4 days of extremes. Dog bite, magnificent culture and an Asian Dragon (KL).
21.11.2010 - 03.12.2010 27 °C
Around 11am I arrived in Bangkok and by now, I know my way here. I got the bus to Khao San Road and walked to Rambuttri street. This time I wanted a change and I walked not trough the tourist street, but trough the pagoda. Wrong choice.. Although there were a lot of people walking, biking or in car, for some way and I still don't know why, a dog arrived furiously. I walked in a street and didn't even see him/her or make eye contact. I was just walking with backpack. Suddenly, from under a car 15 metres away, a dog comes barking like crazy running towards me. I immediately turn around, not to offend this dog. Normally dogs give a sort of warning. This time it was too obvious it was not just a warning. And yes, while walking I felt the dog twisting its head to bite me in the leg. It hurt a lot and after the bite, the dog immediately ran off. It was very strange.
I walked on and found a restaurant in the pagoda, but no one really paid attention. So I checked my leg and I realised that I was very lucky here. I wore the thickest long jeans I have (since I arrived from 'cold' Hanoi and from an airport) and the dog didn't bite very hard. Thus, the teeth never got trough the jeans. It was barely bleeding. And I was able to walk. Still shaking, I walked to my favourite hotel, Thara House, were I checked in, checked and cleaned the wound and had a short rest. After, I went to my favourite restaurant and sent my parents an email on this.
The next 2 days in Bangkok were very easy going. Since I had seen the city and just wanted to relax and eat, that's mostly what I did. My parents adviced me to take a vaccin and so I did. The wound became blue and purple, but the teeth barely came into my flesh. I was very lucky.
Thus, after 3 days of relaxation in Bangkok, I took the bus to Siem Reap. I figured it was better just to go there instead of racing around Cambodia in a few days.
After a long day, I arrived in Siem Reap in the evening. I checked in to a good hotel and went for a dinner. The owner told me that I could rent a bike; this time not a motorbike, but a bicycle. So I did the next morning.
It turned out a lot tourist used to rent motorbikes to see Angkor. But there have been a lot of accidents. Therefore, now tourists are only allowed to rent a bike.
After a great breakfast of muesli, fruit and yoghurt, I went with my bike, bad condition, and Gato, to Angkor. This time we biked passed Angkor Wat and I was eager to see a lot of temples. With a guidebook and a lot of energy, it was my last 3 days to explore Angkor.
On the bike I did the big route. Angkor Thom, Preah Khan (my favourite), East Mebon and a lot more. It was dark when I arrived at Angkor Wat. Time to go back to the hotel.
So by now, while writing, it is the 2nd of december. This means that I am writing my diary almost 2 months after all happened. Let's see what I remember.
The other two days, I decided to take a better bike. The bike of the hotel was not in a good condition and the bike was a bit simple. Now I had a mountainbike. The word mountainbike might be a bit too much, for it was tiny..
This bike conveniently biked me and Gato around. The second day I crossed about 50 km. Also, I rented a motorbike guy to bring me to the far away temples. It was absolutely incredible. The third day, I only spent 3 hours in the Angkor area. By now I had virtually seen all temples and most of them 2 or 3 times. Angkor is an incredible place. The last day, though, my mind was full. It was time to move on.
During this time in Siem Reap, I also visited the Royal Angkor Museum. A stunning museum. Both the exhibition, as the architecture. It gives great insights into what the temples represent, show a beautifull Buddha chamber, with over 1000 buddha's and shows about the history of Angkor and Cambodia.
It was time to go to Malaysia. The next morning I got up early and got my ride to the tiny airport. Very convenient. No cues. Relaxed. Free internet connection. Wow! Airasia brought me to Kuala Lumpur. One day, to get my flight the next evening to India, Mumbai.
Once arriving in KL I was very disoriented. I have been in KL in 2003, 7 years ago. And I was looking for the express train, the Kuala Lumpur International Airport Express Train. Shortly, KLIA Express. It was not there..
I took a chocolate shake at the Starbuck's. Ramon at the Starbucks? Yes, my bonita girlfriend teached me. And I like it.
After a while I found out I was not in the 'big' airport (KLL), but KLLCC) ; Kuala Lumpur Low Cost Carrier airport. About 30 km from the one I remembered from 7 years ago. Very good to kow that tomorrow I fly from this one. I am certain that I would have shown up at the wrong airport. From there it is about 1 hour to the KLCC airport.
I took a ride to one of the main drop off points in KL. View of the Petronas Twin towers from a distance. Time to look for a hotel. During my walk, a guy talked to me. He wanted to sell a lucky buddha. I refused.
It turned out that KL is way too expensive compared to all Asia. I got a hotel for 17 euro. A room with 2 beds and a cold shower. Seems allright. And yes, I don't expect much more..well yes, for this price. But the worst is yet to come. In the evening, when I was lying on the sheets, I realised my skin started itching. I took a test by using my towels and then, the sheets again. And yes, althought I am not 100% certain, it really felt like there were bed bugs. Annoying animals of 3 mm that start biting your skin. I went to the owner / manager to tell him. In my most polite way I tried to explain that there might be bed bugs and ..well it can happen anywhere (although I know it only happens when the hygenics are really bad--> as the bathroom and the floor). I tried to tell it in a way not to offend the owner/manager. And still, what a baby. Unbelievable. By his response I noticed that he took it personal and felt critisesed. No eye contact, no solution finding. Just: there is nothing I can do about it.
What an unbelievable jerk. I asked him to change rooms. He was full. I asked him for other sheets. No..we dont have → Right..or..ah..that explains..
So I ripped of all the shit of the bed and threw it on the other bed. I slept this night under my own towels. Luckily KL is very hot, so I didn't get a cold. But what a ripoff. 17 euro for this shit hole. In Vietnam I had an incredible hotel on Cat Ba island for 5 US dollar, 3,5 euro. Beautiful room, clean, hot water, internet connection.
During the day, I explored the city centre a bit. I remember not being impressed by KL 7 years ago. I have to say that now it is the same. I took the metro and went to the twin towers. The Petronas Towers. Nice for some pictures. Inside these towers there is a shopping mall, where I spend some time and had dinner. When I wanted to get out, it was raining like crazy. I decided to have another meal and since I had seen a cinema and was temped, I went to the movie. Doubting between: Social Network: a movie about Facebook. How the guys that started Facebook faced all the problems setting it up, but also celebrating the victories. Now they are billionaires. For me, a very interesting movie from my marketing and online background. But I figured, I can see this movie on my laptop. So I went for Harry Potter. I never seen one Harry Potter, so I thought it might be interesting to try something else for a time. Wrong choice. What an incredible boring movie. After a while, people started leaving. I realised they didn't come back. Surprisingly, I took 2 hours. When there was still no action, or any interesting storyline, I left. Not having seen the last 30 minutes. By now, the rain had ceased. Time to go to the hotel (with the dirty sheets).