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Maeve bullies Niamh into joining the protest
 We have just come back from a 2 night trip to Taman Negara rainforest which is the oldest rainforest in the world. The trip there was fabulous yet long; a 2 hour bus ride spent sleeping, a 3 hour stop in a small village and then the most enjoyable 3 hour boat ride ever. So smooth and relaxing gliding along the river sitting on the boats floor with scattered pillows surrounding us. We arrived late and after some dinner were too tired to do mucvh so retired to our not-so-fabulous hotel. 2km away from the rivers edge and floating restauraants and 4o ringit each for a tiny room of four bunkbeds and a poky bathroom. Safe to say we didn't stay for the next night. After checking in to our better riverside room with mosquito nets and a 12 ringit per person going rate we went to breakfast in one of the many floating restaurants. Roti for me and Cian, Vegetable omelettes for Maeve ande dad. DElicious. NExt we went walking. This Maeve wasn't too happy about especially when we accidently took the long route to the canopy walkway. The canopy walkway was amazing 40m above the rainforest it was like a really long rope bridge from which you could see everything, we were in the sky once again.

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Up in the trees on the canopy walkway
After an amazing experience among the tallest of trees we decided to try our luck on the mountain walk. (We told Maeve it was just a little hill) So we all started climbing happily. It only took a couple of steep parts, Maeve falling over twice for the sit-down protest to begin. This Maeve's favourite part of walks; when she gets to sit down and say "I'm doing a sit-down protest. I'm not moving." They never really work but I think she likes to have a bit of a rest and make a fuss about it. Theres usually imaginary signs and chanting and she sometimes pulls me into the mob. The walk ended at a view point which was really quite spectacular (Maeve doesn't agree). The afternoon was spent rapid shooting which consisted of getting wet while zooming down rapids in a boat. And ended with a great swim at a small stream full of rocky pools and mini waterslides. The next day was an early morning  ride back to KL. Today we fly out to Japan, which is exciting and sad. The site will get a new look and (hopefully) more pictures but we will miss Malaysia. It's been great so all I can say is...

Sayonara!
 
 
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Happy Birthday to Julie Oguey it's your birthday today!!!!

Sorry about lack of posts lately, I just spent a week in a middle-of-nowhere kind of place where not a lot of computers worked...

Any way, now we are in Kuala Lumpur where we'll be spending a couple of days... It's a big city with a lot of designer knockoffs, real designer items and loads and loads of malls full of English chain stores. Today we had a look around the city we went to the twin towers which are beautiful and this gorgeous old mosque where I had to dress up in a long black robe and colourful headscarf to show respect to the culture. Maeve looked like a super duper fashion forward model.... I looked like a twisted old grandma.

After a long hot walk we found ourselves in a giant mall full of zara, top shop, marks and spencers, the list goes on and on...

If I wanted to go to one of those shops I would of  bought a ticket to  London, not Malaysia. Anyway we  had an ice cream and then headed to the  towers which are  281 niamh's tall. I felt like a giant. Anyway tommorrow we are going on a long long long trip to a rainforest which should be great but I probably won't get to a computer till...Japan!!!!

I can't wait!!! first stop: Tokyo



ps. To read about the picture up above, go to Maeve's blog, Yes I did that!!!!

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We went to a place where you could snorkel, look at fish and feed sharks the icky lunch provided. It was amazing and beautiful but I had one problem with it. The journey made me turn green. An early morning bus ride, a rocky ferry trip= niamh sick. I wore my armbands but I also ate chocolate, read and played on the ipod touch... The fish we saw were huge, the sharks small, the coral ugly but the marine life living there beautiful. Still it didn't take long to vomit away the whole experience. Only a sidetrip to a scubadiving site where the water made me sicker than the boat journey there...
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Despite what the title might imply I didn't spend the whole of yesterday hopping on one foot...But we did go Island hopping. yesterday morning was spent zooming around on a speedboat, island to island. We went to Pregnant Woman Island which actually looks like a pregnant woman. Here there was a central lake where we swam and it was very nice and there was this weird pondlike thing where you dipped your feet into the water and catfish slimed over your feet aand nibbled them which was cool. We went to Eagle island where we watched the hundreds of eagles feeding. Then we went to an island of which the name can't be certain  where we had a fabulous swim but were kept weary by the bloody monkeys who tried to steal ourbags, one actually jumping on dads bag and tugging at it. Those monkeys are crazy...

Some naan bread, curry and siesta later we found ourselve at Asias largest underwater aquarium where we saw flamingos, standing on one hot pink foot a metre away from me being totally fashion forward and amazing. I love flamingos!!! There were otters, seals, lizards, parrots and of course fish. It was fun and cool and I love this place, It's called Langkowie and it's a chilled back Island. Today we did something that involved me being 60metres ijnthe air, attached to a kite dragging behind a boat but you can read about that in Maevies section... Sorry about lack of photos; maybe tommorow...It's hard to get them onto a computer around here but we'll see.

Lots of love and a couple of one legged poses
Niamh
 
 
 
All my friends and my beloved tutor group are busily learning away at school by now, they're probably in there 3rd or 4th day. Instead I got to go to a butterfly farm about 20km from Gorge Town where there are 1000's of fluttery butterflies everywhere. All different colours surrounding you with prettiness and elegance. A wet and rainy walk took us to see-through t-shirts  and a nice little restaurant where yummy seafood soup was served and swimming costumes put on to avoid wet-t-shirt-syndrome. Another wet walk to a Batik factory where we learnt all about the making of Batik; a beautiful hand dyed and painted coth made of silk or cotton. We got Mummy a special surprise and Cian a nice shirt and Maeve a pretty dress. But before anyone says, "That's unfair, you didn't get anything," Let me tell you about our next destination! The Tropical Spice Garden. Which was like a sanctuary for all kinds of beautiful trees, animals and spices! We saw so much but it's huge, infact it'd spread over 8 acres. We went on all three trails; Ornamental, Jungle, Spice. We got to swing on a peaceful garden swing, marvel at beautiful plants and eat cinnamon. And lemon grass. And other spices. AND CINNAMON! I got to see a cinnamon tree and all these ginger and cloves and...

well, a lot of plants.So I reckon my day was better than any hand drawn and painted shirt, dress or tablecloth....

Well, maybe not tablecloth.
 
 

Originally I had a long, well written paragraph on Kuching, the city of the cats which we left yesterday for Malaysia. But It didn't save, so I'll just do a quick one.

I really loved Borneo for the food, AMAZING,  the multiculturism and the people. Our hotel was nice and it was just so pretty! Our last day consisted of yummy laksa, Borneo cofee Ice Blended Mochas and Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs which, was hilarious. Highly reccommend it. Thanks Bella for the reccommendation! We were basically killing time, getting to the airport 4 HOURS TOO EARLY and lazing around. Malaysia has been good so far, read about it HERE. We will be in Malaysia for 2 weeks, Then Japan then China...after that I don't Know but I'll find out.

 
 
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Today we said goodbye to mum which was a bit sad... but we are all alright and I'm sure she'll enjoy having a break from family life for a while.

A couple of days ago we went to Bako National Park and only 5 minutes into this little adventure we had our first taste of the wildlife. Approaching our cabin we were shocked to see monkeys, playing on and around our cabin. Dad went to the bathroom so we were left standing 10 metres away from the cabin with our bags watching the Macacks. What started as "Oh look, they're so cute!" Turned into "that one has a juice popper" to "Oh no, someone didn't close there window and the macacks are going crazy with there room and belongings". By this stage we realised that what we were witnessing was a teenage hoon party with a difference; monkeys were climbing trees with juice poppers which they were pouring all over innocent bearded pigs who just wanted some peace, some were jumping wildly and all were going in and out of the window with all matter of objects. This is when dad came out. Thinking he was a big scary macho man against these tiny little monkeys he quickly started hiising and grunting and stomping to sacre them away. Which worked. In a flash 50 monkeys ran out windows and ran away and most backed away from the cabin...except for one.

Dad rolled his eyes and growled at this monkey thinking it would just run away, but it didn't. It growled back. Again Dad growled at the monkey who this time charged at Dad screaming and ready to attack, suffice to say Dad ran for his life into the bathroom still being chased and shut the door. Feebly opening the window he wailed, "Is it still there?" It was pacing outside the door ready to attack. 5 minutes later it walked away and we told Dad he could come out, The second he came out the monkey saw him and ran at him again putting dad right back into the bathroom. Oblivious and impatient Mum grabbed a stick saying I'm sick of waiting her an stomped up to our room let herself safely in and closing the door. She told us to follow but there was no way I was going to be attacked by a monkey. Cian finally coaxed me to follow him so stick in hand we started up the path to our door. It wasn't long before a monkey came at us and tried to bite Cian, I ran away as fast as I could as far as I could. By the time I came back Dad was safe in the room and Me and Maeve and Cian tried again. We were a meter from the door when a monkey growled at us so I just dived into the room with Maeve, Cian following close behind. We were safe. It was funny and scary and a good story. Dad had been booked into the room next to us (the monkey room)where a couple of other people were staying...It was a bomb in there so Dad grabbed his matress and settled with sleeping on the floor in our room.

I hate to continue and bore you because I know this is long but I must mention our other 2 rainforest stories.
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After we had settled in our room we decided to go for a quick stroll to a beach which was 800m away. "Don't worry about hiking boots, just bring a towel, we won't need water" said Dad. It only took one wrong turn for us to find ourselves on a walk more like 6km than 800m with a steep rocky mountain climb, a cliff face to go down to reach a mediocre beach which we could only stay 5 minutes at due to the time and a storm on the horizon. My crocs weren't up to the challenge nor was our 200ml of water.No one was happy.

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We did end up going to the 800m away beach the next day and it was beautiful, so beautiful that; on our last day we decided to go there again.
This is where the Bear Hunt starts.
on our way to the trail that you took to the beach we spotted a pack of very rare probiscis monkeys that are orange with funny noses. We were only 5 meters away from the and it was incredible, excited by the spotting when they decided to leave the spot we followed them and found ourselves in a mangrovey beach that seemed to connect with our desired location. "We should see if we can go around the point to the beach rather than that hard climb over the mountain". Although only 800metres it was a hard 800metres going over a mountain to get to the beach and the thought of a 200m flat walk around the point was tempting, so we went. The frst challenge was with our monkey friends. Yes, the famous Macacks. Who were blocking our passage along the magrovey beach. We couldn't go around them, nor over them, nor under them so we had o go through them. They groweld at us and tried to hit us and we were all really scared so by the time we had passed them and found ourselves in metre deep sinkung mud I panicked. Again we couldn't go around it or under or over it, so we had to go through it. I was seriously seriously scared. At one point I got stuck and couldn't get out but with a little help unstuck myself. Panicky and unhappy I winged and cried and tried to say we should go back, I was covered in mud and we didn't even know if we would be able to reach the beach. But we kept going, sobbing away we climbed over slippery rocks and I slipped. Now not only covered in mud but also blood for I had scraped my whole leg down a rock covered in oysters. That was the last straw, well it turned out not for Dad told me to stop whining and man up. I did, trying not to cry blood streaming down my leg I clambered over the last rock went through a scary dark tunnel and... WAS ATTACKED BY A BEAR!

No actually we reached the beach and it was nice and we had a nice time and I washed my leg and it was all cool.

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So we are now in Borneo, we're staying in a great little hostel with a funny smell and a laidback attitude.

Upstairs is like a maze, narrow hallways twist around with plenty of doors along them. Downstairs is casual with a long room with bamboo floors and low tables surrounded by lots and lots of cushions. We went and saw the Orangutans the other day, they are so beautiful with there elegant swings and clever method of transport. They climb to the very to of tall thin trees and lean there weight into the direction they would like to travel. The tree bends and brings them to the next tree. There was a really really big one who was eating and all the other Orangutans weren't allowed to eat because he was the mucho man and so they just hung on trees waiting for a turn. The babies are so adorable, they are shy and small and clingy. The one i liked the most though was Sujuku...
She was the grandmother, the old wise lady who knew a thing or two about being orangutan. She was a real queen bee.

Then we went to the cultural village, Which was a place full of examples of different huts and tribal lifestyles. After this we were all hot and sweaty and looking for something fun to do, luckily dad had the perfect solution...

Resort 1: The sneaky resort
So around the corner from this cultural village there was this really fancy resort which had a beautiful pool and luxurious toilets and towels and deck chairs and lots of rich white people in bad bikinis. Of course not staying at this hotel we weren't allowed in nor were we allowed to swim in there pool. Of course dad didn't care about these petty rules and told us to walk in like we owned the place and (being a family of actors) we did exceptionally. And we had our swim. And a laugh. And a drink at the underwater bar. And a sunbake. And a strut. And we had a really good time feeling cheeky and relaxed.

Resort 2: The wannabee yoga resort
So this time we were actually staying at the resort. We aren't cheapos all the time. It took a crowded taxi drive and an hour and a half bus trip and another taxi drive to get to but we did and it was beautiful. We stayed in this cute little beach shack overlooking the beach which we swam in frequently and a lovely restaurant which served a mean fried rice. On the first day here we decided to take a stroll along the beach to the town which was about a 3km walk from the resort. After this nice walk we met Shiba. Shiba is Maeves alter ego Yoga Teacher who gave us a fantasticly spiritual yoga lesson at sunset and private lessons at sunrise. She was very good she did all different poses with us and worked on our different strengths and weaknesses. Now we are back in our cosy hostel, I'm "blogging", Maeve and Cian are playing spit, Dad is sleeping and Mum is drinking a beer. Tommorrow the weekend markets are on, me and Maeve have our eyes on a certain traditional collar and all I can say is

Fashion Forward.
 
 
i AM STANDING AT A COMPUTER IN SINGAPORE AIRPORT. WHY DO I STILL HAVE capslock on?

anyway I am in an airport waiting for the plane to Borneo with a 200g bag of gummie lollies by my side.

Not much to talk about except for our trip to Plastic fantastic Sarawak.
This is like a kind of island thing which is basically a man made "paradise"
It's horrible and hilarious, from fake rocks to imported sand and palm trees and just if you thought you might get to at least listen to the sound of water lapping the shores, think again because they block out this noise with gaudy pop music. The waters nice but the creepy lounge chairs and waiter service on this polluted yet kind of perfect beach  is really unerving and we only went to one of the beaches!  There are plenty of cafes beaches and fake trees to go round plus if you go back in 2010 you will be able to check out the new theme park which just looks... well like a barbie theme park play set.

Did I mention the giant lion mermaid?
 
 
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Today Niamh has discovered that there is a lot of yellow in Singapore. Seriously, everywhere I look there is yellow and a little bit of red. I took this artistic photo of these 3 big fat men all dressed in yellow from head to toe and a stack of yellow chairs. I will put it on the blog once I work out how to do this. The only thing ruining this picture is Cian. Smack bang in the middle.


Singapore is amazing, we are located in little India a pituresque and culturally rich suburb full of upbeat indian music blasting through the streets and lots of little stalls and restaurants full of fish head curry and fake flowers. I just adore it here!!! We've already been to Chinatown for lunch, walked to the highest point of Singapore (which isn't very high)(although I'm sure Maeve will say otherwise; Daddy I don't want to walk") (it's only 164 metres) and explored Little India thoroughly. We also took a trip on the coolest metro in the world it's so high tech and it uses eco friendly tickets!!!! kind of hard to explain.

But yes when I eventually get photos up you will notice EVERYTHING IS YELLOW.

seriously.