Thursday, 2 December 2010

Jobs Day

Thursday 2nd December 2010

MP3 track of the day: I wish it could be Christmas everyday - Wizzard

Weather: Humid, with a huge down pour of rain at 5:30pm (i.e. now)

With another early start I made my way to the Thai embassy - again looking at the British consulate offices fondly as I walked past - with my passport and a passport photo, from four years ago. This was the first time that I have ever been in an embassy and it wasn't that exciting. I was handed a visa application form when I checked in, but no directions, or words, that would be too difficult for the security guard. I had forgotten to bring a pen however I didn't think that this would be to much of a problem; as everyone had to fill out an application form I thought that there would be desks with pens to help you out ... no.

I eventually borrowed a pen and then joined the queue. Queuing seems to be the thing to do in Kuala Lumpur and it took me from 9:15am until 11:00am to get served. As I was waiting I met a Finnish bloke; we were both a bit worried because the application form demanded two passport photos which had to have been taken six months ago. We only had one old passport photo each, but we decided to try anyway. My number was called out and all my papers were taken, including my passport. Again the woman said nothing to me so I have no idea if, when I come back tomorrow at 2pm, I will get a visa or anything ... the people here are really starting to annoy me.

Once out of the embassy it felt a little weird not having a passport; I must go back tomorrow and retrieve it as the embassy is closed at weekends. To add further problems Monday is a national holiday in Thailand and Tuesday is a hoilday in Malyasia (so they might not be open until next Wednesday). I went past the Petronas Towers again and headed in to purchase a polo shirt for my dad ... job done.

As it was the middle of the day I decided to head back to my hostel to decide what the hell I was going to do next. I know where in Malaysia I want to go, Taman Negara national park, Cameron Highlands and Penang but how to get there I didn't have a clue. Also I needed to sort out some accommodation for Christmas as I'm sure that would get booked up pretty quickly.

Okay so the first thing I researched was getting to the Taman Negara National Park; from looking at my guidebook, and sources of the internet, I needed to get a bus to Jerantut (19 ringgit), stay overnight, and then get a boat to Kuala Trenggan (25 ringgit) and then find some accommodation there (which I couldn't find on the internet and so I reckon it would cost around 25 ringgit per night). I can't go onto the Cameron Highlands after this and so I would need to head back to Kuala Lumpur first. This meant that the whole trip there and back would cost 140 ringgit ... and a travel company was offering the same service, hassle free, for 160 ringgit (£4 more).

I decided that I would book with the travel company as they would pick me up from my hostel ; I also hoped that they may drop me back off here as I am planning to book a further two nights on my return (which means maybe I can leave some of my luggage here) to sort things out to get to the Cameron Highlands.

Next I looked at Thai accommodation for Christmas; as I feared a lot of places had been booked up. However I found a private room at, Khoa Lak, which seems a nice little town along the south-west coast. The description form the hotel states:

"...tucked away in southern Thailand on the coast of the beautiful Andaman sea, gate way to the well known top ten dive sites of the world.
Greeting from Seafan Guest House

We are situate in Khao Lak just 200 meters away from beautiful Khao Lak Beach. Khao lak is a tropical rain forest area,

Seafan Guest House offers twin and double accommodation ensuites. Enjoy free tea - coffee and free broadband internet can be accessed through the guest house computer and wireless broadband is also available.

We offer trips to beautiful beaches in Similan Islands one of the most beautiful dive sites of the world, go scuba diving snorkeling swimming or learn how to scuba dive. Only 5-10 minutes walk to Khao Lak Beach where you can laze on the beach and await to watching sunset or bushwalk through National Parks and forests and a coastal trek along beaches and rock shelves. You can visit the unique Khao Sok National Park, go canoeing, elephant riding, cruise the Khao Sok Lake, go cycling, motorbike.

Walk less than a kilometre to the nearest supermarket and a vibrant town life of pubs, clubs and cheap eats..."

It all sounds a bit perfect. The cost is £11 per night which might not be expensive for home, however it's double what I'm used to paying and nearly all of my daily budget. However I don't really fancy doing a lot over Christmas (and walking to the beach and rain forest will be free) and new year; instead I plan to chill, read my books and watch films (there is a cinema in the town too).

It was now 2pm; to do something with my day I headed out to an area of Kuala Lumpur called the 'Golden Triangle' (well I think I did, there wasn't any signage saying I was there). After walking around for a while (and seeing a notice stating that a storm was on it's way) I decided to head back to the hostel; the golden triangle wasn't actually worth looking around, just a load of skyscrapers with 'slum like' buildings in between.

I'm now back at my hostel; I don't like Kuala Lumpur, mainly because of the people. I only have two nights left here, then off to the jungle and then back here for two nights, before heading to the Highlands ... I can't wait however I have no idea how to get there, its so hard.

Not liking South East Asia.

Toodle Pip!

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