Mes: abril 2010

Trip to Malaysia and Thailand

As you see I haven’t had much time lately to write the blog. Mostly because I was on vacations for more than a week. In fact, there were three days of National Holiday in Hong Kong and I took another three days off to complete 11 consecutive days, which I enjoyed traveling through Malaysia and Thailand.

First of all, here you have some pics of the trip:
Kuala Lumpur flickr set
Bangkok flickr set

Some months ago I bought tickets for the Formula 1 Malaysia Grand Prix, hold in Sepang (50 km from Kuala Lumpur), on the first weekend of April. I have to say that I’m a huge fan of Formula 1 and since 1990s I have been watching it on TV and two times live (I also attended the 2007 Monaco Grand Prix). Besides, the apparition of Spaniards drivers (such as Fernando Alonso, Jaime Alguersuari, Pedro de la Rosa and Marc Gene) increased my interest in Formula. Here a couple of pictures of the Sepang circuit: one and two. And here one of the impressive Petronas twin towers.

Since we were going to Malaysia (my wife also came), we decided to make a little trip through the region, and we stayed four nights in Kuala Lumpur, one night in GeorgeTown (Penang Island) and four nights in Bangkok, Thailand.

Unfortunately, the Grand Prix wasn’t as interesting as expected, basically because the expected rain didn’t happen (so not many overtakes), and Alonso had engine problems in his Ferrari so he didn’t finish the race. Two times I’ve gone to see him racing live and both times he didn’t finish the race… I don’t bring him good luck.

Apart from that the trip was awesome and we liked everything a lot. Although I’m not going to enter in details about what we visited, there are two anecdotes that happened during the trip that are worth to relate.

The first one took place in GeorgeTown in the middle of the night. In fact, we were suddenly woken up because the building was shaking. At the beginning I thought I was dreaming, but when the bed started to move and some small objects fell down, then I definitely woke up and realized that it was an earthquake. I have never experienced one before and I was kind of freaking out as we were in the top floor of the hotel and there was no way to get out quickly of the building. We remembered primary school when teachers tell you what to do in case of an earthquake, so we decided to take cover under the bathroom door frame, just in case. Maybe we overreacted but it was our first earthquake on our life and we got scared (at the end I think my legs were shaking more than the building…). The tremor lasted between 1:30 to 2 minutes, and when it finished we show many people out of the building.

After we calmed down a little bit, we turned on the TV and the CNN and BBC were already talking about a major Earthquake of 7.7 degrees on Richter scale, happened near Sumatra Island (Indonesia), not far from where we were. During the day the news said that fortunately nothing serious happened anywhere :). But for us was something we’ll remember for very long time. Perhaps if you live in Japan or California this is something that happens to you often, but definitely it’s not my case.  Here an article from wikipedia about this earthquake: April 2010 Sumatra earthquake.

The second anecdote happened in Bangkok. In fact, thousands of protesters are on the streets for two months, and the Government declared the state of emergency the day we arrived. They are camped in the hearth of the city and near the business and shopping district, where most of the hotels are (ours was less than 500m from them). The thing got very ugly with violent clashes between protesters and army. As a result, about 25 people were killed that day and more than 800 were injured. Thankfully, nothing happened to us and we didn’t experience any problematic situation during our stay, and we were able to visit most of the city sights without any problems. Some pictures about the ‘red shirt’ protesters here and here.