And that’s it. Going home again, eager to eat a bitoque. To stop myself from being bored to death in Bali’s airport, I’m writing a few random thoughts about the places I have visited…
- Australia – Darwin & Northern Territory
- Loved the people, the city and its surroundings. Yes, it’s a bit isolated, but it has a charm of its own. The National parks are among the best attractions in Australia.
- Australia – Sydney
- Vibrant, modern and with lots of things to see and do. It’s difficult to get bored in Sydney. Sydney’s Harbour is one of those must-see places in the world – you can take a local ferry to see it from a different perspective. Outside the city, the Blue Mountains are a great destination, reachable by train.
- Loved the laidback and easy-going attitude of the locals, and also the aboriginal culture. Hope to get back again to see Uluru, the Great ocean Road and much more.
- Admittedly, the initial impression, after landing in Bangkok, can be somewhat negative. It’s full of noise and confusion. But Thailand quickly grows in you. The proof: millions of tourists every year (sometimes too many, in some islands in the south).
- The fact is, after leaving Thailand, I really missed that organized confusion, the temples, the tuk tuks, the noise, the way Thais are relaxed and laidback. It’s a poorer country than its neighbour Malaysia, but Thais seem to be more happy (ok ok, KL may not be representative of all Malaysia).
- It was the highlight of the trip – a strange new world, sometimes difficult, but always rewarding. I fell in love with the country, and hope to get back, visiting more regions.
- The bad: skipping Chiang Mai and the Northwest due to the heat in April. Trying to go to Similan Islands (one of the best destinations in the world for snorkeling and diving) in May/1st… to know that the islands closed the day before… reopening October. Crap. But nevertheless, those are great reasons to get back!
- Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur
- Full of shopping centres. On the morning of my outbound flight, I decided to go to the Central Market, a local tourist attraction. I was expecting a flea market, like Feira da Ladra in Lisbon… Instead, I found… a shopping centre focused on souvenirs for tourists. A bit lame.
- Chinatown seems to be focused in selling lots of counterfeit branded clothes, and little else. It pales, comparing to the Chinatown in Bangkok (one of the most fascinating and noisy places in BKK, by the way). Even Sydney and Singapore have way better Chinatowns.
- The city is clean and organized, but lacks a stronger identity (the only exception seems to be food). KL was a bit boring, but Malaysia is a big country and it has different reasons for a visit, for sure.
- Like Sydney, it has a lot to offer. Exceptional city, particularly beautiful and dazzling at night. Also hope to get back, as my stay was too short…
More pictures to follow…