Saturday, 16 April 2011

Going to Malaysia

15th I was on the way to Hat Yai as my Thai visa was expiring and I needed to exit the Kingdom of smiles. I had a rendez-vouz with the hooligans in Lumut. I was dropped off in Hat Yai bus station where I bought a ticket to Ipoh as there were no buses to Lumut so I chose the biggest city close-by. I bid my friends goodbye and boarded the bus that soon enough filled up and we were on our way.

News clipping in bus station of how the city was flooded just a few weeks ago

After a couple of hours we arrived to the Thai-Malay border control and we had to get off the bus for immigration procedures. I guess something went wrong as I lost the bus crowd at some point and walked over to the Malaysian side. There is stood waiting for nearly an hour before the bus came. I was lucky I had not missed the bus as my bag was on it.

Border of Thailand - Malaysia

The journey continued and we stopped for a lunch break at a highway restaurant. I got some Nasi Goreng as it is pretty safe to eat and avoid Delhi belly, somehow people tend to get more sick in Malaysia than Thailand, maybe something to do with different bacteria or standards of hygiene. After lunch we continued, the highways in Malaysia are great, smooth, wide and straight and you can put your pedal to the metal and cruise although max speed is set to 120km/h.

Late afternoon we passed through Penang where we stopped and let off many passsengers as well as new ones embarked. It was late evening abt 7pm and we were getting closer to Ipoh and I told the driver to let me off somewhere it would be easy to get into town. He dropped me off at a highway rest station seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Luckily there was a toilet and prayer room complex being attended by municipal cleaners and I managed through them to order a taxi as I did not have a Malaysian SIM card yet. It was notable that the young chap who called the cab for me declined a tip I was offering.

The cab came and I told him to take me to down town Ipoh, while driving he was chatting away and weaseld out of me info that I was actually going to Lumut. Well, he made me an offer I could not refuse so we stopped in Ipoh to buy a SIM and continued to Lumut. It was not really that far, we arrived Lumut in abt 45min and I booked into the Waterhill hotel next to Jook's Joint Bistro. After settling in and washng off the dust I went out for a late dinner at Jook's Joint and I could not believe that I met people from 2 years back when I had drydocked Kalizma there. There were still plenty of Finnish expats working on the floating hotel project that by now I suspect was seriously behind schedule.

After a few relaxing beers and a pizza I headed back to my hotel room and retired for the night.

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