We had a quick ferry to johor batu, malaysia and then hopped right onto a bus to mersi, the town we had to get a ferry to tioman island from. We didn’t make it in time for a ferry that day and since we were short on time, since we had to be in kuala lumpur in 3 days) we decided to take a 3 am ferry over to the island. Shalee and Sanoi finally had a great experience with street food and we spent the rest of the evening playing cards in the cheap room we got so we could hang out and possibly nap. We got to the island at about 5 am, and of course nothing is open and it is very dark. Of course Chelsy and I are used to just getting dropped off places, sometimes in the middle of the night, and just figuring it out, but I guess it kinda creeped out Shalee and Sanoi. haha. We ended up finding some tables and chairs and watching the sun come up until our guesthouse opened. Then of course we needed a nap!! So when we finally did get up it was afternoon and we just had a great afternoon laying in the sun and playing in the ocean! That evening we had happy hour and i probably ate the spiciest soup of my life!! It was good, but spicy! The next day we went to the other end of the beach and explored the neighboring town a little, and of course played in the ocean and the sun more. It was really really nice. Tioman island is really cool, and definitely a spot to spend some more time snorkeling or diving.
We caught the evening ferry to the mainland, killed some time and then hopped on a bus to Kuala Lumpur. We got in very early in the morning again, thank goodness we can all sleep on buses, and got some sleep before getting up to head out to an elephant conservation camp. Now, Malaysia is definitely not the place to do an elephant thing, as it is very short compared to Thailand and all, but the girls had never ridden an elephant so we spent the day there. The elephant ride was very short, but we also paid to bath an elephant and it was Awesome! We got in the water with about 30 -40 other people and we got to swim and play and bath with 2 baby elephants. It was really really cool! That evening we spent hanging out at our hostel enjoying the great view of the petronas towers from our rooftop.
The next morning we had to say bye to the girls so we had to leave them at the airport. It was great having Shalee and Sanoi come out to visit and we had a blast! They are both hilarious so we definitely did lots of laughing!! Malaysia was a very cool country. It is similar to Singapore but not quite as clean. But as soon as we got there I knew that I would want to spend more time than we had, so it is definitely on the list as a place to return to!
We had an early morning flight to Hanoi so we were pretty tired and spent the first part of the morning just hanging out in the hostel. That afternoon we headed out to the old prison. It was cool but the museums here tend to lack a little bit in explanation, but that might also be because they are very biased as well. That evening we just hung out and it was an early night as we were so exhausted after the early mornings the last couple days. Yesterday we spent some time walking around the old quarter and checking out all the shops and good things they sell, and trying out the street food! We also went to the museum of the revolution hoping to find out more info on the vietnam war, but like I said the museums have lots of pictures but are lacking in information. Good thing there’s wikipedia!!!
The rest of the afternoon we just walked around the old quarter and visited a huge covered market. The market was crazy cause all the stalls are so close to each other you can barely walk through. But you can buy everything from souvenirs, to dried food, to shoes to rolls of fabric. Last night we had a blast hanging out and playing games with people from hostel and spent the night out dancing and hanging out until the wee hours of morning!
This morning we got up and went out to a Vietnamese water puppet show. It was really cool cause it is these rather large puppets that seem like they are dancing on water. They are controled by a person behind a curtain with a long stick. But they can really make the puppets do a lot of crazy things. But a really cool show!
So far we LOVE Hanoi! And we have big hopes for the rest of Vietnam. We also love to be back in the land of cheap after singapore and such! We are off tonight for SaPa where we will do a day of trekking to some local villages. We won’t do too much as Chelsy has broken her toe, so getting around is a little painful for her. Thank god she’s a trooper and so tough! We will then come back and be off for Halong bay right away! I’m really excited as both places are supposed to be beautiful!!