There is no other place on this planet quite like Nepal

There is no place on this planet quite like Nepal.

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Many Australian travelers never leave the airport when they visit Kuala Lumpur, for them it is just a stop on their way to another destination. But with low cost international Airlines now flying to Kuala Lumpur for cheap prices should we consider Kuala Lumpur for the next holiday destination? I’m from Adelaide and it’s common here for people to head over to Melbourne for a few days for a short trip. However, with the cheap airlines such as Air Asia X flying direct to KL you can get there for approximately $400 return. Accommodation is KL is also relatively cheap compared to Australian prices, I stayed at the Parkroyal for $130 for two nights and it was in a fantastic location, rated by Expedia as 4.5 stars. Once in KL, food, shopping and transport are all cheaper. What I’m saying is people should ditch the interstate trip and go to Malaysia instead. Prices work out  to be similar and if you go to Kuala Lumpur you get to visit a different country and experience a different culture, which to me is far more exciting.   Kuala Lumpur shopping

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Impressive entrance to Pavilion Mall

For me one of the best parts of Kuala Lumpur is the shopping. There are numerous large malls which boast all the big brand stores and fashion labels us Aussies usually miss out on. All the malls have excellent air-conditioning which is a big bonus for people like me (I can’t handle the heat).  There were 3 major shopping malls within a 5 minute walk from my hotel, it was amazing. The bank account took a bit of a battering as I purchased a lot of clothes over there. Its a great feeling buying clothes overseas that aren’t sold in Australia then getting to wear them back home. Quite often I have friends compliment me on things I’ve bought overseas, when they ask where I got it I get to answer with the name of a country instead of a store, takes me back to my holiday and makes me feel special! One of the best shopping malls I went to was Pavilion. There is another large mall which is actually underneath the Petronas Towers called Suria KLCC. You can find out more at http://www.pavilion-kl.com/content/ http://www.suriaklcc.com.my/shopping/

one section of a shopping mall, as you can see they mean business

one section of a shopping mall, as you can see they mean business

The Petronas TowersThe Petronas Towers are quite good looking from a distance as they dominate the skyline. At night when they are lit up the towers make quite a pretty site. Up close I found the Petronas Towers a bit underwhelming. On a previous holiday I had visited Dubai and seen the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building . Compared to that the Petronas Towers aren’t as good, however they are closer to home and therefore easier and cheaper to get to. The towers are worth seeing, I made a mistake when I went to KL, I didn’t book tickets ahead of time to go up into the towers. If you go to KL, definitely look into this.  Also, there is a fabulous shopping mall at the bottom of the towers as mentioned above.

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The Petronas Towers by day

The Batu Caves I only ventured out of the city centre of Kuala Lumpur to see the Batu Caves. I didn’t have high hopes for this attraction as a lot of the trip advisor reviews were negative. Unfortunately I visited the caves on a hot and humid day which made it difficult to enjoy. There are 272 stairs to climb at the Batu caves which may not seem like a big deal but when it’s ridiculously humid it is a challenge and I reached the top out of breath.

Batu Caves are an impressive site from the entrance

For the caves them self – I could see why there were a few bad TripAdvisor reviews, the caves smell bad and aren’t very clean. Also, not so much “caves” as it is “cave”. There are monkeys at the caves and whilst the little ones are cute, I saw one try to take a bottle from another tourist which wasn’t too good. But, you can get some good photos at the caves and the giant gold statue is particularly impressive. If you decide to visit the Batu caves try to do it on a coolish day. As someone who has been to the caves I would recommend them to people visiting Kuala Lumpur. Getting a cab once you are at the caves can be difficult, I ended up taking an average quailty taxi with no air conditioning because I got sick of looking for a decent one. The drive from KL city centre to the Batu Caves is around 30 minutes in length.

The interior of the Batu Caves as seen from the top of the stair case

Looking up from inside one part of the Batu Caves

In summary, Kuala Lumpur has excellent shopping opportunities and offers tourists a different culture. For not a lot of money Australians can go to Kuala Lumpur and in my opinion have a great holiday. For people who want to go overseas but have a limited budget Malaysia is a great choice. Important to keep in mind is that it takes almost 7 hours to fly to Kuala Lumpur, so it would be best to make your stay a few days long to make the travel time worth it. I have only been to Kuala Lumpur and seen built up areas, there is still the rest of Malaysia to explore which I have heard is beautiful. Thanks for reading and if you go to Kuala Lumpur at some point in the future I hope you have a great time!

Elephant bath in Chitwan National Park - a must do if you visit Nepal.

Elephant bath in Chitwan National Park – a must do if you visit Nepal.

I had the good luck to make it to Chitwan National Park when visiting Nepal. This photo here is myself enjoying an elephant bath, something that I never anticipated to do in my life or even knew such an experience existed.

An amzing part of the elephant bath for me was that the day before was the first time I saw an elephant in real life. I was driving up to my hotel and they happened to have an elephant standing out the front. Just seeing the elephant by my hotel was awesome, I still can’t believe I went from one day having never seen an elphant, to seeing one and then the very next day having a bath with one, something very few people on this planet have had the chance to do.

This photo was taken back in February 2012 and is still the most extraordinary thing I’ve done in my life. Nepal is truly unique and a magical place to travel through.

My heart was made to travel

Anyone else feel this way about themself?

 

 

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For my first post I’ve decided to discuss a topic which on occasion has driven me slightly crazy. Anyone who has been on a long flight knows how irksome it can be and that often the worst part of the experience is the other passengers.

So I compiled a short list of ‘don’t’s’ for aeroplane travel.

1. Before you even get to the plane you need to go through security checks. We all know the ones, put your keys and phone in a tray and remove your laptop from your bag. To make this a better flowing process, once you go through the metal detector and pick up your things don’t stand there to put everything back where you had it. There is a bench provided at the end of these places for a reason, pick up your tray and bag quickly, walk 3 metres to the bench and get your stuff organised there out of everyone’s way. Also, don’t leave your tray on the conveyor belt, put in on the stack that is usually nearby.

2. People who block the aisle so they can put their bag in the overhead compartment. I hate leaving the departure lounge, walking 20 metres and having to stop and stand there because there is a huge line up to get on the plane because someone has decided that putting their bag in the overhead luggage space is more important than everyone else getting on the plane. Here is a simple rule – if there are still a lot of people getting on the plane then stay out of the aisles, you are in everyone’s way. I’m sure it won’t kill you to wait 5 minutes until the aisle is clear, or else wait until there is a break in passengers getting on the plane.  In the mean time put your bag   underneath the seat in front of you or if it is small and light, hold it yourself.

3. Overhead compartment hogs. It is incredibly annoying to get on a plane, find your seat and discover that all the overhead storage space has been take up by people who aren’t even sitting in your row. So when you get on a plane, use the space that is provided for you, not space a bit further down the plane, not across the aisle, just the place directly above you.

4. Do not recline your seat until you are allowed to. Seriously I don’t get why some people do this, the plane will be taxiing and some jerk will decide they need to recline their chair. Why? are you trying to get in a 2 minute sleep before take off? or are you just that inconsiderate of the person sitting behind you? Its not likely to be by accident as there are frequent reminders over the intercom to keep your seat in the upright position during taxiing and take off. Its just rude and inconsiderate to take up the space of the person behind you when you shouldn’t be, don’t do it.

5. Kids – I understand people take their children on holiday and that is fair enough and generally I don’t have a problem with kids on flights. The problem comes from when the parents don’t do their job. If you are flying with kids then it is your job to watch them and make sure they don’t annoy other passengers. You may be under the impression that other passengers will think your kid is cute and won’t mind them walking up the aisle every 2 minutes. You are wrong. Your kid is not cute. All they are is annoying to everyone else.

6. Getting off the plane – If you are travelling with your 90 year old mother who takes half an hour to walk down a flight of stairs then maybe its better if you wait for everyone else to get off first. The are likely to be a number of people on any flight who need to make transfers and its unfair that they should be held up. This isn’t generally a problem as most people are considerate enough to realise they are holding a plane load of people up and they wait for everyone to get off before them. Unfortunately on my recent trip to India I encountered many, many slow people in airports. Its just something to keep in mind.

There it is, some simple ways to make airline travel better for everyone. Happy travelling!