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Malaysia and Cambodia


This is about my upcoming trip to Malaysia and Cambodia. The first part is pre-trip - information about flights, itineraries, accommodation and all the things that you need to do to plan an overseas holiday. This is my first trip to Asia and I hope it may help others. Comments are very welcome and anyone who has travelled to Malaysia and/or Cambodia, please feel free to comment and offer any advice or tips that you think would be helpful. As of today ( 28th February) , in exactly 11 days (minus 30 minutes) I will be in Kuala Lumpur.

I had the most amazing time and hope you enjoy reading about my trip. Each post is numbered and I'm doing them in order from start to finish - a little like a diary.



71. Bayview Hotel

How the Other Half live
Stepping out of the taxi, I looked up at the Bayview and was very pleased at what I saw. For one who stays in hostels in a dorm when travelling around Australia and NZ, this was grand accommodation at its best - a four star hotel.

Above: Bayview Hotel Georgetown

It even had a doorman! I had come up in the world - what with doormen opening the door for me, and porters and hotel staff bidding me "Good afternoon" with a smile on their face, I felt like I'd stepped into fairyland. Walking across the foyer to the reception desk I became conscious of how I looked and felt like a cross between a bedraggled gypsy and a drowned rat. Whereas the other hotel guests were beautifully dressed in expensive clothes, here was I in my 3/4 cargo pants, sleeveless top and Teva sandals. And a backpack. (Daypack)

Approaching the desk I made some stupid comment like pardon me for looking like this, I was caught in the rain. (Groan, head in hands, wish the floor could've opened up and swallowed me) - How could I have been so silly? Ah well, we learn.☺

Above: No Durians!
I later learnt that most of the better class establishments have a sign "No Durians Allowed". The suitcase on the right is mine. Anyway, back to my story, I introduced myself to the lady at reception and she said, "Oh yes, you have a booking for two nights" to which I replied that yes, that was correct and I really wanted a booking for three nights, but unfortunately they could only offer me two as they were booked out.

She looked at me and said, "That is not true - who told you that?" Told her the man at the Old Penang Guesthouse in Love Lane. She then said again they were not booked out and asked would I like three nights? We can give you three nights. I remember thinking the cheeky bugger had lied to me!

Above:  Room 1125
Exiting from the rather posh lift, this was my room. The furnishings were lovely and all first class.

Above: View from my hotel room
After unpacking, I made a nice hot cup of tea and sat in the club chair at the window and gazed out - I had a lovely view of the E&O Hotel and the sea. I would often draw up the chair with wooden arms and use it as a footstool.

Above: Night view
At night, I tended to keep the curtains open - the view was magnificent. Alas my camera doesn't take very good night shots and so this photo doesn't do it justice.

Going downstairs, I decided to go for a walk and get something to eat. I spoke with the doorman whose name was Abdul, asking where it was alright for a female by herself to walk around. I mentioned Love Lane and Chulia Street and he was horrified - no, no, no, you don't want to go there. That not a good area. Not nice, not safe. He advised me where it was safe to walk - turn right, come to the traffic light, turn left and walk down that road.

There were many bright lights of the open shops with people everywhere. So many eating places, I didn't know where to go, and just kept on walking. It was a lovely street and I felt quite safe there even though it was dark. As it was getting late and me not having any idea of where to eat, I decided to turn back and eat at the hotel.

Going to the dining room (it was quite late by this time and very few people still eating) I chose a table in the outside area where I could smoke and ordered chicken rice (23 ringgit), a glass of wine (19 ringgit) and a coffee (9 ringgit). The food was delicious and going to pay was asked my room number. They just put it on my bill. I've never stayed anywhere before where they just ask your room number! Looking at the bill thingy, I was surprised to see not 51 ringgit but a higher price and when questioning this was informed it was 51 plus plus. Plus plus? What's plus plus? Turns out there is government tax and service charge to be added on. I realised I could not afford to eat here!

Above: The Lobby Lounge
After dinner, I wandered over to the Lobby Lounge where there was a live band - three girls and a man on keyboard. Mr. Tang gave me information about international bus pass - two or seven days with Rapid Buses. Bought a bottle of white wine 110 ringgit..don't forget the "plus plus" which made it 126 ringgit.

A lovely chap came over and introduced himself as Daniel and asked me how did I come to the hotel? By taxi, says I. But how did I come he asked again, I came by taxi. He mentioned something about reception and asked how did I come to be staying at the hotel so I explained about the guesthouse and what had occurred. He asked if this was my first time in Malaysia to which I replied "yes" and then warned me about some guesthouses and it was an old trick to try and get people to stay by giving incorrect information (hotel is booked out).

He also warned me about Love Lane and Chulia Street and said there are some places that you should stay away from and not to go near this area. Evidently Love Lane used to be known as Prostitute Lane - it was/is where prostitutes and ladyboys hang out!

Had a great time sitting there listening to the music, the three ladies took requests and it was a relaxed and entertaining time. Finally took myself up to my room just after midnight where I had a shower, a cuppa and then fell asleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow.

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