A Travellerspoint blog

The next leg of our journey

Tokyo will be our last stop

Just a note: We've been consolidating and adding photos daily to our blog entries so check out old/existing posts to see more photos.

The next leg of our journey is 3 weeks of island hopping from Langkawi island, Malaysia (our next stop), to Phuket, Thailand by boat. We should start enjoying better weather as soon we reach the coast. There is no pier on Koh Lipe or Koh Mook. The speed boats stop at a pontoon offshore. From the pontoon you hire a long-tail taxi boat to the beach.

Malaysia and Thailand face two monsoon seasons, the Southwest Monsoon from April to September effecting the west coast beaches (Langkawi and Phuket), and the Northeast Monsoon from October to March. The more powerful Northeast Monsoon brings heavy rains to the east coast islands, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

Thailand also faces hordes of sun seeking tourists, so the trick is to time your visit as soon after Southwest Monsoon as you can but before the Christmas tourist onslaught.

Weather maps November - December
large_Malaysia.pnglarge_Thailand.png

large_Route_Map_..018_full800.jpg

We have made plans to visit Tokyo in mid-Dec., and we’ll return to Phoenix on Dec. 20. Three days to regroup at The Wigwam for some R &R (i.e. re-entry); then set up the RV again at The El Mirage Resort.
Love to all,
Jan and Lyle

Posted by lhuff35204 16:01 Comments (0)

Malaysia


View Oceania + SE Asia on lhuff35204's travel map.

Hi,
We arrived in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, earlier this afternoon. Took the train from the airport about 30 minutes to "Sentral", a massive interconnected complex that includes a train station, subways, malls, and hotels. It was 90 degrees and cloudy when we got into the pool on the 30th floor. One hour later it’s raining like crazy with thunder and lightning and 81 degrees.

large_90_IMG_3850.jpg
large_IMG_3854.jpg
large_90_IMG_3858.jpg
large_IMG_3849.jpg
large_90_IMG_3846.jpg

Lots to explore in the next 5 days before we head out to the islands and beaches of Thailand.

large_WP_20171110_002.jpglarge_WP_20171110_005.jpglarge_WP_20171110_009.jpglarge_WP_20171110_025.jpglarge_WP_20171110_039.jpglarge_90_IMG_3866.jpg
large_90_IMG_3868.jpg

Sushi bar train
large_90_IMG_3875.jpg
large_90_IMG_3876.jpg
large_90_IMG_3880.jpg
large_90_IMG_3884.jpg
Petronas Towers
large_90_IMG_3886.jpg
The Sky Bridge
large_90_IMG_3908.jpg
large_90_IMG_3922.jpg
large_90_IMG_3924.jpg
large_Tallest.jpg

Batu Caves

Took an Islamic train to a Hindu temple. Unaccompanied women and girls had to ride in a special, no men, car. The cave is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India. A 42.7-meter (140 ft) high statue of Lord Murugan, tallest in the world, built in 2006. We're carrying trekking umbrellas, battery fans, and neck coolers. It was a double foot wash day for Jan.
large_90_IMG_4024.jpg
These guys jumped onto Jan's back pack.
large_90_IMG_3977.jpg
large_90_IMG_3964.jpg
large_90_IMG_3955.jpg
Jan's monkey womper
large_WP_20171111_039.jpg
Hi,
Yesterday we visited the Batu Caves, a Hindu temple inside of a limestone mountain. Those photos are on our blog.
I had to share these pics of the monkeys. If you look closely you will see a baby latched onto the mother’s chest. They hold on so tight and somehow don’t fall off when the Mom is running up and down the steps and sitting high up on the bannisters. How would you like to see the world upside down like that?
There were 2 occasions where monkeys chose me to climb onto. I screamed a very loud scream, per Lyle, until he knocked them off. I will now plan to have a monkey “whomper” (Lyle’s umbrella) with me at all times when we’re among monkeys.
They sure are cute, though...
Love to all,
Jan and Lyle
large_WP_20171111_009.jpg
large_IMG_3941.jpg
large_IMG_3935.jpg
large_WP_20171111_040.jpg

Posted by lhuff35204 18:56 Archived in Malaysia Comments (1)

Singapore

Our 18th flight


View Oceania + SE Asia on lhuff35204's travel map.

Oct 30 - Arrived Singapore around 9 PM in the rain and booked into our apartment overlooking Clarke Quay (key). Picked up some "essentials" at the shopping center in our building and did some exploring. There is a 5 story mall, food court, restaurants, and subway beneath us. From the brochure: Pioneering a new concept of live, work and play, The Central Clarke Quay offers a convenient lifestyle where no commuting to and from work is necessary and everything you need for business, entertainment and recreation is right at your doorstep.
large_IMG_3323.jpg
large_IMG_3321.jpg
large_IMG_3317.jpg
large_IMG_3316.jpg
large_IMG_3315.jpg
large_90_IMG_3314.jpg
large_90_IMG_3325a.jpg
large_90_IMG_3327.jpg
large_IMG_3328.jpg
View from a water front bar on Clarke Quay (key)

Boat rides on the Singapore River
large_IMG_3410.jpg
large_IMG_3434.jpg
Bars, restaurants, and live bands every night
large_90_IMG_3440.jpg
large_IMG_3451.jpg
large_IMG_3452.jpg
Kite festival: we're thinking about buying one

Gardens By the Bay: Singapore's premier urban outdoor recreation space, and a national icon.
Spectacular indoor gardens and very scary walkways far above the ground (Jan's words)
large_GB16_2639-..v3-1670x940.jpg
large_IMG_3336.jpg
large_90_IMG_3341.jpg
large_90_IMG_3360.jpg
large_IMG_3367.jpg
large_90_IMG_3371.jpg
Elaborate Lego garden with enormous fly catcher
large_IMG_3385.jpg
large_90_IMG_3392.jpg
large_90_IMG_3394.jpg
large_IMG_3397.jpg
Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station is an underground Mass Rapid Transit interchange
large_WP_20171102_021.jpg
China Town, Boat Quay and Marina Bay (all within walking distance)
large_WP_20171102_004.jpg
large_90_IMG_3453.jpg
large_IMG_3455.jpg
large_90_IMG_3459.jpg
large_WP_20171102_005.jpglarge_WP_20171102_023.jpglarge_WP_20171102_029.jpg
large_WP_20171102_041.jpglarge_WP_20171102_043.jpg
large_IMG_3464.jpg
large_90_IMG_3473.jpg
large_IMG_3460.jpg
large_IMG_3468.jpg
large_IMG_3475.jpg
large_IMG_3484.jpg
large_IMG_3487.jpg
Sentosa:

The Singapore Botanic Gardens Garden is over 150 years old (1859) and was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015. There are numerous gardens (Enchanter Garden, Frangipani Garden, and lakes, I went for the National Orchid Garden. It’s the largest display of orchids in the world, with over 1000 species and 2000 hybrids, originating from a breeding program begun in 1928.
Here are some photos of my favorites, ranging in size from 1/2” high to 3” in Diameter.
large_EBB5C967-6..CD7D64B1555.jpeglarge_9EAA8884-D..A9B7DBC6EEF.jpeglarge_1C17F8EF-B..74F478B8998.jpeglarge_F5802609-6..DD0AF8F3EB0.jpeglarge_92377EF5-D..E768A4DA43B.jpeglarge_9C5E2C56-E..DCFBE2F9830.jpeglarge_04179A2E-D..995E9CD283F.jpeglarge_9A766CFB-3..F06124A6066.jpeglarge_8C11C62B-8..2616F10E03E.jpegE6E98754-BFEE-4DAB-9D8B-12496D0A2CD0

E6E98754-BFEE-4DAB-9D8B-12496D0A2CD0

large_AC6B92D3-2..56F9E3E0A34.jpeglarge_99A71A86-0..8263FA0E633.jpeglarge_6DAE4542-3..60CA07D8FC1.jpeglarge_669F95E6-1..0B5F303E0DD.jpeglarge_2CA09064-8..FA1946979C5.jpeg

The Singapore Flyer is a giant observation wheel that opened in 2008. It has 28 air-conditioned capsules, each accommodates 28 passengers.The Flyer height is 165 meters (541 ft) and was the world's tallest Ferris wheel until the 167.6 m (550 ft) High Roller opened on the Las Vegas Strip in 2014.

IMG_3810

IMG_3810


large_90_IMG_3808.jpg

IMG_3797

IMG_3797

IMG_3792

IMG_3792

IMG_3791

IMG_3791

IMG_3783

IMG_3783

IMG_3778

IMG_3778

IMG_3776

IMG_3776

IMG_3775

IMG_3775

IMG_3773

IMG_3773

IMG_3769

IMG_3769

The Singapore MRT uses a "continuous car" design so you can see down the center of the cars as they twist and turn through the tunnels. This video is on a 3 car train. The six car trains (more impressive) are used on busier lines and are crammed with people.

Posted by lhuff35204 04:37 Archived in Singapore Comments (2)

Bagan, MMR


View Oceania + SE Asia on lhuff35204's travel map.

This morning (5 AM) we took a one hour flight to Bagan and checked into our hotel, the Thiripytisaya Resort (I have no idea how to pronounce it and just nod when at reception). It overlooks the Irrawaddy River and is situated within the Archaeological Zone, probably one of the reasons Bagan is not a world heritage site.
The Hotel sent a car to the airport.
large_WP_20171025_008.jpg
Jan's new blue suitcase purchased after she blew out her lifetime guarantee "no matter what" Eagle Creek.
large_WP_20171025_007.jpg
It's a small airport with dirt road to the luggage collection area.
large_WP_20171025_006.jpg
The Bagan Archaeological Zone with it's over 10,000 temples constructed from the 9th to the 13 century is a main attraction for the country's tourism industry. It is seen by many as equal in attraction to Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
large_IMG_3061.jpg
large_IMG_3085.jpglarge_90_IMG_3081.jpglarge_90_IMG_3074.jpglarge_90_IMG_3078.jpglarge_IMG_3070.jpglarge_WP_20171025_011.jpglarge_WP_20171025_009.jpg
More hotel photos.
The hotel driver took us around Bagan. We visited several temples, but is's really the collective of all 2,000 remaining temples in the 40 square mile zone that is impressive. Visited an 11 story viewing tower at sunset, but the lighting was in the wrong direction. Went to the sunrise balloon launches ($320 US PP to ride in the balloon) 2 days in a row but there was no wind to propel them so they were canceled.

We'll be adding more photos here.

1 large_IMG_3099.jpg
2 large_IMG_3102.jpg
3 large_IMG_3103.jpg
Ananda Temple with four 10 meter Buddha images.
large_90_IMG_3137.jpg
5 large_90_IMG_3141.jpg
6 large_90_IMG_3142.jpg
7 large_90_IMG_3147.jpg
8 large_IMG_3175.jpg
9 large_IMG_3180.jpg
10 large_IMG_3182.jpg
11 large_90_IMG_3187.jpg
12 large_IMG_3196.jpg
13 large_IMG_3211.jpg
14 large_IMG_3214.jpg
large_IMG_3298.jpg
large_IMG_3297.jpg
I had been using our tap water for coffee until I drew a bath for Jan and saw this.
large_WP_20171027_003.jpg
The hotel moved us to a suite
large_90_IMG_3289.jpg
large_90_IMG_3286.jpg
large_90_IMG_3285.jpg
large_90_IMG_3284.jpg
large_IMG_3281.jpg

Posted by lhuff35204 23:24 Archived in Myanmar Comments (1)

Yangon, MMR

OUR HOTEL BURNED DOWN


View Oceania + SE Asia on lhuff35204's travel map.

Arrived Yangon around 1:30 AM and the airport taxi drivers acted funny when we gave them our hotel name, but they took us. When we arrived it was still dark but it was clear the hotel had burned to the ground. 2 guests were killed. The Hotel's computers were also destroyed so they couldn't notify us.

Myanmar's Kandawgyi Palace hotel destroyed by fire

large__98377681_..884ab91c28b.jpg

We booked into another hotel but we're not sure where we are until it gets light enough to sort it out. First built in the 1930s, it was my dream to stay there. It reminded me of the Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor.

We're in a club room at the Chatrium Hotel Royal Lake Yangon. Its' near our original hotel and that's all I know until we get some sleep and explore a little.
WP_20171020_005

WP_20171020_005

WP_20171020_003

WP_20171020_003

WP_20171020_001

WP_20171020_001

Oct 21 - Our hotel room overlooks Kandawgyi Lake, but its isolation from the city makes it a long walk to anywhere. Today we took the hotel bus to a shopping area with a traditional market on one side of the street and a huge western mall on the other. No one spoke English but we were able to buy some necessities. We had a hotel taxi card written in Burmese but this could only get you back to the hotel, so we could not go to another location. Until we can get a Burmese tourist phrase book we are currently limited to one stop per trip. From the mall we walked down to an area with many colonial era buildings. The government has by design, or through neglect, not maintained these buildings so this part of town meets my travel criteria: hot, dirty, dangerous... I could have spent the entire day here, but it also does NOT meet Jan's criteria so I washed her feet upon return to the hotel. :)
large_90_93A84295FF637CF5BDB96472F14A1B0E.jpg
large_IMG_2727.jpg
large_IMG_2726.jpg
large_IMG_2718.jpg
large_90_IMG_2714.jpg
large_90_IMG_2709.jpg

Jan did not want to try Betel Nut
large_BetelNut.jpg
large_WP_20171021_017.jpglarge_WP_20171021_016.jpg
Shopping was good.
large_WP_20171021_013.jpg

We set out again at sunset for the Shwedagon Pagoda. It is said to be the oldest pagoda in existence (2,500 years) and was originally only 66 feet tall.
Over the years it was rebuilt and regilded so that in 1775 it reached its current height of 325 feet. It's a massive complex with its gold and jewel encrusted pagoda that dominates the landscape.
large_90_IMG_2775.jpg
large_90_IMG_2774.jpg
large_IMG_2773.jpg
large_90_IMG_2772.jpg[
img=https://photos.travellerspoint.com/899099/large_90_IMG_2771.jpg]
large_90_IMG_2767.jpg
large_90_IMG_2759.jpg
large_IMG_2783.jpg
large_IMG_2777.jpg

We returned to the hotel, exhausted, ordered room service, and went to bed early.

Oct 22 - We are getting no where, but we don't want to spend our days on a tour bus stranded in traffic and waiting in endless lines at museums and temples. Yangon is crowded with narrow streets and poor infrastructure. Going by bus takes forever, few taxi drivers speak English, and many cannot read Burmese. So what we need is a fixer who can go with us so we can do what we came to do. A Guy. A free lance tour Guide. A Guy'd. Someone who knows the City and speaks English. We tell him where we want to go and he fixes it so we can go by foot, taxi, ferry, train, and rickshaw. Quickly and effortlessly.

1 The burned-out Palace Hotel where we had intended to stay
Before
large_hotel.jpg
After
large_WP_20171022_001.jpg
2 Walking trail around the Kandawgyi Lake
large_90_IMG_2799.jpg
3 Many large trees have fallen, remnants of Cyclone Nargis 2008 which killed 138,000 people and severely effected Yangon and the Irrawaddy delta.
large_90_IMG_2800.jpg
4 Karaweik Palace
large_IMG_2802.jpg
5
large_IMG_2803.jpg
6 Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda with Reclining Buddha- 217 feet long with long black eyelashes, completed in 1973
large_IMG_2812.jpg
7
large_IMG_2823.jpg
8 The Yangon Circular Train was built by the British in 1954. It covers a railway track loop of 45.9 kilometers and stops at 39 stations. It takes almost 3 hours to complete the journey. Trains make both clockwise (Right) and counter-clockwise (Left) journeys daily along the railway loop.large_IMG_2828.jpg
9
large_IMG_2832.jpg
10
large_IMG_2842.jpg
11
large_IMG_2848.jpg

12
large_IMG_2857.jpg
13
large_IMG_2880.jpg
14
large_IMG_2885.jpg
15 Dala is a small township located to the South of the Yangon River. Standing in contrast to the busy streets of Yangon, Dala’s dusty roads and cheerful villagers blissfully oblivious of their poverty stricken lives, are worth experiencing. To get to Dala, take the local Ferry from Pansadon street Jetty. Ferries leave for Dala every 20 minutes and the journey takes not more than 20 minutes.
large_IMG_2892.jpg
16
large_IMG_2895.jpg
17
large_IMG_2906.jpg
large_WP_20171022_042.jpg
18
large_90_IMG_2932.jpg

19
large_IMG_2943.jpg
20
large_WP_20171022_068.jpglarge_WP_20171022_048.jpg21
large_90_IMG_2954.jpg
22
large_90_IMG_2962.jpg
23
large_C51EB4AEB2D277EA875A7C0ED40E79A2.jpg
24
large_IMG_2991.jpg

Last night we returned to "my" part of town for dinner. I did wash Jan's feet when we returned to the hotel.
large_90_IMG_3051.jpglarge_90_IMG_3048.jpglarge_IMG_3044.jpglarge_IMG_3028.jpglarge_IMG_3018.jpglarge_IMG_3017.jpglarge_IMG_3015.jpglarge_IMG_3014.jpglarge_IMG_3013.jpglarge_IMG_3012.jpglarge_IMG_3008.jpglarge_IMG_3006.jpglarge_90_IMG_3005.jpg
If your eyes are closed, all is well... our table is perched over an open sewer and Buddhist chants are blasting from loud speakers across the street.
large_WP_20171024_015.jpg

Posted by lhuff35204 20:04 Archived in Myanmar Comments (4)

(Entries 21 - 25 of 80) « Page 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 7 8 9 10 .. »