Hong Kong Part Four: Tian Tan Buddha and a Wanchai Ladies’ Night

13-15 July 2010

After a not-so-cultured lunch of Caesar Salad at a Pret-A-Manager in the IFC Mall, we hopped on the MTR and headed over to the cable car station that would take us to see the Tian Tan Buddha. It was a pretty picturesque way to travel, above the water and over the green mountains below.  Continue reading “Hong Kong Part Four: Tian Tan Buddha and a Wanchai Ladies’ Night”

Hong Kong Part Three: the Gold Coast and a Boat Tour

11-12 July 2010

As our big Gap Year Adventure drew closer towards its end, The Gap Year Buddy and I were still not inspired to get out of bed early and, at 12.45pm, The HK Friend came to chase us out of bed. The three of us went out to Kowloon with The HK Friend’s mum, stopping off at a View Point for… wait for it… some views (of the suspension bridge to be precise), as we headed towards the New Northern Territories for some impressive scenery around the Gold Coast. We wandered up and down the Piazza, looking at different market stalls that were situated near the water edge. We even got a cartoon done of us as a little memento – out of all of us, I think mine was the closest resemblance.

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Hong Kong Part Two: a SoHo Night Out and Palm Reading

9-10 July 2010

In the morning, The Gap Year Buddy, The HK Friend and I all went out to Aberdeen for a late lunch of noodle soup which came with beef, pork, squid balls, fish balls and some other bits and bobs, just in case that wasn’t enough. Afterwards, we decided that that we’d had enough excitement for the time being and so went back to the flat and crashed by the pool, under the clouds. Despite the lack of sun, it was still hot enough for us to sleep on the sun-loungers – we are from England after all, this was still basically tropical compared to what we were used to.

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Hong Kong Part One: Markets, The Peak and the Modern Toilet

5-8 July 2010

After only a two hour flight from Vietnam, The Gap Year Buddy and I landed in the Hong Kong heat to be met by one of our old school friends, who would be hosting us during our stay. After some reunion hugs and a brief train ride, we arrived in the city itself and were picked up by The HK Friend’s mum who took us to their home. We freshened up and headed out to dinner at Times Square in Causeway Bay, where there was a Toy Story themed display in celebration of the upcoming film. Continue reading “Hong Kong Part One: Markets, The Peak and the Modern Toilet”

Ho Chi Minh City Part Two: the War Museum, Cu Chi tunnels and Mekong Delta River

1-4 July 2010

Following on from part one, our next activity involved catching a taxi to Chinatown. Learning from our mistakes yesterday with the cyclo drivers, we set a price of 100,00 VND with our driver. Annoyingly, when we got there the meter read 62,000 VND but we didn’t get change. Our attempts to be careful backfired on us there. Sadly, the market was disappointing. It was more for the locals, with lots of food and kitchen bits, although there were also a lot of knock-off handbags. We quickly gave up and went to a nearby KFC for brunch. The Gap Year Buddy went for the cultural option of chicken and rice but I stuck to my regular KFC chicken burger. Continue reading “Ho Chi Minh City Part Two: the War Museum, Cu Chi tunnels and Mekong Delta River”

Ho Chi Minh City Part One: Ben Thanh Market and a Cyclo Tour

28-30 June 2010

As I arrived at my hotel, I thought it didn’t seem to look like much from the outside – but then a busboy rushed through the doors to get our bags out of the taxi and take them up the stairs onto a trolley for the Gap Year Buddy and I. This was quite a change from the hostels we had stayed in earlier on our Gap Year Adventure. We were staying in an actual hotel, complete with air-conditioning, room service and a TV that came with many broadcasts of American sitcoms. Admittedly, we should have had other priorities upon arriving for the first time in Vietnam. Continue reading “Ho Chi Minh City Part One: Ben Thanh Market and a Cyclo Tour”

Malaysia Part Four: The Wedding Crashers

25-28 June 2010

The Gap Year Buddy and I awoke late (again) to find that the family had gone out for Friday prayers. When they returned, we went out for some more Penang Fried Kway Teow before heading back to pack for Johor Bahru. The family had invited us along to their nephew’s wedding. I had never been to an Islamic wedding before and I was excited to watch the ceremony. We all climbed into the car at around 5pm and four hours, and one Baskin Robbins ice cream stop, later we arrived and settled down to a dinner of seafood fried rice and lime juice with the extended family, in front of more World Cup fun.

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Malaysia Part Three: KL (Petronas Towers and i-City) and a trip to Melaka

22-24 June 2010

Our bus pulled into Kuala Lumpur an hour earlier than expected. That meant we had to wait for our ride. Thankfully, we were dropped next to Sunway Pyramid Mall, so we had a chance to stock up on Body Shop treats and some dresses to combat the heat. Finally, we met our friend and went for a carbonara and tiramisu dinner at Italiannies. Afterwards, it was the footie (this was in the midst of the World Cup 2010) and bed.

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Malaysia Part Two: Journey to Penang

20-22 June 2010

After a lie-in followed by some noodle soup, I set off from Kuala Lumpur to Penang with the Gap Year Buddy. Our host family had relatives in Penang and their nephew was taking us back there with him, after his visit to KL. Four hours and one ice cream stop later, we arrived, only to receive the unwelcome news that the hotel we hoped to check in to was full. Thankfully, and very kindly, our new friends said we could stay with them and promptly took us out for a tour of George Town.

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Malaysia Part One: shopping in Kuala Lumpur

18-19th June 2010

The Gap Year Buddy and I caught the bus from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur after a McDonald’s breakfast (somethings are just the same in any country). Our Aeroline coach wasn’t what I had expected. Instead of your average coach seats, this one had big seats with lots of leg room and even some pretty good in-coach food. The in-coach movie was a bad quality copy of 2012, which was quickly replaced by The Blind Side, which mostly had no sound. Even so, this was still a step up from a lot of the buses I have frequented. Continue reading “Malaysia Part One: shopping in Kuala Lumpur”