Archive for 'Malaysia'

Three down, One to go

PENANG to SINGAPORE

It is 10,509 kms from Beijing to Singapore. Add this to the distance we travelled in Sth America and Europe, and you have a total of 25,118 kms – a rather large number and achievement too!

Strangely though, crossing the Causeway into Singapore our feelings were mixed.  We can’t wait to get home, but with only one more continent to go, the end is also getting closer.  No more strange food, struggling to be understood or things that work – somehow differently to how you expect? This new world might even take a little getting use too!  But that’s why home, is called home, and why it will be such a great 8,000 km dash to the finish line.

Leaving Penang, we first had to contend with Chinese New Year celebrations. The roads were jammed, and for the first time, finding a cheap hotel was proving difficult!  But this was a small price to pay, and the Chinese revellers soon amazed us with their goodwill and gifts of carefully wrapped mandarins!

Our next stop was KL.  An impressive city, but one we would not recommend cycling around. I’m not even sure I would feel safe driving a Hummer through its maze of expressways and flyovers!

Keep it quiet – but in Melaka we celebrated a birthday.  Yep, Jules, turned 34.  Maybe this is why he is starting to struggle up those hills in the midday sun?

We arrived in Singapore, to a heroes welcome from the kids at the Australian International School.  The Pre-school, Year Two and Year Five classes, challenged us with their questions and impressed us with their handmade “good luck” cards.  We thank them all for a wonderful day!!

From here, we fly to Darwin and begin our ride across the Outback to Cairns, then down the east coast to Melbourne.  There is plenty to look forward too.

Enjoy the ride!

Jules & Jess

 

On the road again.  Singapore here we come!

On the road again. Singapore here we come!

 

Chinese New Year.  Now they are big incense!

Chinese New Year. Now they are big incense!

 

The iconic symbols and expressways of KL

The iconic symbols and expressways of KL

 

Chores need to be done, even on a rest day

Chores need to be done, even on a rest day

 

Roadside bike repairs on way out of KL

Roadside bike repairs on way out of KL

 

Melaka - colourful and charming

Melaka - colourful and charming

 

Melaka - peaceful bliss in comparison with the capital

And peaceful bliss in comparison with the Malaysia's capital !

 

Loi, doing an expert job of keeping us on the move

Loi, doing an expert job of keeping us on the move

 

Community Kareoke!  It was so bad, you loved it!

Community Kareoke! It was so bad, you loved it!

 

We now appreciate these signs you see in tourist places

We now appreciate these signs you see in tourist places

 

Someone's Birthday ?

Someone's Birthday ?

Clocking up 25,000 kms - a big number!

Clocking up 25,000 kms - a big number!

 

In Singapore, the end of the road in Asia

In Singapore, the end of the road in Asia

 

The AIS Pre-Schoolers !

Chatting with the AIS Pre-Schoolers !

 

Question time with the Year 5's

Question time with the Year 5's

 

Receiving our handmade "good luck" cards

Receiving our handmade "good luck" cards

 

Thanks Rene, and everyone at AIS for a wonderful day !!

Thanks Rene, and everyone at AIS for a wonderful day !!

PHUKET to PENANG

Leaving Phuket for Malaysia, it was now “Terrorists” not “Tourists” that we had to avoid. Thanks to the good people at the Australian Consulate in Bangkok, we had learned of the recent trouble in Southern Thailand and had hatched a cunning plan to avoid it – take a ferry from Satun (Thailand) to Langkawi, then another onto mainland Malaysia. It may sound simple, even pleasurable, but we were taking no chances and began our preparations immediately.

Krabi, with its picture perfect beaches, blue water and majestic cliffs would be perfect. For nine intensive days, we swam, read books, threw frisbees, visited islands, watched sunsets and dined our way to readiness. Finally, for that critical “eye of the tiger” we would need to survive, our choice of accommodation had been perfect – right next door to the local kick boxing stadium! “Muay Thai, Muay Thai – Tonight, Tonight”. We were fired up and ready – it was now or never.

Leaving Krabi, we carefully pedaled though the rubber plantations, passed brilliantly decorated Mosques and quiet fishing villages to reach Satun – the end of the road, for us in Thailand. It was hot and sweaty, but apart from that uneventful – could it really be this easy??

For little more than a few dollars, a modern “stealth” ferry whisked us and our bikes onto Langkawi. The only moment of “fear” we experienced, was almost losing our bikes overboard as we unloaded them onto the jetty.

We had done it – we had avoided the terrorists! Of course, this was no piece of cake, but nothing two fearless adventure cyclists couldn’t manage (smile). If you’re travelling overland from Thailand to Malaysia – we would definitely recommend it.

From there, we caught another ferry to the mainland (Kuala Kedah), then a quick pedal down to Penang, where we have met Jess’s parents for a week off to recuperate!

Australia is close now – we have only 1,000 kms to go before Singapore. While Darwin is still a long way from our finish in Melbourne, the idea, has a certain good feeling about it. We can’t wait!

Jules & Jess

The road through Phangnga National Park to Krabi

The road through Phangnga National Park to Krabi

 

Krabi - the perfect place to prepare and get that "eye of the tiger"

Krabi - the perfect place to get that "eye of the tiger" and prepare for the Terrorists

 

It would be our toughest challenge yet

It would be our toughest challenge yet

 

Could we do it?

Could we do it?

 

Intensive training begins - sunset watching

Intensive training begins - sunset watching

 

Keeping up our strength at a roadside lunch stall

Keeping up our strength at a roadside lunch stall

 

Learning new skills - boat handling

Learning new skills - boat handling

 

Observational skills will be critical

Observation training

 

To the untrained it may look easy...

To the untrained it may look easy...

 

The beautiful Maya Bay, Phi Phi Islands (from "The Beach" movie!)

The beautiful Maya Bay, Phi Phi Islands (from "The Beach" movie!)

 

Colourful local long boats

Colourful local long boats

 

The final preparation - a mean looking haircut !

The final preparation - a mean looking haircut !

 

Saying goodbye to King and Country in Satun

Saying goodbye to King and Country in Satun (gotta love the Nikon!)

 

The stealth ferry to Langkawi

Our modern "stealth" ferry to Langkawi

 

We had done it - we had avoided the terrorists!  Now a week in Penang with Jess's parents to recuperate!

We had done it! Now a week off in Penang with Jess's parents to recuperate!