Saturday, 5 March 2011

I've been to Full Moon, to follow the mushroom, Full Moooon, Full Moooon...

Bloggers, how goes it?
I don't know why but lately I have been singing the theme tune to Button Moon a lot - odd - but it has leant itself well to the title of this post.

I have only been back from the rainforest for literally 1 hour but I can't be responsible for what Sharon Bromley may do with a dose of Blog cold turkey, so this is for you Shazza.

My last post came on the eve of my departure from Laos, and this one comes from Malaysia with 2 weeks spent in Thailand sandwhiced in between.
My travel from Laos to Thailand is nothing worth talking about. It was a long journey, approximately 16 hours but it was relaxing enough as I had a bed on the overnight train. Trains in Thailand are very similar to those in India except for 2 main differences. Thai trains have a dining carriage where you can get drunk and they also have a man who makes your bed for you - no such luxuries in India where you find yourself sprawled out over a sheet trying to tuck all of the corners in without falling off of the bunk bed.

I got to Bangkok early on a Saturday morning and set about finding a decent place to stay as my good Norwegian friend, Unni, would be arriving later that day to spend 2 weeks with me travelling around the islands of south Thailand.
For those of you who have been reading my blog from the start, I met Unni in Varkala, south India, back in November. She is one of the people responsible for me eating so many chillies due to my losses at cards and in part as a result of this suffering horrific, yes horrific, burns at the hands of the sun.

I got a nice hotel at my first attempt on the famous Khoa San Road and then hung out at the park by the river reading until Unni arrived. Guess what happened during this time? Yes, that's right, I got sunburnt! For the next day or 2 I was wearing a white vest on my skin. Every time!! Why?!

We both had no intention of hanging around in Bangkok as we wanted sea, sand and general partying so we booked our travel to the island of Phi Phi straight away, which would depart the following evening.
That night we took in the joys of Khoa San Road - booze and a 1am feast of fried insects.
I sampled silk worms, crickets and scorpions. I have to say that they were really nice. They were fried up so that they were crispy and nothing gooey was left inside and then covered in salt. No lie, I would recommend them to anyone, but there was no way I was going to eat a cockroach that was the size of the palm of my hand!

The next day was a non-event and just a case of hanging around until our 6pm departure to Phi Phi. The journey was to take 19 hours all in all, but I am used to this sort of thing now after hours and hours of travel over the last 4.5 months, plus I actually had somone travelling with me for the first time so all was good. Saying that, the overnight coach to Krabi was very uncomfortable and I only got about 2 - 3 hours sleep.
From Krabi it was then a 2 hours boat ride to the island - a good chance to relax, sit in the sun and read - something I would do a lot of over the next 2 weeks.
So we eventually got to Phi Phi at 1pm with only one task left - find a place to stay. It was recommeded that the nicest place was at Long Beach, about a 25 minute walk from the main town, or a 10 minute taxi ride. Phi Phi has no roads, so a taxi ride is by means of jumping onto a 'taxi' boat. A very nice way to travel, I can tell you.
So at Long Beach we got a room which was precisely 10 seconds walk from our door onto the beach, and the beach had white sand with a view of a turquoise sea and in the near distance the island of Phi Phi Lay, which is home of Maya beach from the film 'The Beach'.
For the rest of the day we sat on the beach, swan in a warm sea where the tropical fish just hang around with you and the had a beer watching the sunset.
We were keen to carry on our relaxing daytime, hectic nightlife programme that we had set ourselves so in the evening we went to explore Phi Phi town centre - travelling by taxi boat of course!
One thing to note about south Thailand in general is their love of a 'fire show' - Thai men dancing and whirling fire around on all sort of sticks and chains and these shows generally always start at 10pm in the evening. So we took in a show and then hit the bars not really knowing what the town had to offer.
It just so happened that the 4 girls from Oz who I had travelled on the slow boat in Laos with were on the island too, so we met up with them and let them guide us around. To be fair it was all good as it turns out that apart from a bustling town there is also a nightly beach party to keep you entertained, so I wasted no time in intoducing Unni to the virtues of a vodka, red bull and sprite bucket.
We took a very late taxi back to Long Beach and thought it would be an ideal time to take a night time swim. For reasons unknown to me a Norwegian girl found the sea too cold to swim in so that was that. I ran up the beach to my hotel and managed to kick a tree stump along the way leaving me with a nice mark and bruise along the top of my foot.
I have to say that I am happy Unni has now left as I have never known myself to be so clumsy as I have in the 2 weeks spent in her company.

The next day followed the pattern of the last. Up late, chilled at the beach and then walked this time into town. As I said the walk takes about 25 minutes and the route takes you around the coast through forest and small coves of hidden beach. There are also parts that have no lighting and are great for tripping over in your flip flops!
So we hit the town again but this time we had (well I had) an objective. Spurs vs AC Milan in the Champions Lge, local kick off time 2:45am. Fortunately for me, Unni plays and watches football - so all good.
Before the game we found a great rock bar which has a great live band. There are not many live bands that I have seen where they stand there and let you shout out what song you want to hear and then they just play it, and play it well. They even played some Muse for me - I was well impressed.
Even better was the drummer, the coolest drummer I have ever seen and I had to have a photo with him as his hair was all Lamby, but far superior.
So onto the Irish Bar (why is there an Irish bar everywhere in the world?) to watch the match. I am still buzzing over the fact that we beat AC Milan and in the San Siro, but by the time the game was over, 5am, I was ready for my sleep.
We had watched the game with a Swedish / Norwegian couple and we all got a taxi back to Long Beach. When we arrived everyone jumped off of the boat except me as I was trying sort out my fare. I took so long that the other couple has disappeared by the time I had paid and I was very pleased about this. The reason for my pleasure was that as I disembarked the boat in some sort of cool jump I realised that I was still sort of sideways as I approached the sea. I tried to correct myself but to no avail, I landed on one drunken leg and then fell backwards into the sea much to Unni's and the boat driver's amusement. To add to my misfortune I somehow hit the heel of my foot on the way down and it split open and has only just healed now. (because I managed to trip and split it again about a week ago)

As we got in so late the night before we did not surface the next day until 2pm and I wish I hadn't got up at all. We took the oh so long walk to the beach and whilst lying there I saw the worst pair of tits I have ever seen. If you have seen the film 'There's something about Mary' then you will know what I saw that day - jesus love, just put them away, do you own a mirror?!
Out again that night to the Rolling Stoned Rock bar and then took the walk home as we were not so drunk that night and it was fairly early as we had a boat trip booked for the next day.

As we walked along the beach we noticed that there were dozens of little crabs scampering about to get out of our way and down to the ocean and then I noticed a fairly large one. It was moving fast and I could see in the wrong direction and my exact words were "Unni, look at the size of..." before there was a very loud crunch and the big crab has run directly underneath Unni's foot and she had stepped forward.
She spun around with a look of horror on her face which only served in making laugh even more, even though I did feel sorry for the victim.
I have photos of the crab murderer and the crab itself which I will get up onto Facebook as soon as I can.

Up bright and early for our boat trip which would take in the all important Maya Beach. We got a taxi over to the main pier and I have to say that I have never seen a sea so amazingly coloured as it was that day. With the backdrop of the strange half-oval shaped mountains it was just exquisite - yes exquisite I say.

So the boat trip:
First thing I noticed was a French couple who were on our boat. I noticed them for 3 reasons:
1) her hairy arm pits
2) his Speedos
3) I couldn't figure out if he was her lover, her son or both!
They did provide some entertainment later on which I will get to.

There were also 2 English couples on the boat. Did you know that in Norway that they have a perception that most English people are just stupid. Admittedly this comes from their early experiences of holidays to places such as Magaluf and Ibiza, but with my clumsiness growing by the day and talking to one couple in particular we did nothing to dispell this.
I will defend you Unni in saying that you did say it with a smile on your face!

First stop on the trip: Monkey Island.
We got to snorkel over a coral reef as we made our way to a small beach which housed, yes that's right, loads of monkeys. Nothing more to say.

Second stop:
Snorkelling in a bay that leads into a lovely lagoon. Unfortunately we couldn't get to the lagoon as it was low tide and the coral would rip your feet up. So we had to contend with more snorkelling and jumping into the sea from the top of the boat. It was only about 5 mtrs but it seems a lot higher when you are up there.

I said that it was impossible to get to the lagoon and it was for us mere mortals, but the French couple ignored everything we were told and took one of the boat's kayaks over to it. They got there ok but by the time they came back the tide had gone even further out. We had to leave about 20 mins later than planned whilst we watched them paddle, drag, paddle some more and fall over the kayak as they tried to make their way back over the coral to the boat.
Not even an apology when they got back!!!

Third stop: Maya beach
Jumped off of the boat and swam over a part of the island that would enable us to take a short forest walk to emerge onto 'the beach' as Decaprio once did.
I have to say that I was disappointed. It was busy and there were far too many boats in the bay to really take in how stunning it actually was.
I am still happy that I have seen it, but maybe next time I will do the overnight camp which is supposed to be quite good. We would've done it but we were to move on to another island the next day.

So that was the end of the trip, as we sailed back to Phi Phi we got to watch the sunset over the sea and the have a nice meal by the beach back on dry land.

We were up early the next day as we had a day's travel ahead to make it over to the islands on the other side of Thailand. The reason for travelling over that way was that the day after it was the night of the infamous Full Moon party on Koh Phanghan.
We were to stay on Koh Samui and would just get a boat to and from Koh Phanghan for the party.
Our journey that day consisted of 2 boats and a bus journey (the first boat was with the Oz girls and was a goodbye as they were heading back home but I hope to see them again in Brisbane) and we got to Koh Samui by 4pm that afternoon.
As seems to happen with everybody that travels, on the second boat I ran into a girl that I had sat next to part of the way on the train from Laos to Thailand. Still, that happens to so many people travelling that I shouldn't be surprised any more.

We stayed in a little and quiet town called Big Buddha on the island and we found a very reasonably priced bunglow which was this time about 15 seconds walk from the beach.
Koh Samui is famous in part for the 'Koh Samui tatoo' ie. lots and lots of people have motorcycle accidents on the sandy roads and have the marks (tatoos) to show for it. On our first night we saw this with our own eyes.
We went out for some dinner and then all of a sudden an Indian couple hobbled past us and they looked in a very bad way. The guy had an arm in plaster and sling, a bandage over his nose and they both had bandages around their knees! As they slowly meandered past us we couldn't help but snigger, they just looked rediculous as they inched their way back to their room near to the restaurant somehow managing not to bend their legs.

After dinner there was only one choice of what to do - have a few beers. To my dismay there only seemed to be old man English pubs about, which I did not expect. Anyway, we went to the 'Premier Sports Bar' and before I knew it I was with a group of English men playing killer pool for money whilst Karioke was on in the background. I think this was Unni's first experience of an old man type pub but she seemed to enjoy it.

A little while later, for unknown reasons and adding to the 'stupid English' Norwegian view, a fat, topless man from the pub stumbled drunkenly out into the road and before we knew it 3 more Koh Samui tatoos were created. I didn't see the actual collision but I heard it - it was loud. I turned around to see 3 people and a moped lying in the middle of the road; the fat man and male driver were just lying unconcious and the female passenger was writhing around. Lots of people from the pub ran out to assist but I just sat there drinking my beer - what could I do? I am not trained in first aid and besides it was my shot next at killer pool - it was for money so I needed to concentrate.
An ambulance was called but everyone concerned (once they had regained conciousness) declined to go to hospital. The reason for this was that it costs a small fortune to receive treatment if collected by the ambulance so you are better off making your own way to A&E - mental.

The next day was 'Full Moon' day. The first task of the day was to get the boat tickets for our travel over to Koh Phangan and with that done we had the rest of the day to fill.
It was decided to visit Hin Ta and Hin La; 2 rock formations that look a lot like a cock and fanny and they so did.
A taxi was required to get over to the rocks at Lamai Beach and I was blessed that my driver turned out to be Mr Chung - a legend. He talked for the entire journey about everything and everyone from every country, his general knowledge was immnese. Still, I only fell in love with him when he said "Tiger Woods and Mr Chung, same same", referring to his love of women, and "Camilla Parker Bowles and horse, same same".

After taking in the delights of the stone formations and getting photos to look like we were licking the penis (I will upload onto facebook soon) we took a slow walk down Lamai Beach for about 2 / 3 kms. I have to say that it was lovely; white sand, blue sea and palm trees hanging over the beach. Apparently there are over 3 million palms on Koh Samui - no idea how they reached this number but I am just sharing the info with you.
From Lamai beach it was a communal taxi back to Big Buddha and unfortunately we had to share it with a man that smelled of p*ss. He looked completely wasted, his eyes were wide open like he had taken something very strong and all of his movements were laboured to the point of some serious slow motion action. The unneriving thing for me is that he had curly hair and could pass for an older Lamby. If I do not return from my travels it is very possible that you will find me fulfilling the role of my new doppleganger!

And so we come to Full Moon. The boat was booked for 10pm - no point getting there too early as I definitely had to see the sun rise over the beach and the festivities.
The speed boat took only 20 mins to get to our destination and as we disembarked you could actually feel the energy of the place. It was a 15 minute walk to the actual party beach but the walk took in many bars, shops and market stalls selling lots of flourescent goods and paints. I already had my bright yellow swim shorts on but I couldn't resist purchasing a luminous yellow head band to make me look even more like a fool - it's all good!
As we descended onto the beach I knew it would be a good night - 30,000 people, fire and blaring music. The night was spent on buckets of vodka, redbull and sprite with the odd beer, and I have to say that I was a little drunk, but also drunk on the atmosphere of it all, honest.
Along the beach there were multiple bars / clubs, fire shows, fire skipping ropes where revellers would attempt to skip over the high flames coming off of the rope - some not very successfully it must be said. We spent the first 3 or 4 hours walking up and down the beach taking it all in and then took a visit up to Mushroom Mountain, a bar famous for mushrooms of course, but also a good place to chill out and watch the party from up high. I can assure that I did not take any substance except from alcohol; if I was ever going to risk taking something like that (which I know I never would) it would not be with 30,000 people where I could freak out or possibly think that I could actually wrap the burning fire rope around myself and wear it in some fashion.
When we were up there some guy approached me and looked at me. I said "Alright?", he replied in a very paranoid voice "Yeah, why wouldn't I be?" and then turned around and stormed off - mushroom freak!

There is talk of there being amphetamines within the red bull here and I am inclined to believe it. I was having a great time and at about 3am myself and Unni settled into the Mushroom Mountain to chill out for a bit; the next thing I knew is looking up and dawn approaching and we had been awake all of the time. I have no idea where I lost 3 hours but I did.
Still, the party was going strong so we descended and danced as the sun came up over the ocean. Daylight brought some funny sights:
1) a lonely guy straddling a stick on fire and trying to get his bum as close to it as possible before it got too hot
2) a guy who had fallen asleep with his towel around him. When we walked past him later he was surrounded by beer bottles, had a straw sticking up from out of his ass and a group of people just standing there watching him sleep taking the p*ss
3) some girl, completely off of her t*ts, walking out into the ocean to attempt to catch the rising sun whilst her boyfriend called out to her to come back

We caught the 8am boat back to Koh Samui with only 2 thoughts - breakfast and then sleep.
Nothing more to say about that day except Unni's omlette was in the perfect shape of a turd and we slept, taking in meals in between and we saw the original motorbike couple again, still shuffling around town on straight legs.

After a good day and night's kip we departed early morning to catch a boat to our final island of Koh Tao, which promised us a castaway feel. Whilst waiting for the boat I practised some of my crappy Norwegian (I have learnt a few words) and then found out that the English translation for a lollipop is 'love on a stick'. How could you possibly ever offer a child in Norway a lollipop?

After arriving on Koh Toa after a 2 hour boat ride we headed straight to the east side of the island, which was supposed to be the most remote. Remote it was, but we soon discovered it was far too remote for us and decided that the next morning we would move to the main beach and town on the island.
That night we went out into the town for a few drinks - as usual.
The main town is a really cool place and we found an excellent outdoor bar that played some good music for once.
(I must add that as I write this blog there is a massive thunder storm going on outside and to add to the volume there is a drunk old man drinking a bottle of whisky in reception just shouting out nonsense - he is doing my head in!)

Anyway, back to Koh Toa.
At 10pm everynight there is the joy that is the Queens Cabaret. A ladyboy cabaret show. We got placed at the very front and I have to say that it was really entertaining. My mum and sister would've have loved it - ladyboys dressed up, dancing and miming to artists such as Beyonce, Lady Gaga etc.
I also confess that 3 of the ladyboys were very attractive and one had a really great pair of boobs.
At the end of the show I went over to once of the dancers, a gay guy, and asked him what time the place stayed open until as if there was nowhere else then the disco here must be fun.
He told me it was open until very late but if I was to come back I must do alone and not with a girl - I didn't go back that night.

Next day we were up bright and early and went searching for a more suitable location to stay. We found it almost immediately, a bungalow with a view of the beach and the ocean and about a 9 second walk away from the beach this time. It was perfect and I could have lived there for a very long time, especially after we acquired a hammock as well, even though there were snakes and really loud cockerels about.
As our front garden was literally the beach we hung out there for the day. Night time brought much the same pattern as before and a return visit to the Queen Cabaret, as the show changes nightly.
Watching the show from the same seats was a different experience from the night before. Why? Well I will tell you:
1) when Lady Gaga came out, she had 4 male backing dancers. 2 of these MALE backing dancers were 2 of the ladyboys that I thought were hot. All of sudden they did not seem so attractive as before, especially with their female faces but all to obvious bare male torsos meaning they were gay men. Oh dear.
2) the guy who told me to come alone was the last act on that night. He did one of those routines where he was dressed half man and half woman.
When the show finished and Unni went to the toilet he was there at my side. You cannot imagine how disconcerting it is to have a gay man trying it on with you when he has 2 half faces!
When Unni came back and sat down he cotinued to talk directly to me and never even ackowledged Unni existed. Very funny.

After the cabaret we found another beach party and enjoyed another bucket. As I went for a wee in the sea (it is the done thing) this guy was really angry next to me. Apparently he had been taking a wee and a girl had walked right in front of him. After realising she was covered in his urine she pushed him into the sea. He was so angry because he had gotten his new trainers wet!

The day that followed was a boat journey around the island. Getting in at about 2am and very drunk was not ideal preparation especially as the sea was really rough that day. I am not talking a few big waves, I mean it felt like we were on a roller-coaster. I thought it was great fun even if I was regretting that last bucket from the previous night but others did not. Unni felt rough and had to lie down, one guy was spewing up over the side, and another girl looked so terrified I thought she was going to cry.
It was annoying because we couldn't snorkel at our first designated spot - Shark Bay, where we could've swam with Reef Sharks, which I wanted to do.
Still we were able to get into the water at the calmer Mango Bay and I was treated to a sight of a school of quite large fish numbering about 200 swimming around underneath me.
Later that day we stopped at some islands, Huan Bay, at the north of Koh Toa. They consist of 3 small islands linked by a sand causeway and once you scale the hill to the viewpoint you really are looking down on paradise.

The next 2 days were spent on the beach and in the sea. Only highlights were:
1) eating corn on the cobb from a man who walks up and down and BBQ's them in front of you
2) a goat visited the beach, checking out every bather only to be chased off by an old lady with white hair holding a handbag in one hand and a stick in the other

So it came to the time for Unni to leave and head to Bangkok and for me to head south to country number 5.
I must say that I had a great time in Thailand and the islands are all in their own unique way a version of paradise - so go there!

I was booked on a 9pm night boat to a town called Sarrathani which would arrive at 5am. From there is would be a bus journey to Penang across the border and into Malaysia and then another bus down to Kuala Lumpur.
This may sound like an exaggeration but I got to experience first hand what sleeping on a slave ship might have been like (if only 5% of it).
As we boarded the stench of sweat was overpowering and across the interior of the boat were over 100 matresses spread out. Seriously, I am not a big lad, but lying down on my back I had literally 1 inch of room either side of my shoulders before I touched the next person.
Everyone around me popped a valium and off they went to sleep. I got about 2 hours kip and it was not comfortable. I will usually deal with everything that I have to on my travels and afterall, I am not at work so life is fun; but I can assure that that was my last night boat - ever.
I got to the office to catch my bus to be informed that I would arrive at KL at 6am the next morning, it 5:45am!!
I got onto the bus hoping that this would not actually be the case.
It turns out that it wasn't, instead I would arrive at 3am - bonus.
On the bus (and it was a cramped minibus, not ideal) I met 2 Yank girls and a Brazillian lad. After passing through the border and getting to Penang at 6pm and having to change for our next bus we all looked at each other and decided to stay in Penang for the night and continue the next day.
Not much to say about Penang except:
1) quiet place but with good food
2) I shared a double bed with Tiago, who I had only met a few hours before
3) I bought a wicked Spiderman towel as mine went missing a few days before

So eventually I got to KL at 1pm the next day. 1 of the Yank girls decided to stay in Penang, so myself, Tiago and Muriella checked into a hotel in China Town.
The first day and night was spent hanging around before I went to explore the city for real the next day.

I have to say that I do like KL and it is nothing like I expected; well in fact I did not know what to expect. It is so modern and stylish in places, especially downtown around the Patronus Towers and KL Tower. The shopping centres contain every shop you could ever want, even for the very rich (Versace, Prada, Harrods) and all in all it is very clean. China Town is cool, lots of cheap food and fake goods and I like the place. The only thing missing is history. You walk around London and it is everywhere in front of you, there is nothing from the past here that I have seen so it all seems a little stale in parts.
Still, a visit to the 41st and 86th floors of the Patronus Towers was good. Between 1996 - 2003 this was the tallest building the world and after dark the towers are worth a visit alone. For 2 evenings in a row I went to visit them just stand and look at them lit up - and then followed that up by going to the pub with Tiago.

I also visited the Batu Caves which are 12km north of KL. These caves, at the top of 200 or so steps contain a number of Hindu temples and are worth a visit. I missed the festival that takes place here by a few weeks which was a shame as Hindu's turn up and pierce themselves with hooks to carry various tributes to the gods and walk around on glass etc - supposed to be a good sight.

After 2.5 days in KL it was time to finally get myself over to the rainforest and Taman Negara national park.
On our bus there was an Oz girl, Karla, a Yank, Eli, and his German bird Sylvia who would all be my roomies.
I did like my roomies but I do need to make some comments:
1) Yank - as we all know Yanks are loud and obnoxious (except you Rachael - I love you!) - he was so so very loud but I have to say not obnoxious. But so loud.
2) Sylvia - really cool bird and liked her a lot
3) Karla - loves to contradict herself and even more annoying is her habit of listening to you and as you say the last word of your sentence she will nod her head and say the last word with you - aaaggghhhhh. Shut up!
She made out she was a fitness freak as well - no she was not. Each of her legs were as big as me. Then one day we are sitting outside chatting and she asked me what I was drinking. I told her it was an energy drink much like Lucozade back home. She looked at me, shook her head and told me it was full of suger and that you should only really drink one of these after doing something hardcore like a marathon.
In the next sentence she told me how she really likes her Powerade and Gatorade.
Are you serious? That is the same thing as I am drinking you fool.
All of this went on whilst she was eating a massive bag of crisps and some biscuits - honestly.

Then later we walked past some people from the Far East and they said hello to us. Karla commented how it was funny that the Chinese would say hello to us in English and I commented that I wasn't sure where they were from, they could be Japanese or South Korean for example. She looked at me and asked if there was a difference. I could no longer talk to this girl except for being polite.
Still, I have to go her some respect as she spent 2 months recently in Kenya at an orphanage looking after kids with HIV. I have no idea how she managed it, especially when she said that she has no knowledge of HIV and when she saw other kids touching anothers bloody knee she figured that it was safe for her to do so.

So the rainforest itself:
Great, but wish I had more time. We got to the park via a 4 hour bus ride and the a 3 hour boat ride down the river through the forest. You have to take a step back and remember that this is the oldest rainforest in the world and 130 million years old. This forest was here twice as long as the amount of time that we have had no dinosaurs on the planet.
As for where we stayed, the resturants and all floating on the river and we were in a really plush hostel - as hostels go.
That afternoon there was a wild boar right outside our door.
The first evening I went on a night time jungle walk. Try to picture walking through a 130 million year rainforest, it is dark and there is an electrical storm over head - bloody fantastic.
On the walk we saw lots of insects - stick insect mating, yes mating, crickets, slow worms, huntsman spider (big), we saw a fruit bat and best of all we saw a huge scorpion. It was even better glowing luminous under the UV torch of the guide.
We then went to an animal hide and look out into the pitch black. With the powerful torch of the guide we were able to see 3 deer, but when the lightning lit up the forest we were looking out over a grassy area with one solitary tree in the middle and the deer at a watering hole. It had a very spooky but awesome feel to it and I was sitting there waiting for a tiger or panther to strike during the lightning bolt to make the picture perfect for me.
Also on the walk were to guys from the UK who are actually on my flight to Oz and I am off out with them tonight after I finish this - so I had better get a move on.

One other thing that was funny on our walk was when we came across some Cane trees/plant. The guide said, "this is cane, yes cane, C-A-N-E, you know, used for furniture and punishment!"
Ok, if you say so.

Another thing about Malaysia is their love of American Idol ie. they know who Adam Lambert is!
Therefore, on a number of occasions, like checking into hotels for example, I was asked to sing a song and give an autograph.
Still, on the plus side of them taking the p*ss about me being a gay American singer the hotel staff never forgot me and always greeted me with a "Hello Mr Lambert."
Very nice indeed.

The next day in the rainforest was spent walking in the morning to the longest jungle canopy walkway in the world and then up to a viewpoint to look out over endless miles of rainforest and mountains. Again, another site that I will not forget in a hurry to add to all of the rest.
I spent the rest of the morning walking around various trails on my own - loved it. I saw 3 wild boar and some bizarre hen/peacock hydrid with a bright blue face.

In the afternoon I went on a boat to tackle some rapids. It is a motor boat and you actually got head on into them so needless to say that you get soaked. It was good fun but not long enough.
Halfway through we got to stop at a jungle village. The problem was that they were not where we thought they would be. Apparently someone had died in the village and when this happens they relocate the enitre group to somewhere where the spirit can not come back to haunt them.
Eventually we found them downstream and took in village life. It was interesting but best was learning to make fire and using a blow pipe. I hit the target with both of my efforts but not the bullseye unfortunately.
After that is was more rapids and then swimming in the river and using a very dangerous rope swing which was great fun.

That was it for my jungle adventures as I am running out of time before my flight to Oz and I returned to KL today. I will definitely go back though as there is a 7 day jungle trek to the highest mountain on the Malaysian penninsula which is supposed to be really tough and so I of course want to do it.

So that brings you up to date. I am going down to a place called Melaka tomorrow before my final stop in Singapore before I hit Oz. I can't believe that I am only 4 days short of 5 months of travelling, it has gone so quickly.
Asia has been amazing, from India and the Taj Mahal and wild tigers, Nepal and the Himilayas and wild rhinos, Thailand and the party, Laos and the party, Malaysia and the rainforests. So many great adventures but also so many things that I have missed along the way too!
I have a list of stuff that I need to come back and do. They include a visit to Everest, climbing 2 other mountains, 1 of them the highest in SE Asia, a visit to Cambodia as well as Indonesia, spending some time in Sumatra with the Orangutans; the list goes on and on.

Looks like 2 yrs travelling will not be enough. There is still South America to see as well.
No settling down for me for quite a while me thinks!

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