Beach, buses and banana cake!

Trip Start Sep 28, 2010
Trip End Dec 16, 2010

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Where I stayed
Annie's Homestay

Flag of Malaysia  , Pinang,
Friday, October 8, 2010

Batu Ferringhi - a trek to get there, but well worth it! From Cameron Highlands, the journey took 8 hours via coach, bus and bus. The coach was a little slow and traffic's a nightmare (it was a Friday afternoon/evening), so making a decision to take the local bus also added on quite a lot of time (but saved a lot of ringgit). However, we arrived to the welcome site of people sitting outside drinking beer and playing millionaires Monopoly with credit cards. Fortunately, the geordies (wooo!), 1 American and Liverpudlians let us in and phoned Annie, the homestay owner, who wasn't expecting us despite having made a booking...Keiron had somehow booked for February 2011!! We blame the dodgy computers in Tanah Rata! It all turned out OK and Annie got us settled in - her and her husband Raj started the homestay in December last year and have a great set up where they live elsewhere and guests get the keys!

We had booked 3 nights but extended to 4 to give us a break from the actual travelling bit, so Day 1 was spent lying on the beach. It's a small beach with lots of resorts near by, but so nice to relax. We also had a bit of a wander round Ferringhi, and made good use of the 50" TV at Annie's and the homemade Banana Cake! All of us wandered down to the food court for tea in the evening and then headed to the beach bar (supposedly to meet Annie and Raj but they never showed up....). We got some roti on the way home, and Sophie managed to spill curry sauce on herself and the nice table (this is a bit of a recurring theme as 2 out of 3 tops now have faint curry sauce marks on them....oops).

Day 2 - We decided to be a bit more adventurous, leaving the others on the sofa to go and explore the National Park. After catching the bus and signing in to the park for trekking/exploring, the wild turned out to be a little bit too wild - we trekked for nearly 2 hours to get to Monkey Beach, where there were no monkeys, and very little beach as the tide was in, so we opted for a boat which took 10 minutes back to the park entrance! However we did see a crab and a lizard...
Recovered with the help of some banana cake and tea back at the homestay, TV again and food court at 7pm. Afterwards went to the night market where Sophie saw lots of shiny shiny things but was very good and didn't buy anything!

On Day 3 we attempted to get our Thai visas sorted - you only get a 15 day visa if you enter by land (or sea) which we are planning on doing but we will need a longer one, so we got the bus to George Town and then walked around to get to the consulate to buy a longer visa. Unfortunately instead of taking a taxi we ended up walking for a long time, so despite leaving Annie's at 9.30am we showed up at the consulate at closed at 12!!

So instead we took a taxi back to George Town, had some good Indian grub and decided to explore. The priority was to stop at a chocolatier, which turned out to be really really good - we stepped in after lunch and before we'd said anything we were whisked off to taste a lot of chocolate, espresso, coffee and tea for sale! We did some sightseeing and later in the afternoon we also found a guesthouse for Tuesday night so we'd be closer to the ferry terminal for our next move, and they have a Thai visa service where they sort everything out for a small fee. We opted for that instead of repeating the visa experience the following morning!

In the evening we went back to the foodcourt (recurring theme no.2, although there were only three of us this time as the Geordies and Liverpudlians are en route to Langkawi), sorted everything out, and said our farewells this morning. We will be back in February....!!! S & K xxx
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