Has it really been three months already?! Our travels are flying by yet at the same time it feels as though we have been away forever.
The last month definitely feels as though it’s been the longest – we’ve covered so much more ground compared to our other trips and at a slower pace so that we are really getting a feel for each place we visit. It’s been a much nicer way to travel and definitely an approach we want to continue taking. Rather than feeling the need to tick off every major destination, we are actually looking ahead and asking ourselves, ‘Is there anything here that actually interests us? What is it we want to see? Is the long travel day/expense worth it for the one sight?’ – by taking this approach, we’ve actually been able to enjoy every destination so far, and not feeling as though it was a waste of time.
So, month number three – I enjoyed the last few days in Phuket – well, as best you can when it rains non-stop (hot tip – September is THE worst month for rain in Phuket – 23 days out of 30!). I then flew to Kuala Lumpur where I met up with Mike that night. We have flown via KL to so many of our destinations, so it was nice to actually get out of the airport and see the city for a change!
A poor location choice for our first hotel meant lots of walking in humidity as we weren’t near transport either, so it made the first few days quite slow and arduous and somehow we kept finding ourselves in malls – KL has so many of them! They are a sanctuary from the heat though, and still a great place to eat and people watch. Watching the lake symphony by the Suria KLCC mall under the Petronas Towers was definitely a highlight in the city… even if the fountains and the lightshow were programmed to Celine Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On’ … seriously.
Our next stop was the Cameron Highlands, via the city of Ipoh. Again, a poor location choice for our hotel, a bus arriving much later than scheduled and incredibly stormy weather meant no time to explore Ipoh as we were too far away from the centre. Our stay in the Cameron Highlands more than made up for that though, with several days of cool temperatures and beautiful surroundings. Visiting the Highlands meant an opportunity to get back outdoors exploring and eating all the amazing produce that is grown in the area – and drinking the incredible tea. It definitely is one of the coolest places in Malaysia, and you can read all about our visit there here.
After an incredibly long and winding bus trip out of the Highlands, we arrived in Penang – splitting our time between Georgetown and Batu Feringghi – one of the beaches nearby. We had a great week in Penang, exploring Georgetown, catching public transport out to the various sights on the island, and eating. SO MUCH EATING. It really does have the best food in Malaysia – the variety is incredible, as is the price. The last few days of our time there – whilst staying by the beach – weren’t so great as the haze from neighbouring Indonesia’s fires made being outside quite unbearable. Lucky, Penang has plenty of malls in which to escape the heat and amuse yourself.
After a flight delay of over four hours, we finally flew out of Penang to the Borneo region of Malaysia, landing in Kota Kinabalu. The delay reduced our time there, as we also had set aside a day to watch the AFL Grand Final (but we won’t talk about that here… #2016wewillrise) – so on a recommendation from a friend, we visited the nearby islands for a day. The sun was out, the sky was blue and we had an amazing time on Manukan Island – definitely the best way to have spent our single day in KK and we would highly recommend a visit if you’re ever in the area – you can read all about our trip here.
After catching a super comfortable bus and travelling 6 hours to the eastern part of Sabah, we stopped off in Sepilok where we spent a few days before heading off on our Kinabatangan River 3D2N trip. There was so much to do in this little township, and we are glad we made the decision to spend our time here instead of Sandakan. Another highlight was finally coming across some other travellers, where we stayed up late into the night having some great conversations about our travels so far and future plans, the why’s and the how’s of leaving it all behind.
Our 3D2N trip to the Kinabatanan River was by far the most primitive adventure we’ve had so far. We stayed on the banks of the river, in a campsite with no electricity or running water, and shared an open cabin (as in, open to all sorts of wildlife to come in if they so pleased!) with the rest of our group. It was definitely an experience, and we’ll be posting a blog all about it in the next week or so.
What’s next? We are back in KL enjoying each other’s company before Mike flies back to Perth tomorrow. I’m in KL for another week where I plan to knuckle down and get writing and finishing some video, so expect lots of blogs in the next few weeks! I’m off to Singapore on the weekend for an event, and am looking forward to catching up with some friends from home who will also be over. After that, it’s back to KL where I have visas to sort out for our trip to India at the end of the year. When Mike and I meet back up, we’ll be heading to Krabi in the south of Thailand for a few weeks. We were originally planning to go to the Philippines but have moved this to next year – with a lack of time and costs of flights having a bearing on that decision. We are excited to be back in Thailand together – Krabi is an area we haven’t visited before, and we’re hoping to do lots of adventure activities together and soak up some sun – giving ourselves permission to ‘be lazy’ and live the nomadic lifestyle we are all about, before the next few hectic stops.
Three months is a decent amount of time to be away, and we thought we’d look into a few ‘statistics’ of our travels so far to share with you all.
- 4 countries in 93 days
- 17 114 kilometres in total travelled to date
- 12 flights taken
- 6 boat trips to get to and from destinations
- 2 train trips
- 16 long haul bus trips between destinations
- 28 different hotels, guesthouses, hostels and cabins stayed in all up