So I'm back from another world adventure...a little wiser, a little older...hopefully a little more interesting. This time I was off to Singapore and Malaysia to reconnect w/ my travel buddy Ole from my India tour. You may remember he's backing packing for a year around the world. So interesting b/c I met him at the VERY beginning of his adventure and now meeting him 100 days in I can see the change...so relaxed, no schedule, no stress...travel suits him well. Although I'm not going to lie..being that I had only 2 wk (and not a yr) I would have liked if he'd maybe planned one or two things instead of leaving it totally up to chance lol!
So after a long (but actually pretty stress free) journey over to the other side of the world I arrived in Singapore at 1:30 am...there I met Ole at the airport who also arrived on a late night flight. We headed to our hostel which was definitely "no frills" but it's Singapore and it's expensive so you know I wanted to keep things on the "cheaper" side there...this was actually the only place we had booked beforehand...probably b/c I took care of it...and I'm a planner lol.
Singapore is very different from the rest of South East Asia. It's clean and modern and expensive...all the signs are in English...almost feels like you're not in Asia anymore. Therefore we only planned to spend 2.5 days there!
Our first day found us just exploring the waterfront and China town. But that night we got to meet up w/ my photographer friend Todd Anthony Tyler (resident judge on Asia's Next Top Model) and his wife. So crazy that our trips in Singapore overlapped by 1 day and we were able to meet up for a drink before he headed back to Shanghai! Can't believe I've been back here in Canada almost 4 yrs now...man time flies! For Ole and I it was a real back packer treat to meet up w/ Todd b/c we got to go hang out in the Executive Lounge of the Swissotel where he was staying and get unlimited free drinks and food...yeah nice start to my trip to say the least lol!
Getting our Free drink on at the Swissotel
Next day we hit up Sentosa island...visited a huge ass aquarium and had a great time at Universal Studios...I esp. enjoyed the Transformers 3-D indoor ride...we did that one twice!
My camera doesn't do these creatures justice
Before Transformers 3-D ride...I hated the movie...loved the ride - go figure lol!
I have a perverse love for taking pictures of animals trying to have sex lol!
This animal was just lying there...look how close I got to be w/ him! Not going to lie though was a bit frightened he had some big claws lol!
One thing all the travel books will tell you...and I will tell you now from experience is that Malaysia is known for food...lots and lots of street food! It's yummy, it's cheap and it's greasy...so great for back packing...not great for waistline lol!
Ever chance I got I drank a coconut!
First stop in Malaysia was of course the biggest city Kuala Lumpur aka KL...we only stayed there for two nights which was cool w/ me b/c I have to be honest I was over the city life at that point...I wanted some adventure!
Twin Towers in KL that we never actually got to go up b/c the viewings were sold out for the day :(
The plan after KL was to hit up the Perhentian Islands for some much need Sun, Sand and Relaxation...the reality unfortunately was much different then that :( Upon arriving in Kota Bhure (the port town near the islands) we were in for an awakening..in the form of piss pouring rain...that pretty much never stopped...the whole time we were there...
It was so bad at first we were told we couldn't even get a ferry b/c the waters were too rough! I'm not going to lie..I got a little stressed out...and may have consumed an abnormal amount of Peanut M&M's to calm my stress lol. You see Ole may have a year to do what he pleases but I only had 2 wks so of course I want EVERY minute of it packed w/ fun, adventure and good times! After about an hr of sitting in a the travel agency office we were told we were in luck there would be 1 ferry that day - Yeah!
I don't think if we knew what that ferry ride would have been like if we'd been as excited lol! I'm not going to lie...I thought we were for sure going to tip or sink or something at some point during this 1+ hr ferry ride. I don't know what was better - me sitting inside dry but w/out a life jacket (as there weren't enough to go around) or Ole sitting outside getting soaked but w/ a life jacket. The whole time in my crazy mind I was planning my escape route and how I would swim to shore when this boat was overtaken by a wave (which I felt was imminent)...After getting the chance to go in the water and play in the waves off the shore the following day I now realize this was very naive of me as I most surely would have drowned had this boat actually tipped...so thankfully it didn't lol.
So life on the island was not the paradise I would have hoped for...It pretty much rained NON STOP for 2 days straight. There was a few hrs of dryness the first day and we enjoyed going for a walk around the island and playing in the water. Most of our time though was spent in Ewan's cafe on the resort. Very friendly staff, yummy food, cheap prices and wifi so I guess it wasn't a AWFUL. But I'm not going to lie it wasn't great lol...this was an alcohol free island...there are only two things you want to do on an island when it's pouring rain - drink and have sex...I was partaking in neither activity...
The day came to leave the island and I was just hoping we'd be able to! Thankfully the waves weren't bad so we actually took a speed boat back to the mainland...again a wet and windy journey to say the least...but we did both get life jackets this time lol...and it was MUCH quicker than the ferry!
During the boat ride off the island...YEAH we're leaving!
Yeah I have a life jacket this time!
Yeah for waterproof mascara ;)
After the island we wanted to do Cameron Highlands but unfortunately monsoon season was holding out longer than normal this year and the weather was not looking great there either...I don't think I could take another Perhentian debacle so we decided just to spend the rest of our trip on the West coast of Malaysia in Penang.
Penang was broken up into two sections:
Georgetown...where we enjoyed some much needed nightlife and alcohol after our "dry" time on the island...only thing that was dry on the island I might add. Met some interesting locals during late night walks back to the hotel, had great times at Monkey Bar and even met a crazy, old Australian who showed us a really good night at Slippery Senoritas - booth, bottle service...the works! Plus we even made time during the day to visit the Butterfly Farm and Penang Hill...and of course visit the street hawkers for more food!
Looking like high rollers w/ our piles of money...only maybe $100 Canadian lol!
After the island I needed a drink so bad I got TWO! Happy Hour Special ;)
Night Club Adventures
Not going to lie I was not expecting, nor dressed for a night club event...I felt really gross and sweaty lol!
Penang Hill...Gorgeous Views
That "leaf" is a butterfly!
The butterflies LOVED Ole...I couldn't get them to land on me no matter how much I tried :( He HATES this pic...exactly why I'm posting it ;)
Batu Ferringhi...where I ended my journey and spent the last few days getting that much needed sun and relaxation that I wanted so bad. Unfortunately, I think I tried to get a little too much sun a little too quick...my Canadian skin is definitely a lot more sensitive then it was in my youth and instead of achieving a nice golden brown I quickly became a painful lobster red :(
By the pool..before the burn :(
This does not even begin to capture the level of red my skin was...I tried taking this of my back myself in the bathroom lol. Love how the bikini top strings are even burned into my skin :( lol
Final Night Drink! Thankfully my face didn't burn as I wear so many cosmetics that have SPF in them...see makeup is good for you ;)
And that is where the trip ends...a very different goodbye than last time...Ole continues on his journey currently in Cameron Highlands (jealous) and then off to Cambodia and Vietnam...even more jealous.
I'm not going to lie...it was definitely not the trip I was expecting or hoping for. It wasn't India...but nothing ever will be...and it's somewhat sad to try and recapture a moment in time b/c you can't. It's better just to leave it there and remember it fondly for what it was. So if nothing else I walk away w/ another life lesson learned.
It was it's own journey...and there are some good memories and times w/ it as well so like many things in life it's better to just appreciate it on it's own terms then try to make it into something it's not.
And now back to reality...MANY updates to come!