Just Emkaying: September 2013

Sep 14, 2013

Lounging in Langkawi - The South East Asia Trip Part 2

Read the first part here

Langkawi to me was always the place people go on their honey moon, rekindle the love, girl gang hang outs etc type places. So naturally I'd think it would be very beautiful, very silent and very private. With top class resorts and honestly, expensive.

On the contrary, Langkawi is one of the most coolest places anyone can go to. And if you want to just put your feet up and chill, this is the place. If you want to have some fun and adventure, this is the place. And if you want to go on a crazy night of fun, this is still the place.

So we landed in Langkawi coming from KL, the first morning flight. As you land in the airport you have a host of options for travel and stay. But tucked away in the corner is a car rental service. Trust me, this is what you have to take. The best car we could get was a Mitsubishi SUV, Automatic. At 350 RM (Around 7000 bucks) for three days this was a steal. And the car was absolutely top class. Drowsy and being the only sane one in the team, I was initially acting like a Marwadi business man.

"Lets just get something that moves, why do you need to spend so much?!!"

Of course, you must also note that my friends are maniacs. DB and BC, the guys who I am not going to name, will probably rent an airplane if they were asked to by a guy who called them "Sir". Typical Politeness depraved souls that they were.

But sense prevailed, and we settled the matter like adults - whoever had the loudest voice won.

For the first 20 kilometers, my sophisticated friends (with driving license and experience) had no idea how to use the gears. As a result we traveled on first gear, while cars, cycles and cows waved at us as they overtook our sorry arses. It finally took a man of sound logic, a guy who obviously was meant for great things, to tell them how to use the gear.

"Hey this + button looks interesting" *Insert great thunderous applause here*

Our Rooms were awesome. We stayed at "Tropical Resorts" which is basically a set of cottages, about 15 meters from the beach. At the time of booking, we didn't know this part. But then it was really cool and very convenient. Because by default, we were staying at the most happening locale in Langkawi (Of course we came to know about this only towards the end of the trip)

In Langkawi, we did the following

1. Took lots of fun drives.

Attitude issues
2. Went to the Underwater world, a really cool aquarium and bird park. It also has a macaw that has an
attitude problem that someone should look into. They also have a python that will not eat you as you try to act all brave and pose with it. Also don't forget to meet the seal that swims in perfect loops for eternity. seriously, the guy just doesn't stop.

3. Took more fun drives

I love these birds
4. Went island hopping - We were taken to the first island, which has this amazing lake in the center of it called the lake of pregnant maidens (Top on the Planning-A-Family-Must-Go-To-Locations) *wink wink*. This place is just amazing, because its so beautiful, so peaceful and also because you can swim in this huge lake. The next spot they take you to is a an area where there are lot of eagles. It's basically eagle feeding and they are just so beautifully majestic. I must have clicked a 100 photos in burst mode. Only to get maybe 2 photos of the eagles tail feathers. Bah. The third island is a beautiful, white sand beach where you can swim and do the normal stuff. (In this case pose for selfies of aforementioned people I shall not name)

 5. Took 4 circles of  a location called Kuah (Irony, sounds like a "well" in Hindi) because my driver and co-driver are extremely talented in going around in circles. We also tried the staple dish of the place called Laksa, which is basically sour fish soup with noodles and chicken and egg and some other stuff. (Of course I just came to know what it was thanks to Wikipedia. On the day we put up brave faces and mumbled appreciation as we gobbled the incredibly awkward smelling and tasting dish, grudgingly, down)

6. We went to the Marina to take lots of pictures of us with the very beautiful Langkawi + Eagle Statue. And also the other stuff around.

I wasn't scared at all. Honest.
7. Went to the Langkawi Cable Car. Which is also the location of the Langkawi Sky Bridge. Unfortunately the bridge was closed. The Cable car basically takes you to a middle station (600+ meters) and from where you will change cars to ascend a further 100 mts to the top station where you have 2 viewing stations. From this point, you can touch the clouds and have the most magnificent 360 degree view. Its also a great place to push off 2 friends who will engage in, yes, you guessed it - MORE SELF STYLED PHOTOGRAPHS.

7. Shopping and Food. We couldn't really do a lot because we were dead tired, but we did manage to get Souvenirs and stuff, while also visiting the local streets and shops. We were also lucky to view some neat Modified cars revving it up at the mall. Check the pics.

Finally, we reached our hotel and were chilling out when we remembered that we had to clear our hotel bill and leave by 5 in the morning. It was already 1 am, and the resort reception did not open till 10 am. Being the most sensible one, I came with an ingenious plan. As in the image below.

The Ingenious plan revolved around slipping this envelope with the money under the door of the reception, and hoping that the right person would get it. Also praying that we were not caught at the airport for attempted cheating. We mumbled around the reception, and tried a few knocks, and were about to make a run for it when, Tadaaaaah!!! the owner of the place comes out. A few Sob stories later (apparently my relatives were sick, BC's flight got cancelled, and DB did not know we had an emergency) we were out and cruising to the airport, readying ourselves for the next part of our trip.

In Singapore, we meet "THE MUMMY",  witness a mad bar argument on the streets, meet the Merlions, before one of us has a very very Bad night at the casino.

Sep 8, 2013

Malaysia Ahoy!!! - The South East Asia Trip Part 1

This year I was able to keep up a promise to myself to travel ever year to some place new and different. As much as I tried to present an international image by checking into foreign locales on Free WiFi, there's so much that happened, so many experiences, that I feel the need to document it. In case someone wants to make a movie on me or something. (Hey you never know)

Theres a lot of stuff, but I'll try to keep it as interesting and amusing as possible, which basically means I'll talk all about the shit the other three do. (Imma Good Boy)
Mandatory self Identification photo before trip

As a disclaimer, and to protect the identity of Debi, Bc and Vc I will refrain from naming the guys who came with me on this trip of *Beep* *Beep* *Beep* and all the food, sightseeing and entertainment.

I will also for the first time be able to put up videos of the trip, and that will be through my YouTube Channel which I will name shortly.

We started our trip from Bangalore where we flew to Kuala Lumpur, and then from there to Langkawi. This was followed by a 3 day jump to Singapore, and then to the Philippines where we went to Manila and Borocay.  Coron islands was also on the list, but typhoons made sure that our trip was cancelled. 

Through our the trip we've had miserable situations and brilliant come backs, and you won't believe me if I said we got detained in Immigration, walked in the middle of the ocean, got into Bar fights and more. And still got back safely, except for a little fever I caught due to exhaustion. 

So on departure from Bangalore, one of us was a first time traveler to foreign lands. This is the same guy who was considered as a beacon of good luck for anyone who wanted to travel abroad. Every person who has stayed with him (including me) has been posted "on site" (Software Engineering terms for getting posted in USA with normal Dollar salary but when it is converted to rupee I become rich and can buy a flat in Bangalore) or traveled abroad. 

He was as excited as a smoked up monkey in a room full of ripe bananas, and as soon as we boarded the plane I heard stuff like "Oh my God, look!!! More Humans" and "We are going out of the country!!! Do they know yet?" and of course "Shit, I've arrived in life". Of Course Debi, the veteran Package tour travel specialist was busy snoring so loud that the pilot had to check if everything was alright with the engines. And I was busy making up these jokes for the blog, so you know who's left right? 

It was a difficult flight majorly be cause the seats were uncomfortable. That's what happens when you put a XXL ass into a Economy seat. But enough about those guys. We slept and awoke and slept and awoke before I finally got some shut eye. 

I was rudely awoken to "OH MY GOD, Kuala Lumpur has lights!!!" and "Look at the runway, its better than our roads in Sarjapur" etc. just as we touched down in the LCC Terminal in Kuala Lumpur.

There are two things you should know about the KL Airport. For all you "Foreign country is amajing" this airport requires you to walk all the way to the terminal from the airplane. There are no Air conditioned buses awaiting to ferry your merry ass to the terminal. Also there must be some 160 odd spots for planes to land, so that basically meant I could watch HIMMATWALA and recover by the time I reached the Terminal.

Just a few of the Air Asia Jetliners
The other thing about LCC KL airport, is that its isn't an airport. Its actually the Air Asia Exhibition center. For miles and miles across all you will see, are Air Asia Planes. Trust me, every thing that flies there has an Air Asia tag. And pretty sure half the country works for them. Not that am complaining with all the air hostesses around. 

Anyways, once we were in we decided to hit the streets and visit the Petronas towers. You know, those twin towers that were once the tallest towers before Burj Al Arab came into being and Al-Halal-ed every other building on Planet Earth. Now the tricky part was we had 5 hours in which to reach this place and come back. 

So we took a convenient Bus (Air conditioned and with recliner seats) for the one hour journey to KL Central. From there we took a taxi (around 15 minutes) to the Petronas towers. It was closed, but we did get into the compound. 

The twins were just beautiful. You don't really get a sense of the size and how magnificent and powerful these structures really are, until you get your nose right up to it and look up. Just, Freaking Amazing. 

I was so caught up that I just didn't really make the max of my camera. Also, there were these huge flood lights right bang at eye level, so no matter how I tried I just kept getting this huge glare at the bottom of my screen. 

But trust me, It definitely looks far better at night than in the morning. The splendor of a fully lit Petronas must be something really worth taking in. Unfortunately for us, it wasn't one of those days.
Its moments like these that I want to abandon people

After a few...err...okay a lot of  "Me with Petronas, Me with Malaysia sign board" etc type photos, we decided to head back. On the way we made a quick detour to visit the National Mosque of Malaysia. It was beautiful but we didn't get any decent picture that would be worthy of its grandeur.

Also we were worried of missing our next flight to Langkawi.

Once back at the airport, we had to get used to the different ways the airport operates. Here you need to check in on the machines, and then go to the counters to drop off luggage, and then wait in the expansive lounge before walking across miles and miles to reach the airplane.

One thing which caught us off guard was the women cops at the security check. And they do check men as well. And they yell. LOUDLY. So we didn't know that "Belts" were also to be taken off before running under the scanner. So I had this lady cop YELL at me to take off my belt and come back. It wasn't a very "Shades of Grey" type scenario that I'd have fond memories of either. Lets just leave it at that.

In the next post, expect more of how we took Langkawi by storm, had Laksa, and almost ran away in the middle of the morning from our Hotel.