Shoes shoes shoes!

Trip Start May 06, 2006
Trip End Mar 23, 2009

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Flag of Malaysia  ,
Monday, August 7, 2006

Ahhh, I miss my little paradise island! I didn't want to leave but I had to use Penang's more convenient facilities incase I don't have any access from my new home in Thailand! As it turns out I could've stayed an extra day thanks to the postal service but I'm here now so I may as well make the most of it!

So, it was gorgeous on the island. Lucky after the stupidly long bus trips and the ferry journey I had to make there. I began to regret not posting the box of stuff I was gonna send from the Cameron Highlands due to the weight of my bag. Anyway, it was really quiet and the beaches were practically empty, not to mention absolutely stunning. I made the most of doing nothing all day except a bit of swinging in the numerous hammocks and on the swings on the beach! Heaven! I also hired a motorbike for one day and took Lin from Belgium on a mini tour of the island! It was an automatic so it was easy to drive but I was still a little worried when I had difficulty turning the bike around at the end of the road on my 'test drive'! I managed the trip up and down the hills and around nasty corners though and we made it back safely. The whole thing only took about 2 hours and that was with stops at all the sights and for Lin to have something to eat! There was one road around the whole island. It was tiny and I loved it... how long I could spend there without going mad I don't know but a week or two longer would've been very nice. The accommodation was extremely basic and I had a mini panic at first but once I got in and settled I actually loved it... ants nest and all!!

I left my little haven and trekked on to Penang. The bus journey was okay and then I got yet another ferry over to the island. Determined to not use the annoying taxi men on my exit from the ferry I decided to walk to my hostel. What a HUGE mistake this was as I arrived a ball of sweat with every muscle in my body killing me. Damn me and my stubborness (sp?)! This is much more like a city and, if I'm completely honest, I'm sick of polluted cities that all look the same so I'm probably not enjoying it as much as I should be! It's pretty easy to get around though and the amount of food on offer is unbelieveable so I'm not complaining too much. It's just VERY hot and humid and the dorm I'm sharing with 9 men is a little smelly and unbearable at night. Was gonna splash out on the air con room but I figure I can make one more day.

The title is in reference to yesterdays experience. I took a trip to the mall to try to replace the shoes the dog ate and get a LP for Thailand. I came out with a sore back, sore legs and nothing to show for my day at the mall. I can quite definitely say that it's the most confusing mall I've ever been to and the place was huge! There were 4 or 5 of the same store in the place it was that big! How I came out with nothing I'll never know but it was all so damn cheap and it just made me want to shop all over again! My powers are surprising me (that and the thought of how much my bag already weighed!). I also gained an odd love for shoes from being in there (for those who know me well, shoe shopping is something I deteste!). I'm sure finding some in my size would still have proved challenging (possibly even more so!) but the choice on offer was amazing!

Today I headed up to Penang Hill. It rained and I mean RAINED as soon as I got there so I had to sit it out before going up. My god it's high! I seem to have picked everywhere in off peak season so the "breathtaking views" I'm supposed to be seeing seem to be distinctly lacking but you could just about see the city under the clouds (or maybe it was just smog) and you could see the view would've been great! It was very commercialised up there which I wasn't prepared for but nice enough. There were loads of houses, a post office and police station so it really is like a little community on top of a big ass hill! I could've gone to the beach for the day but that sounded very touristy too so I skipped it and headed back to chat with my parents on the webcam which avoided the sun burn and was much more fun!

I've also been walking past some pretty amazing Chinese temples - the incense they burn at those places gives off an amazing smell all around! Not sure which scent it is but I like it! We also drove past some massive graveyards today. They don't look after them in quite the same way we do but they quite literally go on for miles!

Another observation I've made about this country is that they have a drive through post offices and Subway and McDonalds both do deliveries! How mad is that?!

Random thoughts over. Tomorrow I move on! I have a train ticket to Bangkok and have another bed on a 21 hour journey! Euch! And then I'm getting the bus straight to the tiger place from there which is about another 3 hour journey... I'll stay overnight in Kanchanaburi and then it's about 20k (I think!) on from there so I'll get the bus the next day! I'll be hitting Bangkok and all the islands on the way back down so any pointers on good places to go or stay would be much appreciated (Emma, I know you'll be good for this one!!).

After that I might not have any internet access or phone access for the time I'm there. I'm not 100% on that and have been wrong so many times already with my communication predictions but just thought I'd prepare everyone (I know you'll all miss these in your inbox! Ha!). Apologies for not being able to catch up with all your emails recently. The address should you wish to write is on the tiger temple website ( and I'm prob gonna be there for about a month so I'll be expecting piles of mail!

I hope everyone is well and I hope to hear from you all soon! Take care!
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