A Travellerspoint blog

Ko phi phi

How I've missed island life

sunny 28 °C
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Arrived on Ko Phi Phi from Phuket and was thrown into the madness of trying to find a place to stay. There were tourist information stands with accommodations listed on the wall with pictures, spoke to nice wee chap who asked us for our budget and told us the best place to stay. If we didn't like it, we can come back and pick somewhere else. Garden Inn Bungalows are located towards the back of the island, away from the port. Lovely bungalows, and a good choice.

Once again - there are no motor vehicles on the island - not even any horses and carts! Easy to walk around the town in 15mins, there isn't much too it - but there is enough to keep us entertained. We walked to the viewpoint which was 186m above sealevel to admire the island, and the view was spectacular. Pictures at the viewpoint showed what the island was like after the tsunami, and from here it was easy to see how everything was totally destroyed.

We sampled our first buket later on that evening - one was enough, and off to bed we went.

We spent the next day avoiding the rain, and later on sitting on the beach. It's reasonably cheap to eat on the island, including western food such as pasta and pizza. We decided to sign up for some diving the next day around Ko Phi Phi Ley.

Diving was good - but not as good as the gilis. Visability wasn't brilliant and Cal was once again suffering from seasickness (as were half the other divers on the boat...). We didn't spot any sharks so I was a little disappointed but still had a good day. Went to the beach later on in the day and booked our bus-boat tickets to ko phangan.

Really loved Phi Phi and would have spent longer if we didn't have so many other places to see!

Posted by lkane86 23:56 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Phuket

Get me out of here...

semi-overcast 26 °C
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Flew to Phuket yesterday. Had a looooooooong layover in KL airport, but flights all went fine.

Had arranged for a car to pick us up at the airport - we paid more than we would have for airport shuttle, but we didn't know where we were going so took the easy option.

Staying at Bodega Hostel at Patong Beach. Really, really nice - I can highly recommend it. We are in a private room with double bed and ensuite, its about 20quid a night - which is expensive but worth it. Nice big room with AC and fan, decent shower/bathroom ensuite. There is a bar downstairs run by the same folk with free internet access and a great atmosphere.

Just aswell we had a great hostel because Patong Beach is horrific. We arrived around 7pm last night, had a beer in the bar and took a wander to see what it was like. About 5mins walk from the hostel we found the main strip of bars. It was like Sodom and Gamora. Girls wearing not alot, Ladyboys dressed in fabulous drag (who had better legs than me...) offers of free entry to all sorts of shows - including those featuring a ping pong. We couldn't get away fast enough. We headed towards the beach where we hoped it would ease up, which it did a little bit. We took refuge in Molly Malones, an Irish Bar. We needed to pause for breath and process what we'd just seen! After a beer we felt a little better, got a crepe and headed back to the hostel.

Even if you were looking for great nightlife, i'm not sure this is what you'd want - too sleazy.

Today we spent a while looking around the shops, mainly for suncream but just passing time. Had a bite to eat and walked along the beach. It's a nice beach...but i'm sure there are nicer in other parts of Thailand, and the rest of the world. Couldn't believe that we seen FAMILIES on holiday here...these people must be crazy!

Boat is booked to Ko Phi Phi tmrw, can't wait to get back to island life - as long as the seas arn't too rough!!!

Posted by lkane86 02:53 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Gili T

Boat ride from hell to get to paradise

sunny 25 °C
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We left Munduk at 3:30am in order to arrive in Legian at 6:30am to catch a car to take us to catch a boat to Gilli Isles. Bad planning, I know but when it all works out smoothly it's just boring :P
Drive down was dark, misty and rainy but we made good time so that was a relief.
Car picked us up at 7am and then there was alot of driving about to pick up others. we eventually arrive in padang bai to catch the boat.

Man was it choppy, 2hours of sheer torture where I was overheating and pretty sure I was ready to lose my breakfast into the provided sick bags :/

Eventually arrived on the island paradise of Gili Trawangan. Bit of a problem with our booking at Blue Marlin, but we managed to get a room after a bit of a wait. Basic room, bed - AC - Toilet/Shower which is fine. Only downside is that the drain stinks...but I think its an Island thing.

Got booked up to do Open Water Course and started that the next day. Spent most of the next three days diving in the pool, the sea and some theory. Had a fantastic instructor and it made the whole process really fun. We went diving to Sunset Reef, Halik Reef, Secret Reef and Meno Wall. Secret reef had the best corals, and there was plenty of fishes to see! No sharks - but some impressive looking Bumphead Parrot fish who were making a flying visit for the full moon.

Best way to eat in Gili is to visit the square where all the local food stalls set up in the evening. Local food at low costs beats eating at a restaurant where the prices are higher and service is really poor. We're not particularly fussy, or have high standards but it takes ages to get served or grab a waiters attention. The done thing at all the restaurants is to pick your fish, and have it cooked on the BBQ. Tasty!

Will be sorry to leave the Gili islands, but we're glad we got the dive course done cause it means we can get some diving done in the Thai Islands of Ko Phang-nan and Ko Tao. Back to Legian for two nights (hoping the boat is much calmer...) before flying to Phuket for some more adventures :)

Posted by lkane86 03:04 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Bali

Legian and Munduk

sunny 28 °C
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After what seemed like the longest wait ever we eventually got thru immigration, jumped in a taxi and our Bali experience began!

So very excited to arrive in Bali where we proceeded to spend 5 days lying on the beach and not doing very much other than eat and drink beer. We soaked up the sunsets and the locals - who are so friendly and always keen for a chat.

We stayed in Tune Hotel in Legian and it's a great budget accommodations - private room and ensuite (a luxury after a week in dorms) and a small extra to add on air con. Room is tiny, and nowhere to store luggage - but you don't get that in a hostel either. Just a short walk down the road to the beach where you can rent beds and umbrellas for a couple of quid all day. I was a bit too keen with the sunbathing on day 1 and spend the remainder of my time in the shade :)

We sampled local favourites on the beach during the day such as Gado Gado - a vegy dish with tofu and a peanut sauch, and mee goreng - which is friend noodles with some veg and a fried egg on top.

There are LOADS of aussies here - understandable as its only a few hours flight away. We are certainly a novelty being scottish!
On our third night in Bali disaster struck when a power cut resulted in an ATM machine swallowing Cal's cashpassport. Luckily it's a joint account and i still have mine but it still put a downer on the evening.
We booked our return boat trip to the gillis and hired a car (a suzuki Ketana which was pretty ropey to drive) before leaving Legian and driving up to Munduk - a village in northern Bali.

Now this was more like it - rice paddies and green hills for miles. We got a little lost on the way, but managed to find the village eventually. A problem with our booking resulted in us staying in three different cottages on three different nights.

First night was spent in Meme Surung Homestay, which was next to local houses. We had a few beers and watched a glorious sunset over the hills before grabbing some local indonesian food at the restaurant in the homestay.
Next morning we moved our bags to Puri Lumbung (which means rice palace, as the cottages used to be used for rice storage) and went on a hike with our own guide Putu. He took us to two waterfalls via local plantations and told us all about the food they grow and how they do it. He taught us alot about traditions and the local culture, it was a great trek too. It's a little cooler in the mountains than down on the beach so there is no need for fans or AC at night.
Puri Lumbung cottages were lovely, and we spent the afternoon relaxing before heading to dinner. There isn't much to do in the village other than eat and relax and we were getting used to this!
We sampled some Balinese Coffee which was delicious, and purchased some from the locals to take home.

The third night we moved our bags to Puri Sunny after a long lie. We had a nice lunch and then went to the spa! I got a head and hair spa treatment which was wonderful - I could have sat there all afternoon!
Munduk let us see something else of Bali other than the beachy tourist area, especially alot more of the locals. Highly recommend anyone going to Bali, moves away from the sand and the surf and does some exploring in the luscious green mountains!

Posted by lkane86 01:50 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

KL

Its a hot mess

semi-overcast 30 °C
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Arrived by luxury coach (which was totally worth the 25GBP we paid) into KL yesterday around 3pm and was instantly underwhelmed.

Found hostel, and was shown around by the lovely Suzy who owns and runs the place. It's very much like a big house, and very homey feeling. Lots of other folk staying so there is always chat to be had.

After dumping our bags we decided to go for a bit of a wander. We're staying in the Golden Triangle area of KL, which is supposed to be the hip and happening place to be. From what I can tell - it's all shopping malls. Got caught in tropical downpour, and found rescue in an undercover restaurant area and had western food for a change. Feeling suitable guilty about it, we went back to the hostel to get dried off and read our books like the young, wild things that we are.

Today we hopped on (and off) of the big red sight seeing bus. To be honest...there wasn't a massive amount to see but it was a good way to squeeze it all in to the one full day we had here. Stopped at the Butterfly Centre where we took LOTS of pictures of butterflies/flowers and were disgusted by the bug display. Tarantulas and all.

Back on the bus, next drop off point was the Petronas towers which were pretty impressive. Tourist pictures achieved we popped into a foodcourt to get a quick bite to eat. Back on the bus and finally departed at china town where we took a wander round.

Don't get me wrong, there is stuff to do in KL - shopping and eating. Other than that, you're a bit stuck.

Had a super cheap dinner tonight at Chinese/Malaysian street cafe. Cost us 5 GBP for two meals and two soft drinks. Beer is a bit dearer over here cause its a muslim country.

Heading to Bali tmrw and after a week of city living I am very ready for the beach!

L xxx

Posted by lkane86 06:11 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

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