3 Countries, 7 Flights and a Questionable Curry

A holiday of a lifetime, to visit Malaysia, Vietnam and Hong Kong, all in one amazing week. A few days before I left I got myself all organised, I even bought travel insurance which is a real treat. I had no idea what kind of money I needed but I had my priorities right and knew what I wanted to pack, the weather is hot, sunny, rainy and chilly, try finding clothes that fit all of those priorities.

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I had no idea what happened when I got there. Would it be obvious to find my way about or would I have to flag down a donkey and hope for the best?

The airport, like most international journeys, was where my holiday began. It started with being frisked, I always get stripped and searched. The miserable looking woman asked if she could feel inside my waistband, I considered about asking if she would buy me dinner first but I thought better of it.

Then I got on board for my thirteen hour flight to Kuala Lumpur. Why do air stewards always point down the plane when you show them your ticket? It’s not like I was going to go and sit on the pilot’s knee.

Anyway, I flew Malaysian airlines, I was nervous about the thirteen hour flight in case of screaming children/disappearing into the ocean, but it was better than anticipated, I collected an impressive amount of Pringles and apart from the permanent indent of an arm rest in my back, I actually managed to sleep.

It’s odd how as a westerner I had a pre-conceived image of what Asia would be like, I was happy to be proven so very wrong. After first arriving and visiting one of the enormous shopping centres Malaysia had to offer I couldn’t believe that they had a Tesco, Body Shop, La Senza, Marks and Spencer’s and everything else in-between including every well-known designer brand you could think of.

It wasn’t soon before I was a suitable lobster shade that only a British tourist abroad can achieve. I hoped it would make my colleagues very jealous when I returned to work. I explored everything I could, the Petronus towers were particularly spectacular, they don’t get nearly enough exposure. Dare I say they are better than anything I have seen in New York?

Kuala Lumpur (82)

Taken on Nikon D5200, Manual f15, shutter speed 7 seconds resting on bag lying on the floor

The people were lovely too, they are untarnished by the image that all brits are sandal wearing piss-heads and instead are more used to the business culture. The food is amazing. I’m not fussy and you can’t be unless you want to spend the whole time eating in Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. You have to just embrace the fact you have no idea what you’re eating if you eat in the smaller restaurants, markets and food stands and hope that it isn’t cat. Included in this was a curry I ate in a tiny backstreet shop, everything looked like tripe but tasted amazing. I was probably eating poo.

I also went to visit Batu caves, I walked up all of its 272 steps in 35 degree heat and took the fat, red, sweaty, British tourist look I had already been rocking all week to a whole new level. I have also never felt so tall in my whole life, at a modest 5 foot 5 inches over there I am practically Big Foot.

Vietnam is a lot more how I imagined of Asian, the driving was chaos, there’s about fifteen billion mopeds and you have to ignore all British instincts of waiting for the green man to instead opt to walk out in to the road and hope for the best. They eat dog, fight dog in underground tunnels and have some of the most beautiful sights to see just in its streets. They also have the best coffee I have ever tasted.

Vietnam (56)

Taken on Nikon D5200 Manual f11, shutter speed 2 seconds, no flash, resting on palm of my hand

It has the richest, largest, communist palaces and the poorest, narrowest, battered houses surrounded by the residents who sit on about 4 inch high stools in the street.

I also went out with the aim to buy cheap camera goods too and instead came back with metal chopsticks.

Hong Kong, ah, what a city. I traveled in one of the cable cars up the mountains to see the big Buddha, there is nothing more freeing than being at the top of those mountains, surrounded by incense and knowing that everything you worry about is thousands of miles away.

Hong Kong at night has a Laser light show that bounces off of the buildings that line the harbour, a huge crowd never fails to gather and music is played, it’s gorgeous.

Hong Kong (41)

Taken on Nikon D5200, Manual aperture f16, shutter speed 5 seconds resting on the harbour wall 

I am used to travelling and despite the jet lag, nearly missing one of my flights causing me to run bare foot piled high with luggage like a demented buckaroo through the airport, this adventure was easily one of the best I have ever had.

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