Farewell Thailand

Trip Start Mar 14, 2006
Trip End Mar 15, 2007

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Flag of Malaysia  ,
Sunday, October 15, 2006

Woke up to a beautiful morning with clear blue skies and the sun beaming down for the first time in days. Arse.

Dropped off Elliot's watch he lent me to get me up (due to the alarm) sliding it under his beach bungalow door while noticing the padlock still on the outside. Guessing it was not a neat party trick I was not surprised to find him down by the pier having still yet to go to sleep, which is exactly what I did on the crossing back to Krabi.

The small mini bus to Hat Yai and then onto the Malaysian border meant no further sleep was gained especially with the little Malay boy insisting on playing with me for half the journey with feigning sleep not enough to fool his energetic seat bouncing.

With a quick border crossing I had finally left Thailand for the last time this trip, a country and people I'd come to love but know I will back again some day.

From the window of the bus Malaysia appears clean, tidy and tree'y with more than a few leafy palm trees flashing past.

The ferry from Butterworth to Penang was a short 15 minute crossing before I was asked where I wanted dropped off. Not having a clue (pre-planning can sometimes be a good thing, as does have some local currency ahead of time) I jumped out on driving down a brightly lit busy street lined with food stalls and hotels realizing this was the main backpacker quarter of Chinatown.

Still unsure of where I was I was pointed in the right direction by a couple of the many prostitutes hanging around - hey, they provide a public service.

Settling on a large but dingy room for 15 Ringgit a night I stepped out into the melting pot of cultures that is Penang and Malaysia as a whole with Little India being a stones throw from Chinatown with plenty of Malay in between including a large mosque replacing the call of "Hello, massage?" with the call to prayer.

With such a range of cultures, Malaysia is a foodies dream with a choice from Indian, Malay, Western, Cantonese and Chinese including many of the great little street food nibbles I'd not seen since China still all heavily deep fried to within an inch of any nutritional value.

Welcome to Malaysia.
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