It’s been only 3 weeks since I said farewell to my Contiki family and instead of keeping you all hanging (as I know you all are) for the second part – I’m writing this on the plane journey over to my next Asia adventure in Bali. If you haven’t yet read the first part of my recent Contiki Asian adventure then check it out here for some serious FOMO.
I left off on my last post from our first evening on the island of Langkawi where celebrations were had for our adopted dad – Mike. If there is something that anyone should know about my travel style is that I hate sitting still and wasting time. I will always be one of the first to wake up and ready to head out for any sort of adventure, big or small. When the birthday boy said that he was heading to the nearby beach to film sunrise footage the next morning I jumped at the opportunity – despite rolling into bed in the wee hours of the morning. Imagine the dusty faces the next morning (ha). Our dehydration was quickly cured when we stepped onto the clean beaches and enjoyed the rest of the morning with free time exploring the island.
The rest of our time on Langkawi consisted of walking across a mist covered suspension bridge, enjoying a sunset cruise and swim in the incredibly warm waters followed by a buffet style dinner. There’s something about being on-board yachts that has the incredibly calming effect on people – even with Justin Bieber hits drowning out our voices.
Penang was the next stop and we spent the majority of the day there exploring the historic art district of Georgetown. The colonial aesthetic is quite obvious and you’ll discover some incredible street art spots almost on every corner. We spent the evening feasting; if you really want to make your dollar work for you then spending it at a hawkers market is where you need to be. My mother would always say that the best food is found at the most unassuming places and if you can look past the seemingly dirty exterior then you’ll find yourself discovering the most amazing local delicacies for offensively low prices.
The Cameron Highlands was the last part of our trip before we moved onto Kuala Lumpur and we spent two nights surrounded by tea and strawberry plantations. Our vintage school bus picked us up in the morning to drop us at a tea plantation, strawberry farm and butterfly enclosure. If anyone is thinking about bringing a drone, my suggestion would be to leave it at home as you’ll have some angry men on scooters reprimanding you before you can even get a minute of air time as our rebellious trip dad discovered quite quickly.
Our last day was spent travelling to Kuala Lumpur and spending the afternoon wandering through markets; picking up trinkets that we’ll probably never use once we get home. I’ve always been under the impression that there was too much condensed into such short timeframes on Contiki but I’ve since realized that these experiences are perfect for those who are searching for a glimpse of what each country has to offer. Will you return from your trip fluent in Bahasa or Thai? No – but what you will come back with is an appreciation of what each culture has to offer; from the unwavering Thai hospitality and service to the Malaysian art of cooking and all things pertaining to food.
If you’re thinking about booking your next Contiki Asian adventure then here is my list of highlights:
– Khao Sok National Park is by far one of the most beautiful places you’ll ever visit
– Langkawi sunset cruise – it’s like having a slice of Mediterranean heaven but in Asia
– Discovering different delicacies at the hawkers markets in Penang
– Driving through the lush green setting in the Cameron Highlands