Saturday, February 06, 2010

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Bangkok & Koh Tao, Thailand

(link to the pictures at the bottom of this blog post)

We’ve made it back to China after 11 solid days of traveling. We had an absolute blast with many great memories and funny stories to tell! Our trip started out flying from Hong Kong into Kuala Lumpur (KL). We made it to the airport with hours to spare only to find out that our 5 pm flight had been delayed until 7:30 pm. So needless to say we had plenty of time at the airport before our four hour flight. We got into KL a little after midnight and boy was it hot! Immediately after stepping off the plane we began to rethink our decision to go somewhere hot! (I just had to add that line in because I know all of you at home are freezing cold…sorry =) After waiting about another hour for a taxi, then driving into the city where our hotel/hostel place was, we were exhausted! The next morning, we woke up in time for the free toast and juice that our bed and breakfast provided to find about six guys that are in our program already there! It was funny seeing them before they left for Thailand. The guy, Jody, who teaches with us at school, was actually in KL with his friend Melanie the same time we were. We actually met up with them Saturday afternoon and went to lunch then to the Menera Kuala Lumpur Tower. It’s the 4th largest telecommunications tower in the world. We were able to go to the top and take some great pictures of the city! After walking around for a bit and seeing the tower, we headed back to catch up on sleep. Sunday we went to this great mall that was very close to our place and grabbed some traditional Malay food and then walked over to the Petronas Towers. After taking lots of pictures our friends Emily and Murray went back to the mall for a little shopping and Jordan and I jumped on the monorail just to see some more of the city. Sunday night we ended up going to the movies, since movie tickets were cheap! Believe it or not, China’s movie prices are similar to America’s, so when converted the price of the tickets there and realized it was only about $6 we decided to not only go Sunday night but also Monday night! It was fun since we hadn’t been to see any movies other than Avatar since being gone. Monday was very interesting. We bought tickets to the Hop On Hop Off bus so we could see some more touristy parts of KL. Oddly enough Monday most places are closed…go figure…It was still fun riding the double decker busses throughout town and it was a beautifully hot day. Overall, we really enjoyed KL. It is a very diverse city and pretty clean too! =) We left first thing Tuesday morning to begin the second leg of our journey to Thailand. After arriving in Bangkok, we had about eight hours to kill before getting on an overnight bus to travel down to the south eastern part of Thailand where we would stay practically for the rest of the trip. The bus ride was long and cramped, but we arrived at the ferry around 4 am. Unfortunately, the ferry didn’t leave for the island until 8 am so yet again, we were waiting. Except this time we were tired and disoriented. The ferry ride was about two hours and of course the waves were terrible that day due to a storm coming in… and I seemed to be the only one affected by it if you get what I mean… We made it to our location for the next week just fine and everyone at Big Blue Diving resort were super friendly and got us really excited about learning to scuba dive! For the next four days we were busy pretty much all day taking scuba classes and diving! We had the best time!!! Jordan was a natural passing all the underwater tests, etc. I was a bit more nervous when it came to removing my mask underwater and trying to remember to keep breathing…but once I got it all figured out everything seemed a lot better. I’ve tried to describe my feelings and the only way that makes sense to me was that everything (the gear especially) seemed very uncomfortable out of the water, but the second we began diving everything was perfect. Nothing was too heavy-everything just worked. We had four dives and the highlight of our trip was that on our second dive we saw a baby whale shark! Granted our baby whale shark was about 9 feet long! When we jumped in the water for that dive, we knew that there was a whale shark around. I started swimming to where all the people were and I couldn’t see it. I figured it must be a little lower, so I started to swim back toward Jordan. He kept signaling me and said, “Did you see it!?!?!!” I of course had the biggest dumb blonde moment of my life and was confused and said “No...did you?”. Then the next thing I remember is Jordan yelling “TURN AROUND!!!!” and when I did I see this “baby” whale shark swimming RIGHT at me. I totally freak out (by that I mean start squirming and kicking towards Jordan). Jordan was laughing hysterically along with our instructor. I was laughing too at how stupid I was….which seemed to be the running joke for the rest of the week. We are officially SSI scuba certified up to 20 meters. We cannot wait to add our advanced certification so we can go even further underwater very soon. It looks like our vacations from here on will be focused on finding great dive sites! =) While in Koh Tao, we tried lots of local food, had dinner in bean bags while watching the sunset, enjoyed fire twirlers entertainment every night, and relaxed in-between diving! Sunday, we got back on the ferry and took the bus back to Bangkok. This time it was traveling all day which wasn’t as bad. We grabbed a place to stay then got some street food for dinner. Monday morning we woke up early in hopes to go on an elephant ride, but we were too late. We ended up going to the aquarium…I guess we just hadn’t seen enough fish. =) Actually, we just wanted to be indoors in air-conditioning. Monday night we just walked around the streets, getting our touristy items and then went to bed early since our flight left at 6:30 am! We had so much fun during this trip and hope that you enjoy looking at the pictures!

Looking forward to our next adventure,
Tyler & Jordan

Here’s the link to our pictures on Facebook: