Archive | January, 2012

Home – Devon to Malaysia completed!

20 Jan

As you have probably now guessed from the lack of new posts, we are home! We have lots more information to post, but first we need to catch up on some of the jobs and work that we have neglected over the last six months! If you would like to ask any specific questions, feel free to e-mail us on

Thanks for your interest, we have had at least 100 hits on the site per day with the biggest day well over 300!

Troopy is now on its way back in this ship.  Not sure which one, but I know its a blue container …..


7th to 10th January – More images of Langkawi

10 Jan

The last few days of the trip before heading home have been spent relaxing in Langkawi. We have been lucky with the weather …. still warm and sunny. We heard yesterday that Troopy is now on its way back to Southampton.

The pictures sum up the last few days for us, either taken as we wander around on the beach or on the Island hopping trip that we did yesterday to see the sea eagles.






The sea eagles gather in numbers as they are fed bits of chicken skin to ensure that they are around for the tourists.



They line up like planes coming into a busy airport.






And away with the chicken skin!

Not sure what the other birds of prey are but they are actually prettier than the sea eagles.



The monkeys on one of the islands that we visit on the way back are aggressive and prowl ready to steal food. People still feed them which just makes them worse. They look sweet though.



Just one more day here ….



4th to 6th January – Images from Langkawi

6 Jan

We expected Langkawi to be quite developed, but from what we have seen so far, development has been well controlled. We are outside the Malaysian school holidays and so there are no real crowds.














With sunshine and clear blue skies, it seems like a great place to wait for our flight home!


3rd January – Container day Port Klang

3 Jan

1$ happened to be near the hotel this morning and so he got us to follow him to the car cleaning place, where we left the car, and then he drove us to the office to sort out the paperwork.

The paperwork was very fast and afterwards we went to a local tea house / restaurant tea served with flat bread and curried gravy. Delicious!

When we got the car back it was spotless. None the worse for wear for its trip through 16 countries.

We will update this post later today when Troopy is safely loaded into the container. Fingers crossed! We have a week until our flight home and so we are busy making arrangements to fly up to Langkawi for a week on Air Asia (50GBP return each!).

While we were waiting for the container a French family turned up with a big camper that they had driven almost the same route as us to Malaysia. Hats off to them for getting through Mongolia in this camper!! Well done Muriel, Christophe, Emma and Louis! It sounds as though the trip was tough on the camper, with a blown engine after a river crossing, written off suspension and lots of getting stuck with spinning wheels.

While we were a little jealous of their comfort and space (especially the heating!), the offroad capability of Troopy had enabled us to go on the smaller back roads away from the main southern and northern Mongolian routes and to camping spots inaccessible to a standard vehicle. On the other hand the vast majority of our route did not require a 4×4. On balance we think that we had the right vehicle for our trip. Shipping is also much more expensive (x2) for a large camper and less secure as it is not locked and sealed inside a container.

Unfortunately the container did not arrive in time for us to see the car loaded. We could however take it to the warehouse where the car would be loaded so that it would be ready when the container arrived.

With 1$’s promise to look after the car and get it loaded tomorrow, we were happy to head over to our hotel near the airport in preparation for our flight to Langkawi. It’s hard to leave Troopy behind, we have relied on it for transport and accommodation for 6 months, and if we are honest will not relax totally until the ship is underway with our container loaded.

The following day, 1$ sent us pictures of the car all loaded up, and once we know the name of the ship we will be able to log onto one of the marine tracking sites and see exactly where it is.



Not only does 1$ know every one who matters in terms of travel, logistics and generally getting things done in Malaysia and many other continents, but he is also addicted to travelling and loves to meet anyone who shares the same passion. If you get the chance, get in touch with him.

The full details of the company are:

Syarikat Aseantex Marine Service

No.9 Lorong Cempening

4200 Port Klang

Tel. 603 3168 0000

2nd January – Troopy arrives in Klang

3 Jan

Finally, after 26500 km we feel that we have made it!!!



We  left our beach camping spot and drove the last few km towards Klang. We had decided to book a hotel for the night so that we could sort out Troopy for shipping and to meet with the famous 1$, who’s company Aseantex was to make all the arrangements. 1$ is also a keen traveller and has organised both bike and 4×4 trips all around the world. We had got his contact details from Liz at OEC (Overland Expedition Company) based in Kingsteignton Devon UK. He is a really friendly bloke and so if you have any queries on logistics or guiding, get in touch. We also met 1$’s wife Alina and son Azim for dinner. They were lovely and shared our interest in travelling.




Back at the hotel we sorted things that could stay in the car and things that we would need  during the week that we had before the flight home to the UK.



Tomorrow we meet 1$ in his office at 11.00 am to sign the papers and hand over the carnet, V5 and passport copy. The car will also be cleaned before loading into the container. Unlike Australia, we will be there for the process of loading and strapping down in the container.


1st January – Cameron Highlands

3 Jan

Diesel price here only 1.8 MR (that’s only about 36p/Lt !!)

Approx 5MR to the GBP

It was tempting to stay up in the cool weather of he highlands, but as we needed to be in Port Klang on 3rd January to drop the car off for shipping, we started to head down. On the way there are lots of things to see as it is a major growing area for all sorts of fruit and vegetables. It was started by the English and there are still some very English looking houses around and literally hundreds of Land Rovers of all ages.






We had expected to see lots of Land Rovers on the trip, but this was the first place we had seen a lot. We had also not seen one Land Rover dealer on our route.

There are lots of strawberry farms on the way, and it was interesting to see how they are grown here.




And mushrooms that are gown in plastic bags, preloaded with spores. The mushrooms grow out of the ends, are broken off then the next ones push through.




They look fantastic when they push through, almost like flowers.




The landscape is broken by the occasional tea plantation, but most of it is covered with  huge areas of poly tunnels, some lit through the night.



The road winds down the mountain and as you get lower there is lots of natural jungle. There is a huge area of National Park here also which is great for hiking. It is best to use a guide as several people get lost in the jungle here each year. Spending a night with the leeches, ants and other big bugs when not prepared for it, might not be fun!






That evening we ended up about 15km north of Port Klang, and found a place by the sea to camp. It was still really busy at it was school holidays. As always in South East Asia, free camping is no problem at all.




1st January – Happy New Year !!!!!! : )

2 Jan




One thing that has surprised us as we wound our way down here to Malaysia is that the people who have the least are often the happiest and most generous. The other is that people are almost all good.

The new year is also a time to say thanks to everyone who has kept in touch and shown an interest in our trip. Most days more than 100 people visit the site!

Have a great year!!

Love Graham and Marjool xx

31st December – Enter Malaysia – Cameron Highlands

2 Jan

From Songkhla we drove straight down to the Thai Malaysian border at Sadao, it had rained hard in the night and the whole area was very wet. The East coast tends to get the worst of the weather at this time of the year.

Having dug out all the documents, we made sure that we had the Temporary Conveyance (Import) document TM2 ready as we were told that it was critical for an easy passage through customs.



In fact  there was only a casual glance at the TM2 and we were given it back to take away. There was more interest in the carnet, although it is not really needed for Thailand. We had got it stamped on the way in and so made sure it was stamped on the way out. Just so you know what the TM2 looks like, here is a picture!



On the Malaysian side we went through immigration without any problems. The girl on the counter collected foreign notes, so we dug out a couple of Mongolian and Russian notes, and she gave us enough Malaysian money to pay the ‘toll’. We had not changed any yet and so it was really handy.

Once through immigration, we parked up and visited the customs officials. They led us to a small office and they stamped us in on the carnet. Important as you need this when you ship out of Malaysia. All in all a very easy border to cross with your own car.

Outside the border area, just down the slope on the right hand side are a few small offices. The first sells insurance (about 80 MR) for one month, and the second is a Department of Transport office where you get a sort of temporary tax disc (circulation/transit permission). This is free, but necessary.


The rest of the day was driving in the rain, and later the dark into the Cameron Highlands. Arriving late, we had ideas of gatecrashing a New Years eve party in a big resort at the highest point, but ended up just parking right outside reception and setting up camp. No one seemed to mind and the party just carried on without us. At one point Graham was tempted inside by the noise of people having fun, but after seeing himself in a hotel mirror, unshowered, crumpled clothes and with a few days stubble, decided he did not fit in and crept back into the camper. As we lay in bed, and the countdown got to midnight, we heard the sounds of people cheering and blowing whistles and wishing each other a happy new year, we felt a bit like Mr Bean when his visitors tricked him into going to bed early while they enjoyed a party next door!!

We did however enjoy our coolest evening for weeks, as the temperature dropped to 17 or 18 degrees C during the night instead of the normal 28 to 30 degrees C.