We’re back. Back to the rat race. Back to the daily horror of the tube and sky-high rent. Back to London.
With the Royal Wedding being made into a public holiday and being so close to Easter, we found ourselves with a 10 day time period that only required 3 days off work. Jumping at the chance to get away from the Will & Kate chaos in London, Phil, Steve and myself planned a whirlwind 3 country + 5 city trip.
I tried to spend as little time online as possible which meant that we didn’t blog in real-time. However, I did manage to write a few notes in my iPhone – usually on trips to the laundromat. The following posts will be a mash-up of those notes & my memories from a fantastic trip that seems so long ago already.
Well we did it! After 18 months planning (or putting off planning as the case often was), Phil and I got married in Taupo on the 8th of January 2011. The ceremony was held at Huka Falls Resort where we were surrounded by 53 of our close friends and family.
A huge thanks goes out to absolutely everyone who made the effort to be there and especially to those who helped with the planning in some way. An even bigger thank you to our parents for their love & support.
Our wonderful photographer is currently swamped with weddings on every weekend but we’ll be sure to post the official photos here once we receive them.
Update: Some of the official photos have been posted to our Flickr pool: http://www.flickr.com/groups/philandtoni/pool/
We arrived in Langkawi on Monday afternoon, after checking into our hotel, which is located in the main town of Kuah, we had a chance to browse around some of the local shops.
A lot of the shops were selling what you’d expect from a tropical island – shirts, towels, swimwear, but Langkawi is also duty-free so many of the shops are also selling super cheap chocolate and alcohol. Unfortunately we’re already over our 20kg weight allowance for our flights so could only buy what we can consume here.
On Tuesday we travelled to the main beach Cenang which is a large, beautiful beach and also the location of the majority of bars, restaurants and tourist attractions. We headed for Underwater World first which is mostly an aquarium though it houses some birds too.
Underwater World was much larger than I had expected and had a very large range of animals including seals, penguins, flamingos, sharks, turtles, sea horses and a large range of fish.
After lunch we stumbled across a four hour, three island tour. All we were told about the first island was that there’s a large fresh water lake there. While the lake was impressive, we were surprised by the large monkey population that lived on the island. The monkeys were all very friendly, though a little reluctant to pose in a photo with us, we did manage to get a couple of good snaps.
The second island was the eagle feeding. The boat stopped in a bay, about 50 meters from the shore and the boat driver threw some fish bits in the the ocean. The eagles must have been watching from the shore line and about 30 swooped out to get their free snack. They aren’t the biggest birds I’ve seen, but I was still impressed.
The last island was a chance to relax on the beach and get in the water. There was a film crew when we arrived that looked like they were filming a tourism commercial, though they didn’t stay long. We managed to enjoy the warm water for half an hour or so before we had to head back to the main island.
Our plans are still more or less open for the next couple of days, though geocaching and massages are definitely on the cards.
We’ve arrived in Langkawi – a group of 99 islands off the west coast of Malaysia.
Langkawi draws in tourists due to its duty free status but doesn’t feel nearly as touristy as Phuket. It appears to be the perfect balance – infrastructure (such as attractions and public ammenities) are in place but there are no crowds or heavily inflated prices. People are friendly and there are standard prices for taxis which makes getting around stress free.
We’re staying in Kuah which is the town centre on the main island (Palau Langkawi) although there isn’t much over this side of the island. Most restaurants are over on the western beach (Centang) but a taxi is only 24MYR (around $10NZD) to get there.
So far we’ve been to Underwater world, Eagle feeding, visited a couple of the smaller islands and I had the best lamb kebab of my life. Phil will post more about these shortly, you’ll probably have to use your imagination for details about that kebab though.
Last night we decided was a good night to see what Kuala Lumpur’s night life was like, so we visited a restaurant that was part of the Pavilion mall, which is a mall of epic proportions. The beer was cheap and the food and service were excellent, in good spirits we decided to head to across the road to an open air bar. Feeling adventurous we decided to try some apple flavoured ‘Egyptian style Shisha’, which is flavoured smoking through a large water pipe. It was was delicious at first, though lead me to feel a little nautious later, and a beer later we headed back to the hotel.
Sunday was our last full day in Kuala Lumpur, and we decided to go back to Petronas Twin Towers (which we past through on our first day, but my camera was out of batteries) and take some photos and go up to the sky bridge.
We arrived around twelve (after having KL style McDonald’s for lunch,) to find that they where all out of tickets to the sky bridge again, which was a shame. We managed to make the most of it by getting in some GeoCaching and also visiting the mall, which was impressive, but not as impressive as the Pavilion, which is insane.
There aren’t many geocaches in KL but fortunately there was one right next to the towers. We did discover however, that the GPS in the iPhone requires you be connected to either a cellphone network or a WiFi network, neither of which we had. So we struggled a bit to find it, which wasn’t helped by the security guard that seemed to be following us around, but we did find it in the end. And it turned out the guard was more interested in telling off the two Australians playing frisbee (which is obviously too dangerous to play in a park).
Tomorrow we head off to Langkawi around lunch time, the weather has held out so far on out trip – fingers crossed it stays that way now we’re going to the beach!
Our Travel Blog
Posts on this blog are from both Phil and myself as we make our way around the world.
Current Location: Wellington, New Zealand.