Out of the Haze and Home Again
When I last posted, you saw the terrible air quality in Kuala Lumpur. Well, I’m happy to report that on the following day things got dramatically better. The readings were back to normal levels, and I didn’t need my face mask again on the trip!
To avoid any other air quality problems, we wound up flying from KL to Singapore – a very short flight scheduled for 1:10 over the 213 miles, the same exact distance as from Washington National Airport (I refuse to call it Reagan) to LaGuardia in New York.
I was then in Singapore for 7 nights, but the time just flew by – with work commitments I hardly got to see any of the city!
On Saturday, it was time for my couple days of vacation before my flight home. So, I headed back to the airport to fly north to Penang, one of the thirteen states of Malaysia and primarily an island off the western coast of Malaysia in the Andaman Sea. The island has about 750,000 people. The flight to Penang was 373 miles, passing back over KL to go further north.
I spent the night in George Town, a colonial city that is a UNESCO World Heritage site, at the amazing Eastern & Oriental Hotel.
The next day it was off to the jetty for the quick ferry hop over to the mainland town of Butterworth (surely, no British influence in that sort of name :)), where I boarded Train 36, the International Express. This is a Thai train that operates from Butterworth in Malaysia all the way to Bangkok – a distance of approximately 1200km (~750 miles, or similar to New York to Chicago) and is scheduled to take about 22 hours. I was surprised to find that it is the entry for International Express on Wikipedia, which seems pretty prominent!
After a night at a beach resort there, and a hotel shuttle journey up to Bangkok (complete with a German family of 5 with screaming infant and diaper changes en-route!), I ended up in Bangkok for a few hours before heading to the airport and starting the long journey home, via Singapore.
Now I’m back home just for two nights, before we head for a long weekend to Warsaw. Tomorrow morning very early we’ll head to the airport for the short 2.5 hour flight to the Polish capital. More on that when we get back! I will try to post a bit more about the trip as well, including my journey up to the top of the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur.
PS: A belated happy 4th of July to everyone out there! There wasn’t much celebration in Singapore, although the hosts did make a toast to it at dinner that night.