Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Dubai and Home!!

Leaving Tokyo late at night I arrived in Kuala Lumpur at around 7am.   I was due to catch the overnight train to Singapore at 11pm so my friend Shirleen had offered her place as somewhere I keep my bag and get showered etc… As this was my last day in South East Asia I told Shirleen my priority was three awesome meals.  The first of which was a breakfast meal of spicy pork and rice.  After I caught up on a few hours of sleep I was ready for lunch and so we headed to an Indian place for a scrumptius green (!) chicken tikka kebab and sweet pulled tea.

In the afternoon we headed to a waterfall where we could cool off and I could take in my last views of SE Asia.

Shirleen scales the waterfall:

My final Malaysian meal was somewhat predictably a third visit to my favourite Dim-Sum restaurant, after which I said my goodbyes and was on another sleeper train.

Tray full of Dim-Sum:

Sun going down on my Asian adventure:

Cosy bed on the sleeper train:

Arriving at 8am in the morning in the northern part of the Singapore Island I only had time to catch a bus to the airport before catching my late morning flight; which got me into Dubai at around 4.30pm having spent the past 42 hours and 2 nights on planes, trains and auto-mobiles 😉

No time for rest though as it was the 2nd group stage of the Euro 2012 finals which meant England were playing a crunch match against Sweden, and coincidently a Friday night, so a Dubai-night-out was on the cards.

Jack and Vicki met me at the airport; and I realised the last time I had seen them they were getting married and I was performing best-man duties!  They took me to their ridiculously swanky apartment (5 bathrooms :/)  just a few minutes from the airport and before we’d had chance to really catch up it was time for Jack and I meet his mates at one of Dubai’s premier sports-watching venues for a night on the tiles. England’s dramatic win kept us partying into the wee hours.

The next day we chilled out by pool, and went to the Mall of Dubai in the evening to check out the amazing aquarium and musical fountain display.

The Marchington’s lounge overlooking Dubai:

And the pool:

View from their apartment, the Burj Khalifa imposing itself over the city:

The next day Jack had booked us a tee-time on a local golf course.  With it being Dubai high standards were guaranteed.  After a couple of holes I realised this was the best course I had ever played; but unfortunately my shots weren’t matching the standard of the trimmed fairways and lightening quick greens.   Nevertheless it was really good fun, especially tearing around on our golf buggies.

The time was very strictly stuck to.  Our buggy had an onboard computer that told us if we were running too fast or slow.  After hacking our way round the first few holes we found ourselves 5 minutes behind schedule which resulted in one of the course marshalls prompting us to get a move on!

One of the times I somehow found myself on the fairway:

That’s more how I remembered it:

Unlike most courses I’d played where if you shank your drive you can pretty much write-it-off as lost, due to it being in some trees or 4 foot grass; in Dubai you are quite fortunate because off the fairway is the desert and spotting your ball is fairly easy as Jack found here:

After four hours baking in the desert heat I was very glad to dispose of my soaking clothes and get into the air-con.  For the record Jack won by a shot or two which was to be expected with his home advantage 😉

I still had a couple of days left in Dubai which I spent chilling by the pool, eating delicious food and taking in some of Dubai’s sights.

One of the local traditions, smoking a shisha pipe over a lunch of chicken shawarma and fresh fruit juice:

Just a couple of the many good-looking buildings in the Dubai:

The sparkling Burg Khalifa, tallest building in the world:

Jack and I on the last day of my year-long adventure:

So that was that, and it was finally time for me to head back to the UK, 365 days after I had left.  During my time away I had been to 26 countries, across 5 continents and I’d had the best year of my life.  What really made it special was all the amazing people I had met along the way.  If anyone is considering doing something similar my advice is: just do it!

Back in London; black cabs, red buses and Union flags:


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