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GRINDING IT OUT (MALAY STYLE)

Written on: Thursday May 11th, 2006

A journal entry from: SOUTHEAST ASIA

Center Travel - Haad Rin Beach
KOH PHANGAN, GULF OF THAILAND

Ahhhh... We've finally arrived in the Southern Thai Islands and our beach vacation is off to a great start. The full moon party (FMP) is just around the corner and we have managed to secure a fabulous beach bungalow within attack and retreat range of all the mayhem. Last night we partied and danced on the beach where we managed to get extremely smashed for very, very cheap. Brea on five dollars of Chang beer and myself on literally buckets of Jack for only a few Canadian dollars!

Our last week in Malaysia was phenomenal. Kuala Lumpur was a whirlwind adventure. The Petronas Twin Towers were magnificent. We were lucky enough to head up to the sky bridge on the 41st floor. Torrential rains later stranded us in the Menara (the KL tower), we were then able to observe the city beneath us. The club scene made a definite impression on us. We hit up two happening dives and partied with the locals "Malay" style. Both of the hostels we stayed at were quite memorable. We made great connections at our hostel Le Village and even had the experience complete with bedbugs. Unfortunately for our budgets, the shopping extravaganza has officially begun, as we have already managed to ship a box (*please note that it was a small box) home.

Taman Negara was an adventure of a different sort... Incredible, yet rustic. It started with night time jungle off-roading in the pouring rain and despite our pleas they would not take us home.. and you better believe that we pleaded. The next day we ended up trekking through the rainforest without a guide. The leeches were on the prowl and thankfully our compass was a godsend. We galavanted high amidst the jungle vines and trees on the longest canopy walkway in the world and visited an Aboriginal settlement deep in the jungle - the Asli Orang tribe. It was an amazing experience regardless of the fact that Brea had food poisoning and vomited on their sacred land and and to top it off she broke their only firemaker. At night we attempted to find comfort within the confines of our rustic box accommodations but you can trust that we only went there to sleep. We cruised along the river in a traditional Malay boat with Dianne's newfound jungle love (*wink). We spent a lot of time with the village locals which gave us a different perspective during our time in TN and we would not have wanted it any other way. To say the least, Dianne gave a whole new meaning to the phrase "jungle fever", leaving behind a piece of her heart in the rainforest. And lastly, our Malaysian adventure was complete with a visit to Jerantut - the hot spot!

The next couple of days will consist of well-needed and much deserved R&R. From here we will head into the southwest islands (Krabi, where the beach was filmed), and then mosie our way up to Cambodia.