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Showing posts from January, 2008

Books and bookings

The flights, tours and hotels are booked and the books are bought! Despite having visited Kuala Lumpur twice before and travelling there with former residents I felt naked without a Lonely Planet . So I bought the Malaysia, Singapore & Brunei edition along with a copy of the Lonely Planet Bangkok Cityguide . After looking at maps of Kuala Lumpur I discovered that my sense of direction was 180 degrees out of kilter on those previous trips. That happens when I am north of the equator, being, as I am, from a Southern Hemisphere land. It doesn't help when your mode of transport is mainly the private car and taxi. I'm hoping that the Lonely Planet will give me a better perspective on where I am and what lies outside the window of the transport. We booked our own hotels in Kuala Lumpur through AsiaRooms.com . The hotel prices in KL are astounding ly cheap, so we decided to treat ourselves on the final night with a stay at the 5 star Hilton for less than the price of many 3 s

There's an allrite in travelling

If you rearrange the letters of travelling you can extract allrite with v,n and g left over (which obviously stand for Very Nice Guy). Allrite was my original user nick for my first ever internet account in 1993. So allrite was meant to be travelling.

Hearing Thai

Yesterday I was watching part of a Thai production called Last Life in the Universe , recorded from SBS. It is about a obsessively clean and suicidal Japanese man and a young Thai bar girl. I hoped to get a glimpse of Thailand and listen to Thai speech. Amusingly, I heard more Japanese and English than Thai! I was pleased with the amount of Japanese I could understand, but the tonal nature of Thai and my limited listening opportunities suggests that it could be a challenge picking up much before our trip. I would at least like to learn "Hello", "Goodbye", "Please", "Thank you", "Excuse me" and "Sorry". In contrast, Bahasa Malaysia is much easier with a roman alphabet, spellings corresponding closely to sounds and many words borrowed from English. No wonder it was the trading language of the region. It also helps to have a partner who speaks some of the language as well!

Thailand, here we come!

It's been quiet on the holiday front for a while now. I've been too busy enjoying doing absolutely nothing over the Christmas/New Year period, a time to enjoy your own home and just relax. This week, however, we have started planning again for our upcoming trip to Malaysia. B has often said that she wants to visit Thailand. As it lies on one of the main routes to Europe it makes a sensible stopover destination. Our only experiences of Thailand are of flying over Bangkok at 11pm, seeing a city still alive and energetic despite the late hour, and of spending a few hours in Don Muang Airport whilst in transit between Sydney and Heathrow. Thailand often features in the news and on television in Australia; it is a popular holiday location for many locals. But I have never had a real feeling for the country, a sense for how the country works. I do not think that Thailand functions as smoothly as some of the other transit stops, such as Singapore, Hong Kong or Japan, so I've bee