I don’t like cities and I’m not a big fan of hot, humid weather. You’ll understand then why I was surprised to find myself with a smiley face feeling like I loved the place within half an hour of arriving. It could have been because it was so easy and straightforward to find my way from the airport to my hotel (I’m from London and even I get confused landing at Heathrow); it could have been the familiarity of left hand driving, British street names and other colonial hangovers; or it could have been that there was blue sky and sunshine.
As a bonus, within 2 hours I had set sail on a junk boat to explore the harbour and discover that within minutes you can totally leave the city behind. Far away from my daily grind and before I knew it, I was swimming in the sea off clearwater bay. A big hit of vitamin d and relaxation meant that the journey back was long enough to soak up the view, but not too long so that my jet lag caught up with me!
So, other first impressions: friendly, multicultural, hilly and a great place to start an asian tour! More to come.