Trip Start Sep 11, 2003
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Malaysia  ,
Wednesday, April 7, 2004

I love Malaysia. I arrive after a hellish journey by boat and about five buses to the border. I have missed the last boat to the Perhentian islands where I am meant to be starting work the next day. My hellish days completed when I am transported to a totally scuzzy hotel by a cheating taxi driver. (He has charged me double the normal fare and advised me that my chosen hotel does not exist - I find out later that the hotel does exist)The following day I am transported to the islands on a speed boat that should ocme with a sports bra. Not the most comfortable form of transport. By lunchtime I am in the water trying to coax a student to clear a broken mask. So it begins...

This is probably the busiest few weeks of my whole trip. I am working every day about twelve hours teaching students everything form open water to dive master. The island is tiny and I am more or less confined to the beach on which I live as you can't cross most of the island through the jungle. There are no cars and you must walk or travel by boat. The diving is lovely and I am sure I will be back.

From here I take the train to Kuala Lumpur. This is kind of a cleaner smaller version of Bangkok. Highlights include fabulous food and the best book shop in Asia. God I have missed good book shops. I go up the twin towers and feel ill but am soothed by being able to purchase much desired salt and vinegar crisps in Marks and Spencer in the shopping centre beneath. Purchase an underwater camera housing for my camera. hours of fun.

A few days in Tioman and Mellacca follow. Tioman lets me put the new camera to use. I'm just learning so there is much better to come.

I make my way to Borneo to take a trip to the islands of Mabul and Sipidan. This has to be some of the best diving in the world. It includes my first sighting of a Manta ray. Awesome. There are about one hundred and fifty underwater shots but just a few here.

Back on mainland Borneo I take a trip to the jungle and am attacked by leaches. I feel ill but am cheered up by the Orang Utangs.

From here back to KL and onto Singapore. Singapore is dull. Best bit is managing to get a new camera to replace the one killed in Thailand and also a Singapore sling in the long bar of Raffles hotel.

Onwards to Oz.
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