Malaysia/Singapore Day 14 – ‘Fast and furious : trishaw edition’ and the guy that makes a livingpoking coconuts with his finger

July 31st
Malaysia – Kualar Lumpur -> Melacca

I was awoken from the strangest dream (something about Sting having an argument with one of the guys from slipknot about whose skin was smoother from using baby oil or something ridiculous like that). From there I spent half the morning playing Jeanne D’arc on PSP until it was time to go out , we were going out to our future hotel to drop our bags off and then off to Melacca (an area of Malaysia which has alot of history) via coach , dropped our bags off at the ‘Royal Bintang’ and then went to the coach station – where all of the coaches are privately owned and they all sell their tickets through ticket counters , of which there are fifty or so and then there are salesmen pestering you CONSTANTLY whilst you walk towards the ticket counter , my dad turned away about 8 or so salesmen trying to offer him cheap coach tickets before we got to an official ticket counter…

The coach had no suspension whatsoever , the wheels were pretty much welded straight onto the frame – this was obviously rather unsavoury considering our coach to Melacca was going to take 2 hours. 15 Minutes into the trip I started feeling sick , but thankfully somehow managed to fall asleep until we arrived.
We took a taxi to our hotel here , the Hotel Equatorial – a 4 star hotel apparently , although our room doesn’t really look that fancy if i’m honest (there isn’t even a dial to control air-con temperature)
We do get a nice view though..

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We had lunch at a nearby mall , it was horribly mediocre – didn’t bother taking a picture.
After walking around Melacca some , I wasn’t sure whether to think we were in a developed area or a rural area… there were alot of old buildings around but at the same time parts were pretty well developed , supermalls with air conditioning and pristine tiles and all that , on the other hand not many of the restaurants here have heard of air-con.. or washing up liquid for that matter..
Heres a general panorama shot of what it looked like outdoors

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We walked for a bit and then saw those bicycle rickshaw things riding along , they were nicely decorated with flowers and tinsel and lights and even had music on alot of them with loud speakers and such – these things were everywhere and would usually come in packs of 2 or 3 , with one blaring loud music and the others following close like some sort of fighter jet formation.

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Id also like to point out 3 of the bike rickshaws with younger drivers had super beast speakers and were blaring out really loud bassy hardcore music – I’m going to try and upload a video of it here but im not sure if it’ll work or be a link or whatever since im pre-typing this on a laptop and not on wordpress.

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I will also upload a longer 2 minute video of the ride at some point but it’ll have to be afterwards since its 20mb.

The rickshaw dropped us off outside some sort of Malaysian history museum , which I quickly hurried my family through – it was about as entertaining as a trip to the grandparents (negative entertainment value). From there we decided to check out the castle where the british fought off the portugese and turned Malaysia into a british colony or something like that? It was a long walk up some stone steps but we eventually reached it , as usual for castles there was a nice view from the top

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The castle itself wasn’t much like to look at , more of a fort actually than a castle as it was pretty small – that or half of it had been asploded or something at some point

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After this we cooled off in the mall and had a drink by the fountain and then went to the church , to not check around as it was closed so we hung around outside where all the rickshaws hang out – this is where I filmed the video earlier.
I also bought 2 pairs of Nunchaku here , 1 foam padded practice set and one rather nice looking polished wood set.

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From here we went to ‘jonker walk’ , essentially another Petalling street market sorta deal. It was standard marketty street sorta stuff , didn’t buy anything – brother managed to convince the parents to let him buy a wooden katana.
Dinner was at a supposedly famous place , Famosa chicken rice ball shop.
It was basically a ball of rice which had been boiled in chicken stock soup to give it a nice flavour , eating it with some actual chicken and some soya sauce was amazing , considering its just a… well.. a ball of rice… Yummy stuff.

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Outside nearby was some sort of open karaoke thing on a stage going on , also a nice opportunity for another panorama picture..

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On the walk home we saw some crazy Chinese guy – who is also famous apparently (can probably find him on youtube if you search ‘finger poke coconut’ or something to that effect) , he sells his own brand of muscle relief oil and was advertising it by doing what he does best..
According to my dad he holds the world record for… penetrating the most coconuts using one finger in 1 minute…
A long build up and then he went all kung fu on us , hopped onto two pots started yelling and jabbed the coconut 3 times with his forefinger and broke through , coconut water exploding out. He walked around with the coconut stuck onto his finger like some sort of oversized ring to show the audience and then called his two assistants who spent like a minute holding trying to get the coconut off from his finger.
He walked around again to show the audience his finger , swollen… near broken looking.. lumpy.. He poured his oil onto it and such. We stopped watching soon after because he was taking ages to do anything.

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Back to the mall to get some drinks and fruits and then to the hotel where im typing this , not sure whats planned tomorrow but watching X-games on TV atm.

Malaysia/Singapore Day 13 – Its all in one! – One Utama mall

July 30th
Kualar Lumpur – 1 Utama Mall

In all honesty we really didn’t do a whole lot today…
A late wakeup in the morning followed by a taxi ride to 1 Utama Mall , the mall we had a quick look around with my uncle on our first night in KL. We walked around alot and browsed the shops , for the most part all we did today was clothes shopping – its all pretty cheap here so may as well.
Random things I noted was that there is a small rainforest area inside the mall (it kinda opens up into a small park area and then there is random rainforesty bit)

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We also sampled alot of foods , I say we , I mean I did..
I tried a cinnabon, a red bean puff thing , some of my dads chewy bun thing , a doughnut – of which there were a ton of different crazy looking flavours and such…

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Lunch was another Laksa , a curry laksa this time which wasn’t as bad as the asam laksa i had last time.

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And for dinner was crispy noodles with pork , the drink was red bean with sago <3 pimg-0222

And then.. yeah. Thats about it really. Pretty uneventful day.

Malaysia/Singapore Day 12 – Another fish encounter

July 29th
Kualar Lumpur – Central Market / Sungai Wang Mall / Petalling Street Market

In the morning we went to ‘Central Market’ , which can be described as the polar opposite of yesterdays Low Yat Plaza (IT mall) – this market was full of hand crafted stuff , paintings , statues , woven silk clothes and other literal crap.

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Id say this picture sums it up pretty well..

The best thing about this place however was the fish spa – 5 RM (Bout £1) for 10 minutes , we decided to give it a go. There were 2 pools of water , one had larger fish and one had teeny tiny fish – both love feet.
I Went for the larger fish pool , I slowly lowered my bare feet into the water…
and quickly pulled them the fuck back out.
Dozens of fish swarmed my feet , nibbling away at dead skin cells. It was a new level of ticklish , a few dozen tiny wet fish wriggling around all around both of your feet.

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Lunch was a rather mediocre sizzling chicken with crispy dumplings and egg noodles in sauce , its impressive that such a dark sauce could have so little flavour.

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We journied back to Times Square mall , we thought instead of using the (really cheap) taxi’s we’d try and use the trains and monorail , both of which run overground – suspended above the streets and weave around buildings and such.
The trains here also have open fronts with a window , which allows for a rather awesome view that ive never experience before..

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First Person Train Driver View!

In Times Square we just went to use the internet cafe again , after checking mail , facebook and blog (all of which had no comments/mail/notices =[ ) I checked for MP3 player reviews, the Creative Zen Mozaic is looking pretty good atm – cheap and cheery. I spent the rest of the hour time playing Demigod – which was pretty much WC3 DOTA or like a really slow Diablo game.
On the way out before we went to Sungai Wang plaza we got some buns from ‘Bread Story’ , a chain we also saw in Singapore – Chinese buns are awesome , usually sweet but can also be savoury and filled with all sorts of goodness , personal favourites are the Kaya filled buns and the ones with Meat Floss on.

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At sungai wang we didn’t do a whole lot , just browsed around the shops and such , my dad was looking for some pirate DVD’s but we couldn’t find anywhere that sold them – when we came 5 years ago there were full shopfronts just selling pirate DVD’s blatently out in the open , now there were none..
Eventually my dad decided to actually ask one of the ‘legit’ DVD shops… at first he acted like he didn’t know what dad was talking about but after seeing my little brother he shiftily moved to the back of the store and opened a locked door to a back room…
Inside was a single round table with some chairs and 4 DVD binders filled with the latest films – they operate by you taking the cover out of the binder and putting it aside then afterwards they’ll get the films for you and put it in a sleeve , DVD’s here were 8 RM each but dad bought quite a few… like 26 or something.. so they gave him 6 free (Ended up spending around £25 on pirate films)

Final stop of the day after a homecooked meal by a relative was Petalling Street , sort of like Chinatown but nightime market edition. Rows upon rows of market stalls selling (Id like to point out that all of the following are fake designer stuff , eg rolex/Gucci/D&G… ) pens , handbags , jewlery , purses , shirts , suits , watches , games (Pokemon Lugia’s Ocean for the GBA anyone?). I bought a small clock for 10 RM (bartered down from 25 RM) and some shirts , was also tempted to buy a lazer pen , a pocket knife and a pocket blowtorch but decided against it.

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Thats it for today , oh – I also finished Star Ocean First Departure for the PSP last night :< only lasted 15 hours or so (I started it on the plane to Singapore) , Dont know what to play now...

Malaysia/Singapore Day 11 – Times square – 11 or so floors of shops and Low Yat – 6 floors ofelectronics

July 28th
Kualar Lumpur – Times square shopping mall / Low Yat Plaza

Today was somewhere inbetween eventful and really uneventful , depending on how you look at it we sorta didn’t do much at all today…
A late start and a taxi ride to Times square shopping mall , a mall which was somewhat on the large side… And by that i mean…

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It has 10 floors up , 1 basement level and then about 4 basement levels worth of car park. This place is gigantic. As usual for this holiday blog , the first ‘important’ point of order was the finding of food – thankfully most of the food was congregated on the ground , lower ground , 3rd and 10th floors…
We ended up going to a small cafe like restaurant called the lemongrass cafe or something like that , I ordered ‘asam Laksa’ , ‘Laksa’ is a Malaysian dish which is curry noodles with sardines and crunchy veg like onions/cucumber and some pineapple on the side , normal Laksa is known for being really spicy – I soon found out that ‘Asam’ meant spicy… I ordered the ‘Spicy’ spicy curry noodle dish. FML.

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It will burn you.

It was too hot to be enjoyable , which was a shame. And all the stuff i ate afterwards had a generic ‘lava’ taste to it. Whilst eating lunch we noticed a thundering sound every now and then , our seats rumbled a little… we were on the 3rd floor inside a giant shopping mall and being rumbled through the building…
It turned out..

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That apparently inside the same 10 floor shopping mall was a semi large theme-park , complete with rollercoaster with a loop in (also a drop ride, spinny machine , vomit inducer… and other family favourites). The shopping mall actually had a main area and then this side area , with a different theme on each floor , eg. Computer and electronics floor , womens clothing , mens clothing , toys , gifts for girlfriends, etc etc.

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On the 9th floor there was also the iCafe , another huge cyber cafe with LAN gaming and such , really nice computers and kitted with 22″ widescreen monitor , speakers and lots of games. Whilst uploading the blog posts and such (god my website can be so slow when it comes to uploading) I got to listen to music over the shop speakers and then what I assume was WC3 (dota) , Counter strike Source , L4D and some other asian FPS which looks like CSS that i keep seeing , my brother spent the hour playing Plants VS Zombies.

Did some shopping , bought a gift for some cute girl I know , some shorts , a pair of trainers (for £6! Ive bought shirts here that were more expensive).

We took a break after walking around the mall for some 5 hours or so , I had a Kiwi Katamari (or it may have been Kalamity or something hell if I know) which was really nice , shaved ice with some sauce and kiwi fruit pieces..

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Afterwards we went to Lao Yut Plaza , a 6 floor shopping mall which is renowned for being exclusively electronics. The floors were divided into Cafes and generic , Mobiles , Games , PC parts , PC accessories , Laptops , And hypermarts (which is basically everything in 3 shops for people who don’t like to shop around)

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Imagine this^

But on this scale
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Relentless technology and mobiles and cameras and PSP’s and computer bits…
You can actually find every PC part and accessory in this shop for cheaper than you’d be able to find anywhere else , its impressive and makes me wish I had enough money to buy more stuff.
After shopping around a bit I bought a PSP Memory Stick 8GB for £20 , which sounds pretty good but tbh I never really checked the prices online to see how much they are.
Am also looking at buying a new mp3 player (Saw a Creative Zen for around 400 RM (£73) or a Creative Mosaic for around 270 RM(£50) ) but I would rather like to visit another cyber cafe and check some reviews before I spend , Im also pretty tempted to buy a steelmat or one of those razer mousemats , they were 50 RM (£9) in the hypermart but im not sure if thats a good deal or not , they are pretty smooth and I don’t know what my desk is going to be like at my house in Leamington next year.

After shopping we went across the road to Yaki Yaki , a Japanese BBQ buffet restaurant.

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Basically… they give you a big BBQ in a pot , then you can get whatever meats you want from the buffet – the meats have all been marinated and such and theres salmon , beef , chicken… and side stuff as well like corn , satay , mushrooms ,peppers…
But then theres the other cooked food , seafood dishes with crab , prawns… some rice and noodle dishes..

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Theres a teppanyaki chef on hand to teppan- any stuff you have..
Theres a satay grill with a chef who constantly makes satay (chicken , beef , mussel , eel , squid..)
Theres a counter where you can select fish and they’ll steam or fry it for you…

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Theres a cart which deals in deep fried Japanese food , like tempura and spring rolls and such…
Theres a sushi counter where they’ll make any special sushi you want , and then there is a bunch of ready made sushi for you to eat straight away…

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Theres fresh fruits available and ice cream..

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(I tried some dragonfruit , pretty okay but nothing too special)

Theres also cakes , biscuits , jelly and puddings available..
And finally there is a counter full of drinks machines with lots of juice AND you can walk up to the bar and select some of the cocktails there and he’ll make one for you (alcoholic cocktails and beer included) and its all inclusive of the price.
The price however is pretty steep , and by that I mean its about £9 per head – for an eat and drink as much as you like for however long you like BBQ buffet including seafood.

We ate until we came close to throwing up , semi-related…
Apparently in the girls toilet they had toilets which had two holes , one for pee and one for poop?
Im not entirely sure as I heard from mum and then little brother went to take picture , but… weird…

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And semi-related to that , The place im staying in at the moment belongs to a girl around 20 who is in university… Now if I was the daughter of a rich person and was told to pick a shower head…

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..Id probably go with this one too.
Semi-gross : it had a small curly hair stuck on the bit that sprays out water…

Malaysia/Singapore Day 10 – Mid-Valley shopping mall

July 27th
Kualar Lumpur
Summary : Sushi buffet and then a walk around Mid-Valley shopping mall

Today was actually pretty uneventful , in the morning went to see one of the cousins and my uncle – did nothing there really , saw my dad’s condo which he bought a few years out (its currently being rented out to some med students apparently , has a small swimming pool and such – no air con because my dad is a scrooge landlord. poor students. )
After waiting around doing jack shit for about 4 hours in the morning we went to Mid-valley , we had a lovely lunch at ‘Sushi King’ – one of those conveyer belt sushi places where the plates come around and you just grab whatever sushi takes your fancy.

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The main advantage of doing it in Malaysia at this place is that its way cheaper , eating at ‘Yo Sushi!’ in UK… plates of different colour range from £2 to around £6 , as such you can eat about 5 plates before going broke – we’ll say you had £20 to spend.
Sushi King on the other hand , the plates ranged from 2 RM to 6 RM , an equivalent 30p – £1.20… im sure you can see where im going with this…

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We racked up the plates , the total bill for 5 of us came to about 100 RM total , there was also a little promotion where it was BOGOF for the first 5 sushi plates so saved… like.. 10 RM there (£2).
The rest of the day for the most part was just roaming the supermall looking at things to buy , buying some clothes (got a few shirts and some shorts – pretty cheap here , good quality stuff for about £3 – £5 each or something).
Also , fish reflexology seems to be all the rage here…

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Not sure exactly how it works but you put your footsies into the fishies and then the fishies eats your footsies… or something.
Also had a lovely ice cream – after eight flavoured.
We then went to a supermarket to buy fruits , there were some food stalls outside (as there are everywhere in Malaysia) we got to try Kaya Balls – which were yummy , kinda like american waffle mix but with a small dollop of pandan sauce inside.
The supermarkets here seem to work slightly different than they do in the UK , fresh fish and things are just.. there…

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Wouldnt happen in the UK, all the animal activist assholes would probably come in and break them free or something , RSPCA stuff etc.
Another seafood restaurant for dinner , they also like to have fish tanks for you to be able to choose your fish or just so that they can have the fish fresh (tastes better) , inside one of the tanks were these peculiar guys…

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They look… intresting…
Dinner was nice , but not as good as the expensive place yesterday – the main drawback about a good meal is that all subsequent meals don’t taste as good :/
Back to the flat and then nothing much happening really , will probably go to bed soon…

Malaysia/Singapore Day 9 – I get to sleep in the princess bed?!

July 26th
Langkawi / Kualar Lumpur
Summary : Touchdown in KL again results in being shown around our new home for the next week or so , a seafood dinner and a walk around a huge mall.


Woken up at 8am by the phone , our last morning in Langkawi
We went for a bike ride around the hotel , 5 RM for an hour – we rented 3…
20 minutes later we were all hot , tired and very sweaty , riding around on a crappy bike in 36 degrees sun or something ridiculous like that. Took a few pictures but i’ll just put one up of the scenery..

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We returned to our hotel room and had a shower , ate some mangoes and malaysian cakes and then it was time to start getting ready to go – packed our bags and checked out and then headed to Langkawi airport. Nothing much to report there , check-in and everything went fine , had ‘Nasi goreng angung’ which was some form of spicy chicken rice with egg combination – was damn spicy. Also had some of my mum’s nasi goreng which was nice.
As a side note , there were alot of ninja’s at the airport in langkawi , I sneakily managed to photograph a few , see if you can spot them

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After arriving at Kualar Lumpur airport (after playing lots of Star Ocean PSP on the hour or so plane journey) we met one of my uncles (term used loosely as i dont really know who he is but i call him uncle) , he is – to be blunt – rich as furk.
He took us back to his apartment(s) where we’re going to be staying whilst in Kualar Lumpur.
The apartment is 3 floors and has is nicely decorated , air-con in every room , shiny tiles/doors/everything… the only real downside is that because we’re staying in one of the apartments which isnt exclusively his – the room me and my brother are staying in is a big girly purple room , it has princess drapes near the bed D:

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Another noteworthy ‘feature’ of the room (if you want to call it that) are the 5 (FIVE!) puppies living in one of the rooms , apparently they’re chihuaha’s but I personally dont know shit about dogs so i cant comment. At one point somebody decided to open the glass door seperating the dogs from the lounge and one of them jumped over the safety fence thing and ran around the room for about 3 minutes sniffing and licking everyone.

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Some genius then decided to try and open the gate slightly to get the loose one back inside – they all burst out , like a dam of puppies had just been opened , saliva and hair and barks flooded the room.

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So hyperactive they appear as ghostly blurs in most of the pictures i tried to take…
Dinner was at a localish place called La La Chang Seafood restaurant or something to that effect , la la’s are like baby mussels fyi.
We had lots to eat , a large fried fish , king prawns , fried veg , chicken , sea cucumber , la la’s , and some seafood soupy stuff.
Didnt really take any pictures because it was all relatives at the table and i didn’t want them to think I was a total weirdo , managed to sneak a picture of all the mussel’s I ate though.

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After this , uncle took us to this gigantic shopping mall filled with every shop ever , despite being full I was drooling by the time we finished walking around – we were only walking through quickly – so many food shops! cakes , ice cream , beard papa , cinnabon ,some other crazy looking asian pretzely place.. Hope we go back there some time , could easily have dinner just eating all of the snack foods. Heres a picture of the giganticness..

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It had a ton of floors , i think 8 or so and they were all really long and wide as well.
Definately a far cry from Langkawi’s 2 floor tiny ‘largest shopping mall’ , it feels so nice to be back in civilization – even little things like TV’s are a welcome return.



Malaysia/Singapore Day 8 – Full Body Massage

July 25th
Langkawi Island
Summary : Our manly Menger has the ‘orchid’ spa treatment, includes full body massage , body scrub and wrap , foot massage and a facial – oh dear.


I awoke to the sound of Capsule’s ‘Starry Sky’ , it was 10am. I fell asleep again.
I awoke to the sound of our hotel room telephone ringing , dad was on the line – its 12:15
So much for our plans of bike riding on the beach and then going for a bit of sightseeing.
We ended up going to Cenang area , a small touristy area with clothes shops and restaurants along with a large duty free shop and an ‘Underwater world’ (Langkawi’s local and only Sealife centre of sorts).
Lunch was nice, we ate at a Hong Kong diner – I had fried udon with chicken , yummy stuff.

Walked around and checked out the shops abit , ended up buying a nice blue Langkawi shirt featuring the eagle we saw the other day. Explored the duty free shop next , pretty huge and lots of sweets and things we hadn’t seen before – we bought ‘Ferrero Garden’ , apparently in asia they have different flavour ferrero rochers here, this is a picture i took much earlier at the airport in KL but we didnt buy it then because stuff bought in the airport is mad expensive.

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The flavours inside are Pistachio , Strawberry , Lemon , almond and coconut. They’re all awesome.

After this , we went to Isham Spa – we had been booked for an ‘expensive’ (by malaysian costs that is) spa session (about £50 for us , which i hear is barely enough for anything here – my aunt claims a back massage is £35 in the UK)

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Beautiful view near the spa

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View from the Spa

Our experience began with some still lemonade in the lobby , me and my brother were then taken to a private room – where we were asked to get changed into what could only be described as an adult nappy…
They gave us a cloth thing and then a small package – which when ripped open was disposable panties (yes. panties , as in the female version , complete with slightly frilly band)
I got into them and walked out , covering myself with the cloth – the masseuse asked us to lay on the bed face down. We then got a full body massage – first feet , then legs , then thighs , back , shoulders… She then turned us over and did stomach , chest , legs and arms. (this occured over like an hour btw).
She also massaged my ass some , and at one point she saddled over my back for a bit to give me a back massage , she also pulled my hairs out for a bit and tried to pull my fingers apart.
Im pretty sure she started off quite gently and then half-way through realised that i remind her of one of her ex-boyfriends (which she hates) or something because she started being pretty rough and tried kneading me like dough.
After this was the body scrub and wrap , she steals the cloth cover from us – im now laying on the massage bed in half see-through disposable panties. She poured some hot really rough stuff over me (apparently rice and some other stuff).
She scrubs. Alot. To the extent where im pretty sure 2 layers of my skin were removed in the process , she gets out some bannana leaves and puts them over me , i feel like some sort of food – baking hot and sandwiched between bed and leaves with a yellow rough paste over my body. She left us for 15 minutes , assumedly to cook – the heat made me incredibly uncomfortable and itchy – probably the longest 15 minutes of my life , and more like a form of torture than a treatment i’d pay for.

Next was a shower , to get rid of all the crap she just put onto our skin , a flower bath followed – a small bath on stones with sharp hard leaves and flower petals on.
We returned to the room and they laid us down again in our towels and began giving the facial – a massage and then some hot paste , then she wiped it off.. then she put it on again , then she wiped it off again… then she put it on again , then she wiped it off again…
After this she put some… bandage stuff on my face? kinda like that stuff they use to make plaster molds , she put it over my face and then painted my face with what i presume was some face liquid/glue – i felt like i was becoming part of a paper mache project.
She left it on and then gave a complimentry foot massage, can’t really nay-say anything which has ‘complementary’ and ‘massage’ in the name.
That was it then , the full package – we returned to the lobby for herbal tea and a cake and went off to dinner next door at supposedly the best Japanese restaurant in all of Malaysia.

Dinner was at the Unkaizan restaurant , we sat down at one of those really low tables with a pillow underneath us to kneel on. The food which was brought out was all really impressive , grilled foods came out on tiny charcoal BBQ pots and such , I had a mixed sushi with cold udon set (cold noodles are apparently all the rage in Japan – weirdos)
Here are some food shots , you can see grilled salmon ,unagi (eel) and some prawn tempura in the background – the wooden lids are covering boiled rice

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everyone else’s food

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My food

After dinner I thought i’d try a traditional Japanese desert , ‘Dango’ – i dont really know what it is other than that it has flour in , is BBQ’d and is served with a sweetish sauce.
It wasnt particuarly great tasting but it was an intresting experience.

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We bought some fruits from a store on the way home , we’ve been eating alot of Mangosteen’s lately (shown on right) , my dad likes durian (left) which smells terrible and is squishy – i think last time i tried eating it i almost threw up due to the smell , it doesent actually taste that bad but smelling it at the same time as eating it will make most people gag.

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Also tried one of these yesterday , looks like a small bananna when peeled but slightly harder and taste fucking terrible , yuck D:


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Thats it for today , we’re flying back to Kualar Lumpur tomorrow so probably wont have much time to do stuff tomorrow.

Malaysia/Singapore Day 7 – Swimmingly Swimming along the corals

July 24th
Langkawi Island
Summary : Steve swims with the fishes for a few hours

8am wakeup – oh. my. god.
We waited in the lobby for a while until the pickup bus came , it took us the docks, where we were directed to a ship , which took us to a large floating platform a little bit out at sea by the beach on another island – the boat trip alone took about an hour (apparently Langkawi has 99 islands surrounding the main island).
The floating platform was filled with people , diving equipment and a healthy amount of snorkels , masks and flippers. We grabbed ourselves a table to put our stuff and then got changed into our swimming gear

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The water was pretty clear here , and a lovely shade of blue-green , there were a ton of fish in the water here , ranging from small to (according to my mum anyway , one the size of my 13 yr old brother). There were a few that were 2ft long or so at least anyway.
They asked us to wear these floaty lifejacket things to snorkel with – which is good for snorkelling i guess but they itch and.. well.. suck. I took mine off fairly sharpish. Taking the floatyjacket also has the major advantage of allowing you to dive down , paired with some flippers – you can pretty much swim with the fishes or dive down to explore the coral reefs. By diving down i got to touch an anemone (the wavy glowy thing that nemo lives in) , they are kinda sticky – or like they try to eat your hand as you put your fingers through it.

Speaking of eating.. There was a buffet lunch on the floating platform , not that anyone would want seconds – the food was terrible , how anyone manages to make fried rice taste bad is beyond me. However the buffet was good for taking some small bread rolls…

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These fish apparently LOVE bread , we had seen some people sitting on the side of the boat throwing bread in to hordes of fishes so I thought i’d try it for myself. I swam in a bit and took out a piece of bread from my pocket..
I quickly let go of it when a tornado of fish formed around me , a few biting my fingers (they give sort of a nasty nip , not too painful but a sharp pinch which usually occurs when you don’t expect it). Being me , I decided to throw some bread next to my mum who was nearby and snorkelling , she screamed , loudly – not that i can blame her , the bread attracts a ton of fish , enough to totally obscure your vision and allow you to touch a bunch just by waving your hand around in the water.
Spent a good few hours swimming around in the water , diving down and chasing the larger fish and explorng the corals. I also managed to get some good photos of me underwater – there was an underwater tunnel which could be accessed from the platform so i got my brother to go down there with the camera whilst i dived down outside for some poses – unfortunately on the good camera which doesent upload to the website without some resizing (WordPress is not a fan of trying to resize 3k x 2k pictures into thumbnail pictures) so those photos will have to wait until another time.

At around 4pm we had to head back , back on the boat , back on the bus and back to the hotel – where im typing this right now. I dont have much else to say but its only 7pm so some stuff could still happen i guess.
I think ive managed to get a bit of a sunburn on my shoulders also ,I hope it isnt but it certainly looks that way.
During the night , walked around the hotel for a bit and ended up eating food at the hotel again , I had a beef teppanyaki with satay on the side , family friends ordered steamboat.
After eating my teppanyaki and a bowl of rice , their food was just starting to arrive – naturally i helped myself to their food as well , and ordered some more satay (twice infact.)
After eating we played abit of pool and then went back to the room to relax , played some PSP and such and before I knew it , it was midnight. Went to sleep…

Malaysia/Singapore Day 6 – Cable car into the distant mountains…

July 23rd
Langkawi Island – Cable Car
Summary : Our hero journies 710m up in the mountains , his ears actually popped on the cable car ride up.


Our day began with going to Oriental City , the small cluster of shops and restaurants next to the Langkawi Cable Car , there wasn’t a huge amount of stuff to see in the shops , there was a small animal pen filled with rabbits , chickens and a monkey or two but other than that just shops.

The view was pretty impressive though , a pond with fountain in the middle of shops and surrounded by trees and mountains…

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We then bought tickets for the cable car , 30 RM each – or £6.

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Hooooooly shit this place is high up , 2 viewing points were up way high at the top of the mountains , we landed on the first one and had a look around – you could pretty much see the whole island from here , we’d see the rest of the island a little later..

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The other viewing point was another cable car away , across a giant gap between the mountains , the worlds only single something suspension bridge could be seen in the distance.

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We travelled over to the other mountain via another scenic cable car , the second mountain point had 2 paths , we decided to take the bottom path first – a 5-10 minute walk through a forest path led us to the suspension bridge , a large curved bridge with small gaps between the panels on the bridge – allowing you to see the trees below as you walk across…

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The bridge actually sways in the wind slightly , making it scary as fuck. Im not great with heights , so obviously 700m up in the mountains or whatever on a swaying suspension bridge was somewhat of an ordeal.

We then went back to where the path split , the walk back to the mountain point was pretty exhausting since on the way to the bridge it was all downhill stairs – so this time it was all uphill.
The other path lead up more stairs and to the upper levels of the mountain point , we grabed a drink (and an ice cream =D ) and checked the view…

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We then took the cable car down the mountain , and to lunch – which wasnt anything special , to the extent where i can’t remember what i had at all.

Sad as we are , we then journied in the car to the ‘Andaman Hotel’ , the poshest and most expensive hotel on the island , it was in the middle of nowehere – up in the mountains and surrounded by forest. The hotel itself however was pretty amazing looking , it looked like a japanese shogun temple or something , we sighted some monkeys in the trees as we walked to the beach…

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(you’ll have to enlarge this one to be able to see anything most likely)

Not a huge amount else happened after we returned from the hotel , we went to a visit a family friend who is also staying here and went swimming in their pool and around the beach – I saw a a few small crabs , one medium size sandcrab (who got shy when i pointed him out and buried himsef in sand) , and a weird eel/watersnake looking thing which was in the sand.

After our swim we went to dinner , fried rice and some sort of beef stuff and satay on the side- pretty nice i guess , particuarly the chicken satay.

After dinner we found the ‘cyber cafe’ , a small shack with 5 computers , a funny smell , a mosquito buzzing around inside and a ‘no-shoes’ rule enforced at the door before you can enter.

I was worried the no-shoes rule was a clever ploy for them to steal our shoes and then sell them but thankfully they were left intact. The cyber cafe had some old pc’s… very old… the giant grey desktop PC’s which i thought became obsolete about 5 years ago – they featured a cd-rom drive and a floppy disk drive and 1 USB port. The PC’s were so slow they would freeze slightly every time you switched to another firefox tab , nonetheless i somehow managed to update my blog for the first time this holiday , including all the pictures i wanted to put up. It was home and bed after this as we had an early wake next morning.

Malaysia/Singapore Day 5 – Come to Langkawi Plaza! The Largest Shopping Mall in Langkawi

22nd July
Langkawi Island
Summary : Tummyache is the least of Steve’s worries when we arrive at ‘Langkawis largest mall’ , he then almost loses his phone after making fun of his brother for losing his and then goes to see a giant eagle and a night market.

Had a pretty rough night’s sleep , stomach ache overnight made me wake up a few times , 2am , 4am.. 8am….
Woke up at 10ish to my phone alarm , parents called shortly after and we headed to ‘Langkawi Fair’ , Langkawis largest mall , or so it claimed.

The ride took around 60 minutes , it was pretty much across island (our hotel is on west coast , Langkawi fair is on east coast near the dock). We entered the mall and was… shocked… to say the least.
Turns out Langkawis largest mall consists of about 20 shops and a food court of about 6 small shack things , 3 of which were open – the food looked… unheigenic.. for lack of better describing word.
Met some family friends or something or other and walked around some , went for lunch at McDonalds – how boring , but the food court was a potential flint to my potentially explosive bowels.
McD’s here is actually somewhat expensive compared to the other foods here , still cheaper than McD’s at home (big mac on its own is £1.20 or so , meal is £1.50) , i got a Big Mac meal with coke and then a ‘Spicy chicken McDeluxe’ which was basically a McChicken Sandwich but with chilli’s in. They also do KFC style chicken , Oreo McFlurrys and some form of Chicken Curry thing – oh and they also do Bannana Pie’s.

Went around the supermarket there and got some drinks for the fridge at the hotel, dad got a knife for cutting fruit and we also got some ‘Red Bean Potong’ which was like Ice lollies with a frozen shaft of red beans in the middle. Went outside , still raining. We then walked to Eagle Square , about 10 minutes away , I could describe what it looked like , but why bother when 2 pictures will suffice.

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We then spent a few minutes looking off the pier into the water , spotting Jellyfish and a few carp or something , some local crab chilling on a rock enjoying the.. uh… whatever crabs enjoy.
I was feeling pretty crabby myself at this point , thirtysomething degrees and humid , mild stomachache and that feeling you get when you’re not sure if you’re thirsty or not…

We went into the dock centre place , where the boats come and depart from on the island, which reminds me , the picture of the toilet i took the other day? Go back to that for a second and see if you spot anything wrong other than that the toilet isnt there.
Spot it? Theres a hosepipe instead of tissue paper.
Malaysians charge you for using the toilets (which are filthy) and then motherfucking charge you for tissue paper as well! Purchasing power wise this basically means you have to pay 60p just to attempt at taking a shit , if you get lucky there will be a normal toilet with a seat , if not – get squattin’
The squat toilets also feature something rather contrasting to a U-bend , its a giant pipe which goes all the way down – my brother somehow managed to drop his (semi-expensive) phone down the toilet. Idiot.

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View from outside the dock centre was rather nice , shame about the weather.

Parents went outside to try and book the snorkelling trip which will be happening on Friday now (afaik). Malaysia is basically racist , locals get a lower price than foreigners. Knowing this , my dad tried booking the trip and telling the people that we’re all Malaysian citizens (we arent. at all.).
“yeah yeah , is all fine, just take your IC detail lah”
Malaysians all carry a special form of ID , an IC card – kinda like the British National Insurance (NI) Card i guess?
That plan spoiled then , no discount for us.
We went back to the Langkawi Fair (the shitty mall) and checked a booking agent there as well – at this point , unbeknown to me – i dropped my mobile in the shop.
Went downstairs afterwards and decided to get an ice cream , went into McDonalds again to get an Oreo McFlurry – at this point , i realised i had lost my phone. fuuuuuuuuu~ Panic ensued.
Thankfully i guess the ol’ Warwick student brain kicked in and i realised i must have lost it in that booking agent shop – i ran back and found it square underneath the chair , just as well they didnt find it because the bastards would have kept it for sure (dont think they had ANY business that day other than our walking in – and then walking out because they were too expensive)

We then walked to the night market , which was ages away (like 25-35 mins walk or something ridiculous). Unfortunately i completely forgot to take any pictures here :<
The market stretched on down an entire road , shops were 50% food/snacks/juice and 50% everything else. I tried lots of weird foods which I hadn’t even heard of before , including fried and battered Jackfruit , some sort of weird mini-pancake thing with kaya , some sort of folded sweet taco like thing with nuts in , a sweet-savoury omlette style thing , and probably one or two other things I can’t remember , the variety of food there was amazing though – I could have easily just eaten dinner there by walking up and down and sampling the snacks.

We came back to the hotel after this and after using the toilet (equipped with a toilet bowl and some tissue paper) , we went out to explore our hotel a bit. The swimming pool seems pretty large , goes under and bridge and has a waterfall (shame about the rain) , the beachfront also looked very nice (shame about the rain) – we also spotted a woman running towards the sea in a bikini , it looked like she took off her clothes as she approached the water to go skinny dipping (shame about the darkness).

Dinner was at the hotel , we had the steamboat – im sure ive mentioned it before on this blog somewhere , its basically a cauldron of boiling soup and you add your own raw food to the pot and then when its cooked you take it out and eat it – add your own sauce to it and whatnot , the soup then becomes rather tasty as the meal goes on due to all the flavours of the meat/fish/seafood/noodles and so on.
A young girl came to the table and began doing what can only be described as a magic ritual of some kind , she would come with 4 bowls and set them down on the table at specific points… then come back to the table a few minutes later with 4 plates and set them face down… then 4 smaller bowls… then 4 cups… then 4 sauce dishes…. 3 plates… 3 teaspoons… 4 chopsticks… 4 soup spoons…. All the while shuffling the upside down plates and bowls slightly around on the table as if there was money or a dice under them or something.

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Since when does steamboat require so many different bowls and plates :S

A platter of raw food was then presented to our table , fish , crab , prawns , noodles , beg , eggs , tofu and so on – quite an impressive amount – way too much for us to finish , all for 20 RM (an equivalent £4).

Thats it for today , Hope my stomachache is gone by tomorrow =(

Malaysia/Singapore Day 4 – The Singapore to Langkawi Effect

July 21st
Singapore – Bhugis junction again , virtualand , Changi airport
Langkawi (an island off Malaysia)
Summary : The discovery of a super-arcade makes Steve wonder why he writes summaries in third person , travels to Langkawi island

We got an early start to try and get the most of singapore while we could – a trip out to Bhugis junction mall again for breakfast. I had a rather tasty japanese teriyaki dish , fried salmon and chicken in a really nice sauce then they pour on some boiling oil sauce stuff onto a special plate on a wooden block and then they serve it to you with rice to take back to your table , meat and sauce still boiling in front of you.

Afterwards we went downstairs and found a DC store , connected to a Tweety store , selling DCuniverse and tweety pie apparrel – everything from superman belt buckles to jewlery to shirts and such , it was pretty cool.
I then noticed an escalator leading downstairs.. we were on the ground floor – I didnt realise up until this point that the mall was actually 5 floors with a basement , a large neon side read Virtualand.
Mum asked whether i knew where the supermarket was in the mall , i told her it was down the escalators , she fell for it.

It was a pretty damn hi-tech arcade , all of the latest games there IIDX16 empress , latest Pop’n’music , drummania and guitarfreaks V6 , bunch of shooting games, Jubeat , slew of linked SF4 machines (lol @ blanka guy taking on all challengers and having 10 wins in a row) and card machines etc.

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I played Jubeat for the second time , my first being at the London trocedero when it was on location test – skipped the tutorials and went straight into expert mode , ended up clearing the hardest song in the game with a B. Then tried IIDX16 to see what it was like , the screen was huge , and so was the turntable , easily 1.5x the size of my controller at home and further spaced as well – making TT spins pretty hard to do , failed Captivate2 on hyper (difficulty 9) which was lame. My brother found a machine where there was a large screen at the back of the cabinet and then it would let you throw plastic balls (ball pit balls) at the screen and try and hit targets – which was pretty fun , one of the levels was a streaker on a train and he runs around and opens up his trenchcoat and you have to kill him before time runs out without hitting pedestrians on the train.

From here we went to the airport since it was getting late.
After checking-in etc etc we had some time to burn , i took 30 mins to go to the ‘Entertainment Deck’ and send an email/update twitter/facebook etc. The Entertainment deck had a small free cinema for watching films , some TV’s hooked up to headsets , computers with free internet , some LAN’d PC’s with games like HL2 running , a room with Rock Band 2 and all the peripherals set up (with a disco ball and headphones coming from the ceiling and stuff – it looked like a proper recording studio) and then a bunch of 360’s and PS3’s hooked up to TV’s with stuff to play.
Changi airport is supposedly one of the top airports in the world and though i didnt see it , i learned later in the day that on the top floor there is even a swimming pool…

We took the plane from Singapore to Langkawi , Chicken and rice meal on the plane even though it was only about an 1hr 30mins trip. We began exiting the plane.. I assume most of you have travelled before – the plane door connects to a bridge tunnel and you go straight into the airport…
Our plane had landed, and a staircase had been connected , we got out and had to walk across the airport runway to get to the actual airport itself , probably the closest any normal person will ever get to a commercial plane.

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Got heatscanned at the airport for HN1 virus then exited, dad went to rent a car to use – meanwhile i took a picture of the cute polis car

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Cant really imagine getting chased along the motorway by that thing.
In case you hadn’t guessed…

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(Airport Toilet)
Langkawi island is pretty undeveloped, Its pretty third world with most of the stall being outdoor with no air-conditioning , open sewers here and there , dirt pavements… and so on.

Our hotel here is pretty bad , huge room and bed , but slightly dirty looking covers , bad air-conditioning and a ceiling fan which appears to be connected to the ceiling via a half eaten Cheesestring. It started raining pretty bad at this point so we hung out in the hotel room for a while – i played some PSP to pass the time (Star Ocean : First Departure , im about 5 hrs in)

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Went to visit a family friend who was also on holiday here in Langkawi , their hotel is about tenfold nicer than ours , automated air-con , ceiling fan attached to the ceiling via adamantium.. etc etc.
We went for dinner at a place near their’s that my dad had heard about on the internet, we ordered a pretty grand meal – the largest surprise being the Tiger Prawns. We each had 1 , since they were pretty expensive.

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Its sort of hard to distinguish from the picture and it sort of looks like KFC actually , but its HUGE (compare it with the spoon , which is a tablespoon) and covered in a sweetish flakey crispy layer, when the head and tail has been removed the actual prawn meat is easily larger than the mass of a typical fist , it was ridiculous – i didnt even know prawns that big could exist , it was about the size of a lobster. I also forgot to mention our group of 6 and one other couple were the only people in the restaurant all night , lucky for the owners our bill came to about 350 malaysian ringit (hereby shortened to RM350). Exchange rate at the moment is around 1 GBP to 5 RM fyi.
Thats about it for today , some form of cable car ride is scheduled for tomorrow i believe?

Malaysia/Singapore Day 3 – Vivocity Singapore

July 20th
Singapore – Harborfront , VivoCity shopping plaza , Sentosa Island
Summary : Steve visits probably the largest shopping complex ever then takes a cable car to a crazy island to ride a segway

The day began at 9am ,we left the hotel and went straight for the MRT (what they call the metro system here) , $1.30 and a few stops and line changes later we were at ‘Harborfront’ , the location of one of the largest shopping plaza’s in Singapore , so big they called it VivoCity and this place really is absolutely giant – walking from one side to the other could easily take about 10 minutes and its got somewhat of a honeycomb layout to it , and its attached to ‘Harborfront center’ , another shopping plaza.

We began by going upstairs to the top floor to look at the prices for the monorail to Sentosa Island (sort of like a pay as you go theme park if you will) and then (of course) to eat.

The food court was huge , as to be expected from a giant shopping mall. It was really nicely decorated , in an old china sort of style and with all of the stalls looking like they were put together with whatever materials they could get their hands on.

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It was sort of a brunch sorta deal and majority of the stalls were still setting up – I decided on ‘Chau Kway Teiu’ or something like that , essentially HoFun noodles fried in some sauce with some clams and veg. I approached the shopkeeper , whom i soon found out spoke pretty much no english whatsoever and only spoke mandarin.
“Chau kway teiu please” (in cantonese)
which was quickly responded to by “kwei teiu nmmmaaahhh?!”
I nodded.
“chiilliiii mmmaaahhh?!?”
I panicked and said yes.
Fuck! i thought to myself. Generally speaking , most dishes you order here with an exotic name are already spicy to begin with , when they ask if you want Chilli’s it is more like they’re asking “do you want EXTRA chillis on top of your dish we fried in chilli oil and garnished with chilli seeds?”
The guy then started exploding and shouting all sorts of stuff at me and holding up random leaf boats he had by the counter. I didn’t have a clue what he was on about , my mum cut in from behind and asked for medium for me (she was in the middle of ordering at the stall next to me apparently).

From here we went to enquire about the tickets to sentosa island , $60 for package A – whatever that was , we decided to get there first and then decide (you pay to travel there by monorail/cable car and then all the attractions can be paid for there)

(oh also. the food court is at the top floor of the mall , looking down one could see….)
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We headed for the cable car station , which it turned out was through the mall and then through the other mall and then outside past some office buildings and up to the 15th floor.
And then off to the island we went , by glass bottomed cable car :X
Vertigo was not the word when the cable car floated out of the 15th floor of that office building and one could see all the way down through the floor to the people walking around.

And so , we floated towards Sentosa Island (id also like to mention it was like 34 degrees now)
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Once on the island and after having a little walk around and such , i encouraged the parents to go onto the ‘Luge and skyride’ , essentially a half go-kart half toboggan thing which rolls down a hill and then you get a ski-lift back up to the top. It was awesome fun , they go surprisingly fast downhill – ignoring the huge BRAKE NOW signs and doing racing lines round the hill’s hairpin turns was great fun too.
The chairlift took us all the way back up, which was apparently quite a ways because it took what seemed like forever (it may have seemed longer because the sun was making sweat drip off my nose)

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We took a break in one of the nearby cafes to cool off , air-con is a true blessing in countries like these. A decision to head to the ‘Underwater adventure’ thing – we hopped on one of the many free shuttle buses after being pointed in the right direction by an old worker woman sweeping up rubbish (probably in her 80’s or so). The underwater adventure was sort of like sea world , with many of the same creatures and such – however here they seemed to like to promote touching , with open top pools with fish , rays and small sharks to ‘pet’.
Even one of the tall fish tanks had a hole in the side which essentially allowed you to stick your hand in at a downward angle to touch the fish.
The finale of the exhibit was a overhead glass tunnel thing with a moving floor which slowly pushes you along whilst fish swim overhead/around you

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its a shame they didnt go the extra mile and put in a glass bottom as well , that would be immense.

Another shuttle bus and 20 minutes later and we had arrived at one of the island’s beaches , it stretched into the distance and was bordered by trees – much like one of those pictures you might see in a holiday magazine. The sun was blazing still but had calmed down a bit since earlier and was now probably around 33 degrees – the heat seemed more bareable on the beach though since it gave me the chance to take my shirt off.

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We stuck around to watch a dolphin show , which was okay i guess but to be honest once you’ve seen the shows at Seaworld Orlando a few dolphins diving out of the water is kind of ordinary.

A bus took us back to the monorail entrance where we was going to head back to VivoCity when i spotted a banner with Jackie Chan riding a segway with his trademark teethy grin.
Now im a pretty happy guy on holiday but i cant really top Jackie chan’s teethy grin.
The offer was $10 (£5 or so?) for ‘training’ and a ride round the course – on a segway.
Ive always wanted to try riding a segway , it doesent seem to make any sense – how does it balance like that? how do you go faster? how do you turn? The money was worth it if only just to figure out how to control it.
Fair wait for in the queue and then we got our Segway ‘training’
“okay , stand.” he gestured at the segway he was holding upright
I stood on the segway
“lean forward is go forward , you try.”
I leant forwards and nearly shat myself when the 2 wheeled thing jolted forwards with all the grace of the incredible hulk trying to do figure skating.
“okay. lean backward is stop , you try.”
I leant forwards to start moving then leant back to try and stop – human nature practically forces the body to panic when you lean back and the thing you’re standing on starts to lean back with you, the segway jolted to a stop , i leant forwards to stop myself from falling back , it started moving again , i leant back to try and stop it again and it stopped… then started reversing at an alarming speed.
“lean to steer ok.” – i tried , it worked!
“ok you practice then go round the track ok” , the assistant had clearly had enough.
A few rounds in the practice area and i was off on the course , at some point i managed to grasp the concept pretty well and started speeding up – getting overconfident i started trying to do slalom along the dirt track – segway does not appreciate slalom – I crashed into a tree.
A little later down the track whilst doing donuts round some randomly placed black stones on the grass (trying to get the most of my $10) the segway starts making a loud siren noise – the light on the machine was flashing red… what the hell did i do?!
I jump off the segway for a few seconds and the siren stops.. i let go of the handle expecting it to self right itself and all that – it flopped to the floor. uh oh. i think i just broke a segway by being too awesome for it.
An assistant appeared out of nowhere and was like “ah this one out of batteries i think sorry lah wait i get another ok?” and dashed off.

All the people i overtook earlier passed by me , i took a picture of them
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The guy came back with another segway and i polished off the rest of the track , the finish area was in sight… when the old guy in front whom I had already passed once on the way somehow managed to crash into a tree , i tried to evade around him – he reversed and into my way.
Brakes are not the segway’s strong point , i crashed again – at pretty high speed too.
(dont have this camera with me atm)
(see old guy behind the tree? he’s about to get crashed the fuck into.)

Took the monorail back to vivocity where we had dinner , I got to try a Deer meat dumpling , it tasted like pork and beef put together and was really soft – thats one more off my list of animals to eat. Dinner was hofun in soup with crispy chicken and some Rice with chicken and chinese sausage cooked in a claypot with watermelon juice for a drink.

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Thats pretty much it for today , we walked around the plaza some more and looked at the crazy shops (there was a National geographic shop which had a box in where you’d pay $1 and you can go in and the box is at -4 degrees celcius and has a giant fun to give a chill factor of around -12 degrees or so – my brother had a go but i didnt really fancy it). Also an electronics shop which had lots of consoles and stuff laid out , held a PS3 controller for the first time – really light and L2/R2 are really weird.
Got a taxi home to the hotel and spent the last hour or so writing this.

We’re checking out tomorrow and then going to the airport to catch a plane to Langkawi i believe so this is pretty much it for Singapore coverage…

Malaysia/Singapore Day 2 – Shopping in Singapore

July 19th
Singapore – shopping districts , riverside , tourist hotspots
Summary : Huge shopping and tourist site-seeing day out , with most of the shopping thrown in just to avoid the insane hot weather.

Woke up at 4am , i can only assume due to timezone shifts and such because apparently my parents woke up at a similar time and couldnt get back to sleep. Went back to sleep and woke up at a slightly more reasonable 8am.

We walked to ‘Bhugis Junction’ , a 4 story mall nearby to our hotel. We went to basement level as we heard food was to be found there , and we were hungry again (this is a common occurence in this blog i would like to point out now , Singapore/Malaysia/Asia has a shitton of food shops everywhere – for example , this 4 story mall has 3 floors and 1 basement , basement is full of snacks/desserts stalls , 3rd floor is restaurants , 4th floor is food court. Overkill? well.. it was all full today…) Half the shops down in the basement were still opening but we managed to find some nice stalls , I bought some BBQ chicken satay sticks , a ‘pork floss bun’ , a ‘mango snowdrop cake’ and some fresh Soymilk for around $6 – the exchange rate of GBP to Singapore Dollars at the time of writing is around 2.3 – so somewhere between cheap and normal price for food here.
Sorry for lack of food pictures, i’ll try to remember from now on.

From here we went into Bhugis street market , a very large covered market area selling all sorts , our aim at this point was to head to Chinatown.
We eventually discovered a metro station, the metro here is pretty advanced , much like the metro in HongKong. They use a similar card system to the oyster card , however they also use the same cards for single trips – but with a $1 deposit. So if you dont have their metro card and just want a single to another station , press the buttons on the machine and then it’ll write onto a temporary oyster card for you to scan on your journey – you then return the card to a machine and it’ll take it back and give you back your $1 – odd system.
Other noteworthy things other than the general spotlessness of the place is they have doors on their platform which only open when the train is at the station – i guess to prevent people from falling in or trying to commit suicide. The train carriages are also almost double the width of ours and are all connected at the hinges (like the long connected london buses) so you can stand at one end of the train and potentially see and walk all the way down to the other end.

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We arrived at Chinatown , essentially a mecca for tourists – and it shows , majority of the stalls here seemed to be trinkets , souvineers , suit tailoring shops (its cheaper here) and stuff like fake jewlery and that. It was very pretty and well decorated though , and at least they had the useful shops around too such as ice drinks and such.
Our exploration took us to a large buddhist temple in the middle of chinatown in the form of a huge pagoda.

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The walls of the room was decorated in statues , we suspect each containing the ashes of a person , large deity statues at the middle of the room and even a real monk at the front blessing people. My picture doesent do it any justice, really a beautiful serene room.

Upon leaving , we tried seeking some shelter from the relentless heat , we wondered into a multi storey market sort of place , the bottom floor was a huge market selling fresh food – everything from vegetables to exotic fruits to dried fruits/veg/herbs to meat to live fish to… live frogs, crabs and tortoises! I say that like it was a good thing , dozens of frogs living on top of each other in a small box partially submerged in water and with a plastic net over the top to prevent them from escaping was more the case , the turtles were in giant metal cages at the side of the stall.
Despite having eaten frogs legs before , and would be willing to eat turtle if given the choice – i did feel sorry for the poor things. A crab managed to escape in front of us, i imagined it being like some form of finding nemo scenario – it was quickly foiled when the shopkeeper discovered…. she took her tongs and grabbed it and threw it back in the box with the other crabs. ruthless.

We decided we would head to ‘Clarke Quay’ , a riverside area with lots of shops and such.
Our poor navigation led us to an old style indoor mall full of shops selling… action figures. Yup. Action figures , toys , models all that stuff – transformers and ultraman seemed most common but obviously some ecchi models and stuff around as well.
Left that mall and started heading in a random direction , we found a rather unique looking building and mum tried taking a picture of it – as soon as the camera clicked a security man came running out and said no taking pictures whilst on the grounds of the building – and pointed out that we were walking on their outside tiles and hence ‘in’ the building , crazy guy.

We found ourselves in Clarke Quay central eventually , another mall like place with about 5 floors.
We sampled one of their unique franchises ‘Ka yun kaya toast’ , essentially a shop which specializes in selling toast with kaya (kaya is a coconut based kind of jam , tastes like honey i guess?) , i had some french toast and normal toast (and an iced lemon tea on the side), both came with kaya and both rather tasty.
Downstairs at the basement floor of the mall was … more food stalls – mum ended up buying a dish of mixed fruits.
One of the stalls here sold a rather unusual thing which we also noticed at the market…

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Im not sure why the chicken is black tbh , dad thinks its just like that – much like how there are black people and white people , but i dunno… Cant imagine it being very nice to eat , skin would be rather thick etc etc.

We headed outside to the actual Clarke Quay area , a river lay in the middle with restaurants along both sides as far as the eye could see (well.. until the river went round the corner , i dont have xray vision after all.). Walked around for a while , before the temperature began to get to us,

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im not sure exactly how hot it was out today – the clouds were overhead and the sun was just shining through it , it felt around 34 degrees in the shade perhaps , i was in shorts and a small shirt and could go from dry to sweaty in about half a minute after stepping outside from a mall.
As such – we headed back to the central mall , retreating to the comfort of the air conditioning.
A short walk took us from the mall to the metro again

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Artsy shot get!

We went to see the Merlion , thats Mer-Lion (a Lion which is half mermaid , why? i dont know. ) , Singapore’s landmark – although certainly smaller than big ben/eiffel tower
Its a large sculpted thing which sits out in the river and shoots water out of its mouth , its a pretty big deal here and they stick its icon on everything.
From here we flagged a taxi back to the hotel , everyone needed a rest as it was now around 6pm and we had been out since around 10am.

Brother went out for a swim so it was just me in the room , took the opportunity to shower and then do some cartwheels around the room naked and jump on the bed some (with the curtains wide open, surely nobody can see me on the 7th floor).

We went to the Bhugis junction again , this time to the 4th floor to try the food court – i had a japanese Tempura with Soba thing which was alright although a little plain , mango pudding for dessert.
Had a little look around the shops , there was some sort of asian celebrity thing going on for TVB (a chinese channel) No idea who they were but there was a lot of screaming and cameras so i followed suit.

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We then went back to the basement floor for some more dessert , we each got an ice cream mochi (wiki mochi if you dont know what it is , i cant explain it.) A shop specializing in ice cream filled mochi was here and oh did it have selection , shame they were $2 each and pretty smallish (£1 for an ice cream you could eat in 2 bites)

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It was deicious but over way too soon , probably not really worth $2 either.

Our final stop of the day was to Bhugis village , a 7 story plaza place (2 stories of food places of course , asians love their food.). There was a large arcade on the 6th floor , it was really advanced, they had some crazy looking pogo game and lots of fighting game cabinets , linked SF4 / GGX / Blazblue / KOFXIII cabs (linked as in you can sit opposite some guy playing SF4 , and fight him.) , there was also some card game called eternal.. something , where you move physical cards onto a lower screen – it somehow reads the card you placed and interprets it onto the game , you can then move the cards RTS style and fight with against the computer or another player and get experience , which is saved somehow – the machines are online as well so i assume you can even play someone in another arcade which is pretty sweet.
The final floor which we didnt go to (but i wish we did now) is supposedly the largest LAN gaming centre in Singapore.
Oh. on the way back to the hotel we saw this –

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Click to enlarge i hope.

A whole fried duck head? duck tongues? pig tails? Yum!

[ Have typed up 17th to 19th in one sitting , took about an hour and a half apparently. My arms hurt a little from typing on this laptop. Just about to hit midnight on the 19th so i guess i’ll go to sleep now as i think we’re doing a big day tomorrow. – Hope i actually get to upload this stuff soon as the internet in the hotel is charged pretty extortionately. I also think i’ll start using my mums camera and then somehow transferring the pictures over as my phone camera has about a 50:50 ratio of good:blur pictures which is upsetting. Goodnight! ]

Malaysia/Singapore Day 1 – Arrival in Singapore , ripped off by timezones

July 18th
Somewhere over the ocean / Kuala Lumpur Airport (Malaysia) / Changi Airport (Singapore)
Summary : Tired jetlagged Steve arrives in Singapore at last , is amazed at the state of the city and the beauty of its design.

We arrived in Kuala lumpur airport , only to have to shop and wait around until our plane for Singapore. Waited around 2 hours or so in the airport then got on the plane , small plane this time (boeing 737) , the flight was only about an hour thank fuck.

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Touchdown in Changi Airport in Singapore , please no more aeroplanes i thought to myself.
Collected baggage and then took a taxi to our hotel – the ‘Golden landmark hotel’ , fancy name and decor for sure , shame our beds are made out of wood and stones – we do however have a very nice panorama room leading out onto the city.
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After unloading the luggage , having a shower and brushing teeth (much needed after what was essentially 40 something hours of travelling – including timezone shifts of course) we decided to go out and explore abit.

It was now around 10pm on Saturday , and we were in Singapore.. and hungry
Our first road took us to an alleyway full of shisha pipes and arabs , not sure whose idea it was to look for food was down a dodgy looking alley full of arabs…
After asking around (my dad speaks some Mandarin thankfully) , we managed to find some food stalls – this is probably the only time we had trouble finding open food stalls because since then its been absolutely everywhere – guess it just shows you need to know where to look for this sort of thing.

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We ended up in some sort of Dessert cafe place which also served food , i had a pot of rice , mushrooms, chicken , preserved sausage and some other stuff. Bought some mountain dew from a nearby 7eleven to take back to the hotel fridge.
The roads here are ridiculously wide and all of the roads seem to be bordered either by shops/malls or canopy trees , useful for blocking out the sun.

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The pavements and roads are also relatively spotless , this is most probably due to $1000 fines and such being in place for littering/spitting/dropping gum/vandalism/anything else antisocial – dustbins and recycle bins seem to be scattered everywhere here as well , not even giving you an excuse to litter – which (coming from Essex) is very nice to see.

Malaysia/Singapore Day 0 – The adventure begins!

posted in: holiday | 0

July 17th
Essex
Summary : The adventure begins!

Our pickup for the airport came at just before 4pm , we loaded up our bags into the large Kia something or other and was driven to Heathrow , we almost always get a driver to take us there as its kinda awkward asking relatives to drive you there , train would be terrible and well… its just easier.
Our driver was a change from the normal one we have when we go on holiday , a tall burly chavlike creature , his music of choice wasn’t garage or RnB however , we spent the 2 or so hour car journey listening to some AM station relaying the latest golf information , Tiger woods was on 2 double bogeys last i heard – which is very very rare… apparently. The car journey isnt normally 2 hours btw , usually only takes about an hour and a quarter or something but there was pretty ridiculous jams as we were travelling on
1. A friday
2. Rush Hour
3. The day all the kids break up from school
Feckin’ chaos.

After check-in and all that (which went smoothly) , we sat around in the airport – got food and shopped around and such (i decided to invest £2.50 in ear plugs and some wine gums) . The gate took ages to be announced , the board said ‘to be announced at 8:45’ , we were waiting until about 9:20 or so before it changed.

The plane flight was pretty standard as 13 hour flights go , noteworthy movies on the plane included Hannah Montana the movie , 17 Again , Monsters vs Aliens… and thats it i guess. The whole system was an on-demand system which was pretty awesome – back in my day you’d have to make sure you’re awake at the right time and tune into the movie channel or something. There was bejewled and Sudoku on the games too (along with some other popcap games and stuff)
I started by watching some of Hannah Montana the movie , then it started going into horses and stuff so i stopped – i dozed off to sleep at some point 2 hours into the flight.
Upon waking up , there was only 2 hours left of the flight – guess i slept quite a bit of the way which was lucky (thats not to say it was a deep or good sleep , babies crying and the jet engines being right nearby was unsavoury to say the least , god bless £2 earplugs. )
Inflight meals was some chilli beef with rice and a ‘Nasi Lemak’ – a malaysian dish.

Half Blood Prince

posted in: films | 0

Yeah… so i saw the new Harry potter… and on launch day too…
Not so much because i was desperate to watch it or anything , it just worked well with my schedule.

Have never actually seen town so busy before
We got to the cinema at around 7pm , hoping to see the over 18 showing at 8pm.
It was fully booked , the next showing was at 9:30pm.
We ended up getting tickets for that instead and wondered around town and got food and such.

Come 9pm we started worrying and headed to the cinema , our local cinema works on a first come first served seating basis (which just makes sense imo) , so we went in half an hour early – should be enough to get some really good seats right? We were put in one of the larger screens there , it was already 1/3 full – and quickly filling. Fortunately there was only 3 of us so we managed to get some seats in the middle/middle – back/middle is obviously prefered but hey we only came in HALF AN HOUR EARLY so it makes sense that all the good seats would be taken already?!

Anywho , film started , some half assed applause from the (packed) cinema and we watched the film – which turned out to be like 2 and a half hours long.

Highlights? well.. it clearly would have to be…
luna

Decent film , but not as good as Goblet of fire or Order of the Phoenix imo.

Hangin about.

posted in: blog, films | 0

So i believe my website is working once again , not sure what exactly happened to it , a ‘server issue’ according to my webhost when i poked them about it.

Havent really been doing much at all recently. Being back home for a week or two has made me remember just how boring ordinary life is outside university , i dont even have a job to bitch about so day in day out is usually just me inside the house playing games or watching TV/films.

Spent monday and most of today with Frances , ended up floating around Brentwood (a nearby town posh town) and explored the shops , went to the park (this actually took like half an hour or so because i forgot where it was. ) , played in the kiddy area , explored the forest abit then came back home. After letting her try some Dead Rising (Killed somewhere around 1k zombies in an hour which isnt bad considering she’s never played before and such) we ended up watching ‘The Emperors new groove’ – which i hadnt seen in ages , i actually went to see it in the cinema when it came out according to my mum (HOLY SHIT WIKI SAYS IT WAS YEAR 2000! MY GOD IM OLD.)
Not sure what we ended up wasting time on after that.
In the morning we ended up watching Aladdin (mainly because i have every disney film ever made on my TB drive – and she hadnt seen it before [weirdo] )

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Uhm… In other news , packing has begun. I cant actually remember whether ive documented it on here or not but im going on holiday for around 3 weeks starting from this coming Friday (17th) – we’re going to start in Singapore for a few days and then go to Malaysia where we’re going to go to Melaka (sub-island) and do snorkelling and beach shit there , then come back to Kuala Lumpur for shopping and stuff like that.
We’ve been told to only pack about a weeks worth of clothes and then we’re going to buy the rest there – stuff in Malaysia is dirt cheap , for example to feed a family of 4 for dinner at a restaurant would probably come to around £8 total including drinks or something ridiculous like that.
Im hoping that when we go there will be some form of cyber cafe or something nearby so that i can pop in and do a bit of blogging every few days. Of course dont be expecting the frequency of my Florida holiday blog on myspace (where i updated every day)

[oh also recently saw Jackass the movie and 2fast2furious , but you knew that from my twitter no doubt. It comes in pretty useful for 1 liner blog posts like that.)

Uwaaaaahhh~

posted in: blog, films, Games, review | 0

Uwaaaaahhh~

So pretty much a week without a proper blog post. I guess i should put something down at least. Time for a few reviews then i guess

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Saw ‘Ponyo on the cliff by the sea’ earlier today , one of studio ghibli’s films. I didnt really know what to expect at all aside from that some form of sea creatures is involved.
The jist of the story is this… ponyo.. thing… goes exploring (nemo style) and then is captured by a boy who lives on the cliff by the sea, they become friends and yada yada but then ponyo gets taken back to the sea by her father. Ponyo , determined to get back to the boy then basically fucks up the ocean by drinking some sort of elixir of the gods in order to try and get back to the boy… I’ll leave it there.
Its good stuff , unsurprising given its studio ghibli and the animation and stuff is pretty good (although surprisingly nowhere near as good as ‘5 centimeters per second’ which had amazing animation)
5/5 fo’ sure with this one. Id also like to comment that the music in the film is amazing – aided by my now 5.1 surround setup thing ^^

uhm… Havent really seen any other new films recently… Id also like to take this moment to say that bruno looks pretty bad , and that the new harry potter film actually looks kinda good.

Next then.

Tales of Monkey Island (chapter 1)
Finished this today , not too sure how long it took me to finish it , maybe 3 hours?
Ive never played a Monkey island game before so i thought id jump on this given the nice graphics and such its been given , native resolution is where its at. The graphics have a nice look to them , simplistic but detailed enough , the dialogue is very cleverly written and witty and the story is alright too. The puzzles are for the most part okay and reasonable to figure out however there were 2 bits of the game where i got completely stuck (the first due to me not finding an item in a faraway place). But yeah , good stuff and a recommended play – I await the other 4 chapters.

FUEL
Despite the mediocre reviews i thought id get it and give it a go , pretty much open world sandbox kinda place with races thrown in. Quads , bikes , jeeps , SUV’s , muscle cars , buggies and even trucks can be used to race and most races are generally ‘here are some checkpoints. go.’
Think burnout paradise without the speed and boost and takedowns , and put in the townless regions of Oblivion (Elder scrolls 4) and then ravage the land with a few tornadoes.
Fun game for racing , although can be very very annoying at times and sort of samey after the first…hour.. or so..
Im actually enjoying it more than ‘Pure’ which is kind of surprising given that they’re similar sorts of games but ‘Pure’ was pretty much SSX on ATV’s *shrugs*

Chaos;Head
A ‘visual novel’ im currently ‘playing’ its pretty boring but at the same time has that sort of appeal that the first season of Lost had where you want to figure out wtf is going on. Theres actually an anime series of it which ive downloaded as well but about 1 hour of reading text in the ‘game’ translates to <20 minutes in the anime and cuts out all sorts of stuff so i kinda wanna keep 'playing' instead of resorting to that.

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