27th of April – 30th of April: Cameron Highlands
The drive to Cameron Highlands was faster and smoother then we expected. With 2 Dutch girls we traveled to the beautiful village that’s famous because of the tea estates. We didn’t see many Dutch people yet but this changed as soon as we arrived in Cameron Highlands. They were everywhere.
We stayed at Fahter’s Guesthouse which is a clean and peaceful place to stay. And good news for me; the restaurant next door served fruits with yogurt in the morning.
We arrived at the end of the day so after a refreshing shower we looked for a restaurant called ‘Gossip Corner’. I red in the hostel something about this place and they sell the biggest burgers (as big as your plate). We had lots of Indian food so we would love a Western meal. Unfortunately we couldn’t find it and the people told us this place doesn’t exist anymore. Poor Kas, he was so much looking forward to this burger.. At Juice Delight – where they have the best fruitbowls and fresh juices – we saw a hamburger on the menu. After a while the owner served us the hamburgers with a big smile. The burger was HUGE. I looked at the owner and saw something on his shirt that surprised me, and made me smile; ‘Gossip Corner’. We found it. The burger was good but we didn’t like the bones in the chickenburger – yes, that’s how the Asian make the Western food.
The next day we had a relaxingday. We had a coffee at intercontinal coffee, did some reading and decide to do a 2,5 hour hike. It was a perfect hike with lots of naughty monkeys who joined us.The dinner we had this evening was ‘t very succesful either. We ate some Indianfood but as soon as I found a cochlea in my noodles I wasn’t hungry anymore.
Friday we booked a full day tour. A crazy Malasian guide picked us up and together with a family from Singapore we drove 1,5 hours. We did a 2 hour hike through the woods but: with a mission. We were looking for the Rafflesia flower. The largest individual flower on earth. The flower lives only 7 days and because of this it’s very difficult to find. But we found it! This flower grows to a diameter of around one meter but the greatest measurement is 105 centimeters and weights up to 11kg. We had lunch at (again) an Indian restaurant – not something Kas and I suggested but our guide brought us here. Lunch was a buffet and especially the thousand flies liked it – bleh. We also visited the largest black tea manufacturer of Malaysia, BOH. We ended the day at the Strawberry farm where we picked our own strawberry’s – our ‘safe’ dinner for that night.
30th of April – 3 May: Georgetown-Penang.
Saturday morning it was time to change the greenlandscape for a city in Penang; Georgetown. It was a 5 hour drive and 20 minutes by ferry to get there. We traveled together with a Dutch historyteacher who is on his way now for half a year. Kas and I are fascinated by some backpackers who travel by theirselves. Sometimes it might be helpful to have an instruction book ‘how to communicate with a backpacker who travels alone’.
Penang was the first British settlement in Southeast Asia and is currently a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The enclave consists of colonial architecture built during the heyday of British rule over the Straits Settlements, mixed with Chinese shophouses, five foot ways and places of worship of various religions. George Town is awarded the UNESCO listing for its unique architectural and cultural townscape without parallel anywhere in East and Southeast Asia. Walking from the ferry to 80’s Guesthouse (our hostel) was already inspiring.
We started with a lovely coffee and some real (home made) yogurt at Mugshot. We had dinner at the Red Foodcourt, a place where lots of restaurant sell different types of food. They have everything. From sushi to wraps to real local food.
At 80’s guesthouse we booked 2 nights in a mixed dorm. Not only to safe some money, also to meet people easily. Sleeping in a dorm is not really good for your sleep though. Everybody walked in and out and the most spectacular thing that night were our 2 drunk roomies. The UK girls couldn’t barely walk, so getting up the bunk was a big fight.
Sunday we spend the whole day in the city watching all the streetart. There’s so much to see in this city, you don’t even know where to look. The street art is 3D, not because of the painting itself, but because the artists used the ‘real world’ in their painting. For example the chair, the windows, the street..
We asked a local where we could have the best and cheapest beers – Georgetown is expensive and the beers have the same price as back home. He told us to go to Antarabangsa. A place where you can buy a beer for 4RM (1 euro) and they have plastic tabels and chairs outside on the street. This is the place where all the locals come together. Sunday we decided to go there and before we knew, we were surrounded by a group of people from all over the world. An older man from New Zealand, 2 guys from India, 2 locals, one man from France and 2 guys from Holland. That one beer became two and before we knew a couple of hours passed and it was 8.30. The Dutch guys really wanted to see the important Dutch football game of Ajax but beiing in Georgetown makes it pretty hard. But they did it. Half an hour later we were in a bar drinking beers, eating pizza and watching Ajax. Can you imagine how happy Kas was? It became a long, long night with lots of fun and a ‘few’ more beers..
I really hoped for some good sleep that night. I had some alcohol in my body so I thought that would help a bit. But we had 4 new roomies – oh yeah, I was the lucky girl sleeping with 5 guys in 1 room – and one of them was snorring súper loud. Think about someone snorring súper loud and multiply this with 10. That’s how loud it was. On top of that the guy next to me had a bad dinner and had a very bad stomach.. It was a horrible night.
Monday morning we woke up with a small hangover and both super tired due to our roomies. We spend our day drinking coffee, we saw some more streetart ánd Kas was looking for a house in GT. Unforunately the housew were more expensive than we thought (ánd hoped ;-)). After the best dinner ever at Mews Café we went to bed early because something exciting was waiting for us the next day….. We were going to Koh Lipe! A bit sad leaving this great city – if you ever have the change to go to GT please do! – but SO excited to go to the beach. We are both still in a ‘hurry’ and the flow from back home is still there. So we really hope to get the ‘chill modus’ somewhere on the beach.
We decided to stay till Tuesday on this beautiful Island and writing this from our hammock With a view on the beach I can tell you it’s the best decision so far. The only thing that will be a bit boring is the next blog…. So prepare yourselves ;-).