George Town Malaysia 2015

IMG 1640What a long day. The 7 hour delay in our flight to KL led to a 4 hour wait for the next flight to Penang.

A simple process to get a taxi at the airport, there is a booth for tickets and a queue to pick up the taxi. Having a s**t load of luggage actually works for us in as much as the man decides we need a van, not a taxi and charges us double but there is a van waiting so queue bypassed.

The pre-booked Campbell House in Georgetown is interesting, not least for it’s interesting luggage lift and curious room configuration in “the loft”. Actually  we are very impressed, it certainly looks like it lives up to the TripAdvisor reviews.

Dinner is a quick satay from a street vendor

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P1080850Either the satay or the curry at the airport have proved unwise for me. Several trips to the bog are required before I can safely venture forth.

It’s hot walking around Georgetown and gets hotter as the day wears on. We work out the free hop on - hop off bus and in the afternoon take the tour of the “Blue Mansion”. By this time we are knocked out and return via a rickshaw to our room for a much needed shower.

A couple of drinks in the bar chatting to an Aussie solo grey traveller named Ruthie were most interesting.

Dinner at the dim sim across the street was excellent and early to bed.

 

 

 

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P1080932Slept in until after 10! Most unusual for us.

Finally emerging and getting going we caught the beach tourist bus is most worthwhile as a familiarisation tour of the area with good views from the open top deck of the bus.

Luckily we did not choose to stay in the beach area as it’s all vast hotels, scruffy restaurants and tat shops. Horrid.

The Tropical Spice Garden (reached via the beach bus) was recommended by Sharon at the hotel and is a well documented walk around a vast selection of local and exotic jungle plants. There is excellent signage and an audio guide with more information than most will be able to adsorb and there is an "express" route to the cafe for when you have had enough. We bailed out after about half as it was immeasurably hot.

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Read more: 19th August 2015

P1080980Back to the airport where I have booked a car to take us to the Cameron Highlands. The driver is very chatty and after we explain our plan and says why don’t we drive on to KL rather than back to Penang and then flying to KL. He doesn’t use exactly those words.

It’s a good question and I have no good answer. Anyway after much faffing about the Avis man charges a heap extra and we have the car for an extra day and a one way Penang to KL.

The drive is motorway for at least 200km then twisty windy roads to our night to at the Smokehouse in the Cameron Highlands.

Here’s where it gets interesting. The past 50 years have not been kind to the Highlands. It’s now an indescribable maze of strawberry “farms”, tourist “attractions”, apartment tower blocks, shanty stalls selling all manner of crap and manic drivers. No mention of rubber plantations anywhere.

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Read more: 20th August 2015

IMG 1686What to do? Well breakfast first and that’s included in the room rate and frankly very, very poor, mostly due to only being lukewarm. Not a good thing for a fry up.

We take the poor little Proton Saga (a kind of locally made car) up to the highest point in the Cameron Highlands, Mt. Brinchang. This is not to be recommended as the road is very narrow and very steep and in terrible condition. At one point the car cannot get moving again despite lots of noise. Mary has to dismount so I can get it to move at all!

Worse yet the traffic pays no mind to the state of the road with madmen driving at stupid speeds!

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Read more: 21st August 2015

P1090051The road south from the Cameron Highlands is considerably more scenic than the one to the north, so much so that you would label it picturesque. It’s narrow with the same berserk drivers as elsewhere but we managed it well and in good time.

We took a "scenic" route via the coast road (Hwy 5) to Kuala Lumpur stopping variously for photos, fuel, comfort and so forth. It all took quite a few hours but most interesting. 

The coast is not what you would call a resort.

We won’t be getting a Proton Saga as our next ride however!

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