I really don’t know where to start this post… so I’ll just start from the beginning. Although many airports in bigger cities are located quite far from the center in case of KL it’s about 60km and at least an hour ride. During this time we saw quite much of the city and surroundings. Near the city there were just acres of palm tree plantations related to Malaysia being the biggest palm oil exporter in the world. But when we neared the city we were astonished by how many skyscrapers there are in KL and nearby locations. And if in other cities I have gazed my eyes upon most of the skyscrapers are some sort of business buildings in here they are mostly residential flats. Some 40-50 stories high with hundreds and hundreds of apartments in them. We’d never seen anything like that before. And in downtown KL it’s the same story. Although it’s known mostly by the famous Petronas twin-towers there are dozens and dozens of same kind of skyscrapers everywhere! I’ve been to Manhattan and similar places but for some reason in KL it really stands out and quite often you find yourself looking above at the heights of these giants. Plus it seems that they are constantly building even more of these, each higher than the previous.
Downtown Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur really can’t be compared. Not to make any harm to BK but the latter is much more cleaner, glamorous and business-like. There is no litter around and everything seems to be tidy. There are several huge parks and forests to go and have a walk and enjoy the jungle in the middle of the city. And when we were staying in Bangkok I wrote about huge shopping malls but KL is on another level! Kuala Lumpur is one of the leading cities in the world for tourism and shopping and it really shows out. 3 out of 10 worlds biggest shopping malls are located in here and the rest are not much smaller. Today we went to 2 of them and it’s quite impossible to describe the scale of these, you just have to see it with your own eyes. Probably the most high-end of these is the Pavilion KL with over 700 (!) stores and every known brand in the world represented. You can see names like Armani, Gucci, Chanel, Valentino, Roberto Cavalli, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Versace etc everywhere! Of course they are supported with Lamborghini’s, Porsche’s and Bentley’s driving around on the streets… And they have quite a Christmas madness here. I made a picture so you’d get a glimpse of what’s going on 🙂
Our accommodation is located in dead-center of everything. Biggest shopping malls, markets, nightlife streets, food courts, parks, twin-towers and everything else are just a small walk away. Which is good since we already got to comfortable with riding a scooter for nearly 2 months in Phuket and Langkawi. The building that our apartment is located is not the newest one but everything you could ask for is provided. Huge living room/area shared with 2 other apartments, a balcony, big kitchen and so one. We have also a swimming pool and a small gym on the first floor but our host was so kind to provide us a free pass for the whole 13 days to the well-equipped gym located just at the next building! There’s also a top-notch pool and even a sauna with proper Harvia heater! So there will be a gym and relaxation time planned for each day for our stay in here :).
In tomorrow’s post I’ll share our Langkawi budget and also the second video of our stay on that beautiful island 🙂
All the best!
Phuket is Thailands biggest island and there’s always a lot going on in here. We are staying in the quieter and calmer southern part of the island near Rawai. Phuket is divided into different kind of areas and towns. Everyone who wants to party and see a “circus” on the streets every night should could to Patong, the main tourist place here. Slightly calmer are nearby Kata and Karong. And then there are still relatively relaxed areas like Rawai. Plus of course the old town where there are mainly locals living – Phuket city.
First of all it’s great to be by the sea again! We definitely missed this! And it’s really really beautiful – so many gorgeous beaches, mountains, cliffs, nearby islands and much more. I’m gonna take a lot of photos here 🙂
We have within 2 days only looked around in the southern part of the island and already we have gazed our eyes to so many beautiful places
Thanks to my friends who are living here we got a great accommodation for a very reasonable price! The place is spot on with very good condition rooms, even wider bed (over 2meters! I don’t know why they have so large beds in here), private pool, parking and so on. Couldn’t want for anything else!
Thanks to these same friends we also got ourselves a companion for the next 5 weeks.
I would say that owning a scooter is rather necessary in Phuket since there is basically no public transport and taxis around here are really expensive. Since my scooter driving experience was close to zero it will take some time to get used to this but we will take it slowly and carefully :). And of course the second day driving around we got fined by the police :). Since legally you should have A-category license to drive a scooter (since in here they are much more powerful compared to Estonia for example) they sometimes fine you if you don’t have them. The fine was 500 baht but we hope that this won’t happen again soon or we will just go and make ourselves Thai scooter licenses :). And just to add a comment it usually doesn’t happen very often. My friends have been living here alltogether for 2 years and they had been fined only once or twice before. There are certain areas (mostly near Patong) where they usually do their checks. At least that I’ve been told :).
Today when the sun was setting we went for a swim in nearby Yanui beach and that is definitely the most beautiful beach we have ever swimmed on. The beach is slightly seen in the first picture in this post. In there it really seemed like a paradise… 🙂
Yesterday we went to see Chiang Dao caves. To get there we took the local county bus which was an experience in its own. The bus was probably from the 70’s but after a fun 1,5h ride we arrived at small Chiang Dao town (one way ticket was 40 baht per person). From there it was supposed to be 1h walk to the caves but we managed to walk only for about 1,5km when a very lovely couple picked us up and took us the the cave entrance. Big thanks to them! Although walking in this beautiful countryside was a great experience. There you could see the true country life of Thailand. Rice fields and farmers everywhere, majestic views of the nearby mountains and much more. At the cave once again our friend fast floods greeted us. The nearby river at the entrance was flooding and water was covering the park benches and pathways. Luckily though we could still get into the caves. Entrance fee is 40 baht which allows you to see the lit part of the area with small shrines and walkways. This was definitely worth the money! But there’s also an option to hire a guide for 100 baht per person (+ a tip at the end, usually 50 baht) and then you can go and discover the darker areas of the cave system. The pros of this was that you could see a lot of different bigger halls, beautiful stone figures that water has formed through thousands of years and also get a small adrenaline rush climbing through the small passages (rather I would say crawling, and there was quite much of it so be prepared to get dirty) joining the different parts. The cons are that the guide has a rather small gas light and it’s difficult to see much (since there were hundreds of bats in the cave, maybe small light is so that they wouldn’t be disturbed) and our guide seemed to be in a rather hurry. It would have been better to discover this place on our own but sadly that’s not allowed. Some areas were closed once again because of the high water but either way it’s definitely worth a visit! Sadly we lost Anna’s sunglasses somewhere in the darkness of the cave.. but we will buy new ones :). By the way the first picture in the beginning of this post is when you try to take a picture in the dark caves with a flash but at the same time you are sweating and there’s a huge amount of vapor coming from your body. In the end it turned out to be quite an artistic capture :).
To get back it was supposedly a 5km walk but once again we could manage to walk only for about 1 km when we were picked up by another great couple. People in the countryside seem to be very very nice :)! So we got the experience riding in the back of a open pickup truck and it was fun :)!
Today we went to see a local Nong Buak park in old city Chiang Mai. It was really nice and most of the time we spent feeding the fishes. There were several ponds filled with them and also some very big and beautiful Koi fish. We had never seen so huge and magnificent Koi before! It was truly relaxing spending time there. In addition I could through some hoops after a long time. There was a basket and a basketball in the middle of the park and a couple from Sweden were playing 21. They were also travelling through SE Asia planning to visit Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. So I joined in and it was fun :)!
I also made a video of our adventure in Chiang Dao and some clips of our pool visit in nearby Eco resort (you pay 150 baht per person and you get access to the poolside for the whole day) plus of course I had to include our Hostel hamsters :). Go and have a look!