Beaches, buses and bogus boats!
12.11.2009 - 25.11.2009
We arrived into Kuala Lumpur station and queued for a ticket for a cab to the hotel we'd booked online.
Upon arriving at the hotel, they informed us that they didn't have a booking for us, and that we'd been taken to the wrong place. Our taxi had left by this point. Great!
Another taxi driver wanted twice the original fair to take us to the other hotel, so in true Yorkshire style we declined his kind offer and, fully loaded with our rucksacks, trawled through the heaving Indian quarter of the city to the correct hotel.
After many complications and heated conversations, we finally got into our room and collapsed on the bed!
Kuala Lumpur holds limited appeal for tourists, the highlight of our stay was the Petronas Twin Towers Skybridge.
Needing a change from the rain and over-crowding within the city, we booked another train north - this time to the island state of Penang (or Georgetown), an old colonial strong-hold for the East India Trading Company and many ambitious Dutch and English businessmen.
In Penang, we bought our visas for Thailand whilst exploring the old settlements within the city. We also booked some tickets to sail to the island of Langkawi, where we could stay for a few days before heading into Thailand by sea.
Fort Cornwallis was a well preserved relic from the Britain's colonial past, and there were many fine temples and interesting side-streets to explore.
While getting the ferry to Langkawi, we were somewhat alarmed by the local safety 'procedures', which included creating a huge pile of travellers' luggage right in front of the exits and the muster station. We prayed for an uneventful crossing!
Arriving on the island of Langkawi, we headed to Pantai Cenang - a popular travellers destination due to its gorgeous beaches and affordable accommodation.
We spent a few days relaxing on the beach and topping up our tans, also visiting a night market to sample some of the local food. We also visited the local paddy field museum and gained an insight into the history of the local agriculture and all things rice from a personal guide!
From Langkawi, we booked our ferry tickets to the Thai island of Ko Lanta and readied ourselves to depart on the 09:00 ferry.
Unfortunately, the ferry company we booked with (Tigerline Ferries) weren't as honest as they could have been, and sent us to the wrong harbour despite our numerous calls to their call centre to check our details. As it turned out, our ferry left from a different harbour and we had to take a taxi to a Starbucks on the other end of the island, where we then had to fight tooth and claw to get our money back off a dodgy representative of Tigerline called 'Mr Adam', who turned out to be a pathological liar!
We ended up staying an extra night on the island and then catching a ferry to Satun, where we crossed into Thailand and caught numerous buses and minibuses to reach Ko Lanta.
A twelve hour journey later, and we'd arrived at Thip House, ready to start our Thai adventure!
By the way, if you want to see lots more photos from our whole trip, you can view our full photo gallery here!