Wednesday, 18 September 2013

A Con Man, 11 Flights in 3 Weeks and a trip to Bali

Svend Olav Dunick Larsen came to Langkawi and a lot of people got very disappointed. I cannot  tell you all the details of what he did, but you are free to read about this man`s past here and something he did on Langkawi here. If you come across this guy, just be careful as he appears to be friendly and honest....

Bali

Could this be the footprint of the last Balinese Tiger?? ;)
Well, we haven`t updated our blog for a long time which was due to circumstances we could have done without. The evening we decided to move into our new house (more about that in the next post) we found out we had to get back to England in a hurry, which meant booking a flight ASAP and what we got was no fun. Flight from Langkawi to KL on to Singapore, then Paris and change for Manchester, a week later Manchester to Amsterdam, then KL and finally Langkawi....what a pain these flights were. But not enough with this, because we had already pre booked Bali three days after that, so unpack, get the new house in order and again from Langkawi to KL and on to Denpasar.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Trip to Singapore and Melakka

Trip details:
Langkawi to Kuala Perlis ~ Ferry / Kuala Perlis to Kangar ~ Taxi / Kangar to Butterworth ~ Bus / Butterwort to Georgetown (Penang) ~ Ferry / Penang to Johor Bahru ~ Plane /
Johor Bahru to Singapore ~ Bus / Singapore to Johor Bahru ~ MRT / Johor Bahru to Melaka ~Bus / Melaka back to Johor ~ Bus / Johor back to Penang ~ Plane and eventually back to Langkawi the same way we came.


Singapore Skyline 
We set off around 6:30am to catch the 7:30 ferry from Langkawi, but when we arrived in Kuala Perlis we were told; "No bus from here, have to go to Kangar" This came as a complete surprise as normally all buses from Butterworth stop at this ferry terminal. So we jumped in a taxi, which cost us 15RM and arrived just 3 minutes before the bus was leaving to Butterworth. The buses we experienced in Malaysia are very comfortable and cheap and we like travelling with them, lots of leg room. Just always have a jumper with you, as some of the buses are absolutely freezing.
 We arrived safely in Butterworth  took the ferry across to Georgetown and went on from there with the bus to Penang airport. We had booked our flights well in advance with Air Asia, when they had an offer on so it was cheap to go by plane to Johor. Once we got from the airport to the bus station in Johor Bahru we knew, our hotel was only about 600m away but there was a problem, called a 6 lane motorway. No way could we get across by foot and when we asked a girl at the bus station how we could get to our hotel she warned us not to walk, it would be too dangerous, too many bags get snatched, especially from tourists. Ok, so we looked out for a taxi, but how come there is never one around when you need one. Eventually a guy offered to take us for 15RM and we were glad for the lift. (We later found out this trip by taxi would cost no more but 6RM) oh well, you win some and you lose some and we were just glad to be in our hotel, the Golden Court.  We were pleased with the place, nice rooms friendly staff and a complimentary breakfast (Malay style)

Entrance hall to the border
After a good night`s sleep we went by taxi to the border to Singapore where we caught a bus on the Malay side taking us to the nearest MRT station in Singapore. The bus stops at the border, you have to walk across and catch the bus on the other side, all I can say: "Well organised chaos" but you find that at every bus station in Malaysia.
We made our way with the MRT to Geylang where our hotel the Orchid81 is situated and even though we knew it was in the red light district in Singapore, we did not expect prostitutes right outside of the hotel, together with their pimp who kept driving around on a little moped collecting the money from the girls. When we sat outside one evening having a cigarette, all of a sudden all the girls around the hotel (about 8 of them) started running and disappeared within seconds, but no wonder, a police car came around the corner. Once they had gone, all the girls came back and took their positions as before, but the pimps were busy on their phones ringing others up, we guessed to warn the of police presence. It was better than TV :) We would not recommend this place to anyone though. The rooms are small, the manager unfriendly, but at least it was cheap and easy to find.
In Singapore we went to see the famous Marina Sands Bay Hotel an absolute must when you are there. The architecture is well amazing and when you go to the top and see the skyline and pool (free tours available, check when you pay the entry fee) you are quite breathless.

Marina Sands Bay Casino, Hotel Theatres etc.. 
The pool at the top
Girls posing at the top

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Short Trip to Penang Island

Beautiful Penang
Even though we live on a tropical island, you sometimes need a break from Paradise! Penang is the total opposite from Langkawi, lots of traffic, lots of shops (even 3 Tescos)  never ending amount of street hawkers with the most beautiful and cheap dishes on offer and a permanent hustle and bustle of people from all cultural backgrounds and nationalities.

Penang Sky Line
Sunrise on the 7:30am Ferry to Kuala Perlis
We decided to go to Kuala Perlis with the ferry from Langkawi, then by bus to Butterworth and again by ferry to Penang. Not only does this work out about half price compared with the normal 3 hour direct ferry from Kuah to Penang. but you get to see more and get a chance to meet people (which is what happened to us)

View from our "surprise apartment"
We were just about to leave the boat when a young looking Chinese man approached us and asked where we were going and once we replied "to Penang" he offered to share his car with us for 10RM each. We gratefully accepted and as it turned out he was the Operation Manager of Menzan Guest House in Penang. They have 21 apartments for rent of all different standards and prices. We had to haggle a bit but eventually he agreed on 60RM per night and we accepted, not knowing what we would get, but were positively surprised (photos of the apartment can be seen here) We all have our skeletons in the cupboard though, so it did not come as a surprise to find one in our apartment too......(see picture below)

Mummified Gecko in the cupboard :)) 
Christopher of  Menzan Guest House with Fiona

The pool at the apartment
After attending some business on Penang we decided to take the bus (last stop after Batu Ferriggi) and go for a walk to monkey beach, a 2hr walk along the coast right through the national park jungle. Not a good idea to just wear flip flops though, as it is quite steep and rough in parts. You come across some breathtaking scenery