Sunday, 29 January 2012

Weirdest Night Ever....

As far as strange experiences go this has now took top place.... and I've had some strange experiences let me tell you.  This is unedited, as I'm shattered after not sleeping last night, so again please bear with me, use your imagination where words are missing, or the wrong round way!  ;-)

The day before yesterday (still in Chiang Mai), we were wandering the streets once again.  I'd had my flip flops mended for 20 baht (45p), the guy just drove a needle with heavy thread right through the sole to attach the bit that fits between the toes.  Over the past fortnight they'd turned into sandals, with the 'between the toe' bit having severed away from the sole.  I looked even poorer than I normally do!  We sat and waited

Friday, 27 January 2012

Chiang Mai 23rd to 27th January

What's the worst thing I could lose enroute to Chiang Mai?  Well in order of importance, these would be as follows:

1. Amanda
2. Camera Gear
3. Fishing Equipment
4. Laptop
5. Clothes

Straight in at number 3.... My fishing rod.... disappeared between Surat Thani to Bangkok &
and the Bangkok to Chiang Mai bus transfer..... I went to find the original bus at a Bangkok Bus Dept containing over 100 buses, about an hour after I realised it wasn't on the new bus, which wasn't leaving

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Krabi January 19th to 21st (more photo's to be added)

The ferry back to Donsak was a pleasant enough journey.  We were swiftly boarded onto our air conditioned 'coach' at the port. We made ourselves comfortable then slowly took in our surroundings.  Eight 1960's style lights adorned the ceiling, Concave circular discs, most of which were broken, the tatty yellow curtains did their job, protecting everyone sitting on the sunny side from slow cooking during the next 3 hours.  It was a hot day, the air conditioning could be felt if you reached up to your personalised little vent, laying the back of your hand against it and really concentrated, I'm sure there was a sensation of cool air, I could have been imagining it!  It was rubbish!
Longtail Boats at Low Tide
The landscapes were beautiful as we headed down toward Krabi, and although stiflingly hot, the scenery made up for the slight discomfort.
We arrived at a little bus stop off on the outskirts of town, and I put my new SIM card into action, we called the Pine Bungalow for our ride out to their little single huts.  They quoted us 300 baht (remember 50p per £1) or 500 for the posh ones, we agreed that we'd try the 300 baht, it had a fan and was all we needed.  After fifteen minutes of waiting our pick up truck style taxi arrived.  We hopped up into the back and made ourselves comfortable.  The next 20 minutes were spent breathing fragrant plumes of cannabis wafting from the drivers open window.... I think I was high by the time we reached the resort, the driver definitely was!  Surprisingly as ever the 300 baht rooms weren't on offer, not booked, just no 300 baht rooms.  Even though the day before they'd emailed me offering rooms of 300 or 500.  Well we were twenty minutes drive out of Krabi, it had just got dark and

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Leaving Koh Samui....15th to 18th January

yoga pose

Good Lord!


Local Dog Learning Sun Salutation
Castnet

The weather has been inclement, with extremely heavy rain, one day raining through until 2pm.
Mary Poppins on a moped?
One of these rainy days we decided to brave it, we weren't going to let a bit of precipitation ruin our trip!  We headed out on the moped, whilst it was dry, then without much warning the weather turned.  We dived into a little food establishment to take shelter, we dined on delicious prawns and vegetable curry for less then £2.00, whilst enjoying the company of a large, bearded Englishman who was partaking in a diving course. Lovely big fella.  Initially 40 minutes had passed before we had our food, at this point we decided it was time we reminded the owners of the said establishment that we'd ordered some of their local delights a little while ago, apologies and 10 minutes later, we were tucking in.  Whilst I sorted the bill Amanda shot into a little shop next door and came out holding two polythene ponchos, one in pink and one in baby blue, delightful!  The remainder of the afternoon was spent

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Koh Samui - First Few Days - 14th January

Koh Samui, what can I say?  It's a typical island paradise type place.  Busy tourist areas, which we are on the cusp of, about 10 minutes away from Chaweng which is a nice beach spoilt by holiday makers!  The South West of the Island is tranquil and beautiful.
The local market which is about 40 minutes walk from where we stay is awesome, amazing fresh foods, vegetables and fruit, along with a plethora of fish and meats.  There is also a selection

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Bangkok to Koh Samui 10th January

We headed out loaded up with our Backpacks, took the Skytrain to as close to where the bus station was as we could get (apparently).  After an hour of walking in 30 degrees heat, and having asked directions on a number of occasions, trying to glean a what few comprehendable words we could each time, we reached the 'bus station'.  A few Thai bus drivers were sat around on old buckets and drums, chattering and laughing.  'Where you wanna go?' one asked.  'Koh Samui' we replied.  Having researched online

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Bangkok Day 2

We had booked to stay 2 nights in Bangkok before heading to Koh Samui where a very generous friend had offered us free accommodation for the duration of our stay, but on waking up on the second morning I felt truly terrible.  The fluy virus from the IOM had truly taken hold, I hadn't slept a wink again either.  My throat was rough, and I was aching from head to toe.  I felt rubbish.  Amanda decided

Bangkok.... Head & Shoulders....

We had awful difficulty finding our little guest house in Bangkok, having hopped off the superbly efficient Sky Train one stop too early.... or too late, not sure.  It was about 10.30pm as we wandered along with the 'roaches rats and ho's' as Amanda put it, arriving at 11pm.  Our room was pleasant enough for £20 a night, we didn't expect much, but it was pretty decent.  As much tea and coffee was also included from the downstairs 'kettle area'.  We dumped our gear, Amanda showered, then we headed down to the supermarket to grab some food.  Our heads hit the hay at about 11.45pm that night, exhausted and feeling rough.
We woke the next morning.... ahem afternoon at 12.30pm.... I was feeling pretty poor but we decided to head out and explore the place.  The Sky Train took us to

Leaving the UK....

A quick thanks to everyone for housing all our belongings again, and for those that helped, lended and accommodated us!  Much love to you all.
We spent a lovely Christmas/New Year period with our families and friends on the Isle of Man before we packed in work and headed off to Asia!

We were set to leave on January 5th, but with our new backpacks having been ordered online on 23rd December and still apparently in transit, set to arrive on the island the day before we left things were running a little tight.... as usual!  Of course I'd like to think of my planning as super efficient as ever, rather than last minute, although my wife tends to disagree on this one.  At the worst we'd go 'carrier bagging' around SE Asia, I told Amanda it's the new backpacking!  She wasn't amused.
The backpacks arrived with 24 hours in hand, loads of time!  A 40 litre (plus 8) for me and a 30 litre (plus 6) for Amanda, we intended to travel as light as possible.  After Amanda packing, repacking and removing, repacking and removing again, then one more time, we were ready.  I had photography equipment, fishing gear and a few items of clothing.... and I mean a few!  There wasn't much room with all the other gear.
The flight from the IOM to Liverpool was uneventful (for everyone else bar me, the landing was horrible as ever), ut everyone else seemed happy enough.
After grabbing a bus from the airport into Liverpool we trudged through rain sodden Liver Bird Land to our hotel, which had a little kitchenette, enroute we nipped into Tesco Express to grab some supplies.  As we checked into the hotel, the receptionist asked for a credit card.... No, not that pocket, or that one, or that one.... Christ, I've left all our cards and £50 in cash at Tesco Express, poor start.  I splashed my way down the road, finally reaching Tesco Express, where they'd safely stored my wallet, and as an extra bonus, had even decided to leave the cash, lovely honest scousers.  Thank you Liverpool!
A 5.5 hour journey setting off at 6.30am from Liverpool down to The Big Smoke was next, For £7 each it was a bargain and went perfectly.  With a few hours to spend in London I'd already decided to attend the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition, which was absolutely amazing, jam packed with stunning images of wildlife, from insects to polar bears.
Amanda sat, chilled and read in the Museum for the 45 minutes while I spent £9 of our budget on image ogling.
Our flight to Bangkok was long, it left Heathrow at 9.50pm..... and with a stop off in Oman took about 14 hours in total, during the flight I watched a few films and read, Amanda read and slept.  Our pre-ordered vegetarian Hindu curry was delicious, but Amanda's raw vegetarian meal was a tad disappointing, which amounted to little more than a stack of cucumber slices.  Still, it was a meal and eye treatment all in one, so who could complain!
The IOM was a distant memory of 45 hours before by the time finally landed in Bangkok, and I hadn't slept a wink on the Megabus or indeed the flights.... Fatigue was setting in, as was a very sore throat.