Malaysian F1 Grand Prix 2015

I spent the whole day like a kid in a a sweet shop! I was so happy to be there! The atmosphere was incredible and I had quite a good location to watch from. I could see the whole back half of the course including the back straight.

The sound of the cars was incredible and nowhere near as loud as I thought they’d be. I’ll be honest and say I really had no clue what was happening in the race as the commentary and PA system was down. Nonetheless I still had an incredible day. 

  

Malaysia

Malaysia was not at all what I expected. I suppose that in my head I thought it would be a lot less developed than it was. The general skylines were much higher than I anticipated and Kuala Lumpa was just like any city in the west. I only went to main towns and cities and I’m sure I would have encountered a different experience in more remote places, but I just assumed it would be more like Nepal. Instead it was a perfect hybrid between Thailand and Singapore.



We were travelling over the Chinese New Year period, which was nice as the people were very friendly and happy, but it also meant we encountered a few problems. Most of the shops and businesses that are Chinese owned would shut for a full 2 weeks. We stayed (a lot of the time) in China towns it just meant that the area was a lot quieter and we had to walk further for food.

Probably one of my favourite things about my time in Malaysia was being able to share it with a friend from home. Just a shame I had to say goodbye and move on to other places.

Getting the Train from Malaysia to Thailand

I bought my ticket back when I was in Bangkok, so when I turned up at Butterworth station I found myself 2hours early as my ticket had been printed in Thai time and not in the Malyasian time it actually left! So I spent 2h sat next to a plug charging up my devices while waiting for the (now delayed) train to arrive.

The train was tiny, only 2 second class AC carriages, 2 beds heigh on each side. At 2.45pm I found my seat (with a misty window) chained my bag under the seat and settled in for the 20h+ journey.

At about 4pm a man walks round with a menu for that nights dinner. You could pay in either Ringet or Baht, I ordered a chicken cashue nut and rice set and was told it would be ready at 6. At about 4.45 he came back and set up my dinner table for me. 

5pm we were all thrown off the train for border control. I left Malaysia, and made my way over to the Thai counter only to be thrown back into Malaysia. Great! Lesson learnt, never leave a country without your exit stamp. I found myself sitting in an office waiting for a man to unlock his stamp set whilst being told about his son who study’s in Manchester. (All the police here seem to have relatives studying in Manchester). Then the inevitable question about which football team I support comes…. He quickly realised I have no interest in football and let’s me go back to the Thai border with my passport now all in order.

I’m then told the train doesn’t leave until 6.30pm so I sit in the sun on the platform listening to a man tell me about why he retired from the US to Malaysia. I jump back on the train at 6, just in time for dinner, which is actually quite nice.

8pm they come round with another menu, as this time our carrages have joined a bigger train with a dinner cart. I turn the food down and wait for the man to turn up and make my bed. 

I had a surprisingly good sleep and at 9am asked the man to turn my bed back into a seat. I turn down breakfast (I brought my own) and wait for the train to arrive in Bangkok at about 12.30, (22h 45mins total journey). 

Langkawi

Travelling on my own I’ve realised that I am the only one that can help me get over my fears. I don’t think I’m afraid of heights, but I know that really I am a little bit. It’s not necessarily the height, more the fall. Which is probably why I’m not a big fan of elevators, (Singapore helped me get over that one).

When I visited langkawi one of the only things I wanted to do was the Geo Park view point at 800m heigh reached by one of the worlds steepest cable cars. Let’s just say that once I got there I froze in the ticket office. Not having Emma with me anymore really made me realise that I and I alone could only force myself up there. So I did, I’d been on cable cars before and been fine, so using that reasoning I got in a cab. 



I couldn’t look up as the other cabs highlighted it’s steepness. So I looked down, but all you could see was the view not the cabs below. It was pretty but I didn’t enjoy it one bit. 



Being at the top was worth it though, I sat in the cafe soaking up the views before heading to the sky bridge which was just as stunning and I was glad I’d made it to the top.



I noticed that they had a walking trail going down to the bottom, (right up my street) but was stopped as it was ‘under construction’, I huffed and puffed a bit before forcing myself back on the cable car all the way back down. I enjoyed it more this time round though.

George Town, Penang

Penang was not what I was expecting. It was quite built up with a higher skyline than you would think.

Keeping in line with our other hostels we managed once again to stay in China Town, it was still quite quiet with everyone still being closed for Chinese New Year. But George Town as a whole was still quite lively if you took a walk around.

One of my favourite things about George Town was it’s character. It was a quirky place, with some beautiful architecture and some stunning street art. 











Chinese New Year 2015 – Malacca

Emma and I started the night being really excited about staying in Malacca Chinatown. We had already discovered Back in Singapore that the whole of the local Chinese population shut up shop at lunch, (and stay shut for about another 2 weeks), so we just hoped we could find somewhere to eat before joining the promising looking street party. But within 5mins after sitting down for a bite to eat the thunderstorm came. It absolutely chucked it down.

Hoping that it would pass we ran across to a bar opposite the café. It was here we saw in the new year with crazy drunken dancing Malaysians and copious amounts of free beer, (I was so tired I just kept accepting them and passing passing them straight over to Emma).

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