All posts filed under: Travel

Sleeper train – Bangkok to Chiang Mai

After missing my first chance of the sleeper train from Malaysia, due to cancellation, I was super excited to get the chance at doing it again. Truth is, as a mode of transport I love trains. Buses are uncomfortable, due to the stupidity of others on the road cars scare me, and well planes are in the bloody sky! I like my travel, like my people, down to earth. At least on a train you can get up, walk around, stick your head out the window (careful) and have a piss! Striking a pose in Hualamphong Station (Krungthep) – Bangkok’s Main Railway Station We booked a 2nd class sleeper, which cost about 800THB, always choose the lower bunk as it has more room! We were very excited about sessioning in the train, as we had heard so many great stories of a party carriage /restaurant. To our surprise when we got on there were signs everywhere stating absolutely no alcohol. After a bit of googling we found out why…. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/girl-raped-killed-on-overnight-thailand-train/story-e6frg6so-1226982665457?nk=cca4ab9f3d9ff622a25eec24c0836180 …. Must stop googling on my …

Orangu-tans!

If you only have a few days in Kuching, this is must-see! I usually hate anything ‘must-see’, ‘must-do’, yada yada. Partly because I don’t like crowds, and more so because of my somewhat rebellious black sheep nature of having to go against the grain. But sometimes, I’ve got to give in. In truth, I am from a small town in the South East of Ireland, when the fuck am I actually going to get a chance to see this magnificent animal again? I could say on a Saturday night at 2am outside the a pub, but that would be completely insulting the Orangu-tans.   Semengoh Rehabilitation Centre is not actually a place where these wild animals go to get off the smack, or are suffering from ‘exhaustion’. It is a sanctuary for rescued animals, taken into care after they have been abandoned or abused by captivators who treated them not so nicely to put it mildly. There are two feeding times, when members of the public can attend and hope to get a glimpse of these beautiful endangered beings. Note, …

Beautiful Borneo

As the old saying goes, ‘When one door closes, another door opens’. I had no intention of travelling to Borneo, one part of which belongs to Malaysia, and the rest to Indonesia. My intent was to travel in a straight line from Penang, up through Thailand, with the end destination being Chiang Mai in Thailand. Why would a woman travelling alone want to go to Borneo? After all, to my teenage knowledge, it was full of cannibals, wild animals, and jungle right? Wrong-ish. If train travel in SE Asia is anything, it’s consistent in it’s lateness or the fact that the trains may not run at all. I was super excited to get my first overnight sleeper from Butterworth to Thailand. Hungover (smart girls get drunk the day they are before to travel) I picked up my ticket, ferry across from Penang to Butterworth, dragged my 25kg suitcase (yes, 32 now, no backpack for me) to the train station, and it was locked up. I had some poor older Aussie guy running up and down steps with my suitcase, and …

Street Art – George Town, Penang Island, West Malaysia

Penang Island is part of Western Malaysia, and was the first stop on my trip travelling solo. If I completely honest, I did not do my research and knew I didn’t want to go to Kuala Lumper again so just picked the next biggest city on the map. My over all impression of Penang, gave me the same uneasy feeling I felt in Kuala Lumper, magnified by the fact I was travelling alone, and also doing my research a bit late in the day. In transit in Singapore airport I typed into Google ‘Penang this week’ and was happily greeted by this wonderful story an hour before I was to board my flight… http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/46-murders-in-penang-since-january-cops-set-up-special-team …oh dear. Throw in a massive Irish goodbye session the day before, and couple with the amount of heckling I received from men on my first day (it will have to be another post), I was all about ready to repack my bags and fly back Down Under. On my second day I found the strength somewhere to go and have a …

Kuih (Kek) Lapis – Malaysian Layer Cake

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to Kuih (Kek) Lapis. A popular snack in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia (Kek) , this is the most prettiest cake I have ever seen. So time consuming to make, but I reckon worth the effort entirely! All the colours of the rainbow! And all the flavours, watermelon, cheese, peppermint?! Myself and my my travel companion, Diana, bought 3 between us in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. We almost ate a whole one between us in one night, I finished it the second day! They are sold on the main Bazaar, hundreds of them, in every country flag you could want. We took a boat taxi across the river (apparently the best place to get them) and just as you get off behind the food court, you will see a rainbow sign, and a purple building. Ring the doorbell and a lovely little old Malay lady will get up from her soap opera and come out and meet you. 10 RM per cake, so soft and moist. We tested loads …

Eat, Pray…. Fuck you!

When I decided this year, that I couldn’t hold off the wanderlust any longer, and was to go travelling solo, I received the usual reactions from people –  “I couldn’t do that”, “Are you sure you will be safe?”, “You’re so brave!!”. When I announced my destinations to be South East Asia, and then Yoga teacher training in India, I’ve actually lost count of the many people whose reaction suddenly changed to the response “Oh…so you are doing the typical Eat, Pray, Love kind of thing?”, while they not so discreetly threw there eyes somewhere up to heaven, or to the side, or looked down, and with such action I felt I had lost the previous respect bestowed on to me that solo women travellers (rightly) receive. Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir of her decision to pack up her life, quit her job, and  leave her marriage, and travel where she wanted to, and how she wanted to, is actually very inspiring, funny in places and just a good read. I for one am sure it prompted many women (and men if …