So here we go. A selection of memories from travelling through Asia over the last 2 years.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia • Langkawi • Penang, Malaysia • Cameron Highlands, Pahang, Malaysia • Malacca • Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam • Vũng Tàu • Mũi Né • Nha Trang, Vietnam • Dalat,vietnam • Hoi An • Hanoi, Vietnam • Bangkok, Thailand • Koh Chang, Thailand • Koh Pha Ngan, Thailand • Koh Phi Phi, Thailand • Phucket, Thailand • Hsinchu, Taiwan
The adventure started when I left for Dubai.
Dubai was amazing. Don’t think I’d like to spend too much time there but a couple of days was perfect. The hotel was great and well situated. Have to say the flight with Emirates wasn’t up to standard; Delta still wins for comfort and British Airways for food, both of which were better than Emirates but there you go, it was only a 6 hour flight and served its purpose! When I arrived in Dubai I got the metro to Internet Village where I was staying, it was about a 30 minute journey on a beautiful sunny day followed by a short walk to the hotel.
The hotel let me check in early, so I grabbed a shower and a sleep, then got ready for the desert safari. Has to be said it’s the best thing I’ve done for a very long time; value for money was amazing – £38 for 6 hours in the desert and some amazing food. It did take about an hour to drive out to the desert but was a good way of seeing the city of Dubai and the surrounding area. Once in the desert the 4x4s were bashed through the dunes and then we stopped to watch the sunset before heading out for miles through the desert. Eventually we stopped at the camp for camel riding and then the most amazing selection of local food. We then headed back to Dubai and saw the city at night, which was amazing.
The following day I walked around and saw the sights, one of which was the 7 star hotel Burj Al Arab on the coast followed by going up the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. It was a bit of a con as we didn’t go to the top, only the 124th floor: how they can call it “At the top” I have no idea, but don’t get me wrong, it was still very high up. On the observation deck there were gaps in the glass to stick your camera through (I didn’t realize this to begin with but when I did my stomach flipped but I soon got over it). The lift going up and down was crazy as it was blacked out with lights flashing all around – a bit weird but very fast!
After Dubai, I got a taxi to the airport at 1am, only 30 minutes of sleep and was then faced with a massive queue. I got through in time and jumped on my plane. It was a smaller plane this time and I was asleep before take off and pretty much slept the whole way through to;
Got into Kuala Lumpur and went through security and immigration super fast and jumped onto the high speed train (the fastest in Malaysia) and hurtled towards KL. On the train I meet an Iranian businessman in the textile industry now living in California: it was a fast exchange of words talking about stocks, currency exchanges and boy did he like to work out percentages – you heard it here first gold will hit $1700 an oz by the end of the year and everything will follow the price of oil but I guess that makes sense. Talking about gas it’s only 50p a litre here as the Malaysian government owns a large oil company, so they subsidise the petrol rather than tax it.
Anyway got into KL and tried to brave my way on foot to my hotel by following the skyline of landmarks. It was hot and after 40 minutes of walking the first taxi driver that asked if I wanted a taxi got my instant approval for 20RM (about 5 pounds) for which I was then fast tracked the long way to the hotel.
The hotel was the perfect place to chill and did I chill; steam rooms, saunas, swimming pools, 3 restaurants and a bar plus 24 hour room service – cheap prices for the UK but mega expensive for Malaysia. So my next few days were pretty much chilling and battling with jetlag with the odd trip outside. One thing I have found since being out here is I keep falling down pot holes and off ledges, I’m so busy looking around and the surfaces are less than stable. I often go wobbling all over the place. Then when I got to my first hotel on the Malayan island of Langkawi, the bathroom had three different ledges, which I kept stubbing my toes on.
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