Cheap Kuala Lumpur ideas needed!

I am starting to get pretty excited and curious about my short stay in Malaysia in a few days time. I must confess to knowing very little about this country and hope to learn about it in the few days that i will be there before flying back to UK. I expect to see plenty of modern high-tech stuff similar to Shanghai and Bangkok and also believe that some old British colonial architecture remains in tact too. I have lined up Hostel Cosmopolitan as the best cheap choice that i can find, and need some ideas for things to do before my flight on Friday afternoon.

So far this page has some good stuff including a monster bird park in the city center, a historical tour, trip to the Petronas Towers and plenty of asian markets as good options.

Funds running low

We have had a lot of problems in recent days with our cashflow. Having been away from the UK for over a year, my debit and credit cards have helpfully been cancelled by HSBC, for reasons they have creatively come up with in order to try to paper over the cracks of the recession, which the banks collectively caused themselves.
My bank used to be pretty good for service, and helpful where possible. But since i left the UK the ‘world bank’ as they call themselves have just given me responses like “sorry sir, can’t help you” or “oh, we can’t do that” or similar. Anyway, having saved up £1,500 before this trip i thought my problems would be at an end. We now have had issues moving cash to the right cards that work in the right country. This has proved harder than expected and our main concerns are just getting home safely and making our flights. We should be fine, and one of the many avenues of cash we’ve tried to set up should come available soon, and help us get home. We’ve still had a GREAT time, but next time i hope we can go without any worries in the back of our minds and just concentrate on organising things to do.

I fly out from Malaysia on Friday and have found a decent looking hostel at £3 a night, which looks like just what the doctor ordered! A few nights there and some local street food in Kuala Lumpur should see me home, whilst Ruby only needs a coach-ride back to Bangkok where she can journey back to Guangzhou and then onto her flat in Ningbo.

Thailand trip coming to a close :-(

We’ll soon by going our separate ways as the trip draws to a close. It has been really great, and the past few days we have been in South Thailand relaxing and just enjoying the seaside and local food. This was what i had planned many months ago, and for me is the type of Thailand that i like most. We have been staying in Ao Nang Beach in Krabi Province in the south of the country, and it has served as a great base from which to island hop around the many beautiful surrounding areas on offer. Having dragged our heavy luggage around Bangkok we decided to find a good hotel and stay there for the duration of the trip. The one we found on Hostelworld.com is about £10 per night and more than adequate for our needs. It is clean, stylish, spacious and with Wifi in the rooms.

Ruby has already mentioned that she wants to return to Thailand at some point and see some of the remaining islands. It has been an exciting time for her to leave China for the first time and get to know a different asian culture at close quarters. Her main observation is the relative politeness of the Thai people, and the cleaner countryside on offer here. There were many Chinese influences in Bangkok for her, but the areas of South Thailand that we have seen so far have been more like Spanish island resorts with small seaside shops and fresh seafood the main attractions. There are also predominantly westerners here, with Thai workers, and most appear to be Germans, Russians and the like.

Bangkok done… Off to Krabi tomorrow…

We have had a GOOD time in Bangkok, and are really looking forward to the second week of the trip, which should be the island paradise that most people consider when talking of Thailand. Bangkok has been an interesting place for many reasons, and decent starting point for discovering Thailand, but the island retreats are really what we came here for.

After some financial issues were resolved we can now relax a little more. My cards from UK were not really much use, but i can rely on my Shanghai cards to get me by until back in blighty. We’ve managed to see the main sites in Bangkok without being too tourist-anal and have struck a good balance between sight-seeing and relaxing. I am hoping that the beach areas of Thailand will offer the simplicities that we need – sun, sea and sizzling seafood! :-) Only time will tell, and there are many options available for that island paradise feel. Krabi looks good for its location which allows Ruby and I to go our separate ways reasonably equidistant from our respective flights home – Bangkok for her and Kuala Lumpur for me.

We feel a bit more in control of our trip now and i’ve negotiated well with locals to get some completely free Tuk-Tuk trips around the city on the agreement that we’d spend a short time in local tailors, which reward drivers for delivering unsuspecting tourists. An Oscar-winning actor i might not be, but i have atleast seemed interested enough in my token 10 minutes in each establishment to earn my driver 50 Baht (£1) and allowed him to carry on our journey for free. It seems a good deal to me, and better than earlier in the week when we let the drivers tell us the deals.

I have just stuck all our photos from the last five days or so in Thailand on my Flickr account, so check that out if you’re interested… I shall also add another post soon, once we arrive in Krabi. We’re not sure yet, but that maybe our permanent base for the week before we part our separate ways and i return to London town on the 30th!!!

Thailand… at last!!

Finally, after a lot of faffing about and organising we have arrived in Bangkok and have two weeks to spend in Thailand. We haven’t planned to much for the trip itself, but instead were busy getting Ruby’s flat in Ningbo up and running and adding a visa to her brand new passport. The Chinese holidays also delayed us as many things were shut down at the start of this month. After spending a week in her flat we managed to fly out via Guangzhou and Ruby is an excited traveller who has left China for the first time. Having targeted Thailand for a good holiday when i first came to Asia, i am pleased to finally have made it here and all i meant to do has now been done.

Main experiences so far after a few days here have been avoiding all the scams that go on and generally enjoying meeting the lovely Thai people. We’re looking forward to getting out to the calmer, cleaner Thai countryside in a few days and i will also be flying back from Malaysia so can enjoy one or two nights in Kuala Lumpur.