Wednesday, January 04, 2017

End of year road trip

We recently went on one of the longest road trips I have ever driven.

First we drove up to Lumut to pick up my daughter who had been in a camp at Pulau Pangkor. It was a distance of nearly 200 KM.

From there we then drove to George Town, Penang, which was approx. 180 KMs. We stayed a night at The Northam All Suite Penang on Gurney Drive. A "luxury hotel|" which did not really live up to our expectations. Bit dated decor, old TV with bad reception and a jacuzzi that did not work. I don't know why but I did not complain despite the fact that it was one of the most expensive hotels I had ever stayed in. Maybe I was too tired or because it was the among the few places available during the holidays.

On the bright side we did not stay much in the Hotel and the highlight of the trip was a drive to Batu Ferringhi and dinner at Hard Rock Cafe, Penang.  My daughter was quite excited as it was her first visit to a Hard Rock Cafe anywhere.

It was crowded and we did not have any reservations but as we were about to drive away, the guy at the gate directed me to staff parking which had a few spaces. It was packed and we were asked to wait. We left our contact details and went to their shop to browse around. And as usual ended up buying a lot of their branded merchandise.

We then drove up to Kuala Perlis (approx. 180 KMs) and took a ferry to Pulau Langkawi (about 1 hour and 15 minutes) .

At Langkawi, we met up with my my in-laws who had flown there. We stayed at a house together. Not very comfortable but it was OK. Did some sight seeing and also discussed some potential future investment.

The highlight was the boat ride to the Kilim Karst Geoforest Park (Kuah). It was the first time I saw a monkey swimming in the sea (getting peanuts thrown by tourists). A money actually climbed into our boat and the kids were feeding him peanuts. Also saw the sea eagles after which the Islands are named as well as some bats in a cave.

Finally it was time to go back. However, we were way too tired as the traffic back to KL from Kuala Perlis was really bad and at some places we actually did not move for several minutes. We then decided to take a break at Ipoh (approx. 280 KMs). My wife booked online via her mobile phone and we stayed at the Impiana Hotel for the night - again quite dated but quite comfortable.

Called room service and my food was delicious but my sis-in-law was quite annoyed that her chicken was not fully cooked and we complained. The hotel refunded us the cost of that dish when we checked out (but only after my wife had a "long chat" with the lady at the reception.

We finally set off and reached our house about 2 and half hours later - a distance of nearly 195 KMs. Fortunately we set out in the morning and missed some terrible traffic jams later the same day.

I have to say, after more than 1000KMs, 3 hotels and one home stay, it was amazing to be back home and to sleep on my own bed. 

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