One night in Bangkok....
Trip Start Aug 25, 2003
55Trip End Jul 18, 2004
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So I will try as best I can to give the highlights since we left the Cameron Highlands. We made a few stops on our way to Georgetown, Malaysia, both of which were worth the stop. "Kellie's Kastle" (that's right, with a "K") near Ipoh was built by a Scottish plantation owner "Sir(?) Iforgotthename Kellie." (I know my memory is baffleing, isn't it?). The Kastle was never finished and left to be retaken by vegetation until word got out that it was becomeing a bit of a tourist sight. The grounds have been cleaned up and there's an entrance fee, but structure itself was fun to explore
We did have a great experience getting back from Kellies Kastle to Ipoh. We had gotten off the bus back to Ipoh (wanting to stop to check out a Buddhist monestary - guess who forgot the name?) and found that for some reason no busses were stopping to pick us up again. We weren't far from our place, only a few kilometers, so after deciding to walk it someone had pulled off to see if we were OK. He ended up giving us a lift into town (don't worry mom and dad, Sarah and I were both sure we would be safe) stopping once because on the way to our place and getting us both sodas (in unopened cans, mom and dad) for making us have to wait and then taking us directly to our hotel. His name was Das (yes, Im sure I remembered that!) and he wouldn't accept anything stating "God had given him the chance to help us."
After that extremely uplifting experience we headed off the next morning to Georgetown, stopping at Kuala Kangsar to see the very striking Ubidiah Mosque. This stop was also worthwile as Kuala Kangsar had very picturesque paths along the river, somewhat reminiscent of Stratford, Ontario. The Mosque itself was incredible, even Sarah thought so despite not finding a bathroom there after really, really expecting to find one. Really.
After all of this good luck it was bound to balence out a bit. On the ferry to Georgetown we both noticed that the weather there looked, from the mainland, to be much cloudier. Knowing, as we so well knew, that it was not monsoon season on the west coast of Malaysia we though it must be some fluke or trick of the eye. It turns out no, in fact Peneng Island (where Georgetown is) has, for some reason, it's own distinct rainy season, and we managed to catch it on day 2. So, besides seeing a decent amount of movies, eating the last bits of Indian food for awhile, and doing some rainy sightseeing (of some places I don't remember the names to) that was the basic extent of our stay in Georgetown.
Thailand. After getting over the initial culture shock of not being able to read most signs, not even the letters (they use a version of Sanskrit), and having a larger percentage of the popluation not able to speak English we settled have settled into Thailand. It helped that on our first stop, Trang, while walking to find a guesthouse to stay at, we ran into another very helpful person Han. He was a westerner who left (I'm guessing Germany) to set up a book shop in Trang. He first gave us a good tip on a great place to stay, then later as we walked by his shop again he gave another tip on a goo place to eat, still later that night he suggested we check out the night market for sights and a sweet snack. Sarah had a crepe there that she talked about for days!
After Trang we hopped around the southwestern section of Thailand stopping at Krabi, Ko Phi Phi (where "The Beach" was filmed) and Phang Nga. This is what I like to refer to as the "Awesome Seafood" setion of the trip
We had one more stop before Bangkok, Chaiya. This little town had a surprising nice hotel (surprising because it was the only one in town and still very nice.) The reason for the stop was to investigate some ruins but the best part about it was that it was such a laid back and untouristed place. When we arrived (this time by train) we walked out into another very nice night market where the sizzle of frying food was everywhere. After getting settled and taking another look at the night market we noticed a larger night carnival down the street
Now in Bangkok we have just come from the final rehersal of the Royal Barges practicing rowing and chanting down the river in preperation for an APEC summit. This was incredible, 52 barges of different sizes each manned by at least 25 people by my count. The rest of the river traffic was shut down for the rehersal. So despite no "One Night in Bangkok" yet, it has been really cool. This may seem to jump around a bit, but I had alot of catching up to do. That's it for now.