Sunday, August 31, 2008


There were heaps of things to do on Langkawi, we could have stayed longer, but the train ticket was booked and we had to move on. We took another ferry, this time to Alor Setar which took an hour and a half.


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Stunning Views


Friday, August 29, 2008

Langkawi Chairlift

This was a highlight of the trip, the chairlift was so steep and the mountain it went up fell away to the sea on the other side. There are 99 islands (I think) in the Langkawi area.


Thursday, August 28, 2008


Here it is.... Zadok's favourite pass time, breakfast, the paper and a quiet wife.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sunset Resort

The Sunset Resort was basic but nice. The location was fantastic and the 2 women who worked there were the loveliest people (possibly just charmed by Zadok mind you).

We ate breakfast on the porch behind Zadok's chair.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Pantai Cenang

We stayed our second 2 nights on Langkawi in the Sunset Resort. A different vibe to Bon Ton! This shot is taken about 37 seconds walk from our room. The next day the weather was perfect and the waves big, we had a fantastic swim (even Zadok was convinced to put up with the sand for a little bit!)


Monday, August 25, 2008

Cute as Pie

I was trying to cut back on photos to hurry up and finish Malaysia, as it's gone on forever, but who can resist this cute face?


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Tanjung Rhu

Here I am on the North side of Langkawi, on the Tanjung Rhu beach. It was beautiful. This is the resort area, much quieter than Pantai Cenang.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Back to Bon Ton

We popped back to Bon Ton for lunch even though we weren't staying there anymore. You can see why! Paradise!


Friday, August 22, 2008


After that it was off to another Island (I've not got the name with me, I've written the last 10 posts or so in Pokhara). I did swim here, it was lovely.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Lake

We hired a little solar powered boat to enjoy the lake, the solar power was not very efficient in the cloudy weather and we had to resort to muscle power instead!


Wednesday, August 20, 2008


There are thousands of mokeys in the jungle in Malaysia (and in Nepal actually, but that's another story!) These little guys are not shy and no wonder with tourists coming and going all the time and often feeding them.
I steared clear due to not being keen on catching rabies or monkey pox (apparently there is a disease called monkey pox).


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Notes on Nepal #4

Talk about saving the 'best' till last....

I have been in my orphanage for nearly a week now. There is no running water, all the water is drawn from a well (it's not a pretty well with a top on so get that picture out of your head) using a leaky bucket. We have electricity but it goes off some evenings as there is not enough to service the whole of Kathmandu. Despite being less than 5 km from Thamel, the major tourist area I have not seen a white face.

The orphanage is on the ground floor of a typical concrete house. It's very basic. It has squat toilets which of course do not flush. The children sleep 2 to a bed, which are home made bunk type things. The kitchen has a gas cooker and of course, there is no sink or anything, all the washing is done out by the well.

There are 2 women who work at the orphanage, one is the cook and the other the 'chairman' as the children call her. Yesterday I forgot my western politeness and just asked about the women (they don't speak English). The cook is 26, her 4yo daughter lives with her in the orphanage. She is a victim of domestic violence, apparently her husband drinks a lot and hits her so she came to live and work in the orphanage. The other woman no one is sure about.

The kids are lovely. They are quite needy, demanding and rough, I guess because they are always together mucking around. The young ones have limited English, the oldest is 15 and he is doing most of the translating for me which is good.

I was really ill (for the first time) the night before last which is not good when you only have a squat toilet and you have to get your water from the well. All better now, thank goodness!

This time next week I will be home in Dubai. Feels quite strange!


Lake of the Pregnant Maiden

The first stop was The Lake of the Pregnant Maiden. It is an island with a huge lake in the middle. Apparently the water is great for women trying to conceive. i was not thirsty! This is on the dock , we had to walk a short way to the lake.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Island Hopping

We just did one organised tour on Langkawi, we went out in a little boat and they took us to 2 different islands and to see eagles being fed. Here is Zadok making preparations! Also note the sunshine which unfortunately didn't hang around the whole morning.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Telaga Tujuh #2

Here I am swimming in the 7 wells at the top of the falls. Our trusty companion, The Lonely Planet, suggested sliding down between wells, but one trip to the Doctor is quite enough thanks!


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Telaga Tujuh

Now we had wheels it was lovely to explore the island as we pleased. Here I am at Telaga Tujuh (7 wells). This is the waterfall below the wells. I syudied Indonesian at school, Bahasa Indonesian and Bahasa Malay are very similar. My Bahasa is now terrible but it was nice to be able to translate a few signs etc. by myself!


Friday, August 15, 2008

The Mighty Mouse Deer

The second day in Langkawi we hired a car. We were really wondering why the company was called 'Mouse Deer Rentals'. Later in the trip it became apparent that the car we hired, a Kancil, is named after the Mouse Deer, a tine deer native to Malaysia. Here is Zadok once again driving a hair dressers car, but at about $18 a dayall in, who can complain?


Thursday, August 14, 2008


Some of the profits from Bon Ton go towards running an animal shelter. Zadok loves animals and was very happy to spend some of his vacation entertaing the dogs, and this cat (I think he's called skippy due to a dodgy leg) was happy to take up residence on out little balcony or in the room if he could get past me.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bon Ton Resort

Bon Ton is about 5 minutes drive off the main strip of Pantai (beach) Cenang. It's not on the beach but on a private lagoon and has this small but lovely pool. You can just see Yellow Orchid nestled behind Zadok's head. Most of the stilt houses have outside bathrooms with these gorgeous wooden tubs. Bliss!


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Off to Langkawi

We headed to Langkawi by ferry, I thought I was feeling much better (turned out I wasn't but a trip to the Doctor the next day had that sorted). Now here the photo a day gets difficult I have hundreds of beautiful photos from Langkawi and I don't want to leave any out!

We stayed the first 2 nights in the absolutely delightful Bon Ton Resort. if you find yourself in Langkawi go and stay here! The resort consists of about 8 traditional Malay stilt houses carefully renovated and scattered amoungst peceful gardens. Here is the 'Yellow Orchid' for the second night we moved to 'Blue Ginger' (I had booked only days before, even in low season they were just about fully booked).


Monday, August 11, 2008


I have 2 photos from Penang, and they are both rubbish. I spent 2 night making use of the hotel bathroom. We did wander round and had a look at a few different areas, but in reality we weren't that keen on this island. I thought that could have been because I wasn't well, but a number of other travelers made similar comments so I didn't feel so bad! I did buy my first 2 pairs of shoes for the holiday here. They are nice... But I haven't worn them yet. Nepal is definitely not a high heel country!


Wendy's Word on the Weather

Here we go Dad! Reporting from Pokhara so it's not an exact wether report but you'll get the picture!

Pokhara: Mix of cloudy and sunny, warm but not awful, maybe mid 20s but just a bit too humid to be really comfortable. Fan in the hotel room makes it very pleasant. Hopefully the sun comes out for a trip to the pool this afternoon. Pokhara is meant to be the wetest part of Nepal and this was proven 2 nights ago with the most rain I have ever seen fall in 1 hour. Ro and I had to wade from the restaurant back to the hotel with our shoes in our hands.

Rampoor/Chitwan: I may live in the desert but at least those people have heard of airconditioning. Temperatures reach the mid 30s at the moment and humidity is high during the day. I have never sweated so much in my life and took to wearing a bandana round my neck when gardening (what is happening to me?!) The electricity cutting out up to 8 times a day does not help with the whole fan situation.

Kathmandu: I thought it was uncomfortable here but now I have been to Chitwan I am not going to complain. High 20s I imagine (I am largely guessing) with moderate humidity some days.

Overall it's probably rained some every second day, it's meant to be nearing the end of the monsson but it's been a 'drought' year so they say. I just recieved this email from Zadok which makes me feel better....
'Was 51 ground tem yesterday in shade with 90% humidity. People working
outside in MIS were allowed to go home if they wished to.'


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Travelling about

We left the Cameron Highlands by bus, planning on heading on to Ipoh then Penang. This was the only time we had any difficulty with on ground transport. We'd bought a ticket to Ipoh, then all the buses for the day were booked out for Penang! Luckily we hired a private taxi, and although it was significantly more expensive I have paid more for a 30 minute cab ride in Melbourne than we paid for more than 2 hours. I think his speedo was broken by the way!


Saturday, August 09, 2008

Notes on Nepal #3

3 weeks in...
This week I have been staying with a Nepali farming family in the tiny town of Rampoor (? never saw it written anywhere.) I have been working in the community Nursery which has mostly involved weeding and preparing hundreds of pots with soil for the planting season in September. I ate Dhal Baat (rice with lentils) twice a day every day I was there (Nepalis eat at about 10am and 7.30pm and that is it, and they eat the same thing twice a day every day, day in, day out.)

Last night we (Bronte and myself) stayed in a stilt house in the Chitwan National Park. We didn't see any big animals unfortunately but it was still great fun!

Today I diverted from my planned itinerary (again) and have come to Pokhara to be a tourist for a few days. It's lovely and peaceful here. I have photos of everything of course but you'll have to wait!


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Steam Boat

In Tanah Rata, the town in Cameron Highlands that we stayed in, we decided to have a 'Steam Boat' for dinner. They put this pot on a gas burner on your table, then put Tom Yum soup or some such broth in it. Then they bring you raw meats, fish and noodles that you cook yourself.

It was a good laugh. Andrea and I asked for tips from the staff and they told us just to shove the lot in. Now I am more experienced I think I'd go a little slower next time! Zadok wasn't so impressed. He ordered another meal when we got back home!


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Big Beers

All through Malaysia they served beer in longneck bottles. So when there are three of you and you think we'll just have a quick beer, it turns into a lot of beer!


Monday, August 04, 2008

Father's Guesthouse

Back to the backpackers for a few hours of sitting in the sun before dinner, the staff here couldn't believe the weather, it rains nearly every day of the year in the Cameron Highlands. This is just about th view we had out over the garden through the sweeping 'french doors' of the 'executive suite' I mentioned earlier. Also note I am once again drinking beer rather than wine. Weird.


Sunday, August 03, 2008

Fancy a cuppa?

Here I am sipping my cup of BOH tea. BOH stands for Best of the Highlands. It was good I have to say. Zadok was convinced to try an cup and was less than convinced. Should have had a coffee!


Saturday, August 02, 2008

BOH Tea Factory

After the Mossy Forest we headed back down the mountain to the Boh tea factory and tea rooms. I don't drink a lot of tea but after walking through this factory I was craving a cup! They do all the drying and sorting here, and then store the tea for however long, depending on which type of tea they are making.


Friday, August 01, 2008

Fly Yeti... Pay less, fly less.

Now just as we were deciding that Malaysia would be good for a holiday, Air Arabia, a low cost carrier that flies out of Sharjah, announced that they were opening up flights from Sharjah, through Nepal to KL. We laughed about this because I had just booked to go to Nepal in the second part of the holiday and it seemed random that we would be there together just days before on out return from KL. I went ahead and booked the flights, which were half the price of Malaysian Airline. When I booked it became apparent that the Kathmandu KL leg was operated by Fly Yeti, a Nepalese airline recently taken over by Air Arabia. We laughed at this too.... Maybe we'll get fed yeti steaks, maybe the yeti hangs his arms out and flaps them due to a lack of wings, you know, funny stuff.

We went ahead with the booking, then about 2 weeks before we flew I got sent a strange flight plan that had us flying on the 2nd leg of our return journey, before we had flown the 1st. 5 phone calls later with me slightly annoyed, I'd sorted out this 1st, relatively small issue.

Our first flight went off without a hitch, we flew Sharjah Kathmandu, spent the day in Kathmandu which was crazy and a mess (and had me mildly concerned about heading back there for 5 weeks). We then headed back to the airport to catch our ongoing flight. Sorry, it's been postponed until the morning! We opted to wait and try out the airline provided hotel, back into Kathmandu, we spent the night at Hotel Prime which was actually ok I suppose by Nepali standards. We were then entertained by some traditional Nepali dancers, which was quite hilarious (I'll share a picture of the yak one day). By the time we got back to the airport early the next morning it had actually been a bit of a laugh, we met a couple of nice people and had had a good time.

Then we had a great holiday, on the second to last day we thought we'd better confirm our return flights. Then we found that during our holiday Air Yeti has folded and we can get a refund for the half of our flight that they would've operated. We hopped down to their KL office and are told bad luck, take the money. After a heated discussion and a few tears they agreed to fit us on a Royal Nepal Airlines flight that was leaving in time to make our connection.

We got that flight and it was fine, the flight was full of workers and we were upgraded to business class. All was well till we were landing in Kathmandu, nearly on the tarmac when the pilot pulled up due to low visibility. He had another go 15 minutes later, no luck, then would you believe we were told we had to divert to New Dehli due to low fuel.

So we landed in New Dehli, sat on the tarmac for about 2 hours, then flew back to Kathmandu in time to miss our connecting flight! Royal Nepal Airlines agreed to put us up for the night, air arabia told us bad luck you missed your flight. Another heated discussion ensued (with another few tears, I was quite weary by then) and finally the Air Yeti office put us on the next days flight despite the fact that it was already full. Back into Kathmandu, same hotel (they must have a deal with the airlines). We actually had a really pleasant evening, the city had been cleaned up and we arrived much earlier, had a delicious dinner in a very laid back bar (leaving me feeling much better about spending the next 5 weeks there). We got to the airport about 4 hours before our flight the next day not willing to risk getting bumped because the flight was over booked. So, a day late, we arrived back in the UAE, no worse off financially but a little weary and a little more knowledgeable about airline offices and their workings, I can certainly say I have never been so glad to be in Sharjah in my whole life!