Thursday, August 23, 2012

Malaysia - Week 4 and 5

Malaysia was an interesting place to say the least. We had some struggles in Borneo with a scary incident that happened in our place we stayed, as well as getting some tough news from home. But overlooking some hard times there, it was a great stop on our journey through Asia!

Our first stop was Kuala Lumpur where we had 24 hours to see the city. We checked out the Petronas Twin Towers and walked through the night markets. The roads were quite complicated and trying to get from point A to point B was tough!

We were off to Borneo within 24 hours. Part of the reason Borneo was so intriguing to me was to see the oragtugans in a rehabilitation centre. I had done a lot of research, but in the end, we heard from other tourists that you can see them directly in Kota Kinabalu at The Shangri-la Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. Even though there aren't as many as there would be if we had gone to Sepilok, we still had an intimate encounter, and we were close to home base!
Borneo also had some islands nearby (Manukan), and we chose to do three dives plus island hop. It was a nice way to leave Kota Kinabalu and see some of the surrounding area. Finally, another tour we enjoyed was the river cruise to see the Proboscis monkeys aka the promiscuous monkey in words spoken from Adam. 
 Visting the local night market in Kota Kinabalu

Moving ahead, we flew to Kota Bahru and caught a ferry over to the Perhentian Islands! Our favourite stop in all of Malaysia. If you have a chance to go here, it is a must! The water is amazing and has some of the most active marine life I have ever seen. Here we did a 6-stop snorkelling tour and the highlight was swimming in close proximity to black-tip reef sharks! It was incredible!!!
To end our tour of Malaysia, we flew back to Kuala Lumpur and headed south to the coast. A very relaxing couple of days...

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Bali, Indonesia - Week 3

What to do in Bali? I feel I have so much to say about the wonderful world of Bali, but I am going to try and leave most of it up to the pictures! Bali has long been a place I have wanted to visit, and I am so thankful I finally did!  I was certainly surprised to see how developed it is here, and how it caters to every type of traveller. We stayed in Seminyak for five days and Sanur for two, and would highly recommend both, for different reasons.

bali photobali photo
bali photopeople of bali photohotels in bali photohotels in bali photomonkey in bali photo

Seminyak was by far my favourite spot, with elegant restaurants, nightlife, and shopping. I feel I have to point out three recommendations of restaurants you MUST try while visiting Seminyak. 

Cafe Zucchini which served amazing organic salads and fresh sandwiches. My top plate, and very simple was choosing three salads from the salad bar. Easy, and healthy! A great place for lunch.
cafe zucchini photocafe zucchini photo
The Junction was our favourite dinner spot. Its so unique from the outside, and their menu was affordable and tasty!
the junction bali photo

Finally, try Potato Head for drinks and the coolest night-time ambiance! We were blown away just driving into the parking lot. First by the firework display just as we pulled up, and then by the architecture! And this picture doesn't even do it justice.
potato head bali photo

I'm going to finish off my blabbering with a couple stops you must make along the way on this beautiful island. Here are a couple trips I found worthwhile..even if it puts you out of your comfort zone.

1. Tasting the world best Babi Guling. Yes, babi guling is Bali's traditional dish, which is suckling pig. The best place to try it, is in Ubud at a famous place called Ibu Oka.
babi guling photo

2. Visiting Ketut Liyer in Ubud. We all know him from "Eat Pray Love" with Julia Roberts, but to see him in person is magical! He read my palm and went on to tell me what my facial features revealed. I always had a concern with my pointy nose, but apparently it brings luck. He did tell my some very cute, and somewhat interesting things that will be headed my way, and focused a lot on my boyfriend Adam, who he kept referring to as my husband! ketut liyer photoketut liyer photoketut liyer photo

3. Sacred Monkey Forest, Ubud. Yes, I know after my 4 rabis shots this year, I should have learned my lesson to stay away from monkeys...and all other animals from other countries... but I clearly cannot help myself. This place was so beautiful! Beware though, the monkey's are a little aggressive. Thankfully, from my scratch and bite last year, I was more cautious and kept my distance!
downtown bali photo
4. Jimbaran Beach - to get away from the crazy hustle bustle, we chose Jimbaran beach. Way to the left you've got all the seafood restaurants, and way to the right you've got the fisherman who catch them. And in the middle you can enjoy the nice sandy beach, and waves. I took more interest in the people of this community while my man hit the waves. 
jimbaran beach photo
jimbaran beach photo
jimbaran beach photo
children of bali photo
children of bali photo
5. Kuta beach and main strip. And...just to see it. I would not recommend staying here as it is SO overwhelming. Too many motorbikes, too many tourists, and too many hecklers. But we swang by to meet up with a friend, and to see the main drag. The sunset was beautiful this evening :)
kuta restaurant photomotorbikes balishopping in bali photokuta beach photokuta beach photokuta beach photo

6. Seeing the traditional Balinese culture. We were lucky enough to stumble across the locals in their traditional uniform in celebration of the full moon. During out visit to Jimbaran beach, these people were putting on a show for the guests staying at a hotel just off the beach.  
shangri la bali photoshangri la bali photo

7. Heading west to Canggu. If you want to know where to surf in Bali, Canggu is it! We stopped at Echo Beach for lunch, and the unique sea wall.

I hope you enjoyed a glimpse at the fun I had in Bali, one week was not long it never is, but I'm so thankful I made it over this way and was able to capture the sweet side to life!