We’ve been a bit slack with posting on the blog for the past month so I thought I’d let you know we’re still here! Getting the Amazon venture off the ground and finishing our website for the products has been taking so much of our time. But there’s light at the end of the tunnel now so hopefully we can get back to more regular updates 🙂
Our last post was from Bagan in Myanmar, which now seems an age ago. Began was amazing and proved to us that even when you think you have seen all Asia has to offer, there’s always something new to surprise us. The views looking over these 2000+ temples will go down as one of my highlights of our 14 months of travel. Words and pictures can’t really do it justice, it’s one of them places you need to experience to appreciate and I hope more people go to Bagan as it is still somewhat bypassed by many travellers.
Anyway, since Bagan, apart from being glued to our laptops working we have been hopping around and exploring too. From Myanmar we went to Malaysia and travelled from Kuala Lumpur up into The Cameron Highlands then on to Penang before visiting Langkawi The Perhentian Islands.
We found Malaysia quite different from other neighbouring Asian countries we’ve visited. It’s noticeably more wealthy, people look more comfortable and appear to be living perhaps a slightly higher standard of life. Main roads are smooth (this is so rare in Asia!) and transport links and the standard of public transport is some of the best we’ve seen. The people we met were all really welcoming and when talking to the locals they seemed well educated and switched on. Also, in contrast to most of Asia, there seemed to be less of a desperate pushy attitude from shop owners which made a nice change.
We left Malaysia after 10 days having not really fully explored the country. We really wanted to go over to Borneo and dive on the Sipidan Islands but after totting up all the costs and realising 2 dives were going to cost us £750 and take up 4 days of travel, we just couldn’t justify it and instead headed over to Indonesia.
Back in April we flew to Bali from Australia but didn’t have time to explore anywhere else in Indonesia. So this second trip (we really should have planned out route a bit better, we’ve hopped all over the place!) was purely to tick off 3 places we missed. First up was the capital, Jakarta. And to be honest, there was nothing of note here, it’s a REALLY busy city, it’s noisy, smelly and offers little to see. We had a lovely hotel there though so that kind of made up for it.
From Jakarta we flew to Jogjakarta purely to visit the largest Bhuddist temple in the world, Borobudur. En route to the temple I somehow managed to get stung whilst doing 40mph on a bike! The pain was intense, it felt like someone was holding a ciggerette to my leg and wouldn’t let go! I have no idea what it was but 3 days later I still have a red swollen lump the size of my palm on my knee. Anyway, this meant the sight of hundreds of stairs when we reached the temple wasn’t a welcome one for my now throbbing and twice as large knee. Soldiering on though we made it to the top and walked around every level admiring all the stone carvings. The swarms of tourists barging around with their selfie sticks and umbrellas ruined it a little but it was a sight worth seeing.
Our final stop in Indonesia is the Gilli Islands, which we arrived at today. These 3 little islands are located to the East of Bali and are often claimed to be the prettiest part of Indonesia. The islands are tiny and as there are no roads you can only get about by foot or horse and cart. The beaches and coral are said to be stunning so we’re looking forward to a couple of relaxed days before returning to Thailand.
Thailand will be our final stop in Asia before we return to the UK for a few weeks. We’ve then booked a spontaneous week in Iceland (using Air BnB for the first time!) before we fly to Toronto to see my family again and then complete our travels in Central and South America. We’re both genuinely really sad to be leaving Asia, it’s been such an adventure and we’ve fell in love with the culture, the slow pace of life, the weather, the people, the food, everything! I can’t recommend it highly enough as a place for prolonged travel. I’m sure we’ll be finding an excuse to come back before long.
So you’re all up to date with our travels now 🙂 We’ll try and upload some of the backlog of blogs in the coming days.