Mediocre Kuala Lumpar

On another bus to my next stop Cameron Highlands a bit later than planned. Slept through my alarm after another late one lastnight!
I spent two nights in KL and for me that was enough. I enjoyed it there but I think it was more because of the people I met than the city itself.
I arrived in the late afternoon and used the easy to navigate train system to get to my hostel. Thankfully the hostel was So welcoming and looked like a hotel! I was even given a towel!
I went for a wander to the nearby central market and Chinatown. The market has lots of good fakes and you can bargain and haggle to your hearts content. I bought a handbag I badly needed for 8euros when his initial price was 28euros! Brought me back to the days of Daddy teaching me how to haggle in Turkey years ago. πŸ™‚
Chinatown was fairly underwhelming compared to Singapore.
Headed back to the hostel for the free dinner. Small but did the job and then I joined a few from my room on the rooftop for some drinks.

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Rooftop bar

I met some friends that were over to get married in KL for a Latin night on bar street. Finished the night off at the skewer stations that have anything you can think of on skewers and you can steam or fry them yourself. Yum!!
A few of us from the hostel spent the next day exploring. We went to the towers,the towers park, chocolate museum, IMBI and Butik food markets.
I tried the seriously spicy but tasty tomyam soup and sweetcorn ice-cream which was actually nice!

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Tomyam soup

As I move up through Malaysia the food is getting more oriental. As usual I’m loving tasting all the new and unusual delicacies. Dinner was chicken porridge. Sounds discusting butwas actually my favourite meal so far!
For my lastnight I joined girls I met in Melaka for a pub crawl with their hostel Sunshine Bedz. I mainly went because they’re first stop was Skybar which has the best views of the towers at night.

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View from skybar

It’s quite a fancy place but on Wednesdays it’s ladies night. Free drinks all night!! We spent a few hours here before hitting bar street for another pub with free drinks for the ladies all night!! Hence the headache today. Finished the night with more skewers and sweet potato leaves, as you do!
After a detox juice from my usual cart across the road and a scallop porridge I was ready for the four hour bus to Cameron Highlands. Looking forward to getting away from cities for a bit.

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Skewer station

Back to the heat in Penang

Temperature definitely goes up when you get off the ferry in Georgetown, Penang. 6 of us travelled together and booked into a really nice hostel, House of Journeys.
After a quick change we went for a.hunt for food. The famous hawker stalls don’t open til 5 so we went to Little India for a recommended Nasi Kendar, which is like a buffet of Indian and Malay curries. Unfortunately we didn’t understand the system properly and ended up nearly getting shouted out of the shop because we were all so shocked with the price. So we will never forget how a Nasi Kendar works again! Great introduction to Georgetown  It was delicious though.
We decided to get a large bike and to explore. It was a fun way to see the wall art and cute authentic buildings. We felt like celebrities being waved at for the whole hour we cycled around the city!

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Wall art and murals

After a rest and shower in the hostel we were excited to see the stalls. Theyre in all different areas so we had to pick an area. We had a list of what we’re must try’s and over the two nights we did our best to try everything we could. The first night we wernt too impressed with the keow teow or the Chee Chong fun but we did discover pork buns which come in other flavours too. So good!

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Hawker stalls

The next morning we went for a traditional Nasi Lemak breakfast. Which is not a breakfast at all! Rice,egg,anchovies in a spicy sauce?! Tasted good just not for breakfast! Missing my granola already πŸ™‚
I was glad I ate it when it came to Penang Hill. Feeling the shorts getting tighter from all the eating we took the challenge of climbing over a 1000 steps up to the half way point in over 30degrees heat. Not our smartest move but the views were beautiful and maybe I worked off one pork bun! :/

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View from Penang Hill

By the time we got back, researched ferries, buses etc it was time to spruce up for more markets and a look at the nightlife. This time we tried the famous satay and hoiken mee. Much more successful! We all loved it!

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Hawker stall success πŸ™‚

Nightlife is all based near the quaint Street of Love Lane. It was ladies happy hour in a few places so we took advantage of that and some good live music but by 2am on a Monday it was quiet so we grabbed some more snacks (the food never ends here!!) and headed back to the hostel.

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Skewer station

Our ferry the next day wasn’t until 2pm so we fit in some pork and red bean buns with Chinese tea before boarding.
Safe to say im well fed and not excited about the prospect of a bikini! Worth it though πŸ™‚

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Love Lane

Made it to Malaysia!!

It surprised me along the way how many people skip Malaysia. Most commonly people seem to pop into Kuala Lumpur and fly straight to Thailand. Malaysia was always somewhere I wanted to see and I have a few spare days so may aswell.
Minute I got off the bus in my first stop, Melaka, I knew I’d like it here. People are friendly, everything is cheap and it’s a lot smaller and more authentic than Singapore.

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When I arrived at my hostel there was nobody to let me in. After knocking and waiting a while a local hotelier knew the code and let me in but after waiting nearly 2 hours nobody arrived so I just dropped my bags and went next door to the Cafe where the hotelier had invited me. I sat with 4 lovely locals with a Tiger lemonade and waited on some girls I had met on the bus here.

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Chillin with the locals!

I was devastated to find out the famous markets only run at the weekends 😦  As it was a Monday it was very quiet and even the river cruise wasn’t running. We went on the hunt for authentic Malaka cuisine. We found a cendol at a stall nearby and decided to share one.

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Braving it!

Weirdest mix ever, crushed ice, soy sauce, green beans and maybe something else? We went down by the river for some real food. Nobody got what they asked for and it all tasted the same but cost about 1euro each Si not complaining!
The river is the main attraction here. Itvremibded me of a mini Venice. We sat at a small bar with a cider for a few hours. Very romantic spot if your into that kinda thing!

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After sleeping in my empty hostel to myself I got up for another wander and had the famous rice balls and braised egg for breakfast.

I was tempted to stay a second night but it’s meant to be very quiet here until near the weekend so can’t wait that long. So off to Kuala Lumpur it is πŸ™‚

Quick stop in Singapore

Sitting on the bus to Malaysia and I am definitely feeling tired after my jampacked day and a half in Singapore.
I fit in as much as I could as usual!
It worked well that my flight landed into Singapore at around 5pm so I still had the whole evening and Singapore in my opinion is at its best at night. The Green Kiwi hostel was so nice and I even got handed free leftover local food from a party earlier, when I arrived.
Top of the list for me was the Gardens by the Bay lightshow that’s on every night. a lovely American staying in the hostel joined me and we had a great explore. The lightshow was amazing!! So happy I got to see it. The Gardens are really beautiful.

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Gardens by the Bay

We then went up to the top of the famous Marina Sands Hotel, to the skybar for the unbelievable view over the whole city.
We walked all around the Bay and then onto Clarke Quay which is full of buzzing bars and clubs. We went to Cuba Libre a Latin bar to fit in a few dances!
Up early the next morning to book my bus and hostel and then get exploring!
First stop was Little India. Nice temples, lots of cheap eateries, phone shops and trinkets. I got a super green juice made from wheatgrass and coconut water for 3dollars about 1euro and a new sd card for my phone because as to no surprise my first one is totally full! :/ Hence the scarcity of photos in this post.
The it was a train to Chinatown. Streets of chaos and colour and cheap food,, souvenirs etc. I was in my element trying the most random snacks. Chestnut pancake, sashimi, grass jelly. Definitely not in Australia anymore!!
I had have a look at the iconic Raffles hotel and arcade. It’s the done thing to have a Singapore sling cocktail here, but at 35dollars a pop I just couldn’t justify it. :/ But the place is gorgeous and the Long Bar is a lovely cozy pub.

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I was at the top of that!

I got back after getting lost a few times,not going to lie, just in time to join a group from the hostel for some authentic Singapore meal in a cool area called Bugis. The food here is a bit random from all the different influences but it seems mainly Indian based which wouldn’t be favourite but was still good. I got mutton Malaka with rice and an ice tea (another huge thing here) for about 5euro! πŸ™‚

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Hostel family dinner

Finished off my lastnight here in the salsa club again. It was a live band salsa night couldn’t miss it!! It was worth the tiredness today. Up bright and early again to eat my green coconut jam on toast and snack on seaweed on the bus. Loving being back to trying new and interesting food again πŸ™‚

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Grass jelly and curd πŸ™‚

Sisters in Sydney

To be honest Sydney wasn’t somewhere I necessarily wanted to revisit but my sister decided while I was gone to move to Sydney! So I extended my Oz stay by a few weeks so we could explore Sydney a bit.
Have to say it was so good to see someone from home and ofcoursevthe few Penneys bits sent over from mammy definitely brightened up my day. I now officially hate everything in my backpack!
My experience of Sydney this time was very different. We didn’t have much funds but we wanted to tourist it up as much as possible.
As soon as Orlaith arrived I couldn’t wait to bring her to the Opera House, lunch at The Rocks, Botanic GardensΒ  and ofcourse a drink at The Opera House.
First trip on the list was Blue Mountains. We went with Barefoot Tours to jam it all in one day. We got amazing weather and I was so surprised at how beautiful it was.

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Blue Mountains

Tour was really good and even got free ice creams and a wine at the end. Happy days!
We were based in Zetland which was a good central point to get to everywhere easily by bus or train. It made it easy to fit a lot in. I introduced Orlaith to Sydney’s cheapest lunch option..sushi. So we ate a lot of that! Think I have her addicted now.
We had lunch at Darling Harbour and ate fish skewers at the Fish Markets, we strolled around Surrey Hills and took advantage of The Happy Hours in the funky pubs.

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Pilon lookout

We went to the Pilon lookout on the Sydney Bridge since we couldn’t afford the climb. The views were great and the markets at The Rocks after were even better. Kangaroo skewers πŸ™‚ I’m going to miss Kangaroo, delicious!
We tested out a Friday night in Newtown. Love that place! We did a bar crawl and enjoyed a bit too much! The famous Sunday session was also had in Bondi Junction. Home of typical Irish pubs with good live music every weekend. We made the most of our weekends!
We were lucky enough together another gorgeous day for our Coogee to Bondi walk. I loved this! The views and beaches are beautiful and the walk is quite easy.

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Bondi

It was Chinese new year while we were here aswell so there was a good buzz around the city, even more than usual.
I finally got to see the weekly fireworks on Darling Harbour from a rooftop bar it was as good as I expected.

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Cafe del Mar Darling Harbour

Obviously no Irish woman’s Australia trip would be complete without a day in Palm Beach. The home of Home and Away. The beach itself and surrounding is quite nice but the big bonus was we got to sit and watch actual filming all day. We were in our element!
Overall I definitely grew to like Sydney a lot more this time round after seeing so much more of it and trying all the amazing ice cream, brunches, happy hours, salsa clubs, China town, Irish bars etc and obviously doing it all with my sister made it that extra bit special.
Not somewhere I think I love enough to return but I’m happy I gave it more time and definitely gained the renowned Sydney stone!

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Fish markets