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Copenhagen, Denmark

This is our second time visiting Copenhagen and we would definitely recommend anyone wanting to get away for the festive period or New year to come and celebrate here. The Danish government have a ban on all private firework use throughout the year apart from the period between 27th December until the 1st Jan. In this 5 day window, it’s an explosion of colour due to the firework frenzy, but we will show and tell more about this after the upcoming celebrations.

In this post we will be giving our top tips to having the best experience in Copenhagen possible. As with all Scandinavian countries, prices are a bit higher than other areas of Europe, however, we find the surroundings, pastries and people, make it all the more worth it. Even in cold temperatures!

Where to stay?

Now, we aren’t trying to be biased, and we’re definitely not sponsored (yet!) but we have found CitizenM Radhuspladsen is thee place to stay. It has rooms that overlook the Radhuspladsen (the main places for the NYE fireworks) and has a great offering overall. With a 2 minute walk to Tivoli, a Metro across the road, a train station around the corner, and the main ‘Strøget’ high street a stone’s throw away, what more could you want?! This and the quick check-in and out service with the fact we can change the light in the shower to any colour possible, means it gets our vote!

Where to eat?

If you do venture to Copenhagen be sure to visit the Lagkagehuset bakery. There are a few dotted around, one is down the start of Strøget from Radhuspladsen and there is also one opposite Tivoli in the Tourist information centre. The pastries are to die for and you’ll need to get yourself a ‘Kanelsnegl’ aka a Cinnamon Roll/Whirl as there’s no skimping on the icing!

In Copenhagen you also have a wide array of restaurants, from Italian, Syrian, Indian to Chinese and Fast-Food chains. We are huge Hard Rock Cafe fans, meaning both of our visits have involved a few outings to Hard Rock. The music and the memorabilia adds to the atmosphere of the restaurant. Who doesn’t want to eat Steak and Fries whilst looking at a wall made out of amps?

What to do?

Before we start, we must say the Copenhagen Card is a must buy. Like most other city cards it covers you for a number of attractions and tours, all for one price. It also allows you to get discounts on food and travel around the city for a fraction of the cost.

At this time of year Tivoli Gardens transforms into a winter wonderland. Tivoli is a theme-park that is good for all ages and is a must-see for everyone visiting Copenhagen, whether it be for a day, or a week. With numerous food and game stalls, fairground and roller coaster rides, it is hours of fun. All this with the amazing lights throughout the park really adds to the festive feeling.

Tivoli Gardens

Nyhavn is an instagrammers paradise. With a canal running through its rows of colourful houses, you are sure to fill up your iPhone’s storage after half-an-hour. Our pictures do not do it justice of how cool these buildings look at different times of day. With bars and restaurants dotted around too, you can make a day of getting the perfect pic whilst filling up on waffle cones!

Nyhavn

Big mentions also have to go to Christiansborg Slot (the Danish Royal Palace) and the 35 minute train ride to Malmo (Sweden’s 3rd largest city) from the Central station. If you decide to do this, remember your passport, or you may have a very short visit!

Keep an eye out for our next blog post coming in the next couple of days all about the NYE celebrations in Copenhagen.

J & A

Sydney, Australia

Sydney opera house

After a very early flight, we had arrived in Sydney! We headed straight to our hotel which was right near the King’s Cross Station, yes there are two King’s Crosses in the world! As we arrived early again, we thought we’d jump straight into tourist mode and get on… you guessed it, a hop on hop off bus.

The stop was a short walk away and we managed to go into a supermarket on the way called Woolworths. Unfortunately it wasn’t a return of the shop that was once in the UK, it was a great metro supermarket where we stocked up on fried chicken & watermelon, for breakfast as we were too hungry to care at this point, even at 9am. We hopped on the bus & bought a ticket that lasted for 3 days which also included use of a river cruise and entry to Madame Tussauds, Sea Life aquarium and the Sydney Zoo. This hop on hop off bus had 2 routes and included stops at the world famous Bondi Beach, this was the stop for our first day in Sydney. We laid in the sun at Bondi whilst watching the surfers for a few hours, before heading back to our hotel to un-pack and sort out our itinerary for the next few days.

Day 2 was our touristy day, we headed down to stop 19 on our hop on hop off bus at Darling Harbour and decided to visit Madame Tussauds, Sydney Zoo and Sea Life Aquarium, in that order. Madame Tussauds was better than the one in Singapore, but still not as good as London, it tried though. Ali got his standard picture with ET as he does at every place with ET. Next up was Sydney Zoo and this was the one we were looking forward to the most as they had Koalas and Kangaroos. We both love Koalas and on the top deck of the zoo they have a load of Koalas chilling in trees, eating and sleeping (Fun Fact: they can sleep for between 18-20 hours a day). Finally, we finished the day in the Aquarium. We also added a glass bottom boat ride to our ticket which was booked in for 4pm. The aquarium was cool as they also had a Beluga Whale, and the glass bottom boat ride was great as we got to see loads of massive turtles and sharks.

Day 3 we returned back to stop 19 on the bus, but this time for a different touristy thing… our river cruise. The river cruise started from Darling harbour and headed out to other areas of the city including the Zoo, Shark Island and Luna park. We stayed on the river cruise and didn’t get off so we could get a full view of the city. We were really interested in going to Luna park, this is a fairground that is open all year, however, in the week it opens but you can’t go on the rides? It’d be like going to the cinema with a blindfold on that you can’t take off, it just doesn’t make sense! As we were leaving before the weekend, we unfortunately couldn’t go. After the cruise we went up the Sydney Tower. We like to do these to get a good view of the city, in this case we thought we’d get a cool view of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. We got up the top to find some poor city planning meant that someone had built a skyscraper in front of the Opera House and most of the Harbour Bridge. We finished the day back where we started in Darling Harbour (AKA stop 19 for your Hop on Hop off enthusiasts) and got Chicken Kebabs for dinner. We decided to eat these outside and this was a bad idea. Birds in Australia have balls, they all get towards you to knick your food, when you walk towards them to shoo them, they waddle away, not fly. Evil Birds.

River cruise

Our last day in Sydney was spent on Bondi getting our tan on. We went out to Bondi early and headed for a juice bar, we didn’t fancy juice just the fruit so we ordered some. We were given two full tubs worth which we decided to eat on the beach watching the surfers. After getting our tan on we headed to Ben & Jerry’s as we had vouchers for a BOGOF deal. This turned out to be a momentous occasion in Jade’s life as she ordered her first ever ice cream with two scoops in a cone! After living life to the full, Jade decided to try and eat the end of the cone before completely finishing the ice cream, resulting in a massive mess on the floor of the parlour. The already moody server was not best happy, even when we cleaned it up ourselves. Maybe the birds of Sydney annoy her too?

We finished our time in Sydney by looking at the street art near Bondi Beach and getting ready for our next destination… Whitsundays!

J&A

Melbourne, Australia

Stupidly we booked a morning flight for this and arrived in Melbourne at 7am, so there was no chance of us checking in till 2pm. Luckily, Jade’s Dad and Julia were in Melbourne visiting Julia’s daughter for a few days, so we headed there and decided to have a nap as we were knackered. Their apartment also had a great view of the Docklands of Melbourne!

After our siesta and showers, we headed down with Jade’s Dad and Julia to the nearby Docklands area to a bar/restaurant called Berth. Here we caught up with them and also met Julia’s Daughter, Sofia. We had a nice steak lunch whilst Sofia told us about Melbourne. After lunch we thought we’d do our own exploring and head out to Swanson Street. This is the main area of Melbourne and has a free tram leading to it and our hotel was on it too! Whilst looking around the area we found out about a Robotic Ice Cream Bar, which sounded too amazing to not visit. This place was as cool as it sounds! After stuffing our faces with ice-cream (served by robots) we took a walk over to a well-known street art area, Hosier Lane. The walls are covered in amazing life-like art including the “Bushfire Koala” highlighting the recent bushfires and the thousands of Koalas lost as a result.

Day 2 was the day the two of us and Sofia planned to all go on the Yarra River cruise. This was an easy way to see the city and the sights of Melbourne. This tour went on for about an hour, and it was mostly filled with old women being shouted at by their care worker- “SIT DOWN AND I’LL GET YOU A CUP OF TEA” so that was pretty entertaining. After the cruise, we headed back to Dad & Julia’s apartment to catch up with them both as it was their last day. Berth was again the destination for dinner for the evening and we devoured a white chocolate Creme Brulee that was incredible.

White chocolate creme brulee

The next day was the day we have all been waiting for… the Neighbours tour. We are big fans of Neighbours and had this planned since the start of travelling. We had to meet our tour bus at the Immigration museum in the centre of the city, and this would take us to the sets in the outskirts of the city and after this we’d go to the real street the programme is based upon. We’d be looking forward for this for so long, and it’s just our luck it poured it down, we were drenched. The sets are surprisingly a lot smaller in real life compared to what you see on TV. It was great to see the main sets; Harold’s Cafe, Lassiters, The Waterhole & the tram. The only thing that was disappointing was that they don’t show any of the inside sets so you can only see the outside buildings, the garden sets etc. The street was cool to see, it’s actually under 24 hour surveillance for all of the residents due to how famous it is. We also found out that each of the residents gets paid AU$28,000 per year to live there…crazy!

After a long day touring behind the scenes, we decided to grab some dinner at Waterfront Southgate. This was a food court with delicacies from all over the world, we decided on Indian, which wasn’t the best we’ve ever had, but it filled a gap. We had a flight in the morning where we would have to leave the hotel at 3am from the hotel to the airport. We headed back to the hotel for rest beforehand. Instead of resting at all, we decided to use our clips from the day to make our own Neighbours opening title scene. If you don’t watch Neighbours you are probably a bit lost right now, basically, the shows title scenes show different characters outside their houses, we decided to recreate this, with our cast being ourselves. Have a look on our Facebook page (like it if you don’t already) below.

https://www.facebook.com/ATWAdventures1

This was obviously the best use of our time before our flight to our next destination… Sydney!

J&A

Perth, Australia

Yagan Square

We arrived in Perth at about 7pm and thought after dropping our bags off at the hotel we’d head straight out for some food. We asked a local on the plane and the Uber driver from the airport where the best place for us to get a bite to eat, they both suggested an area called ‘Northbridge’. We headed off to Northbridge and had some Asian street food inside a small street food/food court area. After getting through as much as we could (they were packed to the brim) we had a walk around the area and headed to Yagan Square. We thought with a tv tower and nearby fairground it’d be a cool place to sit and watch the world go by for a bit. How wrong we were, at night this area should be re-named ‘Drugan Square’ everywhere we looked there were large groups of people dealing and taking drugs, in plain sight. We became a bit worried after they started shouting abuse at random people and got an Uber back to our hotel. Our Uber driver on the way back made us aware that recently they have seen a spike in crime and only a few weeks back a fellow Uber driver was waiting at traffic lights when a group of 7/8 teenagers attacked this guys car, and tried to smash the windscreen so they could drag the driver out of it… how friendly.

After digesting all of this information overnight and agreeing to not go back to Yagan Square at night we decided to go on our now routine city bus tour, in this case, the Perth Explorer. We booked this bus tour from a tour place in Elizabeth Quay along with a hop on hop off tram tour in a nearby town called Fremantle. As the day we booked our tour coincided with a bus breaking down we decided after having some brunch we would go over to Fremantle for the tram tour and use this as transport to a tour around the Fremantle Prison. Our lunch in Elizabeth Quay was great and we got to watch Jellyfish in the water whilst having our lunch. Just to add, the Riverside bar (where we ate) does the best vanilla milkshake known to man, if you are around there, just go, milkshakes and jellyfish, nothing better.

Lunch at Riverside bar

When we arrived in Fremantle we headed straight for the tram tour, we just managed to hop on to the last tour of the day, the driver also agreed to drop us after the tour at the prison. We learnt all about the buildings, local heroes of Fremantle and how they have a submarine from WW2 as part of their Maritime museum. We got to the Fremantle Prison ready for our guided tour. This prison closed in 1991 and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tour lasted for about an hour and a half and we were told stories of each area, shown cells and communal areas that inmates would of used. We were shown images of the aftermath of a riot that basically brought the prison to it’s end and told stories of how that day unfolded. We love watching prison programmes and to see it in the flesh was really shocking, especially as this prison ran without toilets in the cells. Even in 1991 prisoners had buckets in their cells instead of toilets. We really enjoyed the tour and we overheard the true crime tour going on at the same time where ex-prisoners would tour you through the prison and tell stories from their time in the prison.

The next day we used our Perth Explorer ticket to become Perth Explorers. It’s fair to say… there isn’t much there. We saw the local sights namely the Bell Tower and the WACA for any cricket fans, but other than that we were mainly looking at old buildings and soaking up the sun from the bus. The bus does take you through Kings park which has amazing views of the city. We would of gone to the beach but it was quite far out and expensive to reach so we stayed in the city.

Kings Park, Perth

If you do go to Perth make sure you visit Fremantle as it’s a really cool little town! Perth… not so much.

Perth –> Melbourne

Next up Melbourne!

J&A

Singapore – Part 2

The 3rd day of our Singapore adventure took us to Sentosa again! This time we managed to find a cook your own pancake restaurant, how cool. We decided to order normal pancake batter with chocolate chips, syrup, raspberries and bacon bits for toppings (very weird combo if eaten altogether). This place was great and it was even better as we made our food to how we wanted it! If you ever go to Sentosa make sure you visit Slappy Cakes!

After pancakes, we went to Adventure Cove waterpark, this again was a park to ourselves. There was no queueing for any rides meaning we managed to go on all the big waterslides time and time again. The lazy river went all around the park and allowed you to go through a zone where you could see the stingrays in the tanks on site. This was cool as occasionally they had a photographer there who would take your photos as the stingrays came up to the glass. There was also a tunnel of fish, like you’d get in an aquarium, but you were seeing it all from the comfort of your rubber ring. After a bit of persuading Jade managed to pluck up the courage to go on all the waterslides, including the one with a whirlpool that had a drop after.

Adventure Cove waterpark

Once we finished at the waterpark we headed back to downtown Singapore, where we had tickets for a river cruise (Again included in our GoCity Pass). We got this from Clarke Quay and it headed towards the Marina Bay area, by the time we managed to get a seat on the cruise it was dark, this meant we got to take photos of the city at night. Our timing of the cruise was great (unexpectedly) as we also got to see the Marina Bay Sands light show whilst on the river. The journey lasted about 45 minutes and it took you past the Merlion Statue, the Helix Bridge, the Lotus Flower and of course the Marina Bay Sands.

Day 4 we got up bright and early and headed to Singapore Zoo (Yes it was included in the Pass). The Zoo had all kind of animals, including; Elephants, Zebras, Kangaroos, Lions, Giraffes, Orangutans, and a lot of other animals you’d find in a Zoo. We also managed to take a free tram ride around the Zoo, which saved on walking in 35 Degree heat.

Singapore Zoo
Gardens by the bay view from Marina Bay Sands

Next up on the itinerary for Day 4 was to have a free drink at the sky bar at Marina Bay Sands (Guess what? it was included in the same Pass!) We had a nice time looking at the views of Singapore, we got a really good view of the Gardens By the Bay. We tried to sneak into the observation decks available for guests of the hotel, but we got caught. We were told the best free areas for us to use and managed to take some great pictures from them. As we headed towards the lift to go down, we were surprised by two familiar faces – Jade’s Dad and Julia! This took us completely by surprise as we facetimed them the previous day in the UK and it took us a good 24 hours to get over the shock. We decided to have another drink at the skybar with them before heading over to a street food market called Gluttons Bay.

Dad & Julia surprised us!

Gluttons Bay was amazing. In Singapore residents rarely cook in their homes so the government subsidise the street food so all the locals eat there. We shared Chicken Tikka and Butter Chicken with some Garlic Naans and rice on the side. After eating our way into food heaven we all got into a Grab and headed back to the hotel for the night.

Gluttons Bay street food

Day 5 we went back to Sentosa to spend our last day in Singapore on the beach with Jade’s Dad and Julia. We managed to find a cool beach bar where we reserved two shared sun loungers between us so we could enjoy the nearby waves. Before relaxing we decided to order breakfast, Home-made Granola with yogurt and berries for Jade and Pancakes for Ali (typical). After breakfast we went out on the beach to relax on the loungers, we managed to get a good half an hour of relaxation, before a storm decided to hit. Storms happen quite often in Singapore, most of the time they last 10-20 minutes and then you have clear skies for the rest of the day, but not today. This storm decided for us that we didn’t deserve a beach day so after a few more drinks at the bar we headed off.

We got a grab back to Downton Singapore where we found an indoor street food market, they literally had every type of food you could think of. After, we thought we would show dad and Julia where we did the river cruise at Clarke Quay as it has loads of bars and great nightlife. One of the bars we came across was Deutschlander which had live music on and was taking song requests… as we love reggae we thought we would go for Bob Marley, and as soon as we did the bar seemed to get a lot more customers, typical. Due to this being all of our last night in Singapore, we stayed for a few drinks then headed off to our hotel ready to get our flights to Australia in the morning. Dad & Julia off to a Melbourne and us off to Perth, hoping to meet up with them again in Melbourne in a few days time (if they were lucky).

Next stop a new city in a new country for us, Perth, Australia!

J&A

Singapore – Part 1

After a month on our travels, we have finally reached the place we were looking forward to the most. We arrived in the afternoon into the famous Changi Airport. This place has everything, it’s own indoor waterfall, gardens for you to sit in and slides to some gates. All the standard airport stuff.

We headed straight for our Hotel in the middle of the city, Hotel Boss. We hadn’t planned what to do on the first day so got in a Grab from the hotel with our destination being ‘Downtown’, there is always things going on ‘Downtown’ in any city. It turned out this was an MRT station (Singapore’s version of the tube) and so we headed for food. After a quick bite to eat in a nice Thai restaurant we decided to walk towards the building we recognised the most out of the skyline, Marina Bay Sands. This hotel backs on to the Gardens by the Bay, which houses the super-trees.

We spent the rest of the evening walking round the gardens being amazed at the super-trees and the light show that goes off at 7.45pm. This was mesmerising to watch, a full lightshow of the trees in line with music. After the show the park closes, so we decided to go back to the hotel and get a good night’s rest ready for the next day.

Our first full day in Singapore was at none other than Universal Studios Singapore on Sentosa Island. Luckily, before we arrived in Singapore we bought a ‘GoCity’ pass. This pass allowed us entry to all the attractions we had planned to visit in Singapore and also access to bus tours, river cruises and loads of other things.

Universal Studios Singapore

We decided we would visit the park as soon as it opens and stay there until closing, so 10am till 7pm in a theme park, we thought that would be enough time to go on most rides we wanted to, just in case it was busy. When we arrived, we thought we’d get all of the big rides done just in case it got busier later. It turned out the park never got busy. The longest we queued for a ride was 10 minutes!

Our favourite ride was the Return of the Mummy ride within the Ancient Egypt zone. This was an indoor rollercoaster (always the best ride at any theme park) and had drops, twists, turns and even a part where you went backwards! Due to the lack of queues we only managed to go on the ride once seven times. We thought the coolest part of the park apart from the rides was how detailed the areas were. They had a Jurassic Park area which had a replica of the gates from the film, a Far Far Away zone which had the castle from the Shrek Films, and served gingerbread men who looked exactly like the gingerbread man! The Ancient Egypt zone had a big tomb with statues that were massive dog like statues.

Gingerbread men at Far Far Away Land

In Universal Studios Singapore they have 7 themed areas, these are: The lost world, Ancient Egypt, Sci-Fi City, New York, Hollywood, Madagascar and Far Far Away. For lunch we went to Mel’s Diner within New York and had a nice meal and milkshake in a 1950’s style diner. We spent the rest of the day going on every ride atleast 3 times, watching a stunt show and getting soaked on the Jurrasic Park river rapids.

I like to move it, move it

Day 2 in Singapore was spent on the Big Bus Tour. We find these really helpful when in cities as you can see it all in one day and also you can use the tour as your own public transport, this was also included within the GoCity pass mentioned earlier. We realised the bus takes you straight to Sentosa so we could also visit the other attractions included in our pass based on Sentosa such as the S.E.A Aquarium, 4D Adventureland, Madame Tussauds, Etc.

After a full day of visiting the attractions on Sentosa, we also had tickets included for the Wings of Time night show. This was on the beach and you basically watch an adventure through time of 2 kids and a big bird. This includes laser lights, fire and fireworks. We wouldn’t choose to this again, it may be better if you have kids with you but for us being a couple in our 20s it was quite boring.

Wings of time show

As we did so much in Singapore we thought we’d split the blog in to 2. Look out for the rest of our adventures in Singapore soon.

J&A

Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Kota Kinabulu

Kota Kinabalu (KK) is on the isle of Borneo, in the state of Sabah in Malaysia. It’s one of the main cities within Malaysia. Most people will know of Borneo and the animals there, we thought we’d be close to them being in KK, it turns out we were at least 5 hours’ drive from any of the main areas. This meant we were quite limited of what we could do during our stay there.

We saw online there was an Orangutan rehabilitation centre within KK ran on the grounds of the Shangri-La resort. Later we found out the Orangutans that lived there have since been released into the wild, which is great news… but bad news for our stay in KK. There is also a wildlife park just outside the main city, however, looking online it seemed it wasn’t the best kept place at the moment, and we weren’t wanting to see animals in distress.

KK does have a really cool mall; we went there a few times to get food and a smoothie from Boost as they worked out to be half the cost of what we’d normally pay in the UK. During our travels of Malaysia, we have found that they love to build shopping malls, but they have a weird problem of leaving shops empty. We don’t know why this happens, but it seems the shops are an afterthought.  Opposite the mall is something called the ‘Pillars of Sabah’, which is really cool. Here comes a history lesson…

After allied bombing in WWII there were only 3 buildings left in the whole of KK, literally 3. One of these was a building that stood until 1992 when a fire hit the old Land and Survey building, as a result the whole building burnt down apart from the floor and the 30 Pillars holding the building up. In 2019, a group of street artists came together and decorated each Pillar with street art highlighting a certain animal that lives on the island but is endangered. This was pretty cool to look around and understand what is going on in the world around us. (We hope you enjoyed that lesson).

One day we did manage to go to a beach just off Prince Phillip park. This beach was so quiet, we were the only people on the beach relaxing. The water was clear and the sand near the water had thousands of tiny sand balls and small holes everywhere, after a while we realised, we could see tiny crabs running around the beach, which was cool to see.

Beach

Another thing we did manage to do was visit a funfair. We found out about this by seeing signs on lamposts in the city and thought why not. We managed to fail at the fair ground games as we only popped one balloon between us on a dart game. We did better at the dodgems where the Malaysian tactics of try to dodge people was over-ruled by our ‘smash into anything that moves’ technique. The best ride was the ‘Octopus’ ride which was a bit like the waltzers that would rise and fall. We are sure we saw the kid in the next cart die a few times as the ride went round as his Mum had him in a sleeperhold the whole way around the 5 minute ride, but he walked off so we assume he’s okay. Just to warn you if ever you go to a fair in Malaysia, they like to fill every ride before starting the ride, so we did have to wait 30 minutes for our favourite ride to actually go.

Octopus ride at the fair

KK was a place where we were hoping we could do more than we planned, if we were to go back to Borneo again we’d go further north to Sandakan, here you get to see the animals and visit the famous ‘Turtle Islands’. If you’ve seen some of David Attenborough’s programmes, he shows the nightly hatching of turtle eggs, and you can watch them crawl across land to reach the sea.

So, in KK we thought we may be able to get another country off the list by travelling to Brunei which is also situated on the Island of Borneo. We didn’t realise until we were there that it’s not just as simple as getting a Grab to the border and walking over, you’d need to take 2 ferries and a taxi to get there, taking a total of 5 hours, and the same on the return. As much as we wanted to get another country out of the way, we couldn’t warrant the effort for a stay of a few hours in another place.

We decided to change our plans a bit after KK, originally Kuching was up next, this is also in Borne. However, after researching it seemed there wasn’t much to do there either. We’ve moved our flights around and are going to Singapore earlier.

J&A

Penang, Malaysia

After a nice relaxing time by the pool, or on the beach in Langkawi, we took a short 20 minute flight over to Penang. By the time they had finished the safety briefing we were being told we were landing soon, it was great. We again arrived at our hotel before check -in time, so again we tried to work our charm to check-in early, and it worked, all checked in by 12pm. Our hotel was on the beach which was great as we could go on a white sandy beach whenever we wanted without any crowds.

On the beach at our Hotel
(Mercure hotel)

The first day we arrived, we went and did a bit of exploring. We came across “Times Square mall” on the map and thought this would be a large, busy shopping centre, when we got there we couldn’t be more wrong. All of the shops were closed and we were the only people in the whole mall. We quickly got a Grab to another shopping centre (which actually had people in) and looked around for a bit. We realised that they had a really cheap cinema there and they were showing films that hadn’t come out in the UK yet, so we decided to watch Dolittle. Great film, and even better when you only pay £4 to watch it. If you ever want to watch a film in Malaysia and you’re picky about the flavour of popcorn, be careful! The cinema we went in only served 3 flavours, Bubblegum, Caramel or… DOUBLE Caramel, so 2 sweet maybe even sickly flavours, and then diabetes in a bag.

The next day we headed to the Penang Hill station, this is one of the main attractions that Penang is known for, as the train takes you to the highest peak of Penang hill. This railway has the steepest tunnel track in the world and offers amazing views and observatories at the top. When we reached the top, we took pictures of the city and also saw monkeys in the trees which was pretty cool.

At the top of Penang hill

Penang has well-known street-art throughout the city so we decided in the evening to go and see what was about. All the street-art is throughout the Georgetown area of the city and is really good as you unknowingly cover a lot of the city in search of street art. A lot of the art is by one artist and they use 3D objects alongside the paintings which make it seem even cooler. Our favourite piece was the ‘Kids on the swing’ piece where you can sit on a swing, coming out of the wall.

Another place we visited was the ‘Secret Garden’. The was a short walk from our hotel and the trees in this garden are covered in lights. It looks a bit like some of the scenery you’d see in the Avatar film without 10ft blue people walking about. It’s really cool at night and got quite busy when we got there as there were celebrations at the Chinese temple for Chinese New Year.

Secret garden

We have to give a shout out to the Andrew Kampung’s restaurant in Batu Ferringhi. This was recommended by Ali’s cousin Ed, so we thought we’d give it a try. It was a short Grab ride away from our hotel and it was amazing and incredibly cheap. Our favourite dishes were Marmite Chicken and the Penang curry. We would have included pictures but they don’t do the food justice. If you are ever in Penang, this is a must!

Next stop Kota Kinabalu, on the island of Borneo!

J&A

Langkawi, Malaysia

We arrived in Langkawi after spending a night in Kuala Lumpur airport, so sleep deprived was an understatement. We arrived on the island at about 8am and got to our hotel right on the tip of the island at 9am. Due to our severe lack of sleep we were hoping we could pull a few strings, work our charm and get in to our room earlier than the 2pm check in time, we thought wrong… waiting in the lobby until 1.30pm when we were finally taken to our room.

Infinity pool at Resorts world Langkawi hotel

Our room had a sea view and to be fair this view and the fact we had a fully working shower really helped our opinion of the hotel, as this hotel was nice but strange in so many ways. Imagine you go to a hotel and it has three restaurants, a bar and nightly entertainment, but if you enter any of them, you are the only two people there. It was like a hotel meant for Chernobyl, there was no-one around, it was really weird! Gotta say the infinity pool was good during the day as it had an amazing view of nearby islands, but also in walking distance to the bar. When we arrived we thought we’d have to battle for sunloungers, what we actually found is that most of the time we were the only two people there, which was great as it was peaceful, but also very eery.

Langkawi is famous for the Skybridge and Cable Car on the island. The cable car is the steepest cable car in the world and it was so busy when we decided to go as due to the Chinese New Year, a lot of people were off work and schools were shut. We opted for the ‘Fast Track’ lane as we wanted to experience the Cable Car, instead of melting in the sun waiting for our time slot for it. The journey up on the Cable Car was scary, you’re in a glass gondola, however, if you are really crazy you can go in a glass bottom one, where you’re basically in a glass-bottom cage. From up the top you get amazing views of the hills and island as a whole.

Cenang beach

Cenang beach is the most popular beach on the island as it also has the biggest mall on the island nearby. We went here a couple of nights as our hotel was too dead to stay in. It’s a great place to watch the sunset and fire breathers and jugglers in the evening. Our favourite beach is a beach that was almost deserted called Pantai Tanjung Rhu. It was about 30 mins from our hotel but it was incredible. White sands with shells everywhere, clear blue sea where you can see pools of fish everywhere you turn, and only 10 other people across the whole stretch, it was incredible and if you do visit Langkawi, we really recommend to go to this beach above any other.

Pantai Tanjung Rhu

Our time in Langkawi was capped off by visiting a night market in the main downtown. This was a different experience to the Thai ones we visited before, a lot more cramped, and just seemed a bit dodgy in comparison. Whilst we waited for our Grab back to the hotel we walked into a duty free shop, this place surprised us as it sold Cadbury’s, but it surprised us even more by selling Cadbury’s Dream and Turkish Delight bars! These have been discontinued in the UK for years and we nearly screamed of joy when we found them. They also sold Freddo bubbles, which we had never seen before. Luckily our Grab arrived before we bought too many.

Langkawi was a nice relaxing trip after a few city breaks. Next up is a city on the beach, Penang.

J&A

A day in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

As the title suggests, we literally spent a day in Kuala Lumpur the capital, of a new country for us, Malaysia. We arrived at 1.30pm and we went straight from there to the hotel in downtown. By the time we got there it was 3pm and we had literally 24 hours to see what we wanted to, sleep, see some more and then get on our next flight to somewhere else in Malaysia (spoiler alert).

We started off by getting a Grab (Asian version of Uber) to the Petronas Towers. The towers are hard to miss as they are the tallest twin towers currently on earth. There’s a mall below them so we went there before having a photo shoot of the towers. This mall had every designer shop and was 7/8 floors high. We love to people watch and this was people watching heaven. Awfully staged photos being taken in front of the towers, families of 18 having photo shoots, and another family decided to bring the Guatemala flag with them for their photo, we assume this is where their from, or they just really love that flag.

Petronas Towers
The Perfect Handstand

From the two tall towers to one, we decided to get in a Grab and go to the KL Tower. This is the tallest single tower in Malaysia at 421 metres. We got a ticket that included entry to the ‘sky box’, ‘sky deck’, Upside Down house, a small aquarium and a small zoo. Due to the fact it was past 5pm when we arrived at the tower we had to go straight to the Upside Down house as this closed first. If you haven’t been to one of these. we recommend you go as it’s great fun. We both managed to do perfect handstands!

KL Tower

Next up was the Aquarium, which was directly opposite the stairs of the KL tower. This was a quick attraction to go round, it reminded us of the fish section in a garden centre. It was cool to look at all the fishes, but it was small however, it was free with the ticket so we didn’t overly mind. By the time we’d finished there it was dark outside, meaning we’d be looking over the Petronas towers we saw earlier (and the rest of the city) at night. We saw some stunning views of the city and even tried out the ‘sky box’ which is a glass-bottomed box hanging over the edge of the tower on the observation deck.

View from the KL Tower

Hard Rock cafe was next on our to-do list before heading back for the night. We shared some appetisers whilst enjoying the live music they had on. About 11pm we headed back to our hotel, Pacific Express. If you ever stay in KL and need a hotel, NEVER go here, and we mean NEVER! At 1am we heard tapping sounds in the bathroom and it turned out water was leaking… from the light on the ceiling. Reception moved us to a new room, after just moving our stuff we had a look around the new room and realised a family of bed bugs and beetles were also checked into the same room.

At 2am it’s too late to check in to a new hotel, so we decided we’d prefer to complain to front desk and then camp out in the airport ready for our flight (that we hoped we could move to the morning) at 7pm. The receptionist of the hotel decided our situation was funny and didn’t offer any apology/refund, instead insisting she has done all she could do and that was that. After getting nowhere with this woman we got a Grab to the airport.

In the end we managed to move our flight to 7am, meaning we arrived in Langkawi after having no sleep for over 24 hours. Kuala Lumpur was a great place to visit, even for less than 24 hours. We can’t wait to return in March for a few days!

J&A

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai

Some of you may have already read a bit about our hotel in Chiang Mai from our recent review (if you haven’t, have a look here) so you know about how great our hotel was. This was one of the main reasons we extended our stay here from 2 days to 6 days, and we decided not to go to Pattaya. The Spice House was in the middle of everything, so made it easy to take Chiang Mai at our own pace.

Chiang Mai was filled with temples. We knew that with Thailand being the ‘Buddha Land’ (Their billboards saying, not ours) it would have a lot of temples, but Chiang Mai has the most temples of the places we have visited so far. On the first day we visited one of the most famous ones, ‘Wat Chedi Luang’. This temple was built in the 1400s and is famous due to it’s ruins of a Chedi which was hit by an earthquake in the 1500s.

Wat Chedi Luang

On the Saturday we had a stroll to the Saturday walking market. We were told by one of the hotel staff that this was a ‘small’ market.. this was in no way small. A whole road was cordoned off and there were so many stalls. We walked down a road for a mile looking at stalls selling everything, from jewellery to street food, to paintings, to massages, literally everything was there. We had a browse and then went back to our hotel. We found out later that evening, the Saturday market is smaller than the Sunday one which was down a road opposite the famous ‘Tha Phae Gate’, just around the corner from our hotel.

The Sunday walking market starts at 5pm, and it was CRAZY. Imagine a market, going on for 2 miles, 2 miles, insanity. This market sold even more of everything than the Saturday one. It sold the same items as the Saturday market, but even more (we don’t know how that is possible, but it was), it sold kitchenware, clothes, bags, temporary tattoos, glass ornaments, dreamcatchers, sunglasses and more, this place was a joke. They had a stall with a mountain of gold rings, you picked up your favourite 5 rings and bought them for £5?! Who needs that many gold rings? What really made this market was the food stalls. The side roads and 3 temples off of the main market had food stalls, we had some great chicken and beef skewers, a coconut, a crepe, a waffle and a plate of mini ice creams, and we still had change from 200 baht/£5.

We ended our trip by visiting a temple… at the top of a mountain! The ‘Wat Phra That Doi Kham’ temple was just outside the main city and has a 17 metre tall golden Buddha statue. We took a tuk-tuk for 600 baht/£15 for a return journey and we got to see more of the wider city on the way. When we arrived at the top of the mountain, the driver could only drop us off at the bottom of a very steep hill, on the way up they had shops selling clothes, ice creams, drinks and popcorn. If you ever visit Thailand and decide to visit a temple, you have to dress modestly, we forgot this rule on the day, meaning an emergency Chiang Mai top was bought by Jade to visit the temple. The temple also has a 500 step staircase on the other side with gold dragons from the bottom to the top, which is where we got some great pictures of Chiang Mai from above.

We hope you enjoyed our last post from Thailand, next stop Malaysia, how much can we fit in one day in Kuala Lumpur?

J&A