Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Not so Beautiful Boracay

Our unplanned destination, Boracay, is a monument to overdevelopment. Hotels, bars, tacky shops and restaurants line the beach without a break. 4km of buildings! We were there in the low season and still the place was heaving. There were people everywhere! The photographers must have been up at dawn to take a picture of an empty beach for the postcards - which must be photoshopped as the sand is not that white or idyllic.

I know this sounds like a rant, which I guess it is, but there are a couple of good things about Boracay. Bbq fish, mango shakes, a couple of chillout bars with live music - so us girlies still had a good time - but I won't be rushing back there.
The fact that the police patrolled the beach on foot and on buggies also didn't endear me to the place any more. You have to wonder why. However, Lynsey did enjoy her lift home on one!

Perfect Planning

For the half term break I headed off to the Philippines with the girlies. After a night in Manila our destination was the island of Paluwan. Having studied our lonely planet and the map our plan was to fly into Roxas, travel to Port Barton for some snorkelling, diving etc then down to Sabang to see the underground river, before flying out of Puerto Princessa. Simple.

However, when we landed in Roxas our requests for a Jeepney to Port Barton were met with puzzled looks. We took out our trusty Lonely Planet to show them where we wanted to go at which point they started rolling with laughter. Never good. Apparently there are 4 places called Roxas in the Philippines and we were not on Palawan at all, but on the island of Panay instead.

After studying our trusty guide book we realised that our only option was to change our flights (we weren't going to be getting to Puerto Princessa) and jump on a bus then a boat to Boracay. Oh the best laid plans.....

Tuesday, 21 October 2008


Top of the list of Kris's things to do on his visit was a day at the Sepang Circuit for the MotoGP. What a great day! Noise, speed, leathers! Awesome. The races were exciting and by the end of them I could just about tell the bikes and the riders apart as they zoomed past in a blur. Rossi won, and it was amazing to watch him get closer and closer to the guy in pole as each lap passed until he finally overtook him and left him for dust. I can just about hear again and my sunburn has nearly disappeared. Definitely up for watching that again.

Petronas Towers

After over a year in KL I've finally made it up to the viewing deck of the Petronas Towers! Although I have visited these iconic buildings regularly and use them instead of a compass around town I have never actually made it up them. Luckily for me Kris came to visit from Bangkok and it was on his itinerary of to dos, so up we got early and queued with the masses.

We did have to sit through what can only be described

as an 8 minute long advert for Petronas it was a lovely trip. Unfortunately it had rained, again, so the view wasn't that great, but there definitely a feeling of being somewhere special. Admittedly I was a tad concerned when the video told me the platform was suspended between the buildings and not really attached, and that when the wind blows it can sway up to 75 cm, but I soon got over that and started pointing out landmarks to Kris.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

And yet more luxury!

This year my birthday coincided with the Hari Raya celebrations celebrating the end of Ramadan, so it was clearly an excuse to go away for a few days. Having made the most of my contacts here in KL we headed to the Berjaya Resort and Spa in Redang on a special package with an upgrade thrown in. Looking forward to my sea view room I was a little concerned when the Manager said that they were very full until he asked if we would mind being upgraded again to a suite!! I'm telling you I really could get used to living the high life. It was a beautiful apartment and I miss the glorious bathroom when I'm attempting to wake up under the comparative trickle that is my shower in my pokey ensuite.
The weather was beautiful, the sea crystal clear and my sun lounger just close enough to the refreshments. I was also treated to a session in the spa on the birthday - fantastic! Some wine and a very naughty cheese platter finished the day off perfectly. No dancing til dawn though - does that mean I'm getting old? Hope not!

Sunday, 21 September 2008

A Bit of Luxury

As it was CK's birthday this week we drove down to Port Dickson for the night to stay in the luxurious Avillion resort. Picking one of the Water Chalets we were treated to a gorgeous room, complete with four poster bed and out door bathroom, over the water. A very romantic getaway indeed and one I hope to repeat again in the near future. I could get used to all this luxury!

Friday, 19 September 2008

Malaysia Taxis Worst in the World

We've suspected it for a long time, and now our suspicions have been confirmed as today the taxis in Malaysia have been voted the worst in the world. MSN news today reports about the "shabby service of unkempt and hostile drivers behind the wheels of decrepit vehicles who refuse to use the meter, overcharge and pick-and-choose which destinations they will travel to."

It's true! I'm regularly met by cries of "no meter" or "flat rate" as a sneaky driver tries to milk you for as much as he can. If it is raining you have no chance, and "bad traffic lah" is often cited as a reason not to take you to your destination. Truly! The traffic is always bad in KL. If you don't want to spend your day in jams don't become a taxi driver.

There is, however, an exception to the rule. Vincent. My friendly airport taxi driver who never over charges, is always on time and sends texts to see how you are enjoying your holiday while you are away. He really is a star. Maybe there is hope!