Penang island, Malaysia
Wednesday August 4th 2004
An overnight train from Chiang Mai to Bangkok and Mon's first ever flight from there to Penang takes us to Malaysia. I have been to Penang before on the way back from Australia, this time it is for a new Thailand visa, or three.
Thursday August 5th
In Malaysia they drive cars like the UK, but we had a Thai taxi driver there cut up a cyclist a motorcycle and a car on the way to the Thailand consulate.
A disaster, we have only given one of the house keys to Mon's friend for feeding the fish at home. The post is just too slow to get the other one up there fast enough to help.
I heard the consulates in the region are now only supposed to give a single tourist visa, and I didn't get the three I asked for but I did get two. So that covers me for just about six more months on and off in Thailand.
The shopping is great in Penang, compared with Thailand. Good prices if you look in the right places, and the quality seems much better. There is wireless internet in the shopping mall for 90 days unlimited access for the price of just two hours in Thailand. Normal internet cafes are probably about the same though. I bought a Malaysia SIM card so I now have GPRS internet on the beach or wherever I go.
Langkawi island, Malaysia
Saturday August 7th
We took the boat to Langkawi island. The whole island is tax-free so there is even more shopping to come.
Tuesday August 10th
There is more wildlife at the beach today, walking along this evening we found larger fish swimming there, plenty more crabs and the best shells I have yet seen at a beach, many with tiny crabs inside them. It seems the white sands here are due to shells rather than coral. Someone caught a live calimary (like a small octopus), there must have been plenty as there was also one on the beach. Mon is eating one as I write this. Several kinds of jellyfish from tiny to a meter size one on the beach.
Thursday August 12th
A big surprise, the goldfish were perfectly ok, just a little slow after 10 days without food!
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