A Travellerspoint blog

Hong Kong Part III - Macau

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We went on a day trip to Macau today, which took an hour on a catamaran to get there. Macau is a small island famous now for casinos, but was previously inhabited by the Portuguese. When we arrived our first impressions were of a mini Vegas, complete with gaudy buildings and some truly delightful fountains to boot! P1070112.jpgP1070110.jpg The famous old casino Hotel Lisboa, now looks small and outdated against the new shinier models which dominate the small island. We quickly made our way away from the Chinese tourists (gambling for the day, as it is illegal in China) and into the colonial district. Its such a pretty island once you get away from the false front, all the streets were small and windy and its quite hilly as well! We went to see the various churches (far too many to count) and we got a cable car and walked all the way up the hill to the light house, which was originally on the coast, but due to land reclamation, it's now in the middle of Macau!! P1070045.jpgP1070046.jpgP1070048.jpgP1070051.jpgP1070055.jpgP1070070.jpgP1070071.jpg We also went to see the old city fort and the remains of St Pauls Church, which has now become a national symbol of Macau! P1070059.jpgP1070064.jpg

For the finale we went up the Macau Tower, which is 338 metres high. P1070090.jpgP1070092.jpg It was quite impressive and offered bungee jumping so we watched whilst mad people threw themselves off the tower! There was a glass floor as well, which made me feel a bit dizzy! P1070078.jpg After that we headed back to the ferry and managed to get a free upgrade as we had prebooked the ticket online. We didn't realise that not only did this mean we get to sit on the top deck, but we also got complimentary food and drink! Either way we had a really enjoyable (and rather hot) day out! Tonight is our last night in HK and we leave tomorrow morning on an overnight train to Shanghai!

We hope you are all well,
Missing you lots,
Lots of Love,
Chris and Alex xxx

Posted by chrisalex 04:11 Archived in Macau Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Hong Kong Part II

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We left early in the morning and made our way across town to go on the famous peak tram, which takes you all the way up Victoria peak so you can enjoy views of the entire city. Much to our dismay when we arrived at the tram station, it was closed for maintenence! We were both a bit upset as we have been looking forward to going on it for ages. Either way we ended up getting a bus up the peak, which provided the same result but wasn't half as exciting as the tram would have been! The views once we got to the top were fantastic, and it was a lovely clear day by HK standards, so we stayed up there for a while! P1060916.jpgP1060906.jpg

After that we got a bus back down the hill and went to have a look at St John's Cathedral (it was really weird to see it surrounded by Sky Scrapers, Statue Square and the HSBC building!). P1060918.jpgP1060921.jpg Hong Kong is a brilliant place to walk around, just very tiring as the distances are huge! After that we went up the mid level escalators, which are in the middle of town and mean that people dont have to walk up a hill with their own feet - god forbid! Instead they installed escalators in the middle of the street so you dont have to waste any energy, so lazy of them! P1060925.jpg They go down in the morning and evening for rush hour, and up for the rest of the day. At the top of the escalators is the Man Mo Temple, which is the oldest building in Hong Kong, and had the coolest incense sticks we have ever seen! P1060929.jpgP1060930.jpg

After that we went back to the Harbour and walked around the Hong Kong Conference and Exhibition Centre, which is a series of huge rooms in a modern bulding right on the Harbout Front, there were various fashion and business shows going on at the time! P1060894.jpg Outside the HKCEC is the Golden Bauhinia, which is the symbol of HK. P1060934.jpg That evening we went to a really funny restaurant, which was themed on toilets! I know it sounds gross, but it was the funniest meal ever. You sit on a toilet and eat your meal off a sink which is covered in glass! P1060954.jpg Then you order your drinks, which come in mini urinals and your meal which comes in sinks, baths or toilet shaped dishes! Good fun! P1060941.jpgP1060950.jpgP1060953.jpg

The following day we got a boat to Lantau, which is one of the nearby islands. Once we arrived we got a bus to the other side of the island and climbed the many steps all the way up to the Big Buddha which sits right on top of the peak. P1060969.jpgP1060962.jpg The view from the top was very impressive, as Lantau is completly untouched in comparison to HK! After that we got a cable car all the way back down the valley, which was fantastic! We got to go right past the airport as well, which Chris enjoyed greatly! P1060981.jpgP1060982.jpgP1060990.jpg After that, we got the bus (still not the tram, sigh) back up Victoria Peak to watch the view at sunset and midnight, needless to say it's very pretty indeed. P1070014.jpgP1070031.jpgP1070043.jpg

Today we had a relatively relaxed day and went to see some museums in HK, as we have so much time here! We found out that the museums are only free on Wednesdays as well, so it was well timed on our part! We went to the Science and History museum, the latter being far more interesting. We are having a fantastic time in HK and plan to visit Macau tomorrow before we leave the day after!

We hope everyone is well,
Lots of Love,
Chris and Alex xxx

Posted by chrisalex 20:45 Archived in Hong Kong Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Hong Kong Part I

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After a long journey to Hong Kong and not much sleep, we had to get up early the next day to go and sort out our application for our Chinese visa, which we submitted and will collect on Monday morning. After that we spent the rest of the day researching Russian visas and trains, which we managed to get nearly sorted and we are going on Monday to get that request rolling. We need to stay in HK for at least a week whilst we wait for both those visas to come back through, luckily in the mean time there is plenty to keep us entertained!

On our first evening here we started off by visiting the 'Avenue of the Start' - Hong Kong's attempt at Los Angeles' 'Walk of Fame', except with film stars from Hong Kong obviously (the most famous being Jackie Chan and Bruce Lei of course)! P1060806.jpgP1060811.jpg After that we went to watch the Symphony of Lights, which is a spectacle like no other! According to the Guiness Book of Records, its the worlds largest permanent light show! It was fantastic! Basically there are a series of lights which are projected on the buildings themselves, to loud music. It was really good and hundreds of people turn up every night to watch it! P1060814.jpgP1060821.jpgP1060838.jpg

The following day we thought we would start gently and investigate the shopping malls, which we did. Chris managed to last a couple of hours and then we bottled out as it was heaving because it was a Saturday. We deduced that there are far too many designer labels here, and the whole of HK shops on a Saturday! P1060842.jpg

Today we went to see the south side of HK Island, Stanley and Aberdeen inparticular. We got the tube across to HK island (we're staying in Kowloon on the north shore) and then a bus from there took us around the bays. Stanley is a really cute little town clinging onto the side of another hill, it has retained some of its colonial feel as HK relocated some of the buildings from HK Island to make way for bigger better skyscrapers, which was nice of them. We walked around Stanley market for a bit and then along the coast. P1060843.jpg After that we got back on the bus and went to Aberdeen which is back along the road, and has the famous floating restaurant complex. Really pretty area and a lot quieter than the HK island everyone knows! Once we had finished with the south of HK, we made our way back to HK proper by hopping on one of the original trams that still ply the north shore of HK Island! P1060867.jpg

We have various things planned for the next few days, so stay tuned for the next section in a few days time!

Hope you are all well,
Lots of Love,
Chris and Alex xxx

Posted by chrisalex 04:03 Archived in Hong Kong Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Hanoi to Hong Kong!!

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hi everyone!

Sorry it has been so long since our last entry, we have been on the road for quite a while and have been busy applying for visas since we arrived in Hong Kong. We left Hanoi what seems like a lifetime ago now, and got a bus all the way into china, which stopped at the very swish china border. After a few questions we were allowed in and then had another 2 hours to get to Nanning. Once we arrived there we realised how stuck we were as no-one spoke english and all the signs are in chinese. It took us a long time through pointing and maps to find our hotel, but we got there in the end.
As soon as we arrived our first mission was to get train tickets to Guangzhou (near HK). We asked the lady at reception to kindly write down which train and class we wanted in chinese, so all we had to do was pass it to a ticket officer and they would give us the train tickets. Well it didnt really play out like that. Once we gave the ticketing officer our piece of paper, she checked on the machine and then spoke to us in chinese! helpful! After realising we didnt speak chinese, she wrote it down for us....in chinese! So we gave up hope and returned to the hotel and asked the lady on reception to book it for us for a small booking fee. Either way she managed to get it sorted and she booked a train for us for the following day to Guangzhou. Unfortunatly it left at 5.15am, so we had to get up at 3.30am, which was rather painful! The train journey lasted 14 hours and we had beds so it wasn't as bad as we thought it was going to be. From Guangzhou we got the fast train to Hong Kong, which took 2 hours and went about 120mph, the fastest train we have been on so far! When we arrived we walked the last bit down streets bursting with neon lights! Everything is high rise here, so the hotel we are staying in is on the 16th floor of a building! We found it in the end and went to get some food before going to bed! When we got to bed we realised we had been travelling for nearly 24 hours straight, tiring work!

Lots of Love,
Chris and Alex xxx

Posted by chrisalex 03:47 Archived in China Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Cat Ba Island!

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We got a bus, moped and hydrofoil boat to get to Cat Ba. We left Hanoi at 5 in the morning and were in Cat Ba town by midday. P1060773.jpg There were slight complications with our hotel when we arrived and we ended up having to find somewhere else, but it got sorted in the end! Cat Ba is an island in the middle of Halong Bay, famous for being a set in several James Bond movies, with famous big rocky islands scattered around the bay. P1060775.jpg Unfortunatly, the weather has been a bit overcast, but its quite good as we dont burn as much! We didnt realise before coming to the island that its currently the school holidays in Vietnam and this is the place they all seem to come by the looks of it! The beaches were heaving this afternoon, so much so that we couldnt face it! We shall try again tomorrow. P1060776.jpg

We hired a moped today and went to explore the island as the harbour front where we are staying is over crowded to say the least! The rest of the island is so quiet and stunning its like a different world out there. We drove all the way to the north of the island and that took us 1hr and 30 mins to get that far, so we turned back as we didnt want to run out of petrol! Cat Ba is really pretty though, and we have the whole of tomorrow as well to go to the beach again! P1060790.jpgP1060799.jpg

We leave Cat Ba the day after and head back to Hanoi for one night before we get the bus the next morning to Nanning in China!

We hope you are all well,

Lots of Love,
Chris and Alex xxx

p.s. We may add something tomorrow depending on what we choose to do!!

Posted by chrisalex 03:45 Archived in Vietnam Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Hanoi!!

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We got a really long train from Hue to Hanoi the other day, which took 14 hours. The air con wasn't as good as we would have hoped and the guy we had to share our compartment with kept playing his casette player really loud, but it could have been a lot worse! We got to Hanoi at night, so we went straight to bed. On the following day, we spent most of the morning booking our bus into China, and our mode of transport to Halong Bay and back. Both of which we managed to get sorted, the latter through an attendent at the bus station with whom we ended up speaking german to! Random! After this we visited a Confucious temple on an island in the middle of the city's lake! P1060742.jpgP1060747.jpg We finished off the day by visiting Hanoi's cathedral - very francais! P1060753.jpg

Today we got up very early and got a taxi moped (the only way to get around the gridlocked streets) to go and see Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum, which was absolutley heaving with people at 8am! P1060763.jpg We had to check in everything we were carrying and then were filed past the clear coffin in single file and in silence. After this we also went to see where he lived - in a little stilt house apparently! P1060767.jpg Chris and I have doubts as to whether he is real, lets just say he looked a bit rubbery! After that we got another moped to go to the famous Hanoi Hilton Prison (Hoa Low), which was where John McCain was tortured and held prisoner throughout the war. P1060769.jpg Quite an interesting place, but much of the complex of buildings have been knocked down, so you can only see a few cells. After that we got another scooter back through the winding streets to the air con of the hotel room! Hanoi is really great, its completly mad and hectic like any capital city! Each of the streets sells a different thing, so there is a whole street that just sells sunglasses, and one which sells cuddly toys and on and on...really traditional! It still looks very french with big road crossings and lots of lakes and trees everywhere. P1060740.jpg

We leave Hanoi tomorrow to get a bus to Cat Ba island, which is in Halong Bay (the James Bond islands). We will be there for a few days before coming back to Hanoi for a night and then leaving the next morning on our bus to Nanning in China!

Hope everyone is well,
Missing you all lots,
Lots of Love
Chris and Alex xxx

Posted by chrisalex 02:57 Archived in Vietnam Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Hue!!

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We got a train from Hoi An the other day, which was only 4 hours long, but ended up being possibly the longest 4 hours of our lives! Just our luck that not only were we stuck in a carriage where everyone wanted to recline their seats on us and go to sleep, but the Air Con within the carriage decided to die halfway through the journey. Of course the train attendants didn’t notice and we melted away until they turned it back on 5 minutes before we landed in Hue! Just typical! Either way we were glad to get off the train, and we got our pick up to the hotel (which turned out to be 2 scooters) and flew through the streets of Hue to the hotel!

Hue is very pretty, and still quite French looking with big boulevards mixing with smaller narrower streets. It has somehow mixed French and Vietnamese culture quite easily, creating a very laid back town! It is pronounced her-whay, as there is supposed to be an accent on the e at the end a la Francais! We hired a scooter yesterday as it is the best way to see the town mainly because the main sights are quite spread out really. P1060739.jpg We started off going further down the river (called the perfume river...Chris and I have yet to detect that perfume scent, but its a pretty name nonetheless!) to go and see a famous old Thien Mu pagoda, which is now considered the symbol of Vietnam. P1060693.jpg Its on a hill and over looks the whole river and the town, a lovely site for such a relaxing temple.

After that we tootled back down into town and went to explore the famous citadel, which is massive! There are 3 bridges to get across the moat and through the wall, one for the emperor, one for his advisors (called Mandarins) and the other for the servants and soldiers!! The famous bit is the palace in the middle, so we went and saw how the other side used to live. P1060709.jpgP1060722.jpg It was very impressive despite the fact that it was heavily destroyed in both a massive earthquake in 1947 and the war in the 70s. After that we drove around the rest of the citadel, which was like another world, a lot quieter than the town on the other side of the wall!

After visiting the citadel, we drove across the river and headed south along the river banks to find the famous royal tombs, where the emperor and his family were buried. After getting lost a couple of times we found them in the end, just before they closed! It was more of a small village complex than a tomb, but very impressive, with steps and bridges over water symbolising his journey! P1060736.jpg Very nice and peaceful. After that we headed back to town.

Today we haven’t really done that much, just some catching up with ourselves really. Tomorrow we get an early morning train to the capital, Hanoi, which is where we will be staying for a 3 days!

We hope everyone is well, missing you all lots,
Lots of Love
Chris and Alex xxx

Posted by chrisalex 01:56 Archived in Vietnam Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Hoi An!!

and My Son...

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Our train from Nha Trang was ace, we had a little compartment with 4 beds in it and amazing air con all to ourselves for the first few hours of the journey - where there was also great scenary! P1060627.jpgP1060634.jpgP1060636.jpg We were joined by a quiet woman a few hours in, who just slept for the whole journey, which was fine by us! We got to Danang about 20 minutes late and then got a taxi the last hour to Hoi An (there is no train station in Hoi An, so this is the only way to get there!). Hoi An is so pretty, its like the Vietnam that time forgot! Firstly its very french with small windy streets and low rise houses all with shutters on them. P1060640.jpgP1060651.jpgP1060654.jpg The waterfront by the river is typically French, very open with lots of restaurants and stalls! P1060665.jpgP1060669.jpgP1060680.jpg We went walking around yesterday and went to see the few sights on offer here, including the Japanese covered bridge which was built in 1593 and some old other buildings! P1060641.jpg There are not that many sights on offer here, but its more of a place to absorb and just walk around the windy streets. Its quite hard to get lost as the French only build towns using the grid format, bravo! We are both totally in love with Hoi An, its so adorable - we even bought pointy hats!! P1060666.jpg Its famous for making clothes, as it costs about 60 - 70 pounds to get a suit custom made for you, maybe next time!

Today we went to the nearby ruins of My Son (pronounced Mee Sonn, much to our disappointment), which were really interesting! They are old Cham (ancient Hindu empire) ruins, which were unfortunatly badly damaged during the vietnam war, but are still pretty impressive nonetheless. P1060684.jpgP1060685.jpgP1060686.jpg We walked around for about an hour before getting a taxi back to Hoi An. We leave Hoi An tomorrow afternoon to get a short train further up the cost to Hue.

We hope you are all well,
Missing you lots,

Lots of Love,
Chris and Alex xxx

Posted by chrisalex 06:46 Archived in Vietnam Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Nha Trang!!

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We got our first Vietnamese train from Ho Chi Minh City to Nha Trang the other day, and it was interesting to say the least. P1060595.jpg The trains here are very old and not in the best of condition. The AC was pretty dire and our carriage was full of children as well, joy of joys! We made it in the end, nearly 2 hours late and tired out. When we got here it turned out that our room had been double booked by accident, so they had booked us into a nearby hotel for one night until our orginal room was free. Not really a problem, and we moved back to original choice the following morning (where she gave us a bigger room for the same price - woohoo!). Theres not much to see and do here apart from laze around on the beach, which is exactly what we did. P1060596.jpgP1060600.jpgP1060602.jpgP1060611.jpg The beach is amazing, really good for swimming and very clear! We have basically spent 2 days just relaxing on the beach, good times! It's the school holidays over here as well, so the beach has been rather busy as well! We have had a really relaxing couple of days and we get a very early train tomorrow morning to go to Hoi An, which we are both looking forward to!

Hope you are all well,
Missing you lots,
Lots of Love,
Chris and Alex xxx

Posted by chrisalex 04:49 Archived in Vietnam Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Ho Chi Minh City!!

HCMC

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Greetings from Vietnam! We got a bus from Phnom Penh, which took us all the way to Ho Chi Minh City, obviously stopping at the border. It was pretty quick and painless and we managed to get through the border in less than an hour. It took us another hour or so to make it through the sprawling suburbs of HCMC, but we got to the centre at about 3pm. So far we both really like Vietnam, the people are lovely and things are cheap! Its full of small windy roads and billions and billions of mopeds! P1060594.jpg They all walk around with the famous pointy hats on as well, its really ace! We just relaxed for the rest of yesterday and had a quick walk around. Today we went sightseeing and walked to see the colonial buildings and Cathedral which were left by the French, and very impressive they were to - including the post office which we only happened to stumble upon! P1060578.jpgP1060579.jpgP1060580.jpg

After that we went and had a look round the Reunification Palace, which is full of large stately rooms! P1060584.jpgP1060585.jpgP1060589.jpg From there we went to the War Museum, which was really interesting. A one-sided view of the Vietnam War (called The American War of Aggression in Vietnam). The museum was basically a collection of photos showing how cruel the Americans were, along with the obligatory tank, plane and bomb. P1060586.jpg It was very interesting nevertheless, a side of the war that we don't really see. Thats about it for HCMC, so we headed back to the Air-Con room after that, as it gets very hot here.!

We managed to book all our trains on the first afternoon here, so we are relieved that we can now stick to the schedule! Tomorrow afternoon we are geting on a train which will take about 6 hours to get to Nha Trang, which is a beachy place and where we will be for the next couple of days!

Hope you are all well,
Missing you all lots,
Lots of Love,

Chris and Alex xxx

Posted by chrisalex 05:46 Archived in Vietnam Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Phnom Penh!

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We got a 5 hour bus the other day from Siem Reap to the capital Phnom Penh. We applied for our Vietnam visa as soon as we arrived, as it takes a couple of days. Its in transit at the moment hopefully and we should get it back tonight. We didn't really do much on the first day as we were both really tired. We got caught in a torrential downpour that evening though, so came back to the room slightly soaked around the edges! We caught up on sleep the next morning and went out in the afternoon to go and see the Royal Palace. P1060549.jpgP1060556.jpg Lets just say its not a scratch on Bangkok's Royal Palace! We paid 6 dollars each and spent 30 mins in the complex. You're not allowed to take photos inside the buildings and nothing was that impressive either! We left rather disgruntled and walked around the town for a bit.

Neither of us are very impressed with Cambodia, its very under developed and full of tiny little angry people who are just after your money. We are looking forward to leaving and we have only been here for 4 days!

We got up today and went to see the only other sights in Cambodia, the S-21 Prison and the Killing Fields where all the prisoners were ''buried''. For those that don't know, insane leader Pol Pot decided to cleanse his country by killing his own people - men,women and children. The S-21 prison is a converted school and was operational from 1974-79. P1060570.jpgP1060561.jpgP1060562.jpgP1060564.jpg In this time thousands of people were killed through obscene methods of torture. The prison has been left as it was found (the dead bodies have been removed), so its pretty harrowing to walk around all the converted classrooms. After this we got a rickshaw all the way out to the Killing Fields, where over 8000 human skulls have been dug up from the mass graves. P1060571.jpg Its pretty eerie to walk around, its basically a field with lots of craters in it. At the entrance to the Killing Fields is a Pagoda which houses the 8000 skulls, which have been piled high - pretty gross! P1060576.jpg

Anyway onwards and upwards, we head to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam early tomorrow, which we are both looking forward to! Hope you are all well!

Missing you lots,
Lots of Love
Chris and Alex xxx

Posted by chrisalex 04:01 Archived in Cambodia Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Siem Reap!!

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We got a flight from KL to Bangkok, where we spent a fast few hours getting some food and sleep, the second of which was minimal! After about 4 hours sleep we got up really early and got a bus to take us to the Cambodian border. It was rather a frustrating journey as we kept stopping every hour and then when we did get to the border they made us wait ages and separated us into groups. We both lost our rag a few to many times. Once we were over the border we got another bus which took us conveniently to the outskirts of the town, even though it was supposed to take us all the way. We ended up having to get a taxi the last bit to the hotel, where we pretty much collapsed for the night. The really annoying thing about Cambodia is that they only use American Dollars, even though its not their currency. Their own, the Riel, is rarely seen and is used to make up change of anything less than a dollar - which means your being short changed due to exchange rates!

We got up really early this morning to go to Angkor Wat, the famous temple complex nearby, which is the only thing Siem Reap has to offer! We hired a 'Moto-remourque' to take us around all the sights for the day, which cost $14 - not bad really! They're everywhere in Cambodia, very odd contraptions! It's basically a moped (which everybody drives here) with a horse-cart on the back...very amusing! P1060547.jpg We arrived at Angkor Wat for sunrise and it was amazing, smaller than we thought it would be, but very impressive. P1060424.jpgP1060436.jpgP1060443.jpgP1060457.jpgP1060467.jpgP1060481.jpg We completed the smaller circuit which is supposed to take all day and is 27km all the way around. P1060504.jpgP1060512.jpg We started at 5am and were back in the hotel room by 10am. We are both quite fast at sightseeing and did each of the temples justice, spending just over an hour at Angkor Wat alone. They were all amazing, some better preserved than others and the last one, Ta Prohm was equally famous as it had trees growing from within the ruins. This is the place that Tomb Raider was filmed by the way - for all the film buffs out there. P1060520.jpgP1060526.jpgP1060531.jpg

We are both tired at the moment, as we have had a few intense days with lots of walking and lots of early starts so we hope to catch up when we get to the capital Phnom Penh. We get a bus very early tomorrow morning to the capital and we are there for a few days as we have to get our Vietnamese visa sorted out!

We hope everyone is well, missing you all lots and lots

Lots of Love
Chris and Alex xxx

p.s. as the internet is so slow in Cambodia we are having difficulties uploading the photos, so Chris will try again when we get to Phnom Penh! sorry!

Posted by chrisalex 03:12 Archived in Cambodia Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Kuala Lumpur!!

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We got a train out of Singapore across the border and all the way up to KL. It didn't take too long and we ended up having the first afternoon just pottering about. As our hotel is in Chinatown we had a look at the market there and all the weird and wonderful food on offer! The second day we got up really early to go across town using the LRT (local commuter train), so we could queue for tickets to go up the Petronas towers. The tickets are free as the Petronas towers are a working office, but the problem is that they only give out 1200 everyday - so you have to get there early! We got there at 9am (ticket counter opens at 8.30am), as it was midweek we didn't think it would be that busy. Silly us. There was a massive queue by the time we got there, luckily it moved quite fast and we got our tickets half an hour later to go up the towers at 3.30pm. So we left there and went to have a look at the colonial district in the mean time. The buildings were colonial with a Islamic/Malaysian twist, very distinctive! P1060335.jpgP1060337.jpg We walked around there for a while and then headed back to the Petronas Towers for our 3.30 trip! P1060321.jpg

I must admit we were not particularly excited about going up the towers as you only get to go half way up to the sky walk and you are only allowed 10 minutes up there! There are taller things in KL than the sky walk as well, unfortunately rendering these towers not useless, but slightly less significant. They managed to drag the whole thing out for nearly an hour as well, firstly we had to watch a sideshow about the construction and then a 3-d movie about the oil company Petronas and then we had to queue some more. Finally they let us up in the lift and we got to walk up and down the famous sky walk for 10 minutes. The view was pretty amazing, and Im so glad we went up - it would have been something we regretted if we hadn't done it. P1060352.jpg

After that we headed back to the hotel and then got a taxi to the KL tower, which is 421 metres high (compared to the sky walk in Petronas Towers which is 170 metres high) to go and watch sunset. P1060378.jpg I didn't realise but Chris had a surprise up his sleeve. We went up to the observation deck to watch the sunset and before it had even set Chris wanted to go - very odd. We went to the lifts to go down, but it turned out that he had booked a table in the 5* revolving restaurant at the very top of the tower, to celebrate our one month anniversary! I had no idea! The view was fantastic and we sat right next to the window. P1060387.jpgP1060390.jpg The food was equally yummy as well! P1060394.jpgP1060395.jpg We had a fantastic night and walked back into town afterwards. P1060399.jpgP1060401.jpg

Today we leave KL and fly back to Bangkok. We leave for the airport this afternoon and get to Bangkok later on this evening. After that we are spending one night in Bangkok and then getting an early bus to Siem Reap in Cambodia, famous for the Angkor Wat temple complex!

Hope everyone is well, missing you lots
Lots of Love
Chris and Alex xxx

Posted by chrisalex 21:29 Archived in Malaysia Tagged backpacking Comments (2)

Singapore!!

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We got the longest day train ever to get to Singapore, 14 hours in total. We managed to cross the border fine and got issued our 90 day Singapore visa (even though we are only here for 3 days!). We got here late at night and pretty much went straight to bed when we arrived at the hotel. We got up early the next morning so we could get a whole day of sightseeing done. We set off on the underground system, which works amazingly well and is the cheapest way to see the city. We went to the colonial district first and saw the various buildings which we had left behind, most of which have now been changed into hotels! P1060198.jpgP1060199.jpgP1060200.jpgP1060222.jpg We walked past the famous Raffles but we didnt go in as we were a bit sweaty and thought they might refuse us entry! We stood and stared for a while though. P1060234.jpgP1060233.jpg

After this we walked to the business district and plodded around the famous highrise area of Singapore. P1060217.jpgP1060227.jpg It was amazing, they have managed to blend old and new really well and the city looks fantastic! After that we got back on the tube and went to Chinatown, which was the neatest Chinatown we have ever seen. P1060230.jpg We bought a couple of gifts and then carried on walking until we arrived in Little India, which is slightly less organised than the rest of Singapore, but possibly the most organised Indians we have seen! P1060235.jpg Singapore is amazing, its so clean and everything just works perfectly. The only problem we are having is that it is rather expensive, which is why we are not here for long.

After that we went back to catch our breath for a moment before we headed out in the evening to go on the Singapore Flyer, which is their version of the London Eye. P1060259.jpg We had a bit of a trek across the city, but we made it in time and it was well worth it! You go 165 metres up and you get to see the whole of Singapore. P1060245.jpgP1060248.jpgP1060257.jpg We went up at 6.30pm so we got to see the sun setting as well, it was just ace. The city is ever growing, with large construction sites everywhere, we reackon it will look very different in years to come! After that, we went to the harbour front and sat watched the skyscrapers light up after dusk. P1060272.jpgP1060277.jpg We went for dinner in a local food market, which is set in an old colonial market - very pretty. We had noodles, obviously! P1060279.jpg

Today we had a bit of a lie in as we are both exhausted from travelling and walking around the whole city the previous day. We got the underground to the tip of Singapore where you can either get a monorail or a cable car across to Sentosa island, which is basically a theme park come fake beach resort. We got the monorail in the end as it was the cheaper option. Very efficient indeed. P1060289.jpg The island itself was a bit strange, it was more like Center Parcs really. Fake beaches and fake trees with escalators instead of stairs and random music playing everywhere. P1060290.jpg It was slightly unnerving. All of the amusements cost a small fortune to partake in so we just walked around for a bit and went and sat on one of the fake beaches. They were trying to have fun bless them, but it was too organised and fake for that. We sat for a bit and tried to count the hundreds of boats which are moored in the bay. After that we got the Monorail back to Singapore and went to their famous shopping street - Orchard Road. It was amazing, I have never seen so many designer labels in one place - prada, gucci, louis vuitton, rolex, cartier, chanel, the list goes on...I have no idea where the normal people shop, we suspect the answer is: dont live in Singapore if you dont have money!!

We both really love Singapore, its a shame we cant stay longer but we have seen a lot in the 2 days we have been here. Tomorrow morning we are off to get the train back up to Kuala Lumpur, which is where we will be for the next 2 days!

Hope everyone is well,
Lots of Love
Chris and Alex xxx

Posted by chrisalex 02:21 Archived in Singapore Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Penang!!

sunny 33 °C
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We got an overnight train from Surat Thani, which is the main town on mainland Thailand where we arrived after getting the boat from Ko Samui. The train was only an hour late in the end and we boarded at 2am, after a 6 hour wait at the station. We arrived late the next day in Butterworth and checked out of Thailand and got our new visa for Malaysia. For some reason we only got given a 15 day visa from the last time we entered Thailand so we ended up having to pay 40 pounds each because we had overstayed by 3 days. Not the best news, but whats done is done now.

We got a boat from Butterworth across the river to George Town, on the island of Penang, where we only stayed one night. We wish we had stayed longer as it turned out there was lots to see and do, unfortunatly the day we chose to visit was a Sunday so most things were closed. We didnt really mind, we walked around the colonial district and down to the sea front, all of which are well preserved and really quite impressive. P1060168.jpgP1060169.jpg After that we got a bus to Penang hill where there is a funicular train which takes about 15 mins to reach the top. We had glorious plans to go up for sunset but when we got there all the tickets were sold out, the only ones for sale were for 7.30pm. So we waited around a bit and then popped up whilst the sun was setting (it sets really late here). P1060177.jpg The views were amazing, we got to see the whole of Penang and Butterworth at night. We stayed up there for about an hour before getting a cramped funicular back down the hill. P1060181.jpgP1060193.jpg We really enjoyed Penang, its just a shame we couldnt stay longer!

Onwards to Singapore!

Lots of Love,
Chris and Alex xxx

Posted by chrisalex 00:13 Archived in Malaysia Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

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