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Pangor Laut - Kuala Lumpur - Singapore - London - Bristol

This is an old journal, from our trip around the world in 2002, taken from the diary I wrote at the time. Apologies for the poor quality photographs, they are scans of prints taken with a compact camera and images from the scrap book I made afterwards.

View Around the World for our Silver Wedding 2002 on Grete Howard's travel map.

After a disturbed Lariam sleep, and it being ‘that date’, I sit on the balcony this morning determining the various countries I have celebrated my birthday in: Norway, England, Sweden, Bolivia, Fiji, Thailand, Nepal, Seychelles, India, Myanmar and now Malaysia. Where next?



Today is our departure day and our bungalow being so far away from the reception, we take our hand luggage to breakfast for convenience. The porters can collect the main luggage. I do hate waiting around, and this morning is no exception. We watch a Japanese family fishing on the jetty before the boat arrives and takes us on a choppy journey back to the mainland. The waves crashing over the side of the boat totally drenches one of the passengers. The quality of the buses waiting at the jetty has not improved since our arrival. Voicing my opinion that the transfer from the airport could be more in keeping with the style and class of the Pangkor Laut Hotel, my comments do not fall on deaf ears as their marketing manager happen to be travelling with us.

Only 12 passengers are on the flight again and we have the opportunity to sit on the best side to see our resort from the air just before it disappears into a cloud cover. Having left Pangkor 20 minutes early, we arrive in Kuala Lumpur Subang before the representative. In fact he is wandering around the shops and turns up five minutes later. In the mini bus to KLIA he plays some wonderful golden oldies on his CD player.

We manage to check the luggage through to London, but are unable to book our seats at this stage. On the flight to Singapore we are lucky enough to get three seats for the two of us and sleep soundly. Today is going to be a long day, so it’s important to seize any opportunity to slumber.

Changi Airport is just as enormous and as well equipped as I remember; and we ramble through many shops, bars and restaurants before settling down in a quiet area for relaxing. The bar is providing a band playing Christmas music (!), but they also do a rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ for me.

The homeward journey is the worse part of any holiday, and this trip is no exception. Having spent five weeks travelling around the world, experiencing so many wonderful things, anything from now on is bound to be an anticlimax. How could you possibly beat this holiday: The polar bears in Churchill, the flight over the Nazca Lines in Peru, the giant moai on Easter Island, climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge, trekking amongst the Huli Wigmen of Papua New Guinea and staying in the water bungalows in Pangkor Laut – these are all ambitions fulfilled! What a holiday!!!!!

On return to the UK, I wrote a limerick in praise of our travel agent, which was also published in part in the local paper.

For our silver wedding we had a plan
And took our ideas down to Trips
A five week period the journey would span
They had plenty of excellent tips

This was to be no average tour
We both wanted plenty to see
Canada, Chile and so much more
The trip of a life-time for me

Just as we thought it was all arranged
And everything going to plan
Several flights then suddenly changed
Back to John at Trips we ran

Lots of e-mails and phone calls John had to make
To rearrange tours and hotels
An extra day’s holiday we had to take
Under Bali’s magical spells

Then Bali was bombed, it was not to be
More tours and hotels to be moved
John worked so hard it was plain to see
His worth he certainly proved

I wanted to see a polar bear
In Churchill on Hudson Bay
Although it was proving to be rather dear
They included a husky sleigh

In Peru the plan was the Nazca Lines
I’d read all about them before
On to Chile, well known for its excellent wines
- Let’s just try a little bit more

On Easter Island, the giant heads
Was another strange idea
Stone sculptures painted in browns and reds
They really are rather queer

In Sydney the bridge we thought we would climb
An experience totally awesome
Some friends we met, but so little time
Dining out in a friendly foursome

Papua New Guinea we had to include
The jungle was steamy and wet
Bright feathers, but otherwise almost nude
The Huli Wigmen posed no threat

From Ambua Lodge we wanted to trek
But day walks were taken instead
At the end of the hikes I felt quite a wreck
My blisters were sore and bled

A short stop in Cairns to wash all our stuff
It really wasn’t too soon
A bit of free time, the decision was tough
We chose to go up in a balloon

Still plenty to see, no need to feel blue
To Darwin, the top end, we’d go
To see ancient drawings in Kakadu
Aboriginal pride would glow

A plane was hired to take us aloft
We really do like to fly
Over the escarpment gently we waft
So spectacular from the sky

Borobodur cancelled, so what do we do
We can’t just lie on the beach
To Kuala Lumpur and Singapore too
These places are not out of reach

It’s all very well to live life to the max
It’s an adventure, that’s for sure
But we needed to have some time to relax
At the end of such a big tour

In Pangkor we spent the last few nights
Bright skies and golden sand
To chill out after twenty-five flights
And walk by the sea hand in hand

I’m ready and packed, no more room in my case
It’s the end of our holiday
Enjoyable memories from each little place
I really would much rather stay

A once-in-a-life-time, a marvellous treat
A very well organised tour
Trips’ customer service you couldn’t beat
We’re both left feeling in awe

Another last thank you I wanted to add
For all the time John spent on this
Now it’s over I’m sure he feels rather glad
That our holiday was pure bliss


A quick résumé of our trip



Polar bears from the tundra buggy in Churchill Manitoba.



Helicopter flight over the tundra


Dog sledding


Eskimo Museum


Night safari with northern lights



Toronto: Hippo Tours amphibious vehicle


Mamma Mia at the theatre





Flight over the Nazca Lines



Sand boarding at Ica


Dune Buggy


Boat trip around the Ballestas Islands Wildlife Reserve





Santiago: vineyard visit with wine tasting



Easter Island: former cave dwellings


Giant Moai statues


Pito te Kuno, considered to be the Navel of the World by the early settlers


Orongo Ceremonial Village


Ancient petroglyphs


Lava tubes


Kari Kari Cultural Performance



Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb


Meeting friends Jenny and David for dinner


Papua New Guinea


Tari: Hiking




Meeting the locals




Light aircraft flight to Mount Hagen



Port Moresby: PNG Arts


Botanical Gardens (tree kangaroo)


Port Moresby slums



Cairns: Hot air ballooning


Kakadu National Park: boat trip



Nourlangie Aborigine Rock Art


Scenic flight over Arnhem Escarpment


Ubirr: ancient rock paintings


Yellow Waters cruise


Termite Mounds





Kuala Lumpur


Pangkor Laut







Those of you who know me well, will be familiar with my penchant for writing lists and keeping statistics. This trip was no different. Here is a small breakdown of exactly what we did on this trip:

We spent:

244 hours asleep
28 hours travelling to / from airports
64.5 hours waiting at airports
91.5 hours flying

We travelled:

36,632 miles by air
1,679 miles by road
83 miles on foot

We drank:

132 beers
94 glasses of wine
13 ciders
5 cocktails
3 glasses of champagne
5 liqueurs
5 litres of duty free Bacardi


Posted by Grete Howard 06:22 Archived in Malaysia

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particularly enjoyed the roundup! Great time

by David

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