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Malaysia

Underwater World Langkawi

After checking out from the hotel on departure day, I just had time to go into Underwater World and take a quick look, before departing back to Kuala Lumpur.  The trip into Underwater World was good way to fill in an hour or two before heading to the airport.

Oriental Village and Langkawi Cable Car

After hiring a scooter for about $10 for the day, it was time for a trip to the Oriental Village and Cable Car.  As far as directions go, it is very easy to locate, as it’s one of the main tourist attractions on the island.  From either of the main beaches (Pentai Chenang or Pentai Tengah), just head back towards the airport, and keep going… Don’t turn off to the airport!  The trip (hopefully) takes less than 30 minutes.

The Oriental Village itself is not overly interesting, but has a few shops to keep people interested.  It also has a great food court for lunch where the food was cheap and tasted great.  There is also a place where you can hire a Segway, or go for an off-road Segway tour.  Not far from the Segway shop, is an off-road motorbike rental/tour company, which has fairly reasonable prices.  They also do abseiling  trips down one of the nearby waterfalls.  I definitely would have given this a go, but unfortunately didn’t have enough time.

The main attraction at the Oriental Village is definitely the Cable Car which gives a great view over the whole of Langkawi.

Langkawi Mangrove Tour

I decided to opt out of my normal trend and go for a tour.

The tour started with a hotel pickup around 8:30am (they do pickups for any hotel along the Pantai Cenang and Pantai Tengah areas).  It consisted of visits to a couple of things which I thought would be boring, but proved to be a great tour.

All up it included;

  • A boat ride through the mangroves on the Kilim River with a guide who told lame jokes, but was fairly entertaining!
  • Walkthough of a bat cave
  • “Crocodile Cave” where crocs used to live apparently… it’s just a low lying cave which the boats can just squeeze under at low to mid tide….
  • Fish breeding farm – not as boring as it sounds!
  • See some eagles feeding
  • A set Thai lunch at one of the floating restaurants
  • Stop-off for half an hour on one of the beaches on the way back for a swim

A great tour, and a must do if you visit Langkawi!

Petronas Towers

The must see of Kuala Lumpur.  Just take the LRT to KLCC station.

If you want to go up the towers, make sure you arrive early at the towers.  I arrived at 9am and there was already a massive line, so I skipped over going up the tower…

To get the tickets, enter the lobby between the two towers, then take the escalator on the left (a bit hard to see as it’s hidden) down to the ticket counter.  Be there at 8am if you don’t want to wait in a massive line!

Berjaya Times Square Theme Park

As the name suggests, the theme park is located inside the Times Square shopping centre on levels 5 & 7.  Entry to the park was RM38 (less than $13AUD) and had a few rides that made it worthwhile.

To get there, just take the monorail which starts near the KL Sentral station to Imbi  station.  The shopping centre is literally just across the road.

Times Square itself is definitely worth a look, as it is huge, and has a plethora of shopping available to satisfy anybody!

Batu Caves

After checking into my hotel in Chinatown, I walked to the old Kuala Lumpur train station, and took the train to Batu Caves – it’s easy to find the way, as the name of the station is also called Batu Caves.

Entry to the caves is free, and it’s definitely worth a look, particularly since it’s so easy to access.

Mount Kinabalu, Malaysia

After leaving home at 7:30am an 8 hour flight, a 2.5 hour flight, and a 2 hour car ride, I finally arrived at my hotel near the entrance to Mt Kinabalu at 11:00pm.

I was picked up from Kota Kinabalu airport by Michael who works/manages the Cottage Hotel near Mt Kinabalu. The flight had been delayed from KL to KK, so as the shops were going to be closed, he took me downtown to grab a meal before our 2 hour journey to the hotel, finally arriving at 11pm.

Early the next morning I cleaned out my bag and left the unnecessary items at the hotel, while Michael took me to the park entrance, only 5 minutes away by car.
After checking in with Mountain Torq I hired my guide for the 2 day trek – Richard.  Apparently Richard does the climb once a week (for the past 10 years) for “fitness,” as his full time job is a taxi-driver.  A short 5 minute mini-bus ride late, and we were at the entrance to the climb – Timpohon Gate.

It was 6km to the huts where we were going to camp overnight, before continuing a further 3km the next day to Low’s Peak.

The first day was a tough walk.   A lot of steps.  Probably the most difficult was the last kilometre of track, which appeared to be more rocky than the first 5km.  Luckily there were plenty of chances to take a pit-stop along the way, with shelters set up periodically along the track.

The climb to the huts took a little over 4 hours and I’m glad they weren’t another 1km further.

After checking in with Mountain Torq and going through the short safety briefing, I had a chance to take some pics and then go and have the buffet dinner at Laban Rata, before going back to the Pendant Hut for an early night.

Everybody was up about 1:30am to have breakfast and get ready for climbing.  By 2:45am we were climbing up steps again for the last 3km stretch to the peak.  The 7th km was relatively easy and allowed us to shuffle along at a steady pace without having to take a break.

It was about 5:30am when we reached the  peak, about 30 minutes before sunrise.

After sitting at the almighty cold and windy peak for about nearly an hour taking photos, we started to head back down to the 7.5km mark, where the Via  ferrata  started.

After getting roped up we started along the 1.2km Low’s Peak Circuit Via Ferrata – hanging off the side of mountain at 3,776m above sea level.  It had some spectacular views over the clouds.

After finishing the Via Ferrata it was back to the Pendant Hut for a 2nd breakfast, before completing the 2.5hr trip back to Timpohon Gate.

 

Must Have Gear:

  • Decent shoes that aren’t slippery on rock
  • A headlamp
  • Windproof and warm clothing, including gloves and something for your head – it’s cold at the top!  Ice in the puddles!
  • At least a poncho in case it starts raining
  • Camera!