West Side Of Ireland

Dublin was great, but I knew I had to get away.


Somebody wanted to kill me.

No lah, Dublin was truly fantastic. But I knew I was not getting a true taste of Ireland if I merely stayed within the confines of the city. So on my second day in Ireland, I decided to leave the city and explore the Irish countryside, on my rented red Volkswagen Polo.


Hiring a car in Ireland is cheap. At just €17 (RM80) a day, it’s a real bargain.

Getting around however, is not cheap. In Ireland, the petrol prices are around €1.10 (RM 5.20) a litre. That’s more than double the price in Malaysia. It’s so expensive it could easily cost me over RM 250 just to fill up a tank.


No wonder petrol station in Ireland is EMO!

So I drove from Dublin on the east side of Ireland, all the way to Galway on the west.


The journey along the highway was largely boring and uneventful.

There was nothing see at all. Except for a river. AND IT SUCKS.



I was relieved when I finally reached Galway after three hours on the road, and promptly checked myself into this cozy romantic Bed & Breakfast called Petra House (€50, or RM240).


Petra House was quite possibly the most charming B&B I have ever stayed at.

The house is like a cottage straight out of fairy tale book and is run entirely by a friendly husband-and-wife team. My room was spotlessly clean and they served the most deliciously awesome breakfast I had during my entire stay in Ireland.


Gotta love those ceramic ware. Anyway, I’m most definitely bringing a future girlfriend here with me next time, whenever that may be.

The natural landscape of West Ireland is a completely different creature altogether from the big smoke that is Dublin.


As touristy as they may be, the west side has the most awe-inspiring landscape I have ever seen in my entire life.

The highlight of the trip, however, was this jaw-dropping sight.

Cliffs of Moher

This the Cliffs of Moher, the most spectacular destination in County Clare.

I did not have plans to visit West Ireland initially. And then, I saw a picture of it on a tourist brochure and promptly told myself I have to go there no matter what.

That’s how gung-ho I was. That’s why I drove 3 hours all the way to the West. And I was not disappointed.

Moher Tower

It took me a whole day of driving and I arrived at the Cliffs of Moher shortly after sunset. It’s a good thing though. By then, the hordes of tourists have already departed, and I have the whole place all to myself.

There, I sat on the grass in solitary, listening to the sounds of the waves crashing, breathing in the fresh air of the Atlantic Sea and enjoying the sheer majesty of the 210m high cliffs.

I was at peace.

Cliffs of Moher

Pictures do not do the beauty of the place any justice whatsoever.

Never before have I seen a seascape this amazing. Not even Great Ocean Road in Australia or Halong Bay in Vietnam can compare to how impressive the Cliffs of Moher are.

My only regret is that I didn’t bring a tripod. As a result, the only picture I had of myself with the Cliffs is this stupid photo.

Cliffs of Moher

Spoil the picture only.

I love it that the Irish knew how to preserve their natural landscape and chose not to erect any barricades to protect people from falling. The downside is, a lot of people have died after accidentally falling over the ledge.


But hey if I had a choice, I’d choose die there as well. It’s too beautiful to leave.

Of course, there are other things to see in West Ireland.

The Burren

Like the stone-covered barren landscape of The Burren.

Kylemore Abbey

The Kylemore, a Christian monastery that looks more like a castle.

Lake by Kylemore Abbey

And in general, just endless stretches of postcard-quality sceneries that made me felt like I was living in an entirely different planet.

The Emerald Isle is truly a gem.

Serene lake

Sure, it was lonely travelling alone.

At the same time, it was also very therapeutic for me to drive around on my own in my rental car, listening to Irish bands like Boyzone and Westlife on the radio.

Boats by the lake

My luck in discovering “hidden gems” away from the usual tourist routes continued when I stopped by a little town called Cong.

There was nothing special about the town itself. But I was drawn in by the sight of this derelict church by the roadside.


The church was clearly abandoned and now used as a graveyard. Tombstones were littered all over the church floor.

As I explored a bit, I stumbled across a back gate which leads to the beautiful but hauntingly quiet Cong Woods.

Cong Woods

Already I felt calm and relaxed just looking this picture. I don’t even need Enya.

It was raining and there was not a single soul in sight. Something just tells me this place is magical.

I guess if fairies were real, then this must be where they live.

Cong Woods

This was more than just a sightseeing trip to me. It was also something spiritually and emotionally fulfilling.

Being alone in the quiet woods, I found myself having the space and clarity to think about things I never had time nor concentration to think about back home. Things like where I want to go in my life, what I want to do with my career and so on.

Fallen Tree Over Cong River

In that sense, I think I’ve found what I was looking for before I set out on this trip. I drove back to Dublin feeling much refreshed and energized.

One thing I definitely noticed while driving around the Irish countryside was how exceptionally friendly the rural folks are.


When I lived in Perth, I was already used to smiling and saying “hi!” to strangers if I was walking on the streets. But in rural Ireland, they took it a step further.

Apparently, if you are driving along a stretch of road and another vehicle passes you in front, it is customary for you both to lift your fingers up, as if to give each other a bit of a “hi!” through the windscreens.


I thought that was a pretty cool culture to have.

The good news is, Malaysians are beginning to catch up.

I remember last time I was driving along the North-South Highway. This driver in a modified Kancil overtook me and greeted me the Irish way as well.


Except he forgot to lift his four other fingers up.

I’m scared of all these pig flu going around infecting me.

Better lose weight so I don’t look like a pig.

110 Replies to “West Side Of Ireland”

  1. kenny, is great creation by god huh!!
    u make me having a great urge to go these places! good spot for photography.. thanks for sharing…

  2. Omg that forest is awesome, I bet the air there was cool and so refreshing, unlike the hot and humid rainforests here in Malaysia. Anyway, that forest looks like the kinda place Cradle Of Filth hangs out to record their music videos. Gloomy, dark, eerie, but at the same time, calm and relaxing.

  3. ahahahah.. there are so many points that made me really laugh out loud..
    I’m going to “Emo” to fill up my petrol.. next i will pass by river suck?!
    nice one Kenny (=

  4. “I love it that the Irish knew how to preserve their natural landscape and chose not to erect any barricades to protect people from falling. The downside is, a lot of people have died after accidentally falling over the ledge.”
    And as an after thought, I now feel bad for laughing cos some people might have lost loved ones to those cliffs. :S

  5. Superbly nice photos. Funny names at places. Why can’t Malaysia come up with names like that??
    I want to start my own KillKenny Restaurant 😀

  6. I salute you! I know I will not able to travel alone, what more to say to a foreign country. Btw… Ireland is really a beautiful country. Your photography skill improves a lot. Some of your pics are awesome. Looks professional.

  7. Looking back at my pictures and yours, I wonder when is the next time I will step foot on the beautiful landscape in Ireland again. Glad you enjoyed yourself. 🙂

  8. Cool, you can say Tasmania is like Ireland as well, but I bet Ireland is nicer 😛 but reminds me well of Tassie. Would love to go there one day 😀

  9. Go get the swine flu, then you’ll lose weight heh heh.
    There’s this marvelous book called Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell. If you’re interested in fairies and spiritual woods you might find this book a good read. One of my favourites.

  10. Hi kenny! Really lovely pictures you have there. Do you mind me asking which camera model are you using for those photos? =)

  11. It did, for me. Because I was alone and I hired a car, which is not economical.
    You could save money by taking a train, or flying into Shannon Airport, then join a coach tour company. The downside of that is, you’ll be crowded with other tourists.

  12. Those were really great photos. reminded me how beautiful the place is. It’s definitely a place for romance. You could have just called up anyone in galway…plenty of kuching mates 🙂

  13. Wow..the photos and scenery are fantastically superb. Looks so peaceful. I would have choose to die there too. I can imagine myself at the cliff side now, i guess i’ll be thinking what are my goals and future goals are.
    I have to agree that u kinda destroyed the photo u took at the cliff =,=””

  14. Beautiful pics. In a way you kinda inspired me. Someday I shall work (final year student), and collect enough money to travel around the world!

  15. Hi Kenny, just love your pics and commentaries. You never cease to amaze me. Soooooo interesting are your blogs that I can’t wait for your next blog.

  16. Oh Kenny! When I read that you took the ferry from Holyhead to Dublin, I wondered if you would make your way to the Cliffs of Moher. So glad you did. I visited the cliffs several years back and thought it was the most breathtakingly beautiful place ever. I was actually worried that I’d be blown away coz there was a very strong wind at that time, but (un)fortunately, I am rather hefty so gravity kept me grounded 🙂

  17. come edinburgh and take nice pics and comment on the scenery, i am leaving there soon and i am lazy to take pics haha.
    btw nice middle finger. like it haha

  18. hi kenny.. i enjoyed reading this… you’re definitely living life to the fullest… way to go…am happy to see you happy too
    do take care

  19. Those are some amazing pictures. Ireland looks like something out of a fantasy 🙂 Can already imagine lovers looking out across the expanse of the sea from the Cliffs!

  20. wah fanfuckingtastic so kenny can i be your girlfriend so i can go ireland and i will speak in thai all the time? lol

  21. 1st time I comment on yr blog but love reading it. U r so entertaining& funny. If u have time you must go and visit the Giant’s Causeway in N.Ireland. Also the country park in Larne, Co.Antrim. Irish r really sweet people. I lived there many, many years ago and hope to go back while I can still walk!

  22. Unless I strike Jackpot (which is impossible coz I don’t buy Toto), I don’t think I’ll have the chance to come here ….. I admire the scenery!

  23. The views are really stunning and thanks for sharing. Too bad you were alone when you experience these sights! You should invite fellow bloggers to join you. I wouldnt mind cos travellin alone sucks. Kudos to you for goin it alone.

  24. hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha oh dear! hahahaha imagine you doing the same to the Irish. You’re probably not going to be here blogging happily ever after! lol

  25. Hi Kenny,
    No offence – I was introduced to your blog by my fren; she knows I’d love Ireland.
    I just want to say that your photos & stories are amazing! And great sense of humour – been a pleasure reading your blog, thanks!

  26. i was studying in Dublin for 3 years and i just got back to Malaysia for good.. 🙁 miss it so much…glad you made it to the cliffs of moher..one of my many favorites..

  27. You’re a talented photographer. Do you ever think of offering these nice photos to your readers freely as they might be interested to use it as computer wallpapers. 🙂

  28. Yo Kenny, not only do u hv a good command of english writing skills, thumbs up for ur photography skills too~! Way to go! travel more and blog more for ppl like us have yet to earn $..haha. glad u r enjoyin ur life and sharing ur happiness w us readers. Happy Labour Day~!

  29. i miss ireland. thanks for sharing the photos. cliffs of moher was amazing. i was there dec’06. freezing cold.

  30. The last time we were in Ireland, we had to wait for 10 mins on a narrow country lane while the car in front chatted with an oncoming car. It seemed the most natural thing to do for them. Also, being non-white, we drew a lot of attention – cheers and waves from young school children in the school bus, smiles and hugs from villagers and strangers… aye, an emotionally warm place to make up for the cold weather.

  31. I love the way you’ve taken your pictures and the way you’ve described your travels. It truly feels as though I’m there too. 🙂

  32. Thanks for sharing Kenny. I would never have known Ireland if it wasn’t from reading your blog. I hope you will bring your future girlfriend there cos it will definitely be a memorable place to remember and cherish.

  33. It was a great choice of you to go to the west of Ireland. It’s a totally different world there..untouched scenary and uber friendly people. Did you go to Giants Causeway??
    You should’ve announced to ppl about your trip to Dublin. Alot of us Malaysians here do read your blog.

  34. Apprently not only somebody want to kill you, the entire irish nation want to do that too… that’s why they name a City after Kilkenny and even invented a well known Kilkenny beer to tell the whole the world they wanted to do that….
    You are lucky to get out of there alive dude. LOL

  35. bad ending to a good post, well well it’s not so nice talking bad about malaysia like “that” rite? even if it is so, forgive-and-forget =)

  36. How I envy you Kenny. Being able to go to go to so many places within a short span of time. Ireland looks so fantastic and breathtaking. *jealous*

  37. thanks for the beautiful photos Kenny~
    i just hope that i get to visit such a beautiful country in the future 😀

  38. Hahahhahaha.. I nearly toppled over when I saw your handy finger works 😛
    My in-laws used to drive the same car you rented but in Dark Green. My father-in-law’s fav is still good ole perfect pint of Guinness.
    One of my sister-in-laws bathed her babies in Guinness. I can’t recalled for how long she did that… perhaps only during Full-Moon celebration. She said Guinness warms up the body and made babies less prone to colds. I think it works because her kids seldom suffered from sneezes even the cousins caughing and sneezing cats and dogs around them…LOL
    BTW, you did great photography and write-ups. I enjoyed reading them… a lot. I KIV the B & B you’d been. I adored such cozy abode.
    Thank you for sharing!

  39. I spend around 100 to 150 euros per day, including stay, car and accommodation.
    Unless you have more than two people travelling with you, it’s not worth it renting a car. It’s better to just take the train from Dublin, or skip Dublin and just fly into Galway from any UK cities.

  40. omg, the cliffs of moher is simply spectacular and breathtaking..thanx for letting me know about it.i have never heard of that place till u blogged about it.i have a thing for cliffs.just been to uluwatu temple in bali and i am awed by the view from the cliffs =)

  41. Beautiful pictures. Im glad Ireland left an impression (most just leave with hangovers!)
    old Irish blessing:
    “May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.”
    love the site…(and id like to point out, your doing my dream job!) 😀

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