhar Hamzah, 25, said what was worrying was that the snakes often preyed on their pets especially cats and  other small animals.
 Fairus said the size of the pythons caught so far has given him the shivers as the slithery creatures   were  long and big -- at  times more than nine metres long and about half-a-meter in width.
 "Most of the children staying in the housing estate have developed a phobia for snakes and some are traumatised," he said.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Night Market in Kuah

The man with the Cakes
After a surprise visit from Sara and Class from Cenang, catching us whilst swimming in the pool, we all went for a little drive on the Motor Bikes, taking in The Royal Langkawi Yacht Club, followed by a quick beer. Once they left, Fiona and myself decided to go to the Night Market in Kuah, which is held every Wednesday and Saturday. You might have seen the pictures of the Market in Cenang, but the one in Kuah is bigger and has a few more Items for sale than Cenang`s. Where the Night Market is situated you can see when you follow the " Photos Link" as they are all Geo-Tagged and the map is visible on the right hand side in Picasa.
Just one example of lovely Cakes
We keep coming across the Malaysian Guy in the photograph (forgot to ask his name) as he certainly stands out in a crowd! A really nice chap, very friendly and sells Cakes, Egg Custards (Fiona loves them) and all sorts of litte sweet bakes all made by his Sister....

Friday, 25 November 2011

Beaches in Kuah

The beach 5 min away
We have lived in Kuah now for two weeks and I thought it might be interesting for you guys to see what we like about it. In my previous post I said we have Internet Problems... well, we still have, so I shall try to upload pictures in the "Photos Link" but cannot promise it will work. If not, come back later! We walked through Kuah today, even though it was about 32°C but feeling like 39°C and have to say there is a great recreational Park here with a beach, which is not too bad. We found another beach just down the road from where we live (5min with the bike) but I have to say we are so far not impressed with the water quality on Langkawi. It always looks misty and if you want to come here for snorkeling...
forget it, not that it is dirty, but due to the Limestone the visibility is bad. There are trips you can book from Langkawi to do this at nearby Islands.
7.00RM Chicken dish
We like Kuah as there is more to do then in Cenang and there are lots of places to eat, specially a little Chinese place, costing 7,00RM (1,20€) for a small portion and 15,00RM (3,25€) for medium (guess which one I had...).

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Blessing in disguise?

Real picture taken with the Nikon Coolpix AW100 (no fake)

We went to look for some shops selling western food and came across this temple where a real friendly monk (Hindu, Buddhist or else) gave us a blessing for good luck HAHA. We took some nice pictures of all the different gods and Fiona and myself with a white dot (from the blessing) on our foreheads. Left the Temple, sat down on a bench for a cigarette, got up, carried on shopping and realised later, we had left  (I did) our beloved Lumix Camera behind and lost it. OK, the blessing just did not work. Now we had to look for an alternative camera in all of the 5 fairly decent Camera Shops on the Island for the next few days. We looked at most Cameras on offer, went home, did our research on the Internet (as there was nobody we could ask) and decided on a Nikon Coolpix AW100. Not as much Zoom as on our Lumix, but for that, waterproof (10m) shockproof, temperature resistant and dustproof. We think just a good Camera for travelling, beaches, snorkelling and easy to use. I  am showing  you some  examples of what the camera can do and will keep you updated whether it is worth buying (our opinion) or not. Well you will see for yourselves as all pics from now on are taken with our new Nikon.
I took the video below this morning in our pool. The plastic rose was just to see how good the colours come out under water. I certainly was impressed!!

Want to know more or see more pictires? Click here for our Blog about the Nikon Coolpix AW100

The Video is normally in HD quality, not as seen here on the blog. It is just to show, the Nikon works fine.

Friday, 11 November 2011

1st day shopping, what a laugh

Delhi Belly Pants (1 size fits all)
Today was our 1st day shopping in Kuah and it was just funny. We walked to a shopping mall via a park just down the road from our apartment and we came across a place where history was created (take a look here) hehe We then saw that autumn is coming, as all the trees are losing their greenery and thought of all the poor guys in Europe having to clean up all these leaves falling (guys if you are complaining, look at this) After Fiona having the scare of a monitor lizard (about 1m long)....

Long Term Accommodation Langkawi

Click to enlarge pictures
After saying our goodbyes to the guys ( Sara, Clas, Linda, Izza and the rest) in the Rainbow Lodge, where we stayed for 4 weeks, we have moved to Kuah, the Capital of Langkawi. We shifted our belongings into a Taxi and I followed on the bike. I always try to stay within the speed limit, but by following the cab, I think I broke all records for bikes on the Island. 100 kmh through the City and I only hoped for all the coppers to have a day off that day. Once we moved in (all photos here) it was a great feeling to know we have a real base for our travels and to make a place homely again after all this time....

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Gone Fishing

Catch of the day
Yesterday Sara, Fiona, Clas, Totti and myself arranged for a four hour fishing trip from Mehmet the cook here in our resort at Rainbow Lodge. (Pictures here) Full of expectations of the "big catch" we were driven to the beach where a longtail boat and his skipper were awaiting us. Just as we set off there was a downpour of rain, but luckily only lasting a short time. I expected to be taken out to sea, going for Shark, Barracuda, Tuna? (or at least something like that!) Instead the trip took 10 minutes and we stopped in front of an Island. The skipper prepared the bait and we started to lower our hooks into the unknown depths aaaand I had a bite. I pulled my line in and I saw....

Thursday, 27 October 2011

`" Camera.....And Action"... our Movie Shoot

At the Movie Shoot
I did have a good time last night..I think
Whilst searching the Langkawi Gazette for properties to rent I came across an advert saying: "Extras wanted for a Movie Shoot on Langkawi" After telling Fiona about it we decided to go for it. I sent an email and the reply was, we were to be on the set (filmed in the Four Seasons Hotel Langkawi) in two days time. We were picked up and brought there by mini bus and were quite excited, as we had never done anything like it before. Greeted by the assistant director we were told it is a German production called "Reunited in Malaysia" and we are to act as if we are having a conversation at a table. (Photos here) Sounds easy but we had to mime. Placed at a table we nearly busted the takes as we really felt like laughing. You should try this at home, sit with people and try to have a conversation whilst miming. All went well though and as Sara, Clas and Totti stayed in the same Resort as us we obviously had to have a drink or two, or three after a hard day´s work, hehe.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Finally a Place we can call "Home" again

Part of the view from our balcony
We have been in Malaysia for four weeks now, out of which we spent three weeks on Langkawi. Our plan had always been to find a place to live and use as a base for our future travels and after a lot of hard research and networking it seems like we found the ideal place for us. (Photos here)  It is not right on the beach, but in the capital city of Langkawi called Kuah.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Malay Wedding

The Bride and Groom (treated as King and Queen)
Yesterday we received a phone call from the owner of the first hotel we stayed in,  run by Zamadi and Zachd (spelling might be incorrect) a very nice couple.  He said he might have found us a house and if we would like to look at it (was not right for us) On the way back they wanted to know what plans we had for the afternoon as they would like to take us to a Malay Wedding. (Photos) This certainly came as a surprise because we only have two suitcases and nothing really to wear for a wedding.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Night Market Pantai Cenang

What a selection of tasty food
Last night we went to the "Night Market" here in Cenang (Passed the Water Buffaloes)  It starts around 18:00hrs and is open till late. (Photos here) Since we arrived on Langkawi we wondered where to get fresh vegetables from as you rarely find them in the shops or Supermarkets. Well, now we know. The market offers a huge variety of foods. There are grilled chicken pieces on bamboo skewers, fried spring rolls, deep fried crabs, samosas, fried noodles, pizza, home baked beautiful sweets, fruits and vegetables, just to mention some of it.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Sightseeing Langkawi, Gunung Raya

Fiona  self taken on the move at Gunung Raya
After a suggestion from my brother Lutz we went up to Gunung Raya (pictures here not sorted yet) the highest peak on Langkawi and it was well worth the trip. Because it is not season yet, we were all alone. There was not one car or bus anywhere which made the ride with the motor bike very pleasurable and we were able to see wild monkeys and all sort of different birds. The jungle noise was very impressive too and once we reached the top and went up the tower  costing (10RM =2,50€ coffee or tea for free) the view was amazing.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Our 1st House in Langkawi

Our 1st House on Langkawi
We have moved out of our Hotel today into a House just down the road. (Pictures here) It is actually slightly cheaper than the Hotel and we have more Room. We have 1 bedroom, living room with TV and DVD, a small kitchen and Bathroom with toilet and shower, I guess the size around 60square meter, oh and a little veranda. Our next door neighbours to the right are Germans and to the left we have some Water Buffaloes (honestly)

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Our 1st Week in Langkawi

Small Python in our Hotel
We arrived in Langkawi on 1st of October and had a week now to become acquainted with the Island, being the reason why I had not updated the blog. So far we have seen most of the Island as we rented a scooter and travelled all around. We saw lovely beaches, went on the Cable Car and the sky bridge, walked up hundreds of steps to the seven wells, followed by a short jungle walk and enjoyed the wild monkeys and the food (Photos here) Talking of which costs you about 19RM to 25RM local curry including drinks, about 5,00€ for two people, mainly fresh fruit juices (Mango, Water Melon, Orange and others) We went to the hair dressers today, washing, cutting and drying 15RM = 3,50€ each; lol. All in all, life is very cheap here, but you still have to shop around as different shops charge different prices. All is not well in Paradise. When travelling to the black beach, a so called "Tourist attraction" it was appalling to see all the dirt on the beach, actually a lot of stuff is not getting cleared and makes it look dirty on a lot of beaches. The Jet skis and paragliding boats are somewhat disturbing too. I thought I mention this, not to give the wrong, but a realistic impression of the Island. All in all we love it and we are actually moving into our first Bungalow (Chalet) tomorrow. Pictures will follow as soon as we are online in the new place. 


Saturday, 1 October 2011

Batu Caves and Monorail

Monorail in Kuala Lumpur
Hot day today, ca 35°C so I keep this Post short and sweet. We decided last minute to go to the Batu Caves, just North of the City. It is easy to get to (once you know how) just a train from KL Central Station. Afterwards we went on to the Monorail, which we really enjoyed and if we would not be flying to Langkawi tomorrow, we would definitely go on again. A lot of times we found it quite difficult to access certain places by foot, due to dual carriage ways and or missing pavements, so the best way round is by public transport. If you have any questions, just contact us.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Base Jumping KL Menara Tower

Base jumping Kuala Lumpur Tower
Went for some food to the Petronas Towers (Chinese Dish) cost us all of 13RM ca.3,30€ and on the way back Fiona saw the base jumpers. We wanted to see them anyway, but there was nothing doing when we were waiting for them, so luckily we managed to take some snaps after all. I am hoping to get some more, but can not promise. Check out ``Photos`` for all the pics and ``Videos`` for some good Vids of the Base Jumpers on youtube which I filmed. On the photo section I added one lot just for pics of Malayian food which might interest some people (more to be added soon)

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

KL Tower & Petronas Twin Towers

Petronas Towers are now the highest in the World
Today was another hard day for us travellers ( not really) We went for a usual Indian breakfast ca. 1,50€ each and then went on to walk firstly to the Menara Tower of KL, the 6th highest in the world. Included in the price was a ticket to the mini zoo ( when I asked the guy whether that was situated in the tower he creased up, well I didn`t know) We were lucky with the view and took some nice shots. Tomorrow are international base jumpers at the tower and I hope to take some good photos. We then went on to see the famous Petronas Twin Towers, now the highest in the world, but unfortunately the Sky-Bridge is closed until December for renovation. So what??? We can always return next year hehe. The shopping mall was unbelievable; the size, the shops, the people, and it was only when we went in the book shop that we discovered a lovely Park behind the towers where local kids had a great time in a kiddies pool and we had a chance to cool our legs. It was funny when about 6 girls moved closer to us and one of them asked if they could take a photo, all of us together. I suppose they had never really had a chance to see Europeans so close, so we were the attraction.
Take a look at the photos and spot some of the reflections (not sorted yet) and if you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

KL Bird & Butterfly Parks

Biggest bird spider, is found in Malaysia
OMG big spider in the Bathroom, ahhhh....thank god not!!
Only joking :) Found it on our trip behind glas, fixed with two pins. (Spider on a spit) hehe Trip? What trip? Read below:
Today we went to two Parks recommended to us, which were nice to see. From our Hotel we went by Taxi, cost 10RM (RM=Malaysian Ringit), ca 2,50€ as we did not know how far away they were. To go by Taxi you have to look out which ones are running a  Taximeter, as only then do you pay the right price. We had offers from 15RM to 20RM and as mentioned ended up with 10RM. The Parks are situated near the lake gardens and are very sub-tropical and the weather played with it. 31° C and a humidity of at least 85%, to say the least: Ìt was warm` Well the gardens were nice and I added some photos (not sorted yet) if you are interested. We then decided to walk back from the gardens and came past the National Mosque, which we intend to visit some time.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Arrived in Kuala Lumpur

After two years of planning and organising we are finally in KL !

We have finally arrived in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia after a 13h non stop flight from London. We had booked  ``Hot Seats`` for extra leg room and it was well worth it. Time went by surprisingly quick, but sleeping in those narrow seats was near impossible, so we arrived quite tired. Finding our way to the hotel was ok and once checked in, we went out straight away to see a little of KL, what a difference to Europe. We had our first curry and believe me, it was fantastic. The warmth and the humidity came as a bit of a shock, but after the first day already, we love it: shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops. So far so good, I shall keep you updated how we are  getting on.
You can see more photos here.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Malaysia, here we come

Finally, we have booked our flight to Kuala Lumpur with Air Asia. It will be a 13h non-stop flight, leaving from London Stansted. We booked it on the 18th of August, departure is on the 23rd of September. We are currently looking to book a hotel online. This site seems to be good, but if you know any better ones, please let me know.We intend to stay 3 to 4 nights in KL and are thinking to fly on to Langkawi Island afterwards. We would like to find somewhere long term to rent on the Island and use it as our first base in order to experience Malaysia. Great to know our adventure is now really starting and we are both very excited about it.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

The Yorkshire Moors and Whitby

We have been here now for quite some time and decided to go with our camper van for a little trip. The countryside of the Yorkshire Moors are indeed stunning and we were lucky to have some lovely weather. From there we went on to Whitby, where at the looks of the Abbey, Bram Stoker apparently was inspired to write the book of 'Dracula' Then we were off to Robin Hoods Bay, a little village, built on a steep Cliff with narrow roads and a nice beach. We ended up in Flamborough Head looking at Seabirds breading in the crevices on the edge of the Sea. We were even able to see some Puffins, which are lovely, little clumsy birds. I have uploaded some photos, but as I wrote before, due to the little amount of Data Space I have in England, there are only a few snapshots available.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Berlin to England in 8 Days


After 1400 km travelling from Berlin, via Königsberg (Saxony) the Blackforest and France, we have finally arrived in England (see 'Our current location') The trip went well and we have said Good-Bye to Friends and Family on mainland Europe. We now need to  sort a few things out in the UK before we shall move on to Malaysia.
I have added some, but not too many pictures to our Photos because we only have 3Gb valid for 3 months Internet. The telephone has been cancelled, so the only way to contact us is with email or my German Mobile number. I want o add more photos from Derbyshire as you can find some lovely places here, so keep checking or register your email on the right hand side if you want to be informed of new posts, or click here.

Monday, 25 April 2011

The first part of our Adventure is coming to an end.
Now it is time for us to say:



When we came to Berlin (20+ years ago) we both were still young and enjoyed this fantastic City with all it's Clubs, Pubs, Concerts and Night Life. The history and culture of this place are amazing and we were part of it, when the world watched Berlin very closely: The fall of the Wall (how fantastic that was)  We had good jobs and were able to make a living and as a bonus, mostly in a British environment. We had good times here and bad times, but we still think it was the right decision to have moved, worked and lived in Berlin. The last few months her were like camping in our own flat: No fridge, no dishwasher, hardly any furniture and boxes all over to be sorted or sold. It was amazing to see what one can sell and what money you can still get for stuff you gathered over the years. Now we are down to the neccessary items we might need and it is a form of freedom to have next to nothing.

Now it is time for change and live our dream, a live in S-E Asia (well, we give it a try)
Saturday the 30.04.11 we are setting off in our Camper van going to the south of Germany to say good- bye to relatives, then on to Calais on the ferry towards Dover, again to see family in Derbyshire. We are hoping to set off to Malaysia not later then July, hopefully even earlier. So far our next steps. The next entry here should be, once we are in the UK.

Fiona and I would like to say Good -Bye to all the people who know us and we are hoping to keep in contact either via email or this Homepage. You can always leave an entry in our Guestbook.

All the best

Fiona & Udo


Thursday, 24 March 2011

Memories

Feeling a bit like a pin cushion after all these injections we were happy to see the sun for a change and the weather improving from grey and cold to just a bit chilly but sunny hehe. So, off we went on our bicycles for a little tour and ended up in the, what is now called, Olympic Parc Berlin, but formerly known as HQ Berlin Infantry Brigade. To be here, near the Olympic Stadium and seeing the buildings where I worked and passing BMH Berlin (pics to follow) where Fiona and I met, brought back some nice memories.  (Even though looking forward to leave) it is quite sad. This had been part of our lives for many years and is now all coming to an end. We do not know whether we ever come back here. But with all these thoughts, one real funny thing happened though as we discovered an open gate to the Maifeld, a massive lawn just outside the Olympic Stadium. Normally out of bounds for everybody, we took our chances and cycled all around it (see pics) but when wanting to leave, the gardeners from the grounds had locked us in. As I was already thinking how to get out (ahhh panic, call the cops, lift the bike over the fence, shout etc.) Fiona checked the chain at the gate and realised it was only wrapped round and we could get out. I reckon the gardeners were just having a laugh on our behalf.
I shall try to take some more pictures of the area, Stadium, Brigade, BMH etc. and put them online.
I try and make one last entry before leaving Berlin but do not know when I shall be online again. We are trying to get a Pre-Paid sim card for Data in UK, but we have to see how that goes. AQEMYKKKPYES

Vaccinations and Medical Precautions


It is only about 5 weeks from now until we shall leave Berlin. In order to travel with as little risk as possible, we took some precaution. Not only did we both have a decent medical check, but also went to the Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health  for advice. We decided to have the following vaccinations:  DIPHTERIA, TUBERKULOSIS, HEPATITIS A & B, TETANUS, TYPHOID, JAPANESE ENCEPHALITIS and very important but underestimated by a lot of people, RABIES. For more info about vaccinations, either click on the link or ask your Foreign Office.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Problems & Solutions

January was quite a difficult month for us. It all started when we tried to sell an Item on Ebay where we nearly became victims of fraud. Someone bid far too high on the article to stop other bidders and 7 seconds before the end the high bid was withdrawn and the item went well below value. It took several emails and phone calls with Ebay as well as fighting the crook off threatening him with police action to get it all sorted. Then we made an enquiry with the ADAC for our health insurance and were told we had to be registered for the full period of cover in Germany, what would not be possible for us as we are leaving for good. This gave us quite a head ache and we were looking for alternatives which proved extremely expensive and we actually thought our plans would end here. Luckily after another phone call with the ADAC in Munich, the first information was wrong, as only when you make the application you have to be registered, so.... problem solved.
Next was the Thai Embassy and again it involved several calls to get the information we needed, but unfortunately not what we had expected. It is very costly to get a years visa if one is under 50 years of age, so back to the drawing board. The result is: We are leaving Berlin at the end of April with our Camper Van, travelling firstly through Germany, saying our good - byes to friends and relatives. Beginning of May we shall then travel on to the UK to see Fiona's mum and family; again to say farewell. Whenever we have enough of England or the chance for a cheap flight we then move on to Malaysia (on entry a 3 Month Visa) make a couple of Visa runs which will the mean I am 50 which will make it possible to get a 1 year visa for Thailand.
In between all these problems we had a broken water pipe in our flat, resulting in water dripping from the ceiling. it is repaired now, but the walls are wet and we are slowly getting mould on there. It is definitely time to leave soon. So far my update, all this is absolutetly backed up by the weather, gray, cold, snow or rain. Not very nice at all, but we are still going and that is a nice feeling.