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Showing posts from May, 2017

Tunnel: The Archaeology of Crossrail, Museum of London Docklands

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I spent a few days down in Kent recently for my Dad's birthday celebrations (which were lovely by the way) on the way down to Kent we spent a night in London and so I got to spend a touristy day there. I pretty much made up my mind before we left Edinburgh that I'd go to one of London's many museums and also try and get to one I'd not been to. I had a few on my list, sadly one of them I decided to remove after discovering there was a quite considerable entry charge just for the regular exhibits. This did come with the caveat that the ticket could then be used as much as you wanted for the next year but when you don't live in the city I wasn't really convinced I'd get my money's worth or if I'd even want to go back there again and again. Although I got used to paying entry fees for museums in Singapore I'm far more used to the free entry with the option to make a donation that is pretty much the norm in the UK at most museums and only specificall…

Penang Hill, Penang, Malaysia

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We decided to go a little further afield whilst staying in Penang and to the west of Georgetown, our base for our visit, is Penang hill. The hill was mentioned in all the guidebooks we read so we got our guest house to book us a taxi and off we went. Once you arrive at the base station where the taxi dropped us off, to get to the top of the hill you take the funicular railway. It's fun but is quite nerve-rackingly steep and you seem very exposed on the hill as it climbs up to the top. We went mid-week and reasonably early but it was still insanely busy at the ticket booths, I can't imagine what it's like on a weekend or a public holiday so probably best to avoid those times if you can. To ease the queueing a little you can pay more for a fast lane ticket at the ticket counters, once you get to the front of that queue! This means you can then skip the next queues for the train both on the way  up and on the return journey down. It also means you get priority boarding so you…

Taking an Open Top Tour Bus Around Edinburgh

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Travel to many cities in the UK and around the world and you'll find the 'hop on, hop off' tour buses offering you the option of seeing points of interest from the comfort of a bus with a guided tour thrown in too. Over the years we've done many of these and have often found them a useful way to see a city, especially if we're only going to be there for a couple of days. We typically use them to get an idea of where places are in relation to others, what we definitely want to see and where we want to go back to, all with the idea of maximising our time there. Naturally Edinburgh offers these tours too and we've made use of them a couple of times when we've had visitors.
Whilst they aren't for everyone, Edinburgh (as many of you will know) is a very hilly city, it's built on seven of them! It's a small city so is easy to walk around but those hills can also pose a challenge if you perhaps aren't quite so mobile. We've hosted a few guests w…

The Blue Mansion, Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia

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The one place everybody told us we had to visit whilst in Penang was the Blue Mansion (Cheong Fatt Tze's mansion) in Georgetown. Although I'd heard of it and seen photos on other blogs etc. I knew nothing about it prior to our visit but being told it was an absolute must do it went right to the top of our agenda.
Being pretty central and that fantastic blue colour it's very easy to find on Leith Street or Lebuh Leith. This was a street name that amused us now we live in Edinburgh, although it was actually named after George Leith the Lieutenant Governor of Penang from 1800 to 1803 and has nothing to do with Leith, Edinburgh. The mansion is only open at certain times in the day and can only be accessed by guided tour so make sure you check the timings before heading off or have an alternate plan to fill time if you do need to wait (there isn't a lot of shelter from the sun in the immediate vicinity). When we visited the tours were timed at 11am, 2pm and 3.30pm with gates…